Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E325 review

1 Mar 2012

A strong contender for more serious use provided you don't need a quick start of an optical drive

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E325
Price when reviewed: 
400(£400incVAT)
4

Small, light and attractive, the ThinkPad has much to recommend it. With its compact size, 13.3in screen and 1.7kg weight it’s extremely portable, but not so small that usability suffers. The screen is very bright, with little reflectivity, although the size and the way in which colours dull when viewed from the side means this isn’t a laptop two pupils can work on at a time.

The keyboard is easy to use, requiring only a soft touch, and it’s full-sized despite the laptop’s compact nature. The responsive clickable trackpad is accompanied by separate mouse buttons, as well as a pointer for those who prefer it.

This no-nonsense laptop also comes with a few mod cons, including USB 3 and HDMI ports that leave it ready to work with the HD projectors, monitors and fast external hard disks. Best of all, the Lenovo gave the longest battery life of all the laptops on test, surviving nearly five hours of typical classroom use.

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E325

The webcam comes with video-conferencing software, reinforcing the impression that this laptop means business; a view backed up by the inclusion of a custom-designed security suite. And on the subject of security, the webcam can be set up to automatically lock the laptop when it detects that nobody is in front of it. This isn’t foolproof, but should thwart the casual snooper. Sound is surprisingly strong and clear, but video quality from the webcam is mediocre.

While the ThinkPad isn’t the most robust device we looked at – the screen rests on two narrow hinges and doesn’t go flat – it isn’t flimsy. Its speed may be an issue, however. The AMD E-350 processor isn’t as fast as AMD’s own Athlon or Phenom II processors, let alone Intel’s Core line-up, and 2GB of RAM is below average. All this is represented in a slow PC Pro benchmark score of 0.24, although the ThinkPad will be fine for basic classroom or office tasks.

There’s no optical drive, which will make installing software locally rather challenging, but if you’ve moved to software deployment over a network this won’t be an issue. Our strongest criticism, then, is that the ThinkPad took nearly two minutes to start up – an eternity for the youngest students.

Details

Price ex VAT £333
Price inc VAT £400
Overall rating 4
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 5
Performance 2

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 323 x 250 x 23mm (WDH)
Weight 1.700kg

Processor and memory

Processor AMD E-350
RAM capacity 2.00GB

Screen and video

Screen size 13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
Graphics chipset AMD Radeon 6300
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1

Drives

Capacity 320GB
Hard disk usable capacity 298GB
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes

Other Features

USB ports (downstream) 2
SD card reader yes
Pointing device type Touchpad

Battery and performance tests

Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.24

Operating system and software

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