In a PDF slideshow intended for its channel partners, Lenovo let loose a number of previous unreleased details about its future notebook plans, which now include the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid, a new version of the 13-inch ThinkPad X1 which dual boots into either Windows 7 or a special instant-on operating system that promises up to 10 hours of battery life for web surfing and 8 hours for video. Though the instant-on OS could be a version of Android, it might be Splashtop OS or something else entirely.
According to the document, the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid will arrive this month, but other details are sparse. We have no idea how much it will cost and whether any other specs will change along with the second operating system. The original ThinkPad X1 has the best keyboard we've ever tested, but its battery life is a disappointing 4 hours and 11 minutes unless you attach a bulky battery slice. Its overly glossy, 1366 x 768 screen was also a letdown.
Upcoming ThinkPad Ultrabooks
If the new ThinkPad X1 Hybrid doesn't float your boat, the leaked document has good news: the company plans to release a $1,300+"follow-up to the ThinkPad X1 and a low-cost, $800 14-inch ThinkPad Ultrabook in May or June 2012 around the time that Intel's next-gen Ivy Bridge platform ships. Lenovo claims that both of these uberthin notebooks will exceed Intel's Ultrabook minimum specs and include USB 3.0 docking options.
The document also reveals that a sequel to the X120e, the 11.6-inch ThinkPad X130e should arrive in December. The document doesn't disclose any specs for the notebook, other than a list of bullet points which talk about increased ruggedness: stronger keyboard, rubber bumper around top cover, strong recessed ports, 33-percent stronger corners. We suspect that, like its predecessors, the ThinkPad X130e will be powered by an AMD Fusion CPU and have a 1366 x 768 matte screen.
However, improved build quality is certainly a welcome asset for the new X100 series notebook as previous-gen models haven't had as solid a feel as other ThinkPads. At this price point and size, the X100 series has always been a good choice for students and students tend to be tougher on their notebooks than business people.