The Lenovo ThinkPad SL300 is somewhat chunky for a small, entry-level small business notebook. It’s an effort to lug around, weighing in at 2.1kg. The screen is 13.3-inches, which is a decent enough size to watch movies or for some casual gaming. It handles high-definition movies beautifully in full screen mode. Unfortunately, this particular model does not come with an anti-glare screen.
The one thing we couldn’t get around to was adjusting to the keyboard layout. It took us a while to figure out the ‘@’ sign was actually above the key as the number 2, although indicated with a “. The keys are fairly large and the user might end up hitting the wrong key every now and then.
Battery life on the SL300 is average. Using it for basic browsing (while connected to the internet wirelessly), occasionally watching the odd Youtube videos and listening to music yields about three hours. If used solely for email and internet, it should last longer. The notebook comes standard with three USB ports, an Ethernet jack and a FireWire port. There’s also an SD/MMC memory card reader, webcam, a VGA output and an HDMI port, making it ideal for connecting an external monitor or projector for business presentations. The built-in stereo speakers offer good sound, again ideal for presentations.
As far as connectivity goes, it has WLAN, Ethernet, Bluetooth and optional 3G/HSDPA. Connecting to the internet on our home network proved to be a little challenging. The notebook picks up wireless networks within range but drops a short while later and displays the message that no connections are available. That’s a major setback if working at public hotspots or connect wirelessly within the office environment. Security shouldn’t be an issue as the notebook comes integrated with a finger print reader, located at the bottom right.
Digital Life says: not impressed, better business notebooks available.
Plus: watching high-def movies.
Minus: awkward keyboard, irregular connectivity, too heavy.
Contact: Lenovo – 011 911 2000
Price: RRP R11 999
Processor: 1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Screen: 13.3″ WXGA (16:9 ratio)
Dimension: 12.5″ width x 9.4″ depth x 1.5″ height
Resolution: 1280 x 800
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium
Connectivity: WLAN, Ethernet, Bluetooth
Written for Digital Life magazine, Aug-Sep 2009