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Lenovo, a Chinese company, seems to be a mixed bag when it comes to laptops. The company has a record for producing some of the best and most innovated laptops in the industry. It has also produced some of the poorest and clunkiest budget models on the market. A particularly poor lineup of products in 2016 dropped its overall rating to near the bottom in the eyes of most industry reviewers and consumers. When it comes to buying a Lenovo laptop, it can pay to do some research on the exact model and type. A shot in the dark could yield a great machine or an abysmal lemon.

Quality and Selection

Lenovo has an overall broad selection when it comes to performance and price. While their laptops are more geared toward business and work or daily use, they can produce systems powerful enough to function as gaming machines even if they do not look the part. In general, Lenovo tends to focus on lighter and more portable machines with even their more expensive models weighing in considerably less than most competitors.

The quality of those machines is often a case-by-case basis. The ThinkPad lineup tends to be one of their best, and it stands as an industry leader when it comes to business and work laptops. The company also offers models with distinct technology. They were among the first to produce laptops with flex technology, allowing the computer to turn completely around and become a tablet without detaching. They also have models like the Flex 3 that was so high performing for its price that many considered it a premium laptop.

When it comes to budget laptops, the company certainly produces some of the cheapest and lightest machines available. This comes at the expected cost of quality, performance and appearance. The company can certainly produce inexpensive options, but balancing cost with durability and dependability seems to be a sticky point.

Design and Appearance

Lenovo laptops tend to be no-frills affairs when it comes to appearance. A few of the models are eye-catching, with non-standard monitor designs and narrow centralized connection points that make them appear more high-tech. The Flex models are a standout, with the remainder of the line-up being smooth and consistent. Even their gaming option is a simple aluminum frame with little to no flashy lighting effects. Some gamers may find this refreshing, but most people aren’t looking to Lenovo for their next gaming rig.

Keyboards seem to be a particular problem for Lenovo. Across the board, their machines seem to have poor keyboard quality and comfort. This is especially true of the budget Ideapad 100 and similar models. The keyboard is both uncomfortable and unresponsive to the point that many consumers bought a keyboard attachment.

Tech Support and Warranty

Tech support is one reason the company has fallen in the eyes of many consumers. Phone support has proven to be both unreliable and time-consuming in recent years, keeping customers waiting with long hold and call times and then giving them inaccurate information. Call time is often lengthened by support staff with limited knowledge, and they frequently seem to need to look up answers to basic questions.

Warranty is again a matter of which model is selected. Cheaper models come with a limited 1-year warranty and no return shipping. Standard models still only have a 1-year warranty but at least include return shipping. More expensive models expand that warranty to 3-years. One good piece is that warranties remain in place even if the laptop has been upgraded.

Included Software

Included software is actually a standout positive for Lenovo. The company has led the way in terms of file-transfer apps like SHAREit and REACHit. The machines also included a useful Solution Center, which is able to internally scan the computer and identify or fix many problems prior to needing customer support.

Final Verdict

A Lenovo laptop can be a very useful and quality purchase or it can be a complete flop. The company’s inconsistency has dampened its brand name in the eyes of many consumers. Some will swear by Lenovo’s quality and others will curse it for providing sub-par machines. If a Lenovo selection is made carefully with prior research, then it can prove to be an amazing and affordable purchase. Those looking for particular innovations like the flex technology would do well to investigate Lenovo for their next business or student computer.