Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420s Laptop Review

Article Index

Performance Summary & Conclusion

Performance Summary: Lenovo designed the ThinkPad Edge E420s for small-to-medium business (SMB) users, and if evaluating it on those terms, the E420s proves a solid workhorse. It has plenty of horsepower to beam PowerPoint presentations to potential clients, and with its quad-core Sandy Bridge processor, multitasking isn't going to slow things down. Where the E420s falters is in game performance, which isn't at all surprising given that, as configured, it relies on Intel's integrated HD 3000 Graphics for 3D chores (there is an option for discrete graphics). The mechanical hard drive doesn't do the storage system many favors either, though it does spin at 7200RPM. If that's still a sore point, Lenovo offers both hybrid and dedicated SSD options. Overall, the E420s as configured performed well for a $700 machine.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if it takes an aggressive styling with lots of LED lights to catch your eye, the E420s isn't for you. The E420s is instead aimed at business users who plan on toting their laptop into the board room and into meetings with co-workers and potential clients. For those users, the well designed E420s gives the same first impression that a fancy suit would give, which is one of style and sophistication. We really like the rubberized lid with chrome trim, and the size and weight is more than manageable.

From a usability standpoint, the keyboard, while lacking a backlight or numbpad, is comfortable to type on and includes a TrackPoint for quick maneuvering of the cursor. We also like the generously sized tracked that's multi-touch aware. All this is built on a solid foundation for an everyday machine that runs well south of $1,000. If we're going to pick on the E420s, we would have to point out the anemic graphics. While you can certainly fire up a casual game during lulls in the work day, this isn't the laptop to bring to LAN parties, nor was it designed to be. Surprisingly, however, Lenovo paid a bit of extra attention to the audio, and the inclusion of Dolby Home Theater v4 adds a bit of entertainment value to the E420s.

The well groomed E420s isn't going to blow you away in any one area, but for business users, it will get the job done while looking spiffy doing it.


  • Chic design with a clean layout
  • Quad-core foundation
  • Dolby Home Theater v4 audio technology
  • HD webcam performs well in low light situations
  • Lack luster gaming performance
  • Difficult access to internal components

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