Lenovo Y70 Touch Gaming Notebook Review

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Introduction and Specifications

Over the past several years, Lenovo has been aggressively targeting PC gamers, who are known both for their willingness to drop serious cash on hardware and for their skepticism of mainstream brands. Lenovo inherited some of IBM’s corporate image when it took over the company’s laptop business, but winners like the Yoga line got Lenovo tons of exposure with mainstream consumers too. Along the way, the entertainment-friendly Y series of laptops became Lenovo’s gaming line: a suite of affordable systems that brought Lenovo’s understated design sense to bear in a market awash in garish colors, lights, and gimmicks. The Y70 Touch is Lenovo’s flagship mobile gaming PC, so we took it out for a spin.

Lenovo’s Y70 Touch series starts at $1,399.99. The model we tested has some of the best components available to the series and retails for about $1,499, though we’ve seen it discounted on Lenovo’s website by as much as $200. All of the Y70’s have the same processor, display, and operating system, but you’ll see differences in the video card, hard drive, and memory options.

Y70 03

Lenovo Y70 Touch
Specifications & Features
Operating System:
Windows 8.1 64-bit
 Processor:  Intel Core i7-4710HQ Quad-Core 2.5GHz (Turbo 3.5GHz)
 Memory:
 16GB DDR3-1600 PC3-12800
 Graphics:  Nvidia GeForcxe GTX 860M GDDR5 4GB
 Storage:
 1TB 5400RPM + 8GB SSHD
 Optical:  Optional External USB DVD-RW GP60N
 Display:  17.3-inch 1920x1080 Multi-Touch Display
 Webcam:
 720p
 Connectivity:  Gigabit LAN, Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 3160, Bluetooth 4.0
 Ports:  x2 USB 3.0, x1 USB 2.0, SD Card Reader, HDMI, SPDIF, Mic/Headphone, Security Lock Slot
 Battery:  4-Cell Li-Polymer 54Wph
 Dimensions & Weight:
 16.64 x 11.44 x 1.02 (W x D x H Inches); 7.5 pounds
 Software:  McAfee LiveSafe Trial, Veriface Pro, Lenovo Utilities
 Warranty:  1 Year
 Price:  $1,499 (as configured) - Find It At Amazon.com

The mark of a serious gaming laptop is the presence of a powerful discrete graphics card. Integrated graphics are fine for browsing the Internet and streaming Netflix, but they’re no match for a dedicated GPU with its own memory when it comes to gaming. Ordinary laptops can’t afford the space or manage the heat that a discrete card requires, so gaming laptops are usually bigger, desktop-replacement types that have more room under the hood. The Y70 is a 7.5-pound machine that sports an Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M. From a performance standpoint, the 860M is a solid gamer that sits in the top half of Nvidia’s 800M series. That said, there are several chips on the market that can clobber the 860M. It’s a little surprising that Lenovo doesn’t offer, say, an 880M option for gamers with a little extra money to spend.

Lenovo pairs the GeForce GTX 860M with an Intel Core i7-4710HQ quad-core processor that runs at 2.5GHz and 16GB of DDR3-1600 memory. For storage, Lenovo chose a 1TB + 8GB SSHD, which is a hybrid hard disk/SSD drive. The 1TB HDD portion runs at 5400RPM. A hybrid drive like this appeals to some users because it provides plenty of room for storing games and the never-ending sea of downloadable game content. The 8GB SSD makes the hybrid drive faster than an ordinary 5400RPM drive, but a full SSD drive will always be much faster overall. If you’d prefer a dedicated SSD though, you’re in luck: Lenovo offers another model of the Y70 that is nearly identical, but has a 512GB SSD instead of the SSHD. (It also has a price tag that’s higher by about $200.)

The Y70 has a 17.3-inch display with a 1920x1080 resolution and touch support, which is another feature that is going to please some people, but whereas the different Y70 models give you some storage choices, all Y70s have touchscreens. I suspect most users will welcome the addition of a touchscreen to the Y70 (I do), but hey, if you want to keep your screen smudge free, no one’s forcing you to poke at it. 

Y70 02

When it comes to ports and connectivity options, the Y70 has the usual suspects: an SD card reader, HDMI and mic/headphone ports, gigabit LAN, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. The Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 3160 is a nice touch and will come in handy at the next basement LAN party when the host runs out of ports. We are a little surprised to see that the Y70 has only three USB ports. You can assume one will get used by a gaming mouse and possibly another for a headset, leaving only one port left for other devices, like the optional DVD-RW Lenovo offers.

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