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[Review] Lenovo 80QQ00JGUS The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Pros: Broadwell Core i5 processor, 1TB storage, 4GB of RAM (upgradable to 8GB), entry level price point.
Cons: 2 USB ports, up to 4 hours of battery life.

It's hardly common to come around an affordable Core i5 laptop that doesn't have a "refurbished" sticker attached to it. However, Lenovo has done just that when introducing this particular model to the market. Specifically, it boasts a very nice set of specs at an entry level price, Core i5 processor amongst them. If you care to know more then don't be shy and come on down to read our full review of the Lenovo 80QQ00JGUS.

Lenovo 80QQ00JGUS Review of a Cheap Core i5 laptop

The unusual design

The first thing worth pointing out when talking about the Lenovo 80QQ00JGUS is that is has a rather unusual design. Specifically, the screen gives up the illusion of being slightly detached from the keyboard.

The screen itself is a standard 15.6 inch IPS LED screen with a 1366 by 768 pixel resolution and an 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. Nothing new under the sun over here. The keyboard, as is expected in this price gamut, is not backlit. However, we do have a comfortable and ergonomical distance between keys as well as a dedicated numeric pad.

Though Lenovo is known for making particularly robust laptops, the Lenovo 80QQ00JGUS doesn't really fall into that category thanks to a 0.9 inch thickness factor and a weight of 5.06 pounds. All in all, a pretty portable device.

What's the good stuff?

As we delve deep into our review of the Lenovo 80QQ00JGUS we can appreciate that its strongest feature is its processor. To the point, we've got an Intel Core i5 5200U processor that works with two cores, over four threads at a speed of 2.2 GHz reaching its limit over at 2.7 GHz.

This is a broadwell generation processor which means it's not the latest CPU launched by the famous company but rather a processor that was launched a bit over a year ago. That said, the performance difference between a Broadwell and a Skylake i5 isn't that noticeable on a day to day use.

The i5 implemented on this machine is a good processor, great for editing video, chatting with friends, running VMware and doing what we would call some heavy lifting. It's fast and smooth and overall has a pretty good reputation amongst consumers.

There's also 4 GB of DDR3 SDRAM (1600 MHz). This is pretty standard within entry to mid level laptops but you have the option to upgrade RAM by adding another 4 GB module. If you're an intensive multi tasker who has several programs running at any given moment we advise you to go ahead with the upgrade since you're more than likely to notice the difference. 

On the flip side, if you're just going to browse the web, skype with friends and so on then you might not even notice. Either way, an extra module will only set you back a few bucks so it's always nice to know that the option is there, whether you use it or not.

What about gaming?

The Lenovo 80QQ00JGUS is not a gaming laptop by any means. It houses an Intel HD Graphics 5500 GPU with shared memory. This is an integrated graphics chip and therefore not meant to be used for graphic-intensive tasks. 

Once we got that out of the way, you may play games such as Fifa 16, World of Warships and even Metal Gear Solid V at a decent frame rate if you lower your settings to the minimum so perhaps a light gamer would be interested in this laptop but a hardcore gamer would be quick to find it has more limitations that possibilities on that front. 

What's storage and battery life like?

Lenovo had to cut costs somewhere when it decided to bet on an i5 processor instead of a Core i3, therefore it chose to cut costs at the expense of a lower battery life.  To the point, this notebook comes with a 4 cell battery that offers up to 4 hours of battery life. It's not particularly bad but it does take a toll on the mobility of the laptop as a whole.

Storage is standard with a 1 TB hard drive that works at 5400 rpm. There's not that much to say on this front, 1 TB is the common denominator amongst most laptops in this price point and beyond.

Other stuff worth knowing...

When it comes down to ports we where most surprised to find out that this laptop only comes with a couple of USB ports, one of which is USB 3.0 and the other USB 2.0. For most people this won't really be such an inconvenience but it may be one for others. Aside from this, we've got a DVD tray, HDMI out, ethernet port, SD card reader and a VGA webcam (0.3 megapixels).

Operating system at hand is Windows 10 Home edition and there's also Bluetooth 4.0 in case you want to connect the Lenovo 80QQ00JGUS to more powerful speakers than its very own 1.5W speaker.

What's the verdict? Is this laptop worth it?

In closing, after taking a close look and proving a review of the Lenovo 80QQ00JGUS we've got to confess we're pretty impressed. Sure, it has it's drawbacks, mainly the 4 hour battery life but at its current price point (check here for price and availability) it still offers quite a lot of bang for your buck.

There are more expensive and comprehensive models in the market, as you might know, but this one comes to us with the perfect balance of specs and pricing. We love the CPU in place, the upgradable RAM and the decent graphics card that gives way to some light gaming. Overall, if you're looking to buy a laptop on a budget and you don't want to go down the route of the classical entry level model with a Pentium or Celeron processor then this is an excellent bet.