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As the lightest 15.6-inch budget laptop we’ve tested, Lenovo’s G50-45 seems like a home run for commuters and frequent business travelers. And it would be, if not for its worst-in-class battery life. That makes the G50 a travel-friendly workstation only if you don’t plan to work away from a power outlet for long, and use a mouse pads with wrist support.

So can solid performance, a bright display and a superaffordable $299 price make up for that one big shortcoming?

Design

Competing laptops feel like clunkers next to the Lenovo G50. Measuring 0.98 inches thick and weighing 4.6 lbs., the notebook is noticeably more portable than the 5.11-lb. Dell Inspiron 15 5000 and the 5-lb. Asus X555LA. That’s good news if you need to lug your laptop between home and the office.

Of course, the G50’s cheap design helps it achieve that light weight. It’s not a bad-looking laptop, but its textured plastic lid feels hollow, and its plastic chassis doesn’t feel as durable as what you get on some competing machines like the sturdy Inspiron 15 5000.

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