Now, do you want to shell out a lot of money because you know you can’t get a decent laptop with pennies only? That might be true – often if you want quality and performance the laptop you’re looking for will have a premium price tag. Lenovo Z70 (80FG00DBUS) belongs to that lot, but on the other hand offers a decent set of components: i7 processor, 8GB RAM, hybrid hard drive and some sort of dedicated graphics card. Whether this item is worth its price or just poor bang for your buck will be discussed below.
How’s the performance?
The engine room is full of powerful “stuff”: there’s Core i7-5500U processor with 2.4GHz base frequency (and up to 3.0GHz turbo to bump up the performance). Core amount is two, not four like in many i7s, but this is explained by the fact that it’s a low-voltage (a.k.a. power efficient) model. Indeed, in CPU Mark this unit gets a grade of ~4000, not close to, say, the heavyweight i7-4720HQ with well over 8000 points. But the i7-5500U is a laptop model, and even for the users demanding great processor performance this i7 should be able to deliver.
Further good information for power users, there’s 8GB memory installed in Lenovo Z70 (80FG00DBUS). Two RAM slots are available all in all, however it’s not clear if one of them is free or not. The storage drives offers a 1000GB 5400RPM hard drive part but also 8GB SSD cache. I list this as advantage because it’s bit faster than a regular hard drive, however not nearly as fast as a SSD-only setup. Plus, on this hybrid drive the system (not you) decides what files are actually stored on the SSD cache.
The display isn’t probably too shabby, it sports 1080p resolution and IPS panel type. It’s not a touch sensible screen, keep that in mind.
Can it play games?
Lenovo Z70 (80FG00DBUS) can surely play a game or two. It’s equipped with GeForce GT840M (2GB DDR3), a low-level dedicated graphics card. It’s quite much faster than, say, integrated Intel HD 5500 (840 vs. 560 points in G3D Mark tests). As an example, you’d be able to run Grand Theft Auto on medium-high settings and 720p while getting around 40 frames per second. This thing can also easily run Counter-Strike: Go with maxed out settings and 1080p, you’d get FPS around 50 in that case.
Can I enhance the notebook with peripherals?
You can surely plug in a variety of devices. Lenovo Z70 (80FG00DBUS) offers three USB ports, too bad just one is USB 3.0 and two are USB 2.0. If you want to hook up a display, there are outputs for HDMI and VGA.
The specs say there’s an external DVD drive included, but from the product photos you can clearly see an optical drive is installed inside. 2-in-1 digital media reader for SD/MMC type cards is also there, it’s useful if you have a knack for photography and want to move photos from your camera to the computer.
The built-in 802.11ac WiFi adapter will take care of your wireless networking needs. Bluetooth 4.0 is enabled as well, and if you want to play with wire you’ll also find a Gigabit RJ-45 port on the side of the laptop.
A 720p front camera is available for filming some videos or perhaps talking with your buddies using Skype.
Other things to keep in mind?
In real life you’ll see this unit is a big one: the 17.3″ screen is rather large and the laptop weighs 6.6 pounds. Not really a good companion for active traveler. Moreover, the 4-cell battery won’t last more than 4 hours.
It doesn’t look this Lenovo comes with a backlit keyboard.
Lenovo Z70 (80FG00DBUS) offers a “power user” proof set: a Core i7 CPU, 8GB RAM and 1000GB+8GB hybrid hard drive. Hardly any software I could think of would lag here, but games are a different kind of beast. True, this notebook is a lot better than rig with integrated graphics, but the dedicated GeForce GT840M isn’t still a high-end card so high settings/1080p is unheard of with many titles. This laptop can be a decent choice for somebody looking for a big and powerful unit, but at the current specifications and price it doesn’t offer excellent value.