There used to be a time, way back in my youth, when I was quite the gamer. That’s not to say I still don’t enjoy gaming, but I used to spend way more time online teaming up with friends for a long night of Unreal Tournament, Battelfield, or Quake. So while it’s been a long time since I’ve had a decent gaming machine to fuel those desires, I couldn’t help but jump at the chance to take a look at Lenovo’s IdeaPad Y900 gaming laptop. I’m so very glad I did…
I came home one afternoon to find an enormous box in the middle of the living room. I picked it up to move it to my office and was taken back by the weight. I knew right there I was going to have fun with this laptop. Opening up the box revealed a handful of accessories including an extra set of A,W,S, and D keys, power adapter, external CD/DVD drive, and various instruction booklets. I worked my way down to the laptop itself and released it from its secure padding. This is about the time I used the word “beast” for the first time…and it won’t be the last.
First Impressions/Physical Build
This thing is a beast…in a good way. It’s heavy, and huge; everything you want in a gaming laptop. Opening the top reveals a beautiful mechanical keyboard and stunning 17.3” screen. There’s a huge trackpad below the keyboard with slightly raised areas on either side for your wrists covered with a textured rubber coating. The power button sits at the upper right corner of the keyboard and I wasted no time turning it on. Thanks to the SSD and 16GB RAM, this beauty booted up very quickly and was ready to go in no time. The back of the screen has a three point insignia that glows red when powered on, which is nothing but cosmetic, but cool none-the-less. The keyboard also lights up, proving once and for all this thing has all the bells and whistles. On the upper left of the keyboard is a turbo button, which serves to overclock the CPU and crank up the fans for those times when you need just a little more “oomph” to your game.
The right side of the laptop houses ports for the power adapter, display port, HDMI, Ethernet, USB Type-C, and two USB Type-A 3.0. The left side has ports for SD cards, Mic, Headphones, two USB Type-A 2.0, a reset button, and a power indicator light. The speakers sit just above the keyboard and stretch the entire width of the laptop.
The Display on the Y900 is a full HD 1920×1080 display with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology, and it’s amazing. Did I mention it’s huge? Yes, there are plenty of monitors out there much larger than 17”, but for a laptop, this display is a monster. It’s got nearly 180° of wide-angle viewing and an anti-glare screen which makes for great images no matter where you’re standing.
The speakers are built-in JBL stereo speakers and a subwoofer with Dolby Home Theater surround sound. Regardless of if you’re playing music, watching a movie, or blowing up bad guys, these speakers sound great at every level.
The coolest, and most fun, feature on this laptop for me was the backlit keyboard. Installed on the laptop is Lenovo’s Nerve Center software. From here, you can view stats on your laptop and make several configuration changes. One of those changes is the ability to modify the color and light shift of the keyboard. There are seven areas on the keyboard, eight if you count the W/A/S/D keys, that can be set to a different color and shift. Shift allows you to set the color to either a static on/off state, or a different rate of fading in and out. For example, the “wave” shift will turn the keyboard on then off from left to right as if a wave of color is passing over the keyboard. You can also choose heartbeat, smooth, breath, and always on. In the grand scheme of things, this is only cosmetic and doesn’t really add anything to the performance of the machine, but man is it cool.
The model I was provided came with an Intel Core i7 2.7GHz processor with 16GB DDR4-2133 RAM, a 256GB SSD with a 1TB 5400RPM data drive, and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980m with 8GB memory. Again, this thing is a beast. I had no performance issues using this laptop for any standard tasks, which is to be expected. I downloaded trial versions of Battlefield 4 and Titanfall 2. Both of these games ran flawlessly and provided many hours of gaming goodness. I managed to crank up the turbo a couple of times, but never really saw a huge difference in performance while playing, so I doubt I was actually pushing the machine too hard with the games I was playing.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y900 is an absolute beast of a machine. They call it the ultimate gaming laptop, and I don’t think they are off target on that claim. It’s heavy, and huge, and just an absolute blast to play with. The display is amazing, the speakers are loud and crisp, and the machine just blazes through anything I was able to throw at it. If you’re looking for a solid gaming laptop that is going to impress both on the performance scale as well as just looking mean, this is definitely a good choice! However, you’ll have to be prepared to pay for it. The starting price for the Y900 is $2,499.99. If you have the money, this is well worth it and won’t let you down any time soon!