Lenovo crafted the Lenovo G550 15.6-inch notebook to offer business professionals reliable, affordable and straightforward PC technology. The new notebook expands upon this value bringing users extra features, like style and design, making it ideal for personal computing too. The redesigned, thinner and lighter G Series notebooks feature choices of either a hairline-like silver finish or a smooth and glossy slate-colored finish.
Lenovo is known for producing value for money notebooks and G Series notebooks from them won people’s acclaim for that. The budget minded mainstream notebook packs a decent sized 15.6 inch display, Intel Pentium Dual Core Processor and 3 GB DDR3 RAM for a standard configuration. The price of around $500 may seem netbookish but the display size and performance is no nonsense. Let us take a closer look at the notebook to find out if they have omitted anything important to cut down the price.
The design of the G550 has changed slightly from the G530, switching from a smooth matte exterior finish, to a black weave pattern. The new cover is every bit as strong as the last one, preventing any screen distortion even if you hit or flex the back of the screen. The interior of the notebook shares the same color as the lid, but is textured with a rougher matte finish similar to what you would find on unpainted sections of a ThinkPad. Lenovo took the back-to-basics route with the color scheme on this notebook, making it entirely black inside and out.
The screen of this workhorse measures 15.6” across. It presents a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. The graphics processor employed in this cheap laptop is the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD. High definition audio is also offered.
The speakers are located on the front edge of the palmrest and sound more than adequate for playing music or watching streaming video. Sound quality isn’t the best compared to other notebooks of this size with a tinny sound that lacks bass. Headphones would be a good accessory for this notebook.
Lenovo continues they excellent keyboard design with the G550 using a design that is very similar to their more expensive ThinkPad lineup. With the added space of the larger screen, Lenovo has manage to also include a numeric keypad although they did have to shrink the size of some of the keys to do so. They were smart in placing the trackpad directly in the center of the space bar to be more natural.
Performance at least showed the Lenovo in a more favourable light. The 2.2GHz dual-core processor is enough to push the G550 past the finish line with 1.10 overall in our application benchmarks and, on the graphics front, the Nvidia GeForce G210M chip powers to a respectable 36fps in our easiest Crysis benchmark.
We do not expect thumping bass from a budget notebook like this and it turned to be exactly matching our expectation. There was no bass at all but the overall sound is good enough to conduct a webchat.
Playing music on the device sounded a bit tiny and a good pair of headphones is recommended as is always.
Thermal performance of the G550 is very good thanks to the large chassis, slower processor, and integrated graphics. Under stress the system controlled temperatures very well, and under normal loads the bottom of the notebook and palmrests stayed cool to the touch. Fan noise was minimal, with it staying off under light system loads, and going just above a whisper under intensive use. The one hotspot that stood out on the G550 was the panel beneath the hard drive that warmed up considerably if you were stressing the disk.
Lenovo Value line G550 Specifications:
– Intel Pentium Dual-Core T4200 (2.00GHz, 1MB L2 cache, 800MHz FSB)
– Microsoft Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium (w/ SP1)
– 15.6-inch glossy 16:9 display (1366×768)
– Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
– 3GB DDR3 1066MHz RAM
– 250GB Western Digital 5400RPM HDD
– SuperMulti DVD+/-RW Optical Drive
– Broadcom WiFi (802.11b/g), 10/100 Ethernet, Modem
– 6-Cell 11.1V 48WHr Battery
– Limited 1-year standard parts and labor warranty
– Dimensions: LxWxH, 14.9 x 9.6 x 1.4″
– Weight: 5lbs 9.0oz
– Price as configured: $549