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The Ideapad Y570

February 5, 2012 by . 5 comments

Lenovo Y570 – The Review

I had wanted for a long time to save up for my own computer – sharing with the family just wasn’t optimal anymore. So a few months later, I browsed through laptops, and settled for the Lenovo Ideapad Y570. I got it, and my mind was blown.

With all the geeks reading this, I’m sure the first question you might ask is “Can I get some specs on that?”.

  • 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i5-2430M Processor ( 2.40GHz 1333MHz 3M)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M 1GB
  • 4 GB PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz
  • 500GB 7200RPM hard drive.

There was not a whole lot of configuration into this – they provided many different options, and I chose the one that seemed best for me, as well as a good price ($719 on sale!). Payment was easy, and within two days they informed me that my laptop was already shipping! There was some initial confusion though – the tracking number I was provided was actually the shipment tracking code – it wasn’t just my laptop, but all the Lenovo ones coming into the country! I emailed Lenovo and asked them about this (After talking to UPS), and they responded in less than 30 minutes with a tracking code. It was scheduled to arrive on the Friday. As I sat around at home, the doorbell rang – It was Wednesday, and the Ideapad had arrived!

I assumed packing would be a mess – It wasn’t. Just got things done, while being neat and tidy. I fired it up, and the fun began.

I was actually impressed by the lack of bloatware included. There were only a few programs there, mostly Lenovo based things that weren’t of much use. Not too many resources were being used, a nice bonus. I opted to pop in a Windows 7 install disk, and nuke the Lenovo version. It had also come with a 15GB partition, that was marked as “OEM”, and was hidden. Another drive was called “Lenovo”, and was about 30GB – It had drivers inside it, for when you needed to reinstall Windows. I quickly copied them to a USB drive, and only needed about half to get my Windows installation running again. I removed both drives, and gained all the space back.

Now, lets get to features. A huge seller for me was the NVIDIA graphics, with Optimus technology. This meant that while on battery, I could switch to the integrated Intel graphics, adding at least an hour to the battery, which is about 4 and a half hours of light work. When I get back to a charger, I can plug in and take advantage of a monster graphics card, full to the brim with 1GB of RAM and a fast clock. All this is done with a flick of a switch, conveniently located right at the front. I fired up a newer game, Mafia 2, and it was stunningly crisp. The laptop wasn’t catching fire either from the high settings.

Some of the Lenovo drivers include great extra features – you can setup great battery plans with the power management tool. There’s also options for extending your battery life. Since I’m almost always plugged in, I set it to keep the battery life well. It then drained the battery to ~45-50%, and kept it steady around there. This keeps those cells alive and kicking longer. When I know I’m going to be on battery for a while, I can just switch back, and it charges to 100% again.

The hardware itself is beautiful. The top had a neat design on it, that keeps the fingerprints away. Although the bottom is plastic like most laptops, the top was metallic, possibly aluminum. No scratching, and no markings from those sweaty palms. I’m not quite a fan of the USB ports – There’s one USB 2.0 on the left, next to an eSata that I use for USB. The 3.0 ports are on the right side, near the front, which is a bit uncomfortable if you put a mouse there. These require drivers to run on Windows, although the current Linux kernel has out of the box support for everything on this machine.  The “buttons” for volume weren’t even buttons – touch sensitive! There is also a button up top to change the cooling, which includes an option for getting dust out, and another for the most efficient cooling possible,as well as an option to optimize the algorithms used by the system to make the least noise possible. All this is coupled with one monster exhaust vent – no cooling issues here!

 

The JBL speakers are really crisp, and the quality is definitely well above what you normally hear emitting from any laptop. The microphone is also located up on either side of the camera, making it quite nice for talking on Ventrilo, Skype, or Mumble. I can only really complain about the trackpad, and not much there. Instead of being flat, it has tiny bumps all along it. It only took a few hours to get used to.

Would I recommend this laptop? YES! After the service, price, and quality I got, it’s definitely one to look at when purchasing a laptop.

Filed under Hardware Reviews

5 Comments

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  • nhinkle says:

    What’s the screen resolution on that thing, and how are the viewing angles?

  • Hello71 says:

    A note about Optimus: Apparently it doesn’t work well with Linux in some cases.

  • says:

    Optimus on Linux is tricky, it’s being worked on for the Y570 right now, last I looked at the Bumblebee project.

    @nhinkle, its 1366×768.

  • AndCoz says:

    @Hello71, NVidia Optimus does not work under Linux at all!

    An independent project (bumblebee) is under develop to support optimus video card but it is still far incomplete.

    At the present day, you can only use integrated Intel graphics under Linux.

  • Shinrai says:

    I’d still buy a Thinkpad T420 over this, but it is cheaper. Lenovo makes some decent machines, even at the low end.

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