While under our tough display tests the LCD struggled to reproduce highlights and black level detail in practice DVDs still looked smooth and impressive but only if you're seated straight on, as viewing angles were poor. However, in terms of everyday readability for business applications it can't be faulted, being bright and clear.
Leaving aside the resolution issue, the L500 makes for a very effective work machine. The chassis size has been put to good use and the keyboard is effectively full size so there are no oddly shrunk keys Backspace, Enter and the right Shift are all as they should be and you'll also find arrow keys underneath this. What's more, there's plenty of room for a full number pad on the right, which is unusual on a laptop. The only negative is that we often struck Ins, instead of Delete, which can cause issues with disappearing text.
There is also plenty of room for the track pad, and while the mouse buttons are simply plastic bulges covered in a cheap silver spray paint, at least they're easy and comfortable to use.
Above the keyboard are five large buttons Power on the left and Play/Pause, Skip and Volume mute for the others. Again, these don't look particularly pretty, but they're practical, as is the volume control dial at the front of the chassis. This also is where a memory card slot is located for SD and Sony Memory Stick. You'll also find indicator lights here for wireless, power and disc activity.
The speakers in each corner at least have a decent volume level to match their size, and have a better mid-range than most laptop speakers.
Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.
Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.