Heat, Battery Life, Portability and Conclusions
The Z560 really keeps its cool. In normal usage (web browsing, word processing, and the occasional video) the Z560’s processor temperature stayed between 35 and 45 degrees Celsius. At idle it went even lower, sometimes dipping below 30 degrees Celsius. Load temperatures never exceed 50 degrees Celsius and generally stayed below 45 degrees. This cool operation was noticeable when using the laptop. The palm-rest never became hot and the bottom of the chassis remained comfortable.

But what the fingers love, the ears despise. These great heat numbers come courtesy of an aggressive system fan that never seems to shut up. It happily hums along even when the laptop is at idle. It isn’t a particularly bad fan in terms of pitch, but if you have a tendency to be annoyed by loud system fans the Z560 will send you to the insane asylum. 

Battery life didn’t impress. Lenovo claims 4 hours, but in “real-world usage” – WiFi on, visiting websites and editing word documents with the screen near full brightness – I was only able to squeeze out three hours and five minutes. That isn’t much, but also isn’t surprising, as the 6-cell battery is on the small side. The Z560 weighs about 5.7 pounds according to official estimates, and they are accurate. Oddly, I found that the Z560 felt lighter than that when carrying it around, but on the whole this is not the laptop to buy if you’re a road warrior.  


Lenovo Z560 Core i3 15-in Notebook Review - Mobile 12

Many of my knocks against the Lenovo Z560 are against traits that it shares with the competition. Yes, the battery life is short, but that’s often the case with inexpensive 15.6” laptops packing Core i3 processors. Yes, the display resolution is low, but there are few laptops in this price range that offer an alternative. The only problem which may be unique to the Z560 is the annoying fan. 

On the other hand, the Z560’s best traits are not replicated by competitors. The keyboard and trackpad are outstanding for a consumer laptop at any price point, nevermind $700. The build quality is better than mainstream laptops from Toshiba, Samsung, or HP. The sound quality is completely adequate for a laptop system and the overall performance figures are solid. The Z560 can also serve as a competent multimedia laptop, just as the advertising suggests.

The Z560 is far from the most exciting laptop around. Walking into a coffee shop with it feels like walking into a club with your grandfather’s suspenders on, but those who place function over form will enjoy the Z560 immensely. 

Further Reading:
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