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Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 Review: A Functional Mainstream Laptop

Author: Matt Smith
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Lenovo

User Interface, Display and Audio Quality

User Interface

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The Z580 offers the standard Lenovo IdeaPad keyboard. It features a spacious layout with ample definition between keys and decent key travel. IdeaPads have long been among the most pleasing consumer laptops to type on, and this laptop does not buck that trend.

Individual key size is on the small size and some keys, such as the right-side Enter, Shift and Backspace keys, are tiny. This makes it possible for the Z580 to include a numpad. I prefer laptops that don’t do this and instead offer larger keys, but some users do like having the numpad present.

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Using the touchpad isn’t the best experience. The surface is large, but there’s no texture and the left/right mouse keys are integrated. Tapping them creates a cheap “tick” noise and doesn’t offer much tactile feedback. Multi-touch scrolling work alright, but has the finicky, jerky feel common among Windows laptops.

Display And Audio Quality

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Lenovo ships the Z580 with one display option, a typical 1366x768 glossy display. This resolution is starting to look antiquated now that much smaller tablets so dramatically trump it, but so far there’s been no indication that manufacturers will include better panels even in basic laptops.

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Resolution aside, the display offers decent overall performance for a budget laptop. Black levels test were rendered better than average and gradient banding test images were smooth. The display also offers average viewing angles.

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The main concern for most users will be the gloss, which can easily overwhelm the backlight. This is not a laptop you can comfortably use in a bright room. Outdoors? Hah, that’s a good one.

Audio quality is mixed. Sound is clear and the speakers do a decent job of reproducing something that can stand in for bass, but this is accomplished by keeping maximum volume low. You’re going to have trouble filling even a small room with sound. Excessive ambient noise can render the speakers useless.

August 26, 2012 | 02:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How fast for the ethernet, Gigabit or slower! no Gigabit no buy! Laptop reviews are like a box of chocolates you never know if it is crappy chocolates 'till you eat (buy) one, laptop purcahses are like this beacuse laptop reviews never tell the complete story! Most laptop reviews are just thinly
vailed ads! Buying a laptop is pretty much a craps shoot, beacuse laptop OEMs and the "friendly" press keep the buyer fixated on theoretical maximum and not the true performence!
true performence that is never put to the test! I have never read a laptop review where the driver software is tested, I have for $$$ gaming rigs! Please tell the reader if the HD graphics drivers are OEM customized or genaric drivers! Please tell The reader more motherboard and chipset info, USB controllers, etc. Hell, Run CPUz on the laptop and print that info!

August 30, 2012 | 07:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I agree, the review is not detailed enough. This is just a glossed overview. Details, details, details!

September 26, 2012 | 07:51 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

price of lenovo z580 today 9-2012 ?
please tell me soon

June 21, 2013 | 09:11 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

this was the time i bought mine, sept 2012. it was on sale at office depot for $450.

September 17, 2013 | 12:50 PM - Posted by Boguseconomist (not verified)

Although computers may have enhanced our ability to "do business," they have played hell with the American people's ability to spell or put together a cogent set of thoughts. Maybe we'd be better off if someone invented a "think-check" that irons out what we want to say before it's sent.

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