As expected, the new ultra-compact ThinkPad X301 has become available on Lenovo's website. This new laptop starts at $2,575 and packs a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo SU9400 processor, 1GB of DDR3-1066 RAM, a 64GB solid-state drive, and a three-cell battery in its default configuration. Customers can opt for more RAM, a 128GB SSD (for an extra $400), mobile broadband, and a bigger battery.
The launch has dragged down the price of the older (but otherwise very similar) ThinkPad X300, which only comes with a 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo SL7100 processor, DDR2-667 RAM, and a 64GB SSD. That machine now starts at $1,839.36 with two three-cell batteries, although you'll have to pay $1,910.23 if you want to trade one of the batteries for a DVD burner. By contrast, Apple's MacBook Air costs $1,799 with a faster CPU, more RAM, but also a slower 4,200-RPM mechanical hard drive, a non-removable battery, and no DVD drive.
Both the ThinkPad X300 and the X301 are only about 0.75" (19 mm) thick, and Lenovo claims that all configurations weigh less than three pounds (1.36 kg). Also, all X300/X301 configs feature 13.3" LED-backlit displays with 1440x900 resolutions, which are a bit roomier than the Air's 1280x800 display.