Just a preamble. Picking a laptop for my mother in law. She's slight, and travels extensively by public transport, so needs a lightweight portable laptop to take between residences and work. Just needs to be nippy enough to perform basic tasks. From experience single core and atom processors are too sluggish.
1) What is your budget?
None specified. Looking for good value, expecting to spend £300 - £500
2) What size notebook would you prefer?
b. Ultraportable; 11" - 12” screen
3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.
4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
a. Like: Lenovo
b. Dislike: Advent etc
5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
Yes, but ideally new with warranty.
6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
Word, Powerpoint, Email, Webcam, Web Browsing
7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
Moving between work and two houses. Needs to be small and light.
8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
If any, undemanding games like bejeweled.
9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
Good battery life is a bonus but not a neccesity. Anticipating 5hrs+ but not a deal breaker.
10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
Online is fine
11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista or Windows 7), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
Win 7, but have some £50 licenses from when it came out, so it can come with anything.
15) When are you buying this laptop?
Within a month.
Impartial about the rest.
I've shortlisted the X100e X2, with the X100e MV-40 and S-12 Atom as backup if she doesn't want to spend £420.
If I can persuade her to go pre-loved, there's some great value refurbed x200's on ebay.
X100e with 2.8Ah battery from lenovo.com: £413.97
X200 off ebay: from £335
I've used Lenovos before and have never had any trouble. Myself and two of my family have refurbed X61's which are fantastic except they no longer make the batteries. To be persuaded away there'd need to be a similar spec device for considerably less, unless the X100e X2 has a particular achilles heel. I'm aware the Athlons aren't the fastest or most energy efficient CPUs anymore, but the price and build quality will more than make up for that.
Apologies if I've left out any important constraints, and thanks in advance for any advice.
These particular setups in the X100e and X120e seem more aimed at a slightly-above-netbook performance level, and the actual premium ultraportable X series (even if it's an older generation like the X200) might still outperform them, perhaps even in battery life depending on the size of the battery. The X100e also introduced a somewhat less traditionally ThinkPad design, whereas the X200 is probably more rugged (but may have been configured by its original purchaser without a webcam or touchpad, for instance). If outlet sites exist for Lenovo, Dell, HP, or other business laptops in the UK, you could also try looking for whatever they have that goes up against the X series for a refurbished machine with a warranty.
Reviews of the X100e mentioned disappointing battery life and significant heat issues, but those don't appear to have come up in reviews of the new HP Pavilion dm1, which uses the same new AMD Fusion platform that will be in the X120e. Else, in some non-gaming applications I'm reading that Core 2 Duo or even Pentium-based CULV models could outperform the Fusion (and probably the previous stuff too), but you'd have to see what offerings there are in Britain.