Screen and Speakers
The V470 has a 14-inch glossy 720p (1366 x 768 max. resolution) LED backlit display. At first glance, the display appears pretty average, but it’s actually not so bad. It does have a low resolution, but the contrast ratio is above average at 490:1 and the colors don’t appear washed out as per usual for business notebooks. The brightness is a bit uneven, though. We took luminance readings of 117 nits in some places and 155 nits in other places.
Viewing angles are on the narrow side. When the screen is tilted backward or forward, images begin distorting at 5 degrees in either direction, but they’re much better vertically and will be good for viewing until about 40 degrees off center. Another thing worth noting is that the glossy screen isn’t too unbearable in a bright office space; it isn’t as reflective as most other glossy screens I’ve seen. All in all, the display is good, with only a few downsides.
The V470 has Realtek HD audio along with one speaker on the top-right of the notebook (above the keyboard) and another speaker on the front-left. The positioning of the speakers is just about perfect; it allows sound to travel into your ears from two opposite directions…the concept is brilliant, but not something we’ve seen many manufacturers do.
The Realtek audio driver also has a few more audio enchancement features than the average audio driver, including a playback feature that corresponds to your environment (i.e. changes depending on where you are), voice cancellation (mutes the voice in songs so you can sing karaoke), and pitch shift. Simply put, the audio ends up sounding amazing – crisp and clear. Even at the highest volume levels, distortion is barely there. The only complaint we have is that there is no subwoofer so the bass sounds a little hazy.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Lenovo has been building most of the IdeaPad line with Chiclet-style keyboards as of late. As is the case with the V470, meaning the keys are both flat-topped and spaced apart to help with key travel and throw. The first thing you’ll notice is how comfortable your wrists and palms are when typing – the palmrests are made of ridiculously smooth brushed aluminum.
After spending a good amount of time typing on the keyboard, we’ve come to the conclusion that the keyboard itself is about average. We made typos every once in a while, so key throw is doable but could be improved by moving the keys closer together. The keys aren’t the most comfortable to type with, either, as they’re more dense than most other keyboards we’ve used.
The Elan touchpad is quite average as well. It has a bumpy (or textured) surface which isn’t bothersome to the touch and it does aid with the overall responsiveness. If anything, we only wish the touchpad could have been larger, but the cursor movement is fine.