It's been a while since we last reviewed a portable system from Lenovo. You might recall, their IdeaPad S10 was our top pick in the netbook round-up we published over a year ago for delivering the most solid package between the keyboard, screen and build quality.

The ThinkPad Edge notebook that we'll be looking at today is part of an all-new series from Lenovo announced early this year at CES. The ThinkPad Edge blends some of the things we liked on the IdeaPad with the power and legacy of ThinkPads.

Aimed at style- and budget-conscious business users, this system features some firsts from Lenovo, like a new keyboard layout and a low entry price for ThinkPads at just $579. We received the Midnight Black Gloss model that you can see below, but the Edge also comes in Midnight Black Smooth (matte) and Heatwave Red Gloss. Once again, a departure from the spartan looks usually used on ThinkPads.

Entry level models come equipped with AMD Athlon Neo X2 processors, which can be upgraded to an Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 processor. Our review unit uses the Intel CPU operating at 1.3 GHz along with an Intel GS45 chipset and 4500MHD integrated graphics. There's also 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 320GB hard drive spinning at 7200 RPM, Intel Centrino Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250 wireless, and a 13.3-inch LCD panel featuring a 1366 x 768 resolution.

That's the same resolution supported by the MSI X-Slim X340 we recently reviewed. The ThinkPad Edge is also clocked slightly slower than the aforementioned X340 and the Acer Timeline 4810T, however those two systems were Core 2 Solo systems, whereas the ThinkPad Edge is working with a dual-core part which should result in a nice performance edge -- no pun intended.

Lenovo lists the ThinkPad Edge dimensions as 332 mm x 228 mm x 17-31.3 mm (13.07" x 8.98" x 0.67-1.23") with an approximate weight of 3.6 pounds when using a 4-cell battery, or 4.5 pounds with the 6-cell battery option. Lenovo sums up the look and feel of Edge in two words: sophisticated simplicity. Read on as we explore its features inside and out.