Gaming laptops can sometimes have a very gaudy appearance, with numerous LEDs and lights everywhere. Lenovo has built in a bit of style, without going over the top on extras. The black aluminum body has a nice cross-hatch pattern machined into it, and when closed the only hints of the purpose of the Y700 are the red speaker grilles. Once opened, the Y700 features a display almost feels separate from the rest of the body, with angled edges where it meets the speakers, and it’s a nice effect. The large bezels around the display make it look like Lenovo could have almost fit a 17-inch display inside though.

The Y700, although on the low end of the price spectrum for gaming laptops, doesn’t suffer from the lack of build quality in what would normally be a low end laptop. The hinge is nice and sturdy, and the display doesn’t suffer from very much flex at all. I love the look of the LED power button, with its dot matrix styling, and the badging on the laptop is subtle.

There are two main speakers on the back of the laptop, as well as a subwoofer underneath. JBL provides the audio solution for the Y700, and it’s always a benefit to have the speakers actually facing you compared to so many laptops that stick them on the bottom.

To me, one of the most important parts of any laptop is the keyboard. The Y700 is mixed at best. It does offer a number pad on the right, however Lenovo has done what so many companies do, and squished it into the rest of the keyboard. The arrow keys are parked in between and covers half of what would normally be the zero key on the number pad. There is plenty of space on the sides of the keyboard to stretch this out a bit and have a proper number pad, and I’m not sure why companies feel they need to offer the number pad but then compromise it. The Y700 has a six row keyboard, but the top row is a lacking in assigned functions, and they are spread out all over the keyboard. Volume controls are Fn + left or right, for instance. Lenovo has also found space for Home, End, PgUp, and PgDn, but then also included them as Fn functions on the number pad, which is a bit strange.

The key travel not great, especially for a laptop of this thickness. We tend to give up key travel to reach the insanely thin level of Ultrabooks, but I see no reason to have such shallow travel on the Y700. The keys are also very mushy. The one thing I do like about the keyboard is the backlighting. The red is very nicely done, and it has two levels. The WASD keys show a bit more of the red through them since the translucent part of the key comes up around the sides and top.

The trackpad is quite good though. It’s centered under the space bar, rather than centered in the laptop, which is good. It’s large enough to get the job done, and its plenty smooth. I had no issues with any of the one or two finger gestures, so Synaptics has delivered here. It features up to four finger support, with a four finger tap opening Action Center by default.

For connectivity, there are two USB 3.0 ports on the right side of the laptop, along with an HDMI 1.4b port and Ethernet. On the left side, there is a single USB 2.0 port which is always powered, along with the power connector, SDXC card slot, and headset jack. There’s nothing forward leaning here like USB 3.1 or USB-C, but the Y700 should offer enough connectivity for today. The inclusion of Ethernet is very much appreciated.

On the bottom, we can see the intake vents at the front which feed the main exhaust vent at the rear, as well as the round subwoofer vent. The bottom of the laptop is also aluminum, with the same cross-hatch patter. That’s a nice feature for the price, since some laptops opt for plastic on the bottom where you aren’t going to be looking at it much.

Overall the design of the Y700 is something I’m pretty happy with. I wish it had a better keyboard, and I realise I’m likely pickier than most with the quality of the keyboard. I know Lenovo is a pretty large company, and the ThinkPad lineup is separate, but it would be great if the Y700 had something somewhat closer to the quality of one of those keyboards. Still, the styling is subtle but nice, and the red accents offer a nice splash of color to go with the red backlighting. The build quality is strong, with no noticeable gaps or bending.

Introduction System and Storage Performance
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  • JusSn - Friday, February 12, 2016 - link

    Really impressed with this laptop, got the 1 TB/8GB RAM model and put in an m.2 mSATA for less than $980 total. Other than the screen (which is indeed horrible and has terrible PWM flickering at lower brightness), the only thing that bothers me is that the trackpad is slightly uneven. Does the review unit also have this problem? Can't really tell from the photos.

    On my unit the upper-left corner is millimetrically higher than the surrounding wrist rest area. It's nitpicking but I'm wondering if I should get it exchanged once I get back to living with my desktop.
  • Timings - Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - link

    I was also disappointed the day I got this Y700 with just 1TB 5400 rpm drive. It was damn slow when booting as if it has Intel Celeron inside. I replaced the HDD with a Kingston hyper x SSD and then I liked it. Out of the box, the display is really horrible as you have said it. I peeled off the plastic on the screen the same day, still it did not impress me much. But here is a solution which you can do since you have already spent your money for it: calibrate it. 1. Go to Control panel then Intel HD graphics, then Display. Select colour settings then select Basic. Reduce brightness from 0 to -20. Leave gamma and contrast as default. Click Apply. Then select Advance. Increase hue from 0 to 16, increase saturation from 0 to 57. Click Apply and close Intel HD graphics. 2. While still on control panel window, select Display then select Calibrate colour. Click next next next until you reach Adjust colour balance. Move the Red and Green sliders from 100% to somewhere around 85% by eye. Leave the Blue slider at 100% (default) and click Next then Finish. If you thought of selling that laptop, you will now think twice after doing these settings.
  • Michael Bay - Saturday, February 13, 2016 - link

    Whatever OEM first makes a gaming laptop that doesn`t look any different from your run-of-the-mill machine will get incredible money.
    Those things aren`t just ugly, they scream loser.
  • GeorgeH - Saturday, February 13, 2016 - link

    "It does include a number pad, but it is compressed into the rest of the keyboard when there is plenty of space on the laptop deck to stretch it out a bit."

    I very much doubt that. If they did stretch it out there'd be no room for the ports on the side unless they made the laptop thicker.
  • ET - Sunday, February 14, 2016 - link

    I have a Y70-70, and I'm quite disappointed with it. Biggest problem is the laptop shutting down during gaming, probably due to overheating. The touch screen also acts occasionally, making the laptop non-responsive until I put it to sleep and out (with the power button). Keyboard isn't that great. In short, I'm weary of Lenovo's offerings right now.
  • medi03 - Sunday, February 14, 2016 - link

    Meh for no Carrize 380M... =(
  • horrorwood - Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - link

    It literally looks the same as the y50-70?

    Considering the GPU is the same and it comes with haswell instead of skylake (not much difference), I think the clearance prices on the y50-70 are a steal.
  • evolucion8 - Thursday, February 18, 2016 - link

    Seeing how close the GTX 960M with its 640 cores can get when compared with the GTX 870M with its 1344 cores shows how nVidia stopped optimizing for Kepler and considering that Maxwell is essentially a distilled Kepler, it will face the same fate once Pascal is launched, the fast aging syndrome.
  • deeps6x - Friday, February 19, 2016 - link

    Why is it so much heavier than the MSI GS60 with the same specs? 2.7kg vs 2.0kg. Or if you prefer, 5.7 lbs vs 4.4 lbs.
  • Billybadass - Monday, July 4, 2016 - link

    This is the dumbest article I've ever read in my entire life and this guy has no idea what he's talking about.

    The Lenovo y700 (every model) comes with a battery that lasts UP TO 5 hours ( but that lasts only 4 hrs 16 mins upon continuous web surfing ( so there is NO WAY IN HELL this guy found it to last for EIGHT hours of continuous gaming.

    Not to mention since I just bought mine and have been using it for light customization and light web surfing the battery has lasted me at, yep... just above 4 hours. Can you IMAGINE if I had been gaming?

    Ignore this article.

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