Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E520 Notebook Review

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge series is designed for buyers who are ThinkPad series too expensive or too boring. The top series includes the E520 perimeter Lenovo ThinkPad Edge, the smaller and previously tested E420 E420 (the two should not be confused with the other). The E520 is very different from the usual B2B mobile.

The laptop has a 15.6-inch matte and subtle design. The front of the laptop is tilted like a wedge and the laptop is able to leave a good impression, even without the use of glossy lacquer. The laptop runs on the hardware and the user can customize the laptop before buying. We chose the dominant configuration offers an Intel Core i5-2410M, an AMD Radeon HD 6630M graphics chip and 4 GB of RAM.

Lenovo will soon release the E525 and E425 ThinkPad Edge, who both use the new AMD-APU Llano, instead of the popular Intel mobile. In the U.S., these phones will be available from $ 549. Currently, our test model price (dominant configuration without UMTS module) costs about 650 euros.

In the following analysis, we will push the cell through a series of benchmarks and tests. The ThinkPad E420 Edge may not have been cut, but the question is: Lenovo has found the perfect balance between consumer notebooks cheap and expensive high-end professional cameras in ThinkPad E520 Edge?

Specifications Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E520 :
  • Processor : Intel Core i5 2410M 2.3 GHz
  • Mainboard : Intel HM65
  • Memory : 4096 MB, 1066 MHz, DDR3-10600S, Micron Technology, 2 slots, maximum 8 GB
  • Graphics adapter : AMD Radeon HD 6630M - 1024 MB, Core: 485 MHz, Memory: 800 MHz, Intel GMA HD 3000, 8.811.1.5000
  • Display : 15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, AUO23EC, glossy: no
  • Harddisk : Hitachi HTS545050B9A300, 500GB 5400rpm Travelstar 5K500
  • Soundcard : Intel Cougar Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
  • Connections : 1 Express Card 34mm, 4 USB 2.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 eSata, Audio Connections: Combi port, Card Reader: MMC, SD, SDHC, MS, MS-Pro, xD, RJ-45
  • Networking : Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel WiFi Link 1000 BGN (bgn), 3.0 +HS Bluetooth
  • Optical drive : MATSHITA DVD-RAM UJ8A0AS
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 28 - 33 x 375 x 247
  • Weight : 2.46 kg Power Supply: 0.47 kg
  • Battery : 48 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cell, 10.8 Volt
  • Price : 650 Euro
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
  • Additional features : Webcam: 720p, 1280x720 Pixel, Low-Light-Sensitive, Notebook, 65 W power adapter, 6-cell battery, Documentation, Adobe Reader 9, Skype, Intel Wireless Display, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, Live Essentials, Corel, Norton Internet Security, 12 Months Warranty, Colors: Midnight Black or Heatwave Red, Softtouch surfaces, 2 Stereo speakers
"New design. New Form. And better than ever." - Lenovo E520 gives full support, as evidenced by the slogan above. It seems that they too could be promising as a test model before us seems rather squat with a weight of 2.46 kg and height (maximum) of 33 millimeters. The matte black finish has a nice "soft touch" coating surfaces before and suddenly as if a corner.

The colors available for this model can not be extravagant, but the rugged done for her. The case is difficult to zero, but the fingerprints add up quickly. The finish of the phone is disappointing: the synthetic material used in the case looks cheap in some areas, the battery is loose and the lid of the screen is small.

The strength of the base has left us divided. On the one hand, the palm rest areas has proved very resistant, while the keyboard close to the average yields and above the DVD drive. Lenovo has chosen metal hinges for high quality E520. Black hinges manage to hold the screen with minimal movement of most of the time. However, when the screen is pushed back, the hinges are struggling to keep it safe. This is particularly evident when the screen is open to the angles between 160 and 180 degrees.

A T-shaped flap on the bottom of the laptop hides the RAM and hard drive. Once removed, the hard drive and RAM can be easily changed out or upgraded. Unfortunately, if the fans can not be reached, which means that there is no way to clean the dust that accumulates over time. ThinkPad E520 Edge is set in addition to the typical Business Notebook missing due to dock at the bottom of the interface laptop.

Notebook is also different from other consumer electronics devices connectivity with a total of five USB 2.0 (one of which is a combination of high speed eSATA port), VGA and HDMI output, and 34 mm ExpressCard cards. All-in-all, a set of interfaces to address the lack of USB 3.0 ports. As mentioned above, the laptop does not have the dock connector port.

All ports on the laptop (except the LAN RJ-45) can be found on the right and left sides of the box. The situation is not exceptional, but the use of USB and ExpressCard slot on the right side can restrict the movement of an external mouse.

The specimen is clamped his teeth with the latest communication modules. The laptop has 1 GB / s transfer rate credit, a WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n (Intel WiFi Link 1000 BGN) and Bluetooth 3.0 + HS (all with the factory). Our test model offered no 3G UMTS module. It is available for a premium and the slot of this module is already inserted in the device. But the antennas needed to install the module is not already in place that prevents users from adding just after buying the laptop.

Specifications thoroughbred business security needs. The E520 is the "Golden Middle Earth," which means they do not offer most of the characteristics of elite professional notebook users are accustomed. The test model has a Kensington security slot, but other features such as a TPM chip, a smart card and fingerprint sensor of a sensor is reserved for more expensive laptops.

Great package, and very little inside! The supply includes a portable computer, power cord, 6-cell battery and a few brochures. On the other hand, is an endless list of accessories such as a fee to update the list of the car, which includes a variety of products from a variety of categories.

Pre-installed software is another problem. ThinkPad is the Office, Adobe Reader, and typical of a ThinkPad factory installed, but otherwise offers very little software department. The trial version of Norton Internet Security is a negative sign in the book, as the first boot, it's annoying pop-ups for different users. ThinkPad series has never been a big problem with the software.

Lenovo offers a warranty for the laptop (with battery) of only 12 months. It is a very short warranty period, and although many units of companies have a similar warranty period (which may be extended by paying different premiums) must be laptops B2C market has at least 24 months.

The matte 15.6-inch screen has a relatively low resolution of native 1366 x 768 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio. A look at the portfolio of the Chinese producer reveals that the ThinkPad Edge E520 on the same level as the budget L520 laptop.

The ThinkPad T520 offers a higher resolution and more power, but it is much more expensive and located in a completely different category. A simpler alternative is to use the VGA or HDMI interface, which can provide both performed very well until the tested 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p Full HD) resolution.

The measured values, we received our Mavo Gossen tool indicates the display monitor (type AUO23EC) has a maximum brightness of 196.4 cd / m². This brightness level is lower than the previously tested ThinkPad E420 ThinkPad Edge and Edge 15. The screen has a good illumination of 88% is due to fluctuations in the brightness very low.

Additional measurements have confirmed the suspicion: E520 Economic uses TN panel to keep costs low. The measured value is high enough black, which means that the display can not properly display the black areas. Because of the high value of the black, the contrast is very poor. Higher values ​​would be desirable, especially for users who want to use your laptop outdoors, or play movies.

Despite the fact that it is cheap, the screen, a lot of color space. SRGB color space (transparent) is the basis for many applications, and the screen covers most of it. Equipment to perform slightly worse in this area. All-in-all, the test model is not suitable for professional image editing.

Another important factor is used outdoors: Thanks Matt, E520 can move freely outdoors. However, the low brightness and poor contrast, the user has problems reading the screen is in direct sunlight.

Viewing angle stability of the display is the same as a cheap TN panel. Horizontal viewing angle remains stable up to about 140 degrees, and the only significant change is the drop in brightness. However, vertically, in addition to the decrease in brightness, the user will soon head down / fade is shown.

Who says books office should be slow and can not be used as a portable typewriter? Lenovo offers a variety of configurations for our test model. We chose the Intel Core i5-2410M (dual-core), as our CPU as is currently the fastest processor available for the E520. The CPU has a 3 MB L3 cache and operates from 2.3 to 2.9 GHz (with Intel Turbo Boost). All in all, this processor is a popular choice for laptops with less than 1000 euros.

The E520 has two chipsets: Intel GMA HD 3000 (integrated in CPU) and the dedicated GPU Radeon HD 6630M, which has a core speed of 485 MHz and 1 GB of VRAM. Thanks to AMD PowerXpress alias 4.0 "bacon" in the notebook can automatically switch between graphics chips.

The software has a minor defects: some programs are not recognized, which means that the user must manually select the desired graphic card. The hardware of the laptop made up to 4 GB of RAM (8 GB maximum in two places) and a 500 GB hard drive

Intel Core i5-2410M processor has had to prove his worth on several occasions in our comments and once again manages to perform well in upper middle class. A score of 9390 points in multi-threaded Cinebench R10 Rendering (64 bits) places the device in many similar settings (like the Toshiba Tecra R850).

However, even older laptop with an Intel Core i5-580M-620M and Core i7 can score in this region. In general, the processor offers good performance, even compared to older generations. Arrandale above processors offer similar performance, but about a year ago, can not be found in portable high prices.

The AMD Radeon HD 6630M graphics card is a middle class of the Office and multimedia laptops. The graphics card is not for gamers, as evidenced by the results of the last reference 3DMark 11 (DirectX 11): 968 points. This score places the card in the lower mid-region from the list of mobile video cards. Alternatives include the Nvidia GeForce 540M GT 525M GT GPU and the middle class. All-in-all, the 6630M graphics card is ideal for users who rarely play on their laptops.

Benchmarks Futuremark PCMark testing of all hardware and provides a total score. The ThinkPad E520 Edge scored 5633 points in PCMark Vantage, which puts the system in the central region of our database. Phones that gave similar results include QX310 Samsung and Medion Akoya P6631 subnotebook, with the same processor and GPU Nvidia 540M GT. Note: SSD could increase the score much higher.

The storage device in our test model is a unit of Hitachi 2.5-inch hard drive (500 GB). The Travelstar 5K500 (also known as HTS545050B9A300) belongs to the consumer products manufacturer and do not fall faster than its maximum reading speed is 75 Mb / s.

The device performance is further reduced by the SATA II, SATA III, despite the support and the operating speed of 5400 rpm. The hard drive can be easily exchanged with a faster SSD. Possible candidates would be number 510 or Intel SSD OCZ Agility 3, to be exact, three vertices.

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