Lenovo launches ThinkPad X131e ultraportable laptop for $499 and up

The Lenovo ThinkPad X131e is a thin and light laptop with the latest low power AMD or Intel processors and a reasonably low starting price.

We first spotted the ThinkPad X131e in June, but now Lenovo has officially launched the tablet and announced that it will sell for $499 and up.

Lenovo ThinkPad X131e

The laptop features and 11.6 inch display and will be available with a choice of an AM DE-300 CPU, an AMD E2-1800 Brazos 2.0 processor, and Intel Celeron 877 CPU, or an Intel Core i3-2367M Sandy Bridge chip.

Like other members of the ThinkPad family, the X131e is aimed at least partially at business users, and includes a somewhat rugged case, reinforced hinges, and stainless steel hinge brackets.

But as the cheapest member of the ThinkPad family, Lenovo is also targeting the education sector. The laptop has LEDs on the laptop cover that allow a teacher to know at a glance whether there’s internet activity on a PC. This can help teachers prevent, or at least monitor students who are looking things up online or chatting with their peers instead of engaging in class projects.

Other unusual features included rubber padding around the hard drive to protect it from receiving a shock as the laptop moves, a dustless fan that’s designed to move dust away from the fan assembly, and a stronger-than-average AC adapter cable.

The laptop features Dolby Advance Audio, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 2.0 port, VGA, HDMI, and Ethernet. It supports up to 8GB of memory and up to a 500GB hard drive or 128GB solid state disk.

  • AdamBv1

    Why can’t they put a A6-4455m in here instead of the Brazos 2.0 chips? With a 17w Trinity part this would be seriously amazing laptop but instead this is pretty much a sidegrade from the HP DM1z E-350 based laptop I have now.

    Brazos 2.0 is a nice tweak of the E-350 it started off as but its only got maybe 10-15% more performance where the a Trinity A6-4455m has pretty much double the performance and the same power consumption. I would gladly pay another $100 for such a laptop.

    In fact the selection of Trinity laptops sucks in general. There seems to only be a single 13.3″ laptop out right now, the (rather overpriced) Samsung 535U. Everything else is 14″ or larger. Nothing exists in the 11-12″ range yet.

    So while I would love to give money to somebody for a decent Trinity laptop no such beast exists that even comes close to meeting my needs. A 11-12″ laptop with a 17w A6-4455m would be great, one with a A10-4655m would be perfect. And really the price should be under $700 for such a configuration.

    • http://rct.me.ht/ crashsuit

      Same here. I think there’s definitely a small but underserved market for sub-12″ laptops with higher-end internals, esp. good GPUs.

    • CyberGusa

      TDP isn’t a direct indicator of power consumption, just the energy it takes to cool the chipset.

      So not all 17TDP rated parts are equal… While there’s also the price difference and availability.

      These systems are being targeted for specific price ranges and intended applications.

      Also, many Trinity based systems didn’t start showing up until June and July. So they’re still ramping up the production, which takes time.

      There are already some A6-4455M systems, like the HP ENVY 6z Sleekbook, and they are being offered for under $700 but they’re 15.6″ size systems and it looks like it’ll be awhile before they put them in anything smaller.

      • AdamBv1

        Right, the TDP numbers are basically the maximum amount of heat a cooling system will have to dissipate and not how much power it uses all the time but the A6-4455m is a 17w chip and the E2-1800 is an 18w chip so that’s not our issue here. I know this particular frame is not designed to handle a 25w part but the old Alienware M11x is proof enough it is possible to cram more than that into a 11″ frame.

        And I also understand that any Trinity part will be more expensive than a Brazos part but price is not at all what I’m objecting to here and would gladly pay more to have this with Trinity. It should probably be cheaper than an i3 system though as Trinity is a less expensive part . When you see companies charging as much for a Trinity ultraportble as for a Intel ultrabook but with less features you know something is going wrong and they are pocketing the extra cash. Just look up the 14″ Samsung laptops and explain to me why the AMD model costs the same amount when it has less expensive components than the Intel verion.
        http://www.samsung.com/us/computer/laptops/NP535U4C-A01US-specs
        http://www.samsung.com/us/computer/laptops/NP530U4C-A01US-specs

        As far as I know it was announced Trinity chips were shipping earlier than than the Brazos 2.0 chips. I have also yet to hear availability as an issue with Trinity chips like I used to hear about Llano. But design is an issue, Brazos 2.0 is a drop in upgrade to the earlier chips with basically no redesigning needed and Trinity is not quite so simple.

        Basically I’m just frustrated because I feel like my needs are being ignored. There are no real design challenges here, somebody just has to be motivated to actually make the product. For some reason AMD chips are mostly being relegated to 15.6″ cheaper laptops when they are really perfectly designed for smaller more portable laptops. AMD finally has a great chip on its hands and the manufacturers don’t want to use it for anything interesting.

        All it would take to satisfy me at this point would be a announcement so I would know what to wait for at least. My E-350 is still serving me well enough but I have had my eye on a Trinity upgrade for some time and now that Trinity is finally here nobody seems to want to put it in a decent form factor.

      • CyberGusa

        “but the A6-4455m is a 17w chip and the E2-1800 is an 18w chip so that’s not our issue here.”

        No, you’re still comparing TDP but again that isn’t a direct representation of power consumption or all the considerations of system design.

        The lower TDP isn’t without its compromises either, like the A6-4455M is not a true dual core with only one module with two integer-cores and a floating-point core.

        You’ll still easily get around twice the performance of a E2-1800 but that only places it in the low mid-range of mobile processors.

        “but price is not at all what I’m objecting to here and would gladly pay more to have this with Trinity.”

        Doesn’t matter if there aren’t enough people to provide a large enough market for the product.

        Like you mentioned the Dell Alienware M11x, but that model is being phased out and probably by the end of this year only the 14″ and larger models will be available.

        “explain to me why the AMD model costs the same amount when it has less expensive components than the Intel version.”

        Well, a AMD Quad Core isn’t exactly going to be much cheaper than a Intel Dual Core.

        Though Samsung does tend to charge a premium.

        However, the CPU and Chipset alone don’t change the cost of the rest of the system. Meaning most of the cost of the system remains unchanged.

        Mind also for Ultrabooks that Intel is basically paying $100 for each Ultrabook made to help promote the Ultrabook.

        So even with the newer Ivy Bridge the AMD systems are only going to average about $100 less than the equivalent Intel systems.

        Though, HP is also offering discounts for its Sleekbook to help increase that to $200 but only for specific configurations.

        Mind that many system makers are compromising for price and some would just take the cost savings and use them to alleviate any one of the usual compromises instead or just to improve their margins.

        “I have also yet to hear availability as an issue with Trinity chips”

        That already happened, AMD had to break its long standing ties with GlobalFoundries to allow itself to license multiple factories to produce enough chips to meet demand.

        AMD has just been quiet about their production problems.

        However, early production problems is why they canceled some of the products that were originally slated for release this year because by the time they would have been released it would be too close to next years 28nm roll out cycle.

        AMD’s Desktop Trinity chips are the latest examples that will be delayed till October, which also shows that the whole Trinity line up isn’t out yet.

        While it normally takes at least a month from the time they announce the start of production before those parts actually start shipping and then the system makers need time to produce their products.

        Especially, if the new chips don’t run on the same socket as the older ones and each laptop is basically custom designed unless it’s an update of a previous release.

        While the start of production doesn’t mean the actual yields are meeting requirements and that means it takes even more time and AMD did have to go to other manufactures to fix their yield problem.

        Meanwhile, it can take a couple more months before production gets high enough to fully fill all demand.

        Even Intel took months after starting Ivy Bridge production before we saw any systems, they even had their own additional delays and haven’t released all their new chips yet either.

        Not to mention the market is slow right now and we’re not in the holiday shopping season where system makers are most likely going to time the release of their new products.

        Only those taking advantage of the beginning back to school sales season are doing anything right now but the lack of market enthusiasm is probably going to make many of them wait till the holiday season starts.

        Thus the emphasis on the safe bet type of systems being sold now. Those that can will wait till the markets improve before pushing systems they’re less than mostly sure will sell well right now.

        While many are also waiting on Windows 8, regardless of anyone’s opinion on the OS it’ll nevertheless usher the start of the introduction of the newest systems and maximize the possibility that people will be more willing to buy those new systems.

        Mind also a lot of people are willing to wait till next year. Since what’s being offered this year is not really wowing anyone and both Intel and AMD have already announced much better offerings that will come out next year.

        Part of the issue is that the market is changing and how tablets and some new emerging technology will fit into the market hasn’t been properly worked out to anyones satisfaction yet.

        Mind that both the small form factor and low end offerings like Netbooks, including your E-350 system, are all in the decline right now as this all gets worked out.

  • clubchampion

    How ’bout a touchscreen? Very useful for students…