Lenovo seems set on taking HP’s crown as the world’s top-selling PC manufacturer, and it’s going the right way with value-for-money products such as the G580. See also: Group test: what's the best budget laptop?
It's an update of the popular G570, and ditches the brushed-metal effect keyboard surround for a pearlescent glossy black. The touchpad is now part of the surround, delineated only by small raised dots. It's too easy to wander off the edge and accidentally 'swipe' back in, bringing up the Charms bar instead of scrolling across a page. It's one of the most frustrating Windows 8 control systems we've used. See all laptop reviews.
The 15.6-inch screen has the bog-standard 1366x768 resolution, but it's bright and clear with typically narrow viewing angles for a non-IPS screen. The screen coating is very glossy and reflective, which can be annoying when there's bright overhead lighting.
The ‘AccuType’ keyboard is well designed, with molded keys that stand quite high and provide plenty of travel as you type, so the G580 will be a good choice for people who need to do a lot of typing for school or office work.
This G580 has a dual-core i3 processor, along with 6GB of memory and a 1TB hard disk, which are certainly good value at this price. The i3 doesn’t have Turbo Boost as found in more expensive i5 chips, but its 2.4GHz clock speed is respectable and delivered a solid score of 2614 in PCMark 7.
That level of performance will be fine for most day-to-day computing tasks, and the G580’s integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics can also stretch to a spot of casual gaming from time to time. It managed a passable 24fps when running Stalker at maximum resolution and high graphics settings, and dropping to 1280x720 and low graphics quality pushed that right up to 36.9fps.
Battery life was good but not great. Its four hours of streaming video is ok, and you can expect longer if you disable Wi-Fi, but other laptops last longer at this price. The G580 is fairly weighty at 2.4Kg, so it’s more suited to use at home or in the office rather than life on the road.