ThinkPad X130e, we just kind of assumed it was the next-gen successor to the X120e, which we reviewed almost a year ago. Well, you know what happens when you A-S-S-U-M-E, right? Turns out, there is indeed an X130e, but it's intended specifically for students. The company just made its official announcement, and explained that that rugged design we've been hearing about isn't meant to protect it from careless baggage handlers at the airport so much as freewheeling six year-olds. Though Lenovo's already had a hand in Intel's Classmate project, this is the first time it's released a classroom-ready laptop under the ThinkPad brand, red pointing stick and all.
Of all the kid-proof touches, the more obvious ones include a rubber bumper ringing the plastic lid, along with a thicker bezel shielded by 1.2mm of plastic. It also has recessed, reinforced ports, an accelerometer to protect the hard drive and a hinge rated for 30,000 cycles. Of course, the result of all this ruggedizing is that the X130e is fairly heavy for an 11-incher, at 3.9 pounds (1.78kg). Otherwise, though, its specs are pretty much what you'd expect in an 11.6-inch laptop. For starters, it's offered with an Intel Core i3-2367M processor, as well as AMD Fusion E-300 and E-450 APUs. It comes with 2GB of RAM (upgradeable to 8GB), up to 500GB in storage, Bluetooth 3.0 and a 6-cell battery rated for 8.5 hours of battery life. Lenovo's also added its RapidBoot technology, promising a sub-20-second startup time. It also has three USB 2.0 sockets, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, a combined headphone / mic port and a 4-in-1 memory card reader. And, because Lenovo is also selling these to schools, it'll customize the laptops by tweaking the BIOS and tricking out the lid in assorted colors. It'll go on sale on Lenovo's site starting December 20th for $469 and up. Until then, we've got some candy-colored press photos below.