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First Look: Lenovo ThinkPad Edge

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First Look: Lenovo ThinkPad Edge

2:33 /

With a relatively affordable starting price and a new design, the ThinkPad Edge loosens up the ThinkPad look--but losing an optical drive keeps it a yard short of being a top-choice compact business laptop.

[ Background Music ] ^M00:00:02 >> Hi. I'm Scott Stein, Senior Associate Editor at CNET.com, and this is the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge. Now Lenovo decided to do a pretty big redesign on their mid-range ThinkPad lineup targeted specifically at small business users and people looking for a budget business laptop. Now normally, the ThinkPads and other business laptops in this range may not be the sexiest things in the world, but Lenovo decided that some of these users might want something that looks a little cooler and have features that are a little more thin and light. Lenovo introduced a number of new design tweaks to the ThinkPad Edge lineup, particularly in the keyboard, and the back, which while it's really nice and glossy, may be too glossy for some people. It also comes in black or fiery red, which is new for a ThinkPad lineup. Silvery lines around the edges also change the look. On the inside, ThinkPad fans will notice that the keyboard has changed. It's no longer a tapered key; instead it's a raised key much like a Mac Book and many other notebooks nowadays. However, the keys are a little bit concave and they feel really great to the touch. In fact, this keyboard layout and its larger, multitouch track pad may be one of our favorite keyboard designs in any laptop that we've ever used. The track pad and the little nubbin on top are also still intact, so for those who like a trackpoint in their notebooks, don't worry. Lenovo has not disappointed you. There's a large 13.3 inch display, large for a thin and light, that's really nice and bright LED backlit. Unfortunately, there's no optical drive on the 13-inch, which to us is a real let down because while it is a thinner and lighter notebook, we've seen thinner and lighter machines like this that have slot loading and tray loading disk drives, including ones by Apple with their Mac Book and in a number of other designs. So, it's a little disappointing because we still use DVDs while we're on the road. But the cost on these is pretty great. They start at $579. They go higher. Our particular configuration is using an Intel Core 2 ULV processor, the U7300. They're also available in AMD, Dual Core Neo processors, the X2. So that's a lower cost line that also performs pretty decently. [Inaudible] performance on the ThinkPad Edge was also really nice. And if you're looking for something that's larger than a Net Book that gives you a business level performance with its suite of tools and also is pretty compact and durable, the ThinkPad Edge may be something you want to take a look into. Just be forewarned, it doesn't have a DVD drive. I'm Scott Stein, and this is the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 13 inch.

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