Hands-On And First Impressions
[Editor's Note: The following content is intended to be a first look, with some hands-on impressions and a few benchmarks. We will be conducting full reviews of gaming laptops soon enough, with a battery of exhaustive tests, including more thorough benchmarks (we're currently revamping our benchmark suite), and deeper analysis. But we wanted to get some of the newer models into the lab for some early testing.]
Lenovo's Ideapad line caters to a multimedia-oriented audience, and the Y series targets entry-level gaming for those on a more modest budget. The new 15-inch Lenovo Ideapad Y700 Touch model fills this role splendidly.
Not only does the Y700-15 Touch fit the aesthetic of a gaming laptop, it also has the specs to match. The system's black and red color scheme complements its aggressive angles, and will likely appeal to enthusiasts without going overboard and scaring away the layperson. The Y700-15 Touch features a brushed aluminum exterior, which looks great, but attracts fingerprints more than we like to see.
Upon my initial unboxing, I saw Lenovo's new logo emblazoned on the Y700-15 Touch's chassis. The design is simplistic yet inviting. Perhaps the change reflects Lenovo's willingness to appeal to a wider audience, though I'm sure it will be a point of contention for many of the company's fans.
The ten-point touch screen is incredibly responsive, and although I tend to use a mouse when it's available, I found myself using the touch-sensitive panel more often than usual. This could be due to the trackpad's construction, however (I'll get to that in a moment).
While using the touch screen, I was initially bothered when the hinge kept shaking, but this artifact lessened over time as I made my screen tapping less pronounced. It was all a matter of growing accustomed to using the touch screen, because the display hinge is otherwise very sturdy.
The default resolution on the Y700-15 Touch's IPS display is 1920x1080. Lenovo opted for an anti-glare screen, which for the most part is effective. But don't be misled. Anti-glare does not mean matte. Unfortunately, as with any touch device, fingerprints will be an issue, and while I personally prefer matte displays, a glossy touch screen is much easier to keep clean.
One of my biggest gripes with the display is not so much the panel itself, but the laptop's construction, which allows keyboard marks to appear on the screen. The marks can be cleaned easily. However, neglecting this may lead to issues in the future. I suggest leaving a sheet of paper or film on top of the keyboard while the laptop is closed. The cloth Lenovo ships the laptop with works well.
Speaking of the keyboard, anyone who has had the pleasure of using a Lenovo laptop in the past will be relieved to hear that the Y700-15 Touch provides a typing experience similar to its predecessors. The best way to describe this would be comparing it to a fully-fledged membrane keyboard as opposed to a chiclet keyboard. The tactile feedback is satisfying, evading the mushiness I encounter all too often, even on high-end laptops.
The laptop's trackpad is mediocre. The tracking accuracy is nothing to write home about, but this alone isn't much to complain about. My major issue with the trackpad is how unevenly it clicks. While the actuation point (the point at which clicks are registered) is uniform throughout the trackpad, the actual stopping point (or the point at which the trackpad cannot be pressed any further) did not share that uniform quality.
When clicking the top half of the trackpad, you'll find that you won't have to travel much further to reach the stopping point. However, the bottom half of the trackpad has an uncomfortably low stopping point. Pressing the trackpad this far may allow small particles such as dust and debris to get stuck underneath it. In any case, clicking with the trackpad is unsatisfying, which might be why I used the touch screen in most cases.