The Lenovo ThinkPad X220, which will be available in April as both a standard notebook PC and as a convertible PC/Tablet, boasts an amazing 24 hours of battery life with an add-on external battery pack that attaches to the bottom of the unit. But even without the external battery, Lenovo says that the laptop can get an incredibly respectable 15 hours on its internal 9-cell battery. There are caveats to those claims – your actual time will vary and will probably be less.
I didn’t do any formal battery testing but I did use it for several hours with no sign of the battery dying. My sense is that the iPad’s battery will still out last the Lenovo’s if you don’t add the external battery or take advantage of every conceivable battery saving tip, but the mere fact that it comes close is pretty impressive considering that the Lenovo is a fast full-fledged PC with a spinning hard drive.
The unit Lenovo sent me to test had one of Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors running at 2.7 GHz, which Lenovo says is 20% faster than previous generations with twice the graphics performance. It comes standard with four gigabytes of RAM (expandable to eight) and a 320 GB hard drive. The company hasn’t formally announced pricing, but I believe it will start at about $900.
The new machine also has a gorgeous 12.5 inch high-definition display that looked great when running websites and playing movies, and unlike some other light weight machines, you can actually hear the speaker. One of my pet peeves about some laptops are speakers that aren’t loud enough to hear without headphones. Lenovo has also improved the microphone to reduce background noise when using it as a phone or for web conferencing and to pick up sounds from across the room when using it as a speaker phone.