• Intel Core i5-3210M @ 2.50GHz processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • 14-inch LED backlit HD display (1366 x 768) display
  • 720GB storage
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, 2 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0, VGA, HDMI
  • Pros:
  • Sleek, stylish design
  • Good performance
  • Nice audio
  • Cons:
  • Trackpad buttons could be better

The Stylish Idealist

Style adorns the new Lenovo IdeaPad Z480. Style, chic and quite a few things under its lovely aesthetics. By virtue of design, the Z480 isn’t built as a flagship device of varied and marvellous spectacle. But if you’re one for a stylish notebook with the performance chops and sufficient features to go with, the Z480 is dressed right for you.

We harp on its style for good reason. The Z480 sports a glamorous design, which starts with its bright, arresting colours (our ruby-crimson one is lovely) that is nicely balanced with glossy black. This 14-inch notebook doesn’t try very hard to be thin, but it’s not bulky for its stature and is no more heavier than the standard notebook.

The good design doesn’t just end on the aesthetics, as the Z480 sports pretty good exterior components, too. The screen displays decently, and Lenovo’s excellent keyboard design is back to provide great and comfortable typing. The trackpad works smoothly too, but it’s unfortunately marred by buttons that are too soft and click awkwardly.Generously, the Z480 offers two USB 3.0 ports aside from two other USB 2.0’s. It also has a HDMI and a VGA port. It’s nice to be complete.

We’ll like to point out that the Z480’s audio is, perhaps surprisingly, excellent. Not only is it loud, but it also reproduces sound with good fidelity and clarity. Great for music and movies.

The Z480 runs an Intel Core i5-3210M clocked at 2.5GHz alongside 4GB of RAM. It’s not the most performable laptop, yes, but it’s well powerful enough for normal laptop use. By that, we mean that the Z480 can perfectly handle HD movies, most software and less graphics-intense gaming. Battery life here is nothing to shout about; we barely clocked 2 hours and a half with our video loop test, screen at max brightness and Wi-Fi on. But hey, that’s just about as far as standard notebooks go.

CHIP CONCLUDE: All in all, the Lenovo IdeaPad Z480 doesn’t shout spectacles in its wake. There’s not much here that sets the bar. But for all its worth, the Z480 is undoubtedly well made. It’s a stylish, well-designed and ultimately quite performable notebook that has all the parts done right. Sometimes good ideas are the ones that work best, and this certainly works its best.

(previously published in issue August 2012)