Lenovo crafted the Lenovo G550 15.6-inch laptop to offer business professionals reliable, affordable and straightforward PC technology. The new laptop 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 laptops feature choices of either a hairline-like silver finish or a smooth and glossy slate-colored finish.
While the G550 uses a plastic exterior, Lenovo has done an excellent job with the texturing of the material and color so that it hides any smudges and fingerprints compared to the glossy designs of many other companies. Even though it uses a plastic shell, it feels very solid with very little flex in the screen or keyboard.
The 15.6″ LCD is average compared to most 15-16″ notebooks, with bright and vibrant colors and decent viewing angles. The G550’s big change is the transition away from the 16:10 screen size to the wider (but shorter) 16:9 panels. The screen offers a glossy surface, which helps improve colors and contrast at the cost of added reflections and glare. Compared to “frameless” displays the reflections were tolerable as long as you were not outside under direct sunlight. Screen brightness was adequate for viewing in bright office conditions, but might not cut it outside unless it is an overcast day. Vertical viewing angles were adequate with a broad viewing sweet spot measuring 30 degrees forward or back before colors started to wash out or invert. Horizontal view angles were much better, showing minimal color distortion at steep angles.
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.
The Intel Pentium Dual-Core T4200 processor handles the main processing. The clock speed of this processor is 2GHz. There is a 3GB DDR2 RAM housed in this device. The hard drive has a 250GB capacity. A DVD read/write drive is also fitted into this laptop. The operating system that comes pre-loaded is the Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium edition.
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.
Since this workstation supports both WiFi and wired Ethernet, you can surf the net using either of them. On board the device are 3 USB ports, an ExpressCard slot, the audio (headphone and microphone) jacks, a Kensington lock, a VGA port and the Ethernet connector. There is a 5-in-1 card reader that supports SD, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMediaCard, xD-Picture cards. Even a 0.3 Megapixel camera is integrated into this laptop.
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.
The Lenovo G550 is a solid budget notebook with decent performance. If you can withstand with the unresponsive touchpad and don’t need more port than what it has, it is recommended for those who are looking for a mainstream computer on budget.