Lenovo Y40-80 (80FA001CUS) Review

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March 6, 2015
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Lenovo is one of the better laptop manufacturers. At least in my opinion, the notebooks they make are durable, professional and fast. Of course, they’re often quite pricey, too. Lenovo Y40-80 (80FA001CUS) belongs to this lot of premium (yet expensive) laptops. Let’s see if the price tag is justified for what it offers…

Performance

At least the processor of Lenovo Y40-80 (80FA001CUS) looks promising. It’s Intel Core i7-5500U, a 5th generation dual-core CPU released in early 2015. The base speed is 2.4GHz, but turbo boost will increase the frequency to 3.0GHz. In the popular CPUMark tests it receives a grade of ~4000, beating many older i7s as expected. These Core i7s are often referred as very power user friendly processors, and I don’t see why this new one would be any different. Indeed, also very demanding software should run without problems.

The laptop contains 8GB DDR3L RAM. To me it looks like it’s installed on two 4GB chips, occupying the both memory slots on mainboard. As a result, you should be good to install more if 8GB is not sufficient for some reason, but only by replacing the old chips.

The storage sections differs from most set ups: there’s a 500GB+8GB solid-state hybrid drive installed. You get the best of both worlds: quite a lot of space to store all your important data, but also the quick speed an SSD features. As a result, you don’t have to do the popular “hard drive for a solid-state drive swap” on this model.

Display and graphics

Lenovo Y40-80 (80FA001CUS) has a 14″ screen, a bit smaller than a general-purpose 15.6″ display. The resolution is however 1920×1080, as opposed to often-seen 1366×768, so Full HD videos will play nicely on this display. It’s not a touch screen, but in my opinion using Windows 8.1 (pre-installed on this machine) works flawlessly with a normal screen as well.

There’s a nice dedicated graphics card called Radeon R9 M275. It does a much better job than any integrated Intel HD chip usually found in notebooks. As a result, this laptop works well for both new and old games, although some later heavyweight titles would have to be played on low to medium settings to get smooth frames. For example, Battlefield 4 should give 20FPS with all settings and resolution turned highest. The notoriously demanding AC4 would end up around 25 frames on maximum settings and medium resolution.

Connections

Three USB ports are included in Lenovo Y40-80 (80FA001CUS). A small disadvantage, not all of them are USB 3.0 – just two are. There’s also a full-size HDMI output, so an external monitor (or HDTV) can be plugged in.

Although it’s not mentioned in the specifications, there seems to be an Ethernet port installed on the left. A dual-band WiFi with Bluetooth 4.0 is also available.

There’s no DVD drive in these small Lenovos. If you’re worried about that you can always get an external optical drive. Using the 4-in-1 (SD, MMC, SDXC, SDHC) card reader is also one option.

The web camera features a 720p resolution, so decent quality video chats can be expected.

Anything else to keep in mind?

Thanks to the small size, Lenovo Y40-80 (80FA001CUS) works alright for people on the go. It weighs 4.85 pounds, less than an average 15″ laptop. The 4 cell 48 Wh battery should give around 4 hours running time on WiFi browsing.

Even though the price is quite high, the keyboard has no backlight. It’s not a big deal to me but your mileage may vary.

Conclusion

Lenovo Y40-80 (80FA001CUS) has received many positive reviews and I can see why. It has a high-end 5th generation Core i7 processor with a solid-state hybrid drive backing you up. Full HD screen will work wonders for professionals, and the dedicated Radeon will keep many gamers happy. One thing the laptop is missing is backlit keyboard, which for the price is a bit strange. But unless you need light circus below your keys, this Lenovo would be a good power user notebook for sure.


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