The Bottom Line
- Strong Performance From Standard Core i5 Laptop Processor
- Very Comfortable Keyboard
- Excellent Connectivity Including WiMax
- Below Average Battery Life
- Lack Luster Design
- Intel Core i5-480M Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 13.3" WXGA (1376x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth, WiMAX
- Three USB 2.0, eSATA (Shared), HDMI, VGA, 4-in-1 Card Reader
- 12.9" x 8.6" x 1.3" @ 4.4 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, McAfee VirusScan Plus
Guide Review - Lenovo IdeaPad Z360 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC
Mar 3 2011 - Most ultrathin laptops are design around lower voltage processors in a bid to provide longer running times and reduce size by using smaller batteries. Lenovo's IdeaPad Z360 doesn't worry about these issues and instead uses a standard Core i5-480M dual core laptop processor. This gives it some outstanding performance that puts it well above other 13-inch laptops. This combined with the 4GB of DDR3 memory allow it to run just about any type of tasks one can imagine.
Unlike many other laptops that are ditching optical drives to save on size and weight, the IdeaPad Z360 comes equipped with a dual layer DVD burner. This is great for those that want to watch a DVD movie while traveling and makes it more convenient for installing retail software. Storage space is also quite large thanks to a 500GB hard drive that provides more than enough space for applications, data or media files. If that isn't enough for you, there is also a shared eSATA port for high speed external storage.
The display of the IdeaPad Z360 is a fairly typical 13.3-inch display. It comes with a 1366x768 resolution and a glossy coating. This means that it can be difficult to use outdoors and in some certain lighting conditions. Colors and viewing angles are all very average. The graphics are driven by the integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics. This means that it performs just fine for basic computer usage and high definition media viewing. It lacks any real 3D performance for even casual PC gaming though.
One thing that distinguishes the Lenovo IdeaPad Z360 from many other ultraportables is the connectivity options. In addition to a standard Wi-Fi, the laptop also comes standard with both Bluetooth and WiMAX. Bluetooth is useful for tethering to a cell phone, mice and headsets. WiMAX is useful for high speed wireless when Wi-Fi is not available but it will require a contract with a provider such as Clear.
With a six cell battery pack and a standard voltage laptop processor, the IdeaPad Z360 certainly won't be running for extremely long times. In DVD playback tests, the laptop was only able to yield roughly three hours of running time before going into standby mode. This is a significantly lower running time than many other ultraportable laptops that don't feature an optical drive and below more feature rich laptops such as Apple's MacBook or Toshiba Portege R500.
Lenovo has always produced some high quality keyboards and the IdeaPad Z360 is no different. It features an isolated key design that provides a good deal of space between the keyas an textured keys to provide a very comfortable and accurate experience. The right shift key is a reduced size in order to provide space for the arrow keys that can take some getting used to. The trackpad is also sizable and features a textured surface and discrete buttons instead of the more common rocker bar.