Sunday, July 3, 2011

Lenovo IdeaPad Y560d

The IdeaPad Y560d is a consumer multimedia notebook featuring a powerful Intel quad-core processor and ATI graphics. The most interesting aspect of this notebook is the 3D-capable screen. Does this feature make the notebook worth extra money? Read our review to find out.

Our Lenovo IdeaPad Y560d review unit has the following specifications:
  • 15.6-inch 720p (1366x768) glossy panel with LED backlighting and 120Hz refresh rate
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Intel Core i7-720QM quad-core processor (1.6GHz/2.8GHz Turbo Mode, 6MB L3, 2.5GT/s QPI, 45W TDP)
  • Intel PM55 chipset
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 w/ 1GB GDDR3 video memory
  • 4GB DDR3-1333 dual-channel RAM (2x 2GB)
  • 500GB 7200RPM Hitachi 7K500 hard drive (HTS725050A9A364)
  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6200 AGN wireless
  • Built-in Bluetooth v2.1+EDR
  • DVD burner (Slimtype DVD A DS8A4S)
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • 6-cell Li-ion battery (11.1V, 57Wh)
  • Weight: 5.95 lbs
  • Dimensions: 15.1” (L) x 8.5” (D) x 0.8~1.30”” (H)
  • MSRP: $1,599
The specifications are enthusiast-grade; the most noteworthy components are the Intel Core i7 quad-core processor and 1GB ATI graphics card. The Y560d's screen has a 120Hz refresh rate, which is what allows it to produce the illusion of 3D when combined with the included special polarized glasses and TriDef software. The Manufacturer's suggested retail price is a bit steep; however this notebook can often be found for several hundred less online.

Build and Design
The Y560d has an aesthetically pleasing design. The notebook is quite thin and light for its class, coming in at six pounds and just over one inch thin. The chassis has a standard rectangular shape. All corners are generously rounded off, giving the Y560d a soft appearance compared to business notebooks. Numerous white status lights dot the chassis, including a backlit “IdeaPad” logo in the bottom right of the palm rest. The keyboard is flanked by two impressive-looking JBL-branded speakers.

The back of the lid is where the design gets interesting. A gaudy-looking tattoo covers the entire surface; I am not sure what it is supposed to be. It will likely be a deal-breaker for some. Fortunately the standard Y560 non-3D notebook is available with a plain lid. The Y560d is constructed entirely of plastic. The chassis willingly flexes when twisted by the corners, which indicates the internal frame is not that strong. Surfaces around the keyboard also bend visibly when pressure is applied. The lid is again easy to twist, however no ripples appear on the screen when pushed in from behind; there is some measure of protection there. The display hinges are rather weak; I can move them around where they connect to the chassis. The hinges should also be stiffer than they are; the display wobbles for some time after abruptly letting go of the screen while opening/closing it.

The biggest problem I have with the Y560d is the fact that every visible surface is covered in glossy, smudge-prone plastic. It is nearly impossible to keep clean and is not all that durable. Overall, the build quality is below average for a notebook priced north of a grand. The glossy plastic and gaudy lid tattoo may turn off prospective customers.

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