Top positive review
85 people found this helpful
Right Now It's a Decent Buy
on 12 December 2013
*Please read Edits 2 & 3*
It's a budget entry level Lenovo machine. It's not a mid / top range Thinkpad. Put any thought of that out of your head. Put any thought of a "Lifestyle" product out too. It's not a gaming machine either, or a graphics workstation. It is what it is and aimed at entry to mid level computing.
You get a 3rd generation Ivy Bridge chip (Core i3 3110M) which is a 10 - 12% clock to clock cpu performance improvement over the previous Sandy Bridge equivalent. The bigger bonus is on the integrated graphics side, it gets a 40 - 50% performance improvement (HD4000) from the older Sandy Bridge HD3000.
As of now, writing this, most comparable priced laptops at this price point (< £300 - £330) are shipping (getting rid of) older Sandy Bridge chips with HD3000 graphics. So this Core i3-3110M Ivy Bridge with HD4000 laptop gets the nod over any of those for me. Same for the AMD E series chips that laptops at this price point seem to be using, although if you want energy efficient, low power options things will be different.
Laptop build is reasonable, weight not an issue if you weigh over 50 pounds and have opposable thumbs. Looks are subjective, but utilitarian seems to fit the bill. I don't mind the way it looks personally, it looks understated with a black / carbon faux brushed metal look. Keyboard could be better but it works and like most Lenovo laptop products, most stuff is replaceable if you know what you're doing. Viewing angle is sensitive which is a minus but once you know your working position it's a decent quality screen and the HD4000 graphics do better than anticipated.
If you're a Linux user you'll know why IBM / Lenovo laptops are valued, this model seems no different, I've had no issue running any off the shelf distro on it so far.
All in all I was surprised how much I could get away with doing on this, I've done simple video editing, transcoding and some compiling. It ain't all singin' rock 'n' roll but for the money, it's got potential. I'll give it 4 stars. It would have had 5 if it were <£300.
EDIT 1 (new years day - 14)*
Coupla observations re reviews. This model with THIS SPEC became available on Amazon (according to Amazon) on the 11th October (13). Anything prior to that might not have had the exact same spec and / or components as this one. There are early reviews out there, for the G500s, with completely different specs and components. Obviously what's competitive for a manufacturer to put in a model one month is not necessarily competitive two, three months down the line. Things change, which is why you might only get a refund (what you paid) and not necessarily a direct like for like replacement.
Any mass manufactured product these days could go faulty. Things are built down to a price, not the other way round. Unfortunately, s*** happens. Way of the world I'm afraid. So backing up files you care about is rule number one (and always has been)·
There are known Windows 8 issues. Wifi glitches being amongst them, there are known fixes for it and for most other issues out there (Google is your friend). Driver support will improve and things will get patched (keep checking Lenovo support and Windows Update) - but also the Windows 8.1 "upgrade" is available.
EDIT 2 (5th Jan)*
Further discussion tacked onto another review by Joshl118:
EDIT 3 (21st Jan)*
Any WIFI connectivity issues you encounter I would suggest doing the Windows 8.1 update as it updates both the Atheros and Intel Centrino drivers. Read more discussion on Michael Fosters review below: