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The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge is aimed at business users who want a notebook that is portable, easy to use and affordable. For $999, this 13-incher offers good performance, various connectivity options, and has features that will help you preserve important data files.

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The ThinkPad Edge sports a matte finish (in Midnight Black) with a silver-grey band framing the exterior. Input and output ports that include a VGA out, HDMI, Ethernet, headset jack, 5-in-1 multimedia card reader, and three USB ports are found on both sides of the notebook. One of the USB ports is powered, which means it can be used for charging devices such as an iPod instantly (even if the computer is turned off). There is no optical drive on the Edge, which may or may not be an inconvenience for some users.

Opening the lid reveals a glossy 13-inch LED-backlit screen and an all-new keyboard design. The keys on this spill-resistant, “island-style keyboard” are well-separated and curved, making it easy for us to type documents. Lenovo has also swapped the function keys, putting priority on special functions such as turning on the webcamera or increasing/decreasing the volume rather than the default F1-F12 function.

If this feature is not useful, a user can simply go to the BIOS setup utility and change the Default settings to ‘Legacy’. The unit also comes with a TrackPoint and a multi-gesture touchpad for added versatility.

The Edge is powered by a 1.5GHz AMD Athlon Neo X2 L325 dual-core processor and has an ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics card, allowing users to create presentations or show videos without problems. The unit has 2GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, and comes pre-installed with Windows 7 Professional (32-bit), Norton Internet Security, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash Player, Microsoft Office 2007 (60-day trial), Microsoft AutoCollage, Windows Live Essentials, and Skype.

 
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Lenovo has also included utilities that help you make the most out of the notebook. The Power Manager can shift between high performance and high energy savings, change sleep and display settings, and show battery status (charge completion time, cycle count, and status). The Access Connections will scan and display all available wireless networks and connects with a single click. Also available is Lenovo’s ThinkVantage Toolbox, a program that helps you keep your computer running at peak performance, diagnose hardware problems, and access all of Lenovo’s software.

The 13.3-inch LED screen is bright and produces good colours, but its reflective finish gets annoying especially when watching movies. The speakers located at the bottom of the notebook produced good audio so long as it is not pushed. Users who plan to watch TV shows or movies on the Edge can expect it to last for more than three hours (the unit lasted for 192 minutes in our video playback test).

The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge is a good notebook for business users. We loved the new keyboard layout, bright screen, touchpad and TrackPoint options, and easy to use utilities. This 13-inch notebook is available now for $999.

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