Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E570 review – a ThinkPad for business and… gaming?
For years now we are used to energy-efficient and well-balanced hardware in the budget business solutions while focusing on input devices, durability and battery life. But with the release of the new generation NVIDIA Pascal GPUs, there’s a growing trend of using the Maxwell chips in low-end machines due to their relatively low price. This is exactly the case with the Lenovo ThinkPad E570. At first glance, it’s just a capable budget business solution but there’s more than it meets the eye.
We just got the high-performance variant of the laptop equipped with Intel’s Core i7-7500U CPU and NVIDIA’s last-gen GeForce GTX 950M GPU with GDDR5 memory. In addition, the laptop offers a Full HD IPS panel, comfortable input devices, plenty of I/Os and all of this in a ThinkPad fashion sturdy chassis. While performance-wise will fulfill the needs of every businessman, we are more keen to see how it performs during gaming, how the cooling system handles heavy workload, what’s the picture quality of the IPS panel and, of course, is the battery life any good? We tackle these questions in the extensive review below.
You can find some of the available configurations here: Buy from Amazon.com (#CommissionsEarned)
The retail package contains the usual user manuals, the battery, which is user-replaceable and it’s detached in the box and the AC adapter with power cord.
Design and construction
The construction of the laptop is what you’d expect from a low-end to mid-range device at first glance. But since the laptop carries the ThinkPad branding, the build quality should be way above average. And as usual, it follows the ThinkPad design concept with strict appearance and comes in two colors – gray and black. We got the gray variant, which in our opinion doesn’t really go too well with the black lid and keyboard but that’s more of personal opinion. As far as weight and dimensions are concerned, the chassis weighs just about the average for this class while being a bit thicker but we hope the latter will contribute to better cooling capabilities.
When closed, the laptop is hardly distinguishable from the rest of the 15-inch ThinkPads. It has rounded corners and black matte plastic finish. However, this finish isn’t the usual soft-touch or rubberized material – it resembles more glass than anything because of the smooth, yet cold feel. The material appears to be slightly flexible but doesn’t let ripples to appear on the LCD panel when hardly pressed at the back. Twisting the lid isn’t easy as well, considering the price tag. Unfortunately, the screen hinges don’t make an impression of a high-quality build as well compared to the higher-end ThinkPad models, although, they are quite firm and keep the screen stable at all times. They also allow opening the laptop with just one hand due to the steady and stealthy movement. The bottom, on the contrary, uses a roughened black plastic with plenty of vent openings for extra airflow. There’s also a service lid for easier upgrades and maintenance.
The sides are part of the bottom plate using the same rough plastic finish. We find the positioning of the connectors a bit awkward – towards the front of the base. If most of them are connected, all the cables might get in the way if the working place is too small. Anyway, the distribution of the I/Os is more than okay. The left side holds two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI, USB-C 3.1 (Gen 1) and a VGA connector, although we are unsure why are they still including this one. There’s also the main exhaust vent. The right side accommodates only the optical drive, the RJ-45 port, another USB 2.0 and a 3.5 mm audio jack.
The gray variant of the laptop makes the interior look a bit clunky because the black keyboard contrasts way too much. But some users will prefer it that way probably. It uses standard plastic finish that doesn’t attract fingerprints and looks like anodized aluminum. Pressing the keyboard in the middle doesn’t really cause the base to sink in but when pressure is applied to the front center of the base and between the hinges, deformation is visible. We can conclude that the chassis is fairly stable and it’s normal for the price range of the product. In any case, the input devices are the ones that really matter considering the purpose of the ThinkPad E570. Of course, as we expected, the input devices are great. The keyboard provides long key travel, tactile feedback, and the slightly concaved keycaps make up for comfortable typing experience. But again we have to mention the unusual keyboard layout with the function key placed in the bottom left corner. This will pose no problem to the ThinkPad users but any newcomers will need some time to adjust. As for the touchpad, it’s fairly accurate and responsive with a little bit too stiff mouse clicks. The gliding surface is nice, though, and you can always resort to using the good old TrackPoint if you want. It hasn’t changed a bit and most users who are used to the TrackPoint experience will have no issues.
Disassembly, maintenance and upgrade options
Just like the 14-inch version, the ThinkPad E570 offers a dedicated service hatch that gives you easy access to the upgradeable hardware like storage and memory.
Storage upgrade options – M.2 SSD, 2.5-inch HDD/SSD
Here’s where the 15-inch E570 seems like a more lucrative offer than the 14-inch E470. The ThinkPad E570 ships with a standard 2.5-inch HDD but can also support an M.2 PCIe NVMe or SATA SSD (2280). The slot was empty since we got the base model but the 2.5-inch bay was taken by 1TB WD Blue HDD.
|2.5-inch HDD/SSD||WD Blue 1TB HDD||Buy from Amazon.com (#CommissionsEarned)|
|M.2 SSD||Free||Buy from Amazon.com (#CommissionsEarned)|
The motherboard can hold up to 32GB of DDR4-2400 RAM using two 16GB sticks. In our case, the laptop has only one 8GB DDR-2400 Samsung chip.
|Slot 1||Samsung 8GB DDR4-2400||Buy from Amazon.com (#CommissionsEarned)|
|Slot 2||Free||Buy from Amazon.com (#CommissionsEarned)|
The battery is user-replaceable and can be taken out using the release lever on the back. It’s rated at just 32Wh but as we said earlier, Lenovo is offering variants with bigger capacities.
Full disassembly and cooling system
The full disassembly requires some patience and experience. First, you need to unscrew all the bolts on the bottom including the ones that hold the keyboard in place and the optical drive. Then, you can pry up the keyboard pretty easily and remove the rest of the screws under the keyboard tray. Then, you can lift up the whole interior.
As you can see from the photo below, the motherboard needs to be unscrewed and flipped in order to access the cooling fan and the heatsinks.
The display uses a Full HD IPS panel with 1920 x 1080 resolution ina 15.6-inch diagonal leading to a pixel density of 142 ppi and 0.18 x 0.18 mm pixel pitch. It’s manufactured by AU Optronics with model number B156HAN04.4 and can be considered as “Retina” when viewed from a distance euqual or greater than 60 cm.
Viewing angles are excellent under 45-degree incline.
We measured a maximum brightness of 262 cd/m2 in the center of the screen and 251 cd/m2 as average across the surface. This means that the maximum deviation is 14%. The color temperature is a bit colder than usual – 7100K while the optimal is 6500K. Colors will appear slightly blue-ish. The contrast ratio is excellent – 1260:1.
We’ve also measured the color deviation (dE2000) compared to the center of the screen and it’s 3.5. Usually values above 4.0 are unwanted.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction of the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
Since it’s a budget configuration, the panel is also budget-oriented and the sRGB color gamut coverage is limited to just 53% but it’s enough for general multimedia, web browsing and office work.
Below you will see practically the same image but with the color circles representing the reference colors and the white circles being the result. You can see main and additional colors with 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% saturation inside the sRGB gamut pre and post calibration.
We’ve created the “Office and Web Design Work” profile at 140 cd/m2, 6500K (D65) white point and gamma curve optimal for sRGB (2.2).
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the Office & Web Design profile.
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the Gaming & Movie Nights profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle and the surrounding light conditions.
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and reverse.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 31 ms.
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse Width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
Our equipment wasn’t able to detect any pulsations throghout all brightness levels. In this regard, the display can be considered harmless and it’s suitable for long hours of work.
Blue light emissions
Installing of our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
You can see the levels of emitted blue light on the spectral power distribution (SDP) graph.
Although the panel clearly is far from perfect, it’s good enough for the purpose of this model. The display offers excellent contrast ratio, good visibility in bright rooms and enough sRGB coverage for your usual web browsing and office work. And since this is an IPS panel, viewing angles are also excellent.
The most important thing to consider here, however, is the absence of PWM making the display suitable for long working sessions. But if you want the best out of this display, we suggest downloading our custom profiles as they improve visibility for gaming and multimedia and also improve the overall color accuracy while reducing the negative blue light emissions.
Buy our display profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package is meant for Lenovo ThinkPad E570 configurations with 15.6″ AUO B156HAN04.4 (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS screen, which can be found at Amazon: Buy from Amazon.com (#CommissionsEarned)
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
[edd_item edd_id_1=’82159′ edd_id_2=’82162′ edd_id_3=’82165′ edd_id_4=’82167′]
The sound quality os somewhat satisfying. At low frequencies, the loudspeakers are good but there’s not enough clarity in medium and high frequencies.
The specs sheet provided below is for this model only and may vary depending on your region or configuration.
|CPU||Intel Core i5-7200U (2-core, 2.50 – 3.10 GHz, 3MB cache)|
|RAM||8GB (1x 8192MB) – DDR4, 2400MHz|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M (2GB GDDR5)|
|HDD/SSD||1TB HDD @5400 rpm|
|Display||15.6-inch, Full HD (1920×1080) IPS, matte|
|Connectivity||LAN 10/100/1000 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth|
|Thickness||25.4 mm (1″)|
|Weight||2.3 kg (5.07 lbs)|
The notebook we’ve tested shipped with pre-installed Windows 10 (64-bit) and we used it for our testing. However, if you wish to perform a clean install without the bloatware, we suggest downloading all of the latest drivers from Lenovo’s official website.
The ThinkPad E570 doesn’t hold an exceptionally big battery but our tests show just about the average endurance compared to other similarly-priced machines. The 31Wh unit balances between the energy-efficient Intel Core i5-7200U CPU and the power-hungry Full HD IPS panel but it’s still not enough to convince the regular business user, unfortunately. However, a quick research shows that the E570 sells with a different battery as well – 41Wh, which will greatly improve battery life while giving a small, probably unnoticeable – bump on the bottom. It should be worth opting for the configuration with a bigger battery.
All tests were performed using the same conditions as always – Wi-Fi turned on, Windows battery saving feature switched on and screen brightness set to 120 cd/m2.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script to automatically browse through over 70 websites.
Just about the average web browsing runtimes for a 15-inch mid-range laptop – 322 minutes (5 hours and 22 minutes).
For every test of this kind, we use the same video in HD.
The video playback score is considerably lower than expected – 239 minutes (3 hours and 59 minutes).
We recently started using the built-in F1 2015 benchmark on loop for accurate real-life gaming representation.
It’s quite unlikely that you will start a gaming session without being close to a power source, but it’s good to know that you can play a bit more than an hour away from the plug – 72 minutes (1 hour and 12 minutes).
CPU – Intel Core i5-7200U
Intel’s Core i7-6200U is part of the 7th Generation Kaby Lake CPUs and it’s the direct successor of the Core i5-5200U (Broadwell) and Core i5-6200U (Skylake). It’s also based on the same architecture as the aforementioned chips with little differences that should bring a small performance increase and a bump in power consumption. However, the new CPU is clocked at 2.5 GHz and its Turbo Boost frequency is 3.1 GHz opposed to the 2.3 – 2.8 GHz clocks on the previous Core i5-6200U.
Anyway, we still have the 2/4 core/thread count, 3MB last level cache, and a TDP of 15W, which includes the iGPU and the dual-channel DDR4 memory controller. Speaking of the former, the chip integrates the newer generation Intel HD Graphics 620 graphics chip clocked at 300 – 1000 MHz.
You can browse through our top CPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-cpu-ranking/
Here you will find other useful information and every notebook we’ve tested with this processor: http://laptopmedia.com/processor/intel-core-i5-7200u/
Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Fritz is a chess benchmark that tests the computing capabilities of the CPU with various chess moves. The Intel Core i5-7200U scored 6.350 million moves per second. In comparison, one of the most powerful chess computers, Deep(er) Blue, was able to squeeze out 200 million moves per second. In 1997 Deep(er) Blue even beat the famous Garry Kasparov with 3.5 to 2.5.
GPU – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M (2GB GDDR5)
Announced back in 2015, the GeForce GTX 950M GPU is part of NVIDIA’s Maxwell family and it’s a direct successor to the 850M GPU. It’s manufactured in 28nm and can be found in two variants – with standard DDR3 VRAM and with GDDR5.
Aside from the memory difference, both variants largely the same specs – GM107 GPU core clocked at 914 MHz going up to 1124 MHz using 128-bit (5000 MHz effective clock) GDDR5 memory. Also, the shading units, TMUs, and ROPs remain unchanged but the use of GDDR5 boost the performance of the GPU significantly.
The GTX 950M with GDDR5 memory should perform much better than its DDR3 counterpart and 15% slower than the GTX 960M making it an ideal choice for budget-friendly 15-inch or 17-inch laptops.
Some of the features include 6th generation PureVideo HD (VP6) video engine for better decoding performance of H.264 and MPEG-2 files.
You can browse through our top GPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/
Here you will find other useful information and every notebook with this GPU that we’ve tested: http://laptopmedia.com/video-card/nvidia-geforce-gtx-950m-2gb-gddr5/
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
|CS:GO||HD 768p, Low (Check settings)||HD 768p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 768p, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||136 fps||102 fps||87 fps|
|Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5)||HD, Low (Check settings)||HD, Medium (Check settings)||HD, Very High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||90 fps||51 fps||32 fps|
The stress test that we perform isn’t a good representation of real-life use since everyday tasks and even gaming can’t put 100% load on the CPU and GPU at the same time but it remains as the best way to determine the overall stability and effectiveness of the system as a whole. Also, take note that the unit we used for the stress test differs from the one we reviewed. The one used for the torture test is equipped with a Core i7-7500U CPU but still uses the same GTX 950M GPU.
We start with 100% CPU load for an hour. At first, the chip was able to utilize its full clock speed of 3.5 GHz but after a few seconds it dropped down to 3.1 GHz and staying there for good. Temperatures were acceptable at that point.
When we turned on the GPU stress test, however, things changed rapidly. The CPU started throttling after a while whereas the GPU stayed at its base 915 MHz. Both chips ran pretty hot and it can be felt on the surface as well.
As you can see from the heat map below, the left side of the interior and the center of the keyboard were pretty warm but only after extended heavy workload. We want to remind you once again that the laptop isn’t built for such use and it’s not gaming-oriented. Moreover, the cooling fan ran pretty silently during the whole test.
When we started this review, we were expecting to review strictly business-oriented machine. However, our tests suggest otherwise. The Lenovo ThinkPad E570 appears to be more of a well-balanced, mid-range mainstream machine with just a few missteps along the way.
Build quality is okay, input devices are excellent and upgradability is easy. Our only complaint from aesthetic point of view would be that the silver model just doesn’t fit the whole black design of the keyboard, touchpad and the chassis as a whole. But that’s more of a personal opinion.
To make things even more interesting, Lenovo has included a decent IPS panel suitable for work, web browsing and even multimedia. You can always opt for a similarly-priced machines with just about the same hardware but you will be missing an IPS screen. Speaking of multimedia, the GeForce GTX 950M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory is not only capable of handling multimedia tasks but it’s also suitable for gaming. Our gaming tests confirm that you can run a good chunk of the modern titles with low to medium settings.
So the only thing missing here is a good battery life. When it comes to web browsing, the runtimes are decent but anything other than that will drain the battery pretty fast. And, of course, users getting this machine strictly for business purposes won’t be happy about that. Luckily, Lenovo is offering the laptop with bigger battery configurations although, this will probably cost you extra.
In any case, the ThinkPad E570 with GTX 950M is a surprisingly good all-rounder without sacrificing most of the necessary business features along the way but be aware of the relatively poor battery life.
You can find some of the available configurations here: Buy from Amazon.com (#CommissionsEarned)
- Excellent input devices
- Good IPS screen suitable for more than office work
- The panel doesn’t use PWM for regulating screen brightness
- Supports M.2 PCIe NVMe/SATA SSDs
- Conditionally suitable for gaming
- Pretty silent cooling solution
- Battery life is a bit short
- No keyboard LED backlight