Although I am very much smitten with the multitouch functionality of my current notebook's touchpad, there are times that I yearn for the ThinkPad-style nubbin of my old Dell laptop. Lenovo has kept the eraser head alive, and it's popped up in a new 11.6" ThinkPad Edge that looks very appetizing indeed. Engadget has a quick review of the new notebook, which starts at a reasonable $449 with AMD Nile underpinnings and $549 with an ultra-low-voltage Core i3 from Intel.
The ThinkPad Edge 11 is about an inch thick and just over three pounds, and it reportedly retains the solid feel that has become a trademark of the brand. Unfortunately, the glossy top panel and screen have more in common with budget consumer systems than high-end business notebooks. The display offers the 1366x768 resolution one might expect from this screen size, and while panel has predictably narrow viewing angles, Engadget says there's plenty of brightness on tap.
More intriguing is the ThinkPad's keyboard, whose chiclet-style keys have a matte finish and subtle contours. A bright red TrackPoint nubbin sits in the center of the keyboard and is joined by a conventional touchpad below. Multitouch functionality is said to be a little finicky, though.
With close to five hours of battery life with standard-definition video playback (for the Core 2010 config Engadget tested), the ThinkPad Edge 11 looks like a definite contender in the ultraportable space. Sadly, it may not become available stateside. Engadget says Lenovo is intent on keeping the X100e, which has a similar chassis but much shorter battery life, as its 11.6" option for American consumers.