Introduction, Design

Lenovo’s 15.6″ Z580 isn’t sexy, but it is useful

Lenovo has become an important player in the mainstream laptop market. Five years ago the offerings from Lenovo were not great, but today the IdeaPad line has matured. This has been reflected in Lenovo’s growth. The company has posted gains in global market share over the last few years.

In this review we’re looking at the Z580, a laptop that’s smack dab in the middle of the company’s IdeaPad brand. It’s a 15.6” laptop that starts at $469 but can be optioned to around $900. Our review unit is a well configured version which includes an Intel Core i5-3210M processor. Lenovo’s website prices it out at a cool $599.

What else will six Benjamin Franklins buy you? Let’s take a look.

The $600 price point is important. Studies of the laptop market have consistently shown that the average price of a new laptop hovers around $600 (much to the dismay of manufacturers, who’d rather people spent more).

This market is extremely completive as a result. If you want a portable laptop with an IPS display you don’t have many options, but consumers who want a powerful and competent laptop for $600 have a buffet to choose from. Can the Z580 make room for itself in this crowd?


Lenovo’s Z series is different from the Y series, but you may have hard time telling from the way the laptops look. The Z580 is a dead ringer for the Y480 that we reviewed a couple months ago. It’s larger, of course, but it uses the same materials and includes the same design traits, such as chrome trim around the touchpad and liberal use of soft white LEDs for indicator lights.

I doubt anyone will describe the Z580 as beautiful or exciting, but it is elegant and functional. It looks downright luxurious when compared to some other laptops sold in the same price range. The metal used both on the lid and along the interior is somewhat glossy, but fingerprints usually don’t show.

Built quality is average. This is a sturdy laptop in general, but some chassis flex can be found around the optical drive and the plastics used on the underside of the laptop are nothing special. Those who want to be able to upgrade their laptop will appreciate the large panel on the underside, which is secured by just one screw.

Connectivity is also on par for the market. You’ll find two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and VGA-out as well as individual headphone and microphone jacks. Most of the ports are easily accessed and the headphone/microphone jacks are placed on the right front corner, which is an excellent location.

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