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Lenovo IdeaPad Z570

Eric Ernest 2011-06-25
81 Very Good
Price: Rs 37,990

Full Review

This 15.6-inch IdeaPad Z570 is among the more recent releases by Lenovo. This laptop is aimed at the consumer who wants to get a good sub-Rs 40,000 laptop.



Design

The laptop has a good build quality, with the metallic finish on the back lid and palm-rest serving as just the icing on this very enticing cake. The laptop features a full keyboard and a separate number pad. The IdeaPad Z570's has a 15.6-inch LED backlit widescreen display and weighs 2.58-kg with a six-cell battery.

Usabiltity

The Lenovo IdeaPad Z570 has a bright screen and provides decent viewing angles. The 15.6 inch glossy screen supports a maximum screen resolution of 1366x768 pixels. This screen is good for viewing text and videos. There's a 2.0-megapixel (MP) webcam placed on the IdeaPad Z570's screen bezel.



The keyboard features Chiclet style keys, which basically make your keyboard have a less cluttered feel as well as making typing all the more comfortable. The Chiclet keys are curved at the bottom and well spaced, and allow for any annoying dirt particles to be easily cleaned off. The overall touchpad response was good.

Just above the keyboard to the left is the power button, along with the one key recovery button. To the top right corner of the keyboard, you will find a number of touch sensitive buttons, such as those for muting/unmuting the sound, decreasing/increasing the volume, the 'one key theatre' button for selecting scene mode and the thermal management button. The thermal management allows you to set the fan speed to the following modes: standard, super silent, efficient thermal dissipation and dedusting. The speakers are placed along the same horizontal as the touch sensitive buttons, with one speaker extension at each of the right and left ends.

Hardware

The Lenovo IdeaPad comes with a good configuration for its asking price. It features a second generation Intel 2.10 Ghz Intel Core i3-2310M (Sandy Bridge) processor, 3GB DDR3 RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT520M graphics card with 1GB memory together with an on-board Intel HD3000 graphics (you get to select between the two GPUs using Nvidia’s Optimus switchable graphics mode), and a 640GB hard drive. 



The laptop has 3 USB 2.0 ports, 1 eSata port, Ethernet, VGA Port, HDMI, headphone and mike ports, and a card reader. The Lenovo IdeaPad Z570 also has Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.



The laptop features a hardware toggle for selecting between the GT520M and the Intel HD 3000. There is also a handy switch for allowing/disallowing wireless network connectivity. The laptop comes pre-installed with Windows 7 Home Basic, so you will be missing out on features such as Aero theme and Windows Media Center.



More details can be seen on this review's "Specifications" page.

Software

The Lenovo Z570 comes bundled with its own substantial set of proprietary software. Included in this set was the biometric face recognition tool, VeriFace, which is a very handy utility for securely logging into your system. After Veriface takes your picture, every time you have to login, it will scan your face to recognize whether you are the authorized user are not. We had persons other than the authorised user stand in front of the camera for the login process and Veriface only allowed the intended user (this reviewer) to login. Interestingly it didn’t accept the user when we put up a passport size photo of the authorised user. Veriface doubles up as an extra security feature when your system login is already password protected. Pretty neat stuff.



OneKey recovery, which is also part of Lenovo’s software set on the Z570 laptop, allows you to backup and recover all the relevant data. Energy Management, a power management tool, lets you tweak your power settings to get the most out of your laptop's battery. The various power schemes are Energy Star, High performance, Balanced and Super Energy Saver. However it must be said that this feature is a duplication of what Windows already offers. In other words it’s redundant.

Then there's the CyberLink YouCam, a tool that lets you do a whole lot of fun things with the IdeaPad Z460's 2.0MP webcam. This reviewer spent an inordinate amount of time 'testing' this software.  The results are there for everyone to see.



The Lenovo EE Boot optimizer, as the name implies, allows you to optimize your systems boot time. Before running the optimizer, the time from starting up the system to get to your login screen stood at 37:43 seconds. Lenovo recorded the boot time at 37 seconds. After the optimization was performed, the system had a boot time of around 28 seconds.

The DirectShare feature allows you to connect with other laptops and share files and folders.

Performance

It had a score of 97 on the WorldBench 6 test, and this is good given that the laptop comes with a Core i3 processor and GT520M graphics card. The score shows that this laptop is able to cope well with daily activities and it won’t have trouble coping with processor and memory intensive tasks either.



During synthetic testing, the laptop recorded an average read speed of 70.7 MB/s. It had a PC Mark Vantage score of 5306, which is understandable given the laptops configuration.

The audio system for this laptop does provide a loud sound output, which is good enough for a medium sized room. The laptop also did a good job of playing high-definition HD 1080p videos. 

On this laptop, games would be ideally run at lower settings given that GT 520M is an entry level graphics card. And for those of you looking to play the more graphically demanding games, this is not the machine for you. But then again, this is a rather small inconvenience, as this laptop was not intended for gamers as such.

FarCry 2, played at 1366x768, DirectX 10 mode, AA 8x, and 'Ultra High' settings, registered a 17.53 fps -- barely playable. For Metro 2033, played at 1366 x 768, DirectX 11, Very High Quality, AAA, AF 4X, and all settings maxed, registered a measly 6.0 fps. Given these scores as well as at the laptop’s native resolution, playing games at low settings would make for a comparatively smoother sailing for casual gamers. 

Throughout our testing, the IdeaPad Z570 did a good job of keeping itself cool. However, you do notice that the lower centre part of the laptop slightly heats up. Moreover, the laptop was very quiet during operation.

The laptop's six-cell battery lasted for just 1 hour 38 minutes through our battery tests, at high performance mode. Given the Lenovo IdeaPad Z570's internal hardware, this rather low score is understandable. However, having said that, you should be able to extract around 4 hours out of the laptop's battery for doing lighter work such as browsing the web.

Upgradability

A definite advantage when buying any latop is the ability to easily upgrade the hardware as and when required. The Lenovo IdeaPad provides a design that is conducive to carrying out such an upgrade. Once you remove the back cover, which is not too troublesome, you find the slots for the memory and hard disk at an easily accessible position. So in the future if you are thinking about giving your laptop a new leash of life, then go ahead and pump new blood into your system as the Lenovo Z570 facilitates this process by providing an easy access to it's innards.

Bottom Line

The configuration we tested costs about Rs. 37,990 (excluding taxes). The IdeaPad Z570 tries to differentiate itself from the crowd by having a good hardware configuration as well as having an interesting set of proprietary software, and all at a price under Rs. 40,000. Other models in this series come with separate improvements such as Core i5 processor, 4G DDR3 RAM, and 750 GB of disk space. Even then the highest price is Rs. 42,290, which is still a reasonable pricing level for a multimedia laptop.

If you want a sub-Rs. 40,000 laptop with a good build and one that packs enough of a punch to get you through your multimedia tasks, then the Lenovo IdeaPad 570 is one such product you should definitely check out.

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