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Lenovo G560 review

A fantastic machine with excellent usability, even if the battery life is average

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Decent performance
  • Good usability
  • Good screen
  • Build quality

Against

  • No HDMI
  • Stingy storage
  • Battery life

Lenovo has hit the mark once again with its excellent G560. Boasting impressive usability and performance, this is one of the best laptops we've seen at this price point, and its few small quirks don't detract from an excellent overall user experience.

This laptop is such a success because it gets the basics right. The keyboard is fantastic, providing a crisp and firm action that will suit those that need a computer for typing essays or reports, or inputting data. It's just a shame that the Control (Ctrl) key has been indented one space and replaced by the Function (Fn) key, although we found we eventually got used to this.

A dedicated numeric keypad has been included, but it's a little cramped due to the large keys employed in the main keyboard. Similarly, the directional keys are very close together and those with large fingers might struggle at first.

The 15.6-inch screen is beaten by the MSI CR620-643uk, but that's only due to the latter's excellence. This display is still impressive, providing a great deal of detail thanks to the 1366 x 768-pixel resolution, and both colour vibrancy and brightness are excellent. If you want your photos and movies to look their best, then the G560 does a more than competent job.

Solid chassis

The machine's chassis is built from black plastic and there's virtually no flexibility in the panels, so the laptop will survive a bit of rough treatment on road. A cross-hatch pattern – similar to that used on the Acer but finer – has been implemented, though it's still quite a dull laptop to look at.

The machine is powered by a Core i3 350M processor, from one of Intel's latest generation of chips. Performance is almost identical to that of the MSI, but miles ahead of the Acer and Dell. This allows you to run even resource intensive applications such as photo editing software with little problem, as well as everyday programs.

Lenovo g560

The integrated Intel GMA HD graphics card is also suitably powerful, so you can stream HD movies via the internet and even carry out some basic video editing; perfect for all you wannabe James Cameron's out there.

Benchmarks

Battery life: 201 minutes
MobileMark 2007: 222
3DMark 2003: 3496

Features include Lenovo's VeriFace software, which uses the webcam to recognise your face and let you access the laptop – great for the security conscious.

The 250GB of storage is a little stingy, though, and the lack of an HDMI port for hooking up to an external HDTV or monitor is a shame.

Similarly, the 201-minute battery life will be constricting for those who spend a lot of time on the road.

Ultimately, though, these issues don't ruin what is a fantastic overall computing experience, and the usability and power on offer here make the Lenovo G560 a worthy Gold award winner.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelGMA 4500M
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Maximum Battery Run Time3.80 Hour
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyEssential G550
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor ModelT4500
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameLenovo
Processor Speed2.30 GHz
Processor TypePentium
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.70 kg
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, RoHS
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelGL40 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedDVD±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyVibrantView
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height36.2 mm
Width381 mm
Depth245 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesG550
ManufacturerLenovo Group Limited
Product Model2958XDG
Product NameEssential G550 2958XDG Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineEssential
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNTDXDUK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lenovo.com/uk/en/
Marketing InformationSelect G Series models let you enjoy high-definition, widescreen movies without the black horizontal bars thanks to a 16:9 format. Plus LED backlight technology is thinner, lighter and minimizes energy consumption.
Maximum Memory4 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Essential G550 2958XDG Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year
Bus Speed800 MHz