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Lenovo Gets Serious About Gaming With Y Series Laptops And Desktops

Lenovo has remapped its whole product line, renaming many of the devices the company sells in a massive marketing march to the next level (Skylake). One of the only remaining bastions of the old regime, the Y-Series name caught on with the online gaming community, and Lenovo has decided to keep it during its nomenclature revolution.

The new models include the ideapad Y700, ideacentre Y700, and ideacentre Y900 gaming PCs.

Lenovo has trod in the murky and often thankless waters of gaming PCs in the past, but the company made some serious efforts to breach the gaming market and has taken a new approach to the design for these products. Gone are the standard laptop chassis and constraining non-standard desktop cases, replaced with sleek and practical laptops with a look gamers will appreciate and just-as-stylish desktops that support full size ATX motherboards and other expansion options.

The ideapad Y700 has a completely new look and design, setting it apart from any of the other notebook offerings Lenovo has revealed. Red LED-backlit keys, a more efficient thermal design (the primary exhaust is in the rear of the unit) and two 2-watt JBL speakers with a 3-watt subwoofer give the Y700 some serious upgrades and appeal compared to its mainstream ideapad counterparts.

Even the Y series desktops are more tailored to gamers in their design, offering compatibility with standard ATX-sized motherboards, four drive bays for expansion, and plenty of airflow. It looks pretty cool too, with a black steel chassis and red accents.

Speaking of red, AMD is included in the refresh fun with up to an AMD A10-FX-8800P (Carrizo) processor available in the new ideapad Y700. The AMD model also offers up to an R9 4 GB GDDR5 discrete graphics card. However, this is currently the only impact the Red Team has on the Y series, but Lenovo hinted we could be seeing more AMD offerings in the gaming lineup soon.

ModelCPUStorage MemoryGraphicsConnectivityPrice
ideapad Y700 (Intel)Up to Intel Core i7 (Skylake) ProcessorUp to 1 TB HDD, Up to 512 GB SSD, Up to 1 TB + 8 GB SSHDUp to 16 GB DDR4Up to Nvidia Geforce GTX 960M 4 GB GDDR5LAN 1000 M, Up to Dual- Band 802.11ac Wi-FI, and Bluetooth 4.0Starts at $799
ideapad Y700 (AMD)Up to an AMD A10-FX-8800P (Carrizo) ProcessorUp to 1 TB HDD + 512 GB SSDUp to 16 GB DDR3LUp to AMD R9 4 GB GDDR5LAN 1000 M, Up to Dual- Band 802.11ac Wi-FI, and Bluetooth 4.0Starts at $949
ideacentre Y700Up to Intel Core i7 (Skylake) ProcessorUp to 2 TB SSHD, Up to 256 GB SSDUp to 32 GB DDR4 (4 DIMM Slots)Up to Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4 GDDR5Dual-Band  802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 (M.2)Starts at $999
ideacentre Y900Up to Intel Core i7 Unlocked (Skylake "K") ProcessorUp to 2 TB SSHD, Up to 256 GB SSD, Up to 256 GB M.2 PCIe SSDUp to 64 GB DDR4 (4 DIMM Slots)Up to Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 4 GB GDDR5Dual-Band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 (M.2)Starts at $1,599

The ideapad Y700 comes mostly in 15-inch models, but Lenovo also offers a 17-inch Intel-only version that offers up to a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display. AMD variants of the Y700 support up to Full HD as well, but the 15-inch Intel models also offer up to UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS screens. 15-inch Intel models can also optionally feature an Intel RealSense 3D camera or a multi-point touchscreen.

At Lenovo's product briefing in NYC, I could not help but spend some time on the ideacentre Y700. As I was playing a demo of GTA V, the hardware under the hood of the Y700 was enough to keep the gameplay of the new AAA title at a buttery-smooth 60 FPS at very high settings. The ideacentre Y900 only increased the eye candy from there, enabling the same amazingly smooth performance at even higher settings.

The ideapads were equally impressive with their weight, feature set and performance. Even the 17-inch model was extremely lightweight for its size, to the point where I asked if it was a working unit or just an empty demo shell. I found myself quite surprised when it booted up.

Lenovo kept the product line for its game-centric models small compared to other market segments, providing adequate testimony that quality is better than quantity with the Y Series ideapads and ideacentres.

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  • beoza
    These don't look too bad. The Ideacentre tower actually looks pretty decent, it's not over the top like some cases can be, and I like the carbon fiber look on the front panel. Would be nice to see them offer some different accent colors besides the over used black red scheme.
    Reply
  • Cryio
    I would take the Carizzo over the Skylake-U laptop any day.

    Better drivers, better efficiency, better iGPU performance.
    Reply
  • Pedasc
    I would take the Carizzo over the Skylake-U laptop any day.

    Better drivers, better efficiency, better iGPU performance.

    From the looks of this they are using discrete graphics on both laptops. I don't think either iGPU could be used in a "gaming" laptop.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    These don't look too bad. The Ideacentre tower actually looks pretty decent, it's not over the top like some cases can be, and I like the carbon fiber look on the front panel. Would be nice to see them offer some different accent colors besides the over used black red scheme.

    Agreed. Lenovo has got some pretty nice pre builts now.
    Reply
  • Intel999
    I wonder why the AMD offering is priced $150 more than the Intel Skylake/NVIDIA option. Especially, considering that the Intel machine has a more expensive screen.

    Is Carrizo in such high demand that AMD has pricing power? Seems unlikely. Or is this Lenovo's solution to the industry mandate issued by Intel which is "I don't care what you have to do, but you do what you have to do to make sure our tech sells better"
    Reply