August 31, 2011
- Flashy, unique appearance
- Compact, lightweight design
- Good-looking display
- Solid performance
- Some keyboard gripes
- No USB 3.0
- Below-average battery life
The Lenovo IdeaPad Z370 is a 13-inch ultraportable laptop that comes in a flashy blue color and the internals to back up its stylish looks. It's powered by an Intel Core i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM, which give it solid performance but lacking battery life.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Z370 comes in a bright blue color that is extremely glossy but not enough to make too many fingerprints show. The lid of the laptop has a 3D-like square pattern that radiates from the middle. In total, it measures 12.9 x 8.7 x 1.3-inches (wdh) and weighs 4.6 pounds, os it's definitely small enough to carry around throughout a long day of work.
On the laptop deck, the blue theme is carried on and completely surrounds the black keyboard, even the touchpad is blue. Above the keyboard is a metallic power button and several touch-sensitive buttons for volume control and various other features. The keyboard is a black matte island-style with adequate spacing between each key. We disliked the undersized Enter and right Shift keys, which caused some typing errors in the long run. The design of the keyboard deck makes it look like the keys would be backlit, but they aren't to our disappointment.
The textured blue touchpad was roomy and seemed quite responsive. The pad does support multitouch gestures, but strangely, they are disabled by default in the Control Panel.
The 13.3-inch widescreen LED-backlit display has a resolution of 1366 x 768-pixels and has a glossy finish. It did, however, seem to cut down on glare thanks to its anti-glare coating. The quality of the screen was very good and was very bright too, especially when watching HD videos. We noticed the good horizontal viewing angles but below average vertical viewing angles.
Lenovo includes a decent amount of ports on the IdeaPad Z370, but USB 3.0 is unfortunately missing. Included are two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 2.0/eSATA combo port, HDMI-out, VGA-out, Ethernet, the usual audio ports and a 5-in-1 media card reader. There is also a tray-loading DVD burner, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 wireless. We aren't quite sure why Lenovo would leave out USB 3.0 on the Z370, especially since it is a multimedia laptop and almost all recent laptops now have it.
The configuration options from Lenovo vary slightly for this laptop, but our configuration included a second-generation Intel Core i5-2410M CPU (2.3GHz), 4GB of RAM, Intel Integrated HD 3000 graphics and a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive. Performance with this configuration was slightly above the category average of other 13-inch portables, but nothing overly stellar. For an extra almost $300, you get the same CPU, but 6GB of RAM, a 750GB hard drive and the below mentioned discrete graphics.
Graphics performance, as expected with an integrated Intel chipset, was only average and definitely not capable of playing any 3D games. The second-generation CPU does help performance in this regard, but again, nothing stellar. For the added cost we mentioned, you can upgrade to discrete graphics (Nvidia GeForce 410M w/ 1GB of RAM).
Battery life was below average at about 4:30 hours, which is almost an hour below other similar laptops.