Going with a budget laptop will save you bit more cash at the bank, but it often also means putting up with a lot of trade offs. Whether it's an unattractive chassis, poor performance, color washed screen or a truncated battery life, computer manufacturers have to cut corners somewhere to break even on an affordably-priced machine. For the most part, it's an unavoidable process.
However, with the Lenovo Z40, it seems that its maker simply cut too many corners getting to its target price point. Starting at $599 (£399, AU$799), this dirt cheap 14-inch multimedia machine is seriously hampered by a short 3 hour battery life and low quality LCD screen.
I'm sad to say that this is a laptop you'll want to steer clear of. Let's get into what led me to be terribly disappointed with the Lenovo Z40.
Once you've seen one budget laptop, you've seen them all – this couldn't be truer of the Lenovo Z40. For starters, the display lid is made of a plain, semi-glossy plastic that bends easily while catching an assortment of fingerprints and smudges with a single touch. You'll also leave plenty of fingerprints just opening up this machine, thanks to the Lenovo Z40's glossy plastic bezel.
Luckily, things look a little better with the laptop's underside, which features a slightly textured plastic and large rubber feet. Overall, the Z40 is one of Lenovo's least uniform designs yet, as the frame is comprised of five different pieces of material (six counting the keyboard deck).
The only slightly higher-end piece of material you'll find on the Z40 is an aluminum plate used for the laptop's interior. It comes as a single piece for the palm rests and surrounding the keyboard deck. Unfortunately, even this small bit of metal still flexes easily and does not add anything at all to the overall rigidity of the machine.
As ever, you'll find Lenovo's excellent AccuType keyboard but you'll feel tiny vibrations with every keystroke. The trackpad is also surprisingly small considering the large 14-inch chassis, so you'll spend a lot of time repeatedly swiping across its surface to move the cursor around.