Lenovo has launched its MacBook Air-killer, with the ThinkPad X300 ultraportable challenging Apple's claim to offer the lightest, thinnest and most powerful laptop on the market.

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12 March 2008 - Lenovo Thinkpad X300 review

Weighing from 1.33kg Lenovo claims the ThinkPad X300 is more feature-rich than Apple's 1.3kg MacBook Air. Lenovo has included three USB ports and an ultrathin DVD burner, while the MacBook Air has only one USB port and no optical drive. With a DVD-RW drive, the X300 weighs 1.42kg, Lenovo said.

The laptop measures 1.85cm at its thinnest point by 2.34cm at its thickest point, bigger in comparison to MacBook Air, which measures from 0.4cm to 1.93cm.

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Targeted at business users and consumers, the laptop uses 25 percent less power than previous ThinkPad models. It has a 64GB solid-state storage drive for data storage, a 13.3in LED-backlit display and a lithium-polymer battery, Lenovo said.

The lithium-polymer chemistry provides better battery life than standard lithium-ion batteries found in most laptops today, said Tom Ribble, director of ThinkPad product marketing at Lenovo. The system supports up to 4GB of memory and includes integrated graphics, a digital camera, and wired and wireless networking. It includes both touchpad and trackpoint scrolling capabilities.

The system will come with WiMax capabilities later this year with Intel's updated Centrino platform, according to Lenovo. The buyer may choose that the machine comes preloaded with either Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista.

The X300 is powered by Intel's Core 2 Duo SL7100 LV low-voltage chip, operating at 1.2GHz. Like the Core 2 Duo processor specially developed for Apple's MacBook Air, Intel shrunk the SL7100 LV processor to make it 60 percent smaller than standard-sized processors belonging to Intel's Merom family. The chip is manufactured using the 65-nanometre process, like other Merom processors.

Although the size is the same, the SL7100 LV chip consumes less power. It uses 12W of power, according to processor details provided by Intel. The Core 2 Duo processor for the MacBook Air uses 20W of power, while operating at 1.6GHz to 1.8GHz. Fujitsu also uses the SL7100 LV chip in its ultraportable LifeBook P8010 laptop, which started shipping in the US this month.

Prices for the X300 start at $2,799 (£1,400) in the US. There's no official work on a UK release date, but some websites suggest it could cost as much as £2,000 on this side of the Atlantic.