Does it seem as though suddenly every OEM is making gaming peripherals these days? At Computex, we were inundated with them -- some market-ready and some in a (very) beta phase -- and since then, we've been privy to several more, including Lenovo, a surprise entrant into the gaming peripherals market.
In a briefing, Lenovo showed us several of its new gaming peripherals, including its mechanical switch keyboard, precision mouse, and headset. The company also has a gaming mouse mat and a backpack, neither of which we saw in person. None of what we saw was necessarily ready to ship, and thus any impressions we had are to be taken with a grain of salt, but we were told that, at least, they were close to their final versions.
All of the new peripherals will bear the "Y-Series" branding.
Lenovo Y Gaming Mechanical Switch Keyboard
The answer to your (and our) first question is: This keyboard uses Kailh Red switches. Lenovo didn't specify any particular reason for rolling with Kailh as opposed to Cherry switches (or any others), but whatever the case, Lenovo is the OEM for the keyboard (and mouse and headset).
The keys are backlit, anti-ghosting keys, although it appears that you're stuck with red lighting; this is not an RGB keyboard, although you do get five levels of brightness and can set the lights to pulsate.
In addition to a full numpad, the Y Gaming Keyboard has a bank of six customizable G keys running vertically down the left side, four M keys across the top, and a dedicated button to control the Y Gaming headset. There are also dedicated media keys across the top right side, and the spacebar has a unique mesh design, ostensibly to make it easy to find it with your thumb on the fly.
There's a large "Y" logo (get it?) at the top that glows red, and the chassis angles out towards the bottom. On the side are mic and headset jacks, as well as a USB pass through port. The braided cable has four gold-plated ends -- two USB and two audio. Not pictured is a detachable palm rest.
Lenovo Y Gaming Precision Mouse
We don't have many specs to go on just yet regarding the mouse. Lenovo's marketing materials state that it features "precise, adjustable speeds, eight programmable buttons, four levels of adjustable DPI, five levels of adjustable weight and an ergonomic design made for intense gaming sessions."
In our brief hands on time with the mouse, we noted that the button shapes on the left side were a bit odd. The thumb button evokes that "Y" branding, and Lenovo may have gotten a little cute here; it's pointy on the top, which will be uncomfortable. There's another button behind and above that one that's designed for a quick thumb-roll click, and although it's tucked up there fairly well, we can imagine accidentally clicking it amid fast and furious gameplay.
Further down the nose of the mouse are the forward/backward buttons. We should note that although they look a bit out of the reach of our hand in the photo, the hand pictured is slid back a bit. Under normal circumstances, it would be up further, and indeed we found that we could easily-enough access all four of those buttons.
It is a long mouse, so those with smaller hands may find it a bit lengthy, but the average-handed should find this mouse relatively comfortable to use, whatever your grip style.
The scroll wheel has large nubs, but it's soft; we could see ourselves equally satisfied using it for gaming or every day use. If we had a knee-jerk qualm, it would be that the tactile bump when scrolling could be a bit more pronounced for gaming.
There's a large four-way DPI switcher on top of the mouse, behind the scroll wheel, but it only clicks one way. That is, you can't dial the DPI up and down -- just in one direction.
One unexpected surprise we found beneath the mouse is four 5g weights, meaning you can customize the heft of the Y Gaming Precision Mouse to your personal preference.
You'll also find the same basic lighting design on the mouse as Lenovo baked onto the keyboard. The "Y" logo on top glows red, and can pulsate.
Lenovo Y Gaming Surround Sound Headset
The headset sports the same backlit "Y" logo as the mouse and keyboard on the ear cup, and the soft fabric under the headband is the same orangeish-red. The ear cups are soft and felt exceptionally comfortable when we first donned the headset. The padding under the headband isn't quite as generous, though, and we could imagine that beginning to bug us after long gaming sessions.
The passive, noise-cancelling mic is adjustable and easily swivels out of the way when you need; you can also simply remove it if you like. The earcups themselves can be folded up so that the whole package is compact and portable.
Other features, according to Lenovo, include "7.1 virtual surround sound, quick mute and in-line volume adjustment control box in-line.
Lenovo Y Gaming Backpack And Mouse Mat
Let's be honest -- you don't really need the backpack and mousepad to complete your all-Lenovo kit, but for those who love to coordinate, both have the same red-and-black color scheme as the keyboard, mouse and headset.
Lenovo said that the backpack is roomy enough for a 17.3-inch laptop and has both padded pockets -- one specifically designed for a headset -- and a special hard shell compartment to protect your gear.
The Mouse Mat measures 350 x 250 mm and has a "braided locked edge design." Lenovo claimed that it's waterproof, and the mat promises "high reliability."
Pricing And Availability
All five of Lenovo's gaming peripherals will be available at some point in September. The keyboard and mouse will cost $139.99 and $69.99, respectively, and the headset will run you $69.99, too.
You can snap up the mouse mat for just $9.99. The gaming backpack is one of highest-priced items in the group, at $99.99.