Monday, July 25, 2011

Lenovo Y460 Review and Pictures

Let’s review and look at the Lenovo Y460 which has a 14.1-inch WXGA LCD, a Core i5 processor, a dedicated ATI HD 5650 video card, JBL speakers, HDMI and DVD writer.

The Lenovo Y460 is part of the Ideapad series and is marketed as a “maximum” multimedia entertainment laptop by Lenovo. The main highlight of the Lenovo Y460 is its Intel processor together with a dedicated video card (the ATI 5650), and its Dolby certified sounds.

After more than 3 months of using this laptop, here is a review and some pictures of the Lenovo Y460.

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Now if you’ve done your research, you probably know this already. But just to make sure we’re all in the same page, here’s a rundown of the specifications of the Y460.

Processor: Intel Core i5-450M (2.4GHz with Intel Turbo Boost up to 2.66GHz, 3MB cache, 4.8GT/s DMI)
(note some Y460 laptops are equipped with the i3-350 or i5-540)
Memory: 4GB DDR3-1066 RAM (2 x 2GB) – expandable to 8GB
Video Card: ATI Mobility Radeon 5650 1GB DDR3 switchable graphics to Intel GMA HD
Hard Drive: 500GB SATA HDD
Optical Drive: DVD Dual Layer Multiburner
Display: 14.1” WXGA LED
Audio: 2 x 2W JBL Stereo Speakers (Dolby Home Theater 2 Certified)
Networking: Intel Wi-Fi Link 5100 A/G/N and 10/1000 Gigabit LAN
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Camera: Integrated 1.3MP Camera
Battery: 6-cell Li-Ion Battery
Slots: HDMI, 3 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x E-sata/ USB combo, 1 x 34mm Express Card slot, 2 x mini-PCIe slot (WLAN), RJ45, VGA, Mic-In, Headphone, 6-in-1 Multi-card Reader (SD,SD Pro/XD/MMC/MS,MS Pro)

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Let’s now check out the Lenovo Y460 beyond the specifications.


On paper, the Lenovo Y460 is poised for excellent performance as it is equipped with an i5 processor, a dedicated video card (ATI 5650 with 1GB RAM), and 4GB DDR3 memory which is paired with a 64-bit Windows 7 OS. And after 3 months of using it, it surely doesn’t disappoint.

Lenovo did a good job by putting a 64-bit version of Windows to maximize the 4GB memory installed, and the 1GB memory which the video card has. You’ll be surprised how many laptops still have a 32-bit Windows installation wherein 4GB memory is installed. The 32-bit version of Windows does not make full use of the whole 4GB.

Demanding games are playable with the Y460’s dedicated video card – the ATI 5650. Unlike other laptops wherein a low-end video card is installed, the Y460 has the ATI 5650 which is classified as a middle-class video card.

Switchable Graphics

What I also like about the Y460 is its versatility to switch from performance to power saver. Together with the standard energy management softwares in laptops today, the Lenovo Y460 can switch from the more powerful ATI 5650 to the less performing but energy efficient Intel GMA HD. All you have to do is flip a switch at the lower bottom of the laptop.

This greatly helps me in mobile computing needs as I can use the more powerful video card performance of the ATI 5650 when I’m not concerned with battery life, but can switch to the Intel GMA HD when I’m on the go.

Ergonomics of the Lenovo Y460

A bigger laptop doesn’t always mean that it’s heavier than smaller ones. I have had a smaller laptop – the 13-inch Lenovo Y330, and based from its weight, I would have to say that the Y460 feels like it has the same weight if not lighter. (Update: Yes it is lighter – The Y330 is 2.15 Kgs. while the Y460 is just 2.1 Kgs.)

The Lenovo Y460 has 14.1-inch wide screen size which is great for viewing documents and spreadsheets to playing games and surfing the Internet. The maximum resolution though is up to 1366×768 only despite the WXGA LED installed – but I think it’s still more than good enough.

The keyboard is a big plus for me as it is very easy to type – it’s not too light and you need not press hard as well. Its overall layout is very good as your fingers would easily find the letters and other important keys (i.e. Enter, Backspace, Del, Page Up, Page Down, etc.).

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The trackpad is very nice as it has a multi-touch feature which has several uses – such as two-finger scrolling and zooming. The surface has little dots embossed which add a comfortable feel when you use the touchpad. Another plus is that the it isn’t a fingerprint magnet as well.

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The trackpad buttons which have a metal or chrome like finish is soft to the touch and great to use as well.

Audio of the Lenovo Y460

The audio of the Y460 is superb thanks to its two JBL speakers which are located at the top of the keyboard together with the power and quick launch buttons. The sound is good in watching movies to playing games.

Other Features and Slots

As earlier mentioned there are quick launch buttons in the Lenovo Y460 – this is located just above the keyboard and provides the user an easy access for the most used functions of the laptop. These are the mute and volume buttons, energy management software, and the theatre button.

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The Lenovo SlideNav bar is located at the left side of these buttons wherein you could preset up to 8 programs and launch any one of them by sliding your finger in the SlideNav bar and selecting the program you want. You could also easily change your wallpaper by sliding your finger from the rightmost portion of the SlideNav bar to the leftmost.

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The leftside portion of the laptop houses the VGA port, HDMI port, the LAN port (RJ-45), 2 USB ports, headphone jack, and microphone jack.

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The rightside houses a USB port, an e-SATA/USB combo port, an Expresscard slot, DVD Multiburner drive, power adaptor jack, and security lock hole.

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Taking a closer look at the e-SATA/USB combo port…

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The front houses the 6-in-1 multi-card reader slot, the video card switch mentioned earlier, and the Wi-Fi switch.

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The integrated 1.3 megapixel camera is situated at the top of the screen. The 2 holes beside it is the microphone of the laptop which is very good at picking up voice even at a noisy environment.

The one-touch key button which is near the power button can be used to easily perform a full system backup or recovery. Be careful using this though as it can erase your recent documents and files when it restores your system. Make sure to use this only when you want to perform a backup or only as a last resort in system recovery.

Build Quality and Design

The Lenovo Y460’s hinges which connect the screen and the base of the laptop are strong and durable. I think its metal or chrome like finish adds to the overall beauty of the laptop.

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The overall build quality is very good and no cheap plastics appear to be used. The laptop is not a fingerprint magnet and looks very pleasing to the eye. There’s also a distinctive design at the back of the screen which adds to its beauty.

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Small indicator lights which are either white or bluish white in color gives the laptop a professional feel. The ideapad logo which lights up when the laptop is on is a welcome sight as well.

A more practical design was used in the adaptor to prevent the wire from being cut off when people constantly wrap the wire around the adaptor. If you’ve been using a laptop long enough – you know what I mean.

The power cord though is a little on the short side and measures only about two and a half feet.

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I have long been a fan of laptops which are primarily value for money – it must give me the computing power I need (from simple to demanding games) together with my preferred peripherals and slots for added enjoyment and flexibility – while still not sacrificing beauty. I have found all of that in the Lenovo Y460.

Now I’m not saying the Lenovo Y460 is perfect. I’m just saying that it’s perfect – for me. And I know it’s going to be perfect for others with my taste and preference as well.

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