Notebooks Guide

Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 review

Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 - An Affordable AND Powerful Gaming Notebook?

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Launch SRP S$1999

Overall rating 8.5/10
Design:
7.5
Features:
9
Performance:
9
Value:
9.5
Mobility:
7.5
THE GOOD
Adding swappable second GPU module offers GTX 675M level performance
Fantastic value
Good battery life
Decent audio with built-in subwoofer
THE BAD
Trackpad feels cheap
Some backlight bleed
Keyboard a bit mushy
Swapping of GPU module is necessary to balance battery life vs. gaming performance
More Awards:
Best Valued for MoneyMost Innovative Product


Multimedia Aspects

Multimedia Aspects



 

Display

The Y500 is fitted with a glossy 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 full HD screen. While it is running a Windows 8 OS, unfortunately, it's not a touch screen. The display is bright with good color reproduction, high contrast and decent viewing angles, although it is quite reflective, which can be annoying while gaming or watching a movie.

There is also some noticeable backlight bleed around the edges of the screen when viewing dark scenes.

While most gaming notebooks use a 17.3-inch display, we didn't have any problems with the Y500's 15.6-inch screen and, thanks to its full HD resolution, there was sufficient screen real estate for displaying in-game information.

 

Audio

Like many Lenovo notebooks, audio is provided by JBL. Overall sound quality is passable, but not particularly impressive, getting by mostly on ample amounts of volume and a reasonable level of bass thanks to a small built-in subwoofer.

 

Swapping Out The Optical Drive

Swapping out the optical drive on the Y500 is fairly easy but requires you to turn off the machine and remove the battery. Beneath the battery, a lock mechanism and a catch on the base of the notebook let you pull out the optical drive and insert the GPU module. 

Incidentally, even if you leave the lock in the battery compartment in the 'unlocked' position, the drive will still stay locked in place until you first remove the battery. 

For SLI gaming you'll also need to switch to a larger power brick (also bundled in with the Y500 package) as the original brick doesn't have enough juice to power the second GPU module. Obviously, this also means that SLI gaming on battery is impossible. We expect most users will simply use the larger power brick all the time, as the size and weight difference between the two is not significantly different.

 

Ports and Connectivity

The Y500 has a fairly comprehensive array of ports: