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First impressions of Lenovo’s not so recent take on budget everyday notebooks – the Lenovo G50-80 with FHD display and AMD discrete GPU

If you are looking for a notebook that won’t break your bank but you still require some extra GPU power and detailed Full HD screen, the Lenovo G50-80 might be a reasonable choice here. The model isn’t recently launched but it currently sells for around $350-500 depending on the configuration. One of the reasons for the affordable price is the older hardware – Core i7-5500U Broadwell CPU and AMD R5 M330 GPU. The general user will not be able to make a big difference between their newer counterparts so that’s why we think it’s the reasonable choice in some situations. So here’s what we think for the short period of time that we were testing it.

The laptop can be found at Amazon.com along with all the available configurations.

Design

Well, the Lenovo G50-80 will not surprise you with extraordinary build quality or design, but its main focus is in the hardware and the typing experience, even though Lenovo doesn’t stress on that one enough.

The back of the lid is made of hard plastic with patterns and the finish is a huge fingerprint magnet. Also, the cover is quite bouncy and gives in under the slightest pressure. This might be problematic for some. Anyway, the hinge feels pretty tightened and it’s even hard to open it with one hand. Opening the laptop, however, portrays a totally different appearance.


2016-01-29 12.35.31

2016-01-29 12.36.40

Unlike the rest of the chassis, the interior implements hard plastic that strongly imitates black brushed aluminum. It kind of reminds us of the Yoga 3 14-inch notebook from the Chinese manufacturer. It’s pretty sturdy and the fingerprints and smudges aren’t as visible. And it also feels pretty nice to be honest. But the keyboard is quite impressive for a budget-class notebook. The key travel isn’t that long but gives enough feedback for the fast typing enthusiasts. And as far as the touchpad goes, its only problem might be the mouse buttons, which feel a bit stiff. Nonetheless, we do like this kind of touchpads more compared to the conventional ones because they tend to be “wobbly” on most entry-level laptops.


Lenovo-G50-80

Lenovo-G50-80-Lid

While the notebook will serve as a great day to day companion, it might not be the best choice when it comes to portability since the laptop is quite hefty – 2.49 kg. On the other hand, it’s relatively slim measuring only at 24.9 mm.

Hardware

The laptop’s configurations vary from Core i3 to Core i7 chips. You can opt for the higher-end Core i7-5550U, which we will review, or you can settle for the Core i5-5200U or the Core i3-5005U as the cheapest model. The chips come paired with up to 8GB of DDR3L SDRAM and AMD Radeon R5 M330 GPU, but you can again settle for the integrated Intel HD Graphics 5500 GPU. If you go for the latter, it will probably result in better battery performance in favor of graphics performance, of course.

Anyway, the laptop also comes with a 4-cell battery rated at 32Wh (2200 mAh) that should last for about 4 hours of mixed usage according to the manufacturer. We will make sure to check that out, though. The Full HD (1920×1080) screen is an option but you can always go for the less detailed panel with HD (1366×768) resolution. Both variants feature glossy finish.

Specs sheet

The specs sheet may vary depending on your region.

CPUIntel Core i3-5005U (2-core, 2.00 GHz, 3MB cache) / Intel Core i5-5200U (2-core, 2.20 – 2.70 GHz, 3MB cache) / Intel Core i7-5500U (2-core, 2.40 – 3.00 GHz, 4MB cache)
RAM4GB (1x 4096MB) DDR3L-1600 SDRAM / 8GB (1x 8192MB) – DDR3L-1600 SDRAM
GPUIntel HD Graphics 5500 / AMD Radeon R5 M330 (2GB DDR3)
HDD/SSD1TB HDD (5400 rpm)
Display15.6-inch (39.62 cm) – 1366×768 (HD), glossy / 15.6-inch (39.62 cm) – 1920×1080 (Full HD), glossy
Optical DriveDVD burner
ConnectivityLAN 10/100 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11a/c, Bluetooth 4.0
Other features
  • 1x USB 3.0
  • 2x USB 2.0
  • webcam
  • microphone
  • 3.5 mm combo audio jack
  • HDMI
  • VGA
  • 2-in-1 card reader (SD/MMC)
  • RJ-45
Battery4-cell, 32Wh
Thickness24.9 mm (0.98″)
Weight2.49 kg (5.48 lbs)