Lenovo’s ThinkPad range is regularly associated with high-end business models, but the ThinkPad Edge – the company’s first foray towards a more consumer design – comes at a competitive price that’ll have you lowering your hammer, and piggy breathing a sigh of relief. The laptop, aimed at small and medium business users, is available for only £500, yet still boasts the hallmarks of a ThinkPad laptop: excellent design, excellent usability and excellent durability.
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From the outside you’d never guess the Edge a ThinkPad laptop. The rounded edges with silver trimming look great, with the dot of the ‘i’ in ThinkPad lit by a single red light, a nice touch. Inside you’ll find a 13.3-inch (1366×758) screen with a shiny Super-TFT screen coating – a finish regularly found on consumer, rather than business, laptops. While this screen coating provides better colour reproduction than standard anti-glare screens, it does provide irritating reflections in bright light which will certainly put some off and isn’t as good as the Toshiba Tecra A11.
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge: A winning keyboard
The Edge’s keyboard is the first Lenovo laptop to embrace the isolated style pioneered by Apple and Sony a few years back, and becoming very popular. Lenovo purists shouldn’t fear though; the quality is still here, making this one of the best keyboards we’ve used on any laptop. The 2.5mm stroke is very responsive, the keys are positioned a perfect distance apart from each other and feature a concave design so that they hug your fingers. The board is also spill-resistant, protecting the laptop’s internal components should you happen to knock a drink over the machine. All features you find on much pricier laptops.
Portability is decent, and while the 1.8kg chassis isn’t the lightest we’ve seen, it is incredibly durable. A 277 minute battery life is good, but not fantastic, compared to the Asus UL30, but will keep you productive on the go for roughly half a day.
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge: Power and connections
The ThinkPad Edge isn’t particularly powerful, the low voltage AMD Neo X2 processor, with 4GB RAM provides average performance. Office work will run just fine, but any major multitasking and the laptop will quickly show signs of lag and you may want to consider the pricier Dell Studio XPS 16 instead.
Alongside three USB ports, there’s a 5-in-1 card reader, 802.11n Wi-Fi and there’s also the option of a 3G module for those who need to check emails and the internet constantly. There’s no space for a DVD drive though, but you get a respectable 320GB hard drive.
The end result is a machine which packs in a lot of specs for the price. Lenovo have strayed into new waters here, but the results are well worth a look.