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A Lenovo Edge was my first laptop purchase as a 3rd year university student earlier this year (previous laptops were hand-me-downs). My existing IBM T60 died 6 weeks before my final exams and I needed a new laptop on a budget.
I chose the Edge because I was looking for portability & battery life over performance or graphics. I don't (and neither would my Edge) play computer games or edit videos or anything, but browse the internet lots and often take my laptop to the library, coffee shops, friends' flats etc.
I love the i3 low-voltage processor in my Edge as it yields a battery life of up to 7 hours that I've achieved with Word, Chrome & WMP being used. It is so liberating to just slip my laptop into a small satchel with a couple of notebooks and go to the library for nearly a whole working day, without having to bother with the charger cable. The computer is also pretty light and at 13" is, for me, the best half-way point between portability and usability. The webcam is excellent and I can't fault it or the mic based on my experiences.
Another reason why I bought this laptop is because as a student, at home, and at work I do write a lot on the computers I use and I wanted a good keyboard. Online I read rave reviews about the new 'island' style keyboard on the Edge and decided to go for it thanks to good experiences with previous IBM keyboards. Personally the keyboard is more impressive than the battery life on this laptop; it is near-perfect and the only fault I can find is that it takes a bit of getting used to the Function key being in the bottom-left, taking the Control key's usual spot and shoving it sideways. Although this is more useful for this laptop (As the Function key is needed to use the F1-12 keys) it does need getting used to. Finally, I also like to use the 'nipple' trackpoint in the centre of the keyboard (without being in the way) and the Page Up/Down keys that are right next to the directional buttons - its so much more intuitive and useful for internet and document browsing than their usual keyboard spots.
If there are any downsides, it is only that the screen bezel is slightly big and I wish the screen could take up more of the bezel. Also it looks slightly like a tea-tray when the lid is closed because of the otherwise-smart strip of silver around the side of the unit. Personally I don't find the lack of a CD/DVD drive to be a downside as I don't use them and haven't done for many months. For the record, a Windows re-install USB stick is provided in replacement for the standard CD.
My advice for students is to buy this laptop over others in the price range such as Acer, Dell or HP as it carries greater reliability and quality over these brands and is a better thought-out computer with better features. I would recommend the matte screen rather than the glossy screen though as it is easier to read, and upgrading the RAM if you buy direct from Lenovo - I don't use processor-intensive programs but often have many programs open at a time.