Lenovo IdeaPad Z710 59387522 17.3-Inch Laptop Review

Lenovo IdeaPad Z710 59387522 17.3-Inch Laptop

The Lenovo IdeaPad Z710 59387522 17.3-Inch Laptop is a powerful mid-range machine with the flexibility to be either a general purpose workhorse or your entertainment hub, or, indeed, both.

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Its all-important processor is a fourth generation Intel Core i5-4200M, with 3MB of cache. This dual-core CPU is based on Intel’s Haswell architecture, and offers significant improvements in performance and efficiency over its Ivy Bridge-based predecessors. Like them, it supports Hyperthreading, which enables the pair of cores to handle up to four threads simultaneously, ensuring that the processor’s resources are always being put to the best possible use.

Both cores run at a base speed of 2.5GHz, but, thanks to Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, each core is able to automatically adjust its speed to meet the needs of the current software application, up to a maximum of 3.1GHz. This arrangement means that demanding applications will always have access to as much processing speed as possible, while power consumption is reduced for less challenging applications, effectively balancing performance against energy use to give the best of both worlds.

The processor is supported by 6GB of DDR3 memory, which should be more than enough to allow the supplied copy of Windows 8 to perform well, multi-tasking your favorite applications with ease. More memory is, of course, always better, and it is slightly disappointing that this machine isn’t equipped with 8GB instead of 6. In reality, however, it is unlikely to make much, if any, difference to most users.

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Lenovo IdeaPad Z710 59387520 17.3-Inch Laptop

  • Intel Core i7-4700MQ 2.4 GHz Processor (6 MB Cache)
  • 8 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1 TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
  • 17.3-Inch Screen, NVIDIA GeForce GT745M Discrete Graphics
  • Windows 8, 4-hour battery life

Permanent storage is provided by a 1TB Hard Disk Drive (HDD). That should be more than enough storage capacity for most users, with plenty of space for documents, music, pictures, movies and, of course, software applications. However, if you do find that you need more storage space, it is an easy matter to connect an external hard drive to one of the machine’s USB ports. A Blu-ray drive is also built in, ensuring that this machine is capable of handling all your entertainment needs.

Pros :

  • Good entertainment hub or general purpose workhorse
  • Intel Core i5-4200M 2.5 GHz Processor
  • 6 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1 TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
  • 17.3-Inch Screen, NVIDIA GeForce GT745M Discrete Graphics
  • Windows 8

Cons :

  • A little more memory would be useful but not essential

The machine features a 17.3-inch, 1600 x 900 pixel, full HD, LED backlit screen, driven by NVIDIA GeForce GT745M Discrete Graphics with 2048 MB of dedicated memory. This is a mid-range, DirectX 11 compatible graphics card that should be able to provide reasonable performance for a wide range of applications, including many games. Although it is obviously no match for its higher-end competitors, it should manage to handle medium or high settings for many 2012 games, and some more recent titles, too. Indeed, in some cases, it may even handle ultra settings without substantial difficulty. Naturally, therefore, it should have no problems with more mundane tasks such as HD video or productivity applications.

As you would expect from this class of laptop, the machine features an array of connectivity options. Two high-speed USB 3.0 ports, and two standard USB 2.0 ports make it easy to connect a variety of peripherals to this machine. The high-speed USB 3.0 ports are ideal for devices – such as the already  mentioned external hard drive – that need to transfer lots of data to and from the laptop, while the standard USB 2.0 ports are best suited to less demanding peripherals, such as mice and printers.

There will come a time when you want to connect an extra display to your laptop, perhaps so you can watch your favorite movies on a big screen, or maybe just as a productivity-enhancing secondary monitor. For those times, the Z710 59387522 features both a micro-HDMI port for connecting to an HDTV or modern monitor, and a VGA port for connecting to older monitors, projectors etc.

Of course, no modern machine would be complete without built-in networking options, and this one is no different. An Ethernet port allows for wired network connections, while 802.11 b/g/n WiFi ensures that connecting to a wireless network is a breeze.

Naturally, the machine also features a built-in 720p webcam, ensuring that once you are online you will be able to video chat with your friends and colleagues. You won’t even have to install any extra software, as Windows 8 ships with Skype – simply sign in to your account, or create a new one, and you’ll be good to go. A headphone / microphone combo jack enables you to listen to the machine’s audio in privacy, no matter whether you’re holding a confidential discussion online or listening to music – great though the machine’s speakers are, it’s not always good to broadcast everything!

A two-in-one card reader, capable of handling SD and MMC cards, makes it easy to transfer images onto this machine from cameras and cellphones without having to connect the device to a USB port.

Measuring 16.30 x 10.60 x 1.24 inches (L x W x H) and weighing 6.4 pounds, this is by no means the smallest or lightest laptop on the market. On the other hand, its size and weight are broadly in line with other machines in its class, and it isn’t so large or heavy as to be difficult to take around with you. And, with a battery life of up to 4 hours, you should have no difficulty in using it on the move, whether you need its power for work or to relax after a long day.

Overall,  Lenovo IdeaPad Z710 59387522 17.3-Inch Laptop is an excellent choice for a portable entertainment hub or general purpose workhorse machine. Its powerful processor and copious storage space make it ideal for both purposes, and it’s NVIDIA GeForce GT745M Discrete Graphics mean it can cope successfully with many – though not all – modern games. If you’re looking for a powerful, stylish laptop for work or entertainment, this could well be the machine for you.

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