We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Laptops Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 review

£999.99 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Lenovo

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 stands out as packing a punch while remaining economical. Read our Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 review to find out more.

This updated version of Lenovo’s IdeaPad Y580 wasn’t available in time for our recent round-up of gaming laptops. The Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 is actually designed as an all-round multimedia and entertainment system rather than as a dedicated gaming machine – but it’s still a good option for gamers who don’t want to pay £1500 or more for the fastest mobile gaming rig.

See: more laptop reviews.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 is more neatly designed than some of the gaming laptops we’ve seen. Rather than being festooned with glowing lights and buttons, the Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 just has a business-like dark-grey – almost black – brushed metal finish, and a gentle backlight for the keyboard. 

It’s slimmer and lighter than most gaming laptops too – the 15.6in models in our recent group test all weighed around 3.3kg, where the Y580 here loses half a kilo at a more manageable 2.8kg. It’s still quite a slab though, measuring about 36mm thick. So, no Ultrabook, but you can more easily carry it around in a backpack or should bag when required. 

The 15.6in screen has a 1920x1080 resolution, and produces a bright, attractive image with a good, wide viewing angle. This Windows 8 laptop is not touch-controlled but we’re not convinced that touch-controls are particularly useful on a laptop, especially for gamers who will probably just want to plug a mouse in anyway. 

The keyboard and trackpad are both large and comfortable to use, and the JBL stereo speakers produce a more pleasant and detailed sound than most of the laptop speakers we’ve heard recently – although a little more bass wouldn’t go amiss. 

The Y580 has both VGA and HDMI video ports for connecting to a larger TV or monitor, as well as Intel’s WiDi (wireless display) technology. A Blu-ray writer means it’s got the multimedia side of life well covered.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580: Performance

Our review unit cost £999.99 with a quad-core Intel Core i7 running at 2.4GHz (3.4GHz Turbo), 8GB RAM, 1TB hard disk and an nVidia GeForce GTX 660M with 2GB of video memory. 

That’s a pretty strong combination, with the one weak link being the 5400rpm hard drive. That held the Y580 back a bit when scored by the PCMark 7 benchmark, producing a relatively modest score of 2938 points. Even so, the Y580 will still handle demanding multimedia work such as video-editing or audio recording with ease.

It’s not a flat-out gaming machine, but still provides strong all-round performance. The GTX 660M doesn’t quite have the horsepower required to run the latest Windows games at their highest settings. Batman: Arkham City and Hard Reset both struggled at 22 frames per second when running at 1920x1080 resolution with High settings for graphics and anti-aliasing. 

However, dropping down to 1280x720 with Medium graphics settings allowed us to hit 40fps on Batman and 59fps for Hard Reset, which should satisfy most home users.

Battery life with the GeForce graphics was only about 2.5 hours, looping streamed video over Wi-Fi from iPlayer, but you can switch to the i7’s integrated HD 4000 graphics on the fly, and that should give longer runtime for routine tasks such as browsing the web or playing music and video.

NEXT PAGE: Review of original 2012 model by PCWorld US >>

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 Expert Verdict »

2.4GHz Intel Core i7-3630QM
Windows 8
8GB DDR3 1600MHz
15.6in (1920x1080) LCD display
nVidia GeForce GTX 660M with 2GB VRAM/Intel HD 4000
Gigabit Ethernet
Bluetooth 4
2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0
Blu-ray BD-RE
SD/XD/MMC/MS card slot
JBL stereo speakers
720p webcam
72Wh Lithium-Ion battery
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 7 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Serious gamers who want the highest frames rates and graphics details all at full-HD resolution will prefer a dedicated gaming laptop that has a more powerful graphics card. However, the Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 works very well as an all-round multimedia and entertainment system that can also handle some casual gaming action when it required.

  • Lenovo Ideapad Y650 review

    Lenovo Ideapad Y650

    Lenovo's Ideapad series of laptops is geared at entertainment and multimedia usage. Continuing in that tradition is another noteworthy addition, the Lenovo Ideapad Y650, a lightweight 16in laptop with an impressive slew of features.

  • Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 review

    Lenovo IdeaPad Z580

    The Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 is a mid-range laptop with 15in widescreen and Blu-ray reader drive.

  • Lenovo IdeaPad U410 review

    Lenovo IdeaPad U410

    The Lenovo IdeaPad U410 is an affordable Ultrabook. Our Lenovo IdeaPad U410 review finds a laptop that fulfills most computing needs.

  • Lenovo Ideapad Y450 review

    Lenovo Ideapad Y450

    The IdeaPad Y450 all-purpose laptop offers good looks and a surprising number of features at an attractive price.

  • Lenovo IdeaPad U110 review

    Lenovo IdeaPad U110

    The supersvelte Lenovo IdeaPad U110 is about as flashy as ultraportable PCs get.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model