The Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 is a mid-range multimedia laptop with good performance. Users will be able to enjoy full 1080p video, play most games on low to mid settings, and multi-task with several applications at once. The Y570, overall, is a good consumer notebook without too many drawbacks. Models start at a decent price too - so be sure to check out our full review.
Build and Design
The 15.6-inch Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 is encased in a sturdy brushed aluminum shell and sports a cool "dot matrix" textured surface on the lid. The notebook has a smooth design throughout the rest of the notebook, and the screen bezel is glossy to add a hint of style. The exterior color is a mix between metallic gray and a plum color ... but in the right light it almost looks like it's a shade of purple. The notebook weighs in at almost six pounds and its dimensions are 15.1 x 10.0 x 1.40 inches.
Overall, the Y570 is decently built and the finish will help prevent common scratches. While pressing down on the chassis you'll find that it holds strong, but if you press hard enough it will give in a few spots. Bending the corners of the display does not create ripples, but the display bows under pressure. The hinges are covered in plastic and appear to be run of the mill.
Loosen six screws to reach the memory, hard drive, and wireless card slot. The notebook can hold up to 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM (two SO DIMM slots). The base cover is extremely easy to remove and you can easily reach all of the major components if you want to upgrade your laptop.
Ports and Features
The port selection on the Y570 is very expansive. Two USB 3.0 ports are available on select models and were included with our review unit; also included is a six-in-one memory card slot (SD, SD PRO, MMC, MS, MS PRO, xD), HDMI, VGA, eSATA, and two more USB 2.0 ports. A convenient graphics switch to manually switch back and forth between the NVIDIA graphics and Intel HD graphics is also included.
Front: Activity lights, 6-in-1 memory card, GPU switch, Wi-Fi on/off switch
Left: VGA, HDMI, exhaust vent, Ethernet, eSATA/USB 2.0 combo, USB 2.0, mic jack, headphone jack
Right: USB 3.0 (x2), optical drive, a/c power, lock slot
Screen and Speakers
The Y570 has a 15.6-inch "HD Glare" 720p display. The "HD glare" is part is really just a fancy way of saying that the notebook can display HD content on a very glossy screen; I can see my reflection perfectly when the backlight is dimmed. Anyway, the contrast ratio measures in at about 148:1, which is below average for entertainment and multimedia notebooks; the display will appear washed out when compared to other displays that have higher resolutions and contrast ratings. The panel on this notebook really isn't anything special. On the upside, the backlighting is very even.
Viewing angles are the same as every other TN panel, just average. If you tilt the display backward or forward the viewing angles are very narrow, but from side to side they're a lot better. Watching a video with a friend next to you should be no problem.
Audio is way above average with the IdeaPad Y570. The notebook has Realtek HD audio and two speakers positioned at the top left and right of the keyboard. Volume reaches good highs and lows and only sounds somewhat distorted at 100 percent. The audio driver supports voice cancellation, pitch shift, equalizer, loudness equalization and environment audio enhancements. Users will most likely not feel the need to buy any external speakers for listening to music, watching movies, and other similar activities. The only complaint we have is that the bass in songs does not sound up to par.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Y570 has a true full-size Chiclet-style keyboard with a separate numberpad. The keys are spaced out more than usual even for it being Chiclet-style. They're also curved inward slightly, mostly for comfort because the keys are made to fit the natural curve of human fingers.
Typing on the Y570 might take some getting used to if you're not familiar with large keyboards with a bunch of extra spacing -- your hands may miss the keys by a centimeter or two, especially if you're a fast typer. I found that this was especially true for the enter key; for some reason, Lenovo designed it so that it's a lot smaller than typical. That's not to say that I didn't have a good typing experience, though. Not many typos were made and the keyboard is actually very comfortable; we just wanted to point out that some users might have to become accustomed to the size and spacing of the keys.
The Synaptics touchpad is textured (bumpy) to help with finger movement across the area. It's multi-gesture and has only one button, but two clickable areas on this one button. This results in a difficulty in pressing it in the right spot without looking because the bar itself is so big and stiff. However, it's just another thing that users will have to become accustomed to. Using the touchpad presents no problems, though; it's responsive and cursor movement is good even if you have moisture on your fingers.
Our Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 review unit has the following specifications:
Performance and Benchmarks
The NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M is a mid-range graphics card, meaning the machine will be able to handle most modern games well as long as the graphics settings are turned down to "medium" or even "low" in some cases. The Y570 scored over 9200 points in the 3DMark06 gaming benchmark. Playing 1080p video will also not be a problem, and multi-tasking several programs at once should be a breeze thanks to the dual-core second-gen Intel Core i5 CPU.
Overall, these are good specifications for a multimedia notebook; not to mention the "perks" such as USB 3.0, a physical graphics switch on the front, and maybe most importantly, the price range. Another interesting fact about this notebook is that the GeForce GT 555M is a 3D-ready graphics card, but since the display doesn't have a 3D emitter you'll need to connect it to a 3D monitor or HDTV via the HDMI cable.
wPrime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark Vantage measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
PCMark 7 is a newer benchmark which measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark06 measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test:
The IdeaPad Y570 has a 6-cell, 62Whr Li-ion battery. The notebook remained on and active for 4 hours and 25 minutes during our battery life test, which is about average for a multimedia notebook in this price range with similar specs. To find out how long a notebook can last away from a power source, we set Windows 7 on the "balanced" power profile, turn the screen brightness down to 70 percent, turn wireless on and refresh a text-heavy web page every 60 seconds. We were expecting for it to last an hour or so longer, but if you turn the screen brightness down even more, we're confident that the Y570 will surpass the five hour mark.
Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):
Heat and Noise
In the past, sub-$1000 entertainment notebooks have been notorious for pulling all kinds of high temperature readings. In this case, the Y570 didn't pull any temperatures that were alarming. Normally, if a notebook goes above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in any spot after we exert it by running benchmarking software, there might be reason for alarm; but this notebook only reached a maximum of 97 degrees. The fan intake on the bottom reached the highest temperature. Noise won't be a problem for the notebook either. Even though we heard the whirl of the fan while running the benchmarking software, it was soft enough to be ignored.