Lenovo G505 review

Can Lenovo hit the perfect balance between versatility, portability and price?

Lenovo G505
Lenovo sticks with laptops despite the tablet brouhaha

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3DMark - Ice Storm: 26,057, Cloud Gate 2259, Fire Strike 323
Cinebench R11.5 - OpenGL 12.81, CPU 1.46
Battery life: 3 hours 45 mins

The benchmark results for the Lenovo G505 aren't going to set the world on fire, with only the battery life standing out from the crowd on any level. At over four hours when playing back HD video and performing some simple background tasks, this is a machine that should see you through a whole day's worth of working on the move. This is backed up by the similarly strong battery life result given by PCMark08.

Another view of the G505

Battery life is a strong point of the Lenovo G505

The Cinebench result shows that the CPU side of things isn't really pulling its weight, scoring roughly a quarter of a Core i7 machine. If you're serious about video work, we'd recommend getting a much better processor than what is available in here. Likewise, the 3DMark score highlights that this simply isn't a gaming machine – something backed up by gaming tests that had the laptop producing single figure framerates at the machine's native resolution of 136 x 768. In both cases, better hardware is available, but it's going to cost you significantly more than what this machine retails for.

It's actually not the standard benchmarks that highlight the real problem with this machine's configuration though. Numbers only tell so much of the story. It's when you come to actually use it – it simply feels too sluggish. Part of the problem here is the pedestrian hard drive, especially in these days of super-fast solid-state drives. But there are limits to what you can do for this sort of cash, and even a small SSD would add a considerable margin to the £350 price tag.

Side-on view

Requisite ports are present and correct

On the positive side, the keyboard is great to use, and easily one of the machine's highlights. If you're looking for a piece of hardware primarily for writing, then this really isn't a bad machine for that. The screen can be a little difficult to see, even in reasonable lighting when viewed straight on, but you do get used to it.