Lenovo IdeaPad Z710 17.3-Inch Laptop (59406328) Black Review

Lenovo IdeaPad Z710 17.3-Inch Laptop (59406328) Black

The Lenovo IdeaPad Z710 17.3-Inch Laptop (59406328) Black is a powerful, yet affordable machine that should cope well with entertainment and multimedia applications, in addition to all the more mundane tasks that you do everyday.

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This machine is built around a fourth generation Intel Core i7-4700MQ – a quad core processor designed to offer an excellent balance between computing performance and power consumption in high-end laptops. Based on Intel’s acclaimed Haswell architecture, it supports both Hyperthreading and Turbo Boost technologies; the former enables each of the four cores to handle up to two threads in parallel, while the latter means that each core can automatically adjust its own speed to match the needs of the current software application, from the base speed of 2.4 GHz, up to a maximum of 3.4 GHz. Together, these technologies ensure that the processor conserves energy where possible, yet delivers maximum performance when it’s needed, and always makes best use of available resources.

The processor is supported by 8 GB of DDR3 memory, which should be more than enough to allow the installed copy of Windows 8.1 to perform well, multitasking your applications with ease. Although the 8 GB fitted in the Z710 is less than in some other laptops, it represents a sensible compromise between cost and performance, and should be quite sufficient for most purposes.

Pros :

  • Good, powerful, multimedia workhorse laptop
  • Intel Core i7-4700MQ 2.4 GHz Processor
  • 8 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1 TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
  • 17.3-Inch Screen
  • 5-Hour Battery Life
  • Windows 8.1

Cons :

  • More memory would have been nice, but not essential

A 1 TB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) provides permanent storage for your music, movies, documents and pictures – and, of course, your software applications. This a generous amount of storage space, and ought to be more than enough to keep most users going for quite some time. However, should you find that you need more storage at some stage, it is an easy matter to connect an external HDD to one of the machine’s USB ports.

Staying with disk drives for a moment, it’s good to see that this machine features a built-in DVD-RW. They’re not as important as they once were, and many manufacturers are omitting them from smaller, lighter models of laptop, but they’re still very useful things to have, particularly if you want to install software from a physical disk, or simply watch a movie from your collection.

The machine’s 17.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display is driven by discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT745M graphics with 2 GB of dedicated memory. This is a powerful, mid-range graphics card that supports DirectX 11 and should be capable of running most reasonably modern games at at least medium – high detail settings. Video editing should also be well within its capabilities, as should other, similarly demanding applications.

There will almost certainly be times when you want – or need – to attach an external display to the Z710, and the machine offers several ways to do that. An HDMI port is provided, enabling you to connect the machine to an HDTV or modern monitor. There is also a legacy VGA port, for connecting to older TVs and monitors. Finally, the machine supports Intel’s WiDi Wireless Display technology, so you can connect wirelessly to a modern display that is WiDi ready.

Other connectivity features include one standard USB 2.0 port and two high-speed USB 3.0 ports, making it easy to connect all your wired devices.

The machine supports both wired and wireless networking. A standard Ethernet port is provided for those who want, or need, to connect to a conventional wired network, while built-in 802.11 b/g/n WiFi means you can connect to wireless networks with ease.

A 720p HD webcam and dual digital array microphones makes this machine video chat ready right out of the box. And, since the installed copy of Windows 8.1 includes the popular Skype video chat software, you don’t even need to install anything – just sign in to your Skype account, or sign up for a new one, and you’ll be chatting with your friends and colleagues in minutes.

Measuring 16.30 x 1.24 x 10.60 inches and weighing just 6.4 pounds, this machine combines computing power with portability. And, with a reported battery life of 5 hours, you can be sure of getting things done no matter where your travels may take it.

Overall, the Lenovo IdeaPad Z710 17.3-Inch Laptop (59406328) Black is a great choice if you’re looking for a powerful, capable laptop for multimedia or other demanding applications. It should sail through routine tasks with ease, and take more challenging tasks in its stride. More memory would have been nice, but the installed 8 GB should be more than adequate. For powerful, portable computing at a reasonable price, this machine is well worth considering.

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