Lenovo’s IdeaPad Y500 is the upgraded version of the IdeaPad Y580.  You’ll notice a handful of enhancements, most notably in appearance, but what you as the consumer will end up getting most is value.  The IdeaPad Y500 provides excellent performance for a reasonable price.

Adding some extra kick is the system’s modular Ultrabay concept. Years ago, you would see this occasionally on midsize-and-larger laptops, but today it’s very rare. Where the optical drive would normally go, at the right side of the system chassis, is instead a bay that can handle different optional components.

The Ultrabay accessory included in our review unit is a second GeForce GT 650M graphics card–a rarity indeed for a gaming laptop–but you can also use the bay for an extra hard drive, an additional cooling fan, or an optical drive.

All that makes the Y500 powerful, flexible, and stylish. It’s also well made, looks sharp, and is quite reasonably priced (and a positive bargain, if the current sale prices hold). If it only had a touchscreen for a frustration-free Windows 8 experience, this might be my favorite laptop of 2013 to date. As it is, the non-touchscreen would be a deal-killer for me if I was reaching into my pocket to buy a new laptop.

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