Lenovo is doubling down on its affordable gaming notebook line with the addition of the IdeaPad Y510P. As the name suggests users won’t see a large deviation from the Lenovo IdeaPad Y500. In fact, the Y510P incorporates the same sleek chassis design as its predecessor including its innovative ultrabay port.
While the two devices look similar on the surface, the Y510P does differentiate itself with a number of key upgrades. The gaming notebook makes the leap to Intel’s fourth generation Haswell processors and offers an upgraded NVidia GT 750M GPU. The build Notebook Review tested takes that a step further offering a second (SLI-enabled) NVidia GT 750M GPU via the notebook’s ultrabay.
With the improved specs the Y510P boasts impressive performance gains over its predecessor, but it comes at the noticeable price increase. With the fully upgraded model costing $1,600 the Y510P can no longer call itself a budget gaming device. Is the increased performance worth the price increase? Read the full review to find out.
Build and Design
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P utilizes the same chassis design as its predecessor the Y500. The notebook employs a black brushed aluminum casing on its lid and deck complete with a horizontal striation texture. The bottom half of the chassis is made up a thick durable plastic and a shiny protective layer of plastic surrounds the edges of the display case.
Measuring at 15.2″ x 10.2″ x 1.4″ and weighing in at 6.4 lbs. the IdeaPad Y510P is significantly lighter than most gaming notebooks on the market. Weighing in at over 6 pounds the IdeaPad is hardly a lightweight, but compared to other 15″ dedicated gaming rigs which easily weigh upwards of 8 pounds the Lenovo Y510P offers a considerable amount of portability. Especially when considering that the IdeaPad houses a second GPU via the device’s ultrabay.
The metallic frame manages to provide a solid level of durability. The combined plastic and metallic chassis proved resistant to pressure. The display case flexed slightly when pressure was applied, but no noticeable rippling occurred on screen. Similar to the Y500, the IdeaPad Y510P offers a portable package that can hold up against the wear and tear of travel.
Ports and Features
The Lenovo IdeaPad offers a solid collection of ports that will easily meet the needs of most users. The left side of the device houses a VGA connector, Ethernet connector, HDMI connector and two USB 3.0 ports. The right side offers separate headphone and microphone jacks and an always-on USB 2.0 port.
Left: VGA connector, Ethernet port, HDMI connector, two USB 3.0 portsRight: Headphone and Microphone Jacks, USB 2.0 port
Uilizing the same chassis design as it predecessor, the Y510P carries over the ultrabay functionality found in the Y500. The ultrabay, which is located on the right side of the chassis, allows users to customize the notebook by adding a number of different Lenovo components to the device. The Y510P unit Notebook Review tested was equipped with a second (SLI-enabled) NVidia GT 750M GPU; however, users can also opt for a second HDD tray, cooling fan or an optical DVD burner.
It is important to understand that the versatility of the ultrabay is somewhat limited. Only the selected Lenovo accessories are compatible with the ultrabay; other GPUs and components will not work with the device. While that severely limits the user’s ability to alter/upgrade the device, the ease of adding and removing components via the ultrabay is a welcomed addition. Changing components proves to be an easy process. Users simply need to shut down the device, remove the battery, unlock the bay, and then replace their ultrabay component. It’s not fully customizable, but it’s a great alternative to manually installing and removing components.
Display and Speakers
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P houses a 15.6″ LED-backlit screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. The full HD display provides a sharp clear image. Text reads well on the bright vibrant LED display and with its robust color contrast the display is perfect for watching media or playing games.
The display offers generous viewing angles along the horizontal axis with images holding up well past 100 degrees. On the vertical axis the display proves less flexible, with noticeable image distortion occurring at extreme angles. The glossy finish of the display is susceptible to heavy lighting conditions, often causing reflections to appear on display. However, in normal conditions away from direct light, the display provides a clean easy to view image.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y510 is equipped with a pair of JBL speakers located above the keyboard on the right and left side of the chassis. The two speakers are quite boisterous capable of providing audio to an entire room. The speakers captured both music and game audio with excellent quality and clarity. Additionally, the JBL speakers offered a noticeable amount of bass that helped to capture the various sound effects in BioShock Infinite.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The red backlit Chiclet style keyboard complete with number pad makes a return in the Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P. The squared keys offer exceptional spacing and are braised along the top with an inward curved design allowing for added grip. The keyboard offers solid key travel distance and responsive tactile feedback with keys quickly snapping back into place. With adequate spacing and response feedback, the Lenovo Y510P ensures speed and accuracy which makes the keyboard ideal for playing games.
The Lenovo Y510P houses a generously sized touchpad located below the spacebar. The touchpad which runs on synaptic drivers is devoid of mouse buttons. Instead the pad designates a portion of the bottom of the bad to act as right and left mouse buttons. The pad is slightly slanted at this area denoting where this portion begins; however, it can still be difficult to know exactly where this portion of the pad is and can often result in missed clicks.
Luckily the touchpad also offers multi-finger gestures with a single finger click acting as a left-mouse click and two fingers reading as a right-mouse click. The multi-finger gestures are far easier to use, and I found myself simply opting to use one and two finger clicks, completely forgoing the bottom of the touchpad all together.
In terms of actual performance, the Y510P’s touchpad proves more than servable. Simple point and click functions read smoothly along with multi-finger gestures. The only issue arises from the pad itself. The rubberized surface can cause a bit of friction forcing fingers to drag or stumble, making more delicate tasks such as selecting a portion of text difficult at times.
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