Introduction and Design
A little over a year ago, we posted our review of the Lenovo Y500, which was a gaming notebook that leveraged not one, but two discrete video adapters (2 x NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M in SLI, to be exact) to achieve respectable gaming performance at a reasonable price point (around $1,200 at the time of the review).
Well—take away nearly a pound of weight (to 5.7 lbs), slim the case down to around an inch thick, update the chipset, and remove one video card, and you’ve got the Lenovo Y50 Touch, which ought to be able to improve upon the Y500 in nearly every area if the specifications add up to typical results. Here’s the full list of what our review unit includes:
While the GTX 860M (2 GB) is a far cry from, say, the GTX 880M (8 GB) we had the pleasure of testing in MSI’s GT70 2PE, it’s still a very capable card that should provide satisfactory results without breaking the bank (or the back). The rest of the spec sheet is conventional fare for a budget gaming notebook, with the only other surprise being the inclusion of a touchscreen—an option which replaces the traditional matte LCD panel in the standard Y50.
The configuration we received has already been slightly updated to include a CPU that’s a nudge better than the i7-4700HQ: the i7-4710HQ (which gains it 100 MHz in Turbo Boost clock rate). Otherwise, the specs are identical, and the street price is very close to that of the Y500 we originally reviewed: $1,139. Currently, an extra 10 bucks will also score you an external DVD+/-RW drive, and just 90 bucks more will boost your GTX 860M’s VRAM to 4 GB (from 2 GB) and your system RAM to 16 GB from 8 GB. That’s really not a bad deal at all.
Subject: Mobile | November 26, 2013 - 05:46 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, Lenovo, Ideapad, yoga, yoga 2 pro, haswell
The Yoga has easily been the most successful convertible notebook brand in my book and I think Lenovo would agree. The 4-option form factor allows for a standard laptop stance, tablet mode, tent mode and stand mode, all of which have unique benefits and trade offs.
The new Yoga 2 Pro offers the same style chassis as the previous Yoga laptops but offers several dramatic improvements. First, this notebook is Haswell based, a 4th Generation Intel Core processor, and that will equal better performance and better battery life than the previous Ivy Bridge based design.
Also, this unit has a 13.3-in 3200x1800 resolution display; that's correct a 5.7 MP screen in a 13.3 inch form factor. That is better than the retina MacBook Air that has a resolution of 2560x1600 and is even higher than the 2880x1800 display on the 15-in retina MacBook. In use the screen is bright (up to 350 nits now) and crisp.
The keyboard is backlit, the edge has a rubber ring around it to prevent slipping and damage in tent mode and it is both lighter and slimmer than the previous Yoga.
Overall, the Yoga 2 Pro looks to be an amazing sequel to the original. Look for a full review on PC Perspective soon!!
Introduction and Design
As headlines mount championing the supposed shift toward tablets for the average consumer, PC manufacturers continue to devise clever hybrid solutions to try and lure those who are on the fence toward more traditional machines. Along with last year’s IdeaPad Yoga 13 and ThinkPad Twist, Lenovo shortly thereafter launched the smallest of the bunch, an 11.6” convertible tablet PC with a 5-point touch 720p IPS display.
Unlike its newer, more powerful counterpart, the Yoga 11S, it runs Windows RT and features an NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-Core system on a chip (SoC). There are pros and cons to this configuration in contrast to the 11S. For starters, the lower-voltage, fanless design of the 11 guarantees superior battery life (something which we’ll cover in detail in just a bit). It’s also consequently (slightly) smaller and lighter than the 11S, which gains a hair on height and weighs around a quarter pound more. But, as you’re probably aware, Windows RT also doesn’t qualify as a fully-functional version of Windows—and, in fact, the Yoga 11’s versatility is constrained by the relatively meager selection of apps available on the Windows Store. The other obvious difference is architecture and chipset, where the Yoga 11’s phone- and tablet-grade ARM-based NVIDIA Tegra 3 is replaced on the 11S by Intel Core Ivy Bridge ULV processors.
But let’s forget about that for a moment. What it all boils down to is that these two machines, while similar in terms of design, are different enough (both in terms of specs and price) to warrant a choice between them based on your intended use. The IdeaPad Yoga 11 configuration we reviewed can currently be found for around $570 at retailers such as Amazon and Newegg. In terms of its innards:
If it looks an awful lot like the specs of your latest smartphone, that’s probably because it is. The Yoga 11 banks on the fact that such ARM-based SoCs have become powerful enough to run a modern personal computer comfortably—and by combining the strengths of an efficient, low-power chipset with the body of a notebook, it reaps benefits from both categories. Of course, there are trade-offs involved, starting with the 2 GB memory ceiling of the chipset and extending to the aforementioned limitations of Windows RT. So the ultimate question is, once those trade-offs are considered, is the Yoga 11 still worth the investment?
Introduction and Design
While Lenovo hasn’t historically been known for its gaming PCs, it’s poised to make quite a splash with the latest entry in its IdeaPad line. Owing little to the company’s business-oriented roots, the Y500 aims to be all power—moreso than any other laptop from the manufacturer to date—tactfully squeezed into a price tag that would normally be unattainable given the promised performance. But can it succeed?
Our Y500 review unit can be had for $1,249 at Newegg and other retailers, or for as low as $1,180 at Best Buy. Lenovo also sells customizable models, though the price is generally higher. Here’s the full list of specifications:
The configurations offered by Lenovo range in price fairly widely, from as low as $849 for a model sporting 8 GB of RAM with a single GT 650M with 2 GB GDDR5. The best value is certainly this configuration that we received, however.
What’s so special about it? Well, apart from the obvious (powerful quad-core CPU and 16 GB RAM), this laptop actually includes two NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M GPUs (both with 2 GB GDDR5) configured in SLI. Seeing as it’s just a 15.6-inch model, how does it manage to do that? By way of a clever compromise: the exchange of the usual optical drive for an Ultrabay, something normally only seen in Lenovo’s ThinkPad line of laptops. So I guess the Y500 does owe a little bit of its success to its business-grade brethren after all.
In our review unit (and in the particular configuration noted above), this Ultrabay comes prepopulated with the second GT 650M, equipped with its own heatsink/fan and all. The addition of this GPU effectively launches the Y500 into high-end gaming laptop territory—at least on the spec sheet. Other options for the Ultrabay also exist (sold separately), including a DVD burner and a second hard drive. The bay is easily removable via a switch on the back of the PC (see below).
Subject: Mobile | January 6, 2013 - 07:31 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: yoga 11s, yoga 11, yoga, Lenovo, ideapad yoga, Ideapad, ces 2013, CES
The Lenovo Yoga laptops were actually announced at last year's CES and we have had one in house for a couple of months as well, doing a quick look type video of it back in October. The Yoga notebooks are convertible Ultrabooks with a 360 degree hinge allowing you to wrap the display behind the keyboard and put the machine into a tablet form factor. The first one we saw was powered by the Intel Core i5 processor but was in a 13-in design.
There has been an 11-in version of the Yoga, but it was powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 3 processor and runs Windows RT. The Yoga 11S being announced today runs the full version of Windows 8 and includes Intel ULV Ivy Bridge Core i5 series processors, integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics and can be configured with up to 8GB of DDR3 memory and a 256GB SSD.
An 11.6-in 1366x768 IPS display with 10 point touch capability is at the heart of the convertible notebook that is rated at 6 hours of battery life with a 3.08 lbs fighting weight.
The Yoga's biggest feature is the ability to convert into four different "modes" of usage: laptop, tablet, stand and tent. You can see all of them demonstrated on our Yoga 13 preview video above and the same forms exist on the new Yoga 11S.
The Yoga 11S will also be available in "Clementine"
The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S will be available in mid-February and will start at $799.
PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Podcast #225 - Intel's New Low Priced 240GB SSD, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Convertible Ultrabook, AMD ARM processors, and more!
Subject: General Tech | November 1, 2012 - 03:04 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: z77a-gd80, yoga 13, thunderbolt, podcast, pcper, msi, Lenovo, intel ssd, intel 335, Intel, Ideapad, asus, arm, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #225 - 11/01/2012
Join us this week as we talk about Intel's New Low Priced 240GB SSD, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Convertible Ultrabook, AMD ARM processors, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts:Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano, and Chris Barbere
Program length: 1:10:09
Podcast topics of discussion:
- Week in Reviews:
- 0:29:22 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
News items of interest:
- 0:30:35 Corsair Announces new products
- 0:36:10 ASUS Launches Line of VivoBook Laptops Running Windows 8
- 0:42:05 How to Build a PC with Windows 8 - PC Perspective Live!
- 0:43:50 Microsoft Giving Away Free Media Center Keys For Windows 8
- 0:46:30 ASRock Launches Extreme6/TB4 Motherboard With Two Thunderbolt Ports
- 0:47:30 AMD Announces It Will Build 64-bit ARM Processors for Server Markets
- 0:53:15 Intel Wants To See 48-Core Processors In Future Smartphones
- 0:56:30 NZXT Unleashes the Kraken -- World's first all-in-one 140mm & 280mm liquid-cooler
1:00:20 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- Ryan: Symphony on Steam - Free Keys to Give Away!!
- Jeremy: Grab media centre, even if you don't plan on getting Win 8 yet
- Allyn: Start8 - for you Windows 8 users
- Chris: MechWarrior Online
- 1:00:20 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
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Subject: Mobile | October 30, 2012 - 01:17 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: yoga 13, yoga, ultrabook, Lenovo, Ivy Bridge, Ideapad
Earlier today we got in the new Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 13, an Ivy Bridge Core i5 Ultrabook with a very distinctive display panel that works as a laptop, a tablet, a tent and in a stand mode. Basically, think of the Lenovo machine you saw from CES with the screen that wraps around the back.
After getting the notebook in I recorded a quick 15 minute hands-on and overview video that I thought I would share in preparation for our full review coming later! Enjoy!
Lenovo has become an important player in the mainstream laptop market. Five years ago the offerings from Lenovo were not great, but today the IdeaPad line has matured. This has been reflected in Lenovo’s growth. The company has posted gains in global market share over the last few years.
In this review we’re looking at the Z580, a laptop that’s smack dab in the middle of the company’s IdeaPad brand. It’s a 15.6” laptop that starts at $469 but can be optioned to around $900. Our review unit is a well configured version which includes an Intel Core i5-3210M processor. Lenovo’s website prices it out at a cool $599.
What else will six Benjamin Franklins buy you? Let’s take a look.
The $600 price point is important. Studies of the laptop market have consistently shown that the average price of a new laptop hovers around $600 (much to the dismay of manufacturers, who’d rather people spent more).
This market is extremely completive as a result. If you want a portable laptop with an IPS display you don’t have many options, but consumers who want a powerful and competent laptop for $600 have a buffet to choose from. Can the Z580 make room for itself in this crowd?
Introduction and Design
In the wilds of the laptop market, nestled between the hordes of 15.6” mainstream laptops and the slim ultraportables, there is an odd breed. The 14” multimedia laptop. Even describing them as such is limiting because each model seems to offer its own take on the concept. Some are nearly as thin and light as laptops with much smaller displays while others are bulky powerhouses hidden behind a façade of portability.
Lenovo has long been a proponent of the 14-incher in actions if not words. IdeaPads of this size have also been common, usually gracing Lenovo’s website as a smaller alternative to a 15.6” laptop with a similar model name.
As a result, absolutely no one was shocked when Lenovo announced the IdeaPad Y480. It’s exactly the kind of product most consumers end up buying and exactly the kind of product tech journalists don’t care to talk about.
So what’s powering this new mid-size laptop? Let’s have a look.
Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 8, 2012 - 08:59 PM | Matt Smith
Tagged: Lenovo, Ideapad, ideacentre, CES
As reported earlier, Lenovo has announced a number of new ThinkPad products for the upcoming year. But that is only a drop in the bucket compared to the tsunami of IdeaPad and IdeaCenter consumer PCs on the way from the company.
Let’s start with the most premium, the Lenovo U series. It will be updated by the U310 and U410 models with Intel Core processors and optional SSD storage. The larger U410 will include GeForce 610M discrete graphics, as well. The smaller U310 weighs just 3.74 pounds and measures .7 inches thick, while the U410 is a slightly chunkier 4.18 pounds and .83 inches thick. Price start at a surprisingly low $699.
On the opposite side of pricing we have the new S200 and S206, two netbooks – er, I mean, “mini-laptops.” They feature the now popular 11.6” display size, are only .81 inches thick and weight 2.8 pounds. You’ll have your pick of Intel Atom or AMD Fusion processors, as well as your pick of color options like Cotton-Candy Pink, Crimson Red, and Electric Blue. You’ll have to shell out only $349 to grab a basic model.
Also updated is the vastness of Lenovo’s mainstream laptop offerings. The Z580/480/380 has been re-designed to accommodate newer hardware, such as optional GT640M graphics. The Y480/Y580 also have been updated to include support for new optional GTX 660M graphics and luxury features like a backlit keyboard (on the Y580). Last – and most certainly least – Lenovo is expanding the G series to include the G480/580/780. These are “essential” laptops, which means “budget” in Lenovo’s vocabulary. The Z series starts at $599, the Y series at $899, and the G series at $399.
If you’re interested in All-in-One computers, Lenovo has plenty that may be of interest you this CES. The company has unveiled updates to its high-performance AIOs in the form of the B540 and B340, which have 23” and 21.5” touchscreens respectively. Both of these have built-in TV tuners and now, unlike with previous models, it’s possible to watch TV through these systems without turning on the PC itself. Both have Intel processors, full HD displays, and the B540 will feature optional GT 650M graphics. These high-end AIOs start at $699.
Lower on the totem pole we have the traditional desktop PCs. Lenovo is offering two new options in this aging market. One is the performance-oriented K430 (starting at $599), which includes Intel processors and can be upgraded with Nvidia SLI or ATI CrossFireX dual-graphics solutions for hardcore gamers. The other is the Lenovo H520s, a simple slim system designed for the average home user that is remarkable only because of its low price of $499.
PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!