Lenovo is often perceived as a company oriented towards business users, partly due to their IBM history, and partly due to the ThinkPad series. Yet their IdeaPad series devices have been present on the market for some time too, a series oriented to buyers that value capabilities and an attractive price more than the reliability and portability of ThinkPad notebooks. The latest model that’s got into our hands is Y570, a very attractive and powerful notebook replete with new technologies.
Larger notebooks, such as this one, usually have a good reason to be as large – either they’re cheap, so cheaper manufacturing required a sacrificed portability, or they’re expensive and full of fast, hot components, which consequently necessitates larger volume of cooling bodies as well. The first contact with Y570 clearly states that no money or effort was saved in the design department, regardless of its final price, which you may or may not be familiar with.
Although well hidden by the choice of colours, both the lid and the section around the keyboard are made of aluminium, which promises a long-lasting and comfortable use. Both aluminium sections have a discreet relief texture, while the frame of the lid has a stylised edge in a different colour. Two JBL-signed speakers boast above the keyboard; they may not be very powerful, but they reproduce sound of amazing quality having in mind their size. Between them is the power button, as well as the most popular sensor buttons for controlling volume, cooling system performance and a few others.
Below all these, there’s a keyboard of solid quality, complete with the numerical section, which isn’t exactly a common feature these days. The touchpad is very large and comfortable for use, and it supports multitouch too, so that you can scroll or zoom screen contents easily.
The display is likely the weakest point of this notebook, or to be more precise, its resolution. Brightness and viewing angles are all decent, as is the overall crispness, but the resolution should’ve been greater, as a notebook of this size could easily accommodate for a larger desktop. This drawback has its bright side too, though, as with hardware this strong, nearly all games will work in the display’s native resolution and all the graphical niceties bumped up.
The edges of the notebook contain a plethora of connectors, and useful ones at that, such as USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and Power eSATA/USB combo. The video output can be transmitted through VGA or HDMI, while the audio input and output were made with particular finesse, with a metal ring around the edges. Expectedly, there was room for a memory card reader, LAN connector and DVD writer as well. The front contains two switches, one for turning the Wi-Fi card adapter on/off, and one for Optimus technology.
On the inside
However, this notebook is only really interesting on the inside, so we were eager to take a look inside. A casual look at the left side of the notebook shows glimpses of the large copper cooling system, which means that there had to be interesting hardware deeper in the enclosure – no manufacturer uses such a large cooling system without the need to.
Indeed, the latest-gen quad-core Core i7 CPU is definitely a beast, and the very fact that it’s located inside this notebook says a lot about how aggressively Lenovo has set the price for this model – this CPU alone costs as much as all other components together. Of course, anyone interested in gaming will appreciate the fact that NVIDIA has provided their GeForce GT555M graphics chip with plenty of memory. Even though Intel has made significant advances in their IGP performance, it will only be sufficient for simpler games. Anything more serious, and you’ll definitely need the GeForce, which provides ample power.
Besides, feel free to look up game results in the charts – when the power of this notebook is coupled with the lower native display resolution, all games run perfectly smoothly with details cranked up in all but the most graphics-intensive games. Bringing the remainder of the hardware up to par can’t have been an easy task, but the folks at Lenovo have done their best – you get a massive 8 GB RAM as well as an HDD + SSD combo. This quantity of memory can definitely be felt in a multi-application environment, or work with high-end software such as Adobe Photoshop.
As for the combination of HDD and SSD, we’ve been able to tell the difference in system startup and shutdown, as well as sleep mode, hibernation and startup for most commonly used applications. If we’d had more time to play around with the notebook, the results would’ve probably been even more visible. Regardless, the point is that the SSD is used for frequently used files, which are cached onto the SSD, and optimal settings take time to achieve.
Specifications and Results
|CPU||Intel Core i7 2670QM 2,2 GHz (3,1 GHz Turbo)|
|Memory||8 GB (2x 4GB) DDR3 1333 MHz|
|HDD [GB]||30 GB SSD + 750GB HDD hybrid|
|Optical Drive||DVD RW|
|Graphics||Intel HD3000 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 555M 1 GB GDDR5 (NVIDIA Optimus)|
|Screen||15,6'' 1366x768 pix, glare|
|Connections||2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, sSATA/USB combo, VGA, HDMI, LAN, 2.0 JBL speakers|
|Other||WiFi, Bluetooth, card reader, 2 MP webcam|
|Weight||~ 2,7 kg|
|OS||Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit|
|Price [€]||~ 850|
|HD Tune Pro 5.00 [MB/s]||79,3|
|Powermark Entertainment / Balanced / Productivity||1h 7' / 2h 46' / 3h 44'|
|1366x768 0xAA 0xAF|
|3DMark 11 Performance Score/Graphic/Physics||P1.141 / 1.010 / 6.228|
|Resident Evil 5 High DX10 [fps]||50,6|
|Crysis Warhead Gamer DX10 [fps]||25,4|
|Dirt 3 Medium DX11 [fps]||54,9|
|Alien versus Predator High DX11 [fps]||22,1|
Software and Conclusion
The system comes with Windows 7 Home preinstalled, as well as Office 2010 Starter, which is a welcome bonus. Expectedly, there are also a large number of Lenovo applications that are supposed to make your life easier by simplifying everyday functions, such as connecting to a Wi-Fi network, login with face recognition and system reinstallation application. As for really interesting applications, we’d emphasise WiDi, Cyberling Power2Go for DVD creation and McAfee AntiVirus, which is a bit irritating with its constant begging for activation and registration. This isn’t all, of course, but the estimate of quality and success of the less popular software remains up to the user’s personal affinities.
Lenovo’s Ideapad Y570 is not what you’d call a portable notebook, but it makes up for this drawback vastly with its remaining characteristics. All the latest technologies and high-performance components included provide users with very pleasant and comfortable work, gaming or multimedia enjoyment. Even some similarly priced desktop systems would have trouble competing with it – Lenovo has certainly made this a well-rounded offering. Its only real flaw that may reduce its value depending on your needs is the low display resolution, but with the very advanced and fast hardware on the other side, as well as an unbeatable price, this minus quickly fades into oblivion.