on February 11, 2013
I ordered this laptop after much review. Here's what I think:
Ordered on a Tuesday morning (2/5), and as a prime member, paid the $3.99 for overnight shipping. Had it at my door by 2pm on Wednesday afternoon. Came well packaged and with all items available.
Laptop itself is incredible. The casing is a brushed aluminum that was quite darker than I was expecting it to be. Fingerprints aren't too much of a problem, but you will see the oils from your skin streak on the darker metal. The keyboard is excellent and the red backlit keyboard really sets it off. The display is crisp at 1080p and very bright, albeit a bit glossy, but I've had no noticeable problems with glare. My only real issue is with the trackpad and the webcam. As you've probably read on forums the trackpad is a bit inconsistent, which could be a real issue for some wanting to use the multitouch features in windows 8. As a gamer, I rarely use it as I always keep a wireless mouse with me. The webcam is also a bit on the disappointing side. While it is completely functional, it's rather grainy and doesn't work well in low light without ghosting.
Now on to the meat and potatoes. Dual nvidia gt650m's. The visuals pumped out by these are absolutely boner-inducing. Getting a solid 60fps in CoD:Black Ops 2 at high/ultra settings. Skyrim runs flawlessly in ultra settings as well. With the hi-def display, I had to remind buddies who tested it out to put their tongues back in their mouths. League of Legends runs at a consistent 80-100fps, It's absolutely a mind blowingly incredible machine for gaming, and for hundreds of dollars less than comparable Alienware's.
I am absolutely thrilled with this purchase. If you're looking for an extreme gaming laptop for a moderate budget, I really don't think you can beat this laptop. i7, Dual SLI video cards, 1080p display, 8gbs of ram (got my 16gb to max out the board on its way now), backlit keyboard, and an amazing fit and finish. You really can't go wrong with this one!
on March 19, 2013
I've had this laptop for a few weeks now, and so far, I'm really enjoying my decision to buy the Y500. I wanted to buy a replacement for my Acer Extensa 4630Z from 2009, but I didn't want just another underpowered, under $300 laptop. That's what tablets are for nowadays. I wanted something that I could use for both work, and play when time allows.
I was looking for a few months, and finally narrowed my options down to the Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 and the Lenovo IdeaPad Y500. I wanted a somewhat future-proof laptop, but without the out of this world price. I figured around $1,000 would be the most I would spend, and I stayed very close to my budget.
Most of the other laptops that I liked were starting around $1,200, and they had fewer features that the two IdeaPad models above. Both models have above mid-range graphics cards, Full HD displays, usb 3.0, HDMI out, back lit keyboards, and the quad core Intel core i7. The main differences between the two IdeaPad models were the optical drive, and the SLI dual graphics card setup.
Also, if $1,000 is a little steep, there are versions of both the Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 and the Y580 that are closer to $800 or $900. There are constantly discounts available out there.
I decided to go with the Y500 for a few reasons.
1. The SLI dual graphics card setup. After a lot of research, I found that the GT 650 and the GTX 660 were very similar. The GT 650 SLI does have a tendency to slightly outperform the single GTX 660, depending on the drivers and the application you are running.
2. The price was slightly lower than the comparable Y580 at the time I made my purchase.
3. The black and red back lit keyboard looked great in the photos, and it looks even better in person.
*The Full HD 1080p display is amazing. My last laptop had a resolution of 1366x768, so I'm a happy camper.
*The JBL speakers pack a pretty nice punch for a laptop. They won't be better than a dedicated sound system, or even a high end set of headphones, but they pretty loud without any distortion.
*SLI graphics. Most games can be run on Ultra. I've tried running Battlefield 3, and you can pull off Ultra if you aren't playing on full screen resolution.
*Battery life. For me, I can get about 4 hours of battery life, and would probably get even more if I use the power saver mode. For those that don't stay close to a power outlet, 4 hours won't be enough, but it's plenty for me. My old Acer can go for at most 2 hours, and that is the second battery for the old workhorse.
*The keyboard is very usuable. There's plenty of space between the keys, and there's just enough depth to each key stroke. I also love the red back light for the keyboard.
*HD camera. This is great for video chat, and it performs surprisingly well in low light conditions. It's not the best camera ever, but it is far better than what was built-in on my Acer from '09.
*The trackpad isn't the best I've ever used, but it's not as bad as the other reviews claim. I have a synaptics trackpad, so maybe I got lucky. However, if you are gaming on this laptop, odds are that you'll have a mouse, so to each their own.
*No optical drive. With the Ultrabay, there might be an optical drive that can be added in place of the second graphics card, but I have yet to find one. Granted, I almost never use any optical drives on computers these days, but I'd still like to have one built-in for convenience. If I absolutely needed an optical drive (DVD or BluRay), then I would have chosen the Y580 hands down.
*Pre-installed software, as with any PC, is alive and well when you first boot up the Lenovo Y500. Thankfully, there's not too much bloatware, but why is there a DVD program on here when I don't have an optical drive to speak of? At least make sure all of the bloatware is somewhat relevant.
*Fingerprints. I read in one review that fingerprints were all over the laptop after a short amount of use, but I didn't think much of it at the time. Well, that person was right! I would like to think that I take great care of my things, but this laptop attracts smudges and fingerprints like nothing I've ever used before.
*(edit) This version does not have a solid state drive. Boot times are very fast as it is, but the more expensive version does have the faster drive included.
*Be sure to update the Nvidia drivers as soon as possible if you do decide to purchase this laptop. The drivers that shipped are from October 2012, and there have been many fixes since then. This will improve performance, so definitely try it out.
*Windows 8 is pre-installed on this laptop. Not everyone likes the latest OS from Microsoft, but don't knock it before you try it.
Yes, the start menu is a little wierd. Yes, the gestures are different. And yes, this OS was designed primarily for touch based devices (hint: this laptop does not have a touchscreen). If the Metro UI is that cumbersome, there are ways to avoid using it all together, but I have grown to appreciate it.
If you are able to find an Ultrabay DVD or BluRay drive that will fit this laptop, please let me know!
on April 3, 2013
Everything is top-notch on this SLI model. Only bottleneck is the sluggish hard drive, but that'll get replaced soon.
Couple of issues:
* WiDi does not work because the Intel HD4000 is not functional (In all models)
* Nvidia Optimus cannot function without the Intel HD400 so battery life suffers.
* Ships with mediocre WiFi card (No Dual Band, Caps at 30 Mbps)
* Lenovo has a whitelist embedded into the BIOS- In other words, you can't replace certain components with just anything, but you have to get Lenovo approved hardware (Which they charge a premium for.) Very bad marketing, but it can solved by unlocking the BIOS.
* I have the Synaptics touchpad which solves the jittery sensitivity on older production models. However, the touchpad is still awful in quality. Feels very cheap because when clicking, the surface depresses very far into the chassis.
* Finger Print Magnet
* After updating the drivers, SLI runs just about anything I can throw at it.
* Sturdy materials, feels solid.
* Illuminated red keyboard is a head-turner.
* JBL Speakers are the best I've ever heard in a laptop, it's ridiculously good.
* Dolby V4, once tweaked, provides clear surround sound- Clarity is outstanding on my Bose
Overall, for the price tag, this machine can't be beat. It has its flaws but not anything I'd return it over for; Not everything is perfect.
on February 12, 2013
I received this laptop today at around noon and I have already fallen in love with it
Casing: The inside of the laptop is a black/dark brown brushed aluminum which is cool to the touch and looks fantastic. There is also the keyboard in the middle which is backlit. The red backlit keybaord on this laptop makes it looks absoultely beautiful. The lid is also made of the same brushed aluminum that is found on the inside. On the underside and sides of the laptop however, there is plastic. Lenovo did manage somehow to make this plastic look really nice. They textured it to look like brushed aluminum.
Preformance: This laptop is blisteringly fast. The only thing that is slowing it down is the 5400 RPM Hard drive but I removed that and installed a hybrid ssd drive from seagate. The dual grapgics makes this computer even than ever. You can play most games on high setting without any sign of a problem.
A few notes:
1. Although it does weigh 6.4 pounds, it certainly does not feel like it. You can carry it around under your arm or even in a backpack without a problem
2. THIS DOES NOT COME WITH A CD/DVD DRIVE. Although it does say "integrated Cd/Dvd drive" in the description, it isn't on here. You will find the nvidia gt650M graphics card in there.
3. I personally like the trackpad despite all the negative things. Agreed, it does have a few flaws but after using it for a couple of hours, I have gotten used to it.
4. The power brick is huge! I would suggest that you buy an ASUS slim adapter for the ASUS N56 beucase it is much smaller and works just as well
5. The speakers on this laptop are amazing! They get pretty loud.
6. Lastly, the bezel around the screen at the top is a little big. It is a minor annoyance for me, but it may not be for you.
If you have any more questions about this laptop, please comment on my reivew. I will definitely reply within the day.
on July 23, 2013
We were given a budget to buy our own work machines and we picked this one and opted for the dual graphics cards. I use a lot of graphics software and also wanted something that wouldn't crap itself during a massive database query.
I put an SSD in this thing as soon as I got it and it would not recognize the backup it had created so opted to purchase a Windows 8 Pro disk to restore it (it comes with home edition). No biggie, needed to upgrade anyhow but if you are making flash drive backups make sure they work before reformatting. You can do this by going into recovery and observing if it sees the flash drive. Because of this I have no idea how the original software on the thing added/subtracted to it's performance. What is available to download on the website is limited.
It's a nice looking computer, get lots of comments.
Keyboard is wicked cool looking.
It was very fast with the original drive but with the SSD it is instant everything.
Haven't crashed it running Microsoft products.
Runs all of my Steam games on high.
Doesn't get that hot.
Has a full number pad though it is a bit squished.
I find it lightweight for what it is.
Stupid $@$%@#!! trackpad. I swear I have never been so aggravated by any piece of equipment in my life. Get your wrist or finger anywhere near it and it has a tendency to delete whatever you just typed.
It feels flimsy compared to the solid body macbooks, it makes me nervous setting it down wrong as you can feel it flex if you are gripping it in one hand.
It definitely collects fingerprints.
This is really a five star machine, it performs flawlessly. I just can't give it the full five with that track pad having cost me hours of retyping time in only two months. I have it docked 90% of the time otherwise I would have seriously considered returning it. As a laptop that one would travel with you can not get around the urge to rest your wrists on it and I haven't yet found a fast way to turn the trackpad off when a mouse is connected.
on May 8, 2013
I've had this for about a month and must say I love it. Not only does it perform very well for the money but it is relatively light/thin as well. It forgoes an optical drive for a second video card, a choice I couldn't approve of more. I haven't used a CD/DVD in literally at least 5 years so having a drive in a laptop has always been a waste of space for me. Now, you can optionally purchase a spare bay to exchange the second video card with an optical drive or additional hard drive so that is perfect if you just need to burn a disc occasionally or want to reconfigure the laptop for trips (watching movies on the plane) or whatever.
There are some additional benefits to this laptop that you don't see in the spec sheet. The biggest, and this is huge to me, is the cooling system. Lenovo has a proprietary system where the fans draw air in through the keyboard and exhaust out the left and right sides. Why they don't mention this on the spec sheet I'll never know. The end result is a laptop that is virtually silent, even when gaming with both cards. I wasn't sure it was working at first, I had to put my ear ON the exhaust vent to even hear it. I've had plenty of gaming laptops that screamed once a game was running. This also means that you can truly use this laptop on your lap or a soft surface like a pillow without blocking the intake vents and overheating it. Every laptop should have this, it is amazing.
In addition, the speakers (designed by JBL) are the loudest I've ever had in a laptop. This is an area where Window's laptops have always lagged behind Macs. Where in the past I've always just left a laptop on 100%, I run this one around 50%.
The keyboard feels great to me, very good for a laptop. The trackpad is pretty good. I think the only faults I can find are really with Windows rather than the laptop itself. Windows 8 gestures are kind of a joke if you used, oh I don't know, ANY consumer electronic device in the last few years. Especially a Mac.
Also, the screen has excellent viewing angles which is another thing that is hard to determine before you buy a laptop. I'm very happy with the screen.
Now it is not without its faults but I will admit that this is minor depending on who is buying the laptop. First, of course there is bloatware, which really sucks. You don't see that on a Mac. Additionally the partitions on the hard drive are ridiculous. I think there were like 4 or 5 partitions of recovery data and whatnot. Plus the actual usable partition was mapped as G:, not C: (okay that is petty and easily fixed). Getting rid of the extra partitions requires additional software and is a chore. The default drive is 1TB so you won't miss the extra space but if you plan on swapping it out for an SSD like me, well that's another story.
(Side note: if you do plan on swapping hard drives, make sure you do some research on re-installing Windows 8. It is such a nightmare that I ended up installing Windows 7 on my new SSD and paid to upgrade to Win8)
Fairly light and thin considering what is inside.
Hard drive is a mess from the factory. If you aren't an OCD individual like myself it may not even bother you.
That is it. That is about all I can say negatively about this laptop. Very pleased with the purchase, mostly for all of the details that you can't see on a spec sheet, but ultimately end up being the factors that lead to me keeping or canning a product that I buy.
on March 4, 2014
I bought the IdeaPad Y500 in August 2013 and in February 2014 the operating system failed. When I called customer support, I spent an hour with one rep who concluded the problem was not hardware but was software and transferred me to a different group. After another hour, I was informed that the software was not under my two year warranty but for $90.00 they would send me recovery discs. They said they would send a back up disc to back up my data before resetting the operating system. That was inaccurate and I had to pay Geek Squad to back up my data. And they wouldn't even let me pay for delivery faster than 5-7 business days. I would not buy a Lenovo computer again because the customer support is so weak.
on August 1, 2013
Want a gaming computer? Not willing to spend too much? This is the one. Get the dual graphic-card computer and you'll have a top gaming computer for ~1000 USD. Mine runs assassins creed III in max resolution, full HD, the witcher 2 with high quality as well, and every game in the market.
Only bad thing is the body registers your prints like no cop equipment would!
on April 3, 2013
Nice quality backlit keyboard
Plays any game out there very well
Great sound (for a laptop)
2 usb 3.0 ports (not like a lot of machines with only 1)
Decent size hard drive
RAM specs very high in WEI
Excellent fit and finish
SLI in a laptop @ $1000!!!!
Flimsy feeling touchpad and mouse click buttons (non issue with my wireless mouse)
Slow hard drive drags whole machine down
Glossy screen hard to keep clean
If you have a few hundred to spare buy a SSD, preferably a samsung or intel. I'm running an older samsung 830 512GB SSD and it brought this computer to life! With the original HDD it took over a minute to reach login, with the samsung I'm prompted for a password within 10sec of pushing the power button.
If you are looking for a solid reasonably priced machine then look no further. This will play any game out as of today on high settings or better. It runs adobe premiere pro like it was a game of pong. Video conversion is powerful. I am running windows xp on a virutal machine in the background with no noticeable impact on performance.
If you are on the fence, buy it. You wont regret it
on July 14, 2013
it is very fast and dependable, have had no issues with it whatsoever. lenovo bought out IBM computer division, and are a very reputable company, as far as i know they actually make their own laptops, unlike Sony, hp, dell, etc.
there are 4 versions of windows 8, and this version is called just that windows 8 basically for home use, it is extremely stable and i love the GUI, miles ahead of any previous windows, honorable mention XP.
the quad core i7 3rd generation is hyper-threading, meaning it can run 8 threads instead of 4, theoretically it is an 8 core. the lappy is a bulldozer knocking down anything you throw at it, wicked fast.
the dual nvidia graphics cards [running in SLI (mimicking 1 card)] are very nice, as they add HD audio and are great for gamers, and have 1 gig of gddr5 ram on each card, so the system ram isnt shared making the pc run smoother, and you can disable them and just use the intel hd 4000, which is integrated with the cpu making it a very capable graphics device in itself, unlike the old style on board chips. 1 card can be pulled out and replaced with an hdd, and or a rom, however there really isnt any need when you can buy an external CD, DVD, BDR ROM pretty cheap these days, which plugs into a usb port. LG makes a great external blu ray that comes with power dvd, and burning software, sold @ amazon. external usb powered 2 TB western digital hdd's can be had for around 130-140 also @ amazon. i recommend from a lot of experience, when buying external storage drives, make sure it is powered by the PC (via usb etc.), self powered units while being cheaper (depending on size) are apt to die soon!!!
IMHO WD, and Hitachi make the best drives period.
the system ram (samsung i believe) is dual channel ddr3 (double data rate) running @ 1600Mhz, and unless you are running intense rendering programs or something along those lines, 8 gig is very sufficient.
the shell is very sturdy, well made, and finished in brushed black metal making for a beautiful finish.
i/o: hdmi digital, d sub 15 pin analog, 2 usb 3 (5 gb throughput) 1 usb 2, sd card reader, wireless N and (RJ 45) wired gb ethernet, 3.5mm mic plug, 3.5mm headphone, and or external speaker plug.
software worth noting, battery saver (dramatically extends the life of the li ion battery (depending on if you run it plugged all the time, or use the battery and plugged often), blast fan to blow out dust, very cool, win 8 is auto set to keep internal hdd defragged, can be activated for external drives too.
all in all this is 1 of the best computers i have owned, in the 20+ years i have been computing, and definitely the best lappy, and the price is unreal for what you get.
i recommend a good cooler base as the i7 can run pretty warm under intense use, and dual graphics cards add an overabundance of heat, even if it isnt running hot keeping it cool will prolong the life of the PC by a far cry, as with any pc.
this is a great pc and cheaper than dirt. i cant speak for the display, keyboard,
or mouse pad, as i dont use them. the lappy is hooked up to a monitor (through HDMI), and external keyboard and mouse.
[i am not affiliated with lenovo, or any of the above mentioned company's. i say this because of butter up reviews written by manufactures, not the case here rest assured.
i am just a consumer willing to take the time to try to help my fellow man.
i hope you find this review insightful, and helpful]
in a nutshell you cant loose with this machine, it is a beast. festus