Quick Impressions of the Lenovo IdeaPad Y450 Notebook

Y450 CoffeeshopI’ve only had my hands on the Lenovo IdeaPad Y450 notebook for a few hours now but as I always do I want to share my quick impressions of this thin, 14-inch laptop with you. I’m writing this in the local coffeeshop right now as I wanted to get a feel for how this notebook is to carry around and work while mobile. It is a notebook, after all. Here are my impressions, in no particular order.

  • Thinner and lighter than expected. It’s about an inch thick and 4.5 pounds, smaller than expected with the 14-inch screen.
  • Screen resolution works well on this size display (1366×768). Screen is nice and bright, though some may not like the glossy finish.
  • Audio quality is good. Lenovo bills this as an entertainment notebook, so no surprise there.
  • I don’t like the touchpad. I am notoriously picky about touchpads and this one doesn’t feel right to me. It has a pimply finish and works as it should, I just don’t care for it. I’m using a USB wireless mouse with it almost exclusively.
  • Keyboard is very good. I really like typing on the keyboard. The tactile feedback is very good and it’s comfortable to use. I can get going very fast with this baby.
  • LED indicators are hard to see. The black panel between the keyboard and the screen contain a lot of LED indicators and it’s hard to see the white on black. Some of the LEDs are also touch-sensitive controls and I’m still trying to figure out what they all do (besides volume control).
  • Performance is good. The 2 GHz Core 2 Duo is a solid performer and everything happens instantly. No doubt the 3 GB of DDR3 memory helps out, too.
  • Battery life seems solid. The standard 6-cell battery included is pointing to about 5 hours of “balanced” power management usage. The screen brightness is set at 50 percent to produce this estimated time.
  • No major heat problems. The bottom of the notebook gets warm but not alarmingly so.
  • Junkware sucks. I hate that Lenovo has preinstalled so much of this crap on the Y450. I’m used to OEMs installing the trial Norton package on their notebooks but this one is the first one I’ve encountered that would not let me just quit out of the first run; I actually had to create a dummy account with Norton to get through it. Lenovo also put a 30-day trial to the Carbonite online backup service, which kept popping up an alert window in the system tray, exhorting me to sign up. Totally, totally annoying.
  • The VeriFace Recognition rocks. This is the utility that uses the webcam to log you into the notebook automatically by recognizing if you’re the authorized user. Lenovo has continued to improve this technology since I first started using it and it is rock solid and very quick.
  • It fits perfectly in the Muzetto Urban Man Bag. :)
  • I just discovered the preinstalled Dolby Home Theatre utility that let me tailor the audio playback qualities. I was able to manipulate the “surround sound” and bass boost of the headphones and Pandora One is giving me an “eargasm.”

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