Lenovo G50 80E3016QUS 15.6-Inch Laptop Review

In the past I’ve owned a Value line Lenovo U550 and was very happy with it. For memories sake I decided to take a look at todays Value line offerings from Lenovo and took a look at a midrange G50 Model. Let’s see what it has to offer.

The Exterior

The first thing that strikes me straight of the bat is the textured top cover. They used to do this on previous models but the texture wasn’t so basic it tried to at least have some form of unique character without looking cheap.
Lenovo G50 80E3016QUS 15.6-Inch Laptop Review cover detail.jpg
In the case of the G50 it seems Lenovo went for the basic dot pattern with the silver Lenovo logo in the standard top left corner of the cover. This texture goes on to also cover the back of the laptop for a identical top and bottom finish.
On the inside we find the 15.6-inch 1366 x 768 pixel display surrounded by a shined black plastic rim. The integrated webcam is located in the middle of the top rim with the built in microphones on each side of it. The bottom rim gets a silver lenovo logo in the middle. This is a strong contrast to the rest of the matte textured body and sort of looks out of place.
Lenovo G50 80E3016QUS 15.6-Inch Laptop Review keyboard detail.jpg
The inside itself is finished in a brushed aluminum look plastic finish with the now standard AccuType Lenovo full sized keyboard. This keyboard has a very different feel to it than what you would be accustomed to from a laptop keyboard. In my experience it feels like a desktop keyboard and requires the same level of extra pressure to type. I tend to like it as it is very well spaced out and doesn’t tire your fingers as easy as most laptop keyboards.
Most people on the other hand don’t seem to like it very much and many buyers aren’t happy with it due exactly to the feel of it. I think it’s just a matter of getting used to it.
Underneath the keyboard the G50 gets a big touchpad slightly off center to not interfere while typing. The status LEDs are right underneath the touchpad on the front lip of the device.
The built in speakers are located just underneath the front lip and in my experience get covered up easily while using laptops of this design on the couch or bed and muffle the sound or mute it out completely. I’ve been saying this for years now, this is a very bad design solution.
Lenovo G50 80E3016QUS 15.6-Inch Laptop Review finish detail.jpg
There’s no getting around it, the overall exterior is cheap, very cheap. It looks cheap, it feels cheap and if you take a look at the photo above even in Lenovos’ own marketing image the DVD-Writer is sticking out with uneven gaps all round. The finish is wanting. I am really disappointed with this as my old lenovo is still holding up strong in the hands of my mother for over 5 years of fateful use now.
The G50 has kept and overused the functional finish of the value line but it has lost a lot in build quality over the years. I’m sorry to report that this trend has been going on for a few years now. I personally know 2 people with older G570s who needed to replace the outer case do to bad build quality, TWICE. On the other hand the internals are holding strong even today.

The Connectivity

The connectivity is pretty much standard for this price range.
Lenovo G50 80E3016QUS 15.6-Inch Laptop Review connectivity.jpg
It is equipped with the power connector, VGA-out, compact Ethernet Lan-port, HDMI-out, 1 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0 on the left side of the body. The right side of the body features the remaining Kensington Lock port, DVD-Writer, another USB 2.0, the built in Card Reader and the combo Headphone-Mic Jack.
On the inside it features Wireless WiFi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity.

The Performance

The performance front was usually where these laptops shined. This seems to be no exception and is the only redeeming feature of this Lenovo G50.
It comes equipped with the AMD A6-6310 Quad Core APU running between 1.8 and 2.4 GHz depending on load. The performance is on par with an Intel Core i3-4010U and thanks to its integrated Radeon R4 GPU you can at least give newer games a try. The graphics card isn’t capable of offering a decent gaming experience with the most demanding recent games but it will have absolutely no problem with anything from a few years ago or less demanding recent titles.
On top of this combination it comes with 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a 1 TB HDD spinning at 5400rpm. The performance is a very balanced package and is very good for its price class.

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PROs Vs. CONs

The main Pros of this Lenovo G50, and there aren't many, come only due to its overall performance. It has a very balanced package with a good AMD A6 processor good integrated graphics card, 8GB of RAM and enough storage space for anybodys needs.

Lenovo really needs to get their game back together again. The Value Line was just that, high value laptops for low budgets. They have been making these laptops cheaper and cheaper and the quality has had to suffer over the years and as their own marketing photos show, they are no longer even trying to hide it.



Summary

As with previous Value line Lenovos the G50 offers very good performance in a slightly less stylish exterior. I think lenovo wanted to offer so much "value" computing that they went overboard and skipped quality checks and design discussions. Most of the competitors offer very similar performance for this price while keeping a good fit and finish and still manage to offer minor design queues and make their laptops look more upmarket. I'm sorry to say that even though the performance is there, I wouldn't recommend this laptop. You can consider getting it only if you really don't care about the exterior fit and finish and just want the brand and performance without spending to much.
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Technical Details

Processor AMD A6-6310 Quad-Core 1.8GHz
Video Card AMD Radeon R4 graphics
RAM Memory 8GB DDR3
Audio Built-in Stereo Speakers with Dolby Advanced Audio
Operating System Windows 8.1
Display 15.6-inch 1366 x 768px
Storage Drive 1 TB 5400rpm
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
USB 2.0 Ports 2
USB 3.0 Ports 1
Built-in Camera Yes
Built-in Microphone Yes
Optical Drive DVD Writer
Memory Card Reader Yes
Bluetooth -
Headphone-out Yes
VGA-out Yes
HDMI-out Yes
LAN-out Yes
Color Black
Width 15.12 in.
Depth 10.43 in.
Height 0.98 in.
Weight 4.6 lbs.
Battery Life up to 5 Hours
Warranty 1 Year limited Warranty

Updated on June 7th, 2015

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