Product Type: Lenovo laptops
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£350 doesn't get you far these days!
Lenovo G570 4334
Member Name: Mama-Q
Lenovo G570 4334
Advantages: decent graphics, dual core processor, decent in-built speakers
Disadvantages: shoddy build, clunky keyboard, cumbersome.
Just before New Years I was in the market for a new laptop. My Mister had wanted to buy me one for Christmas but I had refused on the grounds that whatever we bought would be so reduced in price a day after Christmas that it would annoy me no end ;). What can I say, I love a good bargain?
So when we noticed that Amazon were doing a really good end of year sale, especially on electrical items, I jumped at the chance of getting this laptop for £350 when it is normally £400-450. So my husband bought it for me and within a few days it arrived. At first I felt very overwhelmed with the laptop - it was more cumbersome than I'd imagined, with clunky keys on the keyboard and strange angles on the corners. And it also felt surprisingly cheap :/. Like a Dell! (the horror! ;)
Still, there were plus sides too. Like a supposed 4 hour battery life (which is more like 2 and a half hours) and I saw this as a plus because my prehistoric laptop previous to this needed constantly plugged into a power source and got very hot after a while. In comparison my new laptop, this model, hardly got warm and can cool itself down pretty well if it does heat up.
I'm not a gamer at all, nor do I illegally download movies off the internet :P, so hard drive space isn't something I craved. What I do use a lot of memory for is my photography. Before I got my laptop I made the decision to keep this one in order. All my files in one easy place and over time to save all pictures onto an external hard drive. Well if this were possible that would be great. At first I saved a tonne of photos to our external hard drive and the next time I went to plug it in to do the same? It didn't work. I checked it wasn't a problem with the hard drive by checking it on my husbands machine - he had no problems. I was feeling none too happy about that and now my files are absolutely chocka block!
I probably should try the hard drive again but I'm too scared to damage the USB port.
Well, as they say, it was one thing after another with this disaster machine. Two of the keys came off fairly easily when my son dropped a book onto my keyboard - completely my fault and I am in no way blaming Lenovo. However what I will say is that their customer services team leaves something to be desired! Knowing it was completely my own fault, I went on a search for a replacement key. When I couldn't find one I left a message on the Lenovo Facebook and Twitter pages. I got a response through Twitter and was told to email a customer services rep. They couldn't have been nicer, but they couldn't actually deal with my problem as they were based in the USA and so handed me over to their Europe division.
This is where I wish I hadn't bothered. The European customer services agent was useless and so utterly rude! I made one phone call to Lenovo in which they instructed me I would need to send my laptop into their repair centre to be fixed. I asked how long it would take to repair. "5-10 working days." I asked if they could do an on-the-spot repair as it was only a couple of keys and hardly a huge job but they said my machine (my £350 worth machine) didn't come with that kind of warranty. I found that absurd but I was aware the rep didn't make the rules and instead I told them it was an unreasonable amount of time to be without my laptop - I am self-employed and work for an on-line company so 5-10 days of not working is very unreasonable for me.
The rep on the phone was pleasant, though, and it did seem like he was doing his best to help me out but there was only so much he could do. The European rep that I was in touch with through email was useless. For a start I hadn't heard anything for about 3 weeks, so I contacted the rep again. To which her reply was 'oh I forgot.' I then asked her what was happening with my complaint to which she told me the same thing I'd been told over the phone. I was annoyed because at this point it wasn't just the keys that needed repaired but the side casing had also come loose, along with the hinge on the same side (on the right.)
The hinge and casing coming loose had randomly happened one night while my husband was looking over the laptop to see if he could open the case to replace my whole keyboard - because at this point I'd already bought a replacement key, but of course it didn't fit ;) - and nowhere else seemed to stock them!
Now when it came loose I was angry because I had watched my husband close the laptop over normally, it made a crack noise, and then I noticed the casing had snapped out of place. Just normally closing it over! The casing seems really flimsy and cheap and I suppose it goes to show that for £350 you really do not get a lot these days.
When I explained about this fault in my laptop the rep was not phased at all. She just said 'if anything more happens then we'll have to think about a refund, but as it stands you don't qualify for one. You'll just have to get it repaired.' Well I didn't feel confident at all about sending it off to be repaired because I wanted to wait and see if anything more would happen to the laptop, plus I really needed a machine and they were also refusing to give me a replacement whilst mine was being worked on - which is fine and I understand that but then I can't have it sent away for repairs and it leaves me in a catch 22 situation.
I find it hilarious that on this laptop's description it says 'durable.' It's the least durable laptop I've ever owned! It feels very cheap and almost toy-like with it's flimsy casing and bulky kiddie keys. It also takes longer than my previous laptop to boot up - but the thing I like is that when it finally does boot up that a little menu pops-up to tell you how long it took to boot up. This can range between a fast 29 seconds to a snails pace of 59 seconds (nearly a minute) and I know those timings seem 'fast' but in technology terms I find that very slow and certainly slower than my previous Acer machine.
Like I mentioned previously the battery life is supposed to last 5 hours (or did I say 4? Lol!) but I find I'm lucky if I get a good 3-2 hours (more like 2 and a half - 2 hours from it) out of it. I suppose this depends on what you're doing but even when I'm working on Word, surfing a little bit of the web to research something and checking emails now and then I find I'll get a good 2-3 hours from it. But never 5! I think Lenovo dreamed that one up ;). If I'm watching programmes on iPlayer or other sites then I'll get a good 2-1 and a half hours out of it if I'm lucky.
The Operating System on my particuliar machine is Windows 7 which is an upgrade from my previous Windows Vista. I'm not an OS snob nor have I found much difference between the two (obviously there are differences, but they're blink and you don't notice them differences in my view) and get on just fine with Windows 7. I appreciate having that Operating System but it's not a deal breaker for me ;).
It also comes with a Dual-Core processor which basically means that the signals between the CPUs (central processing unit/the part where 'instructions' are carried out on a computer) travel shorter distances and the signals will degrade less and allow for more data to be sent in a quicker time period. This is a bonus to me because I am always doing more than three things at once on my computer, with a lot of the programs I have running taking up a lot of memory ;). The Intel HD Graphics 3000 are built into the processor - no chip or graphics card is required - which is to boost performance and to keep up with the 3D games. Personally I have only used it to play Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 which was designed for Windows 95 systems so I can't comment on that ;).
As for memory: 6 gig of RAM and a 640 gig hard drive. A decent size even for a non-gamer like myself.
Back to basics this laptop comes with an integrated webcam which is great for me as I have a lot of Skype business calls and a webcam and in-built mic are a must for me. It comes with 4 USB ports which I think is a bit excessive for me but who knows other people may find this useful. There is a microphone and headphone/speaker socket (green for headphones/speakers and pink for a mic) which has proven handy when I want to hook my laptop up to the TV and takes me to my next point as there is a PC/VGA connection which makes it possible to hook my laptop up to a TV (most laptops have this feature, of course, but it's worth mentioning.) The sound from the in-built speakers is a good balance of not too loud but not too muffled or quiet, either.
As a photographer the most important feature for me after all these features is that it has a memory card reader which will take the following formats: SD Card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMediaCard, xD-Picture Card. I use an SD card and sometimes the memory card reader won't 'read' the card if I put it in, so I have to take it out and insert again which is a pain in the neck and another let-down from Lenovo.
I've yet to use the DVD writer for writing DVDs/CDs but from the movies and one game I've played I can say that is one noisy little bugger! The noise dies down when you're watching a movie or playing a game but at first it sounds like a space ship taking flight! Another annoying thing about the position of the DVD writer is that I quite often accidentally open the drive so the eject button isn't the best situated thing in the world.
If you have a hard time using touch-pads then I would suggest buying a USB mouse but I myself don't have this struggle and the one positive about this laptop is that the touch-pad isn't crazily sensitive like all other laptops!
Externally and aesthetically: although I've stressed the valid point of this laptop being toy-like it is still a fairly eye-pleasing item. It looks the part and with it's 15.6" screen it isn't too huge. However, when I first got it I couldn't help but feel it was very cumbersome
Overall I would say this laptop has some good features but lets itself down in the build of the laptop; it is flimsy, feels cheap, toy-like and within weeks of owning it, it started to fall apart at the side. This is not a good sign! The Lenovo customer service was also totally useless, clueless and offered me some half-baked resolutions. I've decided to just keep the laptop as is because even though there are problems with the build it hasn't seemed to effect the performance of the laptop (it's just disappointing because you don't expect your new stuff to break.)
Although the nuts and bolts of the machine are pretty impressive for the £350 price tag. You have to weigh up the shoddy build against the features of the laptop but then again it's just as easy to buy another machine that has all of these features - and possibly more - even if it means spending a few extra bob in order to do so. If I could turn back the clock and choose another machine knowing what I do now I definitely would.
Overall I'm going to give it two ratings:
1/5 for build and 3/5 for overall performance and expectation.
Summary: cheap and not so cheerful
|Ease of use:|
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