The Bottom Line
Oct 26 2011 - For those on a tight budget that want a laptop, the Lenovo G570 may be a good option but you need to take a close look at how the laptop will be used. There are a number of features that are missing that can make it incredibly difficult to use compared to a laptop that costs just $100 more. For instance, anyone wanting to do some video editing will be disappointed by its performance. It is best suited for those using a PC primarily for web, producticity and media watching. Even media watching can be problematic though as this does not include an HDMI port. At least the keyboard and trackpad are one of the better ones to be found in a low cost laptop.
- Excellent Keyboard And Improved Trackpad
- Lacks HDMI Ports
- Lots Of Installed Software Causes Performance Issues
- Intel Pentium B940 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With VGA Webcam
- Intel HD Graphics 2000 Integrated Graphics
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Four USB 2.0, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 14.8" x 9.8" x 1.4" @ 5.7 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter
Review - Lenovo Essential G570
Oct 26 2011 - Rather than being based around the Core i3 processor found in many budget laptops, Lenovo has elected to use the Intel Pentium B940 dual core processor. While this uses the old Pentium name, the processor is actually based around the second generation Core i design. This means that it has improved performance and power consumption but it does have a number of features disabled. For example, the processor lacks HyperThreading which can help boost multitasking and certain demanding application performance. Now, if the consumer is primarily going to use the laptop for things like web browsing, productivity or media watching, this feature is not going to impact their experience much. It is also nice to see Lenovo include a full 4GB of DDR3 memory as this is one area that many companies tend to try and save a few dollars.
One area where Lenovo is not skimping on the G570 is storage. It has essentially the same level of features that would be found on a laptop that costs about one hundred dollars more. There is a 500GB hard drive for storing applications, data and media files. It spins at the traditional 5400rpm rate which gives it average performance. There is also a dual layer DVD burner for playback and recording of CD or DVD media. External peripherals are limited to four USB 2.0 ports. This means that external storage will be slower than if it used the USB 3.0 or eSATA ports but frankly, many more expensive laptops still lack these connectors as well.
Rather than the Intel HD Graphics 3000 that is found in the Core i3 series processors, the Pentium B940 uses the Intel HD Graphics 2000. The biggest difference between these two is the lack of the QuickSync feature. This means that the Lenovo G570 does not have the ability to accelerate media encoding like slightly more expensive laptops. Now, for many people, this isn't really something that they will use but it can be a critical feature for someone on a budget that does. Like all Intel's integrated graphics solutions, the 3D performance of the graphics is also not really sufficient for it to be used for even casual PC gaming. The more disappointing aspect though is the external connectors. Users will only be able to connect it to an external monitor via an analog VGA connector. This is very disappointing as most HDTVs no longer feature this connector and HDMI is now the ubiquitous digital connector for consumer devices.
One of the big problems with the previous Lenovo G560 laptop was the trackpad. It featured one of the poorly designed integrated buttons. While integrated buttons work well on Apple products with a single button, the double button layout caused problems with inaccurate clicking. They thankfully removed this feature and returned to a more traditional dedicated left and right button layout. The keyboard remains pretty much unchanged with its nice isolated layout that provides an accurate and comfortable typing experience.
Lenovo packs the G570 with a standard sized six cell battery pack with a 48WHr capacity rating. This is pretty much typical for all 15-inch laptops. In DVD playback testing, the laptop was able to run for just over two and a half hours before going into standby mode. This is a bit below the average but only by a few minutes. More typical usage should yield over an extra hour of usage.
There are a large number of applications that are installed by Lenovo onto the G570 laptop. This wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if many of the programs were useful but that isn't the case here. Many of them are of the adware or trialware design to try and entice consumers to upgrade the software. The way they are installed also leads to many performance issues especially when the system is booted into the operating system. Buyers will definitely want to take the time to remove unwanted applications to help improve the performance.