Lenovo is unleashing a ton of new product at this year’s annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and it’s my job to highlight the standouts. Lenovo’s Y50 laptop with its striking red-accented keyboard and 4K display? That’s a standout alright.
Yep, I said 4K. Lenovo’s upcoming Y50 series laptop crams a 3840 x 2160 Ultra HD resolution into a 15.6″ display. While the 4K eye candy is an optional step up from the $999 baseline model, the 1920 x 1080 variant will finally give users the choice to have a touchscreen. Believe it or not, Windows 8 touchscreen laptops and gaming have barely (if ever) been uttered in the same sentence. In fact, it’s been rare to see touch options on any Windows 8 laptops that aren’t considered hybrids or convertibles.
Here’s what I know about the Y50 as it relates to gaming. This model looks like the spiritual successor to the Y500, a shockingly affordable gaming laptop I purchased last year and utterly adore. Lenovo is also debuting the Y40, a step down from the Y50, and that notebook features the as-of-yet unannounced AMD R9 M270 4GB mobile graphics card. The spec sheet I received for the Y50 lists only an unspecified Nvidia GTX card. It would stand to reason that if the Y50 featured an existing Nvidia mobile GPU, it would be listed.
My hunch is that Nvidia will announce a new and improved mobile graphics card tonight at their press conference, and I’ll wager it’s optimized for 4K video playback and gaming (albeit it at low or medium quality settings). More than likely it’s the GeForce 800 series based on the Maxwell architecture, which is a known quantity on Nvidia’s roadmap.
Either way, this could breathe a surge of new life into gaming notebooks, and may set a precedent for ridiculously sharp 4K displays. Hey, whether or not we need Ultra HD on a 15-inch screen isn’t what CES is all about!
- Processor: Up to 4th generation Intel Core i7
- OS: Windows 8.1
- Display and Resolution: Optional 4K 3840 x 2160 resolution or standard 1920 x 1080 with touch or non-touch
- Memory: Up to 16GB RAM
- Storage: Up to 1TB hard drive or 1TB hybrid storage with integrated 8GB SSD cache, or a 512GB pure SSD
- Keyboard: Optional backlit keyboard with AccuType rounded keys
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11 b/g/n or ac WiFi
- Battery Life: Estimated 4 hours
- Weight: 4.7 pounds for non-touch, 5.7 pounds for touch version
Right now it’s not clear whether or no the 4K display option can also be built with a touch display. Hopefully I’ll have some hands-on time with this and other Lenovo products in the very near future on the CES floor.