The Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15 is one of the best budget gaming laptops in the market. For specs, the Ideapad Y700 comes with a 6th gen i5 and GeForce 960m.
As the consumers have grown more aware of what they need from their portable computers, the manufacturers have divided their brand in the interest of the buyers. Brands such as Asus brought up the ROG lineup for gamers, recreated in the image of Alienware gaming laptops by Dell. As the years have progressed, many more big names have joined the ranks, one of them being Lenovo, with its Ideapad Y series gaming notebooks.
The Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15 is the successor to the Y40, the Y50 and the Y70 gaming notebooks from last year, with a significantly powerful hardware upgrade and many other tweaks. Now powered by the latest generation Intel Core i5 processor, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M GPU, and stunningly futuristic design, the Ideapad Y700 15 has everything to take on the champions of the gaming laptop arena.
Lenovo Ideapad Y700: Design and Build
Sharp is the appropriate word to use in order to define the design and build of the Ideapad Y700. A derivative of the last year’s appearance, the laptop continues to boast a brushed aluminium lid, well-defined corners and rubberized keyboard deck for maximum comfort while typing and gaming. While the older versions of the Ideapad Y700 had been flagged for some minor design defects, the latest addition to the series seems more robust and tightly built.
The aluminium lid is not just for looks, as it imparts a considerable amount of rigidity and is resistant under pressure. The single-bar hinge next to the bombastic JBL speakers not only looks incredible but keeps the screen firmly grounded and does not wobble at all, even when put through a furious typing test.
The Ideapad Y700 is not only thicker (25.9mm), but also slightly heavier than Y50, which is probably due to the better build quality that seamlessly connects the aluminium to the plastic. In terms of connectivity, the Ideapad Y700 comes with 2 x USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, SD card reader, HDMI port and a Gigabit Ethernet port. While the connectivity options cannot be deemed poor, but the missing Mini DisplayPort, USB Type-C port and DVD drive do put the Ideapad Y700 behind the competition.
Lenovo Ideapad Y700: The Display
The Ideapad Y700 has been equipped with a 15.6-inch Full-HD display, boasting a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The LED-backlit display comes with a slim anti-glare finish, which reduced the glossy effect of the panel. The display comes with “frameless glass” according to Lenovo, which is probably hardened plastic and a cost-cutting measure since there is no mention of a Gorilla Glass panel.
The average brightness and semi-glossy display panel are not the right mixtures for outdoor use, making the display too reflective under sunlight. The viewing angles are not compromised at all, as the IPS display panel ensures wide viewing angles with minimum distortion.
Nonetheless, the IPS display panel is not subjective to any backlight bleeding and offers clear and precise colours and texts throughout. The brightness of the display (250 nits) is below the gaming laptop average of 300 nits, while the sRGB colour gamut coverage was recorded to be mere 60%, which is a common score for mid-range gaming laptops. However, the colours are accurate and crisp, owing to the 1000:1 colour contrast ratio.
Lenovo Ideapad Y700: Keyboard and Touchpad
There have been no changes noticed between the keyboard of the Ideapad Y700 and its predecessor notebooks. The red backlight illumination of the keyboard is available in two settings, giving the laptop a devilish appeal. The travel of the keys is short, measuring to be 1.5mm, which is closer to the average but does not match the measurement of 2.0mm – 2.2mm of some high-end gaming laptops.
While the layout is superior to most in its category, the missing macro keys may be a disappointing factor for some users. Although the touchpad f any gaming laptop is nothing more than an accessory, the 10.6cm x 7cm touchpad on the Ideapad Y700 is a good one.
The matte finish plastic is just the right amount of smooth for gliding your fingers across, and the Synaptics software enables it to recognize up to 4 fingers simultaneously. The right and left keys have been integrated into the touchpad, which may offer aesthetic value, but are not very efficient for gaming.
Lenovo Ideapad Y700: Under the Hood
The Lenovo Ideapad Y700 comes with a significant upgrade in comparison to the Y50 from last year, offering the latest 6th generation Intel Core i5-6300HQ processor. Based on the Skylake micro-architecture, the CPU has a base clock speed of 2.3GHz, which can be overclocked to 3.2GHz with the Intel Turbo Boost technology. The notebook comes equipped with 8GB DDR4 RAM, with 2 RAM slots that can be upgraded to 16GB.
The basic components of the Ideapad Y700 are powerful enough to take multitasking and 3D application to a whole new level. In terms of storage, this laptop stands a step back in comparison to the competition, with no SSD boost performance and decrease the loading times. With 1TB of HDD storage at 5400RPM, the Ideapad Y700 also comes with an SSD slot for you to upgrade and speed up the storage.
Coming down to the GPU, the Ideapad Y700 is powered by NVIDIA GeForce 960M graphic processor, with 4GB DDR5 dedicated memory. However, the 960M is an upgrade that the previous 950M, it is not as powerful as the 970M, which is almost twice as fast as the latter. Nonetheless, the GPU should be more than efficient in handling all of the latest gaming titles on medium to high settings, while most graphic hungry games may reduce the frame rate on ultra settings.
- Upgraded design and build make it more appealing and games.
- Excellent quality screen with responsive output and no backlight bleeding issues with the backlight.
- Little to no CPU and GPU and stays cool under the load.
- Loud surround sound with JBL speakers.
- No USB Type-C port or Mini DisplayPort.
- No auxiliary or macro keys for mapping on the keyboard.
The Final Verdict
Although as powerful as many other mainstream budget gaming laptops, Lenovo has associated the Ideapad Y700 as not just a dedicated gaming machine, but an entry-level solution to do everything. Deliverance of quality, power of the core components and crafting a stunning design – the Ideapad Y700 barely leaves any room for criticism.
There are some drawbacks that we have highlighted, mainly being the missing connectivity essentials and the absence of configurable keys on the gaming keyboard. The processor is just about enough for gaming with restrictions, and the colour reproduction is not something to brag about either. Since the Lenovo Ideapad Y700 has been marketed as the right choice for gamers on a budget, it does everything in its power to keep its title.