Performance and Benchmarks
The Y550 performs well in average day-to-day activities like surfing the web, typing documents, listening to music, and watching movies. If you plan on using it as a multimedia-only rig the shortcomings of the integrated graphics don’t become a problem, but if you do intend to game, you might want to look at a better configuration. In our tests the Y550 with Intel X4500 integrated graphics had no trouble playing 720p and 1080p video while still multitasking in the background. Using the HDMI port you could output a video with audio to an HDTV and still use the notebook for surfing the web. If your ideas of gaming include titles like Left 4 Dead 2 or Modern Warfare 2 instead of Peggle, one of the higher configurations with an Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GT 240M graphics would be recommended.
Wprime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark05 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark06 measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
Heat and Noise
Thermal performance is good under normal conditions when the system is not under much stress. The palmrest and keyboard stay just above room temperature which is nice for longer typing sessions. Fan noise is excellent with a very relaxed cooling system. Under light usage the fan defaults to fully off; only coming on when needed. Increased system activity makes the fan stay on in longer intervals but overall the notebook still stays relatively quiet.
The Y550 offers reasonable battery life for a 15.6″ notebook, but still shows some room for improvement. In our battery test with the screen brightness set to 75%, wireless active, and Vista on the balanced profile the system stayed on for 3 hours and 52 minutes. During the test the Y550 consumed between 13 and 14 watts of power; well above more power efficient notebooks.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y550 is a stylish and well built multimedia notebook offered with a wide array of options. Build quality is good overall with only a few areas sticking out at us as needing improvement. The design is very nice with a subtlety textured lid and an attractive color scheme. The keyboard proved to be comfortable to type on with an equally usable bumpy touchpad. System performance was more than adequate for everyday use with our configuration … and if you have gaming in mind Lenovo has alternative builds for that purpose. Overall the Lenovo IdeaPad Y550 fits the bill regardless if you are looking for a basic desktop replacement or gaming system.
- Textured lid design
- Better than average speakers
- Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
- Some minor fit and finish concerns
- Low 1366×768 resolution with all configurations