Lenovo IdeaPad Y560 review: Lenovo IdeaPad Y560

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Typical Price: $2,139.00
4.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Excellent speakersGreat CPU/GPU combinationDecent expandability.

The Bad Pointless slide bar is more confusing than helpfulLenovo's Smile Dock must dieIdeaPad logo lights up distractingly beneath the keyboardStatus lights are uselessly on the lip of the laptop.

The Bottom Line Lenovo's Y560 is an excellent laptop, with serious muscle and great speakers. If you're in the market for something that won't slow you down, has expansion options and plays back movies well, the Y560 is likely to ring your bell.

8.7 Overall

The IdeaPad Y560 is Lenovo's premium consumer laptop. It's apparent from the moment it comes out of the box, with its gloss on matte black lid patterns, deep copper trim, dark metallic brown interior and JBL speakers. Even the little IdeaPad logo lights up in the bottom right, and although the effect is subtle, we do wish it could be turned off.

The almost ubiquitous 1366x768 resolution takes root in the glossy 15.6-inch screen, with dual array microphones and webcam perched atop.

We've spent some time before with JBL speakers on Dell's XPS 14 , and it must be said that unlike the plain old Dolby-certified speakers, these things make a hell of a difference, finally bringing rounded tones, a much improved bass response and decent volume to a laptop. It's still no replacement for a dedicated speaker set, but as far as laptop speakers go, these things rock the house.

One of the weirdest things we've seen in a while is a touch slider beneath the monitor — you slide from one side to the other, and depending on where you hold your finger, different actions happen. Hold your finger on the first of seven dots, and a zip appears. You can then "zip up" your computer by swiping from left to right, and for some reason bubbles then start floating past. As far as we can tell it's simply a keyboard lock — it doesn't ask for your password when "unzipping".

Hold down beneath any of the other dots between the first and the seventh, and a shortcut bar appears on screen, allowing you to swipe your finger between various shortcuts, and also allowing you to create your own, all while making annoying sounds. It's a brief novelty you'll use once, then likely never again.

The Y560 comes pre-installed with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, and Lenovo's chosen McAfee for security duties. Other software includes CyberLink Power2Go and YouCam, the chat and video-conferencing client ooVoo, and has bunged a Bing bar in Internet Explorer.

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