Lenovo IdeaPad Z400 Touch: Affordable, Touch-Enabled

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One of the most exciting features in the Lenovo Z400 Touch is, well, touch. The laptop’s 14-inch display supports multitouch, and it’s very responsive. The surface of the screen is smooth and we didn’t feel any resistance or tackiness when moving our fingers across it. Pinching works fine, and the zoom delay (between when you move your fingers and when the image becomes clear again) is very slight. With the Z400 Touch, whatever you feel you sacrifice by going with a mid-range laptop, a good touch screen won’t be on the list.



The display is bright and has reasonable visibility, but because it is not an IPS panel, the viewing angles aren’t as good as you might find in higher-end laptops. That said, that’s only an issue if you’re often showing your screen to coworkers or friends. When viewed straight-on, this screen looks great.

Weight and size matter in a laptop, even if it’s going to spend much of its life on your desk. The Z400 Touch weighs in at 5.29 pounds, which is about right for a 14-inch laptop (The Dell Inspiron 14R weighs 5.1 pounds and the HP Envy dv4 comes in at 4.79lbs, for example). The laptop is light enough not to strain my shoulder when I carry it in a typical notebook bag for 20 minutes, but it’s too heavy for me to comfortably hold with one hand. When I went to pick up the Z400, I found myself using two hands, or lifting it onto its side so I could get a better one-handed grip.


The Z400 Touch is 13.6 inches wide x 9.6 inches deep x 1.1 inches high. That means it’s pretty slim for a laptop. To make it feel even slimmer, Lenovo used a chassis that has sloped edges, so that the laptop appears almost ultrabook slim when closed. To include Ethernet support (typically one of the bulkier ports on laptops these days) without breaking up the laptop’s clean lines, Lenovo built a small door that can be pulled open to expose the full Ethernet port.

Ports sit on either side of the laptop, but not the front or back, so the sides feel a little cluttered as a result. The SD card slot, which is often at the front of laptops, sits on left edge of this laptop. The single USB 3.0 port is next to the SD slot, while the pair of USB 2.0 ports are over by your right hand.



The backlit keyboard has a broad layout in which the keys are visibly separate from each other. Laptops keyboards are often crowded and somewhat uncomfortable, but not here. I also like the touchpad, which is very responsive to finger movement and taps.



 

The chassis has a sturdy feel, which is all the more important now that you’ll be poking the screen. I didn’t have any trouble with the screen wobbling or moving while I tapped and swiped. The top of the chassis is a “Dark Chocolate” polycarbonate shell that has a brushed metal look, while keyboard area has a chrome finish.

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