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Lenovo Finally Ships its First 4K Laptop

By - Source: Computerworld | B 18 comments

Image: LenovoImage: LenovoAfter months of delays, Lenovo finally shipped its very first 4K laptop, the IdeaPad Y50 UHD. There are actually two models: one for $1,299 and the other for $1,599, the latter of which relies on larger VRAM, memory and an SSD.

The specs show that this laptop offers a 15.6-inch UHD LED-lit screen with a 3840 x 2160 resolution. This screen is backed by an Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor, 8 GB of DDR3L memory, and a hybrid SSHD with 8 GB of SSD cache and 1 TB of HDD storage. The graphics are handled by a discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M GPU with 2 GB of VRAM.

Wireless N and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, a 720p webcam, a backlit AccuType keyboard, premium JBL speakers and a battery promising up to 5 hours of Wi-Fi browsing are also included. Ports include two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, a headphone/mic combo jack, HDMI output, a 4-in-1 card reader, Ethernet and SPDIF. An optical drive is not included.

The more expensive version of the IdeaPad Y50 UHD features a Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M GPU with 4 GB of VRAM. The laptop also packs 16 GB of DDR3L memory and a single 512 GB SSD.

Image: ToshibaImage: ToshibaLenovo's new laptop is similar to Toshiba's Satellite P50T, which also sports a 3840 x 2160 resolution on a 15.6-inch screen. Toshiba's solution, costing $1,499.99, includes an Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor, 16 GB of DDR3L memory, AMD's Radeon R9 M265X GPU, and a 1 TB hard drive.

Included in Toshiba's laptop: a Blu-ray writer, dual-band Wireless AC and Bluetooth connectivity, DTS sound and a non-removable 4-cell Lithium ion battery promising just over 3 hours on a single charge. Ports consist of four USB 3.0, HDMI output, Gigabit Ethernet, an SD card reader, headphone and microphone jacks.

Toshiba's more expensive solution, costing $1,629.99, uses Intel's Core i7-4700HD processor. This version also supplies a DVD burner.

Both Toshiba Satellite P50T laptops are expected to ship on July 14, 2014, and feature Windows 8.1. Meanwhile, Lenovo's 4K solution is available now.

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  • 0 Hide
    Dblkk , July 14, 2014 8:53 AM
    Would this be the Maxwell or keplar version of the 860m? I'm guessing keplar? Which is a shame, the Maxwell 860m is such a nicer gpu, same performance fraction power consumption and less heat.
    If the msi gs ghost would've used the 860m Maxwell, it would've been the perfect laptop! Though its still great, but that would've pushed it from 4 to 5 stars in my book.
  • 8 Hide
    zanny , July 14, 2014 9:36 AM
    Quote:
    2 GB of VRAM for 4K? HA. Yeah okay.


    A 4k framebuffer is only 300MB. So even triple buffering only uses 1GB of vram. Regardless of vram density you won't run modern titles on a 860M at 4k without using either really low poly counts or significantly stunted fps.
  • 5 Hide
    icemunk , July 14, 2014 9:48 AM
    Quote:
    2 GB of VRAM for 4K? HA. Yeah okay.


    lol, it's not like you're going to be running many newer games at 4K with a 860m. That chip is decent for a laptop, but it still only gets 20-30 frames at 1920X1080 on newer games.. up that to the 4K, and you'll be 1/4th at.. 4-6 frames per second. lol.
  • -4 Hide
    coolitic , July 14, 2014 10:25 AM
    4k on 15.6 inch laptop? That is pointless and a waste of performance/money.
  • 1 Hide
    nukemaster , July 14, 2014 10:47 AM
    So we get to use dpi scaling on day to day programs and Windows DPI scaling is not the great. Somethings look great, but others just look much less sharp. Some programs even do not run right or have other issues with DPI scaling.

    This is a case of technology that may be best left to larger screens.

    It is the megapixel war all over again.
  • 0 Hide
    hannibal , July 14, 2014 1:51 PM
    It improves the the text reading from the laptop screen so this is good upgrade! This is not for gaming, this is for work usage. I have win8.1 with DPI scaling and it work well in all office applications and other important programs too!
    But a Maxwell based GPU would be quite nice because it would eat less energy when in light usage!
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 14, 2014 2:37 PM
    Quote:
    It improves the the text reading from the laptop screen so this is good upgrade! This is not for gaming, this is for work usage. I have win8.1 with DPI scaling and it work well in all office applications and other important programs too!
    But a Maxwell based GPU would be quite nice because it would eat less energy when in light usage!

    Might not be intended for gaming, but those specs say it can do a pretty good job anyway.
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , July 14, 2014 3:40 PM
    What is 3840 x 2160 x 32? That's about 32MB. Each buffer will be about that large. I really don't think Laptops are ready for that yet. MSI uses 3K displays, but pairs them with sufficient graphics horsepower. I don't see this being the case. I don't see the GTS860M being capable of 8 million pixel operations a frame.
  • 0 Hide
    Solandri , July 14, 2014 5:18 PM
    Quote:
    Would this be the Maxwell or keplar version of the 860m? I'm guessing keplar? Which is a shame, the Maxwell 860m is such a nicer gpu, same performance fraction power consumption and less heat.

    Dunno about the Toshiba, but the Lenovo uses the Maxwell 860m. So far I've only seen the Kepler 860m in laptops where the 870m is also available as an option. The 870m is Kepler-only, and apparently using the Kepler 860m allows manufacturers to use it as a drop-in replacement part for the lower-end laptop. But freed from that constraint, manufacturers seem to be using the Maxwell 860m.
  • 0 Hide
    willie nugs , July 14, 2014 9:20 PM
    The Lenovo IdeaPad comes with 802.11AC, not N like you stated in the article... thank goodness
  • 0 Hide
    Raheel Hasan , July 15, 2014 12:34 AM
    I dont know why people talk about gaming when this is a laptop. There are other app also which benefit from 4k resolution.
  • 1 Hide
    ingtar33 , July 15, 2014 7:28 AM
    I'm not sure you can even see 4k resolution on a 15" laptop... not unless it's 5" from your face anyway.

    what a silly product.

    and there will be no gaming in 4k on a 860m gpu. they need that just to play movies, or you know... web surf in 4k.
  • 0 Hide
    airborne11b , July 15, 2014 8:40 AM
    It's sad that so many people on Tom's forums claim to be hardware experts, yet can't understand that you can adjust PC game's resolution from the option menu lol.

    Maybe when gaming on this thing in a new AAA title, they just drop the resolution down to 1920x1080. If they're playing a 2D game that isn't a performance hog, they can crank it up to 4k. They can watch 4k video on the laptop with no problem as well and text would be a bit clearer to read when doing work or surfing webpages.

    All these scenarios work with the 860m on this laptop.

    Frankly the only valid argument anyone has made in this comment section is the fact that 4k on a 15" screen is creating an extremely high and possibly* unnecessary PPI. The PPI of this device is 282 and that means this becomes retina-quality (as good as the human eye can see) at a 12 inch distance from your face.

    When I program on my laptop I generally have my face about 18 inches away from my face. 2560 x 1440 on a screen this size would create retina quality at about 18 inches away, so you could make the argument that it's slightly overkill on the PPI. However, how much money would they save if this 15" laptop panel was 2560 x 1440 or 3k, instead of this 4k panel? Probably not much, and numbers do sell. Why buy a comparable specced $1199 laptop with a 1440p or 3k screen when you can buy a similar 4k screened laptop for $1299?

    Hell this 4k screened Lenovo is the cheapest 15" gaming laptop on newegg and has a higher resolution screen than the more expensive MSi models about it lol.

    Just saying, think before you post please.
  • 0 Hide
    Foseph Jerschke , July 15, 2014 1:53 PM
    Anyone that buys this clearly has more money than sense.
  • 0 Hide
    razzb3d , July 15, 2014 4:32 PM
    How about you wait for mobile GPUs to catch up to 1080p performance and then release 4K displays for laptops. An 880m is barely able to push 30fps in Crysis 3 on ultra / 1080p + some AA and 35-40 in Far Cry 3. If you try to run that on a 4K display witch is basically double the resolution, you get less then half that, performance, forcing you to drop image quality or downscale to 1080p.

    Apparently few people realize that running anything less then an LCDs native resolution results in horrible blurry image quality witch no amount of AA can fix.

    MAKE STRONGER MOBILE GPUs BEFORE PUTTING SHIT LIKE THIS ON LAPTOPS!

    Seriously, if you want a gaming laptop, your best choices are the 880m witch has nothing to do with the Desktop GTX 780 or upcoming GTX 880. The 880m (mobile) has the same cuda core count as the desktop GTX 680 and 770 (1536), and performs worse then the desktop GTX 760 due to head / power constraints.

    The HD 7970m / 8970m / R9M 290x are all exactly the same card, mind you the latter ones got a clock boost to 900MHz - and have nothing to do, neither performance or specification wise with theor Desktop counterparts. They are in fact a dumbed down HD 7870 / R9 270x, but perform way worse due to bad driver support, heat and power constraints.

    Juts come up with another MXM standard, one that supplies better power (up to 200w would be preferable - vs the 100W MXM 3.0 B currently gets) and put better cooling in laptops. (has anyone ever considered putting a small watercooling sistem in high-end gaming laptops like the Alienware MX18? God know there's enough room if you use a custom radiator....
  • 0 Hide
    ingtar33 , July 15, 2014 8:35 PM
    Quote:
    It's sad that so many people on Tom's forums claim to be hardware experts, yet can't understand that you can adjust PC game's resolution from the option menu lol.

    Maybe when gaming on this thing in a new AAA title, they just drop the resolution down to 1920x1080. If they're playing a 2D game that isn't a performance hog, they can crank it up to 4k. They can watch 4k video on the laptop with no problem as well and text would be a bit clearer to read when doing work or surfing webpages.

    All these scenarios work with the 860m on this laptop.

    Frankly the only valid argument anyone has made in this comment section is the fact that 4k on a 15" screen is creating an extremely high and possibly* unnecessary PPI. The PPI of this device is 282 and that means this becomes retina-quality (as good as the human eye can see) at a 12 inch distance from your face.

    When I program on my laptop I generally have my face about 18 inches away from my face. 2560 x 1440 on a screen this size would create retina quality at about 18 inches away, so you could make the argument that it's slightly overkill on the PPI. However, how much money would they save if this 15" laptop panel was 2560 x 1440 or 3k, instead of this 4k panel? Probably not much, and numbers do sell. Why buy a comparable specced $1199 laptop with a 1440p or 3k screen when you can buy a similar 4k screened laptop for $1299?

    Hell this 4k screened Lenovo is the cheapest 15" gaming laptop on newegg and has a higher resolution screen than the more expensive MSi models about it lol.

    Just saying, think before you post please.


    have you run an lcd at lower then native resolution? often the picture gets distorted or the image gets fuzzy. on a laptop with this many pixels i imagine the image would get pretty fuzzy.

    no... this is just another case of a hardware manufacturer using a tech "buzz" word (in this case 4k) to sell an overpriced and under performing laptop, while making people pay a premium for it as well. they do this a LOT with "gaming" laptops. many of which sport monitors with native resolutions well beyond the power for their onboard video card. Frankly, as another posted so accurately stated, 1080p is out of the range of all but a few mobile gpus.
  • 0 Hide
    Solandri , July 16, 2014 7:40 AM
    Quote:
    Frankly the only valid argument anyone has made in this comment section is the fact that 4k on a 15" screen is creating an extremely high and possibly* unnecessary PPI. The PPI of this device is 282 and that means this becomes retina-quality (as good as the human eye can see) at a 12 inch distance from your face.

    "Retina" is a marketing term, and is meaningless since it refers to a linear measurement, not an angular one. 20/20 vision is the ability to resolve a line pair spaced one arc-minute apart. If you do the math, this translates into almost exactly 300 dpi when viewed from 2 feet (about the distance you hold a sheet of paper when reading, or coincidentally, view a laptop screen). That's the reason printers target 300 dpi for text (higher dpi is used for halftoning with black toner dots to create greyscales).

    150 dpi is "good enough" for most applications, but 300 dpi is really what you should be targeting. I used to print out my photos (on the big $20k photo printers Costco uses for film processing), and there's a definite quality improvement going from 150 dpi to 300 dpi. The only thing that's different about a computer screen (other than ppi vs dpi) is that sub-pixel rendering of fonts (e.g. ClearType) somewhat diminishes the need for higher ppi. But subpixel rendering only works in one axis since subpixels are almost always laid out with RGB in a row.

    (Subpixel rendering is creating white pixels by lighting up red, green, and blue from adjacent pixels. e.g. if you look at two pixels, a white pixel can only be in two positions - RGBrgb and rgbRGB. Subpixel rendering allows the white pixel to also be located in two additional intermediate positions - RGBrgb, rGBRgb, rgBRGb, and rgbRGB.)
  • 0 Hide
    5point1 , July 22, 2014 6:38 PM
    I've just been comparing the spec's between Lenovo’s latest IdeaPad Y50 UHD and Toshiba’s newest Satellite P50T-B-10K UHD laptop. The Lenovo appears to be supplied with 16 GB of DDR3L memory in the U.S., but I notice that it has NO optical drive whatsoever.

    The Toshiba P50T unusually boasts a Blu-ray Disc™ Rewriteable (BD-RE) and DVD SuperMulti drive, which in total supports 16 formats.

    However the Toshiba P50T sacrifices a few brownie points by stupidly supplying a *NON-REMOVABLE Lithium ion battery (*dumb move, ala MacBook Pro !), although admittedly this laptop has a genuinely wonderful Premium Frameless white Backlit (LED) Raised Tile Keyboard with 10-Keypad (black), which is the same as on my wife's excellent Toshiba Satellite S70-A-11H 17.3" notebook.

    I completely fail to understand why the IdeaPad Y50 employs a miserly 720p webcam, especially considering its premium price and high-end UHD screen, although admittedly the Toshiba’s 0.9mp Web Cam (with built-in microphone) is not much better in this respect !

    The P50T intelligently has separate headphone and microphone jacks, but regrettably Lenovo’s designers decided to fit the IdeaPad Y50 with a dreadful cost-cutting combo headphone/mic jack, which is one of my pet hates and personally a deal-breaker for me.

    The Lenovo cuts more corners by only fitting two USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port, whereas the Toshiba has generously kitted out the P50T laptop with a full complement of 4 x USB 3.0 ports, one of which has USB Sleep and Charge capabilities.

    I am not remotely interested in playing computer games and am simply looking for a fast well-specified laptop with a UHD screen, primarily for manipulating digital SLR photographs and editing 4K video footage, so at this point in time, I believe that the Toshiba Satellite S70-A-11H currently seems to offer me a better overall specification than the Lenovo IdeaPad Y50 does !

    I just wish that Toshiba had chosen to use a slightly larger 17.3" screen with its larger chassis, which would have enabled buyers to opt for both a fast SSD as well as a conventional large capacity hybrid hard drive, instead of having to decide on one or the other !

    Richard
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