1/22/08 - Lenovo will be releasing two disctinct versions of the IdeaPad Y710 desktop replacement. One is the consumer oriented version while the other is a gaming specific model. This profile examines the general consumer version which should be available in the coming weeks and months. Let's take a look at what Lenovo has to offer ...
Currently, Lenovo has two distinct versions of the consumer oriented IdeaPad Y710 in planning. One is a more budget version while the other performance oriented. The low cost one will be using an older Intel Core 2 Duo T5450 dual core processor while the high end version will use the 45nm Peryn T9300 mobile processor. Both perform well although the T9300 will have much higher performance because of the faster clock speed and larger cache.
Regardless of the initial versions of the IdeaPad Y710 released, they all use the same type and size of memory. They all feature a total of 2GB of PC2-5300 DDR2 memory that is becoming fairly standard in the industry. This should let it run applications smoothly even with the Windows Vista operating system.
The IdeaPad Y710 chassis is designed to have space for two notebook sized hard drives inside of them. The difference between the two initial versions will be the number of drives installed. Both version use the same 250GB 5400rpm SATA drive. The difference is that the low cost version uses just one while the high end one will feature two for 500GB of storage space.
Pretty much every notebook on the market now comes standard with a dual layer DVD burner. Lenovo includes this as the base optical drive on all IdeaPad Y710 units. Those who want to upgrade will be able to get a drive that handles playback of Bluray drives in addition to recording and playback of CD or DVD media.
Graphics and Display:
Regardless of the version of the consumer IdeaPad Y710 models purchased, they all use the same graphics processor and displays. This is Lenovo's first 17-inch sized notebook and the panel uses the relatively standard resolution of 1440x900. For a graphics processor, Lenovo has decided to use the ATI Radeon Mobility HD 2600 with 256MB of memory. This Direct X 10 graphics processor is a decent solution suitable for casual gaming but lacks the performance for those really looking at PC gaming. Those will want to eventually look at the gamer specific version to be released later.
The IdeaPad Y710 comes with pretty much what one expects to on a notebook system these days. It has the updated wireless that supports the draft 802.11n wireless standard or the previous 802.11a and 802.11b/g modes. A gigabit Ethernet port handles any form of wired networking while a standard 56Kbps modem is available for those that require dial-up.
A total of four USB 2.0 ports handle the majority of peripheral connections for the IdeaPad Y710. FireWire is included for those that wish to hook up a digital video camera or other peripheral. For external displays, the system uses a newer HDMI port and also features a traditional VGA connector. An ExpressCard/54 slot is available for expansion to a variety of peripherals. Finally, a 6-in-1 media card reader allows the use of flash media cards.
Since the system is not officially released at this time, software included with it is still quite unknown. It is known that the Windows Vista Home Premium will be the standard operating system. A couple of other applications are set to be included such as Norton Anti-Virus and CyberLink's Power2Go. No word on what productivity applications will ship with the system are available at this time.
Lenovo has not previously designed a larger desktop replacement notebook system primarily because of their focus on businesses. With consumer demand now for notebooks being greater than desktops and particularly for larger desktop replacement styles, Lenovo finally decided to put together a consumer oriented 17-inch notebook with the IdeaPad Y710 and it is a very strong first product.
The consumer oriented IdeaPad Y710 unit looks to be a very strong choice for those looking at a solid general performance notebook. The choice of components let to run applications without much of an issue at all. The higher end versions with the newer Peryn processor will have better performance thanks to the larger cache sizes and it will also have slightly better battery life. That doesn't mean that the version with the older T5450 won't perform at nearly the same levels.
The real draw to the higher end model will be the storage features. The second hard drive provides the IdeaPad Y710 with an astounding amount of storage space that can easily hold applications, operating system and a large amount of digital media on a single system. The inclusion of the Bluray compatible drive also makes the high end model a strong mobile high definition movie platform. The one drawback is that the screen resolution limits it to 720p playback on the display.
Those looking to get a notebook for a mobile gaming platform will probably want to hold off for Lenovo to release the gaming specific version. That model will have a better graphics, higher resolution display and a different keyboard layout. Details are still scarce at this point what the final specs for it will be though.