Lenovo Ideapad Z585 review

We appreciated the gaming power and excellent keyboard of this laptop, but competition is stiff at this price

15 May 2013
Our Rating 
4/5
Price when reviewed 
399
inc VAT

Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.7kg, 1.9GHz AMD A8-4500M, 8.00GB RAM, 1,024GB disk, Windows 8

The Lenovo Ideapad Z585 has the same chassis as the Z580, which we found was a seriously impressive laptop when we reviewed it last year. Unfortunately, this means that the Z585 has the same somewhat insensitive touchpad - we're not fans of its integrated buttons, either, which again seemed unresponsive at times.

Lenovo Ideapad Z585

By contrast, the keyboard is fantastic. Although the keys are spaced widely apart, it's a slight departure from the standard, very flat, Chiclet-style affair found on most laptops. The slightly curved keys are deeper and more responsive than most, and we found this kind of layout easy for touch-typing. There's a skinny numeric keypad on the right of the keyboard, which means the spacebar and touchpad are offset towards the left-hand edge of the laptop. There's still enough room on the wrist rest for your hands to be comfortable, although it may worry those with bear paws. The touchpad is slightly recessed and we never found ourselves knocking it accidentally, so our text cursor stayed where we last put it.

Lenovo Ideapad Z585

The Z585's 15.6in 1,366x768 display is bright and comfortable to view over extended periods, but it's very glossy, and so prone to reflections under bright light and especially when showing a dark screen. Colours are vivid, without any unwanted tints, but some uneven backlight distribution meant that the bottom edge of the screen tended to look brighter than other areas.

The laptop has a 1.9GHz AMD A8-4500M processor, making it somewhat unusual among the glut of laptops powered by Intel processors that we seem to see so much at the moment. Our experience of AMD's recent mobile processors is that they excel in games but are less impressive in 2D productivity applications, and this is the case with the Z585's chip. Although it's a quad-core processor and the system has 8GB of RAM, its performance in our benchmarks was middling. It got an overall score of 35 in our application benchmarks, which is in a similar league to a dual-core Intel Core i3-3217U.

The laptop's graphics are provided by the processor's on-chip AMD Radeon 7640G GPU, which is good enough in games to achieve a frame rate of 27.6fps in our 1,280x720 Dirt Showdown test at High quality, and a smooth 32fps at medium quality. This is a definite improvement on the graphics capabilities of even more powerful Intel processors, and is up there with some dedicated graphics chipsets such as the Radeon HD 7670M in the Dell Inspiron 17.

Lenovo Ideapad Z585

The laptop has four USB ports, including two USB3 ports, which means it's better equipped for connecting external peripherals and super-fast storage than most. It has VGA and HDMI outputs for connecting external displays and 3.5mm mic and headphone ports. Unusually, the laptop only has a 10/100 Ethernet port, so it won’t benefit from being connected to a Gigabit router. As you’d expect, it also has 802.11n Wi-Fi.

The laptop's integrated speaker is better than most, with plenty of volume and a surprisingly clear sound. There's both an SDXC card reader and DVD-RW drive and the hard disk is a 1TB model - that's huge for a laptop, particularly at this price, and you'll really struggle to fill it. Battery life of just over six hours is reasonable but nothing special in a modern laptop.

Although we're not fans of the Z585's touchpad and we expect our laptops to have Gigabit Ethernet nowadays, these drawbacks certainly aren't enough to put us off this laptop. It's not very sleek, but it's still a capable little notebook with enough processor power for desktop users and more gaming oomph that you'll usually see at this price. However there’s a great deal of competition when it comes to £400 laptops, of which our favourite is the Dell Inspiron 15. It’s not at good at gaming, but it’s a fair bit more powerful than Lenovo's laptop in desktop applications, making it a better buy if you're not into your games.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor AMD A8-4500M
Processor clock speed 1.9GHz
Memory 8.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 8GB
Size 30x378x252mm
Weight 2.7kg
Sound Realtek HD Audio
Pointing device touchpad

Display

Viewable size 15.6 in
Native resolution 1,366x768
Graphics Processor AMD Radeon HD 7640G
Graphics/video ports HDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory 128MB

Storage

Total storage capacity 1,024GB
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 4
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11n
PC Card slots none
Supported memory cards SDXC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
Other ports 3.5mm headphone port, 3.5mm mic port

Miscellaneous

Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 8
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included none
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £399
Details www.lenovo.co.uk
Supplier http://www.box.co.uk

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