Top positive review
140 people found this helpful
Capable Laptop / Budget-Friendly Price
on May 20, 2014
Let me quickly list the features:
CPU: Intel 4200M @ 2.5 GHz
GPU: Intel HD Graphics 4600
RAM: 6GB DDR3 @ 1600MHz. Only 2 of 4 slots used.
HD: 1TB @ 5400 RPM
SCREEN: 15.6" touch screen @ 1366x768, glossy finish. I think it is a TN panel, not the best viewing angles. Definitely not IPS.
PORTS: 2 usb 3.0; 1 usb 2.0; full-sized HDMI; RJ-45 Ethernet Port; VGA port; 3.5mm headphone jack; multi-card reader
WIFI: 802.11 a/b/g/n (no ac support)
Optical Drive: Matsushita DVD-RW drive. Windows device manager shows DVD-RAM.
The Setup. When you first turn the computer on, you will have to go through the traditional Windows initial set up process. Although some bloatware is included, most are just url shortcuts that can easily be added to the recycle bin. Some of Metro apps are also included which I swiftly deleted by right clicking. The major portion of the bloatware is the Lenovo software package. I kept a couple of the applications, but uninstalled the rest. The lenovo applications are designed to facilitate the maintenance of your machine. A GUI interface is included for updating drivers and windows. I think it could be useful to many a user, but I went ahead and deleted it. It does come with McAfee pre-installed, but it is only a trial version. I personally use other suites for protecting my computer, so I went ahead and deleted this, as well. It also comes with a link for activating MS Office, also requiring a subscription or payment.
Not all the applications are useless, I did keep the Lenovo PowerDVD10, a rebranded Cyberlink program. It's a mobile versino of the program, and not the full pro version. But considering this laptop only comes with a DVD player, I decided to keep it. I guess I could use VLC instead, but I like the GUI of an actual DVD player. It's free, so no harm keeping it.
Now please note, this laptop does not come with the newest version of Windows 8.1. It does not come with the newest service pack (I know MS isn't calling it a service pack). You have to update your machine to the newest service pack. This is actually quite time consuming, so anticipate having to go through this process before using your computer. Trust me, it's worth it.
The overall look of the laptop is nice. Although it is made of almost entirely plastic, the finish does a good job of simulating brushed aluminum. It is a 15" laptop, so this is not an ultrabook by any means, but considering the screen size, this is a a relatively slim laptop. The lid of the laptop is a tiny bit thicker than normal, but I would think that is due to the additional touch layer.
The monitor is decent, not great. Because it is a reflective TN panel, the viewing angles are rather finicky, especially vertically. Definitely not a cutting-edge, matte-finish, greater than HD panel. This panel is more akin to the panels we've had about 2-5 years ago. At 1366x768, or just above 720p resolutions, it's not bad. Colors are decent, and offer a decent level of contrast. Overall, the screen itself is meh. The touchscreen aspect, though, is very responsive and accurate. There is a slight imprint/comet trail that appears when you touch the screen--which appears to a way to provide visual feedback to the user. My fat finger hides most of it, but it's a nice little touch, no pun intended. There doesn't appear to be any liquid layer displacement. I personally don't use the touch screen very much, but it is a nice feature to have, especially in Metro.
The keyboards are of the chiclet variety. It does come with the ten-key numberpad--15.6" form factors generally do. Not much to say, here, I think we are pretty familiar with chiclet keys now. The touchpad is multi-touch. So you can use two finger tap for right click. You can two finger swipe to scroll. Once again, no complaints here. The touchpad is made of a nice frictionless material and it is nice and roomy. It does have two physical buttons for left and right clicking.
Although it does have the newest Haswell chips, battery life isn't spectacular. On power saver mode, you can get almost 5 hours on light browsing. In balanced mode, you are more likely to get around 2.5 hours. The problem here isn't the CPU, it's the battery. This laptop comes with a rather small battery--2800mAh. That's about the same as my Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
This is a really solid laptop at this price range. Lenovo definitely had to cut some corners to come in at this price point, but if you want a cheap 15.6" laptop, then this is a decent option. For an entry-level machine, this laptop is very attractive, sturdy and performs well. The only two gigs are the TN reflective display and the small battery. If they switched to IPS and provided a larger battery, this would definitely be a 5-star product.