Lenovo B50 (59422999) Review

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September 29, 2014
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It might be challenging to find a laptop with Windows 7 installed these days. Microsoft, for understandable reasons, is trying to push Windows 8 to each and every computer out there. No matter what they do in Redmond, there’s still group of people that will find the Microsoft’s latest confusing, incomplete or just plain strange piece of software. Those people want something they know that works. They want a Windows 7 laptop like Lenovo B50 (59422999).

So here we are with this middle range Lenovo notebook. It contains Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB DDR3 memory and 500GB hard drive. The monitor is LED backlit 15.6″ inches screen with max resolution of 1366 x 768. Graphics are handled by the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400 chip. Let’s dig a little deeper and see whether this Lenovo would be a good pick for you.

The core

Lenovo B50 (59422999) is powered by Core i3-4030U, a 2014 Intel lower range CPU model. It clocks at 1.9GHz and runs on two cores. The folks at Passmark Software have done great job with gathering processor performance data, and it too exists for this CPU. It’s not even near the Intel’s flagship i7, but most users wouldn’t anyway need that extra performance. This Core i3 will run majority of everyday software without a problem – it’s mainly hardcore gaming and heavy multitasking you’ll miss with this processor. The pre-installed Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit will be a breeze with this Core i3.

The 4 GB system memory is rather typical amount in these affordable laptops. For most it’s enough since any extra RAM would only do good for aforementioned groups of heavy gamers and especially power users of complex programs. That all being said, the laptop supports up to 16GB RAM if you feel the need to expand it.

Hard drive of Lenovo B50 (59422999) is typical 500GB running on 5400RPM. Yep, it’s not faster 7200RPM one (not even mentioning the fastest solid-state drive here). However, what you lose in lightning fast bootup times you’ll win in price. It’s cheap to install a generic 500GB HDD to a laptop. Most users will be happy with the storage it offers – around 150,000 mp3s or 500-1500 movies can be stored there. That’s assuming you don’t use a streaming service like Netflix where you don’t have to download the actual movie to your computer beforehand.

Graphics

As was briefly mentioned earlier, Lenovo B50 (59422999) contains a 15.6″ monitor. It’s not a touchscreen, although you might not want it so much for Windows 7 anyway. The resolution is unsurprisingly 1366 x 768 which doesn’t please too much those guys looking for Full HD experience. Bear in mind you can still watch videos labeled as Full HD with this laptop – the videos will just be downscaled to fit the monitor resolution. Some people see the difference in quality, some don’t. And many don’t care.

The graphics card (or should I say chip) comes within the the processor. It’s the integrated unit Intel HD Graphics 4400 that’s responsible for bringing you some eye candy in games. Too bad the chip can’t handle so much eye candy – else it wouldn’t be called an integrated graphics chip. You will find games like Assassin’s Creed IV, Battlefield 4 and Crysis 3 have poor to mediocre FPS with this laptop. On the other hand, titles like Tomb Raider, Fifa 14 and World of Warcraft run with excellent FPS if you can reduce the resolution and settings a bit.

Connections

Lenovo B50 (59422999) has both WiFi and Ethernet for Internet connectivity. The LAN adapter is actually Gigabit Ethernet so you’ll experience very fast transfed speeds in your local network if your cables and routers are up for it. The WLAN adapter is a 802.11b/g/n one and also support for Bluetooth 4.0 is present.

USB ports are on the fewer side, totaling at three. 2 USB 3.0 ports and 1 USB 2.0 are installed in this Lenovo. The video ports include both VGA and HDMI. Headphone/mic jack is on the side panel.

Other things to consider

The laptop weights 5.12lbs which is about the average in notebooks with a similar monitor size and price tag. The 4-cell battery gives up to 5 hours of life for this computer which is perhaps bit over average. That being said, you will probably not reach the advertised 5 hours because that’s tested in positions very favorable for the tester (= the manufacturer).

Lenovo B50 (59422999) has a DVD burner. So you don’t have to buy an external one, yey. Webcam is also included for convenient online video meetings.

The keyboard features a 10-key numeric pad on the right hand side. It gives you a fast access to number keys (duh), but on the other hand might be on your way. I personally don’t mind absence of a numeric pad in laptops, but your mileage may vary.

So Is Lenovo B50 (59422999) Recommended?

Sure, if you are a home user with a need to access Internet, write emails and watch YouTube. Sure, if you are an occasional gamer who doesn’t mind turning the eye candy and resolution to minimum on the older games he plays. Sure, if you are a student and looking for a well-rounded laptop to aid you in the world of studies.

Conversely, I wouldn’t recommend this Lenovo for avid gamers or power users. The specs are just too slow for that. Especially the Intel HD 4400 chip would become a huge bottleneck for a true gamer. But that must not be a surprise – after all, you can’t get everything with such an affordable laptop. So if you are not after absolute performance, but rather a good all-around laptop from a reputable manufacturer, you might as well give this Lenovo a try.


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