Lenovo serves up a mid-price, not-so-small business laptop. The ThinkPad E570 is so traditional it borders on retro. It will please laptop conservatives. If you need greater mobility, look elsewhere.
Lenovo ThinkPad E570 at a glance:
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||No touch screen
||Mid-price large screen laptop. Will appeal to small business owners.
||From NZ$1100. Review model NZ$1300.
By 2017 standards, the Lenovo ThinkPad E570 is bulky. The review model weighs 2.4Kg. It measures 376 by 262 by 34 mm at its widest, broadest and deepest.
Part of the heft is because the case includes a large, bright 15.6-inch display and a DVD drive.
There’s a lot of plastic around the edge of the screen. Indeed, there’s a lot of black plastic full stop. It’s chunky and robust which adds protection but you’ll need a backpack to move it.
Another reason for the bulk is the battery and studs rise the base a few millimetres off a desktop. This gives breathing room so air can flow through vents. There’s also a heavy-duty fan vent on the left side of the case too.
Rough in places
An E at the start of a product number indicates the E570 is from the lower-price ThinkPad range. That means you get a lower quality finish than you’d find on more expensive models. It’s a little rough in places and the matt black plastic picks up smudges with a vengeance.
The front of the lid doesn’t sit flush with the bottom part of the computer. This makes it easier to open. The hinge has a small amount of give, but nothing to trouble anyone.
While the case is not pretty, it does look like Lenovo made the computer to do business. If you like the red and black ThinkPad look, you’ll be happy with the effect.
Given size and weight, you won’t want to carry the E570 all the time. If portability is important get something else. It makes a fine desktop replacement that can travel at a pinch.
A big case means there’s room for a full-size keyboard and numeric keys. The layout takes getting used to. A week or two of reviewing was not enough time to master the keyboard idiosyncrasies.
Among other things, having two backspace and one delete key in the top right corner is strange. Also odd is the off centre touchpad and the small space bar.
Because there’s no touchscreen, you’ll use the touchpad a lot. It’s small by 2017 standards. The little red signature ThinkPad cursor joystick is some compensation. In practice the touchpad is erratic, that could be a Windows 10 driver problem.
If you owned this computer and used it often, trackpad aside, all these things, would be no trouble after a few weeks.
The lack of a keyboard backlight is disappointing.
As already mentioned, there is no touchscreen. The display is 1366 by 768 HD format. There is a FHD 1920 by 1080 model that, at the moment, costs $100 more than the review computer.
It comes with a faster processor and a better video card, that’s a lot of extra value for $100.
One minor worry about the display is that the default setting is 100 percent brilliance. While that’s fine, there’s nothing extra for when you need a boost.
Video and everyday Windows apps work fine with the display. It’s not state-of-the-art, but its good considering the price tag.
The review model has an Intel i5 7200U processor running at 2.5GHz. That’s a Kaby Lake chip or the seventh generation of Core processors.
Intel says they are faster than last year’s processors, enough for users to notice. They are video optimised and should be more power efficient.
Lenovo says you can get eight hours on a single charge. As always, the manufacturer’s claim is pushing it. In practice, it works for a little over six hours before power supply nagging starts. Battery life isn’t so vital in a computer that will sit on a desk most of the time.
There’s a DVD drive, which feels anachronistic, but will please many users. There are three USB ports — again, that pleases some users not others. Lenovo also includes HDMI, Ethernet, a multi-format card reader and an audio jack.
Despite a state-of-the-art processor, the ThinkPad E570 is, in many ways, old-fashioned. It’s been a long time since a review non-touch Windows PC with a hard drive instead of SSD has turned up here.
The question is how the specification trade-offs work with value for money. The biggest downside is the quality of finish. You can find better-made computers at the same price, although they may not have the same mix of features.
At first sight it looks as if Lenovo charges a premium for its 15.6 inch display. On a more positive note, you get a lot of processor performance for your money. It would be a good choice if you crunch numbers on a spreadsheet all day.
It’s clear the $1400 top of the line model with a Core i7 processor, higher resolution screen and better graphics card is better value. This is a promotional price and may not be available for long.
You might want to swap the 1TB hard drive for a 256GB SSD, that would add around $170 to the list price.
Not everyone prizes slim and light over big screens, full keyboards and processor power. The Lenovo ThinkPad E570 isn’t for the kind of person who works from cafés or airport lounges. There are many who still want DVD drives. This will hit the spot for some demographics.