Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s – An Ultraportable Solution
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If you are in the market for a 12-inch ultraportable, you might want to consider this Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 220s that was launched last year. This is suitable for those who are on the look for a compact yet very capable business-oriented computer. Even though its 12.5-inch display might be considered by many as an odd middle ground between a small and a full-size laptop, in reality it manages to offer a considerably broader screen experience while at the same time feeling more like a subcompact solution.
Lenovo launched the ThinkPad Edge sub-brand in 2010 as a redesigned small lineup of business-oriented laptop by, refreshing the staid and classic ThinkPad look with new, sleeker features. This E220s model is a high-end option with improved sound, an edge-to-edge glossy display, along with offering a more upscale feel. This entire package comes at a starting price of only $749 which is a reasonable price tag for its size. If we compare this model with a 13-inch solution like the Samsung Series 9 which has the same Core i5 processor, this ThinkPad Edge E220s is a much more affordable option.
This next configuration of the ultraportable is going to set you back about $819. At its heart is a second generation Intel Core i5-2537M processor clocked at 1.40 GHz which works together with 4GB of DDR3 memory running at the speed of 1,333 MHz. In the storage department Lenovo has installed a 320GB hard drive spinning at 7,200 rpm while the graphics department is covered by the integrated Intel HD 3000 with shared system memory.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s has the following dimensions: 12.3 x 8.4 x 0.85 inches (W x D x H) and it tips the scales at 3.3 pounds, while the AC adapter weighs an additional 0.7 pounds. From top to bottom, this ultraportable has been covered by a rubberized finish which is soft to the touch, much like on the ThinkPad X1 and the IdeaPad U260. The first time you look at the E220s you will probably think that it has a black finish but when you put it under the right light, the laptop has a very dark green finish. This is a different color tone in comparison to the keyboard which has a black finish. The keyboard deck and the top lid are lined by a chromed plastic edge which highlights the curved lines that are on the front lip.
Open the ultraportable and you will notice that the proportion of the keyboard and the palm rest is very good. The full-size keyboard has been raised and although it isn’t edge-to-edge, it does not waste space. As far as the palm rests are concerned, these are flanking a multitouch click pad that has a medium size and a square shape. Compared to the aforementioned ThinkPad X1, the E220s shows more signs of flex and features more plastic but this is understandable since these are two different models, with the X1 being a larger laptop and considerably more expensive.
The raised keyboard is a variation developed by Lenovo as it uses more concave keys that are offering a more centered feel when the user is typing fast. You don’t get a backlit keyboard but instead it comes with a smallish overhead LED which is shining from the laptop’s upper lid. The design of the clickpad has been modified, managing to solve the finger-space issue that was caused by the introduction of the discrete buttons and the red rubber trackpoint. The clickpad has a smooth surface and manages to respond very nice but the bad news is that it collects a lot of fingerprint smudges.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s has a 12.5-inch glossy display with a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The brightness level is above average, but the viewing angles are not very good. Above the keyboard of this ultraportable there is a grilled bar which houses the stereo speakers that are enhanced with Dolby which really makes a difference when you are listening to music or watching a movie. You also get a high definition webcam that has a maximum resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels which offers great light sensitivity and contrast levels.
Regarding ports and connectivity features, the ultraportable has been fitted with VGA and HDMI ports for video connectivity, while in the audio area we notice the headphone and microphone combo jack. For data transfer you get two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 2.0/eSATA combo port, along with an SD card slot. In the networking department you get Bluetooth, an Ethernet port, 802.11n Wi-Fi and an optional WiMax/mobile broadband.
As you can see, you get a more than decent amount of ports given the size of the ultraportable, although we do notice that there isn’t an USB 3.0 port. However, this shouldn’t be a problem now since not many people have started using it. We should also mention that the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s comes with Intel’s Wireless Display (aka WiDi) which will allow you to connect the ultraportable to an HDTV without the need of an HDMI cable. Instead, you must purchase a receiver box for the TV which will set you back about $100. Another feature of the laptop is the SIM card slot mounted at the rear which is accessible for the versions of the E220s that are 3G broadband-enabled. For an additional $55, this ThinkPad Edge E220s can be fitted with WiMax.
As far as the battery is concerned, it comes with a 6-cell unit that cannot be removed and it manages to last for a little over four hours during a video playback test. This is a solid performance but some may expect a longer battery life taking into account the fact that the laptop is using a low-voltage processor, and the Samsung Series 9 (that has a SSD) can survive for approximately 60 minutes more than this Lenovo. The battery in this ThinkPad Edge E220s lasts longer than the one in the X1 as well as the battery of the IdeaPad U260.