Lenovo’s IdeaPad Z580, as we received it, will set you back about $599. That’s a good price for a new laptop with a Core i5-3210M processor. I was not able to find a similar deal on competitor websites at the time of this writing. That can easily change, but at this time the Z580 seems a bargain.

I also like the traits that turn me on to all IdeaPads. The keyboard is good, the touchpad is large and the design is attractive but also business-casual. The fan can be annoying, but operating temperatures are exceedingly low. This is a good laptop for anyone who just wants a general, all-purpose computer that can also called upon for serious productivity. Students who don’t care about gaming and self-employed folks on a budget will find this laptop ideal.

My main beef is Intel HD 4000. As mentioned, I saw a blurb about the GT 630M in the pamphlet, but this does not appear to be available in production models right now. Adding this would broaden the appeal of the laptop significantly. HP already taps in to this market and offers some surprisingly good optional GPUs on many inexpensive models.

There are also a host of little issues that do add up. Build quality is just okay, the touchpad isn't great and the display is too glossy for the backlight. Some of the software is annoying and the keyboard would be even better without the numpad.

Similarly priced competitors suffer from similar issues, however. It's just a fact of the budget laptop market. Overall, the Z580 does a better job of minimizing these problems and projecting its strengths than many other budget laptops.

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