We’ve had plenty of gaming laptops here in the labs but as I’ve always pointed out in many discussions and fan questions regarding laptop recommendations, I always stick to just a pair of brands. One of those brands is Lenovo and despite the fact that the company has yet to put out or go all out in creating a dedicated gaming line, their IdeaPad series of notebooks definitely pack plenty of gaming creds to satisfy anyone not looking to bring a gaudy, brightly-colored “gaming” laptop around. For this review, we’ll be checking out the Lenovo Y510P from the IdeaPad notebook series.
In the off-chance that you have to ask who or what Lenovo is, they just happen to be a company that manufactures laptops, servers and recently; mobile phones. Lenovo has a large global operation spanning multiple countries and are notable for their products’Â good build quality and good price:performance balance.
Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P Details
Intel® CoreTM i7-4700MQ processor
Â (2.4GHz/1600MHz/6MB L3 Cache)
Windows 8.1 / Windows 8
Nvidia GeForce GT755M GDDR5 2GB /
Nvidia GeForce GT750M 2G (SLI)
15.6″ FHD LED GLARE (WEDGE)
6-cell Li-ion Battery
Ultrabay – Dial up your laptop’s performance with this interchangeable bay that can be instantly swapped out for dual graphics capability, increased storage space or an additional fan for cooling.
Intelligent Touchpad – Optimized for the new Windows 8 interface, the intelligent touchpad enables easy scroll, zoom and rotate functions for comfortable control of your laptop.
NVIDIA® GeForce® Graphics with Optional Dual Graphics Card Support – Standard with up to NVIDIA® GeForceÂ® GT 750M 2GB graphics, this laptop lets you add a second card with NVIDIAÂ® SLI technology (sold separately) using the Ultrabay to generate up to 1.6 times more frame rate performance.
Premium JBL® Speakers with Dolby® Home Theater® v4 – Increased audio clarity and maximized volume output without distortion: enjoy a crisp, clear immersive surround sound experience over built-in JBL®-designed stereo speakers or your own headphones.
S/PDIF Support – If you opt for digital sound output, you can rely on Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format (S/PDIF) to minimize audio loss.
Cool-Touch Metal Design – The brushed-metal exterior and metal speaker grilles give this laptop a high-performance look and feel to match the powerful components inside.
Backlit Accutype Keyboard – The AccuType keyboard boasts a modern look and feel with flatter, slightly curved keys that improve your comfort while increasing typing accuracy. And the standard backlighting makes typing easy in low-light conditions.
Always-On USB Port – Recharge a mobile device even when the laptop is powered off and unplugged.
Integrated 720p HD Webcam and Dual Digital Array Microphones – Crystal-clear video and audio, plus face-tracking, will help you chat with friends and family like you’re really there.
Lenovo Cloud Storage – Protect your critical data, while also making access to information and file-sharing quick and convenient. Automatically back-up and synchronize data across your home, while enabling access from multiple devices. Data is encrypted on transfer, for an extra level of security.
Fast Data Transfer – Move data quickly between your laptop and other devices with USB 3.0, which enables up to ten times faster file transfer “ allowing for lightning-fast copying of large media files as well as seamless connections between audio- and video-related peripherals. Or share your data wirelessly via optional BluetoothÂ®.
HDMI Output – For easy connection to a television or other display.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P features the classic IdeaPad design. If you’ve ever seen one even on the displays at any concept store, you will likely agree with me that it doesn’t hold anything unique in terms of chassis design. The svelt graphite upper shell lined withÂ black brushed metal is both endearing and subtle, exuding a tame luxuriousness.Â Unlike the lower-tier IdeaPads though, the Y510P manages to insert some aggressiveness to its body, with subtle tapered edges lining the sides of the top shell.
Flipping the unit over, we can see that Lenovo is embracing the closed-off body that Intel and Apple have been promoting in the past, going with a closed-off unibody without any user-serviceable access. The main point of interest here besides the battery slot is the long vent lining the middle part of the lower half of the IdeaPad Y510P. Other than that, we can see a Windows sticker denoting the compatibility of this model.
Checking out the sides of the Lenovo Y510P, we go over to the left andÂ see the business end of this unit featuring most of the connectivities you will get with this unit: two(2) USB3.0 ports, an HDMI and VGA port for multimedia output, and an ethernet port. Going past the lengthy exhaust vent we have the DC jack and finally we see a tiny button: this is the Lenovo OneKey Recovery button which when pressed down will reset the system and enter recovery mode. Recovery mode allows the user to reset the system or restore from a backup if and when you encounter user problems and you feel that this is the only solution.
Looking over to theÂ right, we have less I/O options with a sole USB2.0 port for your mouse and this port featuresÂ the LenovoÂ always-on function for charging mobile devices off of the Lenovo Y510P and other similar units. Audio jacks are also along this side. If you’ve read the feature sheet up top you’d notice the term Ultra Bay and that large exhaust is just what it is. The Lenovo Ultrabay feature allows users to swap-out accessories and components without cracking the unit open. The Lenovo Y510P model we’re looking at features a second NVIDIA GT750M GPU in the Ultrabay, effectively giving us SLI mode in its sub-1″ frame.
The Y510P is powered off a conservative 6-cell lithium-ion battery which is obviously a tradeoff for size versus uptime. We’ll talk about this in detail later.
Opening up the chassis we now get to feast on the unit. First up, we see the 15.6″ screen capable of 1080p display for a full HD experience. The screen is a glossy type and its really prone to glaring. If you work indoors, this should be no problem but some situations especially when outdoors will really give you a hard viewing time, although I don’t imagine anyone using this out in the open, sun shining, exhaust blazing. That would be an easy way to kill your laptop and get heat-stroke.
Whilst the Lenovo Y510P won’t hold a candle to most gaming laptop in terms of overall presentation, it does manage to get some gamer cred with its keyboard. The chiclet keys are lined with red trims on the side and at certain angles, definitely looks sinister giving off an aura of swag without the tacky gaudiness of most “gaming” laptops. The Lenovo Y510P’s keyboard is also fully backlit, elevating its sinister levels to badass/cool status. In terms of feel and performance, the keyboard layout is nice and standard with the Home/End/DelÂ keygroup shoved up-top and the cursor keys clustered together with the Numpad but not cramming it like a TKL giving it a more functional layout for productivity and macro-recording.
The LED backlit screen is plentyÂ bright atÂ 280cd/mÂ² with a contrast ratio of 700:1 but nothing that really says mind-blowing. Viewing angle is good but colors are too vivid and skin tones a tad bit washed-out. If you’re watching movies on this thing, it can get a bit tiring on the eyes at full brightness but for games, its up to what type of genre you play, the art style it uses and your personal taste. Users can tailor the screen colors of the Lenovo Y510P via the NVIDIA Control Panel.
On the left corner are the status display and a single SD card reader slot. You can see the features stickers on the left side of the unit also highlighting some of the key features of the Y510P.
Rounding out the package of the Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P is a 170W power brick which is pretty big and bulky.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P is powered by a 4th-generation Intel Core i7 4700MQ quad-core processor featuring HyperThreading. The processor runs at a rating of 2.4Ghz but will happily hover around 3.2Ghz and has a max turbo clock of 3.4Ghz depending on the workload. Our test unit came in with a single stick of 8GB DDR3-1600 memory but options for 16GB is available.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P features dual NVIDIA GeForce GT750M, with the other GPU loaded via the UltraBay slot. When disabled, the GPU runs on single GPU mode and you can enable Optimus technology to save battery. Remember to install the Intel HD drivers for maximum performance.
In dual-GPU mode, the Lenovo Y510P is a beast in hiding.
The GTX750M features a 941MHz base clock and can Turbo Boost up to 967Mhz. This is complemented byÂ 5000Mhz effective of 2GB GDDR5 memory on 128bit bus. Put SLI in the mix and you’ve got some promising numbers for supported titles.
If you are having problems with SLI not enabled on the Lenovo Y510P, please see update the VBIOS to the latest version. The official support page lists information about this for more details and download.
Single GPU runs only
Temperature & Battery Life
As seen on our screen above in the GPU section, we can see that the laptop has a very warm idle temps of around 56*C for the GPU and this is somewhat bothersome especially if you’re gonna do some lengthy usage on your lap. Peak temps would see the unit really spiking up the 75-80’ish range, thankfully though the cooling system does a good job of keep this the system from overheating but the exhaust vents really take a beating.
The 6-cell battery pack that the Lenovo Y510P packs is as mentioned a bit underwhelming but this is an understandable dilemma and Lenovo has chosen to go with portability rather than pack on a few more pounds in exchange for more battery life. In standby, the unit can go on past a full day thanks to the power saving features. Moving on to light usage such as browsing, word processing, etc. we see a good 4-5 hours of juice. Moving on to gaming, we managed to pump out 1 to 1 1/2 hours of gaming depending on the game. Of course, graphics intensive titles will wither the battery away faster. When gaming for extended periods, we recommend keeping the power brick close by or plugged in always.
User Experience & Conclusion
For all its specs, the Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P hides underneath a veil of subtlety. Its not branded as a gaming laptop nor does it bill itself as one: no gaudy color schemes, nonsensical co-branding or illuminated logos. Its as discrete as you can get in this price segment. Now I’m a PC Master Race brethren, I pride myself over my desktop builds and my competitive nature demands the best that I can get. Barring the fact that I prefer desktops, there is and will always be that urge for me to game on the go. Whether it be at a coffee place or a friend’s house, I gotta have it.
Now I know some of my buds (shout-out to ZeroFour) and some others asking me for laptop recommendations for Diablo III. With Diablo III Reaper of Souls out, pretty sure you guys are back asking the same question:Â What laptop should I get for Diablo III: Reaper of Souls?
Seeing as we got the Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P on hand, let’s take it for a spin in the digital realm of terror. We fire up Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on the Y510P on both SLI and single GPU configuration, all details settings maxed.
We go straight to Act IV where there’s plenty more action as we drive towards the High Heaven to fight with the Prime Evil. Check out the FPS stats below:
In single GPU mode, we’re getting a highly playable 52FPS at maximum detail settings with every bit of eye candy turned-up including anti-aliasing. Putting it into high gear by enabling SLI we get an incredible 81FPS average.Â This smooth experience is uniform amongst the entire game giving it a butter smooth feel even at the most hectic situations. If the Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P was a Diablo III character, its a barbarian feeding off fury from enemy kills dumping it out as performance as it chops down D3:ROS like it was a 2D indie game.
Overall, the experience was butter smooth. The Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P handled Diablo III well and delivered nicely without holding back.Â DOTA2 was also in the playlistÂ with maximum in-game details at Full HD resolution. Check out the FPS comparison below:
So let’s wrap this up. Here’s how we break it down:
Performance. Packing a fully HyperThreaded quad-core 4th-gen Core i7, the Lenovo IdeaPad Y510 isn’t any processing slouch. This system will easily handle video encoding tasks as well as other CPU intensive workloads including games and not hold you back. With gaming, you get the extraÂ oomphÂ by having a dual-GPU system or fall back to single-GPU and enjoy longer battery life. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls got its soul reaped by the IdeaPad Y510P. Not all is sunny though, the lack of an SSD option holds back the Y510P from unleashing its full potential and the absence of a dual-band Wi-Fi antenna will disappoint owners of high-speed dual-band home routers.
Build Quality. Lenovo has seriously outdone itself with the IdeaPad Y510P. Its solid build construction is notable in the unit and there is just a really premium feel to it. The brushed, dark aluminium finish complements Lenovo’s crafstmanship closed or open, the Y510P speaks for itself when held. Lenovo has kept the I/O options to the bare essentials and these are all well placed intuitively in their locations. The cooling solution is also well built, managing to dispense heat from the system and user. There are still room for improvements though as the unit still manages to get quite warm after prolonged usage. A cooling pad is highly recommended for extended usage periods especially when gaming. The system is also quite hefty at just under 3KGs. This is something you carry with a backpack and not a sazzy shoulder sling. We’re going to overlook the weight though as it does pack quite the power for all that heft and given that it manages to fit that into the relatively small frame.
Functionality. Lenovo’s UltraBay solution presents itself as an innovative way to provide the limited form factor with an extended array of features. This gives the Lenovo Y510P an impressive range of flexibility at what you can do with it. That is already a nice bonus as you basically get a fully decked out notebook capable of delivering high-performance as needed with its fast CPU and multi-GPU option. Perform professional tasks like video encoding and photo editing while you game during your off times all with the same unit. Hook it up to your home theatre setup via HDMI.
Value. Priced at Php69,995, the Lenovo IdePad Y510P is in the high-end segment of the market. In this segment, it goes against premium, mostly “gaming” branded notebooks from competing brands. While some of the competing models feature a higher-specced GTX765M or an SSD, the Lenovo Y510P evens the game with its SLI configuration which easily hovers over GTX770M territory. Given that you can swap out this feature, you’re not weighed down by a powerful GPU during idle modes which keeps your battery juice last longer.
In closing, the Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P offers an extremely good set of features for the price. A very powerful mobile CPU complemented by a powerful multi-GPU solution assembled in a well-built frame and you have the foundation of a reliable, mobile workstation for work and as your gaming battle-station during your off times. Our gaming experience with the Y510P especially with Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is truly exhilarating.
If you are looking for a gaming laptop that won’t stick out like a sore thumb in the workplace or public yet still give you so much flexibility in terms of function and power, the Lenovo Y510P offers an extensive list of reason why its the best choice out right now.
Lenovo backs the IdeaPad Y510P with a 2-year warranty and we give it our B2G Silver Award and B2G Performance Award.