So it’s not a low-end Celeron laptop that could run your heavy software and games without lagging? In that case, you need a beefier computer. Lenovo Z70 (80FG0037US) could be a good candidate, knowing the manufacturer’s history of solid laptops and the unit’s high performance Core i7 processor. But what other things than a fast processor there are? Is the Lenovo good value for your money at all? Read on and you’ll find out…
Intel’s 5th generation is taking over the processor world, with more and more of these CPUs finding their way into new laptop releases. Such a processor, Core i7-5500U is also installed in Lenovo Z70 (80FG0037US). It’s a dual-core chip with 2.4GHz base speed and 3.0GHz turbo feature. And yes, it’s i7, a flagship of Intel’s, although an ULV model (= lower performance, lower power consumption). Because of that, the i7-5500U is not nearly as fast as other power hungry i7s, but battery life should be better. And it can still be categorized as a high-end processor, good for casual and power users alike.
A solid 16GB RAM is available on the system. That seems to be the maximum memory the laptop supports, but you don’t need to worry about that. Often four (perhaps eight) gigabytes is enough even for most professionals. And you’re getting double with this notebook. You can welcome smooth multitasking and complex programs for sure.
A modern way to include best of the both storage worlds is to provide a hybrid hard drive. There’s such a solution in Lenovo Z70 (80FG0037US) as well, offering a 1024GB 5400RPM hard drive with 8GB cache. The cache is not a full blown solid-state drive, although some call it SSD. Indeed, with this storage option you’ll end up somewhere between a hard drive and SSD in terms of performance.
So the current option is better than a pure hard drive, but for a real SSD you’d have to install one yourself. Often these 17.3″ notebooks come with slots for two hard drives, but this one doesn’t. As a result, you’d need to remove the hybrid drive first before putting in an SSD.
Graphics and screen
Lenovo Z70 (80FG0037US) is a large notebook, featuring a 17 inches matte display. The resolution is 1920×1080 – the only right one for this price – so plenty of screen estate is guaranteed. Reading user reports, I can also see the display was given a good grade for viewing angles and overall quality. So I guess it’s a decent screen, which is definitely possible for this expensive laptop. Just remember it’s not a touch display but in my opinion you don’t need one for Windows 8.1.
The laptop offers some treat for gamers. Thanks to its dedicated GeForce GT840M card, Lenovo Z70 (80FG0037US) is much better than integrated Intel HD based budget laptops – the GT840M should be around two times faster than HD 4000. For example, the popular Battlefield 4 should easily reach over 50FPS on low settings and resolution. Another popular multiplayer shooter, CS: Go, gets 70+ frames on similar settings. Any MMOs, including Minecraft and League of Legends, will be a walk in the park, too.
Despite being big and premium, Lenovo Z70 (80FG0037US) has just one USB 3.0 port. The other two are USB 2.0, much slower than the version three. Overall, this is not a huge issue, especially if you’re not planning to plug in a lot of peripherals.
A variety of monitors can be connected to this Lenovo, it has both HDMI and VGA outputs. Also, there are internal DVD burner and SD/MMC card reader available. The built-in webcam can be used for Skype video.
To connect to Internet you can use Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 or 802.11 A/C WiFi. Bluetooth 4.0 is enabled as well.
Anything else to keep in mind?
Lenovo Z70 (80FG0037US) weighs 6.6 pounds, not 8.2 as Amazon says. It’s around inch thick, not bad for such a large laptop. People say the unit is easy to move around. I can agree, but for an avid traveler I wouldn’t still recommend a 17 incher. Moreover, the maximum battery life is just 4 hours. Chances are you’ll end up with three hours, although you can try to prolong it by turning off the Geforce GT840M card and continuing on the processor-integrated Intel HD chip.
This laptop has no backlit keyboard. Numeric keypad is however available on the right.
Summing it up
Lenovo Z70 (80FG0037US) offers many useful things: a fast Core i7 processor, huge 16GB RAM, hybrid hard drive and a quality 17.3″ Full HD screen. Any software you throw at this rig will run without any issues. Oh, and there’s a dedicated graphics card too, so basically all games can be played on it (although some heavier ones with reduced settings). Obviously, this all costs money, but if you’re an experienced laptop user and want a high-end notebook, a computer like this Lenovo should be a great pick for you.