Keyboard and Touchpad
The B470 features the Chiclet (or island-style) keyboard with extra spacing between the slightly concave, squared keys. Keys are smooth and round off at the bottom. The typing experience is pleasant with a great feel due to the smoothness of keys. There is definitely enough tactile feedback due mostly to the extra spacing. Key travel (the distance between pressed and unpressed keys) is also good. It’s also considerably silent and does not flex at all when typing or when pressing down hard on the chassis.
The touchpad has a matte surface and is textured to help with usability. It’s an Elan Smart-Pad with a few nice features, including edge scroll, smart motion, and multi-finger gesture. Some of the features can be configured to have (for example) a narrow or wide scroll area, a low or high scroll speed, and a slower or faster cursor edge speed. The touchpad is easy to use and the textured surface shouldn’t pose a problem either, because it feels as though it’s barely there. The buttons don’t make much sound at all when pressed.
All in all, the keyboard and touchpad combination are very user-friendly and do not carry any problems. The Lenovo fingerprint reader is location to the far right of the palmrest, and there’s a Lenovo OneKey Recovery quick launch button on the top-left of the chassis.
Screen and Speakers
The Lenovo B470 has a 14.0-inch glossy display with a 720p (1366×768) resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. It’s somewhat odd that the display has a glossy surface because it’s a business notebook. While the gloss helps make the colors more vibrant, it will take away in usability because the reflections could be distracting at work and the surface will higher maintenance because of the dust it will collect. Our test results show a peak brightness of 227 nits with an average contrast ratio of 217:1.
Horizontal viewing angles are very narrow and colors begin to distort colors at about 10-15 degrees off center. Vertical viewing angles are much better; colors begin to distort at about 30 degrees off center. Viewing angles aren’t as much of a problem in business notebooks, though, as users don’t usually need to view the screen in any other way than straight on. Overall, the display is very average with its lower resolution, average viewing angles, and the on-par contrast ratio with other 720p notebooks in its class.
The B470 only has two small speakers located on the top left and right sides of the chassis. The Realtek HD audio is crisp and clear when audio enhancements are applied (not so much when ‘raw’). However, volume levels are not sufficient at all; even when at 100% the speakers just can’t deliver very loud audio. The bass is also extremely hard-pressed to hear. A set of external speakers and/or headphones would definitely be in order. The notebook has an HDMI port, headphone jack, and microphone jack.