The Bottom Line
Mar 7 2012 - Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge E220s is going to face stiff compeition with the new ultrabooks but its pricing of under $800 is going to be very attractive for businesses or consumers that are looking for a relatively thin and capable ultraportable. It retains the solid build quality that Lenovo has been known for along with their excellent keyboard designs. Its glossy design does have its drawbacks including an exterior that frequently needs cleaning of fingerprints and smudges plus the display lacks the anti-glare coatings common to most ThinkPad models.
- Solid Build Quality
- Excellent Keyboard Design
- Good Pricing
- Glossy Exterior Shows Fingerprints Easily
- Display Is Too Reflective
- Intel Core i5-2467M Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 320GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 12.5" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel HD 3000 Graphics Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 2.0, One eSATA (Shared), HDMI, VGA
- 12.3" x 8.4" x .9" @ 3.5 lbs.
- Windows 7 Professional, Office Starter, Norton Internet Security
Review - Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s
Mar 7 2012 - Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge is designed as a low cost business ultraportable. With the rise of the ultrabooks, the ThinkPad Edge is facing much more competition from a broader range of systems. While the Edge E220s is not consider an ultrabook, it does share very similar size and components. For instance, it is based around the Intel Core i5-2467M dual core mobile processor that is used in the majority of the ultrabooks. It is paired up with 4GB of DDR3 memory. The result is performance that is pretty much equal to pretty much all the ultrabooks on the market. This is more than enough for the average business application which focuses on productivity. It will struggle on more demanding applications such as desktop video which is better served by a larger more traditional laptop.
The big difference between the ThinkPad Edge E220s and ultrabooks is in the storage system. While ultrabooks are using solid state drives, the E220s uses a traditional hard drive. This provides it with a larger 320GB of storage space that is over double what the typical low cost ultrabook comes equipped with. The downside is that it does means that the system has a slower feel to it. Booting will take longer and applications don't load as quickly. Still, the system is several hundred less which is a key selling point for the system. In addition, the thicker design of the Edge allows the system to have more peripheral ports. Most ultrabooks tend to have just two USB ports but this one has three. They are just USB 2.0 ports but one of them is shared with an eSATA port for use with high speed external storage if you need additional space.
The small dimensions of the ThinkPad Edge are thanks to the smaller 12.5-inch LCD panel. It features the same 1366x768 resolution that is common to most laptops. It can be folded back very far which is uncommon to most display but can make it a bit easier when trying to share the display with several people. The big problem is that unlike most of the ThinkPad laptops, this display uses a glossy coating and is very reflective. The result is a display that is extremely difficult to use outside or in certain lighting conditions that can produce glare. Like most ultraportables, it relies on the Intel HD Graphics 3000 that are built into the processor. This is fine for standard application work but it lacks much performance for 3D applications. It does provide some acceleration for encoding media files with QuickSync compatible applications.
Lenovo's keyboard design remains one of the best in the industry. It uses the isolated design unlike the other ThinkPad models but it offers a nice concave key design that makes typing accurate with a nice feel that works well for touch typists. It certainly has a better feel than any of the new ultrathin systems. The trackpad is still a bit too sensitive at times but thankfully it keeps the trackpoint option in the keyboard as an alternative.
With a thicker profile, one might assume that the ThinkPad Edge E220s would provide a larger battery pack but it comes with a relatively modest 40.7WHr capacity model that is smaller than many thinner laptops offer. In video playback testing, the system was only able to run for under three and three quarter hours before going into standby mode. This is pretty much expected from the battery size but it falls short of what many other systems can achieve. The closest competitors to this system in the ASUS U36SD and Toshiba Portege R835 both provide longer running times but both do cost more. At least Lenovo is upfront with just a 5.4 hour running time claim which is properly fairly accurate for light usage.