Remember those dubious-looking spy photos of a strange ThinkPad netbook we saw earlier this month? They weren't fake. Well, either that, or a prankster has masterfully crafted a whole batch of very authentic-looking PR photos and sent them to the folks at Netbooknews.de. The evidence definitely seems overwhelming, though.
This 11.6" laptop apparently bears the ThinkPad X100e moniker, and it's actually a consumer ultraportable based on AMD's Athlon Neo MV-40 processor. According to a chart at the end of Netbooknews.de's news post, the system also has an RS780 chipset with Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics, up to 4GB of RAM, 160-320GB of mechanical storage, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and a choice of three- or six-cell batteries, the latter allowing for up to 5.1 hours of run time.
Pricing starts at only $449, and the system is a lightweight 3.3 lbs with the six-cell battery. It's not going to be the thinnest around, though, measuring 1.16" at its thickest point.
What sets the ThinkPad X100e apart—assuming it's real, of course—is the mixture of classic, IBM-inspired ThinkPad flair and modern ultraportable chic. You get a trackpoint, a sleek black interior, and a blue enter key, but also a chiclet keyboard and a white plastic exterior. Also, the X100e seems like it won't carry the same price premium as the rest of the ThinkPad line. 450 bucks sounds pretty cheap for an ultraportable, in any case.
Based on the loose Google translation and my shaky German, Netbooknews.de seems to be saying Lenovo will likely launch the system before the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but you can also expect the X100e to make an appearance at the convention. (Thanks to Engadget for the tip.)