Lenovo's ThinkPad range is traditionally aimed at corporate users and the ThinkPad Edge 13" is an affordable option designed for small businesses.

Its high-quality ultraportable build and excellent screen are offset, however, by limited performance and a couple of notable design quirks.

At 1.8kg, this is a fairly light laptop, and the robust chassis – which is almost as compact as the Samsung Q330 – is highly portable.

The battery juts out beneath the laptop, adding to the overall thickness, but the ThinkPad will comfortably fit in most bags. The 229-minute battery life is reasonable, although beaten by many others here.

The 13.3-inch display has a reflective Super-TFT coating, which is unusual for a business machine. Images are pleasingly vibrant as a result, with photos appearing sharp and lifelike, although the increased reflectivity limits outdoor use.

Along with the Dell Inspiron M101z, this is the only laptop here without an optical drive, so you can't watch DVDs or install applications from a disc without using an external drive. There are three USB ports, but no eSATA port, and the memory card slot only supports SD cards.

Typically for a machine this size, 320GB of storage is in place and will be fine for most users, while networking is speedy and Bluetooth is also included.

The ThinkPad is powered by an AMD 1.6Ghz Turion Neo X2 L625 processor, but we found that performance lagged behind the competition and only the MSI CR630 scored lower in our benchmarking tests. As a result, you're limited to basic use, such as web browsing and word processing.

We also found multimedia performance to be lacking, with an integrated ATI Radeon HD 3200 GPU in place. This laptop scored low in our graphical benchmarking tests and so is only fit for the most basic photo editing.

Excellent keyboard

The isolation-style keyboard is quiet and excellent for touch-typing, with pleasingly firm keys. We didn't like the placement of the Function key in the bottom-left corner, which pushes the Ctrl key inwards, but we found we eventually became used to it.

The touchpad covers a generous area and is both smooth and responsive to use, although we did find ourselves occasionally brushing it when typing, which caused the cursor to skip.

Lenovo thinkpad edge 13

Lenovo's trademark Pointing Stick is present as ever in the centre of the keyboard, as an alternative to the touchpad.

With admirable build quality and a sharp, colourful screen, the ThinkPad Edge 13" is almost an excellent ultraportable laptop for business users and consumers alike. However, the restrictive performance makes it hard to recommend compared to some other laptops.

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