What We Think
The Lenovo Essential G570 is a budget-friendly laptop that offers powerful performance and some great features at a very reasonable price.
The bold 15.6” LED-backlit screen, full-sized island-style keyboard and dual-core Intel Core i3 processor are all impressive features, but the machine’s basic design and lack of character let it down slightly, especially when compared to similar-priced models on the market, so don’t expect it to turn heads.
The Lenovo Essential G570 is a 15.6-inch laptop that is part of the Chinese company’s budget-friendly notebook range. At this point, it’s worth pointing out that there are various models that share the same ‘Essential G570’ title, based on their individual set of specifications (i.e. processor, memory, hard drive, etc), which can make it quite confusing when searching online for deals on a ‘G570’ laptop.
Our review model, the G570 M5175UK, comes with a 2.1GHz, dual-core Intel Core i3-2330M processor with Intel Turbo Boost Technology, 6GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive, which delivers impressive performance for the sub-£450 price.
Other neat features include a bright 15.6” HD LED-backlit TFT screen, a full-size keyboard with island-style (isolated) keys and an excellent touchpad, a multi-in-one card slot, a recordable DVD drive, a handy Wi-Fi on/off switch and decent battery life.
In terms of software, the laptop runs Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) with Lenovo RapidBoot technology for faster start-up and shutdown; Lenovo’s OneKey Rescue System, which enables quick data backup and recovery; and DirectShare, which lets you sync files with other laptops via the built-in Bluetooth. You can also protect the contents of your laptop through the VeriFace facial recognition, which works using the built-in webcam.
The Lenovo Essential G570 offers a mixed bag when it comes to design. Exterior styling is very basic and in truth a little disappointing, especially when compared to the similarly priced Samsung NP-S3520-A02UK.
The lid is made from a glossy black plastic that gives it a rather cheap look and feel, especially when compared to the interior panelling, and also makes it a magnet for fingerprints. The only distinguishing feature on the hood is the silver Lenovo logo in the top left corner.
However, the G570’s interior styling is much more appealing. The 15.6” screen is bordered by a shiny black bezel, which includes an integrated webcam at the top, while the keyboard surround has a charcoal-grey brushed aluminium finish, providing a cool-to-touch sturdy surface and adding a degree of class to the machine.
The full-size island-style keyboard shows no flex when typing and is well spaced, giving you plenty of room to stretch your fingers out. Each isolated key has a slightly rounded bottom for comfortable and accurate typing, although some users may find them too wide for their liking. There’s also a separate numeric keypad, which is a nice addition for a 15-inch notebook and doesn’t make the keyboard feel too cramped.
Below the keyboard is medium-sized touchpad which has a subtle dimpled texture for excellent feedback, two large and easy to press mouse buttons and a silver border. It also supports multi-touch gestures such as two-finger scrolling and pinch to zoom. The only downside with the touchpad is that it could have been a little bigger, given how much space has been left around it.
Above the keyboard are two buttons: an LED-lit power button and a button which instantly takes you to Lenovo’s OneKey Rescue System. This is designed to assist you with backing up your data and creating recovery discs.
With the Lenovo Essential G570 you get 4 USB 2.0 ports, including one combination USB/eSATA, HDMI and VGA output, Gigabit Ethernet, microphone and headphone jacks, and a multi-in-one card slot. Lenovo has also included a recordable DVD drive on the right side, as well as a handy on/off switch for WiFi, which is located on the front of the notebook. While support for Blu-ray playback would have been a great addition, it’s absence is hardly surprising for a machine of this price.
At 2.6kg, the G570 is fairly lightweight and portable for its size, which measures 376x249x34mm. Despite the plastic hood, the notebook has a sturdy – if a bit clunky – feel to it and overall build quality is impressive.
The G570 comes with a 15.6” HD TFT display with 1366×768-pixel resolution and LED-backlighting, which is quite impressive for a laptop of this price.
The glossy screen is bold and bright – maybe a little too bright for some – and delivers deep blacks and good contrast, even on the maximum brightness setting. Glare is reduced by the LED-backlighting, as promised, which ensures ideal picture quality when watching films and other videos, and makes it pleasing to work on.Viewing angles are reasonable, and the screen has a fair amount of tilt adjustment.
The only negative aspect is the 1366 x 768-pixel resolution, which fails to make the most of the crisp images.
The Lenovo Essential G570 model we tested is powered by a dual-core Intel Core i3-2310M processor clocked at 2.1GHz, together with 6GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive, which should be more than sufficient to store your software and media collections.
Note; For a slightly higher price, Lenovo offers the G570 (M517AUK) model which comes equipped with a more powerful Intel Core i5-2430M processor (2.40 GHz).
After putting our model through a series of performance tests, we found it was easily able to handle everyday tasks such as sending and receiving emails, browsing the internet and some light multitasking. It also made light work of editing photos, streaming large media files and playing high-definition videos, either on the laptop in 720p or on an external 1080p display using the HDMI output.
However, if you’re a keen gamer the G570 is not recommended as there’s no dedicated graphics card on board. Instead, the machine relies on the integrated HD graphics of the Intel processor, which can only handle the most basic gaming (i.e. older titles at low detail settings) and video playback.
Battery-wise, the G570’s 6-cell unit provides a healthy 300 minutes (5 hours) of life from a single charge, which means you don’t have to worry about taking the charger with you on your daily commute. As expected, running time is significantly reduced when pushing the CPU at a constant 100 per cent – in our intensive use test the battery managed to last a reasonable 1 hour and 45 minutes before running out of juice.
The Lenovo Essential G570 is an impressive well-built machine that has very few flaws. It offers a range of neat features, including a crisp HD display, a 5-in1 card reader, a HDMI out port and decent battery life, while the 2.1GHz dual-core i3 chipset is capable of solid performance and the 6GB of RAM helps with multitasking.
The only downsides are the lack of a dedicated graphics card, which is not surprising for a laptop of this price, and the uninspiring design, which could do with a bit more colour to help it stand out from Lenovo’s business laptop range.
There are other laptops on the market that offer similar, if not better, all-round performance for the same affordable price such as the ACER Aspire AS5733 and the G6 laptop range from HP Pavilion.
Nonetheless, the Lenovo Essential G570 has plenty of plus points and is still definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a laptop to facilitate your work and entertainment (excluding gaming) needs.