Lenovo ThinkPad Edge Review

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Lenovo had one of the largest showings from any single PC manufacturer at CES this year, and while sifting through the company's new lineup of machines can be a daunting task for the average consumer, it was pretty clear from the outset that the ThinkPad Edge would be one of Lenovo's standout products of 2010. In many ways, it's a departure from the ThinkPad norm. It's the first ThinkPad to be available in more than just black (it will also ship in red), and there are a copious amount of customization options. Processors from both AMD and Intel are available, and it ships in 13", 14" and 15" form factors. It's not usual that a single machine type is available in ultraportable, mid-size and full-size notebook form factors, but the Edge seemingly breaks the mold.

The ThinkPad Edge is also one of Lenovo's most connected notebooks, ever. It can be ordered with Wi-Fi, WiMAX and an optional Gobi chipset, which can connect to both CDMA (Verizon Wireless) and GSM (AT&T) cellular data networks. To date, we have yet to see a machine with as many connectivity options built in. If you can't find an 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi hotspot, there's a good chance you could connect to VZW or AT&T's data network; if you're in a major city with Clear WiMAX service, you could even connect to 4G. Of course, you'll need to activate and pay monthly for each data service you wish to subscribe to, but at least the options are integrated in case you find it necessary to activate in the future.

The ThinkPad Edge, in addition to being wildly flexible, is also amongst the cheapest options from Lenovo. It's not built quite as "tough" and "thick" as a traditional ThinkPad, which is why the company was able to set the starting price at just $549. If the allure of a ThinkPad had you hooked, but the conventional exterior styling pushed you away, the newly engineered Edge just might be the Lenovo notebook for you.

Lenovo 13" ThinkPad Edge (Intel-based) Notebook
Specifications and Features (as tested)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 @ 1.30GHz, 533MHz FSB; 512K Cache
  • 4GB of DDR3 RAM (1066MHz)
  • 13.3" LCD (1366x768 resolution); LED backlight
  • Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated graphics
  • 320GB (5400RPM) Seagate Momentus 5400.6 Hard Drive
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • No Optical Drive
  • 0.3 megapixel webcam
  • VGA and HDMI Outputs
  • USB 2.0 x 3
  • RJ-45 (Ethernet 10/100/1000)
  • Headphone / Mic Input Jacks
  • SD / MMC / MSPro Multimedia Card Reader
  • Stereo Speakers
  • Gesture-Enabled Multi-Touch Trackpad
  • 3.6 Pounds (with 4-cell battery installed)
  • Removable 4-Cell or 6-Cell Li-ion Battery (Up To 7.8 Claimed Hours of Computing)
  • 13.07" x 8.97" x 0.66"-1.23" (Dimensions)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • Price (as tested): $899
  • Price (starting): $549

If netbooks don't offer the kind of performance you seek, and size is still a major factor, the 13" ThinkPad Edge is a fantastic choice--on paper, anyway. The ultraportable space is getting crowded quickly. Is this machine able to stand out amongst the legions of others? Join us in the pages ahead to see how our 13", Intel-based test unit stacks up.

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rapid1 4 years ago

This is interesting in some ways. The market for laptops is flooded though with many competitive models from many different companies. The laptop as the mobile leg of the computer market is of course the oldest implementation of computing in the consumer market. I think the current movement to the tablet type devices will impact this considerably. I will say one thing about IBM on this aspect though. Much like Toshiba IBM is well known for making very functional devices as well as very trusted devices in this space. So I do applaud there keeping current with good solid units. Even though this market is so fragmented with different models from different companies for different usage models, that it is almost impossible to pick a single one any more.

gibbersome 4 years ago

Great looking laptop, maybe Lenovo's best yet, but it's hampered by a lack of decent video card. Hmmm, maybe I've been spoiled by the M11x...

A good option for a business laptop nonetheless. Great review Shawn!

3vi1 4 years ago

Lenovos definitely suffer in the 3D video area - doing work from an R400 right now.

However, there's significant payback in the area of power/battery life. This is the first laptop I've ever used that's relatively speedy and will run for over 3 hours of "real" use. It's really a good machine for business purposes.

awundrin 4 years ago

Absolutely adore the red one! Lenova has really done it big! This is definitely going on my wish list! Yes

rapid1 4 years ago

Yeah IBM/Lenovo has been in this space for quite a long time. I remember the first laptops I used to see were Texas Instruments and IBM, although TI no longer seem to be in the market IBM is going as string as ever. I also know on a professional end many will insist on an IBM or maybe it and a very small number of other brands. Most professionals as well would not consider many other brands maybe the Toshiba professional units.

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