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First Look: Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 14

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First Look: Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 14

2:18 /

The budget-minded small-business-targeted Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 14 does its job as a solidly-performing laptop and finally throws in a DVD drive, but it's a bit too chunky in its larger size compared to svelte competitors.

Hi, I'm Scott Stein, senior associate editor at CNET.com and this is the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 14. Now, Lenovo has tried to sexy up the ThinkPad line a little bit with their small business category of laptops known as ThinkPad Edge. We got our first look at them right after CES earlier this year and we reviewed the ThinkPad Edge 13 which was the only one available at the time. There are now 14- and 15-inch models which look pretty much exactly like those, very glossy backs that are black or red, kind of a silvery plastic that almost has a metallic type look to it around the edges, and a very different looking keyboard. It's a raised keyboard that almost feels like a combination of a Mac's and a Sony Vaio's but it feels very, very comfortable and for those maybe worried about leaving that ThinkPad keyboard feel from before, don't worry, we actually like this one even better. Unfortunately, there is another holdover in ThinkPads and that's the rubberized trackpoint that's right between the B, G, and H keys. It really gets in the way especially when we're typing and on a roll, we hit that little red nubbin and, suddenly, it feels like our momentum is totally interrupted, and the trackpad is nice and big, but we'd like it even more if there weren't four buttons on it, two below and two above for the trackpoint. It's a little redundant and it removes a little bit of that wiggle space for multitouch. Inside, you're gonna either find your choice of AMD processors that are slightly lower priced and Intel processors, Core i3 or i5. Ours in an Intel Core i3 with 4 gigs of RAM and a 250-gig hard drive which runs around the $700 range depending on what else you put in it. The prices go as low as $649 on Lenovo's website. It's a nice performing machine and it also comes with ThinkVantage tools and even has a fingerprint reader on this model but it's pretty bulky feeling. It's very thick and it feels pretty heavy compared to other core i3 laptops we've seen. It does manage a DVD drive which the ThinkPad Edge 13 lacked and we regretted that it lacked. Overall, it's a nice budget laptop for a small business owner, but, with so many really affordable core i3 and i5 laptops out there, it might have some real competition that could compete for your dollar. I'm Scott Stein and this is the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 14.

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