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Lenovo IdeaPad Y480 Review: Taking The Good With The Bad

Author: Matt Smith
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Lenovo

User Interface, Display and Audio Quality

User Interface

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The ThinkPad keyboard brilliance has leaked over to the IdeaPad Y480. You will find little similar about the layout, but key feel is decent thanks to reasonable key travel – and the caps have the same curved-bottom design found on the new ThinkPads. Indeed, IdeaPads had this long before Lenovo decided to share it with their business laptops.

Speaking of the layout – it’s not great. Lenovo has not made full use of the laptop’s width. Small keys are the result. The right-side Backspace, Enter and Shift keys are the most noticeable victims, but all of the keys feel a bit tighter than they should.

Backlighting is standard, but there are only two settings – off and really bright. This can be an annoyance if using the laptop in an extremely dark environment. 

Touchpad quality is so-so. Touchpad size is adequate but the surface lacks texture. Despite the multi-touch functionality, it still exhibits a finicky and jerky feeling like most Windows laptops. Also, there are no individual left-right buttons – clicking is integrated into the touchpad surface.

Display and Audio Quality

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The Y480 is only available with a 1366x768 display. That isn’t great, but is fine for this laptop’s intended purpose. The discrete graphics solution equipped in this laptop could handle some games at 1080p, but only at low or medium detail.

Unfortunately the display is a letdown in other ways. It offers average black levels, so-so contrast and poor viewing angles. None of this is shocking for a consumer laptop, but this one isn’t particularly cheap and it’s obviously designed with multimedia and casual gaming in mind. Inserting a ho-hum display takes significant value away from the laptop.

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Audio quality, on the other hand, is excellent. The twin speakers face upwards from the interior of the laptop and direct sound straight at the user. Sound is loud and clear as a result. As is always the case with laptops, bass is hard to find, but attempts to reproduce bass don’t reduce all other sounds to static. This is one of the best sound systems you’ll find on any laptop offered today. 

 

July 6, 2012 | 12:28 PM - Posted by dreamer77dd

I just do not have the money for these types of laptop computers. I rather spend it on a pc to get the heavy lifting down and the laptop for the lighter stuff like Emails.
Battery life is always important.
Trying to make a labtop into a gaming machine or photoshop workstation i just think you could have a better sulotion.

July 6, 2012 | 12:48 PM - Posted by Shambles (not verified)

The Y5x0 has been one of the best value laptops in the market for the past few years, even despite its faults. While The MSRP is around $900 you can usually get the Y580 for <$700 using coupon codes. There definitely are issues with the build quality but it's nice to have a mobile machine that is 'good enough' for gaming. These laptops are not meant to replace desktops for gaming though. I have the Y560 and the wife has the Y570. The discrete GPU on the 560 died out, so far the build quality on the Y570 seems to be doing much better. The only issue with the 570 is the sub-par screen and the downgrade in touchpad quality. I don't like how Lenovo changes their parts out of nowhere. My 560 has a great feeling touchpad, the wifes 570 touchpad has poor texture and sensitivity, while I know another person with a 570 that has a much better touchpad, IT SHOULD BE THE SAME!

Anyways it's nice to the see the review, and frankly the 14" version of the Y series has always been step-child in the product lineup. The 15" over the past three iterations has been the only one worth getting.

January 24, 2013 | 11:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Where to get y580 so cheap

August 30, 2012 | 03:47 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

CAUTION : In my Experience I bought Y480 it was dead on arrival they replace it with another one and the SECOND ONE was ALSO DEAD on ARRIVAL. the third one is working fine…
TWO DEAD ON ARRIVAL IN ROW!
read my review here : http://www.root25.com/2012/08/lenovo-ideapad-y480-review-potentially.html
they waste 30days of my life!

August 30, 2012 | 03:47 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

CAUTION : In my Experience I bought Y480 it was dead on arrival they replace it with another one and the SECOND ONE was ALSO DEAD on ARRIVAL. the third one is working fine…
TWO DEAD ON ARRIVAL IN ROW!
read my review here : http://www.root25.com/2012/08/lenovo-ideapad-y480-review-potentially.html
they waste 30days of my life!

September 24, 2013 | 09:57 AM - Posted by Sandy (not verified)

Got this one - 15inch version. Total CRAP. Lenovo builds it's new laptops with cheap quality products. New keyboards are below average, problematic and noisy. Their size and new texture is not ideal for productivity. I hate this laptop because of the poor keyboard, bad display, below average audio and plastic body (though looks metallic, it is plastic and easily bends when pressed on edges). Only plus point: it looks cool when the lid is closed!

Stay away from Lenovo Chinese crap.

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