I’ve had a chance to use a handful of Lenovo PC’s recently, and they’ve all been capable machines, but there was one main thing missing: gaming! Web browsing and light gaming is great and all, but many of us occasionally (or, constantly) enjoy some more advanced gaming on our computers. For that, you’ll need a computer with some serious guts. I’m happy to report that the Lenovo Y70 Touch gaming laptop has got those guts. You can read all about them in our Lenovo Y70 review.
The Y70 comes in several hardware configurations including both i5 and i7 processors. For this review, I’ve been using the following setup:
- Intel Core i7-4710HQ 2.5 GHz Processor
- 16 GB DDR3 RAM
- NVIDIA GTX-860M 4GB Graphics
- 512 GB Solid-State Drive
- 17.3-Inch Screen
- Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160
- 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0
- 4-in-1 card reader (SD, MMC, SDXC, SDHC)
- Audio Combo Jack
- Integrated webcam
- Windows 8.1
- External DVD/RW Drive Included
The processor and RAM definitely make for a snappy experience. I didn’t experience any lag with general computing options, and programs opened quickly.
We’ll get this out of the way first, the Lenovo Y70 is a beast. It is big, heavy, and solid. The chassis is a nice brushed metal, and the hinge has an appropriate amount of resistance. The chiclet style backlit keys are red around the edges, creating a red glow when the backlighting is on. With a 17.3 inch screen, there is plenty of extra room below the keyboard and around the trackpad for a wrist-rest. The entire area surrounding the keyboard skips the brushed metal of the exterior for a soft-touch plastic for a better feel. The red-tinted grills for the JBL speakers wrap down the sides of the laptop, and a small subwoofer sits on the bottom of the case. Your ports will be found, as they often are, on the sides of the chassis.
The 17.3” display on the Y70 has the standard 1920×1080 definition that you’d expect from a quality screen. As has been the case with all of the other Lenovo devices that I’ve reviewed, the screen is bright with vibrant colors. The screen also includes 10-point multi-touch, which improves the Windows 8.1 experience significantly while surprisingly not having significant fingerprint/streaking issues on the screen.
Running Windows 8.1 provides a stable ecosystem for all kinds of programs and games. You won’t have any difficulty finding programs to do the things you’ll want to do with the Y70.
The integrated JBL speakers honestly sound quite good. For most games I kept the volume at around 40 and that was sufficient for my needs. The subwoofer isn’t going to rattle any windows of course, but it does provide an extra bit of oomph. Music and videos sound good too, though for anything much louder than personal use you may want external speakers.
I’m not going to lie, the vast majority of my testing was on games. I think that we can assume based on the performance that I’ll get into in a second that most other programs you’d want to run shouldn’t have any issues on the Y70. As for gaming performance, I was very impressed.
I loaded up Far Cry 3, which you may remember had a few issues on the last Lenovo that I reviewed, and it ran without a hitch on top settings. Granted, FC3 is a few years old, but it’s still a fairly system intensive program, which the Y70 handled with ease. Saints Row: Gat out of Hell is a newer game also needing decent specs, and it too ran without issue. The only game that I threw at the Y70 that had issues was the Early Access Carmageddon re-make, though that game occasionally has issues on my gaming PC so it’s likely an issue with the game rather than the Y70.
As with most all laptops, performance takes a dip if you unplug the machine, which is to be expected. Lenovo claims four hours of battery life on the Y70, and I was able to get around three and a half, so it was pretty close. You’ll really want to keep it plugged in though so that the power saver modes don’t kick in and tone down performance. Oddly however, the power manager will occasionally scold you if you keep it plugged in all of the time. You’ll really want to keep the Y70 on your desk anyway, because as I mentioned earlier it’s definitely big and heavy.
There’s an integrated webcam, it works. There’s a small flash, but it really is best suited for lighted areas. Video chats work as they should, and that’s really the main thing you’d use an integrated webcam for anyway.
I mentioned above that the given stats for the Lenovo Y70 show four hours of battery life. I was able to get about three and a half with somewhat rigorous usage. This really isn’t the sort of laptop that you’ll use away from A/C for very long anyway, so four hours should be enough when necessary.
The Lenovo Y70 comes with an external DVD/RW drive, which is a nice extra. Most software can be downloaded these days, but if you’ve got software on disk, or prefer to backup files to DVD, the option is available right out of the box.
The Lenovo Y70 is available starting at just under $1000. The model as reviewed comes in closer to $1200-$1500 depending on where you shop. Considering the internals, the Y70 is reasonably priced for a 17” gaming powerhouse laptop. Laptops with comparable specs generally run anywhere from $1500-$2000.
Gaming laptops might not be quite as prevalent as their business equivalents, but there are definite options available. The Lenovo Y70 is a strong entrant into the gaming laptop category. It comes in at a reasonable price and has the guts to handle most anything you’ll throw at it. I’ll often say that this machine or that machine won’t run CRYSIS at max settings, and the Y70 probably won’t either, but chances are good you could at least run the game. If you’re in the market for a gaming laptop, be sure to check out the Lenovo Y70 Touch.