I’m a big fan of Lenovo’s mini laptops, especially of those 11.6 inchers they have on the market. And now there’s one more, the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11 . Unlike the Lenovo x100e, which is currently one of my recommended picks for an 11 incher, this one boosts the new Intel Arrandale ULV platform. Thus, it manages to solve some of AMD’s powered biggest problems: heat and battery life. But that doesn’t necessarily make it a better pick, read the rows below to see why.
Joanna at Engadget got the chance to play with this new ThinkPad Edge 11 an put together a nice review. You’ll find the link towards it at the bottom of this post.
This 11.6 incher inherits the classic ThinkPad shape. Being around 1.1 inches think and weighing 3.3 pounds, it resembles a lot the X100e also, but the matte casing was dumped for a glossy one (only the lid cover). And that’s a bummer. The tested version comes in red, but it will also be available in black, and that would be a massive smudges magnet (I know, I have a glossy black mini laptop myself).
Opening the lid, you get the classic ThinkPad keyboard, with island keys slightly lowered on their bottom part, one of the most comfortable on the market. There’s also the TrackPoint and the same TrackPad we know from other ThinkPads. The 11.6 inch screen with 1366 x 768 px resolution is not the same as on the X100e either, as it is now glossy. Thus, colors and brightness are good, but viewing angles are only average, although similar to what competitors have to offer.
Inside, you get the Intel platform. There will be options for Core i3 and i5 processors, bundled with Intel HD graphics, 2+ GB of memory, decent storage (320+ GB) and Windows 7 Home Premium OS. All these will make the little ThinkPad Edge 11 a versatile machine. The Core i3-380U equipped version managed to score nearly 3000 points in PCMark Vantage and 1100 points in 3DMark06, which means it will handle properly all your daily apps and tasks, will be able to run HD content (including 1080p) and even some older games, although it uses the integrated graphic option, so it’s not meant for gaming.
It’s a pity Lenovo did not come with a way to integrate the battery with the rest of the body, as it sticks out on the back like on the X100e. But, unlike on that one, it manages to run for almost 50% longer, with 5+ hours expected in everyday tasks. Oh, and if the X100e was not recommended to use on your lap, as it got quite hot, that problem is gone on the ThinkPad Edge 11.
In terms of pricing, we should expect this Lenovo to start from around 500-550 bucks, which is around $100 more than the AMD version. However, it ain’t yet available for the States and it was only announced for Europe, but hopefully it will cross the pond soon.
All in all, the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11 is an impressive mini laptop. It is powerful, solid built, ergonomic and the battery life it offers is enough for me. However, the fact that the guys at Lenovo decided to go for the glossy finish and screen is a break dealer for me. I’ve had my fair share of glossiness and enough is enough. Those small details do make the difference, and if Lenovo would decide to offer a matte version of this ThinkPad Edge 11, I’m pretty sure I’d be one of its biggest advocates.
For the moment though, my money are still on the dual-core AMD equipped ThinkPad x100e. But what do you think, what would you pick between that one and this Intel powered Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11?
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