Lenovo Y910 AiO Gaming PC Review: Hands-On

http://ift.tt/2j2aOgi

lenovo-y910-aio_2017_01All-in-One PC has evolved from “Familly computers” limited by their relatively thin form-factor, they have now become one of the best-selling categories this year. The Lenovo IdeaCentre Y910 AiO breathes Gaming Performance (including VR-Capability) into the All-in-One category, opening a Pandora box that will never be close from now on.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre Y910 AiO should have been called Lenovo Legion Y920 AiO. The thing is: Lenovo went public with this computer before the “Lenovo Legion” gaming brand was made official at CES 2017. Therefore, the closest line of product that it would fit in is the IdeaCentre, which is typically family/productivity oriented. This is not your regular IdeaCentre computer (not that there anything wrong with productivity computers, lol).

Display

“The display is the computer” – this line which NVIDIA came up with fits the all-in-one category. The Y920 AiO display uses LCD TN technology, which offers some (but not all) benefits of LCD IPS, and historically had the better ratio between price, (image) quality and fast response time. Although IPS LCD have come down in price, this is still true overall. As such, this makes this display an excellent candidate for a gaming computer.

Quick display specs:

  • 27” (2560×1440) 144Hz LCD TN with AMD FreeSync support.
  • Monitor-only mode (HDMI-in)
  • 96% RGB gamut, 75% Adobe RGB gamut
  • 340 Nit brightness, 5ms response time
  • 144 FPS games possible at 1080p

One thing that some of you may notice is that the display is compatible with AMD FreeSync stutter-free technology, while it may ship with an NVIDIA GPU, which has NVIDIA G-Sync, a similar, but otherwise incompatible technology.

Important: The Y920 AiO computers configured with NVIDIA GPUs will not have a stutter-free technology because the screen is only AMD FreeSync compatible. I don’t see a Y910 AiO model with AMD GPU on the Lenovo website at publishing time, but sources tell me that Lenovo should come up with an AMD option at some point. You can visit the official site, or contact Lenovo directly to enquire about “when/where”.

In theory, it would be possible to support both G-Sync and FreeSync, because the technologies are very similar. However, my understanding is that this is a licensing (and licensing fee) issue, with NVIDIA being the most expensive option. One possible solution would be to choose the standard at order time, but there won’t be such an option.

lenovo-y910-aio_2017_07

That aside, the display looks good with a resolution of 2560×1440 and a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz. When we played with it, the image quality was quite good. It’s fair to say that you can find better image quality in PC monitors, but many of those monitors would not be “gaming friendly”, so it’s an important distinction to make.

The resolution of 2560×1440 also is a fine choice. On the one hand, the GPU should be fast enough to play many current games at 60FPS at the native resolution. On the other hand, the text and interface are sharp and clear because it is still a high PPI monitor. If you decide to play at 1080p (with scaling), some game can even hit the maximum 144Hz rate.

From the front, the monitor bezels seem  thin, and to keep that design element, Lenovo has embedded the Intel Realsense webcam into a retractable chassis.

It’s a good idea because the computer is not designed to be super-slim. Intel RealSense webcams are 3D capable, in a similar way that the Xbox Kinect camera is. For everyday usage, Windows 10 Hello can let you log-in using a 3D scan of your face.

In the future, I hope that Lenovo would even come up with 30”, 32” or even 34” versions of this computer.

Industrial Design

lenovo-y910-aio_2017_05The Lenovo Y920 AiO is really unique. It has the aggressive design language of the Legion Y-Series line of laptop and desktop computer, but at the same time, it doesn’t look like anything else. The external surfaces are mostly plastic, but the computer doesn’t feel cheap or fragile. At the same time, I’m glad it doesn’t weigh a ton like some all-steel gaming PC chassis do.

On the left of the screen, there’s a retractable headphones holder. This is a very nice touch because I’m currently using a terrible Ikea hack to do this (lol).

lenovo-y910-aio_2017_02

Just below the screen you will find the Speaker, which is place optimally for single-user situations. In my dreams, there would be an analog volume knob somewhere, but for now you can control the volume with the dedicated keys on the Lenovo Keyboard.

Designed for User Upgradability

The user upgradability is another unique aspect of the Lenovo Y920 AiO. AiO computers are normally not designed to have users change parts. However, this is a frequent requirement from gaming rigs customers.

To reconcile the two, Lenovo has managed to create a design that lets people upgrade the SSD (small PCIe card), HDD (2.5”), Graphics card (GPU) and RAM modules – all without tools.

This is great because a computer’s lifecycle can last for some years during which upgrading any of those components can make a huge difference in user experience. People can do that for much lower prices down the road as well.

Of course, there are sometimes ways to open an AiO to change parts even if it wasn’t designed for this purpose. However, this may void the warranty, and you may get in troubles if the design uses glue, just to cite the obvious.

System configuration

CPU: Intel Core i5 and i7 6th Gen

As you may expect from a Gaming system, Lenovo allows configurations are going from an Intel Core i5 (i5-6500) to an Intel Core i7 (i7-6700) CPU. Note that the current offerings aren’t using the 7th generation Intel CPUs, but rather a 6th Generation.

In reality, it only makes a small difference because the performance jump wasn’t that high, and in the end, the speed/price ratio might even be better that way. That said, I wanted to point this out, just in case.

Memory configurations go from 12GB up to 32GB max, which is quite comfortable as a maximum. The system storage is an SSD of 128GB or 256GB while the larger storage is a 1TB to 2TB HDD. Again, both are user-upgradable.

GPU: Up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB (Desktop Card)

While most AiO computers have “mobile” (=slower) GPUs attached to the motherboard, this computer uses a full-on desktop GPU that is completely normal/standard and that you can change. Some cables will simply route the native graphics card connectors to the ones found in the AiO chassis. The GTX 1080 makes this computer “VR Ready”.

As we said before, we expect Lenovo to have an AMD model at some point, although “when” isn’t clear and no official information is available at publishing time.

You will have to mind the GPU card form-factor because there’s a large variety of them out there with various width and height, but the possibilities offered by this AiO chassis are infinitely higher than other AiOs!

We have yet to run some benchmarks on this computer, but we will update this article with them at a later time. For now, the CPU+GPU configuration should give you a rough idea of what to expect, if you compare that with computers running with the same components.

The system has a 380W Power supply, and you should also be mindful of this when upgrading the GPU. In general, both AMD and NVIDIA make it easy to have powerful updates within the same thermal and power envelope so that I wouldn’t worry about it.

Ports/connectors/inputs: well endowed

lenovo-y910-aio_2017_06

The Lenovo Y910 has a wealth of ports that easily compare to a desktop computer: 7 USB 3.0 ports and a Killer Ethernet network interface for low-latency gaming.

Front Ports

  • Pop-up Hideaway Camera
  • Dual Microphone

Rear Ports

  • 4 x USB 2.0
  • Power AC in
  • RJ45 Ethernet
  • 1x HDMI™-in / 1x HDMI™-out

Side Ports

  • 3 x USB 3.0
  • 6-in-1 Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MS, MS-Pro)
  • Head and Microphone Array
  • HDMI™-in Switch Button
  • Optical drive

Conclusion: excellent, VR Ready

If you are looking for a gaming computer that can keep your desk looking neat at the same time, the Lenovo IdeaCentre Y910 AiO is a very attractive “true” gaming computer that offers a lot of power and upgradability in a chassis that will save space and look neat. While it may not (yet) represent the absolute most powerful gaming rig you can buy, it’s fair to say that the trade-off is completely fair, if not advantageous in terms of speed/chassis volume.

Performance comes with heat (and top dollars), and heat needs to be dissipated. That’s why absolute fastest gaming rigs will remain in large water-cooled chassis with multi-GPUs for some time. It’s just physics.

In the end, the IdeaCentre Y910 AiO is an AiO without performance compromises and a great computer overall. It creates a brand new market segment that I’m sure others will look at and copy.

Starting at $1800, the Core i5/GeForce 1070/12GB RAM/128GB SSD/1TB HDD is shipping now.

At $2300 there’s a Core i7/GeForce 1080/16GB RAM/256GB SSD/2TB HDD available too.

Lenovo Y910 AiO Gaming PC Review: Hands-On , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

Tech

via Ubergizmo http://ift.tt/1dlMU9f

January 11, 2017 at 12:58PM