What is the best Lenovo laptop to buy?

Choosing the best Lenovo laptop to buy is no easy matter. As you might expect from a large and popular manufacturer, Lenovo makes a wide range of laptops, with a variety of capabilities and designed with different purposes and budgets in mind.

As a result, the concept of the “best” Lenovo laptop is going to depend very much on what you need to do with the machine, and how much you are willing to pay for it. For example, the best machine for casual / occasional / routine computing tasks, such as surfing the web and checking email, is unlikely to also be the best choice for anyone who needs the power to cope with demanding applications like video editing. Similarly, neither are likely to be most appropriate for someone who needs the extreme portability demanded by mobile workers.

So, with this in mind, let’s take a look at the best of Lenovo laptops, broken down by capabilities and, inevitably, price.

Starting at the budget-friendly, entry-level end of the range, the Lenovo B590 Windows 7 Pentium 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black) 59410452 is a popular choice. Powered by an Intel Pentium Dual-Core 2020M 2.4 GHz Processor and fitted with 4GB of DDR3 memory, this machine is ideal for relatively undemanding, everyday computing tasks. It should be more than capable of handling HD video, surfing the web, checking email, updating social status and even casual gaming, although it will probably struggle with more challenging applications and modern games. And, with a 500GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) it should have plenty of storage capacity for all your pictures, documents, music and movies.

The machine offers two standard USB 2.0 ports and one high speed USB 3.0 port for connecting to your wired peripherals, along with both wired and wireless network access via a standard Ethernet port and built-in 802.11 b/g/n WiFi. A 720p HD webcam makes the machine video-chat capable right out of the box, and a card reader makes it easy to transfer images onto the computer from your camera or cell phone. It’s worth noting that this machine comes pre-installed with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, rather than Windows 8.x, the current  version of Microsoft’s flagship operating system. Whether that is good, bad or irrelevant to you depends on how much you like the new look of Windows 8 – many people dislike it, others are delighted with it, but it’s safe to say that Windows 7 will be more familiar to anyone who’s used any Windows-based computer since 1995!

Overall, this is an excellent entry level machine, ideal for day-to-day tasks. It lacks the power to be a good gaming machine, but as an inexpensive laptop for light duties it is well worth considering and may well be one of the best cheap Lenovo laptops on the market.

Click here to see what others are saying about this machine at Amazon.com.

Considerably more powerful, but not massively more expensive is the Lenovo B590 Windows 7 i5 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black) 59410449. This machine is driven by a relatively fast, dual core, third generation Intel Core i5 3230M 2.6 GHz processor, and is fitted with 6GB of DDR 3 RAM. It should be easily able to cope with the demands of most business applications, handling standard word processing, spreadsheets and other productivity software without difficulty, and powering through more basic tasks – such as email and video chat etc – with aplomb, although its integrated graphics controller will probably struggle with the demands of modern games.

The supplied 500GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) should provide more than enough storage for most users, while the machine’s four USB ports (two stand USB 2.0 and two high-speed USB 3.0) make it easy to connect to wired peripherals such as printers, scanners and external disk drives, while Bluetooth 4.0 allows for wireless connectivity too. Again, both wired and wireless networking are supported via a standard Ethernet port and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi respectively, and, as with the 59410452 above, a built-in 720p HD webcam makes the machine video-chat capable right out of the box.

This machine ships with Windows 7 Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, no doubt making it an attractive choice for those who dislike the redesigned look and feel of Windows 8.x, or who simply see no need to change how they work to accommodate a new-look operating system.

Overall, this is a capable machine, well suited to small businesses – and, indeed, any business – that needs a reasonably powerful laptop without the features (and expense) that go with more sophisticated models. As a workhorse machine, this model has a lot going for it, possibly making it one of the best Lenovo business laptops on the market.

Click here to see what others are saying about this machine at Amazon.com.

In the Ultrabook class of small, lightweight, easily portable machines, the Lenovo IdeaPad U430 Touch Ultrabook 14-Inch Touch-Screen Laptop is a solid choice. At its heart lies a 4th generation Intel Core i7-4500U dual core mobile processor – an Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) component designed specifically to balance power consumption with computing performance in small laptops and Ultrabooks. It is supported by 4GB of DDR3 memory and a 500GB hybrid hard drive that includes an 8GB solid state drive as a cache for rapid bootup and application startup.

Its 14″ HD+ 10-point multitouch screen is driven an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400 controller, which should be more than adequate for routine applications, but will probably struggle somewhat with graphics-intensive tasks such as video editing and modern games. Casual gaming should be well with its capabilities, however. With one standard USB 2.o port and one high-speed USB 3.0 port for connecting to wired peripherals, Bluetooth for wireless devices, an Ethernet port for wired networking and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi for wireless networks, an HDMI port for connecting to an HDTV and a built in HD webcam, this machine is ready for almost anything.

It’s worth noting, however, that, as with most Ultrabooks, the U43o lacks a CD / DVD drive. This isn’t likely to be a major issue for most users, but if you feel you may need one you’ll have to purchase an external USB model.

Overall, this is a powerful machine tucked into a small and stylish case. As you might expect from such a small package, some compromises must inevitably be made, but what is lost in (the very few) absent features is more than made up for in portability. If you’re looking for a capable machine with an emphasis on portability, this might be the laptop you’ve been looking for.

Click here to see what others are saying about this machine at Amazon.com.

At the premium end of the range, the Lenovo IdeaPad Z710 17.3-Inch Laptop (59406361) Black is an excellent choice for users who need more substantial computing power on the move. Powered by a high specification, 4th generation, quad-core Intel i7-4700MQ processor, and fitted with 16GB of DDR3 memory, this machine has sufficient computing muscle to cope with demanding applications that would leave lesser laptops struggling.

The processor and memory are supported by a discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT745M graphics processor, with 2GB of memory for fluid graphics performance and a hybrid 1TB hard disk drive for superior boot-up and application startup times. One standard USB 2.0 port and two high-speed USB 3.0 ports make it easy to connect to all your wired peripherals, while both wired and wireless networking are supported via a built-in Ethernet port and 802.11 /b/g/n WiFi respectively. HDMI and VGA ports allow you to connect the machine to external monitors, and Intel’s WiDi Wireless Display technology is also supported for wireless video connections to compatible displays.

Overall, this machine should be able to handle the vast majority of demanding applications, from routine email and word processing right the way through to heavyweight image editing and multimedia. If you’re in the market for a powerful, stylish laptop that is capable of getting real work don on the move this could be the machine for you!

Click here to see what others are saying about this machine at Amazon.com.

Finally, for something a little different, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop (59406981) Black offers some interesting features at a reasonable price. It falls into the category of so-called convertible laptops, meaning that it is capable of converting from a conventional laptop for use with keyboard intensive tasks such as writing a document, into a more touch-focused device best used for media consumption – watching movies, for example.

It is driven by a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i3 processor, and features 4GB of DDR3 memory, along with a 500GB hard disk drive. With two standard USB 2.0 ports, one high-speed USB 3.0 port and built in 802.11 b/g/n WiFi for wireless networking, this is a competent if unremarkable mid-range machine that should cope well with everyday computing tasks like surfing the web, checking email, updating social status and using standard office productivity software.

Its major benefit lies in its ability to flip its 10-point, 15.6 inch multi-touch HD screen right over by 300 degrees, converting the machine from a conventional laptop to a touch-based screen that is ideal for watching movies or interacting with largely touch-driven applications. As you would expect, the machine is thin, small and lightweight, making it easily portable but, in consequence, it doesn’t include a built in CD / DVD drive. In reality, that’s unlikely to be a problem for most users, but if you think you might need one you will have to purchase an external USB model for use with this machine.

Overall, this machine offers plenty of power for routine computing tasks, is easy to take around with you, and, with a reported 5-hour battery life, should have plenty of juice left to get some work done when you reach your destination. Whether its laptop-to-stand convertible feature will be of any interest to you is a matter of personal choice – it could certainly be useful for watching movies or making presentations.

Click here to see what others are saying about this machine at Amazon.com.

Clearly, the best Lenovo laptop to buy depends very much on your needs and budget. Each of the laptops discussed above should be perfectly capable of completing the kinds of tasks they are designed for and, indeed, may well be the best Lenovo machines currently on the market for those tasks.