Lenovo is most famous for its business-focused ThinkPad laptops, but it also manufactures the ThinkPad Edge range – which has a more consumer focus to its design. The ThinkPad Edge 11-inch is the smallest in the range and makes a fantastically usable travelling companion.
At only 11.6-inches diagonally, the screen could be considered to be small Nevertheless, we found it remarkably usable and the sharp 1366 x 768-pixel resolution produces very detailed images. Such a high resolution in such a small screen can produce very small menus and text, but this can be tweaked if required.
The isolated keyboard is a triumph and, despite the diminutive size of the laptop's chassis, we found the keyboard spacious and a pleasure to type on – even beating the Dell Inspiron 15R for usability – so it's ideal for those looking to work regularly on the road.
One small irritant is that Lenovo has indented the Control key one space from its standard position, and we regularly hit the Function key that has replaced it on the end of the row by mistake.
The laptop is built of very firm plastics that will provide excellent protection for the machine on the road, and portability is also impressive. The 1.5kg chassis is no problem to carry around all day, so will suit those regularly out of the office on business, while the 285-minute battery life is excellent, providing over four hours of battery life between charges.
We would expect such a small laptop to feature a low-powered, resource-light processor, but in fact the machine features an Intel Core i3 chip. You'll have no problem multitasking office software and, although benchmarking proved the laptop is not quite as powerful as some, running more resource-intensive applications will prove no problem for this laptop.
Graphically, the laptop is weak, however, and those after multimedia prowess should look elsewhere, but streaming videos and very light photo editing is still possible.
There's no optical drive, which is bad news for those looking to watch or create DVDs, but the 320GB hard drive is rare in a laptop this small and provides ample storage for work, music and photos to keep you entertained on the go.
The laptop also features a 3G module, allowing you to wirelessly browse the web whenever in range of a mobile phone mast.
Although not suited for those after a high-powered system for the family, the ThinkPad Edge 11-inch comes highly recommended as a portable partner and, ultimately, we're big fans.
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