- Editor's Rating
- Good performance
- Appealing design
- Impressive audio from JBL speakers
- Weak keyboard surround
- Unimpressive display
- Average battery life
Quick TakeStudents looking for a 14-inch laptop with plenty of performance for school work and games should seriously consider the Lenovo IdeaPad Y480.
Too often one must sacrifice power for size when choosing a notebook, or vice versa. The best of the best find that delicate balance between raw processing capabilities with a reasonably portable build and weight. That\’s what Lenovo is shooting for with its IdeaPad Y480, and it more or less hits the mark.
On paper, this is no surprise. The vaunted Lenovo IdeaPad brand lends its name to some great notebooks, and this 14-inch unit, at least the one NotebookReview looked at, sports a third-generation Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA graphics.
As NBR describes it, this IdeaPad offers \”more than enough power for work and play,\” meaning it\’s a good all-around machine for productivity programs and games. In fact, that makes the IdeaPad Y480 a good notebook for students. At five pounds and 1.3-inches thick, it\’s no Ultrabook, but it\’s built well enough that it should withstand the daily rigors of student life, and maybe even the occasional drop. Don\’t confuse this IdeaPad with a ThinkPad however, those things can really take a beating. NBR also found the IdeaPad to have impressive audio performance from its JBL speakers and an appealing design to boot.
The IdeaPad also offers ports a plenty, complete with a 6-in-1 card reader, two USB 3.0 \”SuperSpeed\” ports, two USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, HDMI and VGA, and dedicated microphone and headphone jacks. Lenovo even saw fit to include an 8X DVD SuperMulti optical drive, which NBR notes is \”for those who still insist on living in the previous decade.\”
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y480 falls short in a few areas, however. For starters, the USB 2.0 ports just take up space as USB 3.0 ports work just fine with other devices. But perhaps most glaring, its 1366 x 768 display is subpar (ironic, given Lenovo brands it a \”multimedia\” laptop). The battery is also only average, and the area around the keyboard is weak bounces a bit too much during furious typing sessions. These would seem like nitpicky complaints, but the Y480 also has an MSRP of $1,500, which NBR describes as \”painfully overpriced.\”
Of course, few pay the full MSRP for notebooks, and Lenovo has offered the Y480 third-gen Core i7 configuration for as little as $870 its own website in the recent past, which is a good deal. NBR claims that any price less than $900 represents \”good value\” as of spring 2012.