Lenovo IdeaPad G570 review
A great all-rounder with surprising power, plenty of stamina and a nice keyboard – all for an enticing price
It’s rare that budget laptops inflame the passions at PC Pro, but when a full-sized laptop costs only £400 we’re willing to make an exception. Lenovo’s IdeaPad G570 delivers its first surprise the moment you slip it from its box. Lenovo has infused the contoured, dark-brown lid with a subtle silver sparkle, and the keyboard’s brushed-metal surround also looks the part.
It’s the same keyboard as that of the IdeaPad Z570, so the Scrabble-tile keys have a scooped-out profile and a light, crisp action that makes the Lenovo perfectly comfortable to work on. Even the small touchpad is excellent, providing smooth cursor control and a pair of discrete buttons.
As you’d probably expect, build quality isn’t the match of pricier competitors. The predominantly plastic chassis feels a little hollow when you tap on it and, while the base gives only under duress, we didn’t have to press particularly hard on the lid before it fouled the LCD panel inside and showed through on the display. It’s no worse than many budget laptops, but a decent sleeve will be a worthy purchase if you work on the move.
The upside is that at 2.42kg it’s very light, and with no dedicated graphics to sap the Lenovo’s battery, the IdeaPad G570 clocked an impressive 6hrs 15mins of light-use battery life before giving up the ghost.
The lack of dedicated graphics restricts the Lenovo to more basic games: it managed only 12fps in our Medium Crysis test, but the Core i3 processor has no such issue with other Windows applications. Despite lacking the Turbo Boost of pricier Core i5 CPUs, an overall benchmark result of 0.59 proves it still has plenty of power at its disposal.
If there’s one minor weakness in the IdeaPad G570, it’s the screen. Despite being one of the brightest on test, the greyish blacks rob images of the depth and solidity we see on better models. It isn’t a terminal fault, however, and the natural colour reproduction and high brightness partially make up for the poor 171:1 contrast ratio.
It’s always easy to pick fault with budget laptops, and although the IdeaPad G570 lacks some of the niceties of other models here, it has it where it counts. For a very tempting price it packs Core i3 performance into an unusually refined laptop.
|Price ex VAT||£333|
|Price inc VAT||£400|
|Features & Design||3|
|Value for Money||5|
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||376 x 249 x 40mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i3-2310M|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,366|
|Resolution screen vertical||768|
|Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD Graphics 3000|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk||Hitachi TravelStar 5K500.B|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||100Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||yes|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||4|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Smart Media reader||yes|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Camera megapixel rating||2.0mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||6hr 15min|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.59|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||WIndows 7 Home Premium 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows 7|
|Recovery method||Recovery partiion|