Lenovo G70-70 Review

 

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While small hybrid laptops and Chromebooks are getting a lot of attention, there is still a decent amount of people looking for a traditional big screen laptop with plenty of power. That’s where the Lenovo G70-70 comes in. Though it lacks a touchscreen, this 17 inch laptop offers a Haswell quad core Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of memory and 1 TB hard drive, making it a multimedia powerhouse. And, with base price as low as $629, this machine is the most economic multimedia laptop of 2014. The G70 is a perfect laptop for everyday computing. If you are looking for a big screen laptop or a desktop replacement with an affordable price tag, look no further!
However, if you are wondering, there are 4 almost similar versions available on the market and we are reviewing the (80HW000WUS) version.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Attractive design
  • Colorful big display
  • Wide viewing angles
  • Good price/performance ratio
  • Powerful speakers
  • Runs cool and quiet

 

Cons

  • Glossy display
  • Short battery life
  • Slow hard drive
  • Poor graphics performance
  • Poor webcam performance
  • No touchscreen support

 

Specification

  • Brand: Lenovo
  • Model: G70-70
  • Version: 80HW000WUS
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4210U 1.7 GHz
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4400
  • Memory: 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3L SDRAM
  • SSD: none
  • HDD: 1 TB 5400 RPM
  • Optical Drive: SuperMulti DVD Burner
  • Display Type: IPS LED Backlit
  • Screen Size: 17.3 inch
  • Screen Resolution: 1600×900 (16:9)
  • Audio: 2x Dolby Speakers
  • Keyboard: Island style AccuType keyboard
  • Navigation: 4.2 x 2.8 inch touchpad
  • Webcam: 0.3 MP
  • Video Ports: HDMI and VGA port
  • Audio Ports: 3.5 mm Combo Headphone/Mic Jack
  • USB: 1x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.0
  • Media Ports: SD/MMC card slot
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n/ac
  • Network: 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45)
  • Bluetooth: 4.0
  • Ethernet: none
  • Width: 16.5 inch / 41.9 cm
  • Depth: 11.1 inch / 28.2 cm
  • Height: 1.1 inch / 2.8 cm
  • Weight: 6.4 pounds / 2.9 kg
  • Battery: 4 cell, 2800 mAh Lithium cylinder battery
  • Battery Life: 4 Hours
  • Operating System: 64 bit Windows 8.1
  • Warranty: 1 year Limited
  • Base Price: $629 at Amazon

 

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Build and Design

For a budget notebook, the Lenovo G70 doesn’t look cheap. We love the faint brushed metal finished matte black aluminum surface. Though the design has a fingerprint loving nature, it is both visually and textually appealing. Even the chrome Lenovo logo in the top right corner of the lid matched perfectly.

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Inside the lid, a spacious island style keyboard takes up most of the deck, and a raven black power button sits just under the display. While we like the Lenovo G70’s shimmering look, the body was quick to catch fingerprint smudges. Also, because of the big frame size, you will get a large palm rest just below the keyboard. However, despite its large frame the G70 is a fairly thin profile for a laptop with 1 TB HDD and DVD drive.

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Keyboard

With its large interior, Lenovo fitted the G70 with a full size island style keyboard, complete with a number pad. The large edgy keys have roughly 1.5mm travel distance, which is a little on the short and the light side. The full size arrow keys are amazing for navigation and small gaming, although the right shift key had to be smaller than normal to make space for these full sized arrow keys. To be honest, the performance of the keyboard is as good as it looks.

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Touchpad

The touchpad features a smooth matte surface that made controlling the cursor very enjoyable. The 4.2 x 2.8 inch touchpad is comfortably large enough for our fingers. Feedback of the touchpad is really good and it was easy to perform multi touch gestures such as two-finger rotate, three-finger swipe and four-finger press. Also the pad supports all kinds of Windows 8.1 gestures. Moreover, discrete mouse buttons are large and provided strong feedback.

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Connectivity

The connectivity feature of the G70 is quite rich as there is a decent amount of space on both sides. However, one or two more USB 3.0 ports would be better.

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On the right side, there are a combination Microphone / headphone jack, card slot, USB 3.0, optical drive and a security lock port.

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While on the left side there are an HDMI, a LAN, a VGA and 2x USB 2.0 ports. Moreover, the exhaust ventilation system and the charging port are on the left side as well.

Display

Lenovo G70 features a 17.3″ screen with wide viewing angles and accurate colors, thanks to the IPS panel. The display resolution is 1600 x 900, driven by integrated Intel HD graphics 4400.

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Though the viewing angles are great and the colors are decent, the brightness and contrast of the screen is not quite pleasant. As I have found from the test, the average brightness of the display is 280 nits, and the average contrast is 244 CD / m2.

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Audio

With two Dolby Advanced Audio powerful speakers, the sound quality of the G70 is quite good. You can watch a movie from a distance and listen to sounds very clearly. During the Audio Test, the G70 made it to 94 decibels, which is far better than 85dB average. Also, there is Dolby Digital Plus audio software, which offers the ability to switch between preset equalizers for gaming, movies, voice and more. If you don’t like the preset equalizers, you can create your own using the custom profiles as well.

Performance

Version of the G70 I’ve tested came with 4th Gen Intel Core i5 4210U processor. The 4210U is a dual core CPU, featuring 3MB cache and 1.7GHz processor speed with Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz. Beside the processor, the laptop also has Intel HD graphics 4400, 8 GB of DDR3 memory and 1 TB SATA HDD.

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The i5 series processors are good for basic use and moderate gaming, so you shouldn’t expect lag to happen as far as the processor is concerned. It is also 4th gen Haswell processor, so you won’t have to worry about power consumption as well. As for memory, 8 GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM is more than enough for a mid range laptop. But if you really need more, you can install another 8 GB and make it 16. When it comes to pure storage, G70 is unmatched with a 1 TB SATA HDD. However, if you need speed instead of storage, you must have to replace the HDD with an SSD.

Battery Life

Lenovo G70 comes with a 4 cell, 2800 mAh Lithium cylinder battery. To be honest, it is not even nearly adequate for a 17 inch laptop. In test I was able to get a maximum of 3 hours and 25 minutes from it. From a $500+ laptop, I expected 5 hours of battery backup at least.

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Heat and Noise

Like almost all Lenovo laptops, the G70 runs cool and quiet under pressure. On Heat Test (30minute of playing Skyrim), the bottom of the laptop measured just 29 degrees Celsius, which is very close to room temp. Moreover, other areas like keyboard, touchpad and palm rest were even cooler.

Customization

You really don’t have to customize G70 much as there are 4 different versions of it available on the market. All you have to do is, know your need and chose the right version. I am going to give a comparison between those 4 below.

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I didn’t mention full specifications, as the rest of the specs are same for all 4 models.

Wrap Up

Lenovo G70 is a perfect laptop for somebody who is looking for a big screen notebook and doesn’t really care for portability. It’s a good desktop replacement. With the Haswell processor and 8GB memory it delivers solid everyday performance, and the 17.3 inch IPS screen is surely a bonus. However, people who are looking for premium performance or ultra portability might want to consider different laptops. But if you’re looking for a budget machine with a big screen, the Lenovo G70 is a fantastic choice.

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