Lenovo Ideapad Y560 Review: Enhances the multimedia experience

Lenovo Ideapad Y560

Watching multimedia content in HD has been a more or less forsaken affair for the past couple of years. Most makers today are however gathering their energies to bring the full HD experience right into our living rooms, which does say a lot about the kind of advancements the technology has seen. The expansive industry has been pushed enough to let us view HD content in not just committed TVs and monitors but also tablets, mobile phones and a host of other devices including gaming-centric. The odd laptop bowing down to the full HD magic is only more than welcome then in such a scenario. If you were party to all the attention the Lenovo Ideapad Y560 laptop managed to garner at first glance almost a year back, you’ll know why its sitting on our desks for a review. Read on to know more, especially if you happened to miss this one among other things that had your perspective occupied.

Lenovo sent us the Lenovo Ideapad Y560 in a huge carton that included just the user guide, setup poster, regulatory notice, and the charger. The laptop though massive isn’t really that much of a heavy weight. When out of the receptacle, you’ll spend much time ogling at the lid for the ingrained inlay geometric motif it bears on its glossy exterior. The pattern ups its style quotient while a vermilion outline running along the lid’s edge almost completes that quintessential business look. Like all gleaming gadgets we’ve spent time with, this one too seems pretty vocal about its love for fingerprints and smudges. There’s room enough for you to play a mini game of tic-tac-toe on the innards if you so wish. On a more serious note, the interior of this device looks neat and clean with most functionality fitted in the central area. There are a couple of things that do light up the vacant terrain but they’re fitted so suavely, you could miss them at first glimpse.

To the left of the keyboard is the power on/off button which lights up when the device is on and the OneKey Rescue key. On its right is the volume up, down and mute buttons which though plastic in nature are very easy to access. Right above the keyboard on the right are two touch sensitive buttons assigned to Energy Management and OneKey Theater II. LED lights indicate HDD, Bluetooth and WLAN on the left of this area. The middle locale has been dedicated to the Lenovo SlideNav Bar while extreme ends of this terrain feature JBL speakers. A mouthful of ports fill the sides of the Y560. The left side is outlined with a VGA port, an HDMI port, stylish fan louvers, a RJ-45 Ethernet port, USB ports, a headphone jack and a microphone jack. The front rim is fitted with a media card slot and an integrated wireless device switch. The right view offers a USB port, eSATA/USB combo port, an ExpressCard slot, an optical drive, AC power adapter jack and Kensington slot. The top bezel of the screen includes a duo of integrated microphones with the webcam fitted right in between.

Ideapad Y560

We like how most laptops these days have the screen hinged to the main laptop area. It just makes them that much more flexible when you are working. If only Lenovo had put in that extra effort to enhance the frame of the device too. You can almost have your finger thrust right into the laptop’s body irrespective of where you are going to try to do that. Almost like adding insult to the injury, the screen swings back and forth for at least a minute or two after you’ve opened the lid. The device starts up rather quickly though. It’s a massive screen estate on this Lenovo device which reads at 15.6”. And mind you it’s a good one at that. Save for the fact that the screen is too reflective for comfort, it’s everything you can expect for truly enhanced HD display. The display supports a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768 with the ATI Radeon HD5730 chipset doing more than its bit to show what good graphics are all about.

Lenovo’s entrusted One Theater II key offers the option to change the mode in which you’re watching videos on-the-fly. Intelligent, Normal and Movie are the three options that should let you get the most of video playback. The Lenovo SlideNav Bar keeps to its name with a slide of the finger between the assigned white points allowing us to pick from nearly 8 preset applications. We loved the zip and unzip feature among the crowd in particular which locks the screen with a virtual zip. It’s only understandable to have your audio expectations high of a product that has been fitted with JBL speakers. Add the Dolby Home Theater software to that and presumptions are only bound to soar higher. Thankfully, the Lenovo Ideapad Y560 doesn’t disappoint on this front, with its audio quality definitely being a notch above most 15-inchers we’ve seen in the market. Even at its loudest, the sound is quite harmonious.

Lenovo Y560

As for the keyboard, it felt quite durable though we did end up hitting the wrong keys a little too often initially. It was better once we got used to it and the slanting edges of the keys with just the right space in between them allowed optimum use. Offering a favorable feedback, the pressure points on the keys are rather cloudless. The wide touchpad couldn’t have been more inviting with the Synaptics Pointing Device software lending a helping hand. Its surface has tiny swells almost like beauty spots letting your fingers keep that firm grip. Supporting multi-touch gestures sure seems to upscale the already good performance of the touchpad. The mouse keys seated below the touchpad are huge too and their gentle mechanism needs no more than a soft tap to reach desired functions. The interface is the 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium OS at its best. Lenovo’s YouCam has nothing different to offer as far as a webcam is concerned except though it does animate captured content with better resolutions.

The Lenovo Ideapad Y560 laptop’s incorporation of the Intel Core i7 Q740 CPU with a precise processing speed of 1.73GHz is more than pleasing. We got down testing it on our favorite shooter game Counter Strike and the AMD ATI HD 5730 graphics sure played up. At medium settings, the laptop offers high details and no frame lags, enhancing the experience for gamers. A 4GB RAM kept the 500GB HDD company. Connecting to both the network and the internet was no hassle at all. We hopped on the web like just any other computing device and it was smooth sailing all the way. Streaming files through Bluetooth or navigating the web via Wi-Fi are both a seamless journey too. On the flipside, the battery life of the laptop is just about 3 hours.

Y560

Pros:

The looks of the notebook ooze style all along.

The notebook is awe-inspiring in terms of graphics.

The HD-capable display will have you wide-eyed irrespective of whether you’re gaming or catching a latest movie.

Cons:

Lenovo could have used the empty area surrounding the keyboard to include a numeric keypad on the right.

Battery life could have been better, at least 4 hours. What’s more the base heats a little too much when you’re downloading processor heavy applications.

There is that odd lag in between when you’re trying to do many things simultaneously like watching a video over the internet and making notes in Word or connecting to the network.

Our Shout

The CES 2011 was witness to more glasses-free 3D innovations with Apple among others in the running. There’s no denying that we’re fast moving past the dippy shades to view 3D content. Till then, there’s much to enjoy on devices like this Lenovo wonder as far as home entertainment is concerned. If you’ve been pondering upon bringing a full entertainer within the comforts of your couch, you could consider the Lenovo Ideapad Y560 as a safe bet. Primarily, it suffices all of the computing needs too. We give it a generous 8.7 out 10. It bears an MRP of Rs. 63,790 inclusive of taxes.