Design and User Experience
The brushed metal chassis makes for a sturdy laptop. The exterior picked up fingerprints easily, but the keyboard area resisted fingerprints and palm prints (despite hours of use) and the display seemed fairly smudge-resistant too.
Speaking of the Y70’s display, it’s worthy of a gaming and entertainment laptop. Sure, there are systems out there with better screens (the 3K screen on the MSI GT60 Dominator Pro comes to mind), but the Y70’s 17.3-inch display holds its own for gaming and videos. And the JBL speakers deliver rich, full sound and plenty of volume for a laptop.
The Y70 has a full size keyboard, complete with a number pad. The AccuType keyboard boasts large keys with a surprisingly long throw so you feel like you’re typing on a desktop keyboard. The Backspace button is large and easy to reach (an important feature for some of us) and I didn’t accidentally trigger the trackpad with my palms, thanks to its position well below the keyboard.
As much as I like the keyboard’s clean layout, I suspect many users would prefer more controls for media player apps. There is no Mute key, for example. The same goes for Play/Pause buttons. I had to use the touch screen or trackpad to reach Netflix’s controls. It has volume up/down keys, but I had to hold the Function key while using them. The Y70 certainly has room for a few extra media buttons.
On the software side of things, the Y70 is mercifully light on installed apps. A McAfee LifeSafe trial is installed and there are a few light edition CyberLink apps to handle some basic media editing tasks.
A Nitro Pro 9 trial is ready for PDF viewing and editing and Lenovo has some of its own utilities onboard, of course. The most useful of these is the OneKey Recovery tool, which is triggered by a physical button near the Y70’s power button.