The Bottom Line
- Larger Hard Drive
- Dedicated Graphics Processor
- Excellent Keyboard With Numeric Keypad
- Below Average Battery Life
- Dated Design And Look
- AMD Turion II P540 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
- ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 Graphics With 1GB Memory
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, eSATA, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 14.8" x 9.8" x 1.4" @ 5.7 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium
Guide Review - Lenovo IdeaPad Z565 15.6-inch Budget Laptop PC
Oct 13 2010 - Lenovo's IdeaPad Z565 uses the newer AMD Turion II P540 dual core mobile processor. This is a competitive budget class processor to Intel's budget offering. For the most part it is very close in performance to the Core i3-350M processor but it does fall short in a few areas. The average user probably won't notice a difference between two similarly equipped systems. The 4GB of DDR3 memory help mitigate slowdowns from multitasking.
Most budget laptops come equipped with a 320GB hard drive standard. Lenovo has decided to include a larger 500GB drive in their IdeaPad Z565. This gives it roughly fifty percent more space for storing applications, data and media files. The drive spins at the traditional 5400rpm spin rate but its higher data density does give it a slight edge on similar speed 320GB drives. A standard dual layer DVD burner handles all playback and recording of CDs and DVDs. Also included is a multi-card reader to support the most common types of flash media cards and an eSATA port for use with high speed external storage devices.
One area that sets the IdeaPad Z565 apart from many other $650 laptops is the graphics. While the display uses a typical 15.6-inch panel with a 1366x768 native resolution and glossy coating, the graphics actually are driven by a dedicated ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 graphics processor with 1GB of memory. This provides a significant boost in 3D performance over the integrated graphics found in most budget laptops. It still is a lower grade processor such that PC games will have to be run at resolutions below the panel's native resolution and with lower detail levels. It also has the benefit of allowing acceleration of applications such as Photoshop.
Like many budget laptops, Lenovo helps keep the costs down by using a smaller six cell battery pack. This provides it with a limited capacity for running time. Lenovo claims the system can run for four and a half hours but that is a bit optimistic. In DVD playback tests, it is able to run for roughly half their estimate at two and a quarter hours before going into standby mode. More traditional usage should yield just over three hours of running time. This is well below their estimates and also below many similarly priced laptops.
The design of the IdeaPad Z565 is fairly dated compared to many other companies budget offerings including the likes of Sony with its colorful options. While the design may be dated, the keyboard is probably one of the best available on the market. The isolated key layout is extremely comfortable and quite accurate. Lenovo even manages to include a full sized numeric keypad for those that need to do a lot of number input. They also use a trackpad that features distinct trackpad buttons which is welcome compared to the rocker bar design many companies have moved to.