Lenovo Y50 Lineup: from Spec Light to 4K Experience

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Finding the perfect laptop is no easy feat. As always, the question is―what will the laptop’s primary function be: desktop replacement, portable workstation, gaming center, multimedia entertainment system, browsing, social media interaction, or checking stocks? Or a combination of all of the above?

Lenovo has a new Windows 8.1 lineup of notebooks called the Y50 series that offers enough power to make performing the task list above a no-brainer. They start out with a spec-light edition, and extend all the way up to a laptop with a 4K experience.

Starting with the Y50 59425944 Non-Touch Notebook Computer, Lenovo begins by offering a strong 4th-Gen Intel® Core™ i7-4700HQ processor from the Haswell family, which translates into longer battery life with less of a heat draw. It adds a ramped 8GB of DDR3L RAM―many Ultrabook™ and notebook makers rely on the 4GB mark, which is great for single applications, but tends to slow things down when gaming or multi-tasking.

And there will be gaming on this machine―if you so desire. Not only does this notebook have a 15.6" Full HD 1920 x 1080 IPS display, it also comes equipped with a dedicated graphics card, and as anyone knows who has struggled with the limitations of the onboard graphics controller for Intel processors, a dedicated graphics controller will make games more stunning, movies pop, and Web surfing crystal clear. The one included with this unit is a NVIDIA GTX-860M with 2GB of dedicated memory. Yikes.

Other amenities seem standard, but enhance the value of this machine. A 1TB hybrid drive with an 8GB SSD will speed up program and application loading while still giving you the freedom to load large amounts of data (Ultrabooks typically offer all-SSD drives, but rarely in capacities approaching 1TB). Surprisingly, since they’re not going for Ultrabook and ultra-light status, Lenovo also includes an external SuperMulti DVD drive and a SD card slot. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (802.12 ac Wi-Fi no less―good for you, Lenovo) and Gigabit Ethernet also grace this notebook, as do USB 3.0 and HMDI-out connectors.

Giving a shout out to multimedia capabilities, the Lenovo Y50 59425944 also includes integrated goodies like rockin’ JBL speakers with Dolby Advanced Audio v2 technology, a 720p camera, and a host of entertainment, productivity, and security software that will enhance your notebook experience. They also make sure that the keyboard is backlit for use in low-light situations (and face it―backlit keyboards just look cool and, in red, even cooler).

Lenovo also offers a similar model, with identical specs. The only difference is that the Y50 59418226 varies the processor―it uses a 4th-Gen Intel Core i7-4710 HQ processor. It matches up, though, in every other aspect, including RAM load-out, hard-drive size, and external DVD.

Next in the lineup is the Y50 59426255 Multi-touch notebook computer―wait, what? Isn’t this the computer we just talked about? Yes it is, mon frère―with the addition of 10-point multi-touch on the 15.6" screen. While the computer above is great for those who eschew the multi-touch madness that is Windows 8.1, this machine takes away the constant struggling with the mouse and, as anyone who has used a multi-touch screen and gone back to a cursor-based device knows, you will constantly find yourself tapping the screen on a non-touch device and wondering why nothing is happening, until you realize your faux pas. In my humble estimation, Windows 8.1 is made for touchscreens. Period. And this notebook offers all the swiping, pinching, and scrolling your fingertips can handle.

Everything else matches up with the previous computer, including an Intel Core i7 Haswell processor, hearty 8GB of DDRL3 RAM, Full HD 1920 x 1080 display, hybrid 1TB hard drive and it also includes the integrated premium JBL speakers, USB 3.0 and HDMI ports, and Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11 ac Wi-Fi connectivity.

The multi-touch version is a tad lighter. Lenovo kept the 4-in-1 SD card reader, and all the connectivity (including 802.11 ac Wi-Fi). All in all, it’s the perfect sibling to the previous model, with just a little more touchy-feely attitude. If you’re looking for a solid workstation or laptop replacement, this model offers the high-end graphics, powerful processing, and amenities that a full-spec laptop should.

Finally, Lenovo enters the 4K arena with the Lenovo Y50 4K 59425943 15.6" notebook computer. It starts the gun show with a 4th-Gen Intel Core i7 4700HQ Haswell chip for high-end processing with low heat and power consumption (which amounts to extended battery life over previous processors) and enhances that power with a hefty 16GB of DDR3L RAM. Instead of slowing down the machine with a spindle drive, it includes a solo 256GB SSD for enhanced speed and performance.

It keeps the discrete NVIDIA GTX-860M graphics controller with 2GB of dedicated onboard RAM, and adds a 15.6" UHD IPS display with a stunning resolution of 3840 x 2160. The IPS adds a level of comfort to the viewing experience, allowing you to view at angles up to 178 degrees to the left or right, but that resolution in the display will definitely be seen the minute you click this on. At that resolution, and with the dedicated graphics, gaming, post-production video editing, and entertainment viewing options go through the roof. 

If you need more, all of the rest is still included, like the JBL speakers with Advanced Audio v2, external SuperMulti DVD, and 720p camera. You’ll also find all the connectivity intact, including Bluetooth, 802.11 ac Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet, along with USB 3.0 and HDMi―and Lenovo throws in WiDi support so that you can mirror content on WiDi-enabled devices.

Lenovo has stepped up their lineup to include the future of high-resolution needs, and yet still offers pared-down versions of their notebook line for the rest of the consumer and prosumer population that just wants a solid laptop with solid specs. Y50? Y not. These notebooks are the backbone of what you’ll need for work, play, and everything in between.

  Lenovo Y50 59418226 15.6" Notebook Computer (Black) Lenovo Y50 59425944 15.6" Notebook Computer (Black) Lenovo Y50 59426255 15.6" Multi-Touch Notebook Computer (Black) Lenovo Y50 4K 59425943 15.6" Notebook Computer (Black)
Performance
Processor 2.5 GHz Intel® Core™ i7-4710HQ Quad-Core 4th-Gen Haswell 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7-4700HQ Quad-Core 4th-Gen Haswell 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7-4700HQ Quad-Core 4th-Gen Haswell 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7-4700HQ Quad-Core 4th-Gen Haswell
Cache L3: 6MB L3: 6MB L3: 6MB L3: 6MB
Memory Type: DDR3L SDRAM
Installed: 8GB
Type: DDR3L SDRAM
Installed: 8GB
Type: DDR3L SDRAM
Installed: 8GB
Type: DDR3L SDRAM
Installed: 16GB
Graphics Card Type: Dedicated
Installed: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M with 2GB Dedicated
Type: Dedicated
Installed: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M with 2GB
Type: Dedicated
Installed: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M with 2GB
Type: Dedicated
Installed: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M with 2GB
Display
Type Widescreen
15.6"
16:09
1920 x 1080
Widescreen
15.6"
16:09
1920 x 1080
Touchscreen
15.6"
16:09
1920 x 1080
Widescreen
15.6"
16:09
3840 x 2160
Storage
Hard Drive Installed: 1.008TB (1x 1TB; 1x 8GB SSD) Installed: 1.008 TB (1x 1 TB; 1x 8GB SSD) Installed: 1.008 TB (1x 1 TB; 1x 8GB SSD) Installed: 256GB SSD
Optical Drive External SuperMulti DVD Burner External SuperMulti DVD Burner External SuperMulti DVD Burner External SuperMulti DVD Burner
Input/Output Connectors
Ports 2x USB 3.0 (A)
1x USB 2.0 (A)
2x USB 3.0 (A)
1x USB 2.0 (A)
2x USB 3.0 (A)
1x USB 2.0 (A)
2x USB 3.0 (A)
1x USB 2.0 (A)
Display 1x HDMI 1x HDMI 1x HDMI 1x HDMI
Audio Integrated Stereo Speakers (JBL with Dolby Advanced Audio v2)
Integrated Microphone
1x 1/8" (3.5mm) Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack
1x S/PDIF
Integrated Stereo Speakers (JBL with Dolby Advanced Audio v2)
Integrated Microphone
1x 1/8" (3.5mm) Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack
1x S/PDIF
Integrated Stereo Speakers (JBL with Dolby Advanced Audio v2)
Integrated Microphone
1x 1/8" (3.5mm) Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack
1x S/PDIF
Integrated Stereo Speakers (JBL with Dolby Advanced Audio v2)
Integrated Microphone
1x 1/8" (3.5mm) Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack
1x S/PDIF
Flash Media Slot 1x SD
1x SDHC
1x SDXC
1x MMC
1x SD
1x SDHC
1x SDXC
1x MMC
1x SD
1x SDHC
1x SDXC
1x MMC
1x SD
1x SDHC
1x SDXC
1x MMC
Communications
Network 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45)
Wi-Fi 802.11ac 802.11ac 802.11ac 802.11ac
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth 4.0
Webcam Yes
720p Video
Yes
720p Video
Yes
720p Video
Yes
720p Video
General
Operating System Windows 8.1 (64-bit) Windows 8.1  Windows 8.1  Windows 8.1 
Keyboard Type: Standard Notebook Keyboard
Features: Backlight
Type: Standard Notebook Keyboard
Features: Backlight
Type: Standard Notebook Keyboard
Features: Backlight
Type: Standard Notebook Keyboard
Features: Backlight
Pointing Device TouchPad TouchPad TouchPad TouchPad
Battery Providing up to 4 Hours per Charge Providing up to 4 Hours per Charge Providing up to 4 Hours per Charge Providing up to 4 Hours per Charge
Dimensions (WxHxD) 15.2 x 0.9 x 10.3" / 38.6 x 2.3 x 26.2 cm 15.2 x 0.9 x 10.3" / 38.6 x 2.3 x 26.2 cm 15.2 x 0.9 x 10.3" / 38.6 x 2.3 x 26.2 cm 15.2 x 0.9 x 10.3" / 38.6 x 2.3 x 26.2 cm
Weight 5.29 lb / 2.40 kg 5.29 lb / 2.40 kg 5.3 lb / 2.40 kg 5.29 lb / 2.40 kg
Includes
 
AC Adapter AC Adapter AC Adapter AC Adapter
Power Cord Power Cord Power Cord Power Cord
External Optical Drive 1-Year Limited Warranty 1-Year Limited Warranty External USB SuperMulti DVD Burner
1-Year Limited Warranty     1-Year Limited Warranty