Lenovo IdeaPad Z370 Notebook Review
The Lenovo IdeaPad in the simplest sense is a processor upgrade of the IdeaPad Z360 of last year. It now sports Intel’s 2nd generation Core processor and Lenovo’s tight integration with Windows 7 dubbed “Enhanced Experience 2.0”.
The IdeaPad Z-series notebook is still geared for those looking for a combination of mobility and style on their notebook without compromising affordability and performance. It’s the safe choice if you can’t decide among Lenovo’s IdeaPad lineup.
Let’s take a closer look of this Z370 shall we?
We have the color pink unit here and straight off the bat, it doesn’t look cheap at all. The lid has an inlaid pattern design with a transparent shell covering it. Lenovo is calling this the 3D transparent design and it looks durable. (go ahead click the images for a bigger view)
Opening the lid, the same pink and transparent treatment is used on the body save for the bezel on it’s 13-inch display which is in glossy black. Nothing special with the display, the colors are crisp and vibrant but it’s hard to view outdoors with the glare and viewing angle is limited.
As for the ports, on the left side we can see the vent alongside the VGA port, HDMI out, an eSATA/USB combo port and a USB 2.0 port. On the right side we have the AC port, another USB 2.0 port, DVDRW drive and the earphone/mic jack. No USB 3.0 port on this one if that’s important to you.
On the front side, we have the GPU switch on the left. Use this to easily toggle the GPU on and off if you want to save battery although NVIDIA Optimus should take care of automatically utilizing your GPU for you but it’s still good to have a physical switch for it. We have LED indicators at the center, beside that is another small switch for turning the Wireless LAN on or off. Finally, there’s the card reader beside it.
Nothing has changed with the keyboard. It still has that concaved chiclet-style keyboard that’s really a comfort to use. Then there’s also the small-sized right-Shift and Backspace key that might lead to typing errors the first time around. What I would like to see here though is a backlit illumination for typing in the dark.
The touchpad is adequately-sized with a textured surface and dedicated points for scrolling up/down, left/right. It has a single rocker for its left and right mouse clicks as well.
On top of the keyboard are dual speakers on both sides. They’re not as loud as that of the Y-series but they are still adequate for personal viewing. Beside the Power button is Lenovo’s One-Touch Recovery. Just press it while in the system screen and you can revert your laptop to its factory settings. Then there are more LED indicators on top of the keyboard as well.
There are also some small touch buttons on the top-right side. There’s a quick button for Mute, Volume Up, and Volume Down. Then there’s a button that would toggle the display setting based on what you are doing. If you’re watching a video, it will make the colors more vivid, something like that. The last button brings the thermal management which controls the fans.
This Lenovo IdeaPad Z370 uses Intel’s 2nd generation Core i3-2310M which has a 2.10 GHz clock speed capable of HyperThreading on its dual-core processor. It comes with Windows 7 Home Premium that works well with Lenovo’s Enhanced Experience 2.0. Waking up from Sleep or from Hibernate mode is faster than the usual.
It also comes with an NVIDIA GeForce 410M switchable graphics for applications and games requiring more juice from a GPU. Even without the GPU, this laptop is pretty capable of viewing Full HD 1080p offline or streaming videos without stuttering.
Here’s the Windows Experience Index of the IdeaPad Z370.
I did a simple conversion to test its processing power plus GPU. I converted a 129MB 1080p HD movie trailer (2:49 mins) into iPhone format (39.2MB) and the IdeaPad U260 was able to finish processing it in just 1:28 minutes. That’s faster than a last-generation Core i5 processor with integrated graphics.
Is this laptop good for gaming?
Well the GeForce 410M belongs to the low-to-midrange class of mobile graphics card. New games should run here but only with low details and mediocre resolution. I installed Call of Duty 4 and was able to play it on a 1280 x 600 resolution but with low anti-aliasing and texture, and no shadows. Even in that setting, I would still get occasional hiccups in the game but it’s certainly playable.
What I like here is the strong WiFi. I brought this to a hotel with the WiFi only at the lobby but the IdeaPad Z370 was able to pick it up from our room. Our mobile devices and iPad couldn’t pick up the wireless signal and I would also see other people bringing their laptops to the lobby just to use the internet when I can use mine at the comforts of my room.
Battery life is not that impressive for my taste here despite the 6-cell Li-Ion pack. I would only get 3 hours on my usual settings: WiFi always on, brightness at medium, surfing, typing, and occasional videos. That’s also with GPU switched off. But when the GPU kicks in while I was playing my COD 4, let’s just say you need to be plugged into a power outlet or near one just in case.
Here’s what BatteryBar has to say about the Z370.
Heat is not an issue here. On normal usage, it doesn’t get too warm at all. Even when playing a 3D game with the GPU being heavily used, it would only get comfortably warm, not hot.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Z370 is not a powerful laptop by any means but it’s better than your average one. It’s not that classy but it would stand out from the crowd on its own. It’s not exactly cheap but it’s reasonably affordable for the quality and performance you would be getting.
What I like about it its design, the keyboard (although I really want that backlit illumination) and a powerful WiFi. I would prefer a longer battery life but you probably won’t be lugging this around too much with its average 4.41 lbs weight.
For Php39,500, you would get an updated laptop with an eye-catching design, decent specs, and a GPU to boot that could play the latest games (although at a low setting) or would do better than average on multimedia processing tasks. The Lenovo Enhanced Experience 2.0 is also an added bonus here.
|Lenovo IdeaPad Z370 Specs:|
|Intel Core i3 – 2310M (2.10 GHz)|
|Windows 7 Home Premium|
|13.3” WXGA LED (1366×768)|
|NVIDIA GeForce 410M (1GB) switchable graphics|
|2GB DDR3 Memory|
|Integrated SuperMulti DVD±RW|
|Integrated 802.11b/g/n WiFi|
|2x USB 2.0, 1x USB/eSATA combo|
|2.0 Dolby Stereo Surround Sound|
|5-in-1 card reader|
|6-cell Li-Ion battery|