Lenovo Z70 (80FG0036US) Review

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February 19, 2015
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Are you a person who not only appreciates but finds good use for a powerful laptop? If so, you might’ve come across Lenovo Z70 (80FG0036US). It’s Lenovo’s new release, featuring high-performance components like Core i5 processor and a large, terabyte hard drive. Now, the price also seems rather “premium”, so we all want to know the answer to this question: Is this laptop really worth it?

Performance

Lenovo Z70 (80FG0036US) has some modern technology. There’s Intel Core i5-5200U processor in it, which belongs to the 5th (latest) generation of Intel CPUs. This model was announced in early 2015 and it has a dual core configuration and 2.2GHz base speed. Other features include a turbo boost up to 2.7GHz and upgraded graphics chip named Intel HD 5500 (more on that below). Early benchmark tests indicate this processor is one of the better models in the already fast i5 series, so no performance issues should occur for casual or power users.

8GB DDR3L RAM is installed in the system. It’s probably something you don’t have to touch, nonetheless installing more is possible – some other Z70 models come with full 16GB. Two memory slots are located on the motherboard.

An excellent hard drive is available on this Lenovo. Excellent, if you look at the size: 1024GB is a lot for a laptop. In real life, you can for example store one or two hundred thousand images there. The huge size comes with a price, which is slowness: you won’t exactly get lightning fast user experience with the 5400 RPM rate. If that’s your concern, you can upgrade the hard drive for a solid-state by yourself.

Screen and graphics

The display of Lenovo Z70 (80FG0036US) should be large and good quality. It’s 17.3 inches diagonal and yes, it has a 1920×1080 resolution. Full HD zealots will like it, although the screen lacks touch features which might make using Windows 8.1 (64-bit) easier. However, in my opinion touch display is not a requirement for the Microsoft’s latest at all – it works 100% fine without one.

Intel HD 5500 is a new integrated graphics engine, bringing much needed upgrade to weak, older members in the HD series. This model should fall between HD 4400 and HD 4600 in terms of performance, so running many games should be realistically possible on it. For example, newer first-person shooters like Battlefield 4 should reach around 30 FPS on low settings while the heavyweight Far Cry 4 should get frame rates of 20. For old titles, especially those without fancy graphics (Minecraft to name one), you can easily double or triple the FPS.

Connections

Lenovo Z70 (80FG0036US) contains similar USB configuration found in way cheaper laptops: one USB 3.0, two USB 2.0. For this price and size you could’ve expected more USB 3.0s for sure. The video connectivity is handled by an HDMI output, so you can plug HDTV or other newer PC display to this notebook.

There’s a Gigabit Ethernet adapter and 802.11a/c WiFi card installed so networking is solid. Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported.

DVD burner is integrated, which is common for this big notebook. Likewise, SD/MMC media card reader is built-in to allow you to work with memory cards. Video conferencing is also possible thanks to a 720p webcam and microphone.

What other things to keep in mind?

It’s not portability that’s the best side of these 17.3″ laptops. Indeed, Lenovo Z70 (80FG0036US) weighs 6.61 pounds, so it’s not the most convenient choice for a road warrior. The 4-cell battery is not wonderful either, giving maximum 4 hours operating time – but in reality, only three hours can be expected.

These pricier laptops usually feature a backlit keyboard. Unfortunately, this model doesn’t. Appropriate for this size, there’s however a 10-key pad on the right hand side, allowing for easy number key access.

Taking look at the included software shows me that there should be minimal amount of bloatware installed. Instead, some actually useful applications are pre-installed, like 30-day trials for McAfee anti-virus and Office 365 Home Premium.

Summing it up

Lenovo Z70 (80FG0036US) is a big, fancy and expensive laptop. It enjoys better performance of new Core i5 level processor, ample 8GB RAM and spacious gigabyte hard drive. The notebook has large full HD screen which might make multimedia users happy. Dual-band WiFi card is nice, although only one USB 3.0 port is not. Another (possibly small) disadvantage is missing backlit keyboard which for the price would’ve been justified. For what it offers, the price of this Z70 is acceptable, so I don’t see any particular reason not to recommend it.


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5 thoughts on “Lenovo Z70 (80FG0036US) Review

  1. Juan Carlos

    Quote “The huge size comes with a price, which is slowness: you won’t exactly get lightning fast user experience with the 5400 RPM rate. If that’s your concern, you can upgrade the hard drive for a solid-state by yourself.”

    Question: Is it really possible to replace the hard drive with an SSD?
    Thanks

    Reply

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