I was in search of a budget laptop in the Rs 35,000-40,000 ($660-$760) price range and after quick a bit of market research, I settled with a Lenovo Essentials G580 laptop for Rs 34,000 ($650) with the following specifications:
- Intel® Core i5 3rd generation processor (3210M) with dual cores clocked at 2.50 GHz
- 4GB of DDR3 RAM
- 500GB HDD
- Integrated Intel HD graphics 4000
- 0.3 megapixels webcam
- 15.6″ Brightview HD LED Widescreen display with LED back-lit
- AccuType Keyboard with individual rounded keys
- 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0 ports
I was quite happy to get a device with core i5 ivy bridge at such low price and the performance really did seem splendid.
I am not a gamer so the integrated Intel HD 4000 did a decent job running some year old games at medium and medium-low graphics settings.
Here are the PROs and CONs in my opinion:
- Good battery life
- Decent in-built speakers
- Very comfortable keyboard with individual rounded keys
- Very less heating and an extremely smooth fan
- Numeric keypad
- Among the least expensive for its range
- Very glossy finish
- Inferior build quality compared to the Z series
- Low-end GPU
Synaptics touchpad issue:
- Touchpad issue with the default synaptics touchpad
When the device was delivered to me, I noticed that the touchpad was behaving erratically.
I tried reinstalling the updated drivers but to no avail.
I even went ahead to do a clean reinstall of Windows 7 but the problem wasnt fixed. It was then that it dawned to me that it was actually a hardware issue. On observation, I found that the upper left portion of the touchpad was unresponsive and it occupied nearly 30% of the touchpad surface area. This was a really serious problem as I had put faith in Lenovo’s build quality.
I took the laptop back to the showroom next day and asked for a replacement, but they told me that a replacement cannot be given unless they have tried changing the hardware part in question.
So I lodged a complain with Lenovo and was informed that they would ship a new touchpad to an authorized service center near me and have them replace the touchpad. I was told that the shipment would only take around 5-7 days to reach my service center but it was only after 1 month 10 days of waiting that they received the shipment. Their excuse was that the hardware part was not available and they had to import it from outside the country. The replacement only took about an hour and I was relieved to have my touchpad work normally.
What is even more astonishing is that my device was not the only one which accidentally got shipped with a hardware issue. I visited a Reliance Digital store recently and found the exact same problem with a Lenovo G580 on display!
Apparently, someone is doing very bad quality check on the synaptics touchpads on the G580 laptops.
When my replacement touchpad arrived, it was an Elan Smartpad, so I guess it really is a widespread issue with Synaptics touchpads