For long, those in the gaming industry never really looked at Lenovo seriously as a gaming intensive manufacturer. They were always known for their Ideapads and office workstations, their servers, their smartphones maybe but as a serious gamer’s tooth fairy – never! Well, that all changed with the Y510p High Performance multimedia laptop as Lenovo put it. This particular model, while not at all aimed at gamers boasted of near gamer specifications and abilities. Soon after this model gained some momentum, we saw the Y50 series launch with the Y50-70 in particular earning a lot of praise for the design, performance and above all the affordability of these machines as opposed to the rest of the competition.
Now, Lenovo has taken the next stride in PC gaming and they are here with the newest two members of the Y series. With these two new launches, Lenovo hopes to settle the debate of their gaming stance once and for all. No longer does Lenovo only want to be known as a hardware manufacturer, they now want to be taken seriously in the gaming industry.
After decades of professional catering, workstations for multinational corporations and a more general audience, Lenovo’s gaming segment is now seeing major strides forward all thanks to their current gaming boss, Will Fu. The latest Y line-up is slightly different from its previous Y series offerings. The gaming section of Lenovo is now taking Y series quite seriously, ensuring that the features will entice hardcore gamers with loyalty towards other major gaming notebook makers such as MSI, Alienware and Asus ROG. It is no longer just a question of adding more processing power and a better graphics card but more of building long lasting relationships with the target audience.
In a recent announcement, Will Fu made these new directives known and also unveiled the Y520 laptop that will feature the GTX 1050 graphics cards. It is Fu’s ideology that any Lenovo Y series gaming product should last the consumer a good two to five years. This means better hardware, more stability and a proper gaming specific service contract.
In a first, Fu said that unlike the previous business model of Lenovo where customers and the parent company were separated by a sea of distributors, retailers and brand partners, now their focus is on reducing the gap. They don’t just want their customers to do a single business transaction with the company but want them to keep coming back for more. Hence, their ideology now revolves around improving the gaming product lineup by listening to their customers. Basically Lenovo Gaming is going the consumer centric way. In order to achieve this goal, Lenovo is starting a Lenovo Gaming Community.
This community will not be country specific or selective of its members. It will attempt to bring together likeminded folks who love games and whether they play them professionally or because they love playing games, everyone will be able to chip in and share their experiences. In return, this will allow the company to capture a larger market, spread its innovations and ideas plus interact with the customers, fix or resolve issues and better their future product line.
One of the very first things in Fu’s Lenovo Gaming plan is to increase Lenovo’s presence at various gaming events across the globe. Some of the major events they plant to be an integral part of this year include Gamescom, China Joy and the likes. In the past, Lenovo never really wanted to showcase or interact with its customers at these world events because they were more interested in B2B deals. However, with the steady growth in popularity of these world gaming events and with nearly million gaming fans showing up per event, it just does not make any sense not to attend them and give a strong showing especially when you are now entering the hardcore gaming market with a product like the Y520 and Y720.
The New Releases
So, the latest two entrants are the Y70 and the Y520. The latter is a virtual reality behemoth codenamed by Lenovo as the Legion. These new Y series no longer sport the IdeaPad moniker but feature a gamer centric logo for the Legion title. The entire specifications too get an overhaul with NVidia Pascal graphics coupled to Kaby Lake processors that together make the Y720 a virtual reality ready machine. All that remains is to double down and purchase a VR headset, which by the way Lenovo is currently in the process of fine tuning. If you want to try out their headsets, be sure to visit the next gaming convention in your country.
Now, back to the laptops. They retain the design of the Y50-70 series with a black-red color scheme but there is a slight difference in the overall finishing. The Legion now seems to be sharper at the edges, with the cuts and drops. In fact, it is slimmer than before too. Another great addition is the RGB keyboard lighting with four zones and optional lights for each. That and the central hinge are probably the reason why the new generation Y series looks much more badass than before. Consumers even get the option of taking a 17-inch version of the Legion that comes with an Xbox One wireless receiver built into it!
Coming to the actual specs that drive this beast, the Legion Y720 will be powered with the 7700HQ Core i7 processor and games will run off 6GB GDDR5 memory GTX 1060 NVidia graphics. The other specifications include maximum of 32GB DDR4 RAM capacity, PCIe SSD plus HDD, 60Whr battery and optional 4K display. Lenovo says, its top of the line mode can delivery battery backup of around 5 hours.
On paper and with the sneak peek available thus far from Lenovo, the new Y series sure does sound enticing. Question is, does Lenovo continue with its aggressive pricing policy or will it go the Asus ROG way and up its asking price because now it considers itself a gaming giant?