The Bottom Line
- Strong Performance
- Well Priced
- Lots Of Unnecessary Software Installed
- Glossy Surfaces Including Around Keyboard Show Smudges And Fingerprints
- Function And Control Key Location Swapped
- Intel Core i7-720QM Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 240M Graphics With 1GB Memory
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 2.0, eSATA, HDMI, VGA, ExpressCard, 6-in-1 Card Reader
- 15.2" x 10" x 1.5" @ 6.1 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium
Guide Review - Lenovo IdeaPad Y550p 15.6-inch Thin And Light Laptop PC
May 14 2010 - While Lenovo has released a new IdeaPad Y560 laptop, the older IdeaPad Y550p still has some life left in it thanks to processor upgrades. The Intel Core i7-720QM quad core processor provides the system with a high level of performance whether running just a few or many applications. The 4GB of DDR3 memory help restrict any slowdowns from multiple applications. There is a bit of a downside in the system does generate a fair amount of heat compared to some previous Core 2 Duo based systems.
Storage features on the IdeaPad Y550p are fairly typical of laptops in the $1000 price range. It comes with a sizable 500GB hard drive that provides plenty of space for applications, data and media files. Performance is hampered slightly as it spins at a more sedate 5400rpm rate compared to many that have moved to the faster 7200rpm desktop spin rates. A dual layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CD and DVD media.
The biggest difference between the new IdeaPad Y560 and the Y550p is the graphics systems. The display uses a 15.6-inch LCD panel that features a standard 1366x768 resolution and a glossy coating. This makes it fairly difficult to use outdoors and in certain indoor lighting conditions. The graphics processor uses an older NVIDIA GeForce GT 240M with 1GB of memory. This should provide it with sufficient performance for handling PC gaming up to the laptops native resolution without too much of a problem. It does not support Direct X 11 graphics in compatible Windows 7 games.
Like many other manufacturers, Lenovo has decided to use a relatively small 6-cell battery pack with the IdeaPad Y550p. This means that the system will have more limited battery life compared to some other models. In my DVD playback test, the system lasted just over two and a half hours. Lenovo claims a three and a half hour running time which may be possible on more traditional web usage but I would estimate closer to three hours.
The keyboard and trackpad design of the IdeaPad Y550p do have some quirks to them as well. The function key has been placed in the lower left most position that is typically used by the control key that users will have to get used to. The scroll bar software also is a bit flaky at times preventing the trackpad scroll feature from working as well as it could.
The biggest problem with the IdeaPad Y550p though is the software. The company has installed a large number of applications, both trialware and in some cases adware. Don't be surprised to see ads for Lenovo products pop up on your screen periodically. These applications can be uninstalled but it is extremely annoying trend that hopefully Lenovo will reconsider. Reinstalling the OS will also place these back on the system.