Lenovo Y50 (59440646) is a very powerful notebook. Looking at the specs I can see the manufacturer had gamers in mind when designing it: the laptop features a fast GeForce GTX 860M graphics engine. In addition, there’s Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM and 1024GB hybrid hard drive speeding the computer up. Sweet, yes, but is gaming laptop just an oxymoron? Does this Lenovo offer enough performance to justify its price? We’ll find that out below…
It’s safe to say that Lenovo Y50 (59440646) has an excellent processor. Called Core i7-4720HQ, the chip offers four cores and clock speed of 2.6GHz with turbo increasing it up to 3.6GHz. And great news for power users, the model is not one of the power efficient, 5th Generation ULV chips. The i7-4720HQ is power hungry (TDP 47W compared to ULV models 15W), but it’s also much faster. The i7-4720HQ reaches well over 8000 points in CPU Passmark tests, making it one of the fastest laptop CPUs. The ULV models get only around half of that. As such, this processor is good choice if you’re running a lot of demanding software at the same time – for example, virtual machine, image editor and programming environment.
16GB memory should satisfy gamers and professionals. It’s installed on two 8GB DDR3L SDRAM 1600MHz chips that occupy the both memory slots on the system. In another words, more RAM can’t be added, but that shouldn’t be a concern for anybody.
Lenovo Y50 (59440646) includes a modern storage option, a hybrid 1204GB hard drive. What makes it special is the 8GB SSD cache that will speed up the system a bit. It still doesn’t reach the performance of a true solid-state drive. If that’s what you seek, install one yourself. That’s possible, although you have to take out the old hard drive which requires removing the entire bottom.
Display and graphics
Lenovo Y50 (59440646) has a display appropriate for this price: an excellent one. It’s 15.6″ diagonal and has 1920×1080 resolution. Of course, it’s also IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel, offering wider viewing angles and better colors compared to budget screens. It doesn’t have touch support, but getting used to Windows 8.1 on trackpad and keyboard takes only a short while.
So, it’s not a poor integrated graphics that is commanding your games. Instead, it’s the dedicated GeForce GTX 860M who’s in charge. That engine is many times faster than common chips like Intel HD 4000. In practice, you should get decent 30FPS on heavy Battlefield 4 even on ultra settings and Full HD resolution. As you might know, most games require less than Battlefield 4, so with vast majority of titles you can up the details to maximum and enjoy smooth frame rates. On the other hand, some games like AC Unity or GTA V can’t be played on ultra settings. Indeed, GTX 860M is not the fastest chip in the market, but for most gamers it’s enough I’d dare to say.
Lenovo Y50 (59440646) has three USB ports: two USB 3.0 on the left, one USB 2.0 on the right. HDMI output is likewise there, meaning the laptop supports an HDTV or PC display.
Networking options are great, including a Gigabit Ethernet port, dual band AC WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 support.
Optical drive is missing, although SD card slot can be used for media cards. You can also buy an external optical drive (20-30 bucks) if you definitely want to use discs.
The integrated 720p webcam should offer decent image quality for video chats on Skype.
What else to keep in mind?
Lenovo Y50 (59440646) weighs 5.3 pounds, not more than cheap laptops with a similar screen size. However, the battery life is not great, the heavyweight processor and graphics unit need a lot of energy. You’ll end up with less than 4 hours, not good news for people on the go.
The keyboard is backlit, there’s a cool red light illuminating the keys. Numeric keypad is also available on the right hand side.
Summing it up
As somebody put it, Lenovo Y50 (59440646) is a laptop for novice gamer. Its GeForce GTX 860M will handle most games and settings you throw at it, and the i7-4720HQ with 16GB RAM are excellent at keeping your programs running smoothly. Screen quality is good, connections are basic but sufficient. Portability is not great thanks to poor(ish) battery life. You can get a better laptop for advanced gaming, but it will cost you many hundred bucks more. Again, most gaming folks should be happy with this “budget” high end rig.