Lenovo IdeaPad Y560D 3D Laptop Review

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Lenovo's IdeaPad Y560D is an interesting system that initially caught our eye thanks to its 3D-capable display. 3D films and TVs have been declared hot ticket capabilities by the film industry and TV manufacturers, but this is the first 3D-capable notebook we've had in house. The Y560D isn't the only 3D laptop on the market, but it's priced with more of an eye towards mainstream consumers; most 3D notebooks to date have been aimed at the high-end/enthusiast market. At $1399 on sale the 560D isn't cheap, but it's a more affordable than most of the competition...

Lenovo's IdeaPad Y560D 3D Laptop Reviewed

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This is not too impressive when you consider the crappy battery life and the lack of options for it.

Then, there's that stellar price point,.............

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

(Mark Twain)

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SmogHog replied on Thu, Oct 7 2010 9:21 PM

Almost every new laptop shipping with an i7 quadcore has the i7 740QM and not the old i7 720QM.

If anyone is going to leap onto the 3D bandwagon then I'd suggest a Full HD display instead of the plain vanilla HD.

As with all mobil devices I look into I'm very interested in the wireless offering.

Here I'm pleased that it's an Intel Advanced N 6200 but they could have gone a step further with the WiMAX Advanced N 6250 or the 3 antena Intel Ultimate N 6300.These cards would cost Lenovo very little to have included one of them insted of the 6200.

The DDR3 should have been 1333.

The 5400rpm HDD isn't the deal breaker,it's mainly the resolution,memory speed and the wireless.

Oh,a GPU with DDR3 these days is also a letdown.

No USB 3.0 ports,yikes.

How about HDMI 1.4?

Average sound card is inside.

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Joel H replied on Thu, Oct 7 2010 10:37 PM

Smog,

I've got to emphatically disagree with regard to the hard drive. DDR1333 vs DDR31066 might buy you 1-2 percent worth of performance. The speed difference between a 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM drive is substantially greater, and impacts every boot, application load time, and system responsiveness.

Consumer desktop applications and workstation workloads are both latency-sensitive, not bandwidth-sensitive. Now that both AMD and Intel use onboard memory controllers, memory latency is less important (because controller latency is so good). To give you an idea--moving to an IMC knocked anywhere from 50-70ns off modern processor memory latencies. The difference between high-end, low-latency RAM and low-end, high-latency RAM might be less than 10ns these days.

The use of large L3 caches has also reduced the impact of RAM latency by introducing another layer of cache data. In short, virtually nothing needs the bandwidth--and there's very little benefit to latency shifts, either.

I agree that on a $1300 laptop released in July, at least one USB 3.0 port should've been present. Also, no laptop with anything less than a high-density 9-cell battery should be using a quad core / octal threaded CPU. Just my opinion of course.

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I agree with you! 

I saw many things wrong with this review...firstly, these days I'd never buy an i5 for gaming in a laptop.  Core i7 is in all of the great gaming notebooks, and that should be the standard.  Please stop recommending i5's for a gaming machine.

Speaking of standard, Im surprised the reviewers accepted the low resolution screen.  1366x768 is awful for gaming...what is this, 2007?  Full HD should be standard, if not 1680x1050 as a bare minimum.  Accept no substitutes.

DDR RAM should be 1333, especially with an i7, and it should be true triple channel...not the hobbled dual channels that pop up every now and then. 

Hard drives should be 7200rpm minimum in a gaming laptop, no questions asked.  IBM loses big points for including a 5400 drive.

Sound card is average...but the screen size is below average.  15.6?  I wouldnt knock points off for it because some people like having a tiny screen, but for a gaming laptop, id want a 17" or 18.4 inch screen. 

If I am going to game, I want it to be as close to a desktop replacement as possible.  If I wanted a thin/light/long batt life laptop, I'd buy one, but I'd never use something like that for gaming...and just the same, I'd never buy a gaming laptop without FULL HD, a 7200RPM hard drive (or ssd), an i7, awesome video card and a ton of ram. Otherwise...It's akin to driving a Wonder Bread truck in an offroad race...it's just not made for it.

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Joel H replied on Fri, Oct 8 2010 5:19 PM

Damnit,

First off, this isn't a gaming laptop. It's a 3D laptop.

2.  If you think Core i7 should be a default chip just because OEMs are selling them in gaming notebooks, you're Dell's favorite kind of customer--you buy brands and pay huge premiums when it actually makes no sense to do so. The only difference between the Mobile i7s (assuming you want a fast core rather than a slow quad) and mobile i5's is 1MB of L3. That's it. Does that matter? I'm sure it does, a little. Is a 5% performance increase worth a $100-$200 processor premium? Not in my book.

3.  I already covered why RAM clock rate *and* bandwidth aren't a big deal. If they were, you wouldn't see higher-end desktop Core i5's keeping pace with Core i7s (assuming two chips with an equal number of cores and HT enabled. The question isn't whether or not the Core i7s are slightly faster, it's whether or not it's worth it to pay a Core i7 premium for a small performance gain.

4.  There's nothing to "accept" given the screen resolution. This isn't a gaming laptop. We tested the screen that was in the laptop--which happens to be the only screen *available.*

5.  This is not a gaming laptop. Would I prefer a larger screen? Sure. But that doesn't mean everyone would, and that doesn't mean everyone would want to pay the premium.

6.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts on a gaming laptop. This is not a gaming laptop. This is a 3D multimedia laptop that happens to perform well in gaming tests thanks to a low resolution screen.

And one more time, just to make sure there's no confusion--this is not a gaming laptop or a DTR.

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SmogHog replied on Fri, Oct 8 2010 8:27 PM

To be a bit clearer why the 5400rpm HDD is not a deal breaker for me.

The HDD no matter what the speed is would quickly be replaced by an SSD and then used for storage in an external box. 

Can never have too much storage.

I have OCZ Vertex 2 SSDs in both my LG X140 netbook and Asus G51Jx(1920x1080 120hz)notebook

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The mixed review is not a failing of the laptop itself, but of the 3D technology.

I was at Costco earlier this week and they had a 46" 3DTV setup with 3D goggles setup right in front, about 3.5 feet away. It looked pretty cool peering through the googles. But if you move to one side, or over 5 feet away from the TV, the effect reduces substantially. 

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Joel H replied on Mon, Oct 11 2010 7:26 PM

Gibber,

It's not just the 3D. Quite frankly, I'm astonished at the components Lenovo chose; it's an absolutely crystal clear example of a company opting for high-margin hardware over what would give a customer the best experience/optimize mobile flexibility. 

The reason I'm willing to take such a hard stand here is the complete and total lack of options. Forced to evaluate this laptop strictly as-is, I wouldn't buy it for myself and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else. There are better options, some of which are in the Lenovo Y560 (no D) family.

I don't know how prices compare to Dell, HP, etc, but the Lenovo Y560-064659U (first system from the left if you visit the Y560 page) has all the specs of the Y560D in terms of RAM, HDD, video card, and LCD, offers a power-efficient i3-370M, and keeps the Radeon 5730 with 1GB of dedicated RAM for $899. That's a system powerful enough to do some reasonable gaming on, and it'll offer much better battery life than a 45nm quad-core with HT.

Assuming the price compares well against the other OEMs, that's the Lenovo I'd recommend--especially for the speakers.

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Thanks Joel. I read your above responses and understand your criticism of the laptop. I agree, the benefits of the 3D technology aren't significant enough for the consumer to overlook the other shortcomings of the laptop at its price point. 

Lenovo has been restrictive of options allowed on their IdeaPad laptops, but you would think anyone willing to dish out extra ~$400 for this technology would be the kind of consumer who would appreciate flexibility in configurations. The lack of USB 3.0, Blu-Ray and the absolutely woeful battery life are big negatives, a 9-cell battery life option would have remedied the later. 

When Toshiba first rolled out the WiDi tech, they did it in such a way so as not to compromise the rest of the laptop. The Satellite E205 laptop even without the WiDi was a decent deal for its price. 

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Joel H replied on Tue, Oct 12 2010 7:49 PM

Gibber,

Near as I can tell, Lenovo is trying to persuade buyers who want flexible options into buying Thinkpads. It's a baffling move--it's not as if notebook manufacturers don't already limit customization options on various systems. Even boutique builders don't typically make *every* option available on every system. It's also not uncommon to need to order by phone, or accept a longer-than-standard delivery window.

Since Lenovo doesn't claim this streamlining improves IdeaPad delivery or offers next-day-shipping advantages...I'm at a loss as to the reason.

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Coldlava4 replied on Wed, Oct 13 2010 12:06 AM

Joel,

I would say I am a novice when it comes to laptops so i have several questions.

1. if price played a role, What if I could get this laptop (y560 3D) for $930 dollars? Is that a steal, a good deal? or not worth it?

2. They have another option for the y560.... it is not the 3D one.. but it has the i7 - 740. which seems to be the new quad i7s they are using. What are your thoughts about that processor on a regular y560? also what if it the price was around ($890)

I ask this question because the processor is more powerful than the 3D one.

Obviously the pros and cons is that for the second option.. I dont get the 3D.. but I do get a better processor and for cheaper cost. Let me know the pros and cons of each deal and which one you would choose considering the price i can get it for. Thanks Joel!

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realneil replied on Wed, Oct 13 2010 10:06 AM

Coldlava4:
1. if price played a role,

                         Wink And it should Wink

To that end, I would suggest going to a place like www.Newegg.com and looking at many brands of notebooks. They also have sales that will truly save you lot's of money and get you more options to choose from. It does pay to shop around and enhanced choice is a good thing too.


Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

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Coldlava4 replied on Wed, Oct 13 2010 6:20 PM

Real Neil,

I know.. but look at the price... Im trying to make a decision.

for the price i listed, it is a solid laptop with a strong GPU and a good CPU.....

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Joel H replied on Wed, Oct 13 2010 6:33 PM

1.  The value of this laptop will depend on what criteria matter to you. If you value battery life, this laptop is a bad deal at any price. If, on the other hand, you have a universally compatible additional battery and you like 3D movies, then $930 is a fabulous price. If you don't really care about movies or battery life and you want a laptop will really awesome speakers, then $930 is a good price. 

2.  More powerful chip = less battery life. If battery matters, the i7-740 is actually a worse chip than the i7-720. If battery life doesn' tmatter and the cost is identical, then maybe this deal is worth it. Personally, I'd rather have a 32nm Arrandale (dual-core + HT) in a notebook. It offers faster clockspeeds than the relatively slow i7 series, it still has TurboBoost enabled, *and* the chip will use much less power in battery mode.

If you don't need a quad-core + HT (and most people definitely don't), then I'd stay away from this system if battery life is a concern. The point I keep circling around is that the additional "features" of the Y560D are only features if you *need* them. If the features don't fulfill needs, they might as well not be there.

Edit:  The 5730 seems to be a good GPU for this class of screen; the only question is whether or not the Core i7 is *really* a good deal for you. If it helps, remember that the vast majority of Intel mobile processors are dual-core *including* many of the Core i7 models. If you want specifics, check here:  http://ark.intel.com.  I'd rather have a 2.8GHz dual-core i7 with a Turbo speed of 3.33GHz than a quad-core i7 with a turbo speed of 2.6GHz. Since virtually nothing I do can utilize four cores effectively, faster dual cores are a better deal. 

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realneil replied on Wed, Oct 13 2010 6:57 PM

Coldlava4:
Im trying to make a decision. for the price i listed, it is a solid laptop with a strong GPU and a good CPU.....

 You sound convinced already. So you should buy it.

I was trying to provide a few more options for you, because in my humble opinion Lenovo is usually much more expensive than other brands. I've owned 3 Lenovo/IBM laptops before and they were solid performers, quality built, that lasted for years. But I can also say the same for DELL as well.

Did you look at what Dell has to offer? They usually sell for less. Here's one example.

EDIT: Joel's advice above is solid, a more efficient computer with faster performance is a better trade off. It just make no sense to buy something that's so power hungry.

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

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Coldlava4 replied on Wed, Oct 13 2010 10:09 PM

I agree with all your points. I am looking for a machine I can game on as well as something that will last me a few years in the future. The extra 3d stuff sounds pretty cool. I dont want a machine that will be out dated too easily. I want a machine that will be quick and still be able to play a few games in the future.

in terms of bang for the buck... 930 seems pretty solid like you said.. I might pull the trigger.

1. So i was wondeirng if that quad core will last me into the future? as well as the GPU... and how many years would it last me?  (if you know anything about games, i want to run starcraft 2 easily)

Power supply isnt that big for me... since I would get a thinkpad if it was. But the battery life that you posted in your review is the bare minimum I would consider.

2. I guess what i meant was i assume the i7-740 is more powerful but uses more power?

3.Also how is the cooling system work on the laptop? is the cooling good or will I need an external fan for this laptop?

4. Are there any other laptops with a solid quadcore and strong GPU better than this one that is cheaper? assuming battery life is the same if not better? (like i said i could get this for $930... but you might say I need to do my research.... im just saying if you have any other names of laptops that I should look at)

Thanks!

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realneil replied on Thu, Oct 14 2010 2:10 PM

Coldlava4:
1. So i was wondeirng if that quad core will last me into the future? as well as the GPU... and how many years would it last me?

There's no way to know for sure. When I build a PC for myself, I get the very best parts I can afford to buy, I build it, and then hope that It will last for a long time. Over the years I've learned who makes higher quality parts and who to avoid. Advances in technology happen so fast these days that there's no guarantee that your system will be considered to be top notch within a year or two.

Coldlava4:
2. I guess what i meant was i assume the i7-740 is more powerful but uses more power?

Yes, it's a LITTLE more powerful for some multi-threaded tasks, but it's a voracious power user. What you should understand is that a faster clocked Dual Core PC would give you better gaming performance while using less power. Your batteries would last a lot longer. (if it's plugged into the wall all of the time then this is a moot point) If you plan to do a lot of movie encoding then the Quad core is a better buy.

Coldlava4:
3.Also how is the cooling system work on the laptop? is the cooling good or will I need an external fan for this laptop?

It will keep itself cool if you don't use it on surfaces such as in bed and on a blanket. (you can't block the airflow of it's fans) The Quad Core will generate more heat.

Coldlava4:
4. Are there any other laptops with a solid quadcore and strong GPU better than this one that is cheaper?

Yes, that's why I gave you a link to www.newegg.com so you could look for yourself. Remember that in most cases, the fastest Quad-Core is not nessessary. Spend more on the graphics within and you'll get a better result.

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

(Mark Twain)

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Coldlava4 replied on Thu, Oct 14 2010 2:57 PM

 I also looked at some reviews on newegg... some of the problems that were mentioned were not mentioned on this review.

 

For example the large cursor or the blue screens. Just saying if you guys know if lenovo did anyhting to fix it

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Joel H replied on Thu, Oct 14 2010 3:35 PM

Cold Lava,

I played through Starcraft 2 with a 65nm Core 2 Quad Kentsfield (2.4GHz).  You should be fine. Battery life I reported was the battery life I observed in our benchmark, playing HL2, and when watching a film. I'm not sure what you mean by "minimum. Of the three tests, two of them were simple, real-world examples.  Cooling system is fine--you won't need a separate fan unless you live in a rather hot climate.

 

Offhand, I don't know of any other laptops. I am curious as to why you think you need a quad core.

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Coldlava4 replied on Fri, Oct 15 2010 2:29 PM

Joel,

 

I want to get a quad core because

1. when i  purchase a new laptop (once ever few years)... I am replacing my old laptop which can basically do everything. for example, movies, games, video stuff, etc. I want the quad core because it seems to be the future in regards to power and speed.

2. Now before you go off on my first point, hear me out. Like i mentioned in my first post, I am a novice. When you mention overclock... I do not know how to do any of that and i get frustrated easily if it takes more than 5 minutes to do. I did some reading on a quad core and the turboboost is basically automatic overclocking. (using more power if you need it) Also with your post metnionging the dual core stuff... ill be hoenst... i have no idea what youre talking about haha. it seems mad confusing with the sophisticated terminology.

3. I would the quad core might be necessary in the future as more complex programs and activities might be required.

To be honest.... I want the power. its greedy... its bad... i dont know ic ant help it.

 

and also.. when you used the laptop to make a review... did you run into those blue screen problems or the large cursors?

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realneil replied on Fri, Oct 15 2010 3:00 PM

Coldlava4:
I did some reading on a quad core and the turboboost is basically automatic overclocking. (using more power if you need it)

Yes, turbo-boost gives you more power, or actually clock-speed, to be technical, and it does it by turning off a few of your cores and jacking up the speed of the ones that are still active. The system does this automagically too. (essentially, for a moment, the CPU is a faster clocked Dual Core while this is happening)

A faster clocked Dual Core is what I've been recommending to you, but you equate the number of cores with system power and that's that.

I think that you should get the PC you want. It will come with a warranty, so if there are blue screens, they'll address them with you within the support group for that company. Remember one thing though,..........this PC having the 3-D screen is leading edge technology, but the leading edge oftentimes turns out to be the bleeding edge. You may experience problems while riding the bleeding edge, but you may not.

Good Luck with your purchase Sir.

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

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Coldlava4 replied on Fri, Oct 15 2010 7:09 PM

so youre saying... the more cores... the more power right?

 

I would get a PC.. however, I still need to be mobile.. thus I would want something powerful and mobile all in one.

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realneil replied on Fri, Oct 15 2010 7:32 PM

Coldlava4:
so youre saying... the more cores... the more power right?

No,.... I'm saying that a faster clocked dual core PC with a really good Video card in it is more powerful and responsive. If you plan to encode movies, and I mean a ton of them, then a Quad is better for you. Most software, and especially games, can't utilize the extra cores that a Quad has. In the future this will change as more software developers write software that utilizes all the cores that are available in systems.

If you really have to have a Quad, (future proofing) then do it smarter and get one with some battery life and great performance too.

Wilted Flower THIS ONE Wilted Flower  is $899.00 and is a good little gaming machine. CyberPower PC is a good company with a good reputation too. I have one of their high performance desktops and it's very nice.

While the other one has 3D built in, there isn't very much software available today that supports it yet. So why pay a huge premium for it now?

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Joel H replied on Sun, Oct 17 2010 5:23 PM

ColdLava,

 

That's an ATI driver bug, AFAIK. I don't know if any particular driver updates have addressed it. The solution is simple:  Change your desktop resolution (to anything), then, when the confirmation window pops up, tell the system you *don't* want to keep the current changes.


Desktop will return to original size and the cursor will be properly small.

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Coldlava4 replied on Mon, Oct 18 2010 5:26 PM

What about the blue screen problems?

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Joel H replied on Tue, Oct 19 2010 10:00 AM

CL4,

I'm not sure if you're referring to a blue screen, as in a crash, or a functional laptop with a screen tinted blue. If you're referring to a crash, this is typically called a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death).

I've never seen or heard of any bluescreen problems related to ATI and Windows 7. While researching this laptop I found nothing that mentioned it. In either case, the problem is more likely to be user error than fundamental driver flaw.

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