The Bottom Line
Apr 6 2012 - Most laptops found under $600 are extremely limited in terms of their functions for graphic. The Lenovo IdeaPad Z575 breaks away from this trend by combining an AMD quad core APU with a dedicated AMD graphics processor to provide a mobile platform that is actually capable of PC gaming albeit at modest detail levels. Combine this with an above average keyboard and audio and it is a great choice for anyone looking to use it for media or just needs to type for long stretches. There are some minor problems buyer's will want to be aware of including below average battery life, a case that needs frequent cleaning and a graphics setup that can be problematic with some games.
- Dedicated Graphics Processor
- Very Good Keyboard For A Low Cost System
- eSATA Port
- Case Shows Fingerprints and Smudges Easily
- Below Average Battery Life
- AMD A6-3420M Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 6GB 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
- AMD Radeon 6650M Dedicated Graphics With 1GB Memory
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Four USB 2.0, eSATA (shared), HDMI, 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 IdeaPad Z575
Apr 6 2012 - Lenovo's IdeaPad Z575 is essentially identical to the IdeaPad Z570 except that it is based upon an AMD platform rather than an Intel one. The system uses the AMD A6-3420M quad core processor. In real world applications, this falls slightly behind the Intel based systems except when the system is being used with a large number of applications or very demanding tasks where the extra cores offer a slight benefit. Lenovo includes 6GB of memory with the system which helps with multitasking but is also important as the APU processor dedicates a portion of this memory to the built-in graphics system.
Storage features on the IdeaPad Z575 are pretty typical of most laptops in its price range. A 500GB hard drive provides a good deal of space but does spin at a traditional 5400rpm spin rate. This means that it isn't as responsive as some slightly more expensive systems with desktop speed drives. A dual layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CD or DVD media. While the system does not have any USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external storage, it does come equipped with an eSATA port that can be used for this function which is better than many systems in this price range can claim.
The big selling point for the Lenovo IdeaPad Z575 is the graphics system. Most budget based laptops rely on integrated graphics to help keep the costs down but this does exclude them from being used for tasks like gaming. This model of the laptop comes both with an AMD Radeon HD 6620G graphics processor that is built into the A6 processor as well as a dedicated Radeon HD 6650M processor with 1GB of memory. The dedicated processor alone allows this system to be capable of PC gaming at modest detail levels up to the LCD panels native resolution of 1366x768. The two processor can also function as a CrossFire configuration for additional acceleration but this doesn't always work well with all games. If you are looking to accelerate non-3D applications like Photoshop or media encoding, the setup clearly beats integrated solutions as well.
Lenovo equips the IdeaPad Z575 with a standard six cell battery pack with a 48WHr rated capacity. This is fairly typical for most 15-inch laptops in the market. In DVD playback tests, the system lasted just over two and a quarter hours before going into standby mode. This is a bit lower than similarly AMD laptops such as the Gateway NV55S22u but this does feature a dedicated graphics processor that draws a bit more power. More typical usage should yield over three hours which is also a bit below average but acceptable for the extra graphics performance. Of course if it is used for mobile gaming, battery life will be much lower.
Past Lenovo systems have had issues with a large amount of preinstalled software on them. It seems that Lenovo has listened to customers and reduced the overall number of items they install on the system. This does have a small benefit in that it does boot faster than past models. Now, there are still some applications that users may use and removal could still be beneficial.