Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11" Intel review

Reviews 26 Nov, 2010

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.

4
Price: 
£410
ex VAT from www.laptopsdirect.co.uk
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.

Lightweight ThinkPad laptops have a reputation for being expensive, but Lenovo has actually had a range of affordable ultraportable laptops for some time now. The company's first attempt at an inexpensive ultraportable, the ThinkPad X100e, was indeed light at 1.5kg. However, its AMD Neo processor not only generated huge amounts of heat, making the underside of that laptop unbearably hot, it also quickly depleted the battery very quickly and wasn't even especially quick at running programs.

We have higher hopes for the new 11in ThinkPad Edge which uses one of Intel's latest low voltage Core i3 processors, the 380UM and weighs just 1.5kg. It doesn't have the traditional boxy all-black ThinkPad-styling, but has a slightly more modern appearance with a grey trim, either a matt black or glossy red lid and red LED sleep indicators on the lid and wrist rest. It may not be quite as eye-catching as other ultra-portables we've seen, but it's still stylish in its own understated way. It doesn't feel quite as rigid as other ThinkPads we've used, flexing under pressure more than we'd like, but it still feels reasonably sturdy.

More importantly, the 11in Edge has long battery life. It lasted just over seven hours in our light usage test, which involves web browsing until the battery runs out, which is long enough for a transatlantic flight. It also did well in our more processor-intensive, and therefore more energy-sapping, heavy usage test, which involves a series of image editing tasks. Here it lasted three hours. The large battery does protrude from the rear of the Edge which adds a bit of bulk, but can also be used as a handle.

Applications performance was also good. The 1.33GHz Core i3 380UM processor fared well in our demanding Windows application benchmarks, managing an overall score of 50 making it faster than a laptop equipped with a comparable low voltage Core 2 Duo processor. The 2GB of RAM is a bit stingy though – we'd have preferred 4GB at this price. The underside of the Edge did become warm, but it never uncomfortably so, unlike the X100e, its lap scorching predecessor.

Specifications: 

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