A 15-inch laptop for professionals, Lenovo's ThinkPad T570 has the full numeric keypad and larger display that you won't find on its little brother, the ThinkPad T470, while offering similar durability and (optional) long battery life. Starting at $1,073 ($1,607 as tested), the T570 offers more than enough performance for heavy multitasking, along with a comfortable keyboard and just about every port you could possibly need.
Design: Keeps it simple, smart
The ThinkPad aesthetic is a simple, clean, time-tested look, and Lenovo didn't tweak it on the T570. The raven-black lid features a soft-touch coating (though it's not as luxurious as the coating on the ThinkPad T470), while the bezel deck and underside are made of a sturdy-feeling black plastic.
Weighing 4.2 pounds and measuring 0.8 inches thick, the 15-inch ThinkPad T570 is lighter than the 15-inch Dell XPS 15 (4.6 pounds, 0.7 inches) and heavier than the 2016 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro (4 pounds, 0.6 inches). Due to their smaller chassis, the 14-inch ThinkPad T470 (3.5 pounds, 0.8 inches) and the Dell Latitude 5480 (4 pounds, 0.9 inches) are lighter.
Switching the default, 3-cell battery out for Lenovo's 61++ extended battery adds a hump to the back bottom of the T570, raising the far end. The extended battery also adds about 0.45 pounds of weight and and about 0.3 inches of height.
Lenovo placed the T570's power port, the Thunderbolt 3 port and one USB 3.0 port on the machine's left side. Over on the right, you'll find two more USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI-out port, an Ethernet jack, a headphone jack and an SD memory reader. The fingerprint reader is to the right of the touchpad. Of the T570's competitors, all but the Latitude 5480 offer Thunderbolt 3, while the MacBook Pro and XPS 15 are the only ones that lack an Ethernet port.
Durability and Security: Strong, with decent protection
The ThinkPad T570 is designed to pass several MIL-SPEC durability tests, including those for operating in extreme temperatures (minus 4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit) and surviving shocks and vibrations.
All configurations of the ThinkPad T570 feature a TPM chip, for securing sensitive information, and a fingerprint reader, for Windows Hello logins. If you configure the laptop with a CPU that supports it (Core i5-7300U or Core i7-7600U), you'll get Intel's vPro remote-management technology.
Display: I find this lack of brightness disturbing
Streaming the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer on the ThinkPad T570's 15.6-inch panel, I noted the display offers passable color, minimal brightness and decent detail. The 1080p panel offered rich, inky-black tones and allowed me to see the fine rock particles Rey levitated during Force training. But the blue skies looked washed out, and the normally red dust clouds were rendered in a maroon hue.
According to our colorimeter, the ThinkPad T570 produces 73 percent of the sRGB spectrum. That's tied with the ThinkPad T470's score (73 percent) and near the showing by the Latitude 5480 (71 percent). The 95-percent category average is much higher, and you'll also find more color in the MacBook Pro (116 percent) and XPS 15 (188 percent).
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The ThinkPad T570 emits only 212 nits (a measure of brightness), a score that's somewhere between the 234 nits from the ThinkPad T470 and the 202 nits from the Latitude 5480. The mainstream-notebook average (277 nits) is brighter, as are the marks from the 440-nit MacBook Pro and the 282-nit XPS 15. This dimness leads to poor viewing angles on the T570, as the panel darkens at 30 degrees to the left or right.
The ThinkPad T570's touch-screen panel accurately tracked my touch as I navigated the desktop and doodled in Paint. It also recognized left and right swipe-in gestures for app navigation and opening the Action Center.
Keyboard, Trackpoint, Touchpad: Comfy, but we expect more
The T570's keyboard offers a strong typing experience that compares favorably to most laptops but doesn't match up to the the best ThinkPads.
Testing it out on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I click-clacked my way to 82 words per minute, exceeding my 80-wpm average. While its keys offer a decent 1.6 millimeters of travel and 61 grams of required actuation force (we hope to see 1.5-2.0mm and more than 60 g), the ThinkPad T470's keyboard was much snappier, with 2mm and 70 grams, respectively.
The ThinkPad T570's red TrackPoint nub offers the industry-leading accuracy and comfort we've come to expect from Lenovo pointing sticks. Its convex shape makes it easier to move than the concave-shaped sticks we find on some Dell and HP business laptops.
The notebook's 3.9 x 2.6-inch touchpad and the trio of buttons above the pad provide a solid feel in each click. The smooth surface offers easy two-finger scrolling and speedy responses to Windows 10's three-finger app-switching gestures.
Audio: Sweet sound in need of tweaks
The ThinkPad T570 provides high-quality, Dolby Audio-enhanced sound, provided you adjust its presets. When the laptop filled our large conference room with Paramore's "Hard Times," I noted that bass sounded strong and synths hit accurately. However, singer Hayley Williams' voice sounded muffled by ambient instrumental noise. I fixed this by opening the Lenovo Settings app, tapping on the Audio/Media section and switching the preset from Music to Voice.
Performance: Good enough for mainstream multiasking
The ThinkPad T570 configuration we tested features a Core i5-7300U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB PCIe SSD, which together offer strong multitasking capabilities. I saw no stutter after splitting my screen among a 1080p YouTube video and 12 Chrome Tabs (including Slack, TweetDeck and Google Docs).
This ThinkPad earned a respectable score of 7,347 on the GeekBench 4 general performance test, which is just above the 6,739 mark from the ThinkPad T470 (Core i5-7200U, 8GB). It's below the 11,390 category average, the 8,999 from the Latitude 5480 (Core i7-7600U, 8GB), the 13,911 from the XPS 15 (Core i7-7700HQ, 16GB) and the 13,215 from the MacBook Pro (6th Gen Core i7, 16GB).
The 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD in the ThinkPad T570 is speedy, duplicating 4.97GB of multimedia files in 21 seconds, for a rate of 242.3 MBps. That's close to the 267.8MBps showing by the ThinkPad T470 (256GB PCIe SSD) and better than the 190.9MBps mainstream-notebook average, as well as the 137.55MBps achieved by the Dell Latitude 5480 (256GB M.2 2280 SATA SSD). Faster speeds came from the MacBook Pro (512GB, PCIe SSD) and XPS 15 (512GB PCIe SSD), which notched 727 MBps and 339.3 MBps, respectively.
The ThinkPad T570 finished our OpenOffice productivity test in 3 minutes and 34 seconds, placing narrowly behind the times from the Latitude 5480 (3:12) and the XPS 15 (3:23). Still, it's faster than the 3:58 category average and the ThinkPad T470 (4:01).
You can play videos on this laptop, but you probably shouldn't try playing games. The integrated Intel HD 620 graphics in the T570 helped it earn a modest score of 64,581 on the Ice Storm Unlimited graphics test. This is below the 88,221 mainstream notebook average but within the range of other laptops that have integrated graphics, like the ThinkPad T470 (62,912) and Latitude 5480 (73,623).
Battery Life: 15+ hours
The ThinkPad T570 lasts a long time on a single charge, provided you use the optional 6-cell battery. With the extended battery on board, the T570 lasted an epic 15 hours and 37 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test.
That's not quite as long as the time of the T470 with 6-cell battery (17:25), but it beats the tar out of the category average (7:11), and the showings by the Latitude 5480 (11:37), MacBook Pro (10:32) and XPS 15 (8:23).
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However, if you don't get the 6-cell battery and its 0.4 pounds of additional weight, you'll have to deal with far lower battery life. With the 3-cell unit on board, the ThinkPad T570 lasted just 6 hours and 11 minutes on our test. Whichever battery you get, you can always swap it out. The T570 uses Lenovo's Power Bridge technology, which combines an internal 3-cell battery with the removable 3 or 6-cell unit, so you can change batteries without ever shutting off your laptop.
Webcam: Acceptably average
The T570's 0.9-megapixel webcam is on par with the cameras on other business laptops.
When I shot a selfie, the laptop accurately reproduced the red wall behind me and my white and blue dress shirt. However, as with most built-in webcams, there was an overall fuzziness and plenty of visual noise.
Heat: Warm bottom, cool top
As long as you don't place the T570 on your lap, it feels cool to the touch. After we streamed 15 minutes of HD video on the notebook, our heat gun registered temperatures of up to 107 degrees Fahrenheit on the laptop's underside, which obliterates our 95-degree comfort threshold. That's not a huge problem, because this laptop is too large for most people to balance it on their legs. Its touchpad (82 degrees) and G & H keys (87 degrees) didn't present such a problem.
Software: Minimal, but still there
Lenovo preloads the ThinkPad T570 with a standard set of software, including the company's proprietary apps. Lenovo Settings houses a ton of options, such as Dolby Audio presets and Battery Stretch mode for extending your endurance. You also get Candy Crush Soda Saga, March of Empires and Sling TV, so get ready to uninstall some bloatware.
At publication time, Lenovo.com was not yet selling the ThinkPad T570. CDW sells the $1,607 ThinkPad T570 we tested, which features a Core i5-7300U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 1080p touch screen and a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD. The $1,073 entry-level T570 includes a Core i5-7200U CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB and 7,200rpm HD, and a 1080p nontouch display.
For the most speed, check out the $1,678 T570, which packs a Core i7-7600U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD and a nontouch 1080p display. None of the CDW laptops come with the 6-cell battery, which costs $139 when purchased separately from Lenovo.com.
When Lenovo.com starts selling the ThinkPad T570, you'll likely be able to configure the laptop to order, choosing the screen, CPU, storage, battery, RAM and other features you want. Upgrading to the 6-cell battery during the config process will probably cost no more than $25 extra.
The ThinkPad T570 offers a comfortable keyboard, fantastic battery life and solid multitasking performance. A dim screen and warm bottom mean that this laptop is good enough for the office, but not quite sleek enough for frequent business travel or good enough for creative professionals.
Productivity workers who are willing to consider a smaller, 14-inch laptop will get longer battery life, a bright screen and a better typing experience from the ThinkPad T470.
High-end users and creative types will prefer the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro, which offers a fantastic display, but that machine starts at a whopping $2,399 ($800 more than the T570). Those who don't need a business notebook will prefer the Dell XPS 15 , which costs a bit more but is much thinner and has a far better screen. However, if you're looking for a durable, powerful 15-inch business laptop, the ThinkPad T570 could be your best choice.