Phone, Smartphone, Notebook and Gadget Reviews and buyers guide
Phone Notebooks & Tablets Gaming Gadgets iPhone & iPad Shop Forum


Home > Notebook Reviews > Lenovo IdeaPad Y500


Lenovo IdeaPad Y500

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star
Discuss this product
Where to Buy

What's Hot: Great specs for the price, a capable gaming and multimedia notebook that's not huge and heavy.

What's Not: Display could be brighter to combat gloss reflections, faster HDD options would be nice.


Reviewed April 16, 2013 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

Like the IdeaPad Y580 that preceded it, the Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 offers a heck of a lot of bang for the buck in the 15" multimedia and gaming laptop segment. The Y500 targets gamers with its red backlit keyboard and red speaker grilles on the top deck that cover two 1.5 watt JBL speakers. More important to gamers are the dual NVidia GT650M graphics card in SLI for some serious gaming pleasure (the Y500 and newer IdeaPad Y510 with Haswell are now updated with NVIDIA GT 750M GDDR5 2GB). Remarkably, this Intel Core-i7 quad core machine with a full HD display won't set you back nearly as much as you might think: our configuration lists for $1,199 and Lenovo often has specials for several hundred dollars less. If you've been coveting an Alienware, MSI gaming laptop or an Asus ROG model but found their prices too rich, the Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 is worth a serious look. And unlike most gaming laptops that are 17", the IdeaPad Y500 and Y510 are more portable at 15".

Lenovo IdeaPad Y500

Though the red accents and dual graphics cards are tailored to gamers, this is a fine system for anyone who needs some serious computing and graphics power: video editors, Flash animators, developers and 3D designers. Unlike "serious" gaming notebooks, the IdeaPad Y500 is staid looking (except for those small splashes of red). And it's relatively light at 6 pounds and not too chubby at 0.6 to 1.4" thick. It looks more like an everyday computer and we like Lenovo's revised styling with design cues from the very attractive IdeaPad U series. Lenovo's AccuType keyboard is perfect for those who spend a lot of time typing.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y500

Lenovo says that the Y500 models on US retailers shelves will all have the dual graphics card configuration. Right now, the machine is available with the Intel Core i7-3630QM full mobile quad core third generation Ivy Bridge CPU and your choice of 8 or 16 gigs of RAM. It has a glossy 1920 x 1080 display that's quite pleasing though not wildly bright at 220 nits, and a conventional spinning HDD with optional 16 gig caching SSD drive. Dual band Intel Centrino N 2230 WiFi and Bluetooth are standard, as is a 1MP webcam. The computer ships with Windows 8 64 bit and there is no touchscreen option.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y500

There's one NVidia GT650M graphics card with 2 gigs VRAM on the motherboard, as per normal notebook architecture. The second matching card lives in an Ultrabay on the Y500's side. Yes, you can take it out (after shutting down the machine and removing the battery) and swap in an optional $69 DVD burner, a $189 removable HDD or a $29 removable fan. If you don't buy the DVD burner, you can use an external USB DVD drive (not included but easy to find in stores).

Lenovo IdeaPad Y500

Lenovo IdeaPad Y500


Deals and Shopping:


Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 Video Review


Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 Gaming Demo


PCMark 7: 3469

3DMark 11: P3682, graphics 3615, Physics 7067, Combined 2333

3DMark Vantage: P 13,968, GPU: 12,725, CPU: 19,758

Windows Experience Index:
Processor: 7.8
RAM: 7.9
Graphics (for desktop): 6.4
3D Gaming Graphics: 6.4
HDD: 5.9

Battery Life

We don't expect laptops with full mobile quad core CPUs and dual graphics cards to have great battery life. Traditionally, gaming laptops have abysmal battery life, but the IdeaPad Y500 attempts to bridge the gap between mid-size multimedia laptops and gamer models, and so battery life is a tolerable 3 hours. We don't mean 3 hours of gaming, but rather 3 hours of productivity work like word processing, web, social networking, email, music playback and some video playback. The laptop doesn't support NVIDIA Optimus graphics switching technology due to the SLI architecture, so it will always run on dedicated graphics, even when unplugged. The graphics card will clock down to save power when the laptop is unplugged, but they'll still use much more power than Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics.

The laptop ships with a 6 cell Lithium Ion battery and a fairly large power brick, though not as big as the brick included with the second gen HP Envy 15 or gamer models like the Asus ROG G750JX.


The Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 is a great all around notebook for those who need multimedia power, capable gaming and a still portable design. The 15.6”, 6 pound laptop is something you could actually carry around on campus easily enough and the SLI NVIDIA graphics cards make it a good choice for CAD work, video editing as well as gaming. Factor in a good backlit keyboard, decent dual band WiFi and you’ve got a machine that’s ready for business too. If you prefer the latest and greatest, you can get the Lenovo IdeaPad Y510 with a quad core i7 Haswell CPU for $100 more.

Price: starting at $1,149



Asus Repubic of Gamers G750JX Review


Lenovo IdeaPad Y500

Lenovo IdeaPad Y500


blog comments powered by Disqus


Display: 15.6", 1920 x 1080 IPS gloss LED backlit display, 220 nits brightness. Also available with a 1366 x 768 display. NVIDIA GT560M or GT 750M 2GB GDDR5 dual graphics cards in SLI. HDMI and VGA ports.

Battery: 6 cell Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery life: 3 hours unplugged from charger.

Performance: Intel quad core i7-3630QM processor. 8 or 16 gigs DDR3 RAM (16 gigs is max). Currently available with a 1TB 5400 RPM HDD and a 16 or 24 gig caching SSD to speed up the OS.

Size: 15.2 x 10.2 x 0.6 to 1.4 inches. Weight: 5.95 pounds.

Camera: 720p webcam.

Audio: Built-in JBL stereo speakers, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack and 3.5mm mic jack.

Networking: Integrated Intel 2230N dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth.

Software: Windows 8 64 bit.

Expansion and Ports: Two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, VGA, HDMI, RJ-45 Ethernet, 1 SD/MMC/MS Pro card slot.



All Phone Reviews
Smartphone Reviews
Android Phone Reviews
Windows Phone Reviews
HTC Phone Reviews
LG Phone Reviews
Motorola Phone Reviews
Nokia Phone Reviews
Samsung Phone Reviews
Sony Phone Reviews
AT&T Phone Reviews
Sprint Phone Reviews
T-Mobile Phone Reviews
Verizon Phone Reviews
Unlocked GSM Phone Reviews


All Tablet Reviews
Android Tablet Reviews
Tablet Comparisons
Android Tablet Comparisons



Laptop Reviews
Ultrabook Reviews
Laptop Comparisons
Best Ultrabooks



Bluetooth Headsets
iPhone and iPad Accessories
eBook Readers

iPhone Game Reviews
iPad Game Reviews

iPhone Case Reviews
iPad Case Reviews


RSS News Feed

About Us

Contact Us


Site Map