It so happens, that you can’t get enough of your screen size, so you need a bigger screen to absorb more content, thus, the 17 inches is the extreme you can go on a laptop. 17-inches laptops usually cost a lot though, but thankfully, the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 is in fact quite an affordable one. Thus, we deem it necessary to provide a thorough review for our readers.
For the review, we have selected the eighth generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor (CPU); 8GB of DDR4 RAM; a 1TB, 5400 RPM Hard Disk Drive (HDD); and a 17-inch, 720p display.
Considering the low cost of the laptop, the fact that the entire chassis is made out of plastic is quite acceptable. In fact, it helps in making the laptop more portable since plastic is lighter than aluminum. Don’t worry that this is going to affect the elegance of the laptop since it isn’t really cheap plastic but a higher quality one.
As for the dimensions, the laptop measures 16.46 in x 11.52 in x 0.98 in and has a weight of 6.17 pounds (2.8 kg), which is acceptable for a 17-inch laptop.
The laptop has a full-sized HDMI, USB-A and Ethernet ports too. This means that you won’t need to connect dongles for wired connectivity purposes. There is a USB-C port too, but unfortunately, you can’t use it to connect external displays but only for data transfers. You can also insert an SD card into the SD card reader slot, while headphones can also be used with a 3.5 mm audio (in/out).
Surprisingly, the laptop has a DVD reader too, which can come in handy someday, but perhaps, we don’t see a point in including obsolete technologies.
There isn’t any fingerprint reader or any other biometrics for easy login using Windows Hello. Though again, it’s just to keep the cost low, and you can always log in with a pin.
There is dTPM 2.0 though for security purposes.
We would have wanted a LED backlit keyboard, and low cost in no way is an excuse for this since it is the norm these days. Thankfully, there is a small light on both num lock and caps lock button telling you if its ‘on’ or not. Though, the keyboard, in general, has a larger travel and the actuation force required is adequate too. This makes for a comfortable typing experience.
Since the IdeaPad 330 has a large chassis to house a 17-inch screen, it makes sense for a dedicated numpad to be present too, without compromising the key travel. Thus, you can easily punch in numbers in all those excel sheets you work on.
The touchpad unsurprisingly is spacious enough, but there aren’t any precision drivers available for it right now. Even if you try to install them, you might render the touchpad unusable. Hopefully, a future update is likely to solve this.
The IdeaPad 330 has an Intel Dual Band Wireless AC-3165 802.11ac (2 x 2), for you to use Wi-Fi. For Bluetooth purposes, the laptop houses a Bluetooth 4.1 module.
Display and Graphics
The display is a mere 720p panel which means the screen resolution is just 1600 x 900 pixels. Though, 720p doesn’t seem to go anywhere, since it is still found on more than 70 percent of new laptops sold even in this 4k era. The display though has good enough colors, and you can view the screen from an acceptable angle too.
To render the display, the IdeaPad 330 has an integrated graphics card: The Intel UHD Graphics 620.
Perhaps, one major downside of this laptop would be its battery. Considering the laptop is 17 inches one, it had enough space to house a high capacity battery, but sadly the battery is a 30Wh, 4000mAh internal one, and lasts only 3 hours and 30 minutes, on casual usage like browsing the internet through Microsoft Edge, with a screen brightness of 75 percent.
Therefore, you might want to be near a wall outlet most of the time.
The laptop features a front-facing 720 webcam at the top of the screen, but it isn’t really good. Therefore, you are better off buying an external webcam, if you want to use it for productivity purposes.
Price and Configuration
The laptop is available for a very low-price tag of $530 for which you are getting is an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U Quad-core CPU, 17-inch 1600 x 900 (HD) screen, 8GB DDR4-2400MHz RAM, 1TB 5400RPM SATA HDD, with an Intel UHD Graphics 620.
Considering that there really aren’t many 17-inches laptops boasting an 8th gen i5 for such an affordable price, we recommend you to buy the laptop if you are on a budget and want a decent machine. You can get it from Amazon here.