I've been meaning to create a video comparing the pros and cons of using a Lenovo Y700-14 as a business laptop, having had mine for about a month, but I keep not getting a Round Tuit.

Here's a review, in brief:

This Lenovo Y700-14 is a great budget business laptop, though flawed in several predictable ways. First, a warning: It grossly underperforms without an SSD, but that's any laptop at this point. You have to add an SSD to call this a usable laptop. Otherwise, you might as well throw its i7-6700HQ in the trash.


  • Insanely cheap.
    • $700 for the laptop
    • $150 to DIY-add both 16 gigs of RAM (24 total!) and a 128 gig SSD
  • Exceptionally powerful.
  • Has an m.2 slot to add your SSD.
    • Keep your 1 TB spinning platter for backup
    • Forces you to reinstall Win10, removing all that Lenovo cruft.
  • Good screen resolution -- 1920x1080
  • Excellent cooling.
    • Designed to cool the quad-core, versus T460p's kludge
  • Red keyboard backlight is less distracting than white light (imo).
  • Nice 14" size. Larger than my T430 with extended battery, but not exceptionally so.
  • The speakers are great.
    • Bigger deal than I'd think.
    • Used to bring external speakers for T430. No longer an issue.


I'm mostly comparing this to three years' use of my T430, but I bet most of this applies to the T460p I was considering as well.

  • Battery is a joke. 2-3 hours max with VMware running.
  • Keyboard is not good at all.
  • Trackpad is another joke. Mushy, hard to click, non-dedicated buttons.
  • Not dockable. I've done a 180 here. Plugable's USB 3 Universal Laptop Docking Station is great, especially after the Win10 Anniversary update.
    • Really could've used a USB-C port here.
  • No TrackPoint.
  • Only three USB ports.
  • No always-on USB port for charging Turns out the ports do stay on (only when plugged in?)
  • No fingerprint sensor (these are useful if signing in in public)
  • Build quality is okay, but it's quickly obvious this isn't as rigid as a ThinkPad.
    • The grill in the back where hot air comes out is exceptionally plastic-y, for instance.
  • Screen is not particularly bright.
  • Only one video out port (I have a USB-to-HDMI, but that's a pain. See "not dockable", above)
  • Does get hot on your lap.
  • Not made with upgrading in mind -- back is not as easy to open as it could be.

There you go. Exceptionally fast for a hundreds less than other laptops, but serious convenience drawbacks. No good battery, keyboard, or trackpad. Good, but not great, screen. No dockability, which one USB-C port would've fixed in a flash.

One quick add: There's no screw to hold in your SSD in the m.2 slot, which seemed cheap to me. But then I thought, "Well, if the screws that hold the case on have the same threads and will work here, I'll let it go." It worked. I'm down one screw on the case/bottom, and the screw head doesn't seem quite wide enough to hold the SSD in there (YMMV, I don't encourage doing this, and do so at your own risk!), but it's worked for weeks months so far.


Okay, so if that's how the gaming laptop stacks up as a business laptop, how does it do gaming? I've run 3DMark, and need to add it here, but it wasn't great. Seems it was in the bottom 25% for gaming laptops or something similar.

The quick answer is that the Y700 is not a gaming laptop. If you're worried about comparing benchmarks with your buds to see who wins, this ain't the one. If you want to play the latest games in decent detail and framerate, this isn't your box. As most reviews of the Y700-14" point out, the AMD Radeon R9 M375 Lenovo uses here is grossly underpowered, and really hamstrings an otherwise excellent portable gamer.

The Y700 is, however, a pretty good laptop for playing games. If you don't mind turning down resolutions, it's no slouch. That is, having a decent dedicated card means that games are playable. I have the quad-core tower in my office whose multi-core cpubenchmark score is 40%+ faster than the Y700 processor, and it only has integrated video. The Y700 runs rings around it, unsurprisingly. I've been playing a decent amount of Elite: Dangerous on mine, and it handles it all very well. I won't swear the Y700's AMD Radeon R9 M375 2GB is better than the T460p's NVIDIA GeForce 940MX 2GB, but I remember being underwhelmed with the T430's discrete card (which I added to have easy dual video out).

Bottom line:

You get much more than you pay for with the Y700, but be warned before you sell out to make it your prime programming laptop.

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