Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E320 (129834M) business laptop

A business laptop with good speed, strong build quality and an excellent keyboard

  • Review
  • Specs
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  • User Reviews (4)
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Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E320 (129834M)
  • Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E320 (129834M)
  • Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E320 (129834M)
  • Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E320 (129834M)
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5
  • User Rating

    4.00 / 5 (of 4 Reviews)

Pros

  • Stylish and well built
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Battery life

Cons

  • Touchpad and screen could be better
  • Keyboard not backlit
  • No USB 3.0

Bottom Line

It may have a plain design, but Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge E320 is so nice even Mac fans can appreciate it. It's a business laptop with an excellent keyboard and it costs well under $1000 in its standard configuration. However, it could use a better touchpad and screen, and we'd also like a USB 3.0 port instead of eSATA.

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Specifications and performance

The CPU is an Intel Core i3-2310M with a 2.1GHz speed, two cores and Hyper-Threading. Along with 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM, a 320GB, 7200rpm hard drive (Seagate ST320LT007-9ZV142) and integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics, the performance of the ThinkPad Edge E320 is fast for regular office work and even multimedia tasks. You can use it to encode music, edit video and convert files, but it can't be used effectively for gaming.

In our Blender 3D rendering test, the Edge 320 recorded a time of 58sec, while in our MP3 encoding test it recorded 1min 7sec. These results are almost identical to the 13in HP ProBook 5330m laptop, which uses the same CPU. However, it was a little slow in our DVD transcoding test, in which it took 1hr 12min. The HP completed that task in 1hr 6min. In 3DMark06, the Edge recorded a score of 3493, while in our hard drive transfer test a rate of 33.65 megabytes per second was attained, which is good.

Battery life

One area in which the ThinkPad Edge 320 shines is battery life. Its 63 Watt-hour battery lasted 5hr 13min in our rundown test, in which we disable power management, enable Wi-Fi, maximise screen brightness and loop an Xvid-encoded video. It's a very good time for a 13in laptop and you can get even more life out of it if you enable one of the many power schemes that are available.

The battery utility in this ThinkPad is one of the most comprehensive we've seen. It can give you intricate details of the battery, including how much power it is consuming, how much power is left, and even how long it will take for the battery to fully recharge. You can also set the recharge capacity to 80 per cent in order to improve the overall life of the battery (in terms of charging cycles). There are many other facets to this utility, all you have to do is click on the advanced button to see them all.

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E320

The advanced mode of the battery utility.

Conclusion

There some things about the ThinkPad Edge E320 that could be better. The keyboard could use a backlight, a USB 3.0 port would be nice, the screen could use better brightness and vertical viewing angles, and it could use biometric security (it has a Computrace-capable BIOS though).

Furthermore, we also think it's about time Lenovo ditched the TrackPoint pointing device — it's useful in confined spaces and it doesn't get in the way while typing, but we think it's unnecessary — and we wish the touchpad was a little better. While it's a very responsive pad with good gesture support, the placement of the left- and right-click buttons underneath the pad makes it almost impossible to perform right-click and drag operations.

Taking all these things into consideration, the ThinkPad Edge E320 is still a fine product and we think it's one of the most comfortable laptops on the Australian market. It's a good size, it's well built, it has a relatively light weight and it costs well under $1000 in its standard form. Our review model cost $772, but with a 128GB SSD it would cost $1080. Either way, we think that's a good deal.

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Jonathan

1

Does the E320 a standard 2.5" Hard Drive? I've heard in a few places that it uses a thin 2.5" drive (7-9mm thick), and that a normal-height 2.5" HDD won't fit.

Jan

2

You'll need a 7mm thick drive for the E320. You can remove a spacer from some SSDs (eg Crucial M4) to make it fit.

Elias Plastiras

3

Hi Jonathan,

Jan is correct, the E320 will only fit 7mm thick drives.

Cheers
Elias

Earwik

4

Please, stop talking about removing the trackpoint from thinkpads or Lenovo will do it and that would be a great shame! Some people prefer it to the touchpad (me including) - once you get used to it, you find that it is much better than the touchpad :)

Paul

5

I agree with Earwik... The TrackPoint is, in my opinion, a far superior pointing device to a trackpad, and one of the reasons I keep coming back to Thinkpads again and again.

Lenovo, if you're reading this: please keep the trackpoint, a real competitive edge for a segment of the market (and a stylish dot of colour on the keyboard for everyone else).

benjaminmarkus

6

FYI I bought an E320 in July and the attachment of the screen to the case has started disintegrating already, after about five months of usage. Not an adviseable laptop, basically it's a piece of shit. Too bad, otherwise it's great, but this just kills it.

Pekka

7

I bought E320 from Thailand and had similar experiences as benjaminmarkus. The hinges got loose after few months. I tried to get it fixed by the Lenovo support but they said they will not do it.

I got the Lenovo because I trusted that the company creates great Thinkpads. Now I know not to get one of their products again. I'll also tell people to select something else.

I'm very, very disappointed customer.

drakgar

8

I am posting on my E320 right now and it travels around with me and generally cops a beating bouncing around in the car/plane etc and is performing amazingly. the only thin I have changed on my laptop is the addition of an SSD which I had to dismantle slightly to get it to fit and a bit more ram. I have also disabled the trackpad in favour of the red dot as it saves mis-presses when you are typing and I just prefer it that way.
keep up the good work, there will always be a few people that talk negative about everything....

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John

2.0

1

Pros
battery life, weight
Cons
trackpad is very unreliable
• • •

Its mostly easy to use, battery life is great, light-weight. Great processor i5 for the price. However the trackpad is terrible, often does not respond to a single tap so need to tap again, however from forums I now find that other E320 users have the same issues and if they get it replaced on RMA the replacement is just as bad. OK the price was $500 but you get better trackpads on $250 netbooks so that is no excuse. Some people use the trackpoint instead so I may have to train myself to use that.

Mathew Vaughan

5.0

2

Pros
you can play games, and use loads of software for buisnesses!
Cons
lack of usb 3.0, intergrated graphics card so you can't upgrade that and a hard to use mouse
• • •

This laptop is the best I have ever had so i recommend everyone else getting this laptop if they want a mac book but with windows xp/vista/7/8

Fenruary

5.0

3

Pros
Fenruary :D
Cons
Fenruary :(
• • •

please correct Fenruary 2010 :D

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