The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11 is a small laptop, with a correspondingly smaller 11.6in screen. Interestingly, it wasn’t the lightest in our recent ultraportables group test, at a still-portable 1.5kg. Updated, 11 May 2011
Its design is eye-catching, and not at all like the ugly bricks released by IBM under the ThinkPad brand, which looked as though they would survive the apocalypse. It’s still a tough cookie, but its rounder edges are more pleasing to the eye.
This laptop feels heavier than it looks, and for good reason: the Lenovo has been built to take a battering, and can withstand bashes and bumps without any vital components getting damaged.
Also pleasing is the price. Lenovo includes a copy of Windows 7 Professional 64bit, an Intel Core i3-380UM CPU, 2GB of DDR3 RAM and a 320GB hard drive. Although it delivered only 67 points in our WorldBench 6 speed test, the Lenovo still offers good value at £475.
The screen is a decent matt version, with none of the distracting reflections of glossy displays. Despite having a smaller screen than the competition, it matches their 1366x768-pixel resolution. As a result, pixels are more tightly packed and offer a sharper image.
The keyboard is one of the most impressive things about the ThinkPad. Although the space available is smaller than with the competition, the keys are well sized and spaced.
The trackpad gave us some concerns, however. It offers left-/ right-click buttons above and below, reducing the space available for the trackpad itself. A trackpoint in the middle of the keyboard can also be a nuisance, with the G, H and B keys sitting flush to it.
Connectivity options stretch to wireless 802.11b/g/n, gigabit ethernet and Bluetooth 2.1. You’ll also find VGA and HDMI outputs, a four-in-one card reader and two USB 2.0 ports, but no USB 3.0.
Relying solely on the graphics-processing capabilities of the Core i3 processor, the Lenovo turned in the lowest gaming framerates of the group in Fear (‘Medium’ quality settings).
Battery life was also towards the bottom of the pack, with the Lenovo's 56Wh power pack lasting just 392 minutes in our MobileMark 2007 Productivity test.