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Lenovo Sub-$500 X130e Laptop Looks To Displace Netbooks in the Classroom

Lenovo X130e laptop rear view
Lenovo X130e laptop front view
Lenovo's X130e ruggedized laptops will begin shipping Dec. 20 with a starting price of $469.

Lenovo this month is launching a new line of ruggedized laptops for education that are taking a bead on netbooks. The company, which has reportedly deployed about 5 million notebooks in 1:1 programs in schools around the world, today began previewing a laptop line that starts at $469 and offers either Intel Core i3-2367M or AMD Fusion E-300/E-450 processors.

The X130e line is designed to offer all of the features of full-fledged notebooks while coming in at or near the price point of lower-end, less powerful netbooks. They're also ruggedized for education, with 30,000-cycle hinges, rubber bumpers, reinforced corners, reinforced keyboard, a thick plastic bezel for the LED panel, strengthened recessed ports, and an active protection system for bumps and drops.

The key differences between the base models are in the CPUs. Lenovo is offering a choice of Intel Core and AMD Fusion processors. Intel's Core i3-2367M is a new processor introduced this quarter that offers two processing cores operating at 1.4 GHz with 3 MB cache and integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000. AMD's E300 and E-450 chips also offer two processing cores each. The E-300 operates at 1.3 GHz and offers 1 MB cache with a 488 MHz Radeon-based GPU, while the E-450 operates at 1.65 GHz (also with 1 MB level-2 cache) and sports up to a 600 MHz GPU.

All of the new models offer an 11.6-inch LED HD screen, up to 500 GB internal storage, support for up to 8 GB DDR3 memory, and a six-cell battery offering up to 8.5 hours of use.

Other features common to all the new models include:

  • Gigabit Ethernet (with a strengthened port for frequent connects and disconnects);
  • HDMI 1.4 output;
  • VGA output;
  • Combo microphone/speaker minijack and integrated stereo speakers;
  • Four-in-one media card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, and MultiMediaCard);
  • Integrated webcam (640 x 480) with low-light sensitivity;
  • Various WLAN and mobile broadband options, including Realtek, Broadcom, and Intel WiFi cards supporting various combinations of 802.11a/b/g/n and WiMAX;
  • Various WWAN options, including the Qualcomm Gobi 3000 and Ericsson F5521gw Mobile Broadband Module;
  • Various security features, including a Kensington cable lock-compatible port and support for Computrace;
  • Bluetooth 3.0; and
  • The USB 2.0 ports (one powered).

The X130e measures 11.55" x 8.8" x 1.29" and weighs in at 3.9 pounds.

All of the new models support Windows 7 (32-bit Starter, 32-bit Home Basic, 32-bit Home Premium, 64-bit Home Premium, and 64-bit Professional).

The ThinkPad X130e will begin shipping Dec. 20 starting at $469. Options will include custom colors, BIOS modifications, asset tagging/etching, Computrace service, and Accidental Damage Protection. Education volume pricing will be available. Additional details can be found on Lenovo's education portal.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .