Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 7 review
The Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 71 is the most basic system on test here, with an Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 500GB hard drive and no dedicated graphics, USB 3 or HDMI-out support. On the plus side, it’s also the cheapest, costing just £330 excluding VAT.
With a benchmark score of 0.71 the ThinkCentre Edge 71 can’t compete with Ivy Bridge machines, but it should cope with photo and audio editing without too many problems. The two drawbacks are multitasking and graphics performance. The i3-2120 uses Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology to mimic a quad-core CPU, but it isn’t as effective as the real deal, while the Intel HD2000 integrated graphics aren’t DirectX 11-compatible and not fast enough for challenging 3D applications. The system is available with an optional AMD Radeon 6450 graphics card, while models with a Core i7 processor can also be specified. If you want serious media performance, we’d recommend the additional investment.
On a more positive note, the ThinkCentre Edge 71 is sturdily built, with a well-designed chassis featuring a media card reader and two USB 2 ports at the front, two further USB 2 ports at the rear, Gigabit Ethernet and a DVI video output. It’s also good to see the audio sockets so accessible on the front. It includes old-fashioned serial and parallel ports, which might be helpful for legacy kit.
Despite the compact form factor, the ThinkCentre Edge 71 still packs in a full-sized DVD rewriter, which feels more robust than some slimline models, even if it can be rather noisy in use. The attachable vertical stand also provides good support, so the system shouldn’t be knocked over too easily in the classroom.
With Windows 7 Professional 64-bit and a three-year RTB warranty, the ThinkPad Edge 71 is a decent budget option, but if you have the money one of the other systems here would make a better high-performance system.
|Warranty||3 yr return to base|
|CPU family||Intel Core i3|
|CPU nominal frequency||3.30GHz|
|Graphics card||Intel HD Graphics 2000|
|Hard disk usable capacity||465GB|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
Operating system and software
|OS family||Windows 7|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.71|