Lenovo IdeaPad Z400 Touch review: Touch shoehorned into an everyday laptop

The closest configuration on Lenovo's site to the one we reviewed costs $679, and has a set of features preferable to ours: a 2.6GHz Core i5-3230M processor, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and a 1,600x900-pixel display. Our review unit, which costs more on other sites, has 6GB of RAM and a 1,366x768-pixel display. Confusing? Yes. But not atypical for laptop vendors with numbing sets of coexisting retail configurations.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Keep in mind that this is a faster, full-voltage Core i5 laptop processor, and performs better than the average ultrabook equivalent. But the advantage keeps narrowing every year: this is faster, but yet it's not as fast as a quad-core powerhouse Core i7. Integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics are suitable enough for everyday use, but many laptops of this size tend to have some form of more robust Nvidia/AMD graphics.

You'd think a 5-pound laptop would have good battery life. The Z400 Touch's is fair: it ran for 5 hours and 3 minutes in our video playback battery drain test. That's certainly good enough for a solid day's work, but I have to admit that I'd think a heavy laptop with unimpressive specs could do an hour better.

Sarah Tew/CNET

As a commodity package of specs, the price-to-value ratio of the Lenovo IdeaPad Z400 Touch could be attractive. But I think laptop buyers should think beyond that. As a portable product in the current landscape, it's downright old-fashioned, with the exception of its touch screen. For its price, you could get something far thinner and lighter, or, alternatively, more powerful. Better yet, I'd just suggest you wait a few months or consider another alternative. This is not a laptop we can think of recommending for any specific shopper as our first, second, or maybe even third choice.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Load test (average watts)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test Windows laptops.

System configurations:

Lenovo IdeaPad Z400
Windows 8 (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core i5-3230M; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 32MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 1TB Seagate 5,400rpm

Toshiba Satellite U845T-S4165
Windows 8 (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i5-3337U; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 32MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 128GB Toshiba SSD

Asus VivoBook S500C
Windows 8 (64-bit); 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 32MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 500GB HD + 24GB SSD

HP Pavilion TouchSmart 15 Sleekbook
Windows 8 (64-bit) w/sp 1; 1.8GHz AMD A8-455M APU; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 512MB (Shared) AMD Radeon HD 7600G; 750GB Seagate 5,400rpm

Dell Inspiron 15z
Windows 8 (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 32MB (Shared) Intel HD 4000; 500GB HD + 32GB SSD

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Lenovo IdeaPad Z400 Touch

Part Number: CNETLenovo IdeaPad Z400 Touch
MSRP: $799.99 Low Price: $999.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Installed Size 6 GB
  • Color dark chocolate
  • Weight 5.3 lbs
  • Optical Drive DVD-Writer - tray
  • Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • CPU Intel Core i5 (3rd Gen) 3230M / 2.6 GHz
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