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Lenovo IdeaPad Y550 15.6-inch Budget Laptop PC

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Lenovo IdeaPad Y550 15.6-inch Budget Laptop PC

Lenovo IdeaPad Y550

©Lenovo

The Bottom Line

Oct 12 2009 - Lenovo's IdeaPad Y550 isn't really targeted towards the budget market, but it is possible to get a model equipped for under $650 that has some surprising offerings that make it more future proof than other budget laptops. While you will need to get a memory upgrade at least to make it truly functional, the system has dedicated graphics and a wide range of ports that you just can't find in other laptops in this price class. It keeps Lenovo's class leading keyboard designs that make it a joy to use. So, if you want to do a little gaming on the side, this is clearly the budget system for you.
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Pros

  • Dedicated Graphics Processor
  • Wide Range of Peripheral Ports
  • Uses DDR3 Memory

Cons

  • Budget Configuration Restricts RAM and Hard Drive Sizes
  • Does Not Support 802.11n Wireless Networking

Description

  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core T4200 Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 1GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
  • 160GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
  • 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • NVIDIA GeForce G210 Graphics With 512MB Memory
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g Wireless
  • Three USB 2.0, eSATA, HDMI, VGA, ExpressCard/34, 6-in-1 Card Reader
  • 15.2" x 10" x 1.5" @ 6.1 lbs.
  • Vista Home Premium

Guide Review - Lenovo IdeaPad Y550 15.6-inch Budget Laptop PC

Oct 12 2009 - Lenovo's IdeaPad Y550 is a series of compromises in order to make a budget priced system. The most notable of these is the dedicated graphics processor. The NVIDIA GeForce G210M isn't the fastest graphics processor on the market, but it does allow this system to handle HD video and gaming that none of the integrated solutions can provide. It won't be playing Crysis at high detail levels, but expect low to moderate detail levels in many games up to the panel's 1366x768 resolution.

The big downside to the budget configuration of the IdeaPad Y55 is the memory. With just a single gigabyte of memory, the system will struggle at times with the Vista operating system. At least the system is using faster DDR3 memory. Users will definitely want to add more memory to the system either with Lenovo or aftermarket. This is really a requirement to make the system really functional.

Along with the memory, Lenovo has to sacrifice the hard drive space. While many budget laptops are now feature 320GB drives, this model comes with just half of that space. This could be problematic for some with lots of media.

To reduce costs, most laptop makers will remove a number of peripheral ports. Lenovo has kept the standard port layout on the IdeaPad Y550 that provides it with a wealth of ports that many budget laptops lack. This includes eSATA for high speed external storage, HDMI for use with HDTVs and digital monitors and an ExpressCard/34 slot for wireless modems and other expansion cards. This helps future proof the laptop better than many other budget laptops.

The net result is that the Lenovo IdeaPad Y550 is probably the best choice for those that want to either be using their limited budget to get a laptop for media and gaming or just have a laptop that isn't lacking much in terms of future expansion.

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