Review: Lenovo IdeaPad Y650

This is one of the biggest laptop I’ve ever reviewed. The Lenovo IdeaPad Y650 is one of the latest 16 inch laptop by Lenovo. I’ve actually seen this laptop back in February during the Lenovo Bloggers’ Night, together with the IdeaPad Y450 and Y550 (14 inch and 15 inch respectively). But I understand from Lenovo that only Y450 and Y650 will be sold in Singapore. Y550 will not be sold in Singapore market.
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I managed to be the first person in Singapore to play with the Lenovo Y650 thanks to Derrick from Lenovo. My first impression of the IdeaPad Y650 when I took it out of the box is “WAH, super duper huge leh”. Although its just 16 inch (2 inch bigger than my personal laptop), the Y650 feels a lot bigger. Perhaps because of the wide screen. It’s 39 x 26 x 2.61 cm and weighs 2.55kg. Yes, its just 2.61cm thick. Amazingly thin right? 2.55 kg is a little heavy for a laptop. But at 16 inch, its hard to be any lighter. In fact, there are some 15 inch out there that are heavier than the Y650. The machine looks pretty good with a very faint honeycomb pattern on the outer casing. We didn’t notice the pattern during the Lenovo Bloggers’ Night as the lighting is rather dark. (See, I told you that they purposely choose a dark venue so that they can hide some of the cool stuff from us)
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And you know that the Y650 isn’t just a normal laptop. It has 2 JBL speakers with Dolby Home Theater 2 Ceritification, nVidia GeForce GT 105M 256MB, Blu-Ray drive and HDMI. It’s a home entertainment device, on the go. I love the sound from the 2 JBL speakers. There is also a 1.3 megapix webcam which can be use for logging in using Lenovo’s VeriFace software.

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The Lenovo IdeaPad Y650 runs on a Intel Core2 Duo 2.53GHz. It comes with 4GB RAM and 320GB SATA Harddisk. For the ports, there are 2 USB ports , 1 E-sata, 1 Express Card slot, 1 mini-PCIe slot, Ethernet, VGA, Mic-In, Headphone and SD/MS card reader. Yes, there is only 2 USB port. At 16 inch, you would expect Lenovo to be more generous when it comes to USB port. 2 USB port feels a little stingy.
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And since the Lenovo Y650 is 16 inch, it allows the designers to be very generous with the touchpad. Perhaps a little too generous. Any bigger, I would have mistaken that for a digitizer. Serious! But I love the texture on the touchpad. If you read my past entry, you will know that I’m not really a fan of touchpad. But I certainly won’t mind if someone give me a touchpad that has similiar texture as the Y650. But I’m kinda disappointed that Lenovo didn’t include a trackpoint. I thought Lenovo would include a trackpoint for all its laptop like what they did for the Thinkpad series. (OK, I know, trackpoint is an acquired taste. Either you love it lots or you hate it to the core) Oh, did I mention that the touchpad is multi-touch like the Lenovo S10?
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The keyboard’s keys arrangement feels a little weird though. I have no idea why Lenovo choose to squeeze the Home, End, PgUp and PgDn button on the right side of the keyboard when there is so much real estate. The keyboard is comfy to type with, but you need to becareful not to press the Home button when you want to Backspace.
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Personally, I feel that Lenovo can make better use of the real estate on the Y650. There are too many empty spaces around the keyboard area. Being a laptop positioned like a home entertainment system, I wish that Lenovo could give us some multimedia shortcut keys and place them at the empty spaces around the keyboard. The arm rest area is also a little too generous. Perhaps that area could be put in better.
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The Lenovo IdeaPad Y650 is a rather hot machine. But thanks to the cleverly placed rubber “legs”, it lifts the machine up for better air ventilation and cooling so that it does not feel so hot after long usage. But you wouldn’t want to place this machine on your lap for prolong period, especially if you are a guy. (I put my life on the line to bring you this tip….. Hahahaha…… Ok, just kidding…. just kidding…..)
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Overall, its a great machine. I love the large screen and the great speakers. The Lenovo IdeaPad Y650 is not something that you would want to bring out everyday, but perhaps when you are going for a holiday or LAN party. It would be good for watching movies on your bed. But I feel that there are some rooms for improvements. The extra spaces around the keyboard can be put into better use.
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In short:
A 16 inch wide screen laptop with great sounds.
Likes:
Great sound from the 2 JBL speakers
Huge textured touchpad with multi-touch features
Dislikes:
Only 2 USB port
Wastage of real estate, no multimedia keys
Weird Key arrangement (Home, End, PgUp, PgDn)
Also check out Gear65 review on Lenovo Ideapad Y650.
Many thanks to Derrick from Lenovo & Sumin from Text100 for making this review possible.

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