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on 8 April 2013
Lenovo was not my initial choice of manufacturer but that was based on lack of knowledge rather than anything else. I wanted an i5 processor, 6 GB RAM, 1TB hard disc, reasonable graphics and sound and ideally a backlit keyboard. Screen quality was not a priority as I plan to use a separate screen. All at the best possible price.

The Lenovo Z500 was what emerged from my search and it was well reviewed. The backlit keyboard was the final decisive factor.
Researching Lenovo, it is much bigger than I had realised, and (against industry trends to outsource) is making strides to keep much manufacturing in-house to get better consistency and quality. After a week, I am very happy with my choice. The machine is well made, runs quickly and quietly, and Windows 8 is much faster than Windows 7.

I noted some issues from other reviews - that the screen brightness was not easy to adjust, likewise the backlit screen was hard to operate. And I noted many comments on Windows 8 from many sources.

Screen brightness is easy to adjust - function key F11 increases it, F12 decreases it. Function and spacebar (together) toggle the backlit keyboard.

Windows 8 - update nightmare seems to be shared by many. Try removing "Nalpeiron Licensing Services" - check this on Google to find out more. I installed Start 8 to make Windows 8 look like Windows 7. It seems to work well.

The laptop itself seems excellent for the price.
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on 7 April 2013
Firstly, I just want to say that - purely as a piece of hardware - the Lenovo Z500 is very impressive, for the price.

The machine comes with both integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 and GeForce GT635m (1gb) cards (the machine is set-up to switch automatically between cards, when required. However, it is easy to change the card settings to your own preference). The keyboard is similar to a MacBook Pro and is backlit. The machine runs quietly and stays quite cool (although I have not yet run any games on it). The build quality appears really good, (again) for the price (still plenty of plastic, though).

However, when I did my first Windows 8 update, 19 of the 38 updates failed. Turned out this is because I hadn't updated "Nitro Pro" (included software - I selected "free trial") to the latest version (the version pre-installed on my machine stops Windows 8 updating properly). Once I had updated "Nitro Pro", the other 19 Windows updates installed fine. It may have been possible to just remove "Nitro Pro" altogether, but I haven't tried that, so can't comment for sure.

Also, I started having problems with the WiFi (I would lose connection pretty regularly). I checked the Lenovo support site, and the cause of my WiFi problems appeared to be the installed WiFi driver software. However, there was newer driver software available, which was supposed to fix this issue. Updating the drivers took a little while, but appears to have rectified my WiFi issue. I also downloaded a number of other driver updates for the graphics cards and processor, etc, which seems to have improved the performance of my machine noticeably.

It's worth noting that, unlike my previous HP laptop, which would automatically check for new driver updates, I had to manually select and download the driver updates from the Lenovo website (although this is a fairly straight forward process, as it is possible to select Z500 specific updates on the website). It may be that there is software that searches for appropriate driver updates, but I could not find it on the Z500.

It's worth noting that if you are manually downloading driver updates, some of them give the choice between the 32 and 64 bit versions. The version of Windows 8 being run on my Z500 is 64 bit. It's also worth noting that at least one of the drivers I tried to install was an older version than the one running on my Z500 (thankfully the installer informed me of this and gave me the option not to proceed with the driver update. I am not sure that all the updates will warn you though, so it's important to check that you are not installing an older version of the driver software over a newer version). I also found it beneficial to update each driver completely (including restarting, if required), before going onto the next one.

Any other issues I've had seem to be Windows 8 related, so cannot blame Lenovo for them (once you get used to Windows 8, it's not that bad, really).

So, in summary, great bit of kit, as long as you don't mind "jumping through a few hoops" to get it to work properly.
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on 26 May 2014

- The Discrete graphics card is good value for the price. It will play 3-4 year old games without any issue.
- 1080p video works is stutter free.
- The touch pad is multi-touch .This lets you scroll pages by dragging two fingers down the pad making browsing the web easier.
- The back-lighting on the keyboard is excellent. The keys are well placed and the special function buttons work.
- Attractive design with brushed metal surrounding keyboard.
- I was impressed with the speakers. Loud and more bass than my old Dell.


- Battery life is less than you would hope for. Don't expect to sit in the garden and work on the battery.
- The keyboard developed a fault on my machine which required >1 week for fixing.
- The keyboard is not pleasant to type on, and the plastic underneath the keyboard distorts inwards when you type. Feels cheap and less well made than rest of machine.
- No way to cover the camera without using sticky tape.
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on 21 March 2013
i bought 2 of these laptops, one for me and one for my partner.
let me first off state what a good quality feel they have to them, the build quality is great and with it being slim it feels alot better to carry around. my partner and i use this laptop for general web use and light gaming, they do both VERY well.
Slim - easy to carry around
Good Build Quality
High Specs means its good for lighter gaming ( Sims 3, World Of Tanks Aprox 40-50 fps high-med settings, Source Engine Games just to name a few )
Speakers are good quality sound, build in webcam is HD enough for use in Skype with friends, and build in mic is okay.
windows 8 is good ( Takes some getting use to )
1TB hard drive is plenty of space for all family photo's and videos
doesnt seem to suffer too badly from heat unless on a demanding game ( i use it on my lap )
the back lights on the keyboard really help at night to see the keys im pressing ( you can turn the back light off )
there are many PROS to this laptop ive just stated a few

the battery pack is built into the laptop case and cannot be removed without going into the laptop its self which i cant do
the battery life is not great, if your expecting to take this laptop out for a few hours without having to charge, think again it has a hour life time per charge and that is on IDLE, when you are running a demanding program like a game, it will drain faster

it doesnt say this in the specs, but the processor actually goes to 3.1 Ghz on turbo mode, basically you dont need to do anything, it just recognizes you need more processing power and auto speeds up. (double check this on google to make sure what i said is correct)
there is a cool little feature on this laptop which ive never seen before which i thought id mention, on the power management settings, there is a button you can press which removes the dust from the fans to help keep it cool (when you press is it speeds up the computer fans to full rpm, then stops briefly then starts up full again etc it goes on for about a minute and then its complete.)
please remember these are just my views on the product, remember to do alot more research on the product before you buy dont just take my word for it, use google and find out as much as you can before buying.
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As someone who is no expert with IT, I spent some time considering a new laptop, and eventually settled on this one.
The good points are that it boots up in well under a minute, is fast and has plenty of storage. It appears to be turbo-charged compared to my old trusty Dell which has really had its day. Battery life is very good running for well over 5 hours of continual use happily. I found the touch pad responsive and the keyboard easy to use/comfortable.

Downside is the screen is not too good to view in bright light where reflections are a minor problem. Whether you want all the software that comes with it is a matter of personal taste/choice as far as I am concerned, but well over 100gig is taken up with it all.

Windows 8 is the operating system that comes with it, and I must say it takes a little getting used to. I have found that I ignore the annoying "tile apps" which come up initially, but go to the Lenovo tile which then offer you a familiar looking Windows screen.

TIP FOR HOME USERS: The laptop does not come with Windows Office which unless you want to use it for media storage and web browsing only make it rather useless. There is a trial offer but if you wish to purchase it will cost you £105 for MSO 2013, plus what is worse, they really want you to lease it at a ridiculous cost. After some research, I decided to download Libre Office suite which is free!!! The approx 170meg download (can't remember exact size) took about 2mins with this laptop and works like a dream. The programs looks and feels very much like MSO, and all MSO documents, spread sheets etc appear to open without difficulty - they can also be saved in a MSO format for sending to other destinations if required. I do suggest you have a look at this option if you want to save yourself £100!!!

All in all I am very pleased with the machine, and just hope that it proves to be as reliable a workhorse as my old Dell.

EDIT: This is probably just bad luck but about 3 months after purchase, this laptop failed completely and would not load any software. On return to Amazon, I received a full refund as they had no stock for a replacement. Sad, but good customer service as collection was arranged by a telephone call as of course I had no PC for the internet!
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on 4 October 2013
Overall I have only good things to say about this laptop, it's fast, reliable and the build quality is pretty good. The only complaint I would make is that the cheap feeling keyboard and touchpad seem slightly incongruous with the overall high quality hardware. The other issue I have is the price, I got mine on offer for just under £500 and that price I would easily give this 5/5 but right now it's over £600; that's a price range which includes better models, even Lenovo offer the G700 on Amazon for £650 which includes an i7 intel processor and Nvidia GT720M dedicated graphics.

My final thought is if you see this around £500 it's a great buy but at £600 it's worth looking around some more.
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on 26 August 2013
Have been using it for 2 weeks now, really like it. Fast, smooth, easy to update, great build quality. I love the screen and the keyboard. Can definitely recommend it!
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on 6 October 2013
Bought the laptop to replace my old one and so far overall performance is great. I'm not just used to Windows 8 without the start button but I think I don't really need it . All i need is and most care about is to install software that works and that is what I get in windows8. Came across the z500 specs and matched my lists and with my budget compared to other laptops with the same specs. I like the feel and thinness of the z500. Very good 15inc screen. multimedia is great and the sound is good too. Battery is fair for doing basic things like browsing, email, watching youtube, movies. and fan is very much quiet.
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on 1 July 2014
This laptop is brilliant value for money. Since the resolution is lower games run faster and can play most games which is great considering the cost. Don't notice the resolution drop either. Keyboard lights up which is a nice touch and all easy to use. Windows 8 is a chore however but most people know this and is not the fault of the laptop.

If your looking for a new laptop on a budget I highly recommend.
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on 8 April 2013
I'm using it for gaming, internet and as a media player. Handles Battlefield 3 effortlessly!! Picture is very good and sound quality is excellent. The backlit keyboard works great for me and can be turned off easily. There is an excellent standby mode instant off and on.
Windows 8 is it's biggest let down, have have problems with stuck updates and having to download extra software to play games.

It would be hard to get better value for your money.
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