Friday, June 28, 2013

Review: Lenovo’s IdeaPad Y500 offers excellent gaming specs for the price

At first glance, the Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 doesn’t look like anything special.

This thick, heavy (6.2-pound), 15.6-inch laptop is encased in a plain, sturdy chassis with a brushed-aluminum cover. It’s sleek-looking, though strangely prone to fingerprints. Lenovo’s logo is subtly appliquéd in the upper left corner, and the edges of the corner taper ever so slightly.

Beneath this mild-mannered design lies a surprisingly good gaming machine

Nothing would indicate that this is actually a rather powerful—and surprisingly affordable—gaming-oriented machine with a third-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and not one but two Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics cards under the hood. (The second graphics card is wedged into the laptop’s “Ultrabay,” which is Lenovo’s term for the swappable drive bay that replaces the DVD drive.)

Of course, our review model, in all its spec’d out glory—it’s also got a 1TB hard drive, a 16GB SSD boot drive, a glossy full HD display, and a full-sized backlit keyboard with a 10-key numberpad—starts at around $1150. That’s a bit pricier than the $800 base model of the Y500, but it’s still a great price for a gaming laptop.

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