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Lenovo G570 review

Tom Morgan
5 Oct 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
500
inc VAT

A £500 laptop with Blu-ray might look like a bargain, but there are better all-rounders available for the same price

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.6kg, 2.1GHz Intel Core i3-2310M, 6.00GB RAM, 640GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

When they first appeared, it was almost impossible to find a laptop with a Blu-ray optical drive for less than £1,000. Today, you’ll only need half that amount to buy Lenovo’s budget G570 laptop, which includes a Blu-ray reader as standard.

Lenovo G570 keyboard

Although the integrated graphics are capable of decoding Blu-ray video, Lenovo has included an AMD 6370M graphics card with 1GB of dedicated video memory. This is more than capable of handling HD content, decoding 1080p on an external display or downscaling to 720p on the laptop screen. It’s not very good for games, though, and our Dirt 3 benchmark crawled along at an unplayable 12fps, and it still struggled with a playable frame rate once we’d dropped the detail settings.

In order to include a dedicated graphics card and still sell for £500, Lenovo had to use an Intel Core i3 processor, rather than a more powerful Core i5. The i3-2310m is still a dual-core chip running at 2.1GHz, which is paired with a healthy 6GB of RAM, but isn’t quite as adept at multi-threaded applications, as it lacks Hyper Threading. Even so, it managed a respectable 43 in our multimedia benchmark, which is only ten points behind the average Core i5, so you should still be able to run most applications without noticing much slowdown.

Lenovo G570 right

In spite of the dedicated graphics card, the G570 still managed almost five-and-a-half hours away from the mains in our light-use battery test. This is mainly due to its intelligent graphics switching, which disables the dedicated card in favour of Intel’s integrated chip whenever the power cable is removed.

The 15.6in display has a resolution of 1,366x768. While this means you can't watch Blu-ray films at full 1080p resolution, the pixel density of the screen ensures that films still look sharp. We found that the resolution is still large enough for working on two documents at once. Image quality was reasonable, with average brightness and a crisp picture. Viewing angles were only average, and the glossy screen finish made it difficult to use under harsh office lighting, but a decent amount of screen tilt made this more of a minor issue.

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