Why I Bought A Lenovo G570
I was looking for something cheap and powerful, and the Lenovo G570 seemed like a good choice based on its inclusion of a fast CPU, spacious hard drive, and a respectable amount of RAM. In addition to these geek friendly specs, I was also impressed by the G570’s overall design. This 15.6-inch notebook is easy on the eyes, and features an above average keyboard and trackpad, which aren’t always expected on a budget setup.
Click here to see prices for the Lenovo G570.
Quick List of Specs and Features:
The Lenovo G570 can be outfitted with a variety of specs. Here’s what I got:
- Sandy Bridge Core i5 2.3Ghz
- 4GB RAM
- Intel HD 3000 IGP
- 640GB HDD
- 15.6-inch 1366 x 768 LED-backlit LCD
- 6 cell lithium-ion battery
- DVD drive
- 3 x USB 2.0
- 1 x USB/e-SATA
- HDMI output
- VGA output
- Multi memory card slot
Design and Styling
Many budget laptops reek of cheapness with their chintzy highlights and bubbly exteriors. Although the Lenovo G570 has a glossy lid that I’m not too crazy about – it smudges easily and reflects light in a way that screams “made of cheap plastic!” — the rest of the laptop is mostly matte black or a very dark brown, with a minimal amount of additional gimmicks and flare. This gives the G570 a somewhat minimalist and serious look that is not common among its competitors.
A Dash of Metal
Crack open the lid, and the notion of a budget laptop quickly fades. Surrounding the keyboard and trackpad is a slab of brushed aluminum. The metal surface feels great on the palms, and is sure to add some durability to the laptop’s deck. I also suspect that the metallic finish adds to the G570’s surprisingly solid feel; the notebook hardly makes a sound when picked up and handled.
Island Style Keyboard
When it comes to amazing laptop keyboards, Lenovo is known to carry the torch, at least on the PC side of things. The G570 has island style keys, which are nicely spaced and have a curved surface that catches the fingers just right. Compared with my Apple Wireless Keyboard, its keys seem to be equally punchy and responsive. The keyboard also exhibits a minimal amount of flex, even when being downright abusive with it.
The Lenovo G570 has an advanced Synaptics trackpad. This trackpad is capable of multitouch gestures, similar to what you’d find on a Macbook.
- 2-finger scrolling
- 3-finger tap
The trackpad features a dotted textured surface that makes your fingers glide instead of stick — it really works well. Complimenting the trackpad are two decent sized buttons. Sure, the buttons are rather unremarkable, but it’s a relief that they are, seeing how many budget laptops get this unforgivably wrong.
My List of Dislikes
Alas, a budget laptop will always be doomed to disappoint in a few areas. Here are my most disliked features of the Lenovo G570:
The G750 comes with a 15.6-inch LED-backlit display offering 1366 x 768 resolution.
The display has very poor viewing angles and exhibits poor contrast. This is most evident while watching full-screen video content. Compared to my 2007 model Macbook Pro, the brightness is also dimmer. Compounding these effects, the display has a glossy finish, which tends to attract an abundance of glare from lights in the room.
Whether the screen is acceptable to you or not will largely depend on your expectations. Some people don’t care much for image quality – perhaps they’ve only ever owned low-end displays – but for myself, a poor display makes for a frustrating experience. Good thing I’ve designated this laptop as an HTPC.
To clear up any confusion, I have a Japanese model Lenovo G570, which adds a few extra keys to the keyboard at the expenses of having a normal sized space bar. But other than that, the layout is basically the same.
My first annoyance with the keyboard is that there’s no extra spacing around the arrow keys. This makes finding the arrow keys with just your fingers a bit of a hit-and-miss experience.
My second annoyance with the keyboard is that the volume and screen brightness can only be adjusted by holding down the function key on the left side of the keyboard while hitting the arrow keys located on the right side of the keyboard.
It’s bad enough that there aren’t dedicated buttons for these vital and frequently used controls, but it baffles me that Lenovo expects you to use both hands when making adjustments! God forbid you accidently leave your volume unmuted and trigger an loud Flash ad while sitting in a quiet library.
The trackpad is a decent size for a PC laptop, so really, you might say that I’m nitpicking when I complain that it’s too small. The unfortunately situation is, you’re given a Synaptics trackpad — with a gliding surface and a host of multitouch gestures — but your fingers will run out of room far too fast on its tight perimeter.
I keep hitting the edges when I use it. Particularly, pinching out and rotating is quite difficult to pull off.
I don’t know if it’s about patents, technology or design costs, but PC manufacturers have got to figure out how to implement larger trackpads.
Quick Summary of Other Features
- HDMI output – works hassle-free
- Battery life – nothing remarkable on the 6-cell; a couple hours at most.
- Weight and size – same as most budget 15-inchers; 2.6kg
- USB ports – no USB 3.0, but one combo port for e-SATA
- Webcam – very poor; you don’t want to use it in any situation!
I chose the Lenovo G570 after trying most of its competition. I looked at models by: Dell, HP, Acer, Asus, and a variety of generic brands that offered products suspiciously similar to the brand name models. After considering quite a few noteworthy alternatives, I went with the G570 for its ensemble of strong features.
The G570 comes standard with a Sandy Bridge processor, 4GB of RAM, and a spacious hard disk. In addition, the notebook has an excellent keyboard and an above average trackpad. These specs are what you’ll find on many mid-range laptops. In fact, the G570 might not be quite as “budget” as I make it sound.
The Lenovo G570 comes with a low-end display – this is my biggest gripe by far. If you are used to staring at cheap LCD’s, then perhaps this spec won’t bother you much; but for me, it’s a glaring flaw. (Pun intended.)
The island style keyboard is great to type on, but where are the media controls and dedicated functions buttons? Needing two hands to change the brightness or volume settings is a major hassle.