Hands on: Lenovo Ideacentre Y710 Cube review

A LAN-friendly gaming PC with native Xbox One controller support

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

Combining a sharp design with decent portability and 4K/VR-ready performance, the Ideacentre Y710 Cube is small, yet mighty.

For

  • Compact design
  • Xbox controller button
  • GTX 1080 power

Against

  • Expensive
  • Questionable upgradeabilty

Gaming PCs that are both crazy powerful and portable enough to carry to LAN parties are growing in numbers. And no, we're not counting luxuries like the 8pack Asteroid, which come with their own flight cases, among them. Like the Alienware Aurora R5, Lenovo's new Ideacentre Y710 Cube has a handle built into its case that makes lugging it to gaming halls, your friend's bedroom, or the room next door much less of a hassle.

So, pricing: the VR-ready Ideacentre Y710 Cube starts at $1,300 (around £1,000, AU$1,700) for the version with a GTX 1070 graphics card. You can, of course, expect the cost for the full-fat GTX 1080 version to be north of that. Both configurations go on sale from October.

Cube

Wherever you take the Y710 Cube, which was on show at IFA 2016, its design is bound to catch eyes. Its front edge houses the main attraction - a three-pronged glowing red light that lends this box-shaped offering the appearance of a Cylon from Battlestar Galactica. The case is decked in various shades of matte grey plastic that's chopped up with red and black, borrowing design language from the company's Ideacentre Y900 desktop from last year. It looks clean, modern and menacing to boot.

Ports

Lenovo has built ports into the Y710's top edge, alongside its rear. On the top are two USB 3.0 ports, in addition to headphone and microphone connections. Flip the machine around and you'll find DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA and DVI-D ports, alongside ones for USB and a power cord.

Cube

PC gaming isn't purely a bedroom activity any more, and Lenovo has gone to some lengths to make the Y710 Cube as TV-friendly as possible. Running a finger alongside the bottom edge of the PC's case locates a button that switches on a built-in Xbox Wireless controller adapter.

Lenovo is bundling a Wireless Xbox One controller for Windows 10 with the Y710, so you'll be able to dive into controller-friendly titles without having an unsightly dongle sticking out the back of it. Nor will there be any wires trailing across the room to trip you up.

Rear IO

There's enough power inside to run the latest titles in all their glory. The Y710 can be configured with Nvidia's GTX 1080 Founder's Edition graphics card, which has huge overclock potential and places 4K gaming squarely in reach. That's twinned with up to a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 3.4GHz and up to 32GB of DDR4 memory.

It's not clear what scope there is for upgradability here, but it's possible to gain entry to the machine's components via a window on the right-hand side that's unlocked by removing two screws. The display unit on show was being used to host a session of Hearthstone, which wasn't something we dared (or were allowed) to interrupt.

Early verdict

The Lenovo Y710 Cube is a compact and smartly-designed gaming PC that could do a job for gamers who travel around with their machines or simply move them between rooms. If you're keen on gaming with an Xbox One controller, it's hard to think of a PC that makes doing so more convenient. And then there's traditional keyboard-and-mouse gaming that, along with VR, should pose no problem for this capable, if costly gaming machine.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.

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