Lenovo’s forthcoming range of Centrino 2 notebooks looks set to include four models based on the ultra-thin X300.
Lenovo has received plenty of kudos for its amazing X300, the skinny lightweight 13.3 inch ThinkPad which packs in just about everything Apple left out of the MacBook Air. Now it seems that the X300’s digital DNA will be woven into three more thin ThinkPads with screen sizes of 12 inches (the X200), 14.1 inches (the X400) and 15.4 inches (the X500), according to a leak that found its way to Gizmodo.
They’ll all be built on Intel’s Centrino 2 platform, formerly codenamed Montevina, but don’t expect to see them until four months after Centrino 2’s mid-year kick off. The reason? Essential to the skinny X-series is a small form factor (SFF) version of the processor and associated silicon which is almost 60% smaller than the norm. This will be the Centrino 2 version of the 65nm Merom SFF package used in the ThinkPad X300 and the MacBook Air, and that’s not due until the third quarter of 2008.
But when it arrives, this 45nm pint-sized Penryn mobile processor will lead off with clock speeds of 1.2GHz and 1.4GHz, 3MB of L2 cache and an 800MHz FSB, with a power ceiling of just 10 watts. The SL7100 ‘mini-Merom’ currently in the X300 runs at 1.2GHz but hits 12 watts.
Intel will also release higher performance SFF modules running from 1.6GHz to 2.4GHz with 6MB of cache, 1066MHZ FSB and a 17-25 watt overhead. Either way, expect the new thin ThinkPads to pack more of a punch while also significantly extending their battery life.
(The good news for Apple fans is that the MacBook Air will almost certainly get a mid-life refresh to the same 45nm SFF technology, and it could deliver a pretty hefty boost. Today’s Air runs on an SP7500 processor clocked to 1.4GHz with a 20 watt thermal ceiling, so Apple can choose to keep the clock speed and halve the power hit, or ramp up performance with higher clock speed, FSB and more L3 cache while keeping inside the existing thermals).
Before the new X-series systems touch down Lenovo will unveil new models in the entry-level R-series, mid-range T-series and heavy-hitting W-series.
Gizmodo’s source claims that key features slated for selected models in the the Centrino 2 series will include optional Blu-ray drives, beefed-up Turbo Memory, LED backlighting, inbuilt GPS and nine-cell batteries.