Lenovo presents the all-new Lenovo IdeaPad Z370 – a 13.3-inch notebook, slick and portable. Lenovo traditionally makes its budget notebooks look more expensive than they really are, and so too with the Lenovo IdeaPad Z370. The IdeaPad Z370 measures 12.9 x 8.7 x 0.8~1.3 inches and weighs in at a very light 4.4 pounds.
The palm rest and keyboard surround are brushed aluminum, and the dependable chassis resists twisting as solidly as most business laptops. This is important because it will protect internal circuit boards from bending and eventually failing due to stress fractures in solder points, which is a major reason for laptops eventually going kaputt. The lid is not ideal though – the glossy plastic cover scratches too readily and bends a bit too easily. Unless you plan to subject the lid to undue stress, eg piling a set of encyclopaedias on top of it, bouncing tennis balls off it, etc, it should last well enough. For its price level the Lenovo IdeaPad Z370 gives good build quality.
The 13.3-inch 1366 x 768 resolution display is typical for a budget consumer laptop. The IdeaPad Z370 offers good viewing angles from the side but washed-out colors from above and below. The glossy display enhances contrast, giving quite bright colors, and although the 720p resolution is limited, for a budget notebook it’s quite
Lenovo has at last adopted the island-style keyboard for the IdeaPad range. Good resistance and travel as well as the extra space from the Chiclet keyboard all translates to brisk and accurate typing. And relatively quiet too. The dimpled Synaptics touchpad is equally satsfying to use; its buttons are also quiet, and solid.
The speakers on the Lenovo IdeaPad Z370 are far superior to the normal budget laptop speakers. Ample volume and very little tinniness, there is even more than a suspicion of bass.
The port selection is similarly above average. eSATA makes connecting to an external hard drive possible, though the lack of USB 3 and an Express Card slot may be a nuisance to some people. Completing the tale are VGA, HDMI out, Ethernet, head and mic jacks, and three USB 2 sockets.
The processor and RAM are quite adequate for multitasking or business use. Multimedia, multi-tabbed browsing, and office suites it takes in its stride. The only area where the IdeaPad Z370 cannot perform is gaming since it relies on integrated Intel graphics. Actually we’d like to stress that for a budget notebook selling at $629, a Core i5 and 4GB RAM is really quite a powerful little machine. The only complaint we have is the 5400rpm hard drive; with a 7200rpm drive boot-time and large app load-time would be improved.
With moderate usage battery life came in at a very respectable five hours 5 minutes. All in all, gadgetmix heartily recommends the Lenovo IdeaPad Z370. It’s snapping at the heels of the mid-rangers for a very competitive price. Anyone who can’t explain exactly why they’d need a higher-spec notebook than this should buy it.
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