At its mega launch event yesterday, where Lenovo Malaysia released 18 new products for the Malaysian market consisting of new laptops, 2-in-1 convertibles and AiOs, the company also finally bestowed its Y series of gaming laptops as a full-fledged gaming series.
Long known as a series of laptops that offer good gaming performance at affordable prices, the Y series has come a long way since the days of the Y460 – the laptop that arguably put Lenovo in the spotlight as a maker of quality gaming laptops. Gone are the black-and-yellow colour schemes of the past, today’s Y Gaming Series is all about black and a fierce dash of red.
We’ve seen it earlier this year in Beijing, where the company teased a few of its gaming peripherals at Lenovo Tech World; today, they are finally out in full force: the ideapad Y700 gaming laptop, the ideacentre Y900 gaming desktop, and five gaming peripherals: the Y Gaming Surround Sound Headset, Y Gaming Mechanical Switch Keyboard, the Y Gaming Precision Mouse, the Y Gaming Backpack, and the Y Gaming Mouse Mat.
The Y40, Y50 and Y70 are now all folded into one model name: the Y700. This gaming laptop will still be available in three display sizes: 14, 15.6 and 17 inch, and are all powered by the new sixth-gen Intel Core i7-6700HQ processors as well as the NVIDIA GTX 960M 4GB DDR5 GPU. Specifications will vary by configuration, including up to 16GB DDR4 RAM, up to 1TB physical hard drive paired with a 128GB SSD, and optional touch Full HD anti-glare displays.
There’s also room for an optional Intel RealSense 3D camera too. The 15.6-inch version will be coming to Malaysia first, with a weight of 3.5kg and a starting price of RM4,699. Each purchase will be bundled with a Lenovo Y Gaming Precision Mouse and a Y Gaming Mouse Mat.
Meanwhile, the ideacentre Y900 desktop lets Lenovo run a little wild. Featuring a carbon-fibre design body with matte black body colour, the Y900 sports an aggressive red “Y” at the front. That is, of course, not the interesting part. Lenovo’s taken the same approach as it did with the ThinkCentre business desktops, applying a “tool-free” design for users to access the most commonly upgraded parts of the desktop. Hard drive bays are housed in slide-out drawers secured by easy-to-open latches, as are virtually all access to cooling systems: there are few (if any) screws used to secure the components to the desktop.
As for the hardware, Lenovo opts for the unlocked 6th-gen Intel Core i7-6700K quad core processor. And as a desktop, there are plenty of headroom for user upgrades, including support for up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4GB DDR5 SLI, four 3.5″ or 2.5″ hard drive bays, one M.2 PCIe SSD up to 256GB, up to 64GB RAM, two optical disk drive bays, and tool-free access to all system fans for easy maintenance.
The ideacentre Y900 has a starting weight of 15kg, and a starting price of RM6,999 including a Y Gaming Mechanical Keyboard, Y Gaming Precision Mouse, and a Y Gaming Mouse Pad. It will retail from December 2015.
Let’s talk a little more about the Y Gaming accessories. While Lenovo did not elaborate much about them during the event, they are actually decent introductory products for the brand. The Y Gaming Mechanical Switch Keyboard, for example, uses Kailh Red mechanical switches. The keys are also anti-ghosting (of course), backlit with five levels of illumination (another necessity), six macro keys, dedicated multimedia controls, and a dedicated key for controlling the Y Gaming Surround Sound Headset.
There’s even a USB port, audio and mic jacks as well as a textured detachable palm rest for good measure. While there is no mention of a final retail price, it is being sold at $139.99 (about RM595) in the US.
On the other hand, the Y Gaming Precision Mouse had little information to go by at the event. Then again, not many would like to know the switches (Omron, 20 million clicks lifespan) or the polling rate (up to 1,000Hz) of the mouse. The Precision Mouse has a 8,200DPI sensor, four default DPI settings (no mention of what levels or whether they are customisable), nine programmable buttons, a 1.8m braided cable, and four 5g tuning weights.
The Precision Mouse is complemented by the Y Gaming Mouse Mat, which is made from a high-density waterproof microfibre surface and a braided locked edge. The 3mm thick mat also has a skid-proof bottom.
Meanwhile, the Y Gaming Surround Sound Headset is a 7.1 virtual surround sound headset with 40mm drivers, volume controls and a detachable, noise-cancelling microphone. The swivel ear cups and head bands are made from a combination of soft materials and mesh cushion for comfort. Finally, there’s the Y Gaming Backpack, which fits up to 17.3-inch laptops. The backpack has padded pockets, a protective hard shell compartment and a chest strap for carrying support.
All Lenovo Y Series accessories will be available at all Lenovo Exclusive Stores and authorised dealers nationwide starting from December 2015. Retail prices for all of them, however, were not revealed.