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Lenovo ThinkPad B560 review

Few flaws and strong performance

Our Verdict

Product features

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

View full specification

For

  • Good performance
  • Build quality
  • Portability

Against

  • Battery life
  • Graphics power

While Lenovo's ThinkPad range usually appeals to business users, its cut-price ThinkPad B560 is a well-built machine that should suit anyone after a cheap portable. It'll suit regular travellers and commuters too, despite a less-than-impressive battery life.

At a glance, it's obvious that this is a ThinkPad. Lenovo's trademark plain-black design is used throughout, from the solid lid to the interior. The body is textured and does a great job repelling dust and fingerprints, even if it's not very exciting.

The chassis is just 34mm at its thickest point, making it perfect for slipping into a bag. It's also light enough to carry around with ease, so anyone who needs a portable for working or staying in touch on the go will be well served.

However, the battery only lasted 134 minutes when we watched a film, a poor effort that was beaten by many other laptops around this price. You'll get longer life when doing simpler tasks, such as browsing the web. However, still pack your charger on trips.

One feature we were surprised to see is the fingerprint scanner, a security feature usually found on more expensive business machines.

The 802.11n Wi-Fi support allows fast wireless web browsing.

Ample storage

There's also an eSATA port for connecting external hard drives for speedy data transfer. You already get 320GB of built-in storage, enough space for thousands of photos and songs and only the Samsung RV510-A08UK has more. However, connecting an external drive is useful if you want to back up your important files.

We enjoy using Lenovo's firm and comfortable keyboards, which are perfectly sized with bevelled keys. Our only complaint is that the Function and Ctrl keys have been swapped around, and we were constantly hitting the wrong one. This is only an issue if you use Windows shortcuts, however.

A back-up shortcut key above the keyboard allows you to copy your important files instantly.

If you enjoy browsing your photos or kicking back occasionally with a film, you'll love the Lenovo's vibrant 15.6-inch display. It's not as sharp as the HP's compact screen, but the glossy coating brings images to life.

The built-in speakers do their job, but don't have much power even on top volume, so you'll want to use a pair of headphones or a separate pair of external speakers when listening to music or enjoying a movie.

Multimedia power is limited as the Lenovo uses basic integrated graphics. Gaming is impossible with all but the oldest titles, but you can still play around with your photos and even high-definition (HD) video streamed impressively well.

We were impressed by the resilience of the Intel Pentium processor, which performed well in our benchmark tests. You can listen to music while working on your office applications or browsing the web and you'll experience no slowdown, while software loads quickly. Only the Acer Aspire 5742 and Asus X52F-EX894V offer better performance for this kind of money.

Tech Labs

Tech labs

Battery Eater '05: 136 minutes
Cinebench: 5680
3DMark 2006: 3792

For this price, the ThinkPad B560 is a steal. Impressive power and satisfying usability, as well as the solid and portable body, make this a great laptop for use at home and on the road.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyEssential G560
Processor ModelP6100
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameLenovo
Processor Speed2 GHz
Processor TypePentium
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory3 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.60 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Optical Media SupportedDVD±R/±RW
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height34.9 mm
Width377 mm
Depth250 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesG560
ManufacturerLenovo Group Limited
Product ModelM488EUK
Product NameEssential G560 M488EUK Notebook PC
Product LineEssential
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberM488EUK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lenovo.com/uk/en/
Marketing InformationThe Lenovo G560 notebook helps you take on multiple, mega-sized tasks and complete them quickly and efficiently, giving you more free time. The Lenovo G560 comes with technologies and features designed to make things easier, including the smart, adaptable performance of the new 2010 Intel Core i5 processor with Intel Turbo Boost Technology and OneKey Rescue System for easy data backup and recovery.
Maximum Memory8 GB
Package Contents
  • Essential G560 M488EUK Notebook PC
  • Standard Battery
  • AC Adapter