Keyboard and Touchpad
Lenovo has changed the standard keyboard style from last time over to a Chiclet-style or “island-style” keyboard. This means the keys are flat, square and spaced out a bit to aid with typing, as opposed to the keys being together, curved and moreso raised. The keyboard is also full-sized with a total of six rows and a full number pad on the right side. The keyboard is once again splendid (even though Lenovo made the change); it’s one of the best highlights of the notebook. It seems as though Lenovo found the perfect amount of space between keys, because it’s both very comfortable and easy to type on without making mistakes. Also, as mentioned before, the chassis is very solid and the keyboard does not flex very easily when pressed. Because this is an entry-level notebook, Lenovo did not include a fingerprint reader and there is only one quick access key–a button for the OneKey Recovery software.
It seems as though the Synaptics V7.2 touchpad has greatly improved from last time. The last model had a “clickpad” with no separate right and left-click buttons. The touchpad is an appropriate size for a 15.6-inch notebook, is textured to aid in smooth finger sailing, and includes a built-in scrollbar. It is very responsive, the cursor has yet to get “stuck in transit,” and it works even if you happen to have moisture on your fingertips. The left and right-click buttons also work well with registering clicks and you don’t have to pound down to use them. The only complaint I have is that the buttons make a slightly annoying “click-clack” sound when you use them. I am greatly satisfied with the changes Lenovo made to the touchpad and buttons.
Screen and Speakers
The Lenovo G570 has a 15.6-inch 720p (1366×768 resolution) display with HD glare and LED backlighting. This is the one and only screen option for the notebook. The display is glossy, so keep in mind that while this improves the overall clarity of the screen, it is a reflective surface and will reflect any amount of light in the room.
The contrast ratio on this notebook came in at 140:1. This is a very low number and is not an improvement from the previous G560. As a result, colors appeared washed out. The highest brightness rating we measured was 191 NITs, and the darkest ratio we measured was 1.20 NITs. The resolution is just too low for this display to be considered “good,” and many users will be turned off to find that Lenovo did not include any other display options. However, this resolution is commonplace for budget-priced notebooks.
Vertical viewing angles aren’t that great and begin to distort when the screen is tilted around 15-20 degrees up or down. Horizontal viewing angles are much better, and begin to distort images about at about 40 degrees from either side. All things considered, the display is fair at best.
The G570 has a Conexant SmartAudio HD speaker system. There are two small speakers on the frontside below the palmrest, and while most would think this would mean the audio would be below average, it’s actually above average for its class. The downside of this speaker location is that normally sound is unable to travel up and out decently. However, the audio didn’t have a problem with traveling–the sound levels get loud enough (especially for casual listening), the audio is crisp and clear even when volume is at 100 percent, and the sound only begins to distort when the volume is pushed up in the 95+ percent range. The bass, however, is average at best–and tweaking the Windows sound enhancements to include bass boost only made it worse.