Lenovo G50 (80E501B2US) Review

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February 18, 2015
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So you want a notebook of real performance? Yeah, you have hundreds of options to choose from. Let me present you one idea: Lenovo G50 (80E501B2US), a true laptop powerhouse with its Core i7 processor and tons of hard drive space. The price tag is of course appropriate to its performance, so the question is: is the notebook worth your money? Below is my take on this matter.

Performance

There’s a Intel Core i7-5500U processor installed in Lenovo G50 (80E501B2US). It’s not only one of the Intel’s flagship i7 series, but also a new flagship: it belongs to the 5th generation of their processors, having been released in the beginning of 2015. It’s a dual core CPU with base clock speed of 2.4GHz. With turbo frequency, the clock speed increase to 3GHz. The processor does a better job than most Core i5 models, so using this one for demanding software should be a walk in the park.

The installed RAM is eight gigabytes, suggesting a power user friendly configuration. There are two memory slots on the mainboard in total. The maximum memory supported is 16GB, however I don’t think many people need to go above the default 8GB.

Size of the hard drive is impressive 1024GB. That’s a full terabyte, storing easily all of the games, photos and videos you’ll ever have. A less glamorous side is the revolutions per minute rate: at 5400RPM, you can’t expect very fast boot up and program loading times. This can be fixed with replacing the hard drive for an SSD, although then you’ll lose the large storage space.

The operating system is a pre-installed Windows 8.1 (64-bit).

Display and graphics

A basic 15.6″ display is offered. It’s not a touchscreen or Full HD, so you’ll have to go with the 1366×768 resolution. For the money it’s bit of a bummer since some displays for this price feature a Full HD setup.

Intel HD 5500 is a new integrated graphics chip found in the 5th generation Intel processors. Lenovo G50 (80E501B2US) has one, and early benchmark tests show the HD 5500 has better performance than HD 4400 but slower than HD 4600. As such, high settings and FPS can only be expected on older games like Minecraft and League of Legends. If you’re into new games, you might get away with decent frame rates but only on low settings: for example, Battlefield 4 should get ~30 FPS and Watch Dogs around 20.

Connections

Lenovo G50 (80E501B2US) contains three USB ports, an average amount for a 15.6 incher. One is USB 3.0 so choose your favorite peripheral carefully. The rest two are USB 2.0 and at least in theory much slower than the version number three.

Many people like to use some other display than the laptop’s own little screen. On this model that is possible, since there are VGA and HDMI outs available.

Getting Internet access is effortless: there’s a Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 if you prefer wired, or a dual-band WiFi adapter if wireless is your cup of tea. The WiFi card also supports Bluetooth 4.0 which is good news for mobile device owners.

An optical drive with DVD burning capabilities is installed. So is a media card reader for SD and MMC formats.

Of course, there’s a microphone and webcam installed on this Lenovo. It’s only a VGA camera (0.3MP), but should suffice for occasional video chats.

Other noteworthy things

For on-the-go computing, Lenovo G50 (80E501B2US) might work fine. It weighs 4.62 pounds, considerably less than most similarly sized laptops with 5+ pounds weight. For the battery, you’ll get a basic 4-cell 2200 mAh one, so reaching more than 4 hours with a single charge is unlikely to happen.

For this price one could expect a backlit keyboard. But sadly, there’s just a regular one. However, a 10-key pad is available on the keyboard, allowing frequent access for the number keys.

Summary

Lenovo G50 (80E501B2US) is a laptop with newly released CPU and graphics engine which are seen as premium, hence the price is increased. The performance itself is good, and even the neediest users should be happy with the Core i7 processor and eight gigabytes of RAM. But performance alone isn’t a sufficient criteria, and in some other aspects this notebook is lacking a bit. For example, there’s no Full HD display or backlit keyboard which, for the money, might be justified features to include. The price is indeed not very affordable, but in any case if you opt for this Lenovo you’ll get a solid and powerful notebook to play with.


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