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.]
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.
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.
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.
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.