Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E570 Review

     
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4.55

Lenovo ThinkPad has been the go-to laptop for many businesses for decades. Started as IBMs, and known for their red pointing stick in the keyboard, these laptops have brought the much-needed performance and reliability for offices around the world. ThinkPad Edge E570 is the modern version of these legendary business notebooks, with early user reports and spec sheets suggesting that something good is going on here. My take on the subject can be read below!

Different Versions for Different Performance Requirements

There are few different versions of Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E570 available. The processor choices are either Intel Core i3-7100U, i5-7200U or i7-7500U. All of them are 7th generation low voltage models with Kaby Lake architecture. The i3 runs on 2.4GHz, i5 on 2.5GHz and i7 on 2.7GHz clock speed – and the i5 has 3.1GHz and i7 a 3.5GHz turbo boost helping with the performance. This helpful comparison on CPU Benchmark illustrates the differences – in essence, the i5 is about 20% faster than the i3, and the i7 is about 12% faster than the i5. In my opinion, for the best value, the model with i5-7200U processor is the way to go.

The storage drive will also depend on your wants and needs. Currently, at least models with 500GB (7200RPM) & 1TB (5400RPM) SATA 3 hard drives and 120GB, 240GB and 500GB SATA 3 solid-state drives are on the market. The SSD models are often desirable for many, but if you want to go for the 500GB solid-state drive version it will also be the most expensive choice. The system memory varies between 8 and 16 gigabytes DDR4 2400MHz, with maximum being 32GB on two sticks. The 8GB version should be sufficient unless you do crazy amount of multitasking and resource-intensive work, like video editing.

Decent Display, Graphics Performance Often Not for Gaming Use

The new ThinkPad Edge comes with a 15.6 inches non-touch display. The resolution on cheaper models is 1366×768, on more expensive ones 1920×1080. On a 15-incher, it is often a great idea to go for the Full HD version, and you will anyway get the extra screen estate in comparison to 1366×768 (720p) resolution. The 720p screen offers 220 nits brightness and 400:1 contrast ratio, whereas the 1080p screen has 250 nits and 600:1 ratio on IPS display. The contrast ratios are decent, although the brightness on the 720p version could be too dim for comfortable outdoors use. However, this is not a huge issue for ThinkPad as they are essentially office workhorses.

Most of these ThinkPad Edge 540 laptops come with the integrated Intel HD 620 graphics engine. Might be you already know it, such a unit is not ready for serious gaming. Few older games, especially on lower resolutions, run fine: the popular Counter-Strike: Go would even get silk-smooth ~60 frames per second, GTA 5 around half of that. Yet, there is also an option to include the dedicated GeForce GTX 950M (2GB GDDR5) in the laptop, however that version will be the most expensive one and not really benefit business or office user in any way.

Video Review

Ports Selection Not Exactly 2017

The ThinkPad Edge relies on somewhat older technology as no USB Type-C is found on the sides – despite the laptop being a somewhat premium model price-wise. The USB connectors you will find are two USB 3.0 and one 2.0. Another “blast from the past” moment is the VGA port, which is quickly becoming obsolete in the shadow of other, modern video connectors. Luckily, Lenovo also provides a HDMI-output on this notebook, it supporting up to 1920×1080 resolution @ 60hz on external screens.

As these Lenovos are business laptops, optical drives are included. Perhaps the manufacturer thinks many offices still install software the old-school way from DVDs. This might be so, and now you don’t have to worry about carrying an external optical drive with you. There is also 4-in-1 memory card reader which eats MMC and SD standard cards and SDHC/SDXC large storage cards.

Both Ethernet and Wireless are supported for networking. The laptop has a Gigabit Ethernet circuit so transfer rates with cable are not an issue. The WiFi card is made by Lenovo or Intel (the 8265 version), both supporting Wireless-AC standard, 2×2 antennas and Bluetooth 4.1.

Battery Life, Other Miscellaneous Features

It’s not the most essential thing for an office laptop to have a high-end battery life. Truly, the 4-cell 41Wh Li-ion battery on ThinkPad E570 will not last a full day without charging; my estimate is five or six hours with a single charge (if you still value a long-lasting battery on a business notebook, this ASUS will run for nine hours). A good thing for many people, the battery can be replaced in case the default one malfunctions or is too weak for you.

The laptop looks a bit old school with big screen bezel, also the polycarbonate/ABS material choice contributes to this. Too bad there is no backlit keyboard on this model; for an indoors laptop this is almost unbelievable. However, operating system is the business-friendly version Windows 10 Professional, with domain support and remote desktop feature.

Pros:
Many versions available - No matter if you prefer the entry-level Core i3 or the flagship Core i7, there is a configuration that will satisfy your needs.

Replaceable battery - If it breaks, just remove the battery and put in a new one.

Pointing stick - The ThinkPad's TrackPoint (the red nub on the keyboard) is a legend and many people enjoy it to the fullest!

Cons:
No backlit keyboard - This kind of laptop will most likely be used indoors, so the exclusion of backlit keyboard is a strange choice.

Questionable brightness - For outdoors use, the 220 nits display will hardly cut it.

With the ThinkPad Edge E570, Lenovo clearly has a certain user demographics in mind: the (small) business owners and office workers. The laptop itself looks very different from modern and trendy ultrabooks, but it packs the power and reliability business users are often looking for. With (at least) the i5 processor and solid-state drive, the performance for software use is solid – in case you want gaming capacity, choose the dedicated graphics version. The lack of backlit keyboard stuns me, otherwise there are no big complaints. If old school workhorse is what you’re after, this ThinkPad Edge will deliver.

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