Lenovo, the go-to laptop brand for many. They never get tired of releasing new models. One of their latest, Lenovo G50-80 80E501U3US, might look tempting to many thanks to cheap(ish) price yet Core i5 level performance. But is processor everything you should notice? Definitely not. We’ll tell you more about the advantages and possibly hiccups of this computer below.
Lenovo G50-80 80E501U3US is powered by Intel Core i5-5200U. It’s a 5th generation processor, so a brand new one, with ULV (ultra-low voltage) dual-core configuration, 2.2GHz clock speed and 2.7GH turbo frequency. It’s not exactly as powerful as non-ULV Core i5s, reaching ~3500 grade in CPU Passmark tests while the other mobile i5s get 4500 and more. However, don’t think it’s a bad processor, because every i5 – ULV or not – can still tackle most programs without issues. For example, a Photoshop artist or programmer will find it sufficient for his needs. Needless to say, the same goes for casual users with web browsing and emails in mind, too.
The laptop has six GB memory. It is installed on one 4GB and one 2GB module that occupy both memory slots on the mainboard. The unit however supports up to 16GB if you want a memory boost. I wouldn’t say it’s a good idea to upgrade the RAM right off the bat though. 6GB should be more than enough for many.
Lenovo G50-80 80E501U3US doesn’t get any extra points for its storage. Sure, it’s a 500GB hard drive, which is a lot of space. But many notebooks come in the range of 750GB or even 1000GB space. Furthermore, the speed is 5400RPM, not comparable to that of solid-state drives. If you want, you can either remove the hard or optical drive and put in SSD instead. It requires some technical knowledge, but can surely be done. People said upgrading this machine is easy.
Screen and graphics
I don’t think the non-touch display of Lenovo G50-80 80E501U3US is excellent. Most likely just basic. It’s 15.6 inches in size, and enjoys a 1366×768 resolution. People have many opinions about the resolution, mine being this: If you haven’t used 1920×180 displays a lot, you’ll do fine with this lower resolution. If you’re already accustomed to Full HD, then it might be a little problem. However, also remember that getting a 1920×1080 Windows notebook for this price is very unlikely to happen.
No laptop this cheap will have dedicated graphics. So the graphics unit is integrated in this computer. It’s called Intel HD 5500, an upgraded version from HD 4000, planted in 5th generation Intel processors. To be honest, most titles are playable, but not on high settings. Fancier games, such as Battlefield 4 should get decent 30FPS with low details and resolutions. Many older titles – including MMOs like World of Warcraft and LoL – will reach double of that. With those games, you can even try upping the settings while retaining playable frame rates.
Lenovo G50-80 80E501U3US is a budget laptop, so great connectivity can’t be expected. Indeed, there are three USB ports, but just one of them is USB 3.0. I don’t think this is so big deal, but good to keep in mind if you have a lot of peripherals.
Video connectivity is alright, with HDMI and VGA outputs supporting different kinds of monitors old and new. For networking, there is a Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 port and 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN adapter available. Bluetooth 4.0 is enabled as well.
The notebook has a DVD burner, an essential thing for many. That said, I don’t personally care because files can be easily downloaded off Internet. There is also an SD/MMC card reader to transfer data from smaller memory cards.
0.3MP webcam is fixed on top of the screen. It’s not HD, just VGA resolution, but should be alright for occasional video chats on Skype.
Anything else to keep in mind?
It looks like Lenovo G50-80 80E501U3US is bit lighter than most 15.6″ laptops. The weight here is 4.62 pounds, most 15 inchers are five pounds and more. The battery is a 4-cell one featuring up to 5 hours of use. In truth, I don’t think you’ll reach five hours. Yes, there is an ULV processor and power efficient integrated graphics, but you’ll end up somewhere between 3 and 4 hours.
The notebook is not expensive enough to feature a backlit keyboard. Numeric keypad is however available on the right hand side.
Lenovo G50-80 80E501U3US has a set of strengths, like the fast Core i5 processor and 6GB RAM. Most programs, even many games, should be no stranger for this laptop. Connections are nothing fancy, but everything one should need. But there are some drawbacks too, like the 500GB mechanical hard drive. It doesn’t necessarily contribute to great user experience, and a replacement SSD will cost you money. But I think the positives outweigh the negatives: You can’t have it all in a budget laptop like this. And there’s the nice i5 processor backing you up. If you’re a home user looking for an affordable but quite powerful laptop, you might want to have a closer look at this model.