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Lenovo G550 review

Will Stapley
11 Nov 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
519
inc VAT

With a fast processor and good all-round specification, the G550 is a well-built laptop and is reasonably priced

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We reviewed a version of Lenovo's G550 last month (Labs, Shopper 262), but that was the entry-level model and was quite slow.

This month, we've got a higher-end model. The main difference, aside from the price increase, is that the base specification is a lot higher, making this a more powerful computer.

The 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo T6500 and 4GB of RAM are a powerful combination, and the G550 did extremely well in all our benchmarks, achieving an overall score of 62. Rather than Intel dedicated graphics, there's an Nvidia GeForce G 105M graphics chip. This managed only 9.4fps in our Call of Duty 4 test, which isn't much of an improvement over integrated graphics. However, it should provide enough power for older strategy games.

The 320GB hard disk provides plenty of storage space, and is a welcome improvement from the previous model's 250GB disk.

All this power comes at a price, though. While the previous G550 managed just over four hours in our battery test, this model lasted just three hours and 20 minutes. This is fine for use around the home, but a bit short for travel and poor compared to other budget laptops.

While the improvements are welcome, there are still some problems. For starters, the keyboard isn't the same quality as those found on more expensive Lenovo laptops, and we found the keys a little spongy. There's a thin numerical keypad squeezed in, but it's so small that it's difficult to use comfortably. We'd have preferred the space to be used for a better keyboard. The touchpad could do with a textured surface to make using it more comfortable and accurate.

As with the previous model we reviewed, the built-in webcam can be used with the VeriFace biometric software. This is supposed to unlock your computer when your face is recognised, but can be fooled by a photograph.

The G550 is a decent laptop with a high specification for the price, but the screen's poor viewing angles detract from it and mean that this model misses out on an award. Asus's K50IJ is a better choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T6500
Processor clock speed2.1GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size41x380x244
Weight2.6kg
SoundConexant HD SmartAudio 221
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption idle19W
Power consumption active35W

Display

Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorNvidia GeForce G 105M
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory512MB

Storage

Total storage capacity320GB
Optical drive modelOptiarc AD-7580S
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL DVD-RAM

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11a/n
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/34
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, xD
Other portsnone

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedLenovo ReadyComm 4
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£519
Detailswww.lenovo.co.uk

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