A slick business laptop, without the battery life of some of its competitors
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Lenovo's ThinkPad range has been a stalwart of the business landscape. It is a product line that seldom features cutting-edge design, but it's always robust and ready for the demands of on the go business users.The ThinkPad Edge 14in uses an Intel Core i3-330M CPU, integrated HD graphics and 2GB of RAM (to this end it comes with the 32-bit version of Windows 7 Professional). Storage is via a 250GB 5400rpm hard drive. The 14in screen uses the common 1366 x 768 resolution, and while it isn't the greatest we have seen it copes adequately with text and office tasks. The screen is topped with an inbuilt microphone and webcam for videoconferencing needs, while the speakers are neatly embedded into the lid between the hinges, under the screen.This hardware may not be jawdropping but it is perfectly adequate for the intended use. 2D performance pips that of our current A-List business laptop, but the life of the six cell battery is disappointingly average.One of the most impressive aspects of the ThinkPad is the design. Rather than the whizz-bang glossy approach taken by nearly every other laptop manufacturer, Lenovo has gone for an incredibly functional design.The screen has some give to it, but still feels solid. We were also enamoured with the isolated key keyboard - a departure for Lenovo - that feels as though it has been designed to cope with the kind of beating that a business laptop will take. The distinctive dual Trackpoint and Touchpad design means that those familiar with either technology can use the laptop easily and as a side effect it pushes the keyboard towards the back of the chassis and provides a very comfortable palm rest.It does lack some of the more future-proof technology that we are beginning to see on some manufacturers' laptops. While there is a single eSATA port, and an Expresscard slot, the three USB ports are USB 2.0. There is the standard combination of D-Sub and HDMI outputs for the integrated graphics, giving options for attaching to external displays.Overall the ThinkPad Edge 14in is a solid, all-round business laptop. It doesn't pretend to be a sleek consumer design; it is tailored to the rough and tumble environment in which a business laptop resides. Performance is great but we do worry that the battery life falls behind some competing models.
This Review appeared in the June, 2010 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
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