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Customer Review

119 of 131 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great hardware, but not without (fixable) issues, 7 April 2013
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This review is from: Lenovo Ideapad Z500 15.6-inch Laptop (Dark Chocolate) - (Intel Core i5 3210M 2.5GHz Processor, 6GB RAM, 1TB HDD, DVDRW, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Nvidia Graphics, Windows 8) (Personal Computers)
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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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Aug 2013 15:43:29 BDT
MISS J. CLAY says:
All this information about driver software updating is very useful and informative.
I now would not consider buying this laptop in spite of all the good things I've heard about Lenovo - prefer automatic updates thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2013 15:29:40 GMT
Vlad says:
Or you could pay for something like DriverMax or similar if you can't be bothered to download drivers once every few months.

Posted on 18 Dec 2013 15:18:34 GMT
Jay-Me says:
You do realise that updating drivers and software in general is to make your machine more secure and for the most part it takes a few clicks of a mouse!

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Dec 2013 18:19:29 GMT
JohnnyP5000 says:
It's more than "a few clicks of a mouse" I can assure you. I'm not saying it's not worth it, but having owned HP, Acer, Toshiba and Asus laptops, I have to say that he Lenovo is the least convenient. Also, that's just my opinion, just like you've got yours.

Posted on 28 Dec 2013 21:43:44 GMT
Joebiwan says:
Hi I got this for my daughter and did all the jumping through hoops to get it working properly with 8.1 (see my review on here about my experience) but I cannot for love or money get the internal mic to work, in the sound devices on my dell it shows microphone and internal mic (the green bars go up and down as it hears me talking), but on this is just shows microphone (realtek hd audio) and the green bars never move. My daughter tried it with Skype (picture no sound) and the webcam software it came with (again picture no sound!!). I've been online and tried everything people suggested, but I just cant get it working. I have restored it back to factory settings and the internal mic will still not work. I just wondered how yours is just incase its my mic that's faulty. thanks.
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