Lenovo ThinkPad E220s review: Lenovo ThinkPad E220s

The selection of ports on the ThinkPad Edge E220s is more than suitable for its size--in fact, it matches what you'd find on most 13-inch and larger laptops. Three USB 2.0 ports--one of which is an eSATA combo--are efficiently placed along the sides, along with VGA and HDMI. USB 3.0 isn't present, but most people don't even use it yet. Bluetooth (a $20 extra) and the presence of Intel Wireless Display (a feature on a great number of Intel-powered 2011 laptops that requires a sold-separately receiver box for your TV) offer additional connectivity options. A rear SIM card slot is easily accessible for 3G broadband-enabled configurations. WiMax is available as an option for an extra $55.

Our configuration of the Edge E220s came with a Core i5-2537M CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 320GB, 7200rpm hard drive, which currently costs $819 on Lenovo's Web site. The E220s starts at $749, with a Core i5 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 250GB, 5400rpm hard drive. Windows 7 Professional costs an extra $50 to preinstall; upgrading from 2GB to 4GB of RAM costs $80; upgrading from a 250GB 5,400rpm hard drive to 320GB and 7,200rpm costs $70; or, a 128GB SSD option costs $350.

The 1.4GHz Core i5-2537M CPU in the ThinkPad Edge E220s is the same processor we tested in the Samsung Series 9. It's a low-voltage CPU, amounting to a slower experience than on regular standard-voltage Core i-series processors, but it's a second-generation Intel Core i5 processor, which affords it integrated graphics and battery-extending advantages. We found the E220s to perform admirably, despite the low-voltage CPU. In fact, in our benchmarks, it was a faster laptop than the Samsung Series 9. Multitasking, HD video streaming, and other processor-intensive tasks are pulled off well enough to not feel hindered by the CPU choice. When we reviewed the similar-size IdeaPad U260, it featured last year's low-voltage Core i5 CPU, and we found it lacked a little punch. This Edge E220s gives a faster, better experience. Alternatively, you could upgrade to a 1.5GHz Core i7-2617M CPU on Lenovo's Web site for an extra $70.

Speaking of faster, the E220s comes with "Lenovo Enhanced Experience 2.0," Lenovo's branded tweaking of the CPU for better performance. It's hard to tell what it exactly provides, but bootup times seemed a little better than on the average Windows laptop.

The Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics offer some onboard horsepower for gaming and GPU-intensive tasks, too. Unreal Tournament III played at 42.3 frames per second at 1,366x768-pixel resolution and medium graphics settings. That's no better than bearable, but from a laptop this size, few would expect anything much better.

Annual energy consumption cost
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s
3.38 

Juice box
 Mainstream (Avg watts/hour)
Off (60%) 0.58
Sleep (10%) 0.76
Idle (25%) 5.7
Load (05%) 31.07
Raw kWh number 29.81
Annual energy cost $3.38

With its non-removable six-cell battery, the ThinkPad Edge E220s lasted 4 hours and 11 minutes in our video-playback battery drain test. We'd expect something higher for a low-voltage laptop, especially since the Samsung Series 9 (albeit, with an SSD) lasted over an hour longer. However, the Edge E220s outperformed the disappointing IdeaPad U260, proving the value of a second-generation CPU. Its battery outlasted the ThinkPad X1's internal six-cell, but that should be no surprise, as the X1 tested packed a standard-voltage processor. More than 4 hours should get most people over the hump into an acceptable range of battery life, but there are plenty of options (the MacBook Air, the Toshiba Portege R835) that will do better.

Lenovo offers a standard one-year warranty with the ThinkPad Edge E220s. That warranty can be upgraded up to three years when ordering on Lenovo's Web site, along with adding extra service options such as priority on-site care and accidental damage protection. In addition to the onboard ThinkVantage troubleshooting and driver update apps, the Lenovo Web site offers the same information, but an actual tech-support contact number can be hard to find (although chances are your company IT team would handle any problems with the system). If you do need to call Lenovo, try this 24-7 support line: 1-800-426-7378.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s
783 

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

System configurations:
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s
Windows 7 Professional (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.4GHz Intel Core i5-2537M; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated)/1,696MB (Total) Intel GMA HD; 320GB Seagate 7,200rpm

Lenovo ThinkPad X120e
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.6GHz AMD Fusion E-350 Dual-Core; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 667MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) ATI Mobility Radeon HD 6310; 320GB Hitachi 7,200rpm

Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch
OS X 10.6.6 Snow Leopard; 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; 2,048MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce GT 320M; 128GB Apple SSD

Lenovo IdeaPad U260
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.33GHz Intel Core i5 U470; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 64MB (Dedicated)/1,696MB (Total) Intel GMA HD; 320GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Lenovo ThinkPad X220
Windows 7 Professional (64-bit); 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 2520M; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated)/1696MB (Total) Intel GMA HD; 320 Hitachi 5,400rpm

Samsung 9 Series
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.4GHz Intel Core i5-2537M; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB(Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 128GB Samsung SSD

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Installed Size 4 GB
  • Color moss black soft touch finish, authentic metal accents
  • Weight 3.3 lbs
  • Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • CPU Intel Core i5 (2nd Gen) 2537M / 1.4 GHz
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