Lenovo's IdeaPad Y560D 3D Laptop Reviewed

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Design and Build Quality

The Lenovo Y560D from both angles, with the shipping 3D glasses ever-so-artfully placed in front. The tribal design sets the Y560D apart from the Y560 standard decoration. Lenovo thoughtfully includes a set of clip-on 3D lenses for those of us who wear glasses. While they don't exactly do anything for one's coolness factor,  using them beats trying to squint through two separate pairs of  lenses.  

From this angle it's possible to see the webcam, trackpad, and button layout. The button on the far left controls system power, the three buttons to the right turn audio up, down, or mute it altogether. This angle makes the Y560D's lid seem out-of-proportion to its bottom, but that's not something we observed when using the laptop.

From the top down we've got the power button on the left, status bar across the top (flanked by two JBL speakers) and the audio control buttons on the far right. The two upper buttons control the laptop's power scheme and LCD settings. Lenovo's own power management utility doesn't seem to offer much in the way of additional features that Windows 7 doesn't include, but it does allow you to enable / disable an auto-brightness feature that the company claims improves battery life. In practice, however, we found the light meter overly sensitive and prone to lowering the screen brightness if the monitor was even slightly bent towards the closed position. We found it more effective to adjust the brightness level via keyboard.

The front and back of the system are nondescript, the only front-mounted port is the 6-in-1 card reader. There is a small switch on the front of the chassis, but its only purpose is to switch between hybrid graphics solutions on notebooks that support the feature. The Y560D doesn't use any form of hybrid GPU, so it's a useless toggle.

Here's the edge view from the left and right (top and bottom images respectively). On the left we've got 15-pin VGA out, HDMI out, the ethernet jack, two USB2 ports and a brace of audio jacks. On the right side there's the laptop's DVD drive, two additional USB ports, an Express Card slot, and the power connection. There's only one flaw in the Y560D's port design. The power jack is close enough to the DVD drive that it interferes with the drive's ability to open and close if the cord is even slightly curved toward the drive. This can be avoided by running the cord around the back of the unit, but you lose a few inches of cord length when doing so.

Those of you who are paying attention will note that the "DVD" drive in the image above is actually a Blu-ray drive; the Blu-ray logo is clearly visible at the far left. Please note, however, that none of the notebooks in the "Y" series offer Blu-ray standard, the Y560D is the only laptop to use this particular case design, and as we've discussed, Lenovo doesn't offer hardware upgrades to its IdeaPad series. In this case, we're downright surprised by the omission; it's logical to think there'd be some overlap between customers interested in Blu-ray and those interested in purchasing 3D movies down the road. Sony has made much of the PS3's ability to play 3D Blu-ray films and there are a number of Blu-ray / 3D titles for sale at Amazon as well.

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