Lenovo IdeaPad Z400 Touch: Affordable, Touch-Enabled

Introduction & Specifications

The awkward days of Window 8 laptops without touchscreens aren’t behind us just yet, but the end is in sight. It’s easy enough to resist touching the Start screen on a desktop PC, but when a laptop display is inches from your fingers, if you're anything like us, your instinct is to reach out and touch it. Thankfully, affordable touch-enabled laptops have begun to hit store shelves, like Lenovo's new IdeaPad Z400 Touch.

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Z400 Touch is one of the laptops ushering in the era of touch screens for mid-range systems, so we’re taking it for a spin (and a swipe) for you here.

Lenovo IdeaPad Z400 Touch
Specifications & Features
Operating System:  Windows 8 64-bit 
 Processor:  Intel Core i5-3230M Dual-Core (2.6GHz, TurboBoost to 3.2GHz)
 Chipset:  Intel Ivy Bridge/HM76
 Graphics:  Intel HD Graphics 4000
 Memory:  6GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) (supports up to 16GB)
 Storage:  1TB Hard Drive at 5400rpm
 Optical Drive:  Dual-Layer DVD Burner, tray-loading
 Display:  14-inch LED at 1366x768, 200 nites brightness, 500:1 contrast ratio, Projected Capacitive Touch (PCT  technology for 10-point touch)
 Webcam:  720p HD video, 1MP photo, LED indicator
 Interface:  USB 3.0 (1), USB 2.0 (2), SD/MMC Reader, VGA, HDMI, mic/headphones
 Networking:  10/100 LAN, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
 Battery:  4-Cell Li-Ion 48Wh
 Power Adapter:  65W AC Adapter
 Dimensions:  13.6 x 9.6 x 1.1 (WxDxH)
 Weight:  5.29 pounds
 Warranty:  1-year warranty includes mail-in repair and 24x7 toll-free tech support
 Software:  CyberLink OneKey Recovery, Evernote Touch,  Lenovo Companion/PowerDVD/Photos/YouCam, McAfee Internet Security, PhotoShow
 Price:  $699.99

Until Haswell arrives, Ivy Bridge is the name of the game for many laptops these days. As such, the Z400 Touch sports an Intel Core i5-3230M processor, along with an Intel HM76 chipset. The processor clocks in at 2.6GHz, but offers 3.2GHz speeds with TurboBoost. And the on-chip Intel HD 4000 graphics make for decent HD video viewing and reasonable casual gaming capabilities.

Lenovo rounds out the system with 6GB of DDR3-1600 memory and a 1TB hard drive that spins along at 5400rpm. That’s a nice chunk of storage space for this kind of notebook, and an SSD to complement it would bump up the price, so we can see why no SSD is present, though the speed increase would be appreciated.  One of (but not the only) differentiating factor between ultrabooks and laptops is the lack of an optical drive in the former. Being a laptop, the Z400 Touch has a DVD burner. No Blu-ray, but at this price, that’s understandable. And it has a DVD tray – not a slot-loader.

The Z400 Touch has the ports you’d expect it to, but maybe not as many of them. It has an SD card reader, sure, and USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, but there are only two of those USB 2.0 ports and (more importantly) only one USB 3.0 port. Users who like to hook their laptops up to the usual monitor/keyboard/mouse/printer/external drive/USB-powered fan (I know you have one) will want to keep that in mind. Other ports include a single HDMI output, a VGA port, and a mic/headphone combo jack.

On the connectivity side of things, the Z400 Touch is in good shape. It has a LAN port, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. The laptop also has a webcam that provides 720p video and can capture 1MP photos. we like the indicator light, which lets you know when the webcam has stopped recording.

By the way, if you want to buy the Z400 Touch with this configuration, you’ll need to use Amazon.com. On Lenovo’s website the $599 model has a Core i3 processor, 4GB of memory, and a 500GB hard drive. The model on Amazon.com ships free for Amazon Prime customers.

 Next up, we’ll dig into the laptop’s design and portability.

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