The Bottom Line
- Very Sturdy Feel
- Excellent Keyboard
- Improved Battery Life Over G530
- Slightly More Expensive Than Similarly Equipped Laptops
- Lacks Support For 802.11n Wireless
- Fewer Ports Than G530 Model
- Intel Pentium Dual-Core T4200 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC2-5300 DDR2 Memory
- 320GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) Display With VGA Webcam
- Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, VGA, 5-in-1 Reader
- 15" x 9.7" x 1.4" @ 5.6 lbs.
- Vista Home Premium,
Guide Review - Lenovo G550 15.6-inch Budget Laptop PC
Oct 9 2009 - The Lenovo G550 is the second revision of their value laptop lineup that makes some significant changes for the better and worse over their previous G530 laptop. It is slightly larger than the last model due to the 15.6-inch display that uses a 16:9 aspect ratio. The screen is one of the nicer in the budget market with wide viewing angles and bright colors. It would be nice to see them move away from the glossy coating.
While the G550 uses a plastic exterior, Lenovo has done an excellent job with the texturing of the material and color so that it hides any smudges and fingerprints compared to the glossy designs of many other companies. Even though it uses a plastic shell, it feels very solid with very little flex in the screen or keyboard.
Lenovo continues they excellent keyboard design with the G550 using a design that is very similar to their more expensive ThinkPad lineup. With the added space of the larger screen, Lenovo has manage to also include a numeric keypad although they did have to shrink the size of some of the keys to do so. They were smart in placing the trackpad directly in the center of the space bar to be more natural.
One of the big problems of the G530 was the battery life. The G550 uses a smaller battery but actually provides a longer running time than the older version and more on par with other budget laptops. Expect roughly three and a half to four hours of typical usage with two and a half when playing back video.
With all these nice features, it is disappointing to see Lenovo remove a number of features on the G550. The previous model had four USB ports, but this model only comes with three. Also removed are the modem and ExpressCard slot. It would have been nice to see them upgrade the VGA connect by including HDMI but they left this off.