By CHONG JINN WEI
THE Lenovo Ideapad Y560 is a feature-packed multimedia laptop with a big price tag.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y560 has some serious firepower - it has an Intel Core i7-720QM (1.6Ghz ) processor, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 graphics chip with 1GB RAM, JBL stereo speakers and Bluray combo drive.
It also has numerous ports such as three USB ports, and a VGA and HDMI out as well as a 6-in-1 card reader for easily accessing files from memory cards.
The Y560 is marketed as a multimedia notebook and it does not disappoint. The sound quality of the JBL stereo speakers are a lot better than most laptop speakers.
The speakers were great for listening to songs, watching movies and playing games. When listening to songs, the speakers were able to handle gradual changes in notes. And when watching movies and playing games, the speakers produced enough bass to make it a fun experience.
The Y560 has a slick black body with red linings and decals on top. This multimedia notebook looks really impressive even though the plastic body feels cheap and flexes easily.
For a laptop of its class and price, we expected the Y560 to have a more solid design.
The Y560 weighs 2.7kg which is unusual for a notebook of this size but it's probably because of its plastic exterior.
The interior of the laptop is glossy which is nice but is prone to smudges. It has a large touchpad and touch-sensitive buttons located just below the screen. The buttons allow users to customise shortcuts for the programs of their choice.
To test the graphics chip, we played games like Dawn of War 2 and Far Cry 2 on the Y560.
We ran DoW 2 at the highest setting and even when there were a lot of units and explosions, the notebook didn't falter. It was the same for Far Cry 2 - the frame rate was stable and the game sessions were lag free.
The notebook is also great for watching movies as it comes with a Blu-ray combo drive. We watched movies like BBC World's Earth: The Biography and The Phantom of the Opera.
The Blu-ray movies looked great on screen the 15.6in widescreen and played very smoothly. The resolution of the screen is not full HD (1,080p) as it is only 1,366 x 768pixels. That's slightly higher than 720p and is still great for watching movies.
Surprisingly, even after long sessions of watching and gaming, the surface of the laptop remained cool.
The efficient but noisy cooling fan does a great job at venting out the hot air from the system.
An unfortunate problem with most multimedia notebooks is battery life and the Lenovo Y560 is no different.
Even at the lowest brightness setting, the battery life is just under two hours with normal usage. Running more programs in the background will significantly shorten the battery life.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y560 is a good multimedia laptop with the proper specs to handle graphics and processor intensive programs.
Watching movies and playing games on it is also great because of the nice and large screen, and powerful JBL stereo speakers.
Sadly, the notebook's main shortcoming is its build quality. For a notebook of this price, the Y560 doesn't feel solid.
Another shortcoming is the battery life but this is not surprising because most multimedia notebooks don't have long battery life.
Overall, the Lenovo IdeaPad Y560 is a decent multimedia notebook if you don't mind the build quality.
Pros: Good performance; stays cool.
Cons: Cheap build quality; noisy; pricey.
Processor: Intel Core i7 (1.6GHz)
Memory: 4GB RAM
Display: 15.6in (1,366 x 768pixels) with LED backlight
Graphics: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 1GB RAM
Connectivity: WiFi, 10/100 Ethernet port, Bluetooth
Optical drive: Blu-ray combo drive
Ports: 3 USB ports, eSATA\USB combo port, VGA out, headphone and microphone jack, 6-in-1 card reader
Other features: JBL stereo speakers, 1.3-megapixel webcam
Dimensions (W x D x H): 388 x 33 x 255mm
Review unit courtesy of Lenovo Malaysia, 1-800-18-2388