Lenovo IdeaPad G570 review

10 Aug 2011

A great all-rounder with surprising power, plenty of stamina and a nice keyboard – all for an enticing price

Price when reviewed: 
400(£400 inc VAT)
4

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.

Lenovo IdeaPad G570

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.

Lenovo IdeaPad G570

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.

Details

Price ex VAT £333
Price inc VAT £400
Overall rating 4
Features & Design 3
Value for Money 5
Performance 4

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 376 x 249 x 40mm (WDH)
Weight 2.420kg
Travelling weight 2.8kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i3-2310M
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Memory type DDR3
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 2

Screen and video

Screen size 15.6in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
Graphics chipset Intel HD Graphics 3000
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 500GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Hard disk Hitachi TravelStar 5K500.B
Optical disc technology DVD writer
Battery capacity 4,100mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 100Mbits/sec
802.11a support no
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support no

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch yes
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 4
FireWire ports 0
eSATA ports 1
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader yes
MMC (multimedia card) reader yes
Smart Media reader yes
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader yes
Pointing device type Touchpad
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 2.0mp
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no
Carry case no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 6hr 15min
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.59
Multitasking score 0.44

Operating system and software

Operating system WIndows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
OS family Windows 7
Recovery method Recovery partiion