Lenovo's IdeaPad V series of desktop replacement laptops are a less expensive and arguably more stylish alternative to its massively popular ThinkPads. We had the company's 15-inch V570 in for review, which has a shiny aluminium finish, is loaded with Windows 7 Professional and is available from Laptops Direct for a shade under £470.
Shiny happy lappy
The V570 is very similar to Lenovo's own B570. But whereas the B570's chassis is finished in matte black plastic, the V570 has liberal doses of aluminium slapped on the lid and wrist rest. It gives the laptop a much smarter, more premium look and feel. Subtle touches, such as the thin metallic grille that runs across the top of the keyboard, also add to the upmarket air.
While the V570 isn't exactly laden down with ports, it does cover off most of the essentials. There are two USB ports on each side of the machine and one of these also doubles up as an eSata port, which is useful for connecting devices that require high-speed transfer rates, such as faster external hard drives.
Along with a traditional VGA connector, an HDMI port makes it easy to hook it up to a HDTV. There's also an SD card slot on the front lip, and both gigabit Ethernet and Wi-Fi wireless N for Internet connectivity. Storage needs are taken care of by a 320GB hard drive, which will be enough for most people, although a little more space wouldn't have gone amiss.
We've no such quibbles with the keyboard, though. It's an isolated design with generous spacing between each key to help you avoid accidentally hitting adjacent letters when you're hammering out emails at speed. The keys have a surprising amount of travel and have a curved edge on the lower part of each key. So not only do they feel responsive to type on, but they look good too.
The big, wide trackpad is also excellent, as it's finished with a slightly roughened texture that feels quite grippy, but not sticky, under your finger. And although the two long, thin trackpad buttons initially feel a little spongy, they're actually pretty responsive and comfortable to use.
On the far right-hand side of the wrist rest there's also a fingerprint reader, which you can use in conjunction with the supplied software to restrict access to certain files on the laptop.