Lenovo's X300 is a superb mobile workstation, which connects up superbly to Wi-Fi and 3G, and provides all the features you need on a mobile notebook without any of the compromises that are noticeable with other laptops.

Launched in February the X300 was inevitably compared with Apple's MacBook Air, but in fact has little in common with that device - apart from being very thin.

This is, after all, a Thinkpad. It is the first major Thinkpad since the brand's new owner, Lenovo, decided to drop the former owner's name, IBM. With Lenovo now standing on its own reputation for quality, the company is clearly out to impress its usual corporate customer base, by giving them something that continues firmly in the ThinkPad tradition, but which outshines the MacBook and other ultra-light high-end portables.

The X300 is only 22mm thick, and weighs less than 1.5kg, yet it has a full-size keyboard, with lots of the extras that ThinkPad users are used to, a 13.3 in screen, an optical drive and a full set of connectivity ports. It's an utterly likeable machine, and the only thing preventing us buying one at once is the price - around £1950 including VAT.

Design and usability

The first thing that strikes one about the X300 is the trditional black Thinkpad looks. This machine is not for posing. It looks just as bland and serious and workmanlike as Thinkpads always have done. We have to say it's a look we've always liked (this writer has a T22 which is still in use after many years).

The next thing that jumps out is just how thin and light it is. It's a pleasure to place in a backpack, to lift out and to use. It's easy to hold the laptop by one corner - something that's caused Lenovo designers stress: they've made sure the machine doesn't flex - which would damage the mother board.

Opened up and switched on, the TFT screen is very light and usable. The machine is 317 x 226 mm, which gives room for a good screen and a nice keyboard.