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Lenovo B50-45 Notebook Review Update

Sascha Mölck (translated by Martina Osztovits), 09/27/2014

Below average. Lenovo decided to use the new Beema APU from AMD in its B50-45. Only 390 Euros (~$494) is due for the simple office notebook with a size of 15.6-inches. However, the computer definitely reflects its low price tag.

For the original German review, see here.

With the B50 series, Lenovo offers several low-priced notebooks. With the B50-30 (Celeron N2815, HD Graphics (Bay Trail)), we have already reviewed the cheapest model of the series (269 Euros, ~$341, with Windows 8.1 Bing) a few weeks ago. Our test model comes with an AMD APU. Its price of 390 Euros (~$494) is significantly higher than the B50-30's. Our review will reveal whether the device is appealing.

Since the design of the two B50 models is identical, we will not cover case, connectivity, input devices, and speakers here. Information about these is available in our Lenovo B50-30 review.

Display

The Lenovo B50-30's display was not very bright and the B50-45 is not different. While a brightness of 191.1 cd/m² corresponds to the low price of the computer, it cannot be called good. Contrast (519:1) and black value (0.37 cd/m²) perform better. The display achieves very decent results in these aspects.

187
cd/m²
186
cd/m²
201
cd/m²
195
cd/m²
192
cd/m²
203
cd/m²
189
cd/m²
175
cd/m²
192
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 203 cd/m² Average: 191.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 192 cd/m²
Contrast: 519:1 (Black: 0.37 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 11.03 | 1.01-23.34 Ø6.8
ΔE Greyscale 11.59 | 0.79-16.8 Ø7
Gamma: 2.3

In factory state, the average DeltaE 2000 is 11.03. Most displays perform similarly. Values smaller than 3 are desirable. In addition, the display has a strong bluish tint.

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - gray levels
CalMAN - gray levels
CalMAN - color saturation
CalMAN - color saturation
The B50-45 outdoors (direct sunlight).
The B50-45 outdoors (direct sunlight).

Lenovo only equipped the B50 with a simple TN panel. As a result the viewing angles are narrow. Thanks to the matte surface, the notebook can be used outdoors to some extent.

Performance

With the B50-45, Lenovo offers a simple 15.6-inch office notebook. The performance of its AMD APU is more than sufficient for office and Internet applications. Videos run without problems, too. Our test model costs about 390 Euros (~$494). Lenovo also offers other configurations - with Intel as well as with AMD hardware, in the B50 series.

Processor

The B50 is powered by an AMD A6-6310 (Beema) APU. The CPU part of the APU is a quad-core processor with a base clock of 1.8 GHz. Thanks to Turbo, the clock rate can be increased to up to 2.4 GHz. AMD specifies a TDP of 15 Watt for this APU. The CPU did not run with its maximum clock rate in the CPU tests of the Cinebench benchmarks. The clock rate ranges from 2 to 2.4 GHz in the single thread tests, while it is 2 GHz in the multi-thread tests. On battery, the clock rate ranges only from 1.6 to 1.8 GHz in the multi-thread tests. In terms of performance, the processor ranks in between the Haswell Pentium and Haswell Core i3.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.55 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.82 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
14.23 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
47 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
148 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
14.04 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Help
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo B50-45
Radeon R4 (Beema), A6-6310, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
0.55 Points ∼25%
Lenovo B50-30
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2815, Seagate Momentus Thin 320 GB ST320LT012
0.32 Points ∼15% -42%
Acer Aspire E5-551-T8X3
Radeon R6 (Kaveri), A10-7300, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
0.49 Points ∼23% -11%
HP 15-g005ng
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
0.6 Points ∼28% +9%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE69HW-29574G50Mnsk
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2957U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
0.62 Points ∼29% +13%
Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
0.79 Points ∼37% +44%
Lenovo G510-59416358
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1.25 Points ∼58% +127%
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo B50-45
Radeon R4 (Beema), A6-6310, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1.82 Points ∼10%
Lenovo B50-30
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2815, Seagate Momentus Thin 320 GB ST320LT012
0.62 Points ∼4% -66%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE69HW-29574G50Mnsk
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2957U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1.2 Points ∼7% -34%
Acer Aspire E5-551-T8X3
Radeon R6 (Kaveri), A10-7300, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
1.74 Points ∼10% -4%
HP 15-g005ng
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
2.01 Points ∼11% +10%
Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
2.01 Points ∼11% +10%
Lenovo G510-59416358
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
3.25 Points ∼18% +79%

System Performance

The system runs smoothly. We did not face any problems. The good results in the PCMark benchmarks add to the good overall impression.

PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
1914 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
1997 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
2781 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo B50-45
Radeon R4 (Beema), A6-6310, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1914 Points ∼34%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE69HW-29574G50Mnsk
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2957U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1492 Points ∼26% -22%
HP 15-g005ng
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
1967 Points ∼35% +3%
Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
2092 Points ∼37% +9%
Lenovo G510-59416358
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
2400 Points ∼42% +25%
Acer Aspire E5-551-T8X3
Radeon R6 (Kaveri), A10-7300, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
2574 Points ∼45% +34%

Storage Devices

Data is stored on a hard drive from Seagate with a revolution speed of 5400 rpm and a capacity of 500 GB. About 25 GB is occupied by a recovery partition. The transfer rates of the hard drive are throughout good.

Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
Sequential Read: 105.7 MB/s
Sequential Write: 101.5 MB/s
512K Read: 36.86 MB/s
512K Write: 44.19 MB/s
4K Read: 0.448 MB/s
4K Write: 0.754 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 1.03 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 0.781 MB/s

Graphics Card

The graphics core of the B50 also stems from AMD. It is called Radeon R4 (Beema). The GPU supports DirectX 11.2 and has a clock rate of up to 800 MHz. Depending on the benchmark the performance of the GPU is between Intel's HD Graphics 4200 and HD Graphics 4400.

3DMark 11 Performance
753 points
3DMark (2013) Ice Storm Standard Score
30225 points
3DMark (2013) Cloud Gate Standard Score
2747 points
3DMark (2013) Fire Strike Standard Score
442 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Lenovo B50-45
Radeon R4 (Beema), A6-6310, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
753 Points ∼4%
Lenovo B50-30
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2815, Seagate Momentus Thin 320 GB ST320LT012
218 Points ∼1% -71%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE69HW-29574G50Mnsk
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2957U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
544 Points ∼3% -28%
Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
784 Points ∼4% +4%
HP 15-g005ng
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
831 Points ∼4% +10%
Lenovo G510-59416358
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
854 Points ∼4% +13%
Acer Aspire E5-551-T8X3
Radeon R6 (Kaveri), A10-7300, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
1363 Points ∼6% +81%

Gaming Performance

At best, casual gamers are able to make use of the B50. The APU can run a few games smoothly with low resolution and low quality settings. Higher settings are only possible in games with low hardware requirements. For example Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one of these. A second RAM module will not increase the frame rates, since the APU does not support dual-channel mode. The latter would use the graphics core more efficiently and ensure higher frame rates.

low med. high ultra
Deus Ex Human Revolution (2011) 40.119.5fps
Dead Space 3 (2013) 46.221.116.5fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 31.715.911.6fps
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013) 64.626.415.4fps
Saints Row IV (2013) 1512.87.4fps
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (2013) 19.311.78.3fps
Total War: Rome II (2013) 27.120.216.2fps
Batman: Arkham Origins (2013) 27169fps
GRID: Autosport (2014) 52.420.3fps
Risen 3: Titan Lords (2014) 16.510.8fps
Sims 4 (2014) 6022.9fps

Emissions

System Noise

The B50 does not get especially loud. For most of the time, the fan runs at low speed and can only be heard in very quiet environments. It only gets louder during the stress test, but the noise remains acceptable. Competitors like the HP 15 and the Extensa work even quieter than the B50.

Noise Level

Idle
32.3 / 32.3 / 32.3 dB(A)
DVD
35.7 / dB(A)
Load
32.6 / 36.2 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The B50-45 during the stress test.
The B50-45 during the stress test.

During the stress test (Prime95 and Furmark run for at least one hour) the CPU clocks at 1.4 GHz in mains operation and on battery. The GPU clocks at 800 MHz during the stress test in mains operation. On battery, its clock rate is limited to 400 MHz. In mains operation the CPU temperature hovered around 60 °C. The case of the B50 never gets especially hot. Even during our stress test, the temperatures remain significantly below 40 °C at each measurement point. The throttled CPU is noticeable here.

 25.5 °C25.3 °C25 °C 
 26.5 °C26.7 °C25.2 °C 
 27 °C27.6 °C28.6 °C 
Maximum: 28.6 °C
Average: 26.4 °C
25.2 °C25.3 °C25.8 °C
25.2 °C27.2 °C27 °C
27.1 °C27 °C26.9 °C
Maximum: 27.2 °C
Average: 26.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  33.8 °C | Room Temperature 23.9 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Energy Management

Power Consumption

In all load scenarios, the energy demand of the B50 is about on par with comparable notebooks with Haswell Core i3 processors. It is commendable that the energy consumption is below 10 Watt while idle. The HP 15 and the Extensa need a similar amount of energy.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.2 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.5 / 7.8 / 8.4 Watt
Load midlight 21.4 / 24.8 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

Our realistic WLAN test automatically loads websites in 40-second intervals. The energy-saving profile is active and the display brightness is set to about 150 cd/m². The B50 only achieves a poor battery life of 3:22 h. The HP 15 (4:51 h) and the Extensa (6:31 h) perform better.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
3h 22min
Battery Runtime - WiFi (sort by value)
Lenovo B50-45
Radeon R4 (Beema), A6-6310, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
202 min ∼7%
Lenovo B50-30
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2815, Seagate Momentus Thin 320 GB ST320LT012
217 min ∼8%
Lenovo G510-59416358
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
251 min ∼9%
Acer Aspire E5-551-T8X3
Radeon R6 (Kaveri), A10-7300, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
280 min ∼10%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE69HW-29574G50Mnsk
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2957U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
285 min ∼11%
HP 15-g005ng
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
291 min ∼11%
Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
391 min ∼14%

Verdict

With the B50-45, Lenovo has a simple 15.6-inch notebook in its line-up, which performs well in office and Internet use as well as video playback. Its CPU and GPU performance are significantly higher than the already reviewed Lenovo B50-30's. Intel's Bay Trail is not a competitor to the AMD APU. In addition, we liked the low system noise and the low temperature increase of the B50-45. Thanks to the big maintenance hatch, the hard drive can be easily replaced. The matte display surprises with a very decent contrast. However, the springy keyboard is a point of critique. Other cheap notebooks come with significantly better keyboards. In addition, we did not like that the warranty period is only for 12 months. The poor battery life in the WLAN test has to be mentioned, too. Nowadays, we expect a result of above 4 hours.  With a battery life of 6:31 h, the Extensa 2510 is exemplary in this aspect.

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In review: Lenovo B50-45. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de
In review: Lenovo B50-45. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de

Specifications

Lenovo B50-45
Processor
AMD A6-6310 1.8 GHz
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon R4 (Beema), Core: 800 MHz, 13.302.1904.0
Memory
4096 MB 
, DDR3, single channel, two RAM slots (one slot occupied)
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, LG Philips, TN LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
AMD Bolton
Storage
Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142, 500 GB 
, 5400 rpm, 390 GB free
Soundcard
AMD Hudson-2 High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: SD
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Qualcomm Atheros AR956x (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0
Optical drive
PLDS DVD-RW DA8A5SH
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 24.7 x 380 x 262 ( = 0.97 x 14.96 x 10.31 in)
Battery
32 Wh Lithium-Ion, 14.4 V, 2200 mAh
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD web cam
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, Cyberlink PhotoDirector 3, Cyberlink PowerDirector 10, Cyberlink PowerDVD 10, McAfee LiveSafe - Internet Security, MS Office 365 (trial version), Nitro Pro 8, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.3 kg ( = 81.13 oz / 5.07 pounds), Power Supply: 300 g ( = 10.58 oz / 0.66 pounds)
Price
399 Euro

 

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Links

Compare Prices

Pro

+matte display
+works quietly
+gets hardly warmer
+maintenance hatch
 

Cons

-dark, bluish display
-springy keyboard
-only 12 month warranty
-poor battery life
-poor web cam

Shortcut

What we like

Low system noise and low temperature.

What we would like to see

A brighter display and a better keyboard.

What surprises us

Lenovo only grants a 12-month warranty.

The competition

HP 15-g005ng, Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4, Lenovo IdeaPad G50-45, Medion Akoya S6213T MD98716, Lenovo B50-30, Acer Aspire E5-551-T8X3, Lenovo G510, Packard Bell EasyNote TE69HW-29574G50Mnsk, Acer Aspire E1-532, Acer Aspire E1-572.

Rating

Lenovo B50-45 - 11/02/2014 v4(old)
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
64 / 98 → 65%
Keyboard
62%
Pointing Device
58%
Connectivity
65 / 81 → 80%
Weight
61 / 67 → 87%
Battery
78%
Display
75%
Games Performance
59 / 68 → 87%
Application Performance
55 / 92 → 60%
Temperature
92%
Noise
90%
Audio
40%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
65%
71%
Office - Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Lenovo B50-45 Notebook Review Update
Sascha Mölck, 2014-09-27 (Update: 2016-02-18)