The new 5th generation Intel processors have found their way to many recent laptop releases. One of those is Lenovo G50 (80E501B4US), a 15.6″ notebook with Core i5 processor and pre-installed Windows 8.1. This kind of computers are usually good for people who appreciate better performance than a typical, Celeron-based starter laptop can offer. So, shall we have a closer look at this new Lenovo? Yep!
Lenovo G50 (80E501B4US) has one of the latest Intel processors, probably the most popular model Core i5-5200U. Its clock speed (up to 2.7GHz with turbo) and core amount of two are nothing spectacular, but in performance tests this model gets better score than an average, older i5s do. Frankly, it would be alarming if it did worse than its predecessors. The i5-5200U should have no problems running most programs, be it lightweight web surfing or something heavier, like occasional image editing applications.
6GB RAM is installed on this Lenovo, a happy amount between 4GB and 8GB. Two memory slots are found on the mainboard which means the laptop supports 16GB RAM. But my advice is: go with the default and only expand if the memory becomes bottleneck.
A terabyte hard drive is installed, good if you have a large collection of homeless files looking for a new, spacious home. Large storage you will indeed get, 1024GB can theoretically hold around two hundred full DVD movies. But big is usually slow: the drive runs at a mere 5400RPM which doesn’t do any good for start up times. If you want faster user experience you can always take out the hard drive and put an SSD in.
Display and graphics
Nothing good or bad can be said about the screen of Lenovo G50 (80E501B4US). The size is 15.6 inches, the most common diagonal for laptops. In addition, the 1366×768 resolution is a common one – but not the best. Full HD display would be nice especially for entertainment activities, although it’s not often found in this price category. For all but the pickiest users this screen should suffice.
The Intel HD Graphics 5500 engine will be adequate for many games. In benchmarks, it beats the HD 4400, although is second to the old flagship HD 4600. You can expect first person shooters like Battlefield 4 reach +30 frames on the lowest settings. Many like to play lighter games like Minecraft, for which the FPS will be considerably better. The same goes for most older titles, League of Legends and Diablo 3 to name couple.
There is not much variation in the ports of mid-range laptops. Lenovo G50 (80E501B4US) contains the usual three USB ports. One of those is USB 3.0. For video, there are HDMI and VGA outs, so connecting different kinds of external monitors without an adapter or special cable is possible.
Internet connectivity is solid thanks to Gigabit Ethernet and excellent dual-band 802.11ac WiFi adapter. Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported so you don’t have to use awkward USB gadgets for that.
DVD±RW drive is installed, so you can create DVDs and CDs on this machine. For media cards, there’s an SD & MMC memory card reader.
A VGA webcam is available, so no outstanding quality, but it should work fine for now and then video chatting.
What else to keep in mind?
Lenovo G50 (80E501B4US) has an excellent weight, just 4.62 pounds, less than most competitors. The 4-cell battery will work for three or four hours on a single charge.
The keyboard is non-backlit. There’s a numeric keypad installed in it, good news if you’re used to such a pad and like to type numbers through it.
Summing it up
The best side of Lenovo G50 (80E501B4US) is fast Core i5 processor of the new Intel 5th generation line. Coupled with solid 6GB RAM and 1024GB hard drive this laptop should offer much for power users as well. For gamers it can work, but you won’t be able to run most games with full eye candy. Some premium features such as dual-band WiFi are available, although the most important one, the Full HD screen, is missing. To get that you’d have to pay more. All in all, for the money I’d say this Lenovo is a decent choice.