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Mossberg previews Lenovo's 'Air-killer' X300

I read this article about Lenovo's (Thinkpad) MacBook Air 'Killer' X300, and kinda threw up in my mouth a little bit.

So let's take a look. This thing has 3 USB ports (as opposed to the MacBook Air's 1), it has a DVD Drive, (Air doesn't), has Wifi, and an optional 3G or GPS receiver, a removable battery (air doesn't -- well, easily) and not one, but TWO mouse pointing devices.

So there are pros and cons.

Lenovo --
Has more USB, Apple could do with more USB devices.
DVD Drive, I think Apple did the right thing here and killed the DVD drive. In fact, I think that they will kill off the optical drive in all systems and start shipping their software on USB sticks. Think about how much THAT would save in shipping costs.
Removable Battery -- Okay, well, I'd like to have the ability to easily swap out the MacBook Air's battery. So I kinda have to agree with it.
The Lenovo is thicker, uglier, and really Lenovo, wtf is with TWO mice? The red stick and the trackpad? I have never met anyone, ever that likes the red stick. The trackpad has become the standard, please get with the program. I remember seeing a laptop not too long ago that had the stick, the trackpad, AND the damn trackball. 3 mice. Seriously. Knock it off. Go with the trackpad it seems to work.
Has a slot for a 3G card. Now THAT is what the Macbook Air is lacking. They need the express card slot.

MacBook Air --
Sexy. The Lenovo is the typical Thinkpad ugly ass computer.
Simple. It's a damn Mac!
Lacks more USB
Lacks Optical Drive (so what?)
Lacks Removable Battery

Bottom line, it depends on what you are looking for. Personally I'd like the MacBook Air, but there are too many drawbacks. However, I'd buy it simply because it's a Mac and I refuse to use anything else as my desktop (well, I'd use a bsd or a linux distro as well I guess, but given the option, I'd use a Mac 100%). But I have a Macbook pro. I love this computer, I am writing on it right now. I think the MacBook Pro has it going on.

There is a certain demographic that the MacBook Air is aimed towards, and I think it will sell well in that demographic.

In other news, the same website is reporting that Best Buy is out of the 15in MacBook Pro. Which usually means that Apple has a new one right around the corner. Thinner? Sleeker? Better?


Tyler Reguly said…
Hey Joel,

I've gotta question some of your comments.

Removing the optical drive is horrible... Especially if they go to do it on their other systems... Many people purchase a computer as a DVD Player, Software comes on CDs and DVDs... Optical Drives are a requirement and can't go away... I did a brief informal poll around the office and no one here would want a computer without an optical drive.

The same goes for the mice on the ibm/lenovo laptops. We've got various models and most of us disable the trackpad and use the red ball only... Trackpads are fairly awful and one of the primary reasons I don't look at a lot of laptops when shopping for a laptop. That sentiment was echoed around the office.
Joel Esler said…
As I said, I don't think Optical Media will be around in the near future. I think eventually things with either be all thumbdrive driven, or software will be delivered online, in which case you will just backup the software like you would any other software, on disk or tape media.

As for the mice, fine, if you want to use the nub, then use the nub, but don't have both. Have one or the other. Why have two?

I think the reason that some people think trackpads are awful is the technology and software behind the trackpads themselves. I've been using trackpads since they first came out on laptops and I could not stand the Dell trackpads. So I can sympathize with you there, in fact, I really didn't like my iBook trackpad. But my trackpads on my wife's Macbook and my MacBook Pro are awesome.

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