Lenovo IdeaPad Y700 – evolutionary improvements
During its seven-year history of the model Y series from Lenovo has created a solid reputation among fans of multimedia laptops high class. It is the merit of the impressive combination of powerful hardware options, excellent build quality and available for this class of devices prices. Of course, when you have created such a successful product, sharp movements in one direction or another can be counterproductive. Lenovo are well aware of this fact, and the bright evidence of that is the last credit in a series of Y – model Y700. They offer a relatively small but long-awaited evolutionary improvements as, for example, increased battery life and the ability to upgrade, but in General are based on the principle «Works – do not touch.»
Even a cursory glance at the exterior Y700 is enough to assume that the comparison with the previous models Y50 inevitable. Appearance of the chassis are absolutely identical, and this is really good news, because we’re talking about the same reliable and extravagant building, made entirely of brushed aluminum. Only bad thing alongside this, a series of Y700 inherited and one of the drawbacks of its predecessors – metal body like a magnet for greasy smudges and fingerprints.
The colors, which decorated model Y700, follows that of the Y50 is a combination of elegant black and bright red, which over the years has become something of a trademark of the concept of «gaming laptop».
The space around the keyboard again with a special rubberized coating that improve the grip of the palms and comfort when using. The keyboard is full-length with a typical for all models of the Lenovo high quality – the keys are large, moderately tight, with a short course, leave only a pleasant tactile sensation.
Touchpad with a large area, but in General standard and does not offer anything special from the point of view of functionality.
The build quality is, of course, uncompromising high – as well as bestsellers Y50, model Y700 are synonymous with reliability and durability. The «dark» side solid construction is weight – 2.6 kg. However, this is not the heaviest notebooks on the market.
Compared with the predecessors, the series of Y700 offers a number of functional improvements. In particular, the new laptops are equipped with 3D web camera (Intel RealSense), which offers some very interesting possibilities. Thanks to her, for example, you can use Windows Hello, one of the most advertised features of Windows 10 that provides a simple method of authentication based on face recognition of the user.
The models of Y700 equipped with 15.6 — and 17-inch displays are almost the same class, which were equipped with their predecessors from the Y50. We are talking about Full HD panels using high-quality IPS-matrix with excellent color reproduction, wide viewing angles and a matte finish.
Another very useful improvement is the presence of the NGFF slot M. 2 SSD devices – a feature sorely lacking in models of the Y50. In the case of the last options in the choice of disk subsystem is large and cheap but slow hard disk or a lightning fast SSD, but with a rather modest volume and at a much higher price. Model Y700 offer more flexibility in this regard and allow you to choose from a wide variety of combinations, including standard magnetic drive and M. 2 SSD devices of various sizes. This is a much more efficient geometry, provides the perfect balance between speed and volume that best fits your budget. If, say, now your financial capabilities are limited, you can choose the basic configuration, equipped with only a hard disk drive, and then if you decide you need more performance, you can buy M. 2 SSD a suitable volume. Prices for this type of disks is gradually reduced, while their capacity and reliability are rising, making them a great option upgrade, significantly increasing overall system performance.
Like previous models, the Y700 series notebooks have a solid variety of ports: three USB ports, HDMI video output, RJ-45 port to connect LAN cable and card reader 4 in 1. Built-in audio system provides good sound quality guaranteed by the brand JBL – two built-in speakers plus a separate bass speaker and Dolby Home Theater.
Another important improvement in the Y700 series models due to the transition to Intel’s latest (sixth) generation Skylake. The new chips boast dramatic increase in performance compared to their predecessors from the fourth (Haswell) and the fifth (Broadwell) generations, but they are characterized by high energy efficiency and hence provide a longer battery life. In terms of graphics, Lenovo once again made a bet on a chipset from NVIDIA – the GeForce GTX 960M with 4 GB of its own memory. All models are equipped with 8-16 GB of DDR4 RAM depending on configuration.
Because almost literally repeated almost all the hardware settings Y50, it is logical to assume that the performance of the models Y700 isn’t much different. To verify this, we tested a representative series of Y700 with the following characteristics:
- CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i7-6700HQ GНz 2.60/3.50 GНz
- Memory: 8 GB DDR4 2133 MHz
- Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M with 4 GB of private memory GDDR5
- Drive: 1 TB (1000 GB) 5400 rpm SATA
- Display: 15.6-inch Full HD (1920×1080) LED with IPS-matrix
In the traditional synthetic test PC Mark was chosen as the Creative scenario, which simulates the work of heavy applications for processing photos and videos, video conferencing with multiple parties at the same time and, of course, videogaming.
Given the high resolution at which testing was done, the model showed an excellent result (3472 points) – better than almost half of the achievements registered in the database Futuremark.
To validate the performance of Y700 in practice (i.e. real games), we used three quite heavy toys: Tomb Raider, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
If you follow the chronology of the issue, in aggregate, all three games can be called «a test with increasing difficulty». Tomb Raider was released in the spring of 2013 with impressive for the time graphics. Appeared 18 months later, the game Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor raised the bar on graphics demands even higher, whereas The Witcher 3 was released in the summer of 2015 and currently is the absolute standard in this respect, demonstrating the best of what modern graphics technology when creating huge, realistic, living, breathing game world.
Since the laptop is equipped with a middle class video card (GeForce GTX 960M), the display has the highest resolution (1080p), for all three games was chosen as a reasonable level of visual detail.
In Tomb Raider with High settings we were rewarded with a performance average of more than 60 frames per second – a guarantee of perfect quality and smooth game play even in the most dynamic scenes.
However, in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor limitations of the video card began to be revealed. At High settings average frames per second was just over 40 – good, but not perfect.
Finally, The Witcher 3 even at medium settings (Medium) average fps was about 35. However, even with these settings the game looks great and plays pretty well – with a few exceptions at some points when I noticed a slight lag.
A pleasant surprise was the testing of the battery. Total battery time significantly increased with 2 and a half hours of the Y50 models to almost four hours for Y700.
From the point of view of cooling the situation is almost like the previous models and fully within the range expected from a multimedia laptop of this class – the temperature under load varies in the range from 60 to 75 degrees.
Improvements in the new models of laptops from Lenovo Y are purely evolutionary, but it is in any case not means, but they are minor. In fact, the company came very wisely, retaining all the advantages of the transformed model Y the market hit a robust durable casing with extravagant design and excellent equipment characteristics. To them, Lenovo has added several small but useful improvements – the availability of slots for the installation of NGFF M. 2 SSD modern camera RealSense technology the CPUs (Skylake) and increased battery life. The result? The latest representatives in a large family of Y from Lenovo presented the already very good series of multimedia notebooks in a more favorable light.