Recent visit with an IdeaPad Y450

by Cleo Lee

Today, I would like to share with you this awesome 14-inch IdeaPad Y450 which recently arrived at Lenovo's eSupport office where I work. 

As a team member of World Wide eSupport organization, we publish a lot of technical tips and specifications, drivers, and updates for Lenovo's products, but we don't always have the the opportunity to interact with all of the systems, especially the newest ones, in a hands-on manner. Luckily for me, I was able to secure the loan of the recently launched ideapad Y450 from the Asia Pacific (AP) Marketing Team!   Despite the eventful schedule they have, this team is fantastic, as they are always willing to share with others.   Being a part of our Social Media team, I'm all about finding ways to share and collaborate with others, and this has been a lot of fun! Needless to say, when this very chic IdeaPad arrived in our office, all of the eSupport team members were thrilled and instantly attracted to its stylish appearance.   ThinkPads are great, but this slick new system, with white inside and polished appearance stood out visually from the sea of black in the office.  Some of the features especially the camera, seemed to capture everyone’s attention .  Perhaps it is the novelty of the veriface application, constantly scanning passers by, trying to match up known faces that drew in many of my co-workers.  It's one thing to read about the feature, but another to experience it first hand.   The picture resolution itself is  pretty standard, with 640 x 480 whereas the video has 320x240.
The outer design of Y450 has a very nice texture on the lid. It is not smooth and metallic type of material; instead it has a pleasant pattern with an attractive rust colored accent stripe around the base. On top of that, it has HDMI, eSATA, 1394 port, blu-ray ROM and a total of 3 USB ports.
Another feature which frequently became the topic of our discussion was the touch-sensitive buttons above the keyboard.  It seemed everyone had to stop by to try them out.  The volume button is one of them that has glowing effect whenever they are pressed, and I must say this feature is very cool!   In addition, the Desktop Navigator feature can be controlled by the touch button too.  It makes activating EasyCapture or OneKey Recovery applications with just a simple touch.
If the glowing Desktop Navigator touch buttons aren't your personal style, the control option can be switched from accepting touch buttons as signal to the mouse-controlled cursor. Simply navigating to Start > All Programs > Lenovo > Lenovo Desktop Navigator > Lenovo Desktop Navigator and you may set it according to your preference. A colleague of mine was interested in getting this notebook as home theatre for Y450 delivers an exceptional High-Definition entertainment and multimedia experience and Dolby® Home Theater™ surround sound. For those that might not know, there are versions of the Y450 equipped with optional  NVIDIA GFX graphics for gaming and smooth HD video playback. Our team members are impressed particularly with the overall notebook design, for example, a glowing ideapad on the most bottom right of the keyboard. The JBL speakers for rich sound are well placed on both top left and right of the keyboard. I played a few songs with Y450, and the sound effect is really promising.
Multi-touch is becoming very common nowadays, and Ideapad Y450 of course has it.  The multi-touch touchpad enables me to zoom in or zoom out a picture by widening the distance of my thumb and index finger on the touch pad. There may be more ways of using this multi-touch function, however I haven't experimented further yet. I know that comparisons to other products can be  quite subjective.   How do you think it compares? Battery life is frequently a top consideration point in consumer purchasing, and I find that it is for me too, whether in a latop or my new phone. In my opinion, the machine with 6-cell battery and some light applications (windows media player, EasyCapture, etc) turned on is quite sustainable with nearly 4 hours of usage time.  I found this to be more of a real world experience, and less of a paper spec claim. This machine comes with Windows Vista. For those who downgrade to Windows XP, you may find the appropriate drivers and software available  here.  There are limitations for those the elect to go the Xp route -  software such as Lenovo Desktop Navigator, OneKey Recovery, OneKey Theater and System Repair and Veriface are available only for Windows Vista. Are you attracted to  the Y450 yet?    Reviews are all well and good, but a hands-on experience says more than thousand words. Go and try it out!  Getting to play with one of these for a while really made a difference for me.