July 21, 2011
- Sturdy design
- Well-designed keyboard
- eSATA & Bluetooth
- Limited horizontal viewing angles
- Sub-par performance
The Lenovo Essential G570 is part of Lenovo's budget-friendly line of notebooks that offers the basics in terms of both specs and design, but performance is a little lacking. You do, however, get integrated Bluetooth, a 720p HD display and a really comfortable keyboard.
The Lenovo Essential G570 measures 14.8 x 9.8 x 1.4-inches (wdh) and weighs 5.5-pounds, which is a little larger than other similar laptops. Despite the added bulk, you'll still find it very portable and can easily be carried around all day long. The design of the G570 is pretty simple and looks like a run-of-the-mill laptop with a slight business "feel" to it. The chassis feels pretty sturdy, which lends to its portability.
When you open up the lid, the interior is also fairly standard, which a small shiny black bezel that surrounds the display and a brushed black aluminum palm rest. The keyboard is full-sized and is a very comfortable island-style design. The keys are a little smaller than most, but for some reason we really enjoyed the feel of this keyboard. There's also a numeric keypad too, which is sometimes left out on 15-inch models.
The multitouch trackpad below the keyboard is adequately sized and offers good, tactile feedback. The surface is dimpled, so there's a definite distinction between it and the keyboard deck.
The 15.6-inch LED backlit display has a native resolution of 1366 x 768-pixels and is quite glossy, but the LED backlighting does help take away much of the glare and reflections. The viewing angles are decent, but horizontal angles are noticeably more limited than vertical angles. Other than that, the quality of the display is pretty decent for the budget-friendly design and accompanying price.
In terms of ports, the Lenovo Essential G570 has four USB 2.0 ports (one is a USB/eSATA combo), HDMI-out, VGA-out, gigabit Ethernet, microphone/headphone jacks and a multi-format memory card reader. There is also built-in Bluetooth connectivity aside from the standard 802.11b/g/n/ Wi-Fi, which was a pleasant surprise. Also, there is an ExpressCard/34 slot as well as a DVD+/-RW optical disc drive.
Product specifications include a second-generation dual-core Intel Core i5-2410M CPU (2.3GHz w/ Turbo to 2.9GHz), 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive (5400RPM) and integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics. We really liked that it comes with a second-gen "Sandy Bridge" Intel CPU, but in the end, performance comes up a little short compared to similar laptops. For just a little bit more money, you can definitely find a faster laptop with similar specifications.
Graphics performance was about what you'd expect with an integrated Intel setup. It does well for watching HD videos, but 3D gaming is completely out of the question. This definitely isn't a high-performance computer, but it is a good computer for the casual user, business traveler or a "throw-around" laptop to have around the house.
Battery life with the included 6-cell battery is about 5-5.5 hours, which is on par with other similar laptops.