In the middle of 2015, I built a mid-range gaming rig. I opted to piece one together myself versus getting one that’s pre-built. I never even considered a gaming laptop as my previous experiences with them have been lackluster. Even so, I jumped at the chance to check out Lenovo’s newest laptop gaming hardware, the ideapad Y700 Touch 15″ gaming laptop. We’ve already taken an in-depth look at the 17-inch model, and came away impressed. Let’s see if the ideapad Y700 Touch 15-inch gives us the same impression.
Lenovo’s ideapad Y700 Touch gaming laptop features the following specifications:
- Processor: 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ Processor @2.60GHz
- Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
- Display: 15.6″ FHD (1920×1080) LED Anti-Glare Backlit Multi-Touch
- Video Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB DDR5
- Storage: 128GB SSD (primary) + 1TB 5400RPM (secondary)
- Memory: 16GB PC4-17000 DDR4 2133MHz
- Audio: 2 x2W JBL® speakers with Chamber + 3W Subwoofer and Dolby® Home Theater™
- Camera: HD 720p, 2x Internal Digital Array Microphone
- Integrated Communications: Intel Wireless-AC 3165, Bluetooth 4.0
- Ports: 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0 + Always-on, 2-in-1 Audio Combo Jack, 1 x HDMI, 1 x 4-in-1 Media Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC), Ethernet
- Battery Life: 5 hours (60WHr)
- Weight: 5.7lbs (3.5kg)
- Dimensions: 15.23″ x 10.90″ x 1.02″ (387 x 277 x 25.95mm)
What’s in the Box
The ideapad Y700 Touch 15-inch gaming laptop came out of the box with what you would expect. There’s the laptop, a 100-240V ~2.5A 50-60Hz input/20V 6.75A AC adapter and the typical paperwork. It does come with a few accessories though. They include a Y Gaming Mechanical Keyboard, Y Gaming Surround Sound Headset, Y Gaming Precision Mouse and Y Gaming Active Backpack.
When you open the box, it’s easy to tell the laptop is high-caliber. From brushed aluminum to sharp edges, the laptop screams futuristic appeal. Its sleek angles are accentuated only by its red and black colors.
Upon opening, you’ll notice the keyboard sports black keys with the added red-edges that light up. Below the keyboard is a fairly large trackpad. Above is the power button and two red speakers. The trackpad was wonderful to use and the keyboard was great to type on. One of my biggest gripes with this laptop is the layout. Often times whenever I went to hit the backspace key I’d end up hitting the delete key. While the keypad was a welcome addition to the laptop, it butted up next to the keyboard and I kept pressing buttons I didn’t want to.
On the bottom of the laptop is a circle speaker grill that’s red. That’s where the 3-watt subwoofer is housed. On the left side is the DC-in charging port. It has the USB/Always on charging port, 4-in-1 media card reader, audio combo jack and Novo recovery port. On the opposite side is a pair of USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, Ethernet port and a Kensington lock slot. There’s also a heat vent in the back under the hinge for temperature management.
Overall, the laptop has a premium feel and is fun to look at.
The display is a 15.6-inch full HD (1920×1080 resolution) IPS display. It’s an LED anti-glare backlit screen and features a multi-touch display. I seldom use touchscreen displays as the ability doesn’t flow with how I use laptops. In a time where QHD displays are becoming normal, you’d think the 1080p screen would be terrible to look at, but I found it enjoyable.
Another boon to having a 1080p screen is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M doesn’t have to push extra pixels. Though, while I feel the graphics card could handle it, it means higher frame rates for gaming. The viewing angle of the screen was also pretty good and I found I was able to see the screen from a lot of different angles.
The laptop runs Windows 10 Home 64-bit. As with other Windows 10 computers, I found Windows to work quickly and smoothly. Whether you love it or hate it, Windows 10 flies on the ideapad 15-inch. Like other Lenovo machines, the laptop comes with its fair share of other applications — or bloat depending on how you look at it — and trials. As Jason pointed out in his review, I found a few Lenovo applications onboard. They included:
- Lenovo Companion 3.0: allows you to optimize your PC’s system, connections, and security
- Lenovo ID: allows you to access various Lenovo tools and sites with a single log-in
- Lenovo Photo Master 2.0: organize and edit your photos
- Lenovo Settings 3.0: centralized dashboard for your PC
- Lenovo SHAREit: allows you to share files and documents across various devices
- Lenovo Solution Centre: updates you with statuses for your system
- Lenovo OneKey Recovery app – creates a system image of your primary partition
Depending on your stance, these applications can either be helpful or hurtful. On a 128GB solid state drive, they take up space and that may rub people the wrong way. Though, they can be uninstalled and you’re not forced to use them. My personal preference is to get rid of these apps.
You’ll also get 30-day free trials of McAfee LiveSafe and Microsoft Office. You’ll also see a free three-month (90-day) trial to OnePlay, which gives you access to over 1,500 games. One thing annoyed me was the random (and large) popups for McAfee’s software. Though, that was remedied with a quick uninstall.
With a sixth generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor coming in at 2.60 GHz, a GeForce GTX 960M with 4GB of RAM, a solid state drive and 16GB of RAM, you can expect this thing to fly. It darn well did. The typical day-to-day operations had no lag to speak of, but let’s talk about gaming — let’s face it, that’s why you’re here — because that’s where the ideapad 15-inch really did shine.
My personal benchmark when it comes to how a gaming machine performs is to fire up World of Warcraft on ultra settings. While the game looks halfway decent on lower settings, it looks like a whole new game on ultra. Having a computer that can keep up however, is an entirely different story.
Luckily — and unsurprisingly — the Lenovo ideapad Y700 Touch 15-inch handled WoW on ultra without skipping a beat. I was able to consistently get 45-60 frames per second. The 45 frame dip only happened during extreme graphically intensive times. Diablo III and StarCraft II were much the same but without any frame dropping.
Again, Like Jason, I also fired up Heroes of the Storm and cranked the graphics up to maximum and consistently got 40-50 frames per second. I also streamed my Xbox One as well and Destiny flied on the machine. It was a great experience overall.
Laptops’ downfalls are their inability to dissipate heat but thanks to its optimized thermal cooling, the ideapad Y700 only seemed to get warm and not overly hot after extended periods of time. Overall, I was pleased with how the laptop performed.
One area I find lacking in most laptops is the speakers. Typically they sound flat and lack the oomph needed to make listening to the laptop an enjoyable experience. Lenovo seems to know this as the ideapad Y700 Touch 15-inch comes with 2x 2-watt JBL speakers and a 3-watt subwoofer. In my last dealing with a JBL speaker I came away impressed. I can safely say that I came away impressed again.
The JBL speakers were not only loud, but had a full and rich sound. The Dolby audio desktop app, which was professionally tuned for Lenovo, adds some more punch to it. From movies to gaming, the speakers had a lot of juice and sounded good.
A camera in a laptop is nothing new and typically nothing to write home about. Lenovo put a 720p HD camera inside complete with an Internal Digital Array Microphone. In my uses (Hangouts and video chatting) I found the camera and microphone pick up to be good.
As with all laptops, battery life is completely affected by how you use it. So, it’s a safe bet that when you get a gaming laptop it’s not going to have great battery life. But I was pleasantly surprised with the rated five hours of battery life the ideapad Y700 Touch 15-inch came with. I typically managed to get three hours of battery life out of the battery during my gaming sessions and a little over five when I used it for other tasks.
The configuration of the ideapad y700 Touch I had comes in at $1,299. Currently, Lenovo has it on sale for $1,149.99. Depending on how you want to spec it out, it’ll jump up in price but you’re getting a lot for what you pay for. I’ve seen similarly specced laptops go for a lot more. Coupled with the free trial of OnePlay and its access to 1,500+ games, you’re getting a lot more than just a laptop.
Like I said in the beginning of this review, we loved the 17-inch model of the Lenovo ideapad Y700. The ideapad Y700 Touch 15-inch is no different. Unlike the 17-inch model, the Touch is a bit more portable, without sacrificing any of the performance. It even comes with a touchscreen option if you like that sort of thing.
Lenovo has itself a complete package when it comes to the ideapad Y700 and if you’re in the market for a robust laptop that can handle the games you throw at it, then give this gaming laptop a look. You’re not going to be sorry.
*We were sent a demo unit of the Lenovo ideapad Y700 Touch 15-inch for the purposes of this review.
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