Lenovo laptop buying guide

Which Lenovo notebook is right for you?

If you're in the market for a Lenovo laptop, you need to know which model will best suit your needs. Lenovo has three different laptop ranges: ThinkPad, IdeaPad and Essential. There are different series available within these ranges, so it's not a clear-cut choice as to which might be right for you. In this guide we will go through all of the options available in Lenovo's ThinkPad, IdeaPad and Essential G series so that you know which laptops are suitable for serious work, play, entertainment, or all of the above.

Lenovo ThinkPad

ThinkPad laptops are Lenovo's professional-grade models. They are known for their business-like good looks, strong build quality and reliability. They are designed to appeal to professional users who want a no-fuss laptop computer that can be used for crunching numbers, word processing, creating presentations, displaying multimedia files and much more. ThinkPad laptops have undergone only slight modifications over the years — some have almost the same styling they had 10 years ago — but the range has been expanded to cater to users who want a small, basic computer, right up to users who want a high-end machine for the ultimate in processing performance. Here are the different ThinkPad ranges that are available in Australia.

ThinkPad Edge: The ThinkPad Edge is the most basic of the ThinkPad models, and it's designed for small business users who want something inexpensive, yet stylish and capable of running office programs comfortably. It's available in 14in and 15in sizes and with Intel Core i3 or Core i5 CPUs. Like all ThinkPads, it has dual pointing devices (a TrackPoint and a touchpad). Pricing starts from $649.

Thinkpad L: For business users who want a simple yet serious laptop for running an office suite and using the Internet, the ThinkPad L Series should be enticing. It makes use of Intel Core i3 or Core i5 CPUs and is available in 14in or 15in sizes. Lenovo claims that it also contains more post-consumer recycled content than any laptop in the world (post-consumer recycled content includes items such as used paper and cardboard, aluminium cans and plastics). Pricing starts from $729.

ThinkPad T: The ThinkPad T Series is tailored for corporate users who want a well-built and comfortable laptop with a long battery life. ThinkPad T notebooks feature Intel's Core i5 or Core i7 CPUs, so they're very powerful, and they have all the features that have made ThinkPads famous, such as dual-pointing devices, a matte screen and a screen-mounted keyboard light. T Series notebooks have a sturdy built quality that includes metal hinges. Pricing starts from $1799. Back in 2009, a ThinkPad T Series notebook was the first ever notebook to receive a 5-star rating from the PC World Test Centre.

ThinkPad W: Professional users who want the ultimate in computing performance should find the ThinkPad W Series appealing. The ThinkPad W Series consists of a 15in mobile workstation that can be configured with either an Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 CPU, and it ships with professional-grade graphics solutions (such as the NVIDIA Quadro). The W Series is perfect for designers and engineers who need to take a powerful computer with them between home, work, and on-site locations. Pricing starts from $3099.

ThinkPad X: With a thin frame, a light weight and long battery life, the Lenovo ThinkPad X Series is designed for executives, or indeed anyone, who want a very mobile notebook that has very good specifications. The X Series comes with a 12in screen and it's available with either an Intel Core i5 or a Core i7 CPU. Pricing for an X Series ThinkPad starts from $1879. Those of you who want a tablet-convertible notebook will also want to look at the ThinkPad X Series — models with touchscreens are available and start from $2699.

Lenovo IdeaPad

The IdeaPad represents Lenovo's lifestyle selection of notebooks, which means they are tailored to offer home entertainment features and swift performance that home users and students can take advantage of. IdeaPad notebooks have a lot more flair than their ThinkPad stablemates; they have more curves, a glossy finish and they can even sport patterned lids, which will really make you stand out from the crowd. There are three series of IdeaPad laptops: S Series, Y Series and Z Series.

IdeaPad S Series: The S Series is Lenovo's netbook offering. It's a 10in laptop that sports Intel Atom CPU technology and it's suited to basic tasks such as Web browsing, media consumption and document creation. Pricing starts at around $399.

IdeaPad Y Series: The Y Series is designed for home users and students who have a creative side and an appetite for entertainment. It features a 15in screen, glossy styling, a two-tone colour scheme and it's fast! It can be configured with a high-end Intel Core i7 CPU and an AMD Radeon graphics card, which allow the Y Series to be used for video encoding, video editing, watching Blu-ray movies, gaming and many other multimedia tasks. Pricing for a Y Series laptop starts at around $1099 depending on the configuration.

IdeaPad Z Series: The Z Series is also designed for multimedia pursuits, such as watching videos and editing photos, but it's not as powerful as the Y Series so it can be found at more affordable prices. It's available with Intel Core i5 CPUs and pricing start at around $799.

Essential G Series

The Lenovo Essential G Series of laptops are similar to the IdeaPad in size and design and they are suitable for home users and students looking for a bargain. They are useful for everyday computing and multimedia work, and depending on the configuration, you could even use them for taxing tasks such as video and photo editing. Essential G Series laptops have a 15in screen and can be configured with Intel Core i3 or Core i5 CPUs and pricing starts from $829.

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