There's no getting away from the fact that this is a machine built to a tight budget. It isn't a total compromise on every front to hit that £350 price tag, but there are a few decisions that make it difficult to recommend as it is.
Not too long ago, this kind of price point would have us groaning about all the issues that such a machine would be plagued with. But actually, this is an impressive little laptop. The core specification is sound, and while the processor isn't going to set the world on fire, it's capable enough for most tasks, and puts in a good showing on the stamina front as well.
The hard drive may be a bit slow, but the fact that Lenovo has managed to squeeze a 1TB drive in to the machine is to be commended, and gives you plenty of room for applications, data, photos and even games. Even if you won't be playing the latest titles on here, at least you've got room for some of the classics. Pair this with the optical drive, and you've got plenty of options for getting your applications and titles onto the Lenovo G505.
The keyboard is the high point here though, offering plenty of room around the keys to avoid mistyping, but also making for a comfortable work machine for anyone that has a lot of writing to do. The trackpad isn't too bad either.
The screen isn't a highlight. We don't mind the resolution – indeed, any higher would have caused even more problems for the integrated graphics. But the fact that the panel can be quite hard to see in even moderate lighting can be frustrating. An IPS panel would have been preferable here, even if it did add a little more to the cost.
Overall, the Lenovo G505 shows potential, but it's let down by some odd decisions – notably on the screen front. The core performance is fine for most general tasks, and the capacious hard drives offer plenty of versatility for a mainstream machine. It's still potentially good value. But ultimately, it doesn't quite shine enough to make us want to recommend it. Whatever you want the machine for, there's going to be a more focused offering available that will shine where this fails to.