Lenovo Y40 and Y50 Hands-on: Lighter, Thinner Gaming

Quiet as it’s kept, Lenovo's Y series of multimedia notebooks can each serve a powerful gaming stations.  Equipped with up to Intel Core i7 CPUs and discrete graphics, the new Lenovo Y40 and Y50 offer the power and performance of previous models in thinner, lighter form factors.

Both notebooks are lovely to behold. The 15-inch Lenovo Y50's aluminum lid features subtle V-shaped striations that give the notebook some visual complexity. The 14-inch Y40's faux-carbon fiber motif  with soft-touch finish made it our favorite of the two. Boasting a weight of 4 pounds for the Y40 and 4.7 pounds (5.7 pounds touch model) for the Y50, these laptops are easy to carry, particularly compared to the 6.4-pound Y510p. The Y40 and Y50 are also a lot slimmer than their predecessors with a thickness of 0.93 inches and 0.94 inches respectively, compared to the Y510p 's 1.4-inch frame.

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Similar to the Y510p, both the Y40 and Y50 will feature a 1080p display. Users fond of a touchscreen can upgrade the Y50's 15.6-inch panel to a touchscreen or a jaw-dropping 3840 x 2160 retina-like display. In terms of sound, listeners jam out to loud, rich audio courtesy of the JBL stereo speakers with Dolby Home Theater v4 software.

Lenovo has outfitted both notebooks with its AccuType keyboard assuring a comfortable typing experience. Similar to the Y510p, the Y40 and Y50 will feature red backlighting that adds a nice pop of color to the overall presentation. We found the keys were nice and springy with strong feedback. 

An attractive design and responsive keyboard are all well and good, but it’s what’s under the hood that counts and Lenovo doesn’t disappoint. Each notebook can support up an Intel Core i7 processor with up to 16GB of RAM. Lenovo is offering several storage options including up to 1TB hard drive, 1TB hybrid storage with integrated 8GB SSD cache or up to 512GB SSD. While both laptops will feature Intel integrated graphics, the Y40 can be outfitted with an optional AMD Radeon R9 M270 GPU with 4GB of VRAM. Y50 users can add an Nvidia GTX GPU.

In terms of ports, Y series users can expect a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0, HDMI, Ethernet, a SD card reader, a headset jack and a security lock slot.

Unfortunately, one of our biggest complaints about the Y510p, the barely there battery life, plagues both notebooks. Lenovo claims that the Y40 and Y50 will see approximately 4 hours of battery life. The company has also added Energy Manager technology to ensure the  battery’s durability.

Both the Y40 and Y50 will be available sometime during Q1 with a starting price tag of $699.

Sherri L. Smith
Editor in Chief

Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.