Lenovo Group reportedly plans to can the premium ThinkPad X300-series laptops in order to concentrate on ultra-portable X-series and performance T-series machines. The move seems to be more than strange considering the fact that there is an ongoing fight on the market of 13" notebooks for best functionality and reliability, which ThinkPad X301 seems to be winning at least on certain markets.
According to Wang Liping, a marketing director at Lenovo, ThinkPad X-series 12" notebooks command 45% of global business notebook market, reports Sina web-site. Although the number seems impressive, it should be noted that there are few manufacturers apart from Lenovo, who actually make 12" laptops for businesses. At present there are different models within the ThinkPad X-series - which was originally targeted at frequently travelling eXecutives - offering screens with 11.6", 12.1" and 13.3" diagonal. Lenovo believes that the latter will gradually disappear.
Lenovo believes that machines like ThinkPad T410s - which are both slim (1.77kg, 0.83"/21.1mm) and powerful, but which are not as slim as the X301 (1.42kg, 0.73"-0.92"/18.6mm-23.4mm) - appeal more to those, who demand high performance, whereas products with 12.1" screens are better suited for those, who demand maximum portability. As a result, the solution that tries to combine enough performance, functionality and portability, should be canned, in Lenovo's opinion.
In fact, IBM ThinkPad X-series always consisted of small notebooks and introduction of the X300 with 13.3" screen seemed a bit controversial. However, with the launch of the X301 model that has more powerful ultra low-voltage microprocessor, 1440x900 screen resolution, excellent materials, integrated DVD drive, renowned reliability, yet excellent portability amid the comfort of a 14" notebook, it became pretty clear that market niche is developing. Indeed, it does. So far many other manufacturers introduced their 13.3" ultra-slim models.
But Lenovo's ThinkPad X301 seems to be at least among the most successful models, if not the most successful one. The two years old ThinkPad X301 costs more ($2379) than newer Apple Macbook Air ($1799) or Dell Adamo XPS ($1899) and Lenovo shows no signs of dropping the price, which means that the demand towards the notebook does exist. Obviously, the market would appreciate a new version of the X300-series, but perhaps Lenovo wants to concentrate on mass markers for both X and T series and does not want to compete against its own "sweet-spot" product.
Wang Liping said that starting from late 2010 the ThinkPad X300-series would start to vanish into oblivion.