CNET First Look
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220sBalancing between ultraportable and full-size laptop, the 12-inch ThinkPad Edge E220s offers an exceedingly compact computing experience matched with an upscale design, marred only by a sub-par battery life.
Hey, I'm Scott Stein, senior editor at CNET.com and this is the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s. Now, what good is a laptop if it's not portable, and sometimes it's nicer for a laptop to be even more portable. Now, this ThinkPad Edge 220s kind of falls into that ultraportable category. What does that mean? Well, it's a little bigger than a netbook, it's a little smaller than a full-size laptop. It's kind of that strange middle ground. With a 12.5-inch screen and these dimensions, it means that it's gonna feel more compact in your bag and it's not gonna feel quite as heavy. It's about 3.2 pounds, which is a nice weight to carry around, and it's under an inch thick and really what the 12.5-inch screen amounts to is it kinda compresses the edges here making for that smaller size and allowing the keyboard to fill the space and it is a full-size keyboard which is nice. Going into that, why do you get a ThinkPad? Well, you get it for its business features and its business software but also a lot of people like its ergonomics. The ThinkPad Edge keyboard is a new raised keyboard. We saw this on the ThinkPad Edge design last year. It's also on the ThinkPad X1 that we just reviewed. It's great. It's a really nice raised keyboard, got concave keys. We won't go too much more into it but if you're a keyboard nut, you're gonna like it. Also, there's a trackpad on here that's a ClickPad. There are no more buttons on the bottom here. This is a dual click zone area. There are buttons up here but what those are for is for these red nubbin that is known as the TrackPoint. This is on most ThinkPads and it's-- some people like it because on a plane, they won't have to move their finger around as much. Anyway, there's not as much cramping here because those buttons have been removed so there's more finger space. There are a couple of upscale features on this Edge 220s, too, that put it a little bit above the standard ThinkPad line. Infinity glass, glossy display, Dolby sound in its speakers. There's also a neat little light that comes up that lights up your keyboard. We've seen that on other ThinkPads before but it's a nice feature to have, and it comes complete with your basic ports, 3 USB 2.0, it's got HDMI. It also has full laptop specs inside. I'm talking about 4 gigs of RAM in this one, a 320-gigabyte hard drive. It's got a Core i5 processor that's second-gen Intel Core i5, although it is low voltage which means it runs at a slower speed. It's actually the same processor that we saw on the Samsung Series 9, really thin laptop that we reviewed earlier this year. The starting price on the Edge 220s is $749. That's a lot cheaper than the $1600 of the Samsung Series 9. Now, this is not as thin a laptop and the battery life is not as good, but when you can get a laptop like this at that price, that's really nice and it's a lot more affordable than the ThinkPad X1, the super high-end 13-inch laptop that we reviewed recently that's about as thin. In a nutshell, this is a ThinkPad we'd carry around with us. I really love the IdeaPad U260 which came out earlier in the year. Almost the same design but was on the IdeaPad side of things, had a really nice, slick look, but had last year's Core i5 processor, and worse battery life. The battery life improvements on this are nice, gets it over 4 hours, plus it's got a faster processor. You probably like that total package, and, at under $800 for 2 gigs of RAM in that configuration, it's hard to complain. I'm Scott Stein and this is a look at the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s.