Lenovo IdeaPad Z560 review
A quality consumer laptop with some novel multimedia features, and reasonably priced too
Review Date: 1 Sep 2010
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £554 (£651 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Lenovo's business-orientated ThinkPad range is no stranger to PC Pro's A List, and now the first of its newly-redesigned IdeaPad models has landed on our doorstep. The IdeaPad Z560 isn't going to have it easy, though: it joins legions of 15.6in notebooks all desperate to ensnare the casual consumer with promises of power, poise and affordability.
It's certainly good looking. Its glossy black lid is now an elderly design cliché, but while the chassis weighs in at a hefty 2.58kg, the smooth curves and bold Lenovo logo still manage to make many of its competitors look decidedly frumpy. The brushed aluminium interior, meanwhile, shuns gaudiness and colour for a monochromatic, classy feel. Consumer laptop this may be, but it looks like it means business.
Build quality isn't up to bullet-proof ThinkPad standards, the IdeaPad's glossy lid feels well up to protecting the TFT panel within. The base and wristrest also prove impressively taut and stiff. Only the area around the DVD writer feels a bit creaky: picking the laptop up by its corner occasionally produced unpleasant creaks as the DVD writer flexed in its moorings.
We're willing to forgive such minor transgressions in light of the rather excellent keyboard, however. The Scrabble-tile keys provide a lovely feel, and despite the narrow-right shift key (Lenovo has decided to cram the cursor keys in alongside) the layout makes for supremely pleasant typing. The touchpad is less praiseworthy: depressing the soft-feeling buttons often saw our thumbs foul the trackpad and arrest the pointer in its tracks, making drag and drop operations aggravatingly tricky.
The ubiquitous blue ThinkVantage button, ever-present on Lenovo's business laptops, is replaced with a row of touch-sensitive buttons along the keyboard's top edge. A quick dab of the finger is all it takes to mute the volume or slow the cooling fans down for quiet operation, while the other two buttons give one-touch access to Lenovo's OneKey Theater mode and Energy Management application.
Dab the OneKey Theater mode button while watching a movie, and you'll be glad you did. The tinny speakers sound lightweight at first, but the OneKey Theater mode enables Dolby's Audio Enhancer software, which gives audio more body and substance. Image quality darkens slightly, too, which seems to give movies and images a touch more solidity. DisplayMate soon revealed these benefits come at the cost of crushed blacks and some banding in greyscale ramps, however.
- Samsung tempts the selfie market with A5 and A3 smartphones
- Internet tax: what it is and why it failed
- Android co-founder Andy Rubin leaves Google
- Windows 10 trackpad shortcuts: Microsoft takes a leaf out of Apple's book
- Promo: Using IBM BlueMix to create successful business apps
- Why the Microsoft Band could be a game changer
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Microsoft Office 16 set to launch late next year
- HP's vision for the future of PCs: the 3D Sprout
- How Google X plans to detect cancer and heart disease using nano-magnets
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Five smartwatch features we’ll see by 2015
- How to wipe an Android phone or tablet
- iPad Air 2 vs Nexus 9: Apple and Google's latest high-end tablets compared
- Five things that are actually new in the iPad Air 2
- Bendgate, Antennagate, and why Apple doesn’t care about bad news
- iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release date, specs and UK price rumours
- Office Online vs Google Docs: which free online office suite is best?
- iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6 design comparison
- How to speed up an Android smartphone
- Nexus 6 release date, specs, UK price and leaked images
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office