The new Lenovo Y50 notebook keeps the same aggressive and appealing design signature as previous generations and even lowering the profile of the chassis. It has brushed aluminum cover on the lid and at the bottom. Inside you will find a soft-touch matte plastic, but more on that later. Actually, this is one of the best looking notebooks on the market, but as every product out there, this one has its own drawbacks.
Let’s begin wit the lid. It’s made of black, brushed aluminum with two curves on the sides along with Lenovo’s engraved logo in the top left corner. The logo is also made of metal and it’s a little protruding. Unfortunately, though, it’s relatively easy to leave smudges on the surface, but they are easy to clean. Continuing with the bottom piece, where you will find the same aluminum cover with big vents for some additional cooling by an external cooling pad. Right beneath the grills is placed a little net that aims to hold some bigger particles from going inside the machine. You will also notice that the net becomes a bit “white” over time from the “collected dust”. Right next to the grills is the subwoofer, which is paired with the JBL branded loudspeakers.
The sides, as we mentioned, are really thin and feature the same matte plastic that can be found in the interior. Just for the record, the Y50 is 24.5 mm thick which is quite impressive, while Acer Aspire VN7 Nitro Black Edition is a tad slimmer, measuring at 23.25 mm. The left side accommodates the DC charging port, HDMI, LAN and two USB 3.0 ports and that’s a really good port placement in our opinion. If you are using it with an external mouse in a small working place, the cables will not get in your way. On the other side, you will find one USB 2.0 port along with the SD card reader and two 3.5 mm jacks for an external microphone and headphones. At the front end of the chassis are located only the status LED lights. The back, however, is quite attractive as it features two stylish grills at each end, but unfortunately they are just for decoration and not part of the cooling system. When we reviewed the 2014’s model, we weren’t very pleased with the cooling system and we still think that Lenovo could have used those grills for some extra airflow. So, just like last year, the main grill for dispersing the heat is located right in front of the hinge. Despite the fact that this is an aesthetic placement, it’s not very functional since it doesn’t give enough air for the machine to “breathe”.
The interior of the chassis is just as appealing as the outside of the machine. We’ve got the red JBL branded loudspeakers next to the screen, which are distinguished with black glossy plastic as the rest of the interior is covered in matte, soft-touch plastic. Just like the exterior, this material attracts fingerprints and it’s easy to leave nasty smudges. Also, be aware that after a period of time, due to usage, the area where palms rest (around the touchpad) the material wears off and loses its properties. The keyboard is easy to work with when you adjust to the size of the keys, because some users with bigger fingers might find it a tad smaller than usual. The keys have enough travel for a good feedback, also easy to press, but not in the corners. If you are a fast typer be aware that you will end up missing some letters if you press the keys too lightly in the corner areas. It seems like the keyboard is more suitable for typing rather than gaming.
Also, typically for a gaming laptop, this one has its own LED backlight for the keyboard and… it’s red. A bit aggressive to the eyes when working in a dark room, but still really beautiful and most importantly – functional. The symbols are transparent and the edge of the keys are also letting some light to come out. With that being said, compared to the backlight of the Aspire VN7 Nitro Black Edition, Lenovo Y50 has the better solution. However, for a multimedia laptop like the Y50 is really important to have functional keys for play/pause/forward/backwards and this one doesn’t, while Acer’s notebook delivers this functionality.
We can’t leave this section without few words about the touchpad. It’s a whole aluminum plate with integrated mouse buttons, which are a bit hard to press and also our general opinion on it is not so great. It’s responsive most of the time, the gestures work great, but the precision is a bit inconsistent. Sometimes the pointer was jiggling across the screen when touching the edges of the touchpad and precise pointing was a struggle.
To sum things up, the Lenovo Y50 has a quality and premium chassis with great use of materials with the only setback for leaving smudges easily. The cooling system doesn’t seem to be very functional, but we will check that later in the “Temperatures” section. Maybe that’s the thing you will have to give up for a stylish and slimmed down powerhouse. The keyboard feels optimal for typing and not so for gaming, but at least it has a nifty backlight. Come to think of it, everything feels nice, except for the touchpad, which leaves a big room for improvement.
Unfortunately, the internal hardware design isn’t changed compared to last year’s model. For a notebook with a price tag around €1100 you would expect various storage options like m.2 SATA or at least mSATA. For instance, the ASUS G771 has the option of m.2 SATA for a similar price. The Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition offers this as well. This can be considered as a major setback by many customers.
Let’s also have a quick look at the design of the cooling system. The CPU and GPU are really close together, while both fans are placed apart and concentrating the airflow at only one place. This can be considered as quite ineffective and you can see why in the “Temperatures” section.
More information on this subject can be found here: http://laptopmedia.com/news/inside-the-new-lenovo-y50-gtx-960m-disassembly-internal-photos-and-upgrade-options/
Lenovo Y50’s display has a Full HD AH-IPS panel with matte surface. The manufacturer is LG with model number LP156WF4_SPL1 with diagonal of 15.6? and a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. The aspect ratio is 16:9 and the pixel density is 141 PPI with space between each pixel – 0.18 x 0.18 mm.
Here are the viewing angles under 45°.
The maximum recorded brightness is 235 cd/m2 with a maximum deviation of 13% (quite acceptable). The color temperature is 6482K and almost aligns perfectly with the optimal one of 6500K (D65).
The Lenovo Y50’s (GTX 960M) display covers 64% of the sRGB and 48% of the Adobe RGB color gamut. You will be missing a significant part of the WEB-based colors (sRGB).
The gamma’s deviation is neglectable and only dark parts of the image will appear a bit dim.
We’ve calibrated the display at 200 cd/m2 in order to reach optimal color temperature of 6500K.