When you first turn on the ThinkPad Edge you are brought right into Windows 7. A few things you might notice different is that Lenovo has made a large shortcut on the desktop for the ThinkVantage Toolbox and they have made the WiFi and battery icons much larger. Also there is no extra bloatware on the system just a 60-day trial of Microsoft Word.
I was asked this question many times when I reviewed the 13-inch ThinkPad Edge, “Is the keyboard as good as the one older ThinkPad’s?”. I’ve always liked the ThinkPad keyboards, they are definitely my favorite and are the most comfortable to type on, especially for long periods of time. The new island style keyboards on the ThinkPad Edge are very comparable to the older model keyboards. They are just as comfortable and have no flex in them at all. If you are used to using the older ThinkPad keyboard then there really isn’t much of an adjustment when using the new keyboard. I wrote most of this review as well as many other things on the ThinkPad Edge and I really did not have any issues at all. I did tend to hit the caps lock key on accident a lot though. Also fans of the trackpoint don’t worry you get that as well as a touchpad to use. The multi-gesture touchpad is pretty cool. You are able to zoom in and out on things much like you do on an iPhone.
The 15-inch LED display gives you a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768 which is actually the same resolution of the 13-inch version of this laptop we reviewed. So things will appear larger on the screen. The 1366 x 768 resolution does allow for some multi-window viewing, but not much.
The screen itself is very bright, but I would have liked to see it get a bit brighter. It does get very dark when watching movies so things are very crisp. This is a small bit of backlighting coming from the bottom of the display but it really nothing noticeable, even when playing movies.
The 15-inch ThinkPad Edge has the new Core i3-330M processor in it. It is a 2.13Ghz processor so you are definitely going to see a speed increase over the 13-inch ThinkPad Edge that has the Core 2 Duo SU7300, which is only 1.3Ghz. I had no issues multitasking on the 15-inch ThinkPad Edge. There were many times where I had Chrome open with 6-7 tabs, had iTunes running, was writing a review and had Outlook open. You should have no issues doing your daily tasks on the ThinkPad Edge 15-inch.
As far as battery life goes we were only able to get a little over 2 hours of battery time on a full charge using the 6 cell battery. So this really limits where and how long you can stay at certain places with the ThinkPad Edge 15-inch.
I rarely ever use an optical drive, I don’t even have one on my desktop system. The ThinkPad Edge 15-inch does have one and I used it to install PCMark Vantage. Wow I’m glad I did instead of just downloading it, the optical drive is one of the noisiest that I’ve heard in a long time! It would definitely be annoying while watching a DVD or playing a game.