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Lenovo Ideapad Y700-17 Gaming Laptop First Look

Hands-On And First Impressions

Lenovo Ideapad Y700-17 LaptopView Deal

[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.]

When we first started telling laptop vendors about our plans to do quick looks at some of their gaming models, Lenovo contacted us immediately to offer two of its Y700 systems. Our first look at the 15-inch Y700 Touch 
is already up. Unlike that system, the one we're presenting today is a 17-inch version without a touch-capable display.

Specifications

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Size discrepancy between the Y700-17 and Y700-15

The Ideapad Y700-17 80Q0001NUS is the Y700-15's bigger brother, boasting lots of extra screen space. Besides the larger chassis, it appears virtually identical. That's a good thing since the Y700-17 bears the same solid construction and aggressive design. However, the same weaknesses also plague the Y700-17.

Display

The Y700-17 sports a 1920x1080 LED back-lit IPS panel with an anti-glare coating. It looks similar to the Y700-15 Touch's display, aside from that model's touch support, of course. Lenovo could have set the Y700-17 apart by adding a matte layer, and at a price of $1,350, I would have liked to see a more compelling differentiator than just extra screen space.

Similar to the Y700-15, our Y700-17 sample gets keyboard marks on its display. This can easily be prevented by leaving a sheet of paper between the keyboard and panel when the laptop is closed. But we'd prefer if it didn't happen at all.

Input Devices

Lenovo's chiclet keyboards are known to provide a satisfying tactile feedback that mimics what you'd get from a desktop membrane keyboard. The quality of a laptop's keyboard is crucial in determining its overall utility; all too often, laptop vendors implement keyboards that have a mushy tactile response or flimsy keys.

Lenovo once again goes above and beyond that standard by delivering an enjoyable typing experience. The keyboard, which is identical across the Y700 family (except the tenkeyless Y700-14), features red accented keys and backlighting. Lenovo's keyboard is frankly one of the features I look forward to testing on all of its models, and I enjoyed the Y700-17's thoroughly.

Unfortunately, with that great keyboard you get the same lackluster trackpad. If only Lenovo put as much emphasis on this component. In my previous Lenovo Ideapad Y700-15 Touch commentary, I had issues with the trackpad while clicking. The Y700-17 experience is no different.

The trackpad has a uniform actuation point and an uneven stopping point, which feels unpleasant. Additionally, you have to worry about small particles getting stuck beneath the trackpad while clicking. In this case, instead of using the trackpad, I'd recommend a mouse. Lenovo could have included its popular TrackPoint.

Lenovo Ideapad Y700-17 LaptopView Deal
  • MailDeadDrop
    I'm disappointed this is another 17" 1080p display. Why aren't there more 1280p or 1440p offerings in 17" form factors? I'm not asking for 4K (that's just silly), but a *little* more resolution like 2048x1280 or 2560x1440 would be nice.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    17432439 said:
    I'm disappointed this is another 17" 1080p display. Why aren't there more 1280p or 1440p offerings in 17" form factors? I'm not asking for 4K (that's just silly), but a *little* more resolution like 2048x1280 or 2560x1440 would be nice.

    I believe it's because of the GPU inside of this laptop. The 960m isn't powerful, 1080P is the max resolution it can game at well. Crank it to 2k and you'll have to put details down to medium.

    However I do agree with 2k panels on higher end laptops with 980Ms. Especially laptops with a 980 inside of them, it doesn't make sense to stick with 1080P.
    Reply
  • hst101rox
    Yeah only benefit is for playing ultra HD movies on a laptop not equipped with a 980/980m.
    Reply
  • x3style
    Unfortunately, with that great keyboard you get the same lackluster trackpad. If only Lenovo put as much emphasis on this component. In my previous Lenovo Ideapad Y700-15 Touch commentary, I had issues with the trackpad while clicking. The Y700-17 experience is no different.
    The trackpad has a uniform actuation point and an uneven stopping point, which feels unpleasant. Additionally, you have to worry about small particles getting stuck beneath the trackpad while clicking. In this case, instead of using the trackpad, I'd recommend a mouse. Lenovo could have included its popular TrackPoint.
    Who games on a trackpad? Like really? Anyone heard of anyone able o game on a track pad?

    On the other hand i can understand at this price point that at least something half decent be included.
    Reply
  • x3style
    17433556 said:
    17432439 said:
    I'm disappointed this is another 17" 1080p display. Why aren't there more 1280p or 1440p offerings in 17" form factors? I'm not asking for 4K (that's just silly), but a *little* more resolution like 2048x1280 or 2560x1440 would be nice.

    I believe it's because of the GPU inside of this laptop. The 960m isn't powerful, 1080P is the max resolution it can game at well. Crank it to 2k and you'll have to put details down to medium.

    However I do agree with 2k panels on higher end laptops with 980Ms. Especially laptops with a 980 inside of them, it doesn't make sense to stick with 1080P.

    I would rather have have more gaming laptops come with god damn gaming screens. Where's the 100/120hz screens?
    Do you see the tearing in 980/980M ? Get some gaming screens.

    Reply
  • mapesdhs
    Depends on the game. Plenty of people play games which don't need crazy high refresh rates for smooth play. Still, probably a sensible option to include on high-end models, but I would not include the 980M in that category.

    Reply
  • Afrospinach
    I'm disappointed this is another 17" 1080p display. Why aren't there more 1280p or 1440p offerings in 17" form factors? I'm not asking for 4K (that's just silly), but a *little* more resolution like 2048x1280 or 2560x1440 would be nice.

    I find this a little ironic. I search for ages for a decent gpu mated to a 1080p screen as 4k is running rampant like it is going out of style.

    Good luck with that laptop gpu and the 1440p though. Even my 970ftw does not always meet the bar while being more powerful than anything available in a laptop.In a GAMING laptop to me this makes nothing but sense. I ended up with a 950m and I have it say it impressed me a lot, even GTA V is very playable @1080. 960m has you covered.
    Reply
  • mapesdhs
    Depends on to what extent one likes to crank up the detail. Even the older games I play would be too slow with a 960M. In the end I bought a 970M system (MSI SkyLake) and I'm glad I did. Benching showed, as expected, the 970M is about on par with a desktop GTX 580. Oblivion IV runs really well with everything maxed out & custom settings, but Crysis would be too slow with the custom profile I normally use on a desktop (45fps with desktop 580 3GB SLI). Would have been nice to get a 980M, but the price jump was a bit too much, and I can live with slightly reduced settings.

    For newer titles though which impose a much greater load, I'm sure I'd find anything less than a 970M to be annoying, unable to crank up shadow detail, draw distance & LOD settings, etc. That sort of thing in a sandbox game with grand vista views really makes a difference for me. As I say though, all depends on the game and one's personal preferences, but I do get the impression sometimes that people forget how much slower the mobile parts are compared to the deskop editions with the related model name. Naturally, a proper 980 in a gaming laptop would be nice, but that really whacks up the price, and the system weight, power draw, etc.
    Reply
  • hst101rox
    17437060 said:
    Unfortunately, with that great keyboard you get the same lackluster trackpad. If only Lenovo put as much emphasis on this component. In my previous Lenovo Ideapad Y700-15 Touch commentary, I had issues with the trackpad while clicking. The Y700-17 experience is no different.
    The trackpad has a uniform actuation point and an uneven stopping point, which feels unpleasant. Additionally, you have to worry about small particles getting stuck beneath the trackpad while clicking. In this case, instead of using the trackpad, I'd recommend a mouse. Lenovo could have included its popular TrackPoint.
    Who games on a trackpad? Like really? Anyone heard of anyone able o game on a track pad?

    On the other hand i can understand at this price point that at least something half decent be included.

    Well people don't always game on a gaming laptop. Sometimes they use it for work/school/other and they don't have an external mouse handy. It's a knock because Lenovo could have designed the touchpad better. No reason to make it crappy
    Reply
  • mapesdhs
    It's doubly sad given the robustness of the original ThinkPad plaform. I used a T40 for years before finally buying an MSI recently. The MSI has a decent enough trackpad, but it's still easier and more comfortable dealing with emails & general net work/net stuff with the gaming mouse (nothing mega fancy, just an A4Tech V7, but I like it).
    Reply