The Bottom Line
- Very Sturdy Feel
- Excellent Keyboard
- Slightly More Expensive Than Similarly Equipped Laptops
- Poor Trackpad With Integrated Buttons
- Lacks HDMI Port For Use With HDTV's And Digital Monitors
- Intel Pentium P6100 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With VGA Webcam
- Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 14.8" x 9.8" x 1.4" @ 5.7 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium
Guide Review - Lenovo Essential G560 15.6-inch Budget Laptop PC
Mar 31 2011 - Lenovo's G560 laptops can be powered by several different processors depending upon the price of the model. In the case of this $600 model, it comes with an Intel Pentium P6100 dual core processor. This puts it at a speed disadvantage of laptops that use the Core i3 processors in models ranging from $50 to $100 more. It does do a fine job though if the laptop will just be used with the web or basic media applications. It suffers in more intensive tasks such as video or graphics work. It features a fairly typical 4GB of DDR3 memory that should suffice for most basic computing tasks.
Storage features on the Lenovo G560 is typical for most budget class laptops now. It comes with a 500GB hard drive that provides an ample amount of storage space for applications, data and media files. It does spin at the slower 5400rpm rate which means that performance is modest at best. There is a dual layer DVD burner for handling playback or recording of CD and DVD media. One disappointment with this version of the G560 is the peripheral ports. More expensive models come with an eSATA port for high speed external storage but this one just keeps three USB ports and a 5-in-1 card reader.
Lenovo uses the typical 15.6-inch LCD panel for is G560 budget model. This panel provides the average 1366x768 display resolution with decent colors and contrast but with some rather limited viewing angles. It also uses a glossy coating for the display which can make it difficult to use in some lighting conditions. The graphics are powered by the integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD processor which is fine for basic web usage or high definition media playback but lacks any real 3D performance for even casual PC gaming. The big disappointment is the lack of an HDMI output meaning that it can only be used with monitors that feature a VGA connector.
In terms of power, the Lenovo G560 uses the typical six cell battery pack that can be found on just about any laptop in this price and size range. In DVD playback testing, it yielded the typical two and a half hours of running time before going into standby mode. This translates to roughly just over three hours of more typical usage but short of the up to four hour claim by Lenovo.
One thing that Lenovo has always been known for are their laptop keyboards. With the G560, they continue this reputation with one of the better keyboards in the budget segment. It uses a more traditional design compared to the isolated layouts many use but it has a very nice feel and exhibits no flex. The same can't be said for the trackpad though. It uses a design with integrated buttons. The pad itself has a nice size and position for the laptop but it had a very poor responsiveness especially when registering clicks.