Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 review

Tom Morgan
2 Jan 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A great all-round laptop that works for both home and business – if you can look beyond the average screen, there’s plenty here for your money



15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.4kg, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Lenovo’s ThinkPad Edge range of mid-range laptops might mainly target business customers, but that’s no reason to write them off – the good-value E520 combines the power of Intel’s Core i5 processor and a discrete 3D graphics chipset.

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520

Like other ThinkPads, the Edge E520 has very reserved looks. The matt black colour scheme, plastic chassis and trademark Lenovo touch stick all scream business, but that doesn’t make it any less usable in the home – we had no trouble typing on the fantastic Chiclet-style keyboard, which is full-size but still small enough to fit in an additional numerical keypad. Each key has just the right amount of tactile feedback, which meant we were typing at full speed almost instantly. The two sets of touchpad buttons weren’t as firm as we'd like, but the touchpad itself is at least a good size, with a smooth surface that creates minimal friction.

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520

Unsurprisingly, the E520 has a business-friendly matt display finish that helps keep screen reflections to a minimum, even under harsh office lighting. The downside is that colours aren’t quite as pronounced as we would like and darker images appeared grey, rather than deep black. Viewing angles were also only average, but with over 180 degrees of screen tilt you should have no trouble finding an angle to suit your working style.

We wouldn’t suggest using the integrated speakers to listen to music or watch videos – they produce weak audio and struggled to fill a small room with sound. High notes were too tinny and there was a definite lack of bass, although the mid-range was at least acceptable. A good pair of headphones would be a wise investment if you value sound quality.

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