Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11 review

25 Nov 2010

Lenovo packs genuine power into this small, cheap laptop, and it comes with a choice of specifications

Price when reviewed: 
593(£594 inc VAT)
4

With IT directors eking out every scrap of value from their budget in the coming months, we can expect to see a slew of cheap business laptops. Lenovo's is an 11.6in ultraportable - albeit barely scraping into this category - that prioritises battery life and power over sleekness.

Weighing 1.53kg and measuring 31mm at the rear, it looks and feels distinctly podgy. In fact, it's almost the same chassis as the ThinkPad X100e.

The similarities stretch to the D-SUB out and power socket either side of the protruding six-cell battery, and to their battery life: the X100e gave us 6hrs 34mins of light use; the Edge 11 6hrs 32mins.

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11

The big difference comes inside, with a low-voltage 1.33GHz Intel Core i3-380UM replacing the lacklustre AMD Neo MV-40. And that transforms it. Where the X100e was essentially a netbook rival capable of only basic tasks, the Edge - with its 4GB of RAM - produced a fine 0.89 in our benchmarks.

You could just about use the Edge as a main PC, and its corporate credentials are enhanced by a Gigabit Ethernet port. Note, though, that there's no docking station port: you'll need to slot a USB docking station into one of the three USB 2 ports. One of those ports is powered too, so you can charge accessories even when the Edge 11 is asleep.

Lenovo includes a single 3.5mm jack, so Skype callers wishing to use the webcam should take note that their existing headsets may not work. A little incongruously, there's an HDMI port to go with the memory card slot for SD, MMC and Memory Stick/Pro media.

Details

Price ex VAT £505
Price inc VAT £593
Overall rating 4
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 5
Performance 3

Warranty

Warranty 1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions 284 x 211 x 31mm (WDH)
Weight 1.530kg
Travelling weight 1.9kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i3-380UM
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Memory type DDR3
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 2

Screen and video

Screen size 11.6in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
Graphics chipset Intel HD Graphics
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 320GB
Optical disc technology N/A
Optical drive N/A
Battery capacity 5,200mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support no
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter yes
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 3
FireWire ports 0
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader yes
MMC (multimedia card) reader yes
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad, trackpoint
Hardware volume control? no
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Fingerprint reader no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 6hr 32min
Battery life, heavy use 2hr 54min
Overall application benchmark score 0.89
Office application benchmark score 0.82
2D graphics application benchmark score 0.94
Encoding application benchmark score 0.78
Multitasking application benchmark score 1.03
3D performance (crysis) low settings 11fps
3D performance setting Low

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
OS family Windows 7