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June 21st 2011 9:20 am

X120e Successor- Thinkpad X121e with Intel? (SPECULATION)

Lately, there's been mention of the X121e in various literature ranging from 3rd party WWAN certification to a notebook sleeve on Lenovo's online shop. There are a lot of reasons for a successor to the X120e, including the upcoming AMD Fusion refresh and providing an updated X100e outside the US, but what if there were to be an Intel variant?

Keep in mind that this is completely speculative (and a bit of wishful thinking) based on information available online from a variety of sources which may or may not be accurate.

I'm very interested in a Intel-based (preferably Core i-series) X120e sized notebook. It would solve my gripe about the anemic E-350 processor and potentially have lower CPU idle temps (mine idles around 60-63C).

So what hints are there for an Intel X121e? There's a WWAN certification page (www.ptcrb.com­/vendor­/complete­/complete­_request.cfm...) listing AMD in Intel variants for both X121e and X120e (more on that later).

A product listing for a X121e reading 'Lenovo THINKPAD X121e Ci3-2357 320GB 4GB 11.6In W7P' (execute.be­/ficheprod­_en.asp­?idprod­=897223663). This suggests a Core i3 2357, which has a TDP of 17W which is along the lines of the existing E-350. This page also contains a lenovo.com­/xe link, which gives me a 403. I'm not sure what that particular program is at Lenovo.

The link also provides a reference number (NWN6UMB) which shows both the i3 model as well as a E-350 in a Google search result:
Lenovo THINKPAD X121e Ci3-2357 - NWN6UMB. Price : € 561,47 (Excl VAT).
Lenovo THINKPAD X121e FUSION E350 - NWS5RMB ...

Lastly, Lenovo's release notes for the RapidBoot software lists the X121e as a supported model (download.lenovo.com­/ibmdl­/pub­/pc­/pccbbs­/mobiles­/83...). Incidentally, the models listed appear to all be Intel-based, which is consistent with the fact that it is an Intel toolkit.

So why no Intel X120e? It's quite plausible that Lenovo always wanted a Core i3 X120e and had one in development. However, the first gen i3 required an external graphics solution and may not have been feasible from both a physical and thermal footprint. With the second gen Core i family, the CPU and GPU are on a single chip like AMD's Fusion APU which alleviates this issue.

While there are i5 and i7 variants which fit in the same 17W TDP, I think it is unlikely that Lenovo will ever stuff them into the X121e, but one can always hope.

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Personally I am not excited about an intel x121. The only reason I might be interested is that a ULV i3 would probably have far better battery life, but other than that I don't see the draw. The cpu will be a bit better, the graphics performance will be far worse and really the CPU in the x120e has been more than good enough for my uses (concurrent skype, chrome browsing, pidgin, tweet deck, and such), but the ability to play a few more games has been an unexpected bonus. Unless intel really steps up their integrated graphics dept, I say meh. I have a desktop for high CPU demand applications.
Of course, after saying all that, more options is always better :)
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You make a good point illustrating the tradeoff between the AMD and Intel choices.

The only games I've played on the X120e are minecraft, TF2, and L4D2, the latter two mostly to try out how they performed. None of them run as smoothly as I expected, and TF2/L4D2 seem to be CPU bound. Since I'm not much of a gamer anymore, I wouldn't mind trading the graphics horsepower for more CPU capability and longer battery life.

The preference depends on the user's needs, and like you said, more options are always better.
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The X121e has been discovered on Lenovo Europe - www.engadget.com­/2011­/07­/05­/lenovo­-launches­-11­-6­-i...
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I wonder if it'll ever cross the pond to the US. One of the gripes about the x120e was that it was only available in the US- hopefully the x121e won't be the opposite.

So the rumors of the chassis redesign are true- they went with more of a Macbook type hinge. I don't know if I'll upgrade to the x121e because it might now be too wide for my backpack when carried vertically.
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I purchased the x121e, waiting for delivery. The price seemed reasonable even a with 4gb RAM upgrade.
The only option available in the UK at the moment is the Intel i3 2357 1.3GHz. Althought I couldn't find much information on the web, it seemed like a good choice for someone who commutes daily and a step up from the IdeaPad S205 with the E350 chip for relatively little more money.
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I'm interested in how it performs, in particular how warm it gets both idle and under load. I transfer photos to my x120e while on the go, and Windows Image Viewer is pretty laggy when viewing them (Picasa works fine).
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