Lenovo Ideapad Y700 review

Long battery life tops off this attractive gaming laptop

Lenovo Ideapad Y700

The Y700 is heavy. Weighing in at 5.72 pounds (2.62kg), it's heavier than both the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 5.67 pounds (2.57kg) and the HP Pavilion Gaming at 5.11 pounds (2.32kg). Unlike the Pavilion, the Y700 lacks an optical drive, which would have added more to weight and thickness.

Spec sheet

Here is the Lenovo Ideapad Y700 configuration given to us for testing:

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ (quad-core, 6MB cache, up to 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost)
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M (4GB DDR5 VRAM), Intel HD Graphics 530
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 2133MHz
  • Screen: 15.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 LED anti-glare back-lit multi-touch display
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD, 1TB HDD (5,400 RPM)
  • Ports: 2 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0, HDMI, Ethernet, headset jack, 1 multi-card reader
  • Connectivity: Intel wireless AC 8260, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Camera: 720p HD webcam
  • Weight: 5.72 pounds (2.6 kg)
  • Size: 18.9 x 28.3 x 1.7 inches (48.2 x 72 x 4.6cm; W x D x H)

Lenovo Ideapad 700 review

The Lenovo Ideapad Y700 features Intel's sixth-generation i7-6700HQ Skylake processor, the same one found in the $999 (£799, AU$1,899) HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop and $899 (£749, AU$1,499) Dell Inspiron 15 7000 by a good measure.

Both the Inspiron and the Y700 have an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M with 4GB VRAM, beating out the Pavilion's 950M. Modern games like Metal Gear Solid V and Grand Theft Auto perform well at 50-60fps, but not at their fullest capability.

While small, the SSD does give the Y700 a nice boost over the Pavilion and the Inspiron, both of which lack flash storage. Start up is as quick as you would expect from a machine loading the OS from flash storage, but as I mentioned earlier, it's too small to really store many games or apps.

Grand Theft Auto V, for example, comes in at 64GB and it easily eats up most of your SSD storage. Having to put huge games onto a slow HDD is a viable alternative, but holds the Y700 back.

Lenovo Ideapad 700 review

Performance

The long load times from the slow HDD are too bad, because as far as gaming performance is concerned, the Y700 rises above its peers. Games look good and perform nicely, especially for a it's higher than usual price tag. As far as overall performance, the combination i7, 960M, and the 16GB RAM help put it above its peers.

Benchmarks

Here's how the Lenovo Ideapad Y700 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

  • 3DMark: Cloud Gate: 17,387; Sky Diver: 13,004; Fire Strike: 3,977
  • Cinebench CPU: 677 cb; Graphics: 90.96 fps
  • PCMark 8 (Home Test): 3,466 points
  • PCMark 8 Battery Life: 3 hours and 35 minutes
  • Geekbench 3: Single-Core Score: 3,635; Multi-Core Score: 13,435
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor [1080p, Ultra]: 33 fps; [1080p, Low]: 76 fps
  • Grand Theft Auto 5 [1080p, Ultra]: 13 fps; [1080p, Low]: 103 fps

When it comes to benchmarks, the Y700 beats the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop and the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 in every test. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor's results are nearly identical between the Y700 and the Inspiron, with both having the benefit of the Nvidia GTX 960M.

What's probably the most surprising feature is the battery life, especially compared to its competition. Not only does the Y700 perform better in our benchmarking tests, its battery is much better, too. Testing the battery by running Guardians of the Galaxy on a continuous loop, the Y700 lasted an impressive 4 hours 2 minutes. The Inspiron and Pavilion both lasted an admirable, but still shorter, 3 hours.