Lenovo ThinkPad E220s Review

by Reads (46,505)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Software & Support
    • 8
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 4
    • Usability
    • 7
    • Design
    • 7
    • Performance
    • 7
    • Features
    • 6
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 8
    • Total Score:
    • 6.71
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10


  • Pros

    • Thin and relatively light design
    • Good keyboard, touchpad and TrackPoint
    • Decent mid-level performance
  • Cons

    • Unimpressive battery life
    • Integrated battery
    • No USB 3.0

Quick Take

The E220s is an affordable and attractive 12-inch business notebook with decent performance but poor battery life.

The ThinkPad E220s is the 12-inch sibling of the 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad E420s notebook. This pleasantly portable laptop offers the latest generation Intel Core series processors and graphics with 4GB of system memory. Good performance and a reasonable price in a notebeook that weighs just a little more than three pounds … what’s not to like?

Our Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s review unit has the following specs:

  • 12.5-inch “Infinity Glass” glossy display (1366×768 resolution)
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • Intel Core i5-2537M dual-core processor (1.40 GHz)
  • Intel HM65 chipset
  • Integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • 4GB DDR3-1333 RAM
  • 320GB 7200RPM Seagate hard drive (ST320LT000, 7mm height)
  • Intel WiFi Link 1000 BGN wireless network adapter
  • No internal Bluetooth
  • Integrated 720p webcam
  • Integrated fingerprint reader
  • Internal non-removable Li-polymer 43Whr battery
  • Weight: 3.22 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 12.3 x 8.4 x 0.85 inches
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • MSRP: $869 (similar configurations are available now at Lenovo.com for $699)

Lenovo offers several configuration options for the ThinkPad E220s but at the time of this writing the two featured processor options available at Lenovo.com are the slower Intel Core i3-2357M processor (1.30GHz) and the faster Intel Core i7-2617M processor (1.5GHz). Like the 14-inch E420s we previously reviewed, the E220s doesn’t come with the same two- or three-year standard warranty as other ThinkPad business notebooks. In addition, Lenovo uses a non-removable battery and a 7mm thin Seagate hard drive (standard notebook hard drives are 9.5mm) in order to give this laptop a lighter weight and thinner shape.

Build and Design
As previously mentioned, the E220s is the smaller version of the 14-inch E420s. These E-series notebooks have several design elements that set them apart from the traditional ThinkPad exterior. The E220s has rounded corners and polished metal trim around the edges rather than the all-business, box-like shape that has become a hallmark of ThinkPads. Open the screen lid and you’ll find a simplified keyboard and touchpad without extra media buttons or quick launch keys. The screen has a large glossy piece of plastic covering it, which Lenovo calls “Infinity Glass”. It helps improve contrast and color saturation but it also creates reflections from sunlight or bright indoor lights and is a magnet for smudges and dirt on your display. .

Although the exterior of the E220s is very consumer friendly, this notebook has a metal alloy support structure inside the chassis for increased durability. Lenovo also gave the E220s a spill-resistant keyboard, “ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery” which restores your system settings in the event of a system crash and the typical “Active Protection System” which detects sudden drops and parks your hard drive to prevent hard disk failure from drops. As nice as those features are I wasn’t impressed with the support structure of the screen lid. It flexes too easily and I am concerned about long-term screen protection if you’re a frequent traveler. I can’t imagine this lid can withstand too many hits from a flight attendant jamming suitcases into the overhead compartment.

The more interesting part of the E220s’ design is Lenovo’s commitment to being eco-friendly. The E220s is EPEAT Gold, ENERGY STAR and RoHS compliant, the LED-backlit displays are 100% free of mercury and arsenic. The plastic components are made from more than 10% recycled material and the notebook comes in 100% recycled paperboard packaging printed with nontoxic inks. My only complaint is that Lenovo apparently thinks environmentally conscious consumers don’t like removable batteries. The Li-polymer battery in the ThinkPad E220s is packed inside the chassis and there is no easy way to replace the battery on your own without complete disassembly of the laptop.

Ports and Features
The E220s has a modest selection of ports including standard VGA, HDMI v1.4, Ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 2.0/eSATA combo port and a memory card reader. I’m a little disappointed that Lenovo didn’t include a USB 3.0 port for modern high-speed hard drives and flash drives, but that’s a common omission in this price range. Since the E220s is a hybrid of a consumer laptop and a small business notebook, you don’t get a docking station port or an ExpressCard slot. All picture descriptions are left to right.

Front: Nothing

Back: Nothing

Left: AC power, 4-in-1 media card reader, Ethernet, VGA, Powered USB 2.0 and headset jack

Right: Hard drive access panel, standard USB 2.0, USB 2.0/eSATA port, HDMI v1.4, and exhaust vent



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