Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p

Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p (59362706)

Last week saw the official release of hardware leveraging the new 4th generation Intel Core i7 processors. Lenovo, with their many years in the business (formerly a division of IBM), managed to be one of the very first to release a laptop with this new Intel CPU line. Not typically associated with gaming, Lenovo’s latest high-end consumer laptop offers everything gamers want and a discounted price: the latest hardware, plenty of storage, a nice design and rockin’ sound.

 

Chasis/Initial Experience

This isn’t a Mac or Razer machine: it ain’t fancy. In fact,  the unboxing experience was eerily similar to that of my Canon printer. The chassis is better styled than previous Y series laptops from Lenovo. And, this is a good time to mention, this laptop is NOT classified as a “gaming” laptop. Although, it does appear like one: red backlit keyboard, black brushed metal finish with red accents, and beautiful JBL speakers on both the left and right side near the screen. The anti-glare screen is a 15.6″ LED with a native resolution of 1080p full HD. It looks gorgeous. If you’re a gamer, you’re not going to look like a noob when you’re at a LAN party. The Y510p represents well while being fairly portable at under 6 pounds.

 y510p-comparison

Hardware

  • 4th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-4700MQ (2.40GHz 1600MHz 6MB)
  • Operating System – Windows 8 64
  • Display/Resolution – 15.6″ FHD LED Anti-Glare Wedge 1920×1080, 16:9 widescreen
  • Graphics – NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 750M 2GB dual graphics (SLi)
  • Memory – 12GB DDR3L- 1600Mhz(Dual Channel)
  • Hard Disk Drive – 1TB HDD, 24GB SSD
  • Sound – JBL® designed speakers supporting Dolby Home Theatre v4
  • Integrated Communications – Intel Centrino Wireless N-2230 – 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0, 1 Gbps LAN
  • Connectors – 1x USB 2.0 (one always on), 2x USB 3.0 SuperSpeed, 6-in-1 card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MS, MS-Pro), Headphone, Microphone, and HDMI-out
  • Camera – HD 720P camera
  • Battery – Rated at 5 hours (3 horus in my experience of normal operation)
  • Weight – 5.95lbs
  • Dimensions – 15.23 x 10.19 x 0.61-1.41 inches
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Software

Windows 8. Yup, I couldn’t avoid it. But this is the best thing to happen to me in a while. I faced a fear and I triumphed. My only prior experience with Microsofts new controversial OS was an IT task I did on the side for my brother’s law firm. I unboxed and configured 12 PCs all running Windows 8. As an administrator who is accustomed to easily setting up policies and installing software. Now that I own Windows 8, and I have to to live with it, I’ve come to enjoy it. In fact, I’ve embraced the “Metro” interface to the point where I now feel the traditional desktop side of Windows 8 holds it back from being truly user-friendly and accessible to all types of users. In terms of how it may hold back gaming – it doesn’t. I installed Steam and Origin without issue.

 

Gaming

My experience began with Marvel Heroes. It’s not a graphic intensive game, but it’s my primary game right now. I’ve never used a laptop with an SLi configuration, so when I first fired up Marvel Heroes, I was shocked at how choppy the game was running. It took some basic investigative work to learn that the Windows 8 power settings disable the second graphics card by default when the laptop is not plugged in. Upon optimizing my settings I went on a gaming marathon. I tested the following games with great satisfaction: Marvel Heroes, The Witcher 2, Metro: 2033 and Crysis 3. I am very pleased with the Y510p’s performance.

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Competition & Conclusion

This new generation of Intel Core processors brings with it tremendous improvements in battery life and performance. Nvidia also released new GTX 700M series of GPUs. Consequently, this summer will be flush with new gaming laptops and the initial pricing I’ve found is staggering. The Y510p put me out $1200 ($1150 after a Newegg price match). Comparative laptops are $1600 at a minimum. Initially, I had my eyes on the new Razer Blade (audio interview here). Not only is it powerful but it’s gorgeous on the outside. I’ll admit, the Y510p isn’t anything fancy to look at or comfortable to hold. But if you’re on a budget for your portable gaming device, and most gamers are, then you should consider this laptop – I’m loving it.

 

 

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