Are there any Issues with Lenovo B560?

BingBangBop

Storage is cool
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Messages
667
I'm intending to give my niece, that is college bound, a notebook as a graduation present. Price matters, but so does functionality and reliability. Using my research a reasonable low-priced model to give would be a Levono B560 @$379 at Best Buy. Any significant gotcha's?
 

BingBangBop

Storage is cool
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Messages
667
I started out thinking Thinkpad, but to get at a similar price it wouldn't be even close to this functionality. The only Thinkpad's less that $500 I found were X120e and they really are in the Netbook category with large sacrifices in capability that I didn't think were acceptable.

Just by requiring a 15" screen and being a Thinkpad between $500-$800 produced this short list: Low priced Thinkpads. I really wonder if it is really worth the 60% price premium over the Lenovo Ideapad B560 using comparable specs.

Not having experience with notebooks, are the Low end business Thinkpads at the $610-$680 price point that much better than the Consumer Ideapad B560 at $379?
 

BingBangBop

Storage is cool
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Messages
667
I do note that she already has a notebook. An ASUS that she bought new for $175 and it is missing 4 keycaps. When I suggested that it really needs those replaced, she just replied that they still work she just has to press the nubs. To me, that is just plain unacceptable. Time to get a new notebook and her graduation is a good excuse.
 

Howell

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Feb 24, 2003
Messages
4,740
Location
Chattanooga, TN
In order to get a Thinkpad you might consider getting a used one and upgrading the warranty on it. You might be able to bit your price point that way.
 

BingBangBop

Storage is cool
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Messages
667
In order to get a Thinkpad you might consider getting a used one and upgrading the warranty on it. You might be able to bit your price point that way.
I'd consider it but there are issues. First is the concept of giving a used item as a gift but if it is a big enough price differential I can live with that.

A bigger issue is that the discounts for a refurbished machine is not so large that a post-sale extended warranty wouldn't absorb it all and then I'm stuck with the same dilemma -- are the Thinkpads worth the price premium over a similar spec'ed IdeaPad?
 

BingBangBop

Storage is cool
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Messages
667
Do you guys see computer naive people getting netbooks for college-bound kids these days when they really need a true, albeit low-end, laptop? I wonder how many parents/relatives don't know the difference other than ~$400.
All I can say is as I was doing my research at Best Buy, the salesmen/women were certainly striving mightily to convince people to upgrade from their starting point. When listening to the customers, they appeared to be quite naive and generally easily swayed by the salesmen's insistence that more cores, more ram, faster processors matter a lot and are not that much more money.
 

LiamC

Storage Is My Life
Joined
Feb 7, 2002
Messages
2,016
Location
Canberra
Is it meant to be a truly portable device? I've been carting a Dell 15.6"/3.0kg around, and comparing it to a 2.1kg/14" HP. The difference in portability is remarkable. The Dell is just too bulky to be truly portable. My next notebook will be a 14" or 13.3" that is hopefully even smaller/lighter than the HP.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,268
Location
USA
The Lendovo is a 5 lb. machine with the 6-cell pack. It is a little wide, but fine for most users.
 

time

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Messages
4,899
Location
Brisbane, Oz
LiamC: +1.

14" is really the limit to get a form factor that's truly portable.

For most females, 13.3" is more realistic. If that doesn't sound acceptable, then I'd ask why you're getting a laptop at all?

And to those who criticize netbooks, you obviously haven't tried to carry a laptop around all day. You can always plug a netbook into an external monitor for a bigger display when you need it.

Having said that, why do students take laptops to lectures? Surely in this day and age, lecture notes will be available for download? My daughter and her friends used theirs for Facebook etc when the lecture was boring. :(

BBB: the laptop you linked is the absolute bottom of the Lenovo range; after a bit of searching I suspect it was designed for the Indian market, i.e. price was an overriding design consideration. I'd really want to play with one before making it a gift. Also bear in mind that battery runtime is fairly token on that model; it will spend almost all of its life tethered to a power outlet. And the webcam is VGA only - you don't need Full HD, but 1.3MP would be an awful lot better than 0.3MP.

Could be a brilliant buy - let us know what happens.
 

time

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Messages
4,899
Location
Brisbane, Oz
BBB, there's a review of a variant here. Obviously the BestBuy variant doesn't have the Nvidia graphics or the digital display ports, but it otherwise seems identical.

My takeaway is that battery life (at least with the battery supplied in Europe) is better than expected (just under 3 hours if you dim the screen, which by default it doesn't), the keyboard and trackpad are quite tolerable, but the lack of anti-glare on the glossy screen is a problem.

So it seems okay for what you intended. HTH.
 

time

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Messages
4,899
Location
Brisbane, Oz
I'll see your SL410 and raise you an L412 for $454. According to Lenovo, "refurbished" means the box was opened and then returned by the customer intact, it's not "scratch & dent". You still get 12 months warranty.

That link may well be broken by the time someone follows it. I was going to link to a T410, but it had vanished from the list by the time I copy and pasted the other URL. :eek:
 

CityK

Storage Freak Apprentice
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
1,719
I can vouche for the L412 -- good build, nice machines (especially like the docking availability). Again, like my comment about it several eons ago, as well as just now in the other thread, the panels on the 14" models definitely aren't the best (not the worst you can find, but come on Lenovo, you can do better then that ! .... though, at least its not glossy). I guess my other knock would also be battery life (with the standard 6 cell) -- on the weaker side, but probably near average.
 

Chewy509

Wotty wot wot.
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
3,153
Location
Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia
Having said that, why do students take laptops to lectures? Surely in this day and age, lecture notes will be available for download? My daughter and her friends used theirs for Facebook etc when the lecture was boring. :(
From what I have seen, most are used for either facebook or gaming. Those that are actually paying attention are still using (like myself) pen and paper to take down lecture notes.

For just about all the subjects I have taken, lecture notes or at least the presentation slides are available for download. Additionally most lectures have the audio recorded as well, and is available 48-72hrs after the lecture to download and listen to.
 

Tannin

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
4,432
Location
Huon Valley, Tasmania
Website
www.redhill.net.au
I second CityK's remarks. The L412 is a very nice unit.

the 14 inch screens are better tan the 15 inch ones, IMO.

But for college ...... what on earth could any student need that isn't amply fulfilled by a netbook?

The only think my netbook really misses is a real mouse and a 19 inch 4 x 3 screen - and those things I plug into it when I'm not mobile with it. And mine is ~2 years old. Presumably the latest ones are faster.

Oh no. I forgot. They all run Windows 7. Well, at least they won't be all that much slower.
 

Chewy509

Wotty wot wot.
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
3,153
Location
Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia
But for college ...... what on earth could any student need that isn't amply fulfilled by a netbook?
I personally use a netbook at Uni, but have a regular desktop at home which has dual 20" LCDs attached.
However most students I've encountered, the laptop is their only PC, and as a guess 95% are running either Windows or Mac OSX. (In my programming classes, only 3 studets out of 96 are running Linux).

Mind you, I go little overboard with my netbook, as it's currently running Arch Linux as the host OS (which on boot, into GUI w/GNOME only consumes 87MB of RAM), and then run Windows 2003 in a VM (VirtualBox) to run Visual Studio 2010, IIS, etc for my two prgramming classes. At which it does a very good job at.

When in Linux, I'm only really using Firefox, OpenOffice and Lyx most of the time. Occasionally I'll start FreeMAT (a MATLAB clone) to do some math stuff. The only games I have installed on the netbook are the ones that come with GNOME, Pingus and Warmux. All of which perform fine on my netbook.

Newer netbooks are not that much faster than the previous generation ones. The only exception are the few running the Atom N550 CPUs. (which are dual core, vs single core w/hyper threading).

PS. I'm running an Asus 1001HA netbook.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,268
Location
USA
The question is whether the user has a desktop PC at home. Some students have only the one notebook for everything and need some decent processing and other capabilities that netbooks just cannot provide.
 

Tannin

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
4,432
Location
Huon Valley, Tasmania
Website
www.redhill.net.au
^ What for?

Seriously - what actual processing does a student need? (Specialist disciplines aside, I mean.) You can write essays on a 286 - well, a Pentium-75 if you want to run a GUI - and surf the web quite happily on a Celeron 1700. I'm not saying that anyone ought to use such machines, but these are big enough to perform the needed task, and any crappy netbook is vastly faster than that. What size car do you need to collect the groceries in? Would a Suburban do if nothing bigger was available? Sheesh.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
^ What for?

Seriously - what actual processing does a student need?
Serious answers: On Windows, it's all about keeping up with security software. And it's ridiculous. Modern Antivirus software likely as not will bring a decent Pentium 4 to its knees. Not to mention the number of truly awful Flash applets and web sites that use Javascript in unspeakable and CPU intensive ways. An Atom benefits from being a modern CPU (it's of the same processor generation as the Core i, though obviously a huge, diverging branch from it), but I'd call a dual core a starting point for anyone who wants to run reasonably modern Windows software like a latter day version of MS Office (which it's entirely possible will be set as a requirement for some of their schoolwork; most first year students at most colleges have to take an MS Office class. Yes really.)
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,268
Location
USA
Converting files to PDF also takes more resources than I originally thought.
 

time

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Messages
4,899
Location
Brisbane, Oz
Indeed. That's an i3 with a smaller cache (2 instead of 3MB) and no hyperthreading.

It also shows as zero quantity available. Sorry.
 

BingBangBop

Storage is cool
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Messages
667
If price is an issue, what about this:
http://outlet.lenovo.com/laptops/thinkpad/2598rz1.html

I'm considering it, just to be able to move to SATA, even though it's pretty much sideways, processor speed wise, and most everything else, from the CF-51.
That is the first machine that I think is actually competative. At $100 less an inexpensive SSD wouldn't be out of the question. I really wish it came with 64 bit Windows though so that adding more RAM would actually be useful.

That being said, there are no more at that price.
 

Santilli

Hairy Aussie
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Messages
5,077
My page showed one available. I went through the entire checkout process, and, it came up invalid product code.
Went back to the page, and, it showed 0 inventory.

By the way, I can't format the replacement SSD anymore, from Vertex.
 

BingBangBop

Storage is cool
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Messages
667
I'm sure that the outlet had only a very few, perhaps only one, and they sold them (it) to someone with a faster trigger finger.
 

Adcadet

Storage Freak
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Messages
1,845
Location
44 degrees, 43 minutes latitude; 91 degrees, 28 mi
An Atom benefits from being a modern CPU (it's of the same processor generation as the Core i, though obviously a huge, diverging branch from it), but I'd call a dual core a starting point for anyone who wants to run reasonably modern Windows software like a latter day version of MS Office (which it's entirely possible will be set as a requirement for some of their schoolwork; most first year students at most colleges have to take an MS Office class. Yes really.)
Do you mean a class that requires you to use MS Office, or a class on how to use MS Office? Either way, that sucks.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
Do you mean a class that requires you to use MS Office, or a class on how to use MS Office? Either way, that sucks.
Both. Yes, you can technically make compatible documents with OpenOffice, but normal people don't understand how, and pretty much every Freshman at every college in the USA has to take a class on how to work Word, Excel and PowerPoint where they're graded on whether or not the documents they make match the template their instructor used.
 

time

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Messages
4,899
Location
Brisbane, Oz
but I'd call a dual core a starting point for anyone who wants to run reasonably modern Windows software like a latter day version of MS Office
Have to disagree, you can still run it - it's just that some operations will be slow to respond.

Serious answers: On Windows, it's all about keeping up with security software. And it's ridiculous. Modern Antivirus software likely as not will bring a decent Pentium 4 to its knees.
I have to agree. I just ran a scan with NOD32 on a 4-core Sandy Bridge i5 with an SSD. It took 1.5 hours to scan 40-50GB (default settings include runtime packers), although as ddrueding has noted in another thread, CPU utilization was only 1/n, i.e. 25% in this case.

A single core, simplified architecture with half the clockspeed really struggles.
 

Chewy509

Wotty wot wot.
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
3,153
Location
Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia
Both. Yes, you can technically make compatible documents with OpenOffice, but normal people don't understand how, and pretty much every Freshman at every college in the USA has to take a class on how to work Word, Excel and PowerPoint where they're graded on whether or not the documents they make match the template their instructor used.
I'm glad that's not the case where I'm attending. :cool:
I think most lecturers/tutors would look at me strange if I said my main word-processor was Lyx,and that I only have OpenOffice installed so I can open the stuff they produce, or to make a presentation in Impress.
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,865
Location
Michigan
^ What for?

Seriously - what actual processing does a student need? (Specialist disciplines aside, I mean.) You can write essays on a 286 - well, a Pentium-75 if you want to run a GUI - and surf the web quite happily on a Celeron 1700. I'm not saying that anyone ought to use such machines, but these are big enough to perform the needed task, and any crappy netbook is vastly faster than that. What size car do you need to collect the groceries in? Would a Suburban do if nothing bigger was available? Sheesh.
None of that gets around the awful 1024x800 screen resolution on most netbooks. Even if you're the most patient person in the world and can tolerate the slug of a CPU having only 800 vertical pixels will drive you crazy.

I had one and couldn't stand the screen resolution or the sluggishness of the system even surfing the web. I did a clean XP install and put another 1GB of RAM in it so I know it wasn't bloatware or anything. My 11.6" "Notbook" on the other hand is great. The 1.3gHz Core2Duo is much faster and more responsive. The screen has more pixels (1366x768) and even running Windows 7 it is still far beyond the Atom powered slug.
 

Santilli

Hairy Aussie
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Messages
5,077
It's been awhile, but, I did get to try David's X-25e powered netbook.
If I'm underwhelmed by that, I'm sure not dropping 300-500 dollars for one.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,268
Location
USA
None of that gets around the awful 1024x800 screen resolution on most netbooks. Even if you're the most patient person in the world and can tolerate the slug of a CPU having only 800 vertical pixels will drive you crazy.

I had one and couldn't stand the screen resolution or the sluggishness of the system even surfing the web. I did a clean XP install and put another 1GB of RAM in it so I know it wasn't bloatware or anything. My 11.6" "Notbook" on the other hand is great. The 1.3gHz Core2Duo is much faster and more responsive. The screen has more pixels (1366x768) and even running Windows 7 it is still far beyond the Atom powered slug.
The last time I checked 768<800.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,268
Location
USA
1024x600 is hopeless for Windows. :tdown:
My 8-year old 10.6 sub-notebook has a 1280x768 display.
 

Santilli

Hairy Aussie
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Messages
5,077
Back to Lenovo. Have a look at how many of their books ship with 32 bit Windows 7?

What is the upgrade cost to go from 32 bit to 64 bit Windows 7?
 
Top