Asus, MSI, Alienware, Lenovo (?). The company that inherited the ThinkPad brand from IBM has produced countless reliable, if boring, business machines, but it hasn’t made a name for itself in entertainment laptops for the masses.
It’s not like they haven’t tried–the IdeaPad lineup has been widely well received and reasonably successful, but Lenovo is still associated with low-key corporate laptops for better and for worse. This could change in the near future thanks to the 15-inch IdeaPad Y580.
The Y580 is equipped with a new Ivy Bridge Core i7-3610QM processor and Nvidia GTX 660M graphics (same as Asus’ G55VW). This combination should offer more than enough performance to push the laptop into the gaming segment–a path which previous Lenovo IdeaPad laptops have yet to thread.
With a starting price of $899, the new Y580 could deliver excellent value for money, but we don’t know if that starting price includes the aforementioned hardware or dual-core CPUs and a lesser graphics card. It does appear to include a 1366×768 panel though, which is thankfully upgradeable to a 1980×1080 variety. Another optional upgrade is a backlit keyboard.
There’s also a 14-inch version in the same series that could find itself competing with the Alienware M14 x R2, with a GeForce GT 650M graphics card with 1GB of video RAM. The GT 650M is also part of Nvidia’s new Kepler generation and not far behind the GTX 660M in terms of performance.