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Lenovo Y50 review

Lenovo's latest gaming laptop: lightweight in more ways than one

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Our Verdict

The Lenovo Y50 is a splendidly designed gaming laptop, but limited battery life and computing horsepower will leave hardcore gamers wanting more.

For

  • Excellent, unique design
  • Fantastic value
  • Pleasant speakers

Against

  • Dreadful screen
  • Inconsistent game performance
  • Limited configurations
  • Short battery life
Scores in depth
Lenvoo Y50 review
Lenvoo Y50 review
Lenvoo Y50 review
Lenvoo Y50 review
Lenvoo Y50 review

There's no lack of options if you are looking for a 15-inch gaming laptop. Between the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro getting a new gorgeous 3K screen and newer, better packages like the Gigabyte P35W, this mid-size range of gaming machines gets more intriguing everyday. But amongst all the brands known for gaming – like Origin, Digital Storm and Razer – Lenovo has been a long overlooked brand despite creating the well-liked Lenovo Y510 and Y510p.

Now, Lenovo has truncated its leading gaming laptop in more than name. Known as the Lenovo Y50, this rig has lost its modular Ultrabay drive to make for a much slimmer and sleeker package.

While Lenovo's latest 15.6-inch gaming notebook is lighter, it has lost its signature expandability that allowed users to slot in a optical drive, additional cooling fan or second graphics card for extra power. Does the Lenovo Y50 still deliver the gaming goods, or has the business laptop maker crippled one of its best products in an effort to lighten the load?

Design

First, let's see what the Lenovo Y50 gains (or loses, as it were). By lopping off the Ultrabay, the Lenovo Y50 weighs in at 5.29 pounds and only measures 0.94 inches thin. By comparison, the chunkier Y510p weighed 5.95 pounds and measured 1.41 inches thick.

Lenvoo Y50 review

Aside from slimming down the Y50's frame and internal loadout, it also looks far less blocky than its predecessor. Steering further from Lenovo's business background, the Y50 sports a more angular look that tapers off to the back and sides. The design is reminiscent of the Alienware 14, albeit with Lenovo's distinct flair, making the whole package look slimmer than it actually is.

Both the laptop lid and underside are fitted with brushed aluminum panels, again adding Lenovo's almost-trademark, cross-hatched pattern. The pattern is a small touch, but it helps make the laptop stand out from every other machine and manufacturer that simply goes for the horizontally brushed look.

Lenvoo Y50 review

On the inside, glossy black plastic covers the bezel around the screen and the small lip above the keyboard, which is also accented with two red, flaring JBL speakers. Bits of red are also incorporated into the backlight of the AccuType, island-style keyboard – which, by the way, is unsurprisingly excellent. You will be happy to know that a rubber finish covers the keyboard deck and wrist pads for a soft touch that's easy on wrists during extended typing and gaming sessions.

Despite that the laptop is mostly comprised of striated layers of metal to plastic and back to aluminum again, it feels completely solid. The screen lid's aluminum backing adds serious rigidity and prevents any flexing. The Y50's durable metal underside, meanwhile, should stand up well to any surface it's placed on.

Subwoofer for graphics

At the same time, the machine's shiny metal bottom will provide some extra passive cooling on top of the laptop's exhaust fans. More important is the newly-added subwoofer on the laptop's underside.

Lenvoo Y50 review

In scrapping the Y510p's Ultrabay, Lenovo did not simply just remove parts from the laptop. Trading extra modular parts for better sound, the Y50's new speaker doesn't pack enough bass to make the machine jump whenever explosions start going off in games. But the extra tweeter helps to fill in the gaps of the laptop's stereo sound system for a rather pleasant listening experience.