Here are key points about the Ideapad Y900.
Turbo for CPU and GPU: I miss the old Turbo button that resided on the case of the first ever desktop PC I interacted with when I was five years old. I remember seeing the megahertz increase when I pressed the button, and I am glad that Lenovo has brought that back. While I have reviewed other notebooks with the overclockable i7-6820HK, Lenovo goes a step further and overclocks the graphics card too by increasing its thermal limit. While you can only take advantage of this feature when plugged in for obvious reasons, it's a great feature worth noting.
Killer Aesthetics: I have reviewed a fair amount of gaming notebooks, but Lenovo's is by far the most decorated and well designed to please gamers. From the finish on the brushed metal chassis to the rubberized palm rest area and RGB LED segments, Lenovo took things to the maximum in the looks and style departments.
Mechanical Keys: The Ideapad Y900 is the first notebook I have reviewed with a mechanical keyboard. Instead of using the typical rubber dome keys, Lenovo's use of mechanical keys gives the Ideapad Y900 something to brag about. Many gamers want mechanical keys for the feeling and the click to let them know the key was pressed, and the Y900 delivers.
Solid Networking: Killer's Wireless AC cards are quite fast and do an excellent job. While there is some controversy if Killer's wired NICs are better than their Intel equivalents, they still get the job done at the 1Gbit level. What's nice about having both Killer wireless and wired NICs is that you can team them through something called Double Shot Duo, and the Ideapad Y900 has this feature.
Great Thermal and Acoustic Performance: With its array of heat sinks, heat pipes, and two large blower fans, the Ideapad Y900 is properly equipped to cool down the overclocked CPU and GPU, without burning its surroundings and without howling like a wolf on a moonlit evening. I was impressed with its thermal performance under the thermal camera, and the noise from the blower fans is quite acceptable.
Excellent Upgrade Potential: The notebook was easy enough to open, and when I got inside, I found two open slots for extra DRAM and an extra slot for another M.2 drive. Most notebooks make it hard to upgrade, but the Ideapad Y900 makes it quite simple.
NVIDIA G-Sync: The 1080p panel matched with the GTX 980M should provide some very high FPS, but with so many frames comes the problem of syncing the display panel and GPU. G-Sync does this syncing for you and provides a brilliant gaming experience.
Very Heavy: The Ideapad Y900 is not a daily luger. Like many other notebooks in this class, it is designed to be portable when needed but otherwise will sit comfortably on a desk. Its size and weight are more in line with a thousand-page calculus textbook rather than an ultrabook.
No Pascal: After reviewing a notebook with a mobile Pascal graphics card (GTX 1000 series), I have to say Lenovo should have put one into the Ideapad Y900. Pascal uses a lot less power while maintaining good performance, allowing for a thinner and more portable notebook. However, the GTX 980M is still able to push those crazy FPS with a 1080p panel.
Battery Life: Battery life isn't the best, and when I looked in the device manager, I couldn't find the Intel integrated graphics, so I assume the GTX 980M is always on, which would contribute to the short battery life.
The Lenovo Ideapad Y900 is one loaded gaming notebook with some killer features. Lenovo has always been one of the leaders in the notebook industry, and this attempt to enter the high-end gaming segment is quite impressive. While there are other notebooks out there with GTX 980M graphics and Intel's i7-6820HK, the Ideapad Y900's implementation of the two along with unique features is what makes this product stand out.
The Turbo button is an excellent example of Lenovo taking a platform feature and making it their own. The mechanical keyboard with the included red WASD key replacement hits the gaming part of the product on the head, and the RGB color zones add a little bit of fun into a powerhouse of a notebook.
The use of a smaller M.2 drive for the OS and an HDD for all your games, further shows that Lenovo thought this product through and considered that games these days are quite huge for M.2-only systems to handle.
However, with the introduction of NVIDIA's Pascal GPU microarchitecture, the Ideapad Y900 is not using the latest and greatest hardware. The performance differences are not so big that you will regret your purchase, especially if you can get this for less now that newer hardware is out.
If you want a high-end gaming notebook designed for gaming, with top notch hardware, and a slew of well executed unique features, the Ideapad Y900 is worth a close look.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||96%|
|Bundle and Packaging||90%|
|Value for Money||88%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||93%|
The Bottom Line: While the Intel Core i7-6820HK and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M will seal the deal for many, those looking for more will be pleased with the Lenovo Ideapad Y900's mechanical keyboard, RGB lighting zones, and Turbo button that are sure to impress many gamers.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Physical Overview]
- Page 3 [Physical Overview Continued]
- Page 4 [Software and BIOS]
- Page 5 [System Performance Benchmarks]
- Page 6 [Gaming Performance Benchmarks]
- Page 7 [System IO and Battery Performance]
- Page 8 [Thermal Performance]
- Page 9 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]
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