Lenovo IdeaPad Y510-300

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Lenovo IdeaPad Y510-300
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Y510-300
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Y510-300
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Y510-300
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5


  • Attractive design, good sound and connectivity, built-in webcam


  • Limited viewing angle, facial recognition is not a viable security measure and One Key Recovery can cause problems for novice users due to inconvenient partitioning

Bottom Line

The Y510-300 is a fairy decent all-purpose notebook suitable for those with a strong budget and an eye for design. With good connectivity and strong hardware performance, just make sure you use the D drive after purchase.

Would you buy this?

Although Lenovo is traditionally synonymous with business platforms, its new Y510-300 IdeaPad represents a bold step towards consumer notebooks. With a stylish body a world away from the clunky utilitarianism of Lenovo's usual business models, this unit generally performs well and comes with a host of features; some of which work better than others.

The first word that comes to mind when using the Lenovo Y510-300 is shiny. From the highly reflective 15.4in (1280x800) WXGA LCD screen to the piano black touch-sensitive control panel through to the gun-metal grey palm rests, this sleek notebook is definitely an attractive option for the fashionable consumer. The red-lit battery meter is actually reflected off the interior plastic, promoting the modernist chic look.

Moving inside the unit reveals an Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 2.5GHz CPU with an 800MHz front side bus speed and a 6MB L2 cache, 2GB of DDR2 RAM which is upgradeable to 4GB, as well as an NVIDIA GeForce 8600M graphics card and a DVD re-writer supporting dual-layer burning. Add this to a 250GB SATA drive spinning at 5400rpm and a built-in 1.3-megapixel webcam with microphone, and so far you have a very promising all-rounder.

This particular Intel CPU is based on the latest Penryn 45nm core, which means that it's smaller than older models, and therefore should produce less heat. While using it, we definitely found it to be a cool-running unit, even after it had been running for hours.

Unfortunately, the buzz-kill for this model was what should have been an excellent innovation. The out-of-box configuration comes with Lenovo's 'One Key Recovery' system as standard, which automatically partitions the hard drive into two sections; a 30GB 'C' drive and a 188GB 'D' drive. Although an experienced user might see this and make sure all programs are installed into the bigger drive, both Windows and the majority of owners targeted by this model will simply default to installing onto the 'C' drive, resulting in problems. The swap file space needed for the heavy multimedia programs this notebook is capable of handling will easily hit walls, and the pre-installed Vista operating system already takes up almost one-third of the drive. This flaw could easily have been turned into a positive point had the designers levelled the split better.

The screen, whilst attractive, also suffers from limited viewing angles. The unit's size is suitable for lap use, but if used on an aircraft in a confined space or against a wall it can become a little impractical due to its L-shaped hinge. For travellers, the notebook weighs 3kg on its own, and 3.5kg with its power supply.

A big talking point for this unit is the 4.1 'Dolby Home Theatre' package. Advertised by Lenovo as 'theatre-style' sound, the results aren't quite that dramatic. The added speakers definitely boost the notebook's capabilities and there is a noticeable increase to the sound stage, but to call it surround sound would be a bit of a stretch. Even so, the sound reproduction is fairly good for a notebook and ranks relatively well.

An interesting replacement in the Y510-300 for the now common fingerprint scanner is the facial recognition package offered by Lenovo. Simply stick your mug in front of the camera, and the software should recognise you, select which account you're assigned to and let you in; no typing or touching required. Unfortunately, we managed to fool the software with nothing more than a standard facial photograph on all but the highest settings. Trying to access your notebook in public by staring at the screen with frozen intent may also attract some curious attention.

In our benchmarks the Y510-300 performed fairly well, but it failed our simulated Blu-ray burn test due to the aforementioned swap file problems. The 87 it achieved in WorldBench 6 means that it can handle office multitasking and common applications with ease. With its 3DMark06 score of 4346, it can handle older games like FEAR when playing with mid-level settings. On our MP3 encoding test, where we use iTunes to convert 53 minutes of WAV files into 192Kbps MP3s, the Y510-300 managed it in 71 seconds; a reflection of the CPU's strength. The unit lasted 82min in our worst-case scenario battery run-down test where we loop a DVD movie, and this is a fair result.

For connectivity, the Y510-300 is also fairly well equipped with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11a/g/n, three USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire connection, VGA and S-Video output, a modem jack, an Ethernet port capable of 10/100 speeds and an Express Card slot, as well as a 6-in-1 card reader supporting MMC, MS, MS Pro, SD, SD Pro and xD cards.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?