Lenovo Y700 Review: An In-Depth Look of the Unit Itself and Its Features

On the hunt for a good gaming laptop?

Then the Lenovo Y700 could be the gaming rig you need.

Especially if you are on a budget and looking for an entry-level gaming laptop that not only looks cool but offers you great value for money too.

Let’s face it.

Gaming laptops can be expensive.

And the struggling economy is not helping either.

But Lenovo is.

And that’s why they created the Lenovo Y700.

Let’s take a closer look at this awesome gaming laptop and see why it is your best fit.

The Lenovo Y700 – Best Value for Money

The Lenovo Y700 is a great gaming laptop that comes in different configurations to help you break into gaming at the price point you are most comfortable with. As expected, the better the configuration, the more taxing the laptop will be on your pocket.

If you want to start with the base model, around $980 will get you a decent gaming laptop with a 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-6300HQ CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 500GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive. To power it up for gaming, it comes equipped with an Intel HD Graphics 530 GPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M GPU with 2GB of VRAM.

Although this is basic for a gaming laptop, it still gets the job done.

If you want to take your gaming a notch higher, you can opt for the one that comes with a 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive coupled with a 128GB SSD. On the graphics side, you get an Intel HD Graphics 530 GPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M GPU with 4GB of VRAM.

This configuration gives you a great balance between a multimedia machine and a great gaming rig.

But if you’ve got more cash to spend on a gaming rig, then you may want to consider the almost $1,600 version.

For this much, you get a gaming rig that comes with a 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive coupled with a 512GB SSD. Like the $1,000 to $1,200 model, it also comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M GPU with 4GB of VRAM.

With this configuration, the Lenovo edged past the Dell Inspiron but sits at par with the HP’s Pavilion 15 gaming laptop.

These are pretty good specs for an entry level rig and great value for your money too.

You may not be able to play all the latest titles on the highest settings, but you’ll still get a good gaming experience with these configurations.

One thing Lenovo did better than its competitors was to include SSD drives in the Lenovo Y700.

Let’s take a closer look at what the Lenovo Y700 brings to the gaming table, shall we? I know by the end of it all, you’ll understand why many people have fallen in love with this gaming rig.

The Lenovo Y700 looks like a battleship ready to go to war.

From the jet black aluminum casing accented by red highlights to the aggressive outline, the Y700 definitely looks the part of a modern gaming laptop. Add to that the angular exhaust ports and you’ve got one mean looking rig that will inspire your gaming mojo.

And because Lenovo understands that you can spend a long time at your gaming rig, they designed the Y700’s with that in mind. The Chiclet-style, backlit keyboard and the palm rests are covered in a rubber that’s soft to give you adequate comfort and isn’t cold at those first touches in the morning.

One thing Lenovo got right on their Ideapad line of laptops is the smile-like shape of the keys that has won over a number of fans. On the Lenovo Y700, the W, A, S, and D keys (the main gaming keys), are lined in a much brighter red than the other keys, making them easier to find.

Above the keyboard, you get the nice red and black honeycomb accents that give the laptop a supercar kind of feel and look that are a signature of modern gaming laptops.

As for the screen, it has a substantial bezel, but that is probably due to the fact that the Lenovo Y700 sports a touchscreen, although I doubt you’ll ever use the touch function for gaming. This is not much of a big deal though as the black frame was designed to be seamless with the screen, making it look like one unit.

The major design flaw that comes with the Y700 is the fact that its center of gravity is precariously close to the hinge. This ultimately means that when using the laptop on your laps you’ll feel like it is just about to topple over with any shift you make. But this isn’t noticeable when you put the laptop on a desk or workstation, so this may not be that much of an issue if you mainly use it in such a setup.

Although this may not be a major flaw, you may find it awkward (like most people do) that the power cable is shaped like a USB. This may be confusing at times as the power port is right next to a USB port.

Overall, the Lenovo Y700 is a well-designed gaming laptop. And even though it may be more on the bulkier side, measuring 8.9 x 28.3 x 1.7 inches and weighing 5.72 pounds, it’s still not the biggest and heaviest in its class.

The Lenovo Y700 – Top Performance on a Budget

When it comes to gaming laptops, performance is critical if you are to have a good gaming experience.

And the Lenovo Y700 doesn’t disappoint.

One of the biggest advantages that the Lenovo Y700 has over its rivals (like Dell and HP) is its SSD flash memory. This gives it superior speeds in booting up, but, the unfortunate part is it’s not big enough to accommodate the operating system and games. You’ll eventually be forced to play some of your games from the hard disk drive.

This doesn’t necessarily make your games unplayable, it just means they’ll load a bit slower as compared to the ones that load from the SSD. And once loaded (which doesn’t take that long), playing will prove to be no problem at all.

Because gaming involves spending prolonged times staring at the screen, the quality of a screen on a gaming laptop is a very important factor.

In this aspect, Lenovo has taken great leaps in improving the display on their Y Series of notebooks that were previously plagued with lackluster displays. The Lenovo Y700 sports one of these improved displays, a 15-inch 1920 x 1080 panel that averages 263 nits on the light meter. This beats the 244-nit mainstream average. Although it falls short of the Alienware 15’s 311 nits, it’s way better than the Dell Inspiron 15-7000’s 222 nits.

As for color accuracy, the Lenovo Y700 also performed well on the Delta-E test, scoring an impressive 0.7, where the ideal score is 0. In this test, it actually trounced the Alienware 15’s 1.3 score and the Dell’s dismal 4.1.

Unfortunately, the Y700 only managed to reproduce a mere 60.8 percent on the sRGB color test, bringing it behind the Dell whose score was 70 percent.

Although you may not get to use the touchscreen, you’ll find it very responsive to swipes and taps, making it a versatile display for other tasks that are not gaming related.

The Lenovo Y700 comes with an exceptional audio system, thanks to the partnership with renowned audio specialists JBL.

Lenovo equipped the Y700 with a pair of JBL speakers and a bottom-mounted subwoofer, enabling it to produce loud well-balanced sounds. And with the Dolby software that comes pre-installed, you have access to 5 audio settings, namely: Dynamic, Music, Movie, Gaming, and Voice.

The Lenovo Y700 will definitely give you a great audio experience during gameplay as the JBL speakers do an excellent job of picking even the slightest of sounds in your favorite games.

And now for the most important reason you are getting a gaming laptop…

As already mentioned, the Lenovo Y700 is powered by Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 960 GPU with 4GB of VRAM, making it a very capable gaming machine.

This GPU is not the most powerful, in fact, it is a mid-range GPU. Although it allows you play most of the latest games with ease, you just can’t play them on maximum settings.

When tested using one of the most rigorous games – Metro: Last Light, the Lenovo Y700 really proved its mettle. On Low at 1080p, it delivered an impressive 76 fps (beating the mainstream average of 68 fps), a score the Alienware 15 is envious of, as it scored 64 fps. The Lenovo Y700’s closest contender, the Dell Inspiron 15-7000 scored 58 fps.

This is truly a gaming laptop that will definitely live up to its purpose.

And when you are done gaming, the Lenovo Y700 switches over to the integrated Intel HD Graphics 530 GPU.

One of the biggest challenges gaming laptops face is overheating. This is mainly due to the powerful processors and rigorous use during gaming.

This is an issue that also plagues the Lenovo Y700.

When playing power intensive games, it only takes 15 minutes for you to start feeling the changes in temperature on the touchpad and the undercarriage.

The undercarriage is known to reach temperatures as high as 103-degrees, 8-degrees above the mainstream average of 95 degrees.

Although the vents and fans do a good job of dissipating the heat from the system, it’s advisable to place your gaming rig in a well-ventilated area.

Battery life is a very important factor when it comes to laptops, and gaming laptops are no different, despite the fact that they are mainly used close to a power source.

This is an area the Lenovo Y700 could have been improved on as the battery only lasts an average of 4-hours, falling short of the mainstream average of 5 hours 40 minutes.

The Lenovo Y700 – Built to Give You a Great Gaming Experience

Would I recommend the Lenovo Y700 as a good gaming laptop?

In all honesty, the Lenovo Y700 has its flaws (show me a gaming laptop that doesn’t), but overall it is a great laptop that you can rely on to give you an above average gaming experience.

Especially if you are on a tight budget, I’d definitely encourage you to consider it. It is definitely one gaming rig that will give you great value for your hard-earned money.

And if you are considering gifting it to a loved one, it definitely will convey your love well.

So whatever your reason for getting a gaming laptop, the Lenovo Y700 will certainly serve the purpose.

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