When it comes to gaming laptops, bigger is usually better. Following that mantra, Lenovo has announced its new 17-inch, Y70 Touch gaming notebook. When it launches sometime in October, the Y70 (priced $1,299) will be the largest touchscreen notebook in the company's lineup. As with the Y40 and Y50 laptops, Lenovo is hoping to appeal to a wide swath of users with the Y70, including gamers, multimedia users and creative professionals. I had a chance to go hands-on with the Y70 and was impressed with its sleek design and powerful specs.
Similar to the smaller Y50, the Y70 has an understated design Instead of the flashing lights and brightly-colored chassis of competitors like Alienware and MSI, the Y70 has stately black brushed aluminum that gently crisscrosses the lid. A diamond-cut chrome logo in the top right corner finishes the look. The notebook's interior is lined with a luxurious black soft touch finish that helps play up the glowing red backlit keyboard.
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The laptop weighs less than 7.5 pounds, which makes it lighter than the Alienware 17 (9.2 pounds) and the ASUS G750JX (9.4 pounds). However that's still much heavier than the Maingear Pulse 17 and the MSI GS70 Stealth Pro which weigh 6.2 pounds and 6 pounds respectively.
The Lenovo Y70 comes equipped with a 1920 x 1080 touchscreen display. In practice, I found the panel was quick and responsive. While the colors on the laptop seemed fairly bright, history has shown that the Y series is prone to dim displays and low color reproduction and accuracy values. I'm hoping that the Y70 can break the trend, but I'll reserve my judgement for our review. I am disappointed that Lenovo decided not to offer an Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) display option similar to the one on the Y50.
Although I didn't get the chance to test them, the Y70 will feature the same JBL speakers found in both the Y40 and Y50 with the bottom-mounted subwoofer.
The keys on the red backlit keyboard seemed springy enough. Unfortunately, some of the keys are a bit on the small side. I wasn't happy to see diminutive Backspace and Right Shift keys, since Lenovo has so much room to work with on a 17-inch chassis.
Lenovo has outfitted the Y70 Touch with a number of ports including a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 2.0 port, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, a 4-in-1 card reader, a secure lock slot and jacks for a combination headphone/microphone and S/PDIF. When it ships, the Y70 Touch can be configured with a Core i7 processor with up to 16GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX Graphics with either a 1TB hard drive or a 256GB SSD. As a bonus, the laptop will ship with an external optical disc drive for those rare cases when you need to pop in a disc.
As Lenovo's largest touchscreen laptop, the Y70 Touch offers an understated look in a relatively light chassis. More importantly, the notebook provides powerful specs, enough to compete with some of its more higher-profile competition. It remains to be seen if Lenovo can remedy the dim display and shallow keyboard of the previous model, but I'm looking forward to taking the Y70 Touch for a longer spin in the near future.