Pros: Dual 750m
Backlit keyboard with no surprise key placements
4th gen core i7
This laptop is fast. Its gaming performance is better than anything I ever thought a laptop could produce. I don't mind giving up a CD/DVD/BD-ROM drive to get the extra graphics horsepower.
Cons: Fingerprint magnet, always looks filthy/greasy because of the brushed aluminum black finish, which is not attractive at all IMO. Just give me a gloss or matte smooth finish.
No mSata slot, even though if you remove the access panel, there is a spot on the mainboard marked "SSD" with a mounting post, but no mSata socket soldered in place. In the words of Michael Irvin, "C'mon, Man!" Save pennies elsewhere, Lenovo.
Wireless adapter is problematic, issues are documented all over everywhere, but mine seems to work very well.
Windows 8 installation is tied to the hardware.
Overall Review: I removed the hybrid drive and left the Win8 installation untouched so I could put in a 256gb ssd and win7. This is probably why I am so thrilled with the performance and other owners are saying "meh" to it.
I would suggest to the reviewer having the mediocre performance with this laptop that he check the Windows event logs (system category) and see what hardware errors are showing up. That is the quickest way to check and see if there is a problem with hardware other than memory. If no events are showing, boot into HIREN's (Or any other version of linux) USB rescue disk and run memtest. Then send it back, or ask for replacement memory. Don't let the opportunity to diagnose and understand hardware failure pass; it may be critically useful to you in the future.
Lenovo's power management software is REQUIRED to use the Fn-feature key combos. I would have put this in the Cons category but reality is that every manufacturer does this. Without the software on this laptop, wireless shuts off when you close the lid with no AC attached, and there is no way to turn wireless on other than to plug it in, close the lid and let it sleep, then open the lid again.
As is the case with all laptops, macs included, this touchpad is complete fail. Obviously someone who is doing graphics or gaming knows better than to use one of these for anything other than emergency use, so I don't put it in the cons. But it is absolutely essential to get a decent mouse.
Pros: Sleek design, JBL speakers = excellent, dual GPUs via SLI is genius (will address windows 8.1 update in "other thoughts" section), msata port, squared/beveled keys on keyboard, heat vents on a laptop that aren't in the way! (finally)
Cons: slow physical HDD and limited msata SSD available at purchase, small number pad, slow boot time when OS is on the 1tb HDD, ram is just OKAY
Overall Review: There is alot of confusion about the SSD portion of this laptop, but it's pretty simple. The SSD is a mSATA SSD and is not a portion of the HDD. I suggest ordering a larger mSATA along with the laptop to get around the long boot time. With the update to windows 8.1 the use of the SLI is DISABLED. This is fixed via some driver updates directly from lenovo (http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?DocID=DS035829).
Pros: Very high end graphics performance, JBL speakers, 1920x1080 display, always-on USB ports, firm backlit accutype keyboard, solid construction, 2 USB-3 ports, PRICE!!!
Cons: Touchpad, only 3 USB ports total, no optical drive, Centrino n2230 wireless adapter
Overall Review: First the biggies. The graphics performance with 2 750Ms in SLI mode is just SICK. It outperforms the benchmark numbers I found for the 770 on two different sites, and does so at a MUCH lower price point. The display also stands out, being a 1920x1080 (1080p HD) in its native mode, which is rare for a 15.6" laptop. Those two together raise this model a very strong notch above other 15.6" gaming rigs.
The speakers give very good sound for their diminutive size, with fairly flat frequency response, good projection and low distortion even at highest volume (assuming the source is not overamped). The keypad has an excellent feel, firm without being stiff, tactile without being too springy, and being backlit makes it great for dark-room gaming.
Neutral points: Having two USB3 ports is nice, but only having one additional USB2 port for a total of 3 ports is not so great. No eggs to take off for that, on balance. The optical drive is a straight up trade, gaining the SLI video in exchange for needing to add an external USB drive for such tasks as burning discs, watching DVDs, etc. So no egg taken off for that, either.
Now the negatives. The touchpad is just plain terrible. It has no distinct left and right buttons, instead having "zones" where those buttons should be. That means that they misclick VERY frequently when you are NOT trying to click on anything. I didn't take an egg for that because frankly, who plays games on a gaming rig with a touchpad? The Centrino-n2230 wireless adapter is also terrible. Internal laptop adapters in my experience tend to be a little less than stellar due to being internal, surrounded by metal, electrical circuitry, etc. But this thing is just ... terrible. There is no other word for it. Its reception is poor, it drops connections frequently, has lousy broadcasting range... just terrible. For this I would take off an egg and leave this a 4 egg review. But then I would give it right back because of the great price point value of the rig overall.
Other other thoughts: for those looking to customize by swapping out for a different ultrabay card (Lenovo sells others), swapping the HDD for an SSD, etc., Lenovo made such tasks pretty easy and included clear directions (softdocs) on how to access those components, what options are workable (max RAM, etc) and so on, so that even a relative novice can handle these tasks.
Suggested accessories/addons: a good USB wireless adapter, USB optical drive, laptop cooling pad with passthru USB port
Pros: I was kind of in a tight spot where I needed a desktop replacement and didn't want to sacrifice much while not spending over 1k. This fit the bill.
The 4th gen i5 4200m doesn't seem to bottleneck the dual 755m( I was slightly worried it would)
and seems a bit snappier then my previous desktops 8320 in most tasks.
The screen is more matte then glossy and is visible even with the sun shining in. Resolution is 1080p so with a 15.6 screen everything looks amazing. Adjustable brightness from dim to way too bright (this is a good thing)
755m SLI according to GPU Z EACH card has 2gb of GDDR5. so far these cards are tearing through everything at medium/high at 1080p and the games I have don't even have good SLI profiles yet (Warframe,DayZ Standalone,Insurgency, Assetto Corsa) I could imagine it'd run games like AC,Theif,Titanfall,BF4 even better. Haven't noticed much micro-stutter as of yet, but just might not be sensitive to it.
(always download most recent drivers for the video cards)
It looks sleek and stylish and doesn't fit into what a gaming laptop usually looks like (I think most alienware/asus rog/etc etc look kind of dumb) although it isn't technically a gaming laptop and is more of a high-end media laptop. It doesn't say that it comes with a backlight keyboard but it does, looks kind of cool at night. However it can be turned off with the FN+spacebar keys for daytime use or for movie watching.
Speakers are surprisingly good also.
Cons: Now for the price you're getting a lot, however I do have a few gripes, and these are gripes you'll share with me if you decide to purchase this laptop.
Finger print magnet - It doesn't matter how clean my hands are the outer case and area below the keyboard pick up hand oil and shows it. It can be cleaned with a cloth slightly damp with 99% propyl alcohol, however that is kind of annoying to have to do.
Sharp edges - If you're like me and you are using this laptop for gaming, but plan on using the built in keyboard then be aware that this thing will dig into your left wrist. I've mostly solved this by just having a small piece of cloth to place there so this doesn't occur. Again not a deal breaker, but just kind of annoying.
Windows 8.1 - I could remove it and install windows 7 but I'll just deal with it for now. It is a bit clumsy and counter intuitive, however I can't knock an egg just because of the OS it ships with... Lenovo seems to have a lot of drivers for almost any OS, but I'll have to check that out later.
HD webcam - Not really HD but it is of OK quality.
Dual Graphics card heat - I'm getting about 70-80c under full load which is normal. So just like any other laptop with a substantial graphics card or in this case two 755m in SLI this thing gets pretty warm and shoots out hot air on both sides. I got some bigger feet that just suction cup onto the back bottom part and lifts it up so it can get more airflow(I plan on getting a cooling pad at some point just to protect my investment)
PROTIP and I dunno why it does this BUT :
DO NOT USE HWMonitor to look at your temps. I discovered when using HWMonitor my temps were shooting up to 97c under load WHICH IS WAY TOO UNCOMFORTABLE (although it should be noted these cards are fully operational up to 100c and don't downclock/degrade until about 105-115c at which point the laptop would just throttle/shutoff)
Only use MSI afterburner to monitor temps, or EVGA precision might work as well. For whatever reason HWMonitor was putting extra strain on the video cards.
Overall Review: an earlier review had mentioned that I might have to bios flash the video cards via drivers from the lenovo website so that SLI worked in windows 8.1 however both cards are working and show up as SLI enabled without having to do this so maybe the ones shipping out now are OK without that?
Needs some obvious upgrades (more ram, bigger hd/SSD, decent cooling pad)
But overall performance per dollar is solid.
I don't regret the purchase so far and think it deserves five eggs just based on what you get for the price.
I'll update if anything serious comes up.
Pros: This is a great laptop all around. The combination of the Intel Core i7 with the 16GB of DDR3 memory is outstanding. However, the best feature of this laptop is the dual nVidia GeForce 750m graphics cards (one integrated, the other installed in the ultrabay). When used together with the hardware setup, this gaming laptop can play every game that I own at a 1920x1080 resolution with high/highest graphics settings.
The 1TB HDD is ample space, with the hybrid SSD on board (used mainly as a cache drive).
All in all I am very pleased with this purchase and highly recommend if you are a gamer who prefers the ability to easily move his gaming equipment.
Cons: Not too many really.
If you have need of a CD/DVD ROM, then you'll need to purchase one separately as the ultrabay slot is used by the second graphics card.
1 or 2 more USB ports would be nice, though not a big issue.
****When updated to Windows 8.1, the SLI option for the graphics cards is gone. After researching this, it is a very easy fix, so don't let this deter you from buying this product. Simply, visit Lenovo's support website. Under the Display and Video Graphics header, download both the "NVIDIA VGA Driver for Windows 8.1 (32-bit, 64-bit), Windows 8 (32-bit, 64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit)" and "NVIDIA GeForce GT750M Second VGA BIOS Update for Windows 8.1 (64-bit)" drivers. Install them in that order, and restart your computer. When you get back to Windows, look in the nVidia Control Panel under the 3D settings and that option should be available to you again****
Overall Review: I would highly recommend this gaming laptop, and am very happy with my purchase.
Pros: So, this thing has the Ultrabay, an insanely good idea that Lenovo has pretty much perfected here. The graphics overall on this laptop are INSANELY good for the price you are paying. The keyboard layout is phenomenal, and the backlit keyboard with its various brightness settings is a huge plus. Its very well built, and if you do plan on changing things up on the inside Lenovo is in no hurry to slow you down with the easily removable bottom. The ventilation in this thing is the best I have seen for this price range, the huge vent on the bottom means this thing won't over heat but you probably won't want to be having this in your lap while you are gaming. The price alone is a pro, because the amount of awesomeness you are getting for your buck is HUGE here. This laptop can tackle today's toughest games on ultra and I picked mine up for $949.99.
Cons: So, let's be real. The trackpad on this laptop is less than stellar, and my main concern is the fact that it is a full range trackpad, so what happens is that when you go to press to click, the cursor will often move :/. Also, FINGERPRINT MAGNET! The case, while looking stylish with its brushed aluminium finish, picks up a ton of fingerprints. However, it's not too hard to wipe off.
Overall Review: It plays today's toughest games like Crysis 3, Battlefield 3, Bioshock Infinite, and Metro Last Light on solid 40-60 FPS, making it a huge deal for the price. However, notice how I said TODAY'S games. With only having Nvidia GT 750m, I wouldn't count on this laptop playing games in 2 years or so on ultra settings sadly. Still, huge leaps and bounds for your dollar here, AND DEFINITELY WORTH IT!
Pros: Personally, I feel this laptop has satisfied ALL my needs. I suppose that's just my 2 cents, but I digress.
The following are just some of the features I enjoyed:
-Look, very stylish without too much 'bling'
-Keyboard, I'm sure to lower-end quality so perhaps I'm not one with high standards in this matter
-CPU & Graphics: Played max settings on GW2 w/ a consistent 60 fps @ a cool 70*C average CPU temp.
-Temperature: In my research I found some people to be 'disgruntled' with this laptops heat ceiling, but I haven't had this issue as far as I can tell. The highest recorded temperature was 74*C.
-Lenovo Veriface was a convenient 'bloatware' feature, but it has proved to replace the need for a fingerprint scanner.
-Screen & Resolution: Exactly what you'd expect with the matte display finish and vivid color content.
-24GB SSHD SSD which I'm not sure if this was a pleasant 'mistake' on Newegg's end, or perhaps I'm overlooking something, but my partitions say otherwise
-Construction: Laptop feels 'sturdy' with the black brushed aluminum finish.
-Price: I got this laptop when it was under $1000 which I felt was a heck of a deal since nearly EVERY other laptop can't match the specs for the price with a significant price delta.
-Shipping: Purchased on Thursday, Received the following Tuesday. Sooner than I anticipated. Thanks Newegg!
-THE LIST GOES ON
Cons: My cons are kinda personal preference than a genuine 'flaw' which is why I will outline the details under 'Other Thoughts.'
Overall Review: So here are some of my personal feelings about the laptop's features that fell short of my expectations, OR the features that I am continuing to adjust to.
-Power Supply: it is fairly large, but it serves its purpose. I don't feel this is something I mind simply because it's not likely going to make a difference in my bag as far as weight and dimensions.
-The battery life was fine, but this is probably due to the fact that my charger goes where my laptop goes which is something I would think most could expect when traveling. For the power demand this thing delivers, I felt the battery life was 'adequate.'
-Maintenance: I'm a bit of a neat freak and there are times when it can accumulate smudges and fingerprints. If you wash your hands (which you should be regardless :P) then this will minimize this issue.
-Trackpad: In truth, it is fine, but the design is not your run-of-the-mill Left/Right click buttons. Otherwise, it is responsive and has a firm click.
-Speakers: the speakers are great! They are crisp and clear, but I wish it had an equalizer feature
-Windows 8: "They" say it's faster and perhaps that's true, but it has taken some getting use to. Just a matter of getting acclimated to it.
-Hard Drive: it's 5400rpm which can be a hindrance but it's negligible.
That about sums up my review. I'm sure I'm overlooking something, but in any case the laptop is great and everything I wanted/needed. I spent quite a lot of time researching EVERYWHERE for anything that could win me over outright and this thing was the closest to my aspirations that I could find for the price and quality.
Pros: 1080p, sli, 8gb, i7, the list goes on............
these specs on paper beat/murder anything it this 1000$ price range especially with 1080p which is a major selling point to me, sure you can connect a lap top with a good gpu that has a 720p screen to a 1080p screen but what about when you are gaming on the go(at a friends house) you are merely stuck with 1366x768 which to me is trash and should only be paired with dedicated graphics setups.........alas we still have laptops like the acer aspire v5 good graphics but a bottlenecking cpu, and 4gb ram forces buyers to spend 50 more dollars to get 8gb+.......... these are all elements to measure
Cons: some people rate the graphics of this card to be poor, first of all people need to realize that "m" versions of graphics cards both nvidia and radeon/amd/ati... are significantly weaker in comparison item#/code to item# e.g say a gt 650 gets x fps in a game a gt 650/750m will get way less there are easy ways to look these things up.........
as for the guy saying his old xps420 was faster it should be technology hasnt come "that" far a regular non M gt 650 "newest gt version" is still worse than a 5800 graphics card the 5800 is on par with some gts250,450, gtx550 and gtx650 cards depending on memory bandwith limit............ i mean people are just generously misinformed.
To me the keyboard is more of a con lenovo has been tinkering with their media/gaming laptop keyboards since they made the z/y series and they have all had their cons but if you overlook the cons for the pros then this is a merely a minor inconvenience that a dedicated keyboard can fix, since i am sure you arent using the trackpad to game, not to say i am not telling anyone what to or not to do you may do that if you please.
Overall Review: If you are a well seasoned buyer of computer components you would know that this laptop with its metal bezel provide a good appearance. Once opened you are also greeted with a nicely looking laptop with a nice 1080p screen which the specs i am sure can be researched upon if people want to know the actual pannel specs
if you are smart get the either the blu-ray drive edition, or like me get a blu-ray reader external.
-gaming mechanical keyboard like the corsair or coolermaster with out the num pad
-and a nice mouse and you have a nice out door gaming solution for a laptop under 1000$ for games like diablo, Poe, dota 2, CS COD, anything that isnt too dx11 graphic intensive on a nice display and arrangement this is your best option