Pros: I purchased this to supplement my regular gaming rig when the wife needs it to edit her photos and I feel like playing outside on the deck after dinner.
So far this laptop has not disappointed. The display is bright and the overall graphics on gaming is great. Once the drivers are updated and SLI is enabled gaming is quite fun. I just ran the benchmark utility for Bioshock Infinite and the overall FPS on DX11 Ultimate in full resolution was 31.87. Not as high on my regular rig with the 680 but very nice considering that this is A LAPTOP. Other games seem to run flawlessly. I seem to play a lot of TF2 and the FPS (using Chris' max qual. configs) for that game typically runs between 60 to 300 on full 32p servers.
The overall fit and feel of the machine is nice. I have no idea what the problem with the touch pad was when this unit first came out but the touch pad works just fine. Not as nice as one on a MacBook Pro, but much better than the ones I have found on other Lenovos that I have owned and fixed in the past. Boot and wake times are quick and aside from the Lenovo logo at the startup, they are difficult to tell which is which. For the money, I'm very happy with this purchase.
Cons: Power supply is as big as a brick. Seriously. Go out and find a standard masonry brick. Paint it black and set it next to you. That big. But at 170 watts it has to be big to power the graphics cards. I should have assumed this but the power of the graphics cards are significantly reduced when on battery power. No big deal but just be aware of this.
Overall Review: I was disappointed with the choice for hard drives. I will be purchasing a SSD when the prices come down a bit and they get bigger.
Pros: *Dual Graphic Cards
*SSD Cache (yes it does work at making windows faster)
*Huge amount of ram
*Runs high end games with minimal heat increase
*Low price point for the machine you get
Cons: *Some might say the lack of an optical drive, and while it does hinder the ease of loading games that I own on dvd/cd it is worth it because the space is being used by the second drive which you can pull out place a drive in that Lenovo sells for 70$. So for me not a con but had to note it just the same for other users.
Overall Review: No regrets whatsoever in this purchase unlike other laptops and the such that I have bought in the past and two days later was kicking myself. If you aren't rich or just don't like throwing money around for gaming rigs you will end up dumping a year later anyway this is the system to get.
Pros: Extremely powerful machine.
Decent battery life (given the power it has).
Screen is amazing.
Speakers are beyond anything I've ever head in a laptop.
Runs very cool even under heavy load (63C on each GPU when running the Unigine Heaven demo on max settings for about 10 minutes)
Cons: Overclocking of the GPU's is locked out in the BIOS.
Really needs to come with an SSD main drive.
Bloatware (not really that much).
I'm not a fan of Windows 8.
Overall Review: For the money you pay for it, this machine is very powerful, without being able to overclock it I'm scoring just shy of 4k 3dmarks in Performance mode.
In games its really awesome (at least for the ones I play). In Skryim I run 40+ fps constant, usually up near 60 with settings on Ultra and at the native panel resolution of 1920x1080.
Fallout:New Vegas runs at 60fps on Ultra while I'm recording FRAPS videos.
Sadly, Fallout 3 is apparently not compatible with Windows 8.. not the laptops fault, I blame Microsoft. On the whole this is an excellent machine, I bought it to use for work, school and play and it seems to be capable of fulfilling all those needs without breaking a sweat.
Eve-Online at 40ish FPS in heavy firefights with all settings maxed out.
Could this machine be better? Yeah sure it could, but would you want to pay for it? If so, go with one of the machines with an Nvidia GTX 675MX or GTX680MX (or even duals of those). personally I'm not made of money and this machine is exactly what I needed and the price didn't require me to auction any organs or extremities to be able to pay for it.
Pros: Powerhouse of a machine with great screen. I was looking for all in one machine that could come close to desktop specs. Makes a great dual boot machine if you replace the 16gb msata drive with this something like a Plextor M5M PX-128M5M. The bios auto detects the new drive and because it is not formatted to be a cache drive like the stock 16gb and you can easily install you choice of linux distro. This does not effect the WIn8 install. The keyboard is perfect with just the right amount of pressure needed to trigger.
Cons: Win8 and the touch pad is the worst i have ever used. Its almost pointless. Only the specs and value of the rest of machine make a good purchase.
Overall Review: KDE looks great on this screen.
Pros: Screen size and quality - I know it is a TN panel, but I swear it looks like an IPS (except for the viewing angles).
i7 3630QM - This processor does better in some benchmarks than the massive two-year-old quad-core I have in my desktop!
Dual GT650M - best deal for mobile graphics I have ever seen.
Keyboard - very high quality. There are 3 brightness levels (off, low, high) for the red backlight. Keystrokes are short and feel very crisp and natural. Good for both gaming and fast typing.
12GB RAM - Seriously, what am I going to do with all that RAM?
Speakers - very good for a laptop.
Cooling - also very good for a laptop. This laptop produces much more heat than most (as you would expect, with a quad-core processor and two graphics cards), but it also cools much more effectively than most. Intake is on the bottom face and exhaust is on both right and left. The most strenuous stress tests I ran could not get any components to hotter than 77C (with ambient temperature about 20C).
Cons: Windows 8 - enough said. I am still considering just installing Windows 7 instead...
Trackpad - horrible. Frequently does not sense 1 finger vs. 2 fingers; crazy out-of-control scrolling sensitivity; hard to click without causing the cursor to move. Very annoying. Use a mouse.
Headphone jack is on the close right corner. This can interfere with the mouse. I was playing Far Cry 3 and trying to sneak, when my mouse button hit up against my headphone jack and caused my gun to fire, giving away my position.
Casing - feels flimsy. Just be careful with it...
Caching SSD - not nearly as good as a normal SSD. Benchmarks were only slightly better than a traditional HDD.
Charger - massive. This is not really that much of a con, but I just did not expect it to be this big. It is also heavy to carry around.
No DVD drive - Also not that much of a con. I have only needed to use it once, and I just used an external DVD drive. This is not a make-or-break feature, as DVDs are being phased out for other digital media.
Overall Review: Just before I bought this, I was planning on buying the lower-priced version of this same laptop (without caching SSD with 6GB RAM, and with a dual-core i5). When I saw this on sale for just 100 bucks more, I decided to go for it.
Here are a few more things that have caught my attention:
The battery really does last 3+ hours, so long as you are not gaming.
Not having a DVD drive is not a big deal.
Everything else is just as it says in the product description. Overall, I would recommend this computer to anyone looking for affordable performance.
Pros: first off i have only had this thing one day and i am blown away by the speakers and the design is simple yet elegant the sheer delivery of simplicity and power is very appealing the only downside is the hdd so of course you will get an ssd for this to be a truly amazing product for the price.
Cons: as others will find out without a mouse good luck with this machine as the left and right click were not isolated on the touch pad. and i don't know if it is just me but when i have a controller and other peripherals plugged in the volume lessens.
Overall Review: love this machine so far and am glad i chose it over the asus g75vx and msi g70 :)
Pros: The screen, although not touchscreen, is bright and sharp. The CPU, Memory, and SLI GT 650m provide excellent performance during gaming on titles like WOW, Civ V, Skyrim, and most other current/recent titles. The SSD caching works well and after the initial load of an application or game, the load times are nearly SSD fast. I bought this to be my mobile gaming machine and it does not disappoint. Nice design, good hinges, high-end aluminum feel, nicely laid out keyboard, and excellent sound for a laptop. For the price, definite 5 star item.
Cons: There are few.
The overall dimensions and physical characteristics. By todays standards with ultrabooks, this thing is a monster. If you are looking for thin, light, and long battery life - look elsewhere. If you are looking at mid-range priced laptops with good specs and solid gaming performance - this is a nice product.
Battery life is a bit short - but who cares? If you are gaming on this laptop I would expect to have it plugged in the wall.
There is NO optical disc drive. To me, I don't care. Most of what I do is on iso anyway, but don't say you weren't warned.
All these Cons were expected on my part going into the purchase so they were a non-issue for me.
Overall Review: Experience - I am a network engineer and systems consultant for small businesses in CT. I would highly recommend this system to one of my clients if they were looking for a 15" laptop with good specs for gaming on current titles and general use.
My work laptop is a 3 year old Lenovo T500. I have owned many Lenovo/IBM laptops in the past, and I have always been a satisfied customer.
Pros: This unit has impressive specs, with an over-all solid build quality.
Cons: Unit ships with Windows 8 which just doesn't make sense on non-touch devices. That said, Lenovo has posted Windows 7 drivers, if the buyer wants to downgrade.
Touch pad is mediocre at best, and Lenovo cut some corners (see "Other thoughts").
Overall Review: Unbeknownst to me when I ordered this, the Y500 series does not support SATA RAID mode in BIOS, a requirement to enable Intel RST SSD caching. Lenovo pre-installs "ExpressCache" software to address this, but you don't have nearly as much control as you would if it had native RST support. I will be removing the SSD cache and HDD, and installing a dedicated SSD to address this.
OEM accessory support is lacking - Lenovo makes a Blu Ray drive for the Ultrabay (it is available in other pre-built configurations on their store), but I've been unable to locate a part number, let alone a place to purchase it.
Unlike other Lenovo units I've used, there is no built-in Lenovo Update for BIOS, firmware, driver, and other software updates.
Either the SSD and HDD are only SATA II, or Lenovo opted to install them on the SATA II bus, as the Intel RST software is only reporting them operating at SATA II speeds (3 Gbps), not the SATA III (6 Gbps) supported by the HM76 chipset.
All that said, if you understand all of this when purchasing, and don't set yourself up to be disappointed, the amount of laptop you are getting for the price is pretty incredible.