Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 – 20132 Review

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 Dawn Grey Brush Aluminum Lid

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 Dawn Grey Brush Aluminum Lid

The new Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 – 20132 that I have received is like powerful gaming beast in tuxedo. Despite from its powerful hardware specification, it have a very gentle and elegant design, a perfect camouflage. If you are looking for a multimedia and gaming machine with a low profile outlook, then you probably would be interested in what would I say after using it.

Design

Impression

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 Top Down View

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 Top Down View, showing the keyboard, OneKey Recovery, OneTheater

The IdeaPad Y580 looks just like another average business class 15′ notebook to me. Majority the appearance of it is cover in Dawn Grey (looks like burned grey to me) brushed aluminum. Very eye catchy, then the next thing that caught up to my mind is glossy means harder to maintain. The finishing of the metal are really smooth and when I try to wipe my palm over it, there are little resistance only. After you have open up the lid, you will found more brush metal aluminum. Everything looks and feel solid, especially on the hinge of the LED monitor.

Layout

Quickly I notice that some of those special function buttons are highlighted with metal looking button. The power button is big and easy to be spot on the top left corner and as long as the machine is being turn on, the button will be lighten up with a bright LED in white. Next to the power button on the right would be Lenovo famous OneKey Recovery. It is slightly smaller as compare to the power button, probably smaller by half. The first button that we come across on the top right corner is the OneKey Theater. Initially I have no idea what the heck does this button do. Followed by the mute button. At the end of both corner of is the location of the speakers.

All peripherals are located on the left or right side of the notebook. Except for the card reader which is located at the front of the notebook.

To The Left of Lenovo IdeaPad Y580

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 Left Side View

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 – Left Side View. Showing security lock, heat-sink, VGA port, LAN port, HDMI port and 2 USB 3.0 slot.

On the left side of the IdeaPad Y580 first come the security lock slot. Then the heat-sink which blows out warm airflow generated by the high performance specification from in to out. Next is the classic VGA output jack, good for connecting with monitors, television or projectors without a HDMI port. To the right, a Gigabit LAN jack port. Perfect for transferring huge size data with a twisted pair CAT 6 LAN Cable. Here comes the HDMI port, good for you if you happens to connect it to a higher resolution monitor, TV or projector. Finally ended with 2 USB 3.0 jack port, perfect for the use of connecting to external storage devices.

On the Middle of Lenovo IdeaPad Y580

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 Front Side View

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 Front Side View, showing memory card slot.

There are 5 system status indicator and a card reader slot. The first indicator that we will come across is the Touchpad indicator, used to indicate the Touchpad status, disable or enable. The second indicator is the Battery status indicator, if I am not mistaken when a battery is plugged, it will be lighten up (After I have plug in the battery, I have not remove the battery until today). Then we will found the power status indicator, it will be lighten up if the IdeaPad Y580 is running on AC power instead of using the battery. Next we will found the Caps lock indicator, if you have enable the caps lock function, it will be light up. The last indicator is the Num lock indicator, in case you have enable the keypad function, it will be lights on. After the system status indicators, you will found the memory card slot or card reader located almost at the end. Though it might not be very useful, perhaps I might have one of my those extra memory card constantly plug in as extra memory or virtual ram.

To The Right of Lenovo IdeaPad Y580

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 Right Side View

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 Right Side View, showing earphone jack, mic jack, a USB 3.0 slot, DVD-ROM/ Blu-Ray ROM, a USB 2.0 slot and AC Adapter Power Jack.

Lets start from the left to the right. The first jack that from the left is the earphone jack port. For earphone jack slot that are designed on the side, it would make more sense in getting earphones or headphone with the phone jack connector of ‘L’ shape. Luckily I have one of those ‘L’ shape connector earphones as they proof much ergonomic as compare to a classic connector. Followed by the mic jack port. Then you will come across another USB 3.0 port. Then either a DVD-ROM or a Blu-Ray ROM. I have chosen to go with the Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 that comes with the DVD-ROM. As I believe that a Blu-Ray ROM will simply overkill as a ROM can hardly utilize by me based on my usage. Then you will found another USB, but this is a USB 2.0 instead of 3.0. In general, a USB 2.0 is much slower and gives much lesser power than the 3.0. But it is the perfect slot for me to plug in my wireless nano mouse receiver, as the receiver requires very little amount of power and you won’t be moving it around once you put plug it in. The last one would be the AC power adapter jack.

If you are looking for any peripherals on the Lenovo IdeaPad Y580, check the left and the right first before looking at somewhere else. It’s so simple and clean that the layout design.

Display

A 15.6-inch notebook that comes with FHD (full high definition) 1920 x 1080p display, what more can I say? The resolution and the colors are awesome. Too bad that it was a glossy LED instead of a matte display. Personally, I prefer a matte screen over a glossy one. This is because of a matte display will have little reflection and it suite me best. Though the Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 does not equip with one of those top notch LED or something as good as the Apple famous retina screen, but it is good enough as it is sufficient for everyday work and entertainment. But if you are working with color sensitive work or you have been using an Apple MacBook or Apple Monitor, probably you will not be satisfied with the IdeaPad Y580 display. The OneTheater shine brightly when you are looking for a rich movie experience. It comes with three presets, Normal, Movies and Intelligent. Each preset will automatically adjust the screen brightness to suite your needs. Marvelous.

My advise is if you are really unable to bare with the display, just go get an external monitor and connect it to the HDMI port, then everything will be fine.

Audio

The audio system of the IdeaPad Y580 is much better than what I have previously expected. JBL sure is famous but I am not sure how good it is until I get my hands on it. I would say that the sound is loud and clear till I may identify multiple instruments that are use in a song. It would be very much sufficient with just 50% volume till I may consider it as very loud. Very impressive when the speakers is playing on narration. The bass appears to be not as good as the other elements, good thing that I prefer more treble than bass, so that’s not really a problem for me. With Lenovo OneTheater shine greatly in audio too. With the correct preset selected, it sure can fine tune your audio experience too.

I think the OneTheater function has just help increased the audio visual experience to all Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 users and brings them to somewhere near the next level of experience. Very sweet feature you have there, Lenovo.

Keyboard

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 Keyboard Backlight

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 Keyboard Backlight, showing when the backlight is on.

You will probably notice that the keys are somehow curvy and I happen to found that they are really good. I can’t really explain that in words. But the curvy shape of each keys not only it does not annoy me but it also gives me a very comfortable experience in typing too. The Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 keyboard have chosen to go forth the island keyboard design. Users probably will feel a bit more spacious and the keys are not clamps together, probably another psychology effect. As expected from having the technology of IBM, the keyboard remains having quite an addictive typing experience although it is still no where to compare with the keyboard of ThinkPad series. Not to be forgotten that the keyboard LED backlight is really useful during night time. I would not bother getting any keyboard cover as those keyboard cover proof little useful to me and I enjoy the original experience in hitting the keyboard with my fingers. It’s a pleasure, try it with the cover on and without the cover.

Touchpad

It’s a huge touchpad. The touchpad is very sensitive hence I always keep it off unless I am in an environment without my mouse. The surface of it is smooth, I wonder why I can’t switch from adapting it compare with my previous notebook, the Compaq CQ40-126AX. I am not satisfied with the touchpad experience, the touchpad is big, have a smooth surface, the sound with you press on the touchpad button sure is not crispy. Probably it’s just that I am bad with the touchpad. Notice that by default, the touchpad comes with some fancy features such as the Lenovo Easy NotePad.

Heat

Ha, the heat is nothing as compare with my previous notebook. For normal to heavy multitasking is just a piece of cake to the Lenovo IdeaPad Y580. It runs smooth, cool and quiet during work. The same goes to when you are even watch FHD movies. But if you are gaming, then you probably will feel the heat a bit. After hours of continuously gaming, you will feel its a bit warm around your left finger tips and somewhere around the ‘G’ and ‘H’ keys area on the keyboard. It appears that the graphic card, processor and hard disk are all located very near. Probably that is what causes the heat. It would be a good idea to replace the stock hard disk to SSD (Solid State Disk) to both increase the efficiency of the hard disk and also to reduce the heat generated by the hard disk.

Webcam

According to the specification, the webcam appears to have some really cool capabilities. It appears to be capable of capturing images and videos at 1280 x 720 pixels. I have yet have the chance nor an excuse to explore the webcam yet. Probably will update it after I have test it. :P

Performance

This is what my friend who was another Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 owner and I feel, “Too fast d…”. I have once experience and owned the original model of the IdeaPad Y580 which comes with an i7-3610QM 2.3GHz quad-core CPU, 4GB for a brief period is more than satisfied with its performance and an upgrade to i7-3630QM 2.4GHz quad-core CPU for the same price is totally awesome. Well, for my stock Y580, the limitation would be the hard drive and the stock 4GB ram. Perhaps I should later upgrade a SSD and increase the size of my ram. Everything is smooth and I have no complaint towards performance even on default factory setting.

Graphics

Are you joking with me that you are still yet satisfied with the performance of Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M GPU which comes with dedicated 2GB of VRAM? For the price that I am paying, I also have no complaint towards it and I am more than satisfied with its graphic performance. This partner of mine can handle almost the latest game without taking a sweat with ultra setting while not on FHD setting at playable frame rates over 30. Lately my friend and I are playing with the latest Guild Wars 2, while running at FHD, I manage to have over 60 to 70 fps on average. If you are checking on can Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 play Guild Wars 2? The answer would be simply yes.

With the Nvidia Optimus technology which automatically switches between a notebook integrated and discrete graphics, the efficiency of the notebook have been increase tremendously I would say. For your information, I am also a LoL (League of Legend) player. I am letting it to run LoL on FHD and with the highest graphic setting with the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 with an average of 60 fps smoothly. To me, this has basically demonstrated how powerful and efficient is the integrated graphic card.

If you are considering whether you should take the Asus G55VW, kindly allow me to remind you that the Asus G55VW does not comes with the Nvidia Optimus technology. In other words, it would be very much less efficient as compare to the Lenovo IdeaPad Y580. To be frank, before I bought the Y580, I have the Asus G55VW in my mind too.

You may get the latest graphic driver here.

The latest driver is version 310.33, it’s a beta driver released on October 23rd, 2012. Get it here.

The latest driver is version 310.61, it’s a beta driver released on November 20th, 2012. Get it here.

Battery Life

According to my research, it appears that it can last very at least 6 hours with minimum usage such as only doing document task and without any browsing and the Wi-Fi. Based on my self estimated, with browsing, Wi-Fi on and mixed heavy usage of mine, it can easily last for 3 to 4 hours. Expect the battery to be drain and last for less than 2 hours if you are gaming with the battery. Personally I never tried out much with the battery as I rarely use the battery and as I have mention earlier, I keep the battery plugged and the AC power too.

Thanks to the Lenovo utility power management software, I have set the batter to be charge and cap at not more than 60% to prevent the batter from overcharge and condemn fast.

Conclusion

Like I said, I have no complaint towards the Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 that I have bought neither I feel any regret for getting it. Before I made up my mind, I did a lot of research on which machine will suite my usage and habits most. This machine still have plenty of rooms for me to upgrade in terms of awaken the sleeping beast that I see now. All I have to do is to do some simple upgrade, but that will have to wait.

Download Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 Drivers

  1. Audio Driver: Realtek
  2. Bluetooth Driver: Broadcom and Atheros
  3. Card Reader Driver
  4. WebCam Driver
  5. Intel Chipset Driver
  6. Intel MEI Driver
  7. Hotfix File
  8. LAN Driver
  9. Lenovo Energy Mangement
  10. Lenovo OneKey Recovery
  11. Intel Rapid Storage Technology
  12. TouchPad Driver
  13. USB 3.0 Driver
  14. Integrated Graphic: Intel HD4000 Graphic Driver
  15. Discrete Graphic: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
  16. Wireless LAN Driver: Broadcom and Atheros