Back in January, we covered Lenovo's IdeaCentre Y900, an excellent gaming desktop from a company who's never marketed much towards gamers. Things are continuing to look bright for Lenovo, as their latest Y900 delivers a serious punch. The new IdeaCentre Y900 model boasts an impressive GTX GeForce 1080, an Intel i7-6700K (4 Ghz), 16 GB of memory and an attractive price of $2099.99. As far as pre-built gaming PCs go, this is a solid deal.
Visually, the new IdeaCentre Y900 looks identical to its predecessor. Lenovo has kept the sleek red/black color combo, which I personally feel works wonderfully with the brand. The design is simple and confident, but it doesn't shy away from expressing personality with subtle hints of color from the logo glow and a pair of OLED strips on the lower half of the case. I've always been a fan of simplistic design, and the IdeaCentre Y900 fits wonderfully next to my entertainment setup.
The entire case is matte, with only a few parts exhibiting hints of shiny material, so you don't have to worry about fingerprints and dust collecting on the surface. The case construction and quality may not be as exceptional as the custom casing from Origin PC or Falcon Northwest, but the overall aesthetic isn't too shabby considering Lenovo had to cut corners to keep pricing low.
"Things are continuing to look bright for Lenovo, as their latest Y900 delivers a serious punch."
Another area where Lenovo took a few shortcuts is the included mouse/keyboard combo. It's a much cheaper version of both peripherals, but I think this was a wise strategy for maintaining even lower costs. This isn't really a criticism since keyboards and mice are easily upgradable, but some shoppers expecting a complete combo package may be let down in that department.
The IdeaCentre Y900 excels where it matters most: performance. I’m not going to delve into benchmark specifics since there are countless tech articles analyzing both the 1080 and the i7 under a microscope. I’m here to evaluate how Lenovo has put it all together, and whether the package as a whole is worthy of the asking price.
The answer largely depends on what kind of customer you are. If you’re a seasoned PC gamer, you’re better off building your own rig or getting one through one of the many, prestigious boutique builders like Origin PC, Falcon Northwest, Xidax or Velocity Micro. There are more than a handful, and better, options. Having said that, Lenovo offers an excellent package for someone new to the PC gaming scene. They offer a hassle-free package that delivers high-end gaming at a relatively balanced price to performance ratio.
"Bloatware aside, the IdeaCentre Y900 1080 is a worthy upgrade to its predecessor, and its attractive price point makes it an excellent option for gamers new to the PC platform."
The IdeaCentre Y900 performs as well as you’d expect from a system carrying such superb hardware. The 1080 is a true powerhouse, and combined with the i7-6700K and the ability to overclock both, and you got yourself a system that can max out pretty much anything at 1440p, and does an amazing job at even 4K resolutions. The Y900 is assembled well, with all parts neatly installed for easy access. Cables are a little tough to reach, so it's definitely not designed to be fiddled with unless you know what you're doing. The system isn’t exactly designed for upgrading, and not everything is as easy to remove. But, like I mentioned earlier, this model is mainly for PC gaming newcomers, so the interior assembly isn’t going to affect the purchasing decision much.
The biggest problem with the IdeaCentre Y900, which is a common problem with all Lenovo systems, is the inclusion of intrusive bloatware. There is so much bloatware, it impacts both the boot times and overall performance . It’s all useless junk too. I can’t believe McAfee is still being installed on systems in 2016. There’s an endless list of other other Lenovo-specific bloatware that serves no real purpose but to eat system resources. It’s shocking that Lenovo would even include all this disruptive junk, yet market to an audience that typically goes out of their way to avoid these type of forced software installations.
Bloatware aside, the IdeaCentre Y900 1080 is a worthy upgrade to its predecessor, and its attractive price point makes it an excellent option for gamers new to the PC platform. It’s definitely not the go-to system for veteran PC users due to a severe lack of customization options. The best way to describe the IdeaCentre Y900 is predictable. You know exactly what you’re getting, which is, again, a big benefit for the less experienced users.
Lenovo isn’t messing around when it comes to their expansion towards gaming. The IdeaCentre Y900 is a truly powerful system, and I’d personally recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone shopping around for gaming PCs for the first time. If Lenovo could just strip all the useless software, or at least let users decide what to keep and what to discard prior to purchasing, they’d have a real winner across the board. As it stands, the Y900 is perfect for newcomers, but too restrictive for those seeking more customization options.