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Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 15in review

Alan Lu
5 Aug 2010
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 15in
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
662
inc VAT

The ThinkPad Edge has good performance and battery life but a disappointing screen and smallish hard disk.

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.5kg, 2.27GHz Intel Core i5 430M, 4.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Like the rest of Lenovo's ThinkPad range of laptops, the ThinkPad Edge is aimed at businesses. While other ThinkPads have the same retro, boxy appearance, the Edge has a slightly more stylish look thanks to its rounded edges, blinking red sleep indicator light and a lid that's available in either plain black or bright, glossy red. While the chunky base feels reassuringly robust, the lid flexes quite a lot under pressure.

As we've come to expect from a ThinkPad, the Edge's large keyboard is comfortable to use, although it doesn't feel quite as responsive as previous models - we'd prefer keys with a little more resistance. Oddly, the page up and page down keys are smaller and feel stiffer than the other keys. The Fn key takes the Ctrl key's usual place, which may trip up frequent users of keyboard shortcuts.

The touchpad is large and accurate. As an alterative, there's also a touchstick which has long been a standard feature on ThinkPads. The Edge's touchstick feels more jittery than on other ThinkPads, though. It has its own set of buttons, but neither set gave enough feedback when pressed.

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 15in

The 15.6in widescreen display has a resolution of 1,366x768 pixels and a matte finish which helps reduce glare caused by reflections from overhead light sources, such as fluorescent lighting strips in offices. Unfortunately, the backlight isn't particularly bright and viewing angles are quite tight, so you need to sit square on for the best contrast and accurate-looking colours. At least the backlight is even and the screen tilts back so it lies parallel to the keyboard, making it comfortable to use on your lap.

As expected, the Edge's integrated Intel graphics chip wasn't powerful enough to play the latest 3D games smoothly, but it's more than capable of playing HD video. The Core i5 430M processor and 4GB of memory fared well in our benchmarks, managing an overall score of 81. It's not the fastest i5-equipped laptop we've seen, but it's still up to most tasks. The battery lasted just under four and a half hours, which is one of the longer times we've seen for a 15in laptop.

We were a little disappointed to see a 320GB hard disk instead of a larger 500GB model. There are four USB ports, one of which doubles as an eSATA port. There's also an ExpressCard/34 slot, increasingly uncommon on laptops, for adding upgrades such as a 3G modem or USB3 ports.

Disappointingly for a business laptop, the warranty lasts only a year and doesn't provide on-site service – you have to take it to your nearest Lenovo dealer. The Edge isn't compatible with the many docking stations available for other ThinkPads, but it does have the same charging connector.

Although the ThinkPad Edge has good battery life, performance and a comfortable keyboard, we were disappointed by its smallish hard disk and poor-quality screen. If you can live with an hour less battery life, most home users will be better off with the Dell Inspiron 15R.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core i5 430M
Processor clock speed2.27GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size37x380x249mm
Weight2.5kg
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA HD
Graphics/video portsHDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory64MB

Storage

Total storage capacity320GB
Optical drive modelMatshita UJ-890
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g/n
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/34
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
Other ports1x eSATA

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Professional 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedCorel DVD MovieFactory 7 Lenovo Edition, InterVideo WinDVD8
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year customer carry-in
Price£662
Detailswww.lenovo.com/uk
Supplierhttp://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk

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