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Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11" Intel review

We review Lenovo's newest ultraportable laptop equipped with one of Intel's latest processors. Is this budget priced laptop a bargain or a waste of time? Read on to find out.

ThinkPad keyboards are renowned for their comfort and accuracy and the Edge's keyboard is no exception. The keys are large and responsive, so typing is comfortable and generally error-free. The keys don't have quite as much travel as we'd like compared to the excellent keyboard on the trusty ThinkPad X301 though. There are also layout oddities, with the Fn key taking the Control key's usual place, while some of the punctuation keys, as well as the page up and down keys, are smaller and therefore a bit harder to press than the others.

Long-time ThinkPad users will be glad to see a touchstick present on the Edge. First-time users might find it tricky to use, but a touchpad is also present. It's a bit small, but it is accurate. The touchstick and touchpad have their own separate sets of buttons. They feel comfortable to use, although they feel a little soft we'd prefer a firmer response.

As expected the 13.3in widescreen display has a resolution of 1,366x768 pixels. We were unimpressed with the screen's poor image quality, which isn't surprising for a Lenovo laptop unfortunately. Viewing angles are poor, so colour accuracy can shift subtly depending on your seating position. Despite the glossy finish, it's not very bright either, especially when brightness settings are turned down to conserve battery life. It's not illegible, but it looks very gloomy compared to other laptop displays. The glossy finish also reflects overhead light very easily, resulting in glare which can be quite distracting.

64-bit Windows 7 Professional is pre-installed on the 320GB hard disk. It includes several useful features such as encryption and a Windows XP Virtualisation. Since it's 64-bit, you can add up to 4GB of RAM to the Edge and actually use all that memory. There aren't any additional security features, such as a fingerprint reader, but this is forgivable at this price. 3G isn't built in. If you want it without having to fuss with USB dongles, you'll have to pay 80 more for the model with an integrated 3G modem.

Verdict

The 11in ThinkPad Edge isn't perfect. We wish the screen was brighter and many will be put off by the lack of security features. However, the Edge does have long battery life, a comfortable keyboard and is very reasonably priced at £410 ex VAT. If you want an ultra-portable laptop without spending a fortune, it's a good value choice.

Processor: Intel Core-i3 380UM, 1.33GHz

Memory: 2GB 667MHz DDR3 RAM

Graphics: Intel HD Graphics

Hard disk: 320GB hard disk

Display: 11.6in 1,366 x 768, LED-backlit screen

Features: Two megapixel camera, microphone, stereo speakers

Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet

Ports: 3 x USB2, HDMI and VGA output, 3.5mm headphone and microphone audio combination socket

Dimensions: 285x215x25mm (WxDxH)

Weight: 1.5kg

Warranty: 1yr C&R warranty

OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Part code: NVY4LUK

BENCHMARKS

Image editing 56

Video encoding 51

Multiple apps 46

Overall 50

Light usage battery life 7h13m

Heavy usage battery life 3h00m

POWER CONSUMPTION

Idle 14W

Active 28W

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