- A portable editing monster for around $1k
- Sleek Design
- Dedicated Graphics
- Decent Battery Life
- Screen is Lacking
- Limited Viewing Angles
- Keyboard is mushy and Touchpad is finicky
- Great Laptop for Price
- Swap in an SSD and a Better Screen
Before you continue I wanted to give you a little background on what I mainly use this laptop for:
- Editing via Premiere Pro, Lightroom and Photoshop
- StarCraft II
- Writing and Running Python Scripts
- Adobe Audition
- Microsoft Office
So anyone who wants to use this say for playing StarWars Battle Front standby, because one of these days I will get a chance to let you know how it goes.
I've had this laptop for nearly a year and the updated model they have on their site has upgraded graphics card but not much else. I have thrown everything at this laptop and it has stood up to most of it. There was this one time I was editing a Behind The Scenes for Lucky Strike Documentary (located here) and I could not for the life of me load Premiere. But that has more to do with NVIDIA's updates than it does with the laptop. But that is something you should take into consideration when you buy a laptop and any laptop with dedicated graphics cards installed (ie. Razer Blade, MSI Ghost/GP Series). Just to let you know it took me 2 hours to figure out I had to just revert back to my old driver to get CUDA working again. FYI for anyone running into that problem
It's got Alienware's design but none of it's bulk. Coming in at a spry 5.4 lbs and 15.23 x 10.37 x 0.9 inch frame it's ls made from a brushed aluminum that has been updated from the previous Y510 which does not have the diamond Lenovo logo or the brushed cross hatch pattern finish. Lenovo decided to go with a soft touch rubber material for the hand rest area and from time to time you will leave noticeable, but temporary marks on it. Along the top part of the keyboard are function controls a Lenovo One Key Recovery Button that I have used more than once when installing my SSD and a pair of JBL Speakers. Lenovo gives you a Dolby Software Package that works better when it's completely removed from the computer, and my version (2015 model) initially came with Windows 8.1 installed but they offer an upgrade to 10 that you should take if you hate the charm bar. But personally I miss it now that I am fully committed to Windows 10.
I don't know what everyone else is complaining about when they say this keyboard is mushy because it is never going to be a mechanical keyboard. Of course it is mushy, but it is one of the better keyboards I have typed on and the illuminating adjustable red black light is useful for gaming in the dark which I have admittedly done more than once and it comes with a 10 key number pad. How cool is that? I use it pretty frequently when I am on Excel putting together a spread sheet for work or any of my work on Tableau.
I have seen better trackpads this one is in the middle. Sometimes it's amazing i can use multi touch really easily to scroll and gesture using Windows 10. Most of the it's jittery deficiencies comes when you want to do something very precise, like editing films on Premiere; you're going to want a mouse for that, but as far as simply browsing goes this trackpad works fine. If you are typing and your hand accidentally touches the trackpad it sometimes puts you somewhere else in your sentence and then you have to travel back and fix your mistakes. I've since gotten used to this and just type by adjusting my hands farther away from the trackpad. It's going to be a different experience typing on this for everyone just because, well, we all have different hands.
It comes with 2 USB 3.0 ports which is 2 of it's only saving graces because on the right side it has a USB 2.0 port that is largely useless because Windows rarely if ever recognizes anything plugged into that port. Every review of this laptop says it lasts anywhere between 4:30 and 5 hrs when it's screen is dimmed and you're running it at half speed doing something useless like typing up a paper. But if you want to play Starcraft or edit a video you've got about 1:30 running at full speed. So you better edit, or beat your AI quickly because once you hit 5% and you have to dim everything for it to survive 15 mins this laptop becomes largely useless. Exporting pictures from Lightroom or Premiere takes twice as long without the NVIDIA graphics card's help.
Prices and Specs
That being said, this laptop when running at full speed is an excellent desktop replacement at a good weight and reasonable price. The stock model will run you about $1,000 after taxes ($879 before) and it comes with an NVIDIA GTX 960M 2GB and 8 GB of RAM. If you want to add a 512 GB SSD, another 8GB of RAM and 2GB of dedicated graphics RAM it will run you somewhere around $1,500 and some change.
They are releasing a new model after CES this year called the LENOVO IDEAPAD Y900, that is supposed to be some sort of $2,000 mechanical beast that doubles every spec this laptop has. Do you need it? Hell no, but would you want it? Not at that price. Enjoy your Y50.