The package that the Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 presents isn't all that compact and you'll want to avoid lugging the Z580 around too far. It measures 35mm thick which is pretty chunky and weighs 2.4kg, a bit less than the Dell Inspiron 15R. More budget laptop reviews.

What the Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 lacks in slimness it makes up a little with its styling. The laptop features a sleek brushed gunmetal grey lid and keyboard surround.  

The screen bezel is a less attractive glossy black while the remainder of the device is plain black plastic.

Like many 15in laptops, Lenovo has squeezed a keyboard with a numpad onto the Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 chassis which wraps around the arrow keys. The disadvantage of making this fit is the reduced size of the enter key. The keys are comfortable to type on but are a bit noisy.

The multi-touch trackpad has a smooth finish, soft to the touch. It's a good size, partly thanks to integrated buttons and we found it to be responsive. In addition to the keyboard and trackpad are a set of five touch sensitive buttons for volume, power and recovery button.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 is priced around £799 including Windows Home Premium 64-bit. The Z580 is well made and build quality is good, thanks in part to the metal casing. 

The Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 has a moderate but not entirely exciting line-up of components. At the heart is an Intel Ivy Bridge-generation Core i7-3612QM, a 2.1GHz quad-core processor that can Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz. Joining this is a healthy 8GB of DDR3 1600MHz RAM and a 1TB SATA hard disk.

Lenovo IdeaPad Z580: Performance

In our WorldBench 6 real-world benchmark test the Lenovo Z580 scored a decent 153. This is only three points more than the Dell though, despite the Lenovo’s better processor and double the amount of RAM. 

Although there isn’t much of a performance difference in WorldBench 6, the Z580 is equipped with an nVidia GeForce GT 630M GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. This means that it's more capable in graphics tasks like gaming.

We recorded a fluent framerate of 79fps in our basic FEAR test. The performance curve continued with Crysis, with framerates of 31fps for DirectX 9 High detail and 49fps with DirectX 10 and Medium detail. Pushing the detail level to Very High dropped average framerate to an unplayable 10fps.

The LCD panel has a native size of 1366 x 768 pixels, a mediocre if common resolution for budget 15in Windows laptops. We found that, like too many laptop screens, the glossy finish was too reflective and viewing angles were poor.

Ports include VGA, HDMI, gigabit ethernet and SD card reader. There are four USB ports but only two of these are USB 3.0. Rounding things off are a Blu-ray ROM drive, webcam, Bluetooth 4.0 and 11n Wi-Fi. 

The Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 comes with a 48Wh battery which is easily removable. The laptop lasted just under six hours of use, (349 min MobileMark 2007).

Lenovo IdeaPad Z580: Specs

  • 2.1GHz Intel Core-i7-3612QM (3.1GHz Turbo), quad-core with Hyperthreading
  • nVidia GeForce GTX 630M with 2GB GDDR5 memory
  • 15.6in (1366 x 768) LCD
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 1TB hard disk, SATA 3Gbps
  • 8GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM
  • gigabit ethernet
  • BD-ROM/DVD±RW DL
  • VGA, HDMI
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4
  • stereo speakers
  • built-in mic, 3.5mm line-in
  • 3.5mm line-out
  • 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0
  • Kensington lock slot
  • SDHC card slot
  • 107 x 72mm, integrated two button, multi-touch trackpad
  • Lenovo Power DVD10, Lenovo OneKey Recovery, Cyberlink Power2Go software
  • 90W mains adaptor
  • 48Wh lithium-ion, removable battery
  • 376 x 245 x 35mm
  • 2439g
  • 2.1GHz Intel Core-i7-3612QM (3.1GHz Turbo), quad-core with Hyperthreading
  • nVidia GeForce GTX 630M with 2GB GDDR5 memory
  • 15.6in (1366 x 768) LCD
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 1TB hard disk, SATA 3Gbps
  • 8GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM
  • gigabit ethernet
  • BD-ROM/DVD±RW DL
  • VGA, HDMI
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4
  • stereo speakers
  • built-in mic, 3.5mm line-in
  • 3.5mm line-out
  • 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0
  • Kensington lock slot
  • SDHC card slot
  • 107 x 72mm, integrated two button, multi-touch trackpad
  • Lenovo Power DVD10, Lenovo OneKey Recovery, Cyberlink Power2Go software
  • 90W mains adaptor
  • 48Wh lithium-ion, removable battery
  • 376 x 245 x 35mm
  • 2439g

OUR VERDICT

The Lenovo Z580 is a stylish and reasonably well-built laptop. If you don’t want to play games or other graphically demanding duties there's less reason to spend £200 over the comparable Dell Inspiron 15R, although you do get stronger construction and Blu-ray playback.

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