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Y410p [full review]

Discussion in 'IdeaPad & Essential' started by Jobine, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. Jobine

    Jobine Notebook Prophet

    Jun 11, 2013
    Hello, ive seen lots of questions being asked about the Lenovo Y410p/510p laptops, around, and, since im an owner of a Y410P, ill try and give a little review of this laptop that i got a little while ago:

    Pictures (Courtesy of Lenovo)


    -Intel Core i7 4700MQ @2.4ghz Quad-Core
    -8-16GB DDR3L Non-ECC ram depending on configuration (user upgradeable to 32GB, i might be wrong)
    -Single/SLI Nvidia 750M + Intel 4600 HD, SLI via Ultrabay. Optional 755M models availible.
    -1-2TB HDD SATA II, but has a SATA III connector for upgrades + Extra Sata III drive via Ultrabay
    -Optional 24GB M.2 SSD via NGFF 42mm port
    -DVD/Bluray Drive via Ultrabay
    -768p or 900p TN panel
    -Windows 8 (Non-Pro) + UEFI/Secureboot BIOS
    -Intel Centrino 2230 Wireless-N
    -6Cell Lenovo Battery, 48W/h, 62W/h or 72W/h
    -Backlit keyboard mine came in Bilingual English/French for Canada, US English and Chinese models availible
    -Price range: $749 to $1299 USD
    -Price of my model: $749 USD (800$ CAD)


    I ordered my Y410p on the 10th and got it on the 28th. Lenovo is not the fastest shipper out there, but the shipping was free to compensate. My suggestion is to be patient, and to call Lenovo if you have any problems. They can also charge for overnight shipping from the phone, i heard.


    The prices on the Y410P range from 799$ to 1100$ (USD), and are found to be on sale 24/7, i guess its a promo to get users into buying the laptops. Even if the sales are probably fake, the savings are real. This laptop is well worth its price, and currently has one of the best bang-for-buck ratings out there.


    Honestly, if i could describe this laptop, id put it this way:

    Z400 + Alienware 14

    The exterior is rather unassuming, kind of like a business laptop/Lenovo G series, and is covered with a carbon-fibery finish, and is fingerprint-proof (unlike the Y510p). However, the inside has a glossier aluminium finish, and looks much more like a gaming laptop than the exterior, but doesnt go over-the-top like Alienware/Razer. The inside is fingerprint-prone, but its easily cleaned. The bottom is made of the same material as the top.


    Comes in two flavors, 768p and 900p. FHD is not availible, however, you can grab a Y510p for that. The screen is glossy, and i wont really list this as a con, but i wont list it as a pro either. Consequently, the laptop has excellent side viewing angles, but only average vertical viewing angles, because it's a TN panel, like many other Lenovo Ideapads and some Thinkpads. However, it feels like the screen seems borrowed from a 13 incher, as the bezel is quite thick, thus, you have lots of pixels in a small area. This can be a pro or a con, and display scaling can be used. Personally, my 900p screen makes some websites a little hard to read by default, so i used display scaling. Brightness is average to above-average, better than Alienware 14/MSI GE40. I will be getting the gamut soon.

    Viewing angles (Glossy):


    NOTE: I used the Y500 as a reference since it has the same *glossy* screen as the Y410P. However, the Y510P uses a matte screen.


    Twin 1.1W speakers give a good, crisp sound, which is one of the best laptop speakers ive seen so far. For a laptop in this price range, it's above-average, and the laptop comes with your standard headphone/microphone jacks, they are quite grippy, and will hold well to your headphones. Bass is low, but audible, no subwoofer.

    Heat and noise

    This laptop is QUIET. Moreso than my friend's Macbook. Even under a full load, its fan doesnt spin that hard. The only audible part would be the hard drive, and when this laptop is on a low load, it makes no noise. If you replace the HDD with an SSD, you will not hear anything when idle/low load.

    The laptop gets hot. However, this isnt new, almost every laptop ive used over the years gets hot at full load. The Y410p can get warm, but never hot enough to be overly disturbing. However, when using the Nvidia GPU, it will blow hot air towards the side vent, which can annoy you if you are using a mouse. However, i own the single-gpu model, and im a rightie, so this doesnt really bother me. Also, if you do not use dual graphics, the side of the laptop not using dual graphics will be extremely cool at all times.

    No "hot trackpad" on this laptop. Can get a bit warm, but not overly hot, unlike those laptops you see at Future Shop/Best Buy.

    CPU temp is average for a 14 incher, 95F Degrees Surface max.


    You have your standard, user-replaceable lenovo 6 cell, which can get up to 5 hours of battery life when using optimus and light applications. While this is only mediocre for some, it's decent for a gaming laptop. Optimus really helps over the previous-generation, and in the end, you are using a quad core, so your battery will be munched off anyways. If you want lots of battery life, you should have bought a laptop with a dual core i5. But Haswell does a decent job at increasing battery life.

    My only pet peeve is no optional 9cell, but oh well, i dont think a 9 cell could have fit into the slim design of the battery anyways.


    4.85 pounds without SLI, but feels lighter. Even with SLI, only weighs roughly 5 pounds, a bit heavy for a 14 incher but not the end of the world. I forgot to mention: Lenovo advertises 5.5 pounds on their website, however this includes the weight of the power adapter.

    The power brick is big (even bigger if you have SLI), but isnt heavier than your average power adapter. It weighs roughly half a pound.


    1TB HDD SATA II @ 5400 RPM is quite mediocre, but is low-powered and can store all of your games/software/work/pr0n. The hard drive can be replaced with the 2.5inch SATA drive of choice, and i believe the connector is SATA3, so you can upgrade it a bit more.

    Also, you can get the optional 24GB NGFF SSD. NGFF drives use PCiE instead of Sata, making them faster than Thunderbolt. This mini caching drive can give you boot times of up to 4 seconds (yes, folks), and cache your most used applications thanks to ExpressCache from Sandisk (contrary to popular belief, it does not use Intel's caching solution).

    By default, the Y410p comes with a DVD burner, but you can swap it (ultrabay) for a Blu-Ray drive, a HDD caddy, a fan, or another 750m card. Software Raid 0 using a caddy would give a nice performance boost if the SSD isnt roomy enough.

    The con is, no Msata, and NGFF drives are so scarce these days. You will have to wait a year for these to be more publicly availible.

    EDIT: If you don't buy a laptop that comes with a SSD, Lenovo REMOVES the port, preventing future upgrades. This was probably done to cut costs.


    Ram is 8GB or 16GB. I believe you can upgrade it manually to 32, but i could be wrong. Anyways, 16gb is plenty, and 8 will do for most users.

    CPU is the Intel i7-4700MQ @ 2.4 GHZ, 4 cores, 8 threads. One of the best mobile CPU's on the market, but since its a quad, it can be a little battery-eater. However, its performance is great, especially for this laptop's price.

    Also newly included is the Intel 4600HD graphics card. Dont get me wrong, the IGP can run plenty of older/low performance games, and will generate way less heat than the (dual) 750m's. League of Legends is fully playable on the 4600.

    The 750m's, like the haswell's, are fairly new, and you can always upgrade to a second GPU in SLI, which will significantly increase graphics performance, at the cost of money/weight/heat.

    This card is also very overclockable, and can easily be overclocked to match a 755M. Do this at your own risk, however.

    Overall, performance is above-average for this price range, as most laptops in the 800 range have i5's with 720/620m GPUs.

    Build Quality

    Average. Thats all i can say. It is by far no Thinkpad X/T/W, but it isnt overly cheap. Its equal to other Ideapads and non X/T/W Thinkpads. Overall a sturdy feel. If yours comes with a defect, send it to Lenovo, they have a good return policy.


    Some users, have reported issues with the card, but i found out that rolling back the driver (14.8 > 15.8) solved most problems. Otherwise it is your standard N-card, and can be used with opensource drivers in Linux, no need to hunt for those firmwares. It is highly recommended for all users to uninstall Intel PROset and use the 14.8 Microsoft drivers for the best experience with this Wifi card!


    Just like all Lenovo's, it gets an A+. Very well designed, good tactile feedback, not overly hot. No annoying numpad on the Y410p. The backlit comes in 2 brightness settings. The only con would be no option to choose backlight colors, but we can let this pass since the speakers are red anyways. Also, no mute button.


    Average-to below-average. By default, the multi touch is horrible and wonky, but once it is disabled you get an average click pad (no external buttons). Even though the laptop feels overall very solid, the trackpad is flimsy, but gets the job done and has decent pointing accuracy + no pointer jumping. Can't say the same for HP's and Dell's.

    EDIT: After fiddling with the touchpad settings, i managed to make it a bit more enjoyable.


    EDIT: You can access the BIOS via the Novo button on the side, and you can disable secure boot/uefi and whatnot. No more locked bios! Yay.

    Comes with Windows 8, the non-pro version. This laptop contains no media discs, and the drivers are stored on the D:/Lenovo drive. Make sure to back those up. I wont be reviewing Windows 8 here, but you can always do a clean-install and downgrade to Windows 7.

    Sadly, Lenovo does not offer Windows 7 preinstall, so you will have to do it manually.

    The laptop has a fairly large amount of bloatware, but unlike most common PC's, the nagware is at an all-time low. Only McAfee will give pop-ups, the rest is just "software that comes with that you will probably never use, but wont annoy you".

    CCleaner and PC decrapifier will blaze through that junk, and give you some extra performance, storage and battery life for the cleaning. Hooray.

    1x USB 3.0
    1x USB 2.0
    1x USB 2.0 (powered, but the always-on is disabled by default in the Bios)
    1x HDMI
    1x VGA
    1x Kensington Lock
    1x Power connector
    1x Gigabit Ethernet
    1x SD/MMC/MsPro Card slot
    1x SimCard slot (hidden)

    Nothing special here, No eSata, but personally i have no need for that. Only has one USB 3.0 compared to two for the 15 inchers.

    -No HDD light, for some its a pro, for some it's a con
    -F Keys work as F keys by default, and the FN key allows access to special shortcuts and functions like Airplane Mode
    -Ive gotten more compliments on this laptop than a Mac, it's a very unique machine in it's own way
    -I havent used Lenovo Customer Support so far, so i can't tell if it is good or not, but i ASUS' support is terrible based on past experiences.
    EDIT: From my experiences, customer support is better than HP/Dell/Asus, but worse than Acer/Apple/Boutique Brands.


    Overall a good buy, and for the price, you can't really complain. Has some shortcomings, but then again, it can measure up to the big boys, who also have shortcomings of their own. Bottom line its the most performant laptop you will find in the 800$ range, and build quality is better than what you would expect. Im happy with it, and id give it a 9/10 overall. Replaced my 5 year old Celeron-equipped Dell Insipiron.

    - Value
    - Performance
    - One of the better TN panels
    - Keyboard
    - New Technologies
    - Ultrabay
    - Great Audio for a laptop
    - Whisper Quiet

    - Wifi
    - Trackpad
    - Still a TN panel
    - Screen Glare
    - Vent Placement
    - Windows 7 must be manually installed
    - Only one USB 3.0 port
    - Locked BIOS that prevents Wifi card replacement (EDIT: Theres a whitelist of supported Wifi Cards)
    Feel free to post a reply or PM me for any questions or benchmarks. Likes are appreciated too :)

    Video Reviews: (not me)

    Also, pardon my English, i am French-Canadian :/

    Attached Files:

  2. aggiejohn

    aggiejohn Newbie

    Jul 11, 2013
    Outstanding review! Thanks for taking the time for the write-up, I think you've convinced me to pull the trigger. Excellent English too, no need to apologize for that!
  3. emsubs

    emsubs Newbie

    Jun 23, 2013
    >> Some users, have reported issues with the card, but i found out that rolling back the driver (15.6 > 15.8) solved most problems. Otherwise it is your standard N-card, and can be used with opensource drivers in Linux, no need to hunt for those firmwares. >>

    Thanks for the review. I'm waiting for a y510p.

    Can you clarify your comments on wireless. I read that upgrading drivers would resolve potential problems.

  4. andrick

    andrick Notebook Consultant

    Dec 29, 2012
    Nice review. Few things I want to ask:

    -Does the screen color got washed out? I feel lenovo has degraded their screen quality compared to 4 years ago (it's astonishing that my old G450 has better color accuracy and contrast than Z480).

    -For a Y410p with single GPU (non SLI), does it mean it will never be able to use 2nd GPU ultrabay card?

    -Is the win7 drivers fully exist and compatible in Y410p?

    A little suggestion:
    better put the spec summary on top of the review.
  5. Jobine

    Jobine Notebook Prophet

    Jun 11, 2013
    - The colors are nice and bright on mine, no washed out colors/bad pixels
    - All the drivers support windows 7, except the GPU drivers but you can get those off intel/Nvidia, however be sure to install the intel ones first for Optimus to work
    - and i will add the spec, thanks
  6. m137

    m137 Newbie

    Jul 1, 2013
    Was that a mistype? I was literally a click away from purchasing the Y410p a few weeks ago but I couldn't get past the weight. I was looking for a laptop under 5 lbs and the website said "Starting at 5.5 lbs", so I decided to not get it. If it was actually 4.5 pounds like you said, that would be perfect and I might end up getting it after all.
  7. pikx45

    pikx45 Newbie

    Jul 10, 2013
    I just wanted to comment and say that this is a very well written review and sums up how I feel about my y410p quite well. I have seen almost no struggle running games I throw at it unless its something like Crysis at 1920 x 1080 through the laptops HDMI output to my TV. And even then it still runs beautifully if I bring the settings down to medium. I bought this thing to be able to game in college and have a portable desktop, and that is just what I bought. Keyboard is wonderful, trackpad is meh. I don't really mind it since I don't have much to compare it to, but pressing it for a click does seem to go a bit deep into the chassis. It does get warm under heavy gaming, and you can feel a little bit of heat through the WASD keys, but it is not bad at all and you forget about it after a little bit. All in all wonderful laptop and I'm very pleased with the purchase.
  8. andrick

    andrick Notebook Consultant

    Dec 29, 2012

    I still don't understand, yours is single GPU with optimus enabled but you can also add 2nd GPU via ultrabay?

    I thought there are two types of GPU in Y400/Y500/Y410p/Y510p:
    1. Single Nvidia GPU + integrated Intel GPU (optimus is enabled). You can't add 2nd Nvidia GPU because the controllers are only two and the 2nd one has been used for integrated GPU.
    2. Dual Nvidia GPU (1st one is the nvidia GPU inside, the 2nd Nvidia GPU can be added via ultrabay, thus integrated GPU is disabled).

    Please enlighten me.
  9. Jobine

    Jobine Notebook Prophet

    Jun 11, 2013
    The actual exact weight of the laptop is 4.85 pounds, and you add 6 ounces if you go SLI. But IMHO it feels like 4.5, maybe 4, because of the weight distributon.
  10. Jobine

    Jobine Notebook Prophet

    Jun 11, 2013
    If you own a Y400/Y500:
    - The intel GPU is disabled, and there is no optimus, SLI or not.

    If you own a Y410P/Y510P
    - The Intel GPU is enabled and Optimus works, but only if you have a single 750m present.
    - If you have SLI, the intel GPU disables itself.
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