Lenovo Legion 7i review | Laptop Mag

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Lenovo Legion 7i specs

Price: $2,749
CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H
GPU:  Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q
RAM: 16GB of RAM
Storage: 2TB SSD
Display: 15.6-inch,1080p, 240Hz
Battery: 04:37:43
Size: 14.1 x 10.2 x 0.78 inches
Weight: 5 pounds 

The Lenovo Legion 7i (starting at $1,229, reviewed at $2,749) is the successor to the Legion Y740, and it’s got a handful of notable improvements, including a top-bezel webcam (hallelujah, Lenovo ditched the “nosecam”), sexier lighting accents and a sleeker form factor. The hardware has a few sweet upgrades, too — an Intel 10th Gen Core H-series processor and an Nvidia RTX 2080 Super Max-Q GPU.

I spent the past week indulging my gaming pleasures on the Legion 7i. I played less-demanding games, such as Hello Neighbor, as well as more taxing titles like Microsoft Flight Simulator. No matter how computationally and graphically intensive the games were, the Legion 7i handled ‘em like a champ. The Lenovo gaming rig also offered competition-beating frame rates on games like Grand Theft Auto V and Metro: Exodus. 

However, when it comes to overall system performance, the Legion 7i offered middling scores and struggled to outdo its rivals. Still, for users who want a powerful gaming rig that balances work and play, the Legion 7i is a good choice.

Lenovo Legion 7i price and configurations 

The Legion 7i has a starting price of $1,229 and is packed with a 2.5-GHz Intel Core i5-10300H CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with 6GB of VRAM, and a 15.6-inch, 1080p, 144Hz display.

For $1,529, you can bump up your specs to an Intel Core 2.5-GHz i7-10750H CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM.

Our review unit costs $2,749 and comes with the following upgrades: 2TB of SSD storage, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q GPU with 8GB of VRAM and a 240Hz display. 

Lenovo Legion 7i design

Donning an aluminum, slate-gray chassis, the Legion 7i has a professional, clean-cut, urbane appearance. Comparing the Legion 7i to its predecessor, Lenovo moved its iridescent logo — jazzed up with a futuristic “Y” figure in the center of the “O” — to the top-left corner of the lid. The Legion 7i also sports a new rectangular “Lenovo” badge on the bottom-right corner of the lid.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Image credit: Future)

Once you turn on the lighting accents, it’s time to party. The “Y” figure lights up, matching the color pattern of the RGB-lit keyboard. The back of the chassis protrudes beyond the lid and features dual air vents that light up, too. The light show proves that the Legion 7i is versatile — it has a vibrant, kaleidoscopic personality when you’re ready to game, but it can be mellow and serious when it’s time to focus on productivity.

The 15.6-inch, 1080p display has ultra-slim side bezels. The top bezel is slim-ish and sports a notch that houses a 720p webcam. The bottom bezel is large and features the word “Legion” in subtle black lettering. The deck and the island-style keyboard feature the same boring ol’ slate-gray color palette as the lid. Along the Legion 7i’s undercarriage, you’ll find a large vent and a pair of rubber feet for optimal cooling.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Image credit: Future)

The Legion 7i sports dimensions of 14.1 x 10.2 x 0.8 inches and weighs 4.9 pounds. The Asus ROG Strix Scar G15 (0.7 inches, 5.7 pounds) and MSI GS66 Stealth (0.7 inches, 4.6 pounds) —  the Legion 7i’s rivals — are slimmer than the Lenovo gaming rig. 

Lenovo Legion 7i ports 

There is a wide variety of ports on all three sides of the Legion 7i. 

(Image credit: Future)

On the left side, you’ll find a headset jack, a USB 3.1 Type-C port and a Thunderbolt 3 port. On the back, you’ll discover an HDMI 2.0 port, a Kensington lock slot, a USB 3.1 Type-A port and an Ethernet port. On the right, you’ll find another USB 3.1 Type-A port and the OneKey Recovery button, which restores your system in case of a crash. 

Lenovo Legion 7i display 

The Legion 7i features a 15.6-inch, 1080p display with a 240Hz refresh rate. Gaming on this panel was a visual treat for the eyes.

I gawked at the screen as Agent 47 sneaked around an ocean-front mansion in Hitman 2.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Image credit: Future)

The moonlit beach grass that danced in the wind was vivid and detailed. I ogled the textures inside one of the mansion’s bedrooms; I could discern a wide array of fabrics, including a leather-clad headboard, a velvet comforter and a satin pillowcase. Playing Hitman (2016), I was wowed by colorful, hanging Morrocan lanterns as Agent 47 passed a lively souk in Marrakesh. 

The Legion 7i’s display is also perfect for casual entertainment. When I watched the Dune trailer on YouTube, I noticed actress Zendaya Coleman’s barely-there freckles as she leaned in to kiss her co-star Timothée Chalamet. I also spotted tiny beads of sweat on Chalamet’s upper lip during an intense, heart-thumping scene. The Legion 7i’s display looks crisp, clear and visually pleasing.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Image credit: Future)

According to our colorimeter, the Legion 7i covered 72% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which proved that its panel is less colorful than the category average (86%), the ROG Strix Scar G15 (80%) and the GS66 Stealth (79%). However, in my personal experience, the Legion 7i’s display offers enough punch to satisfy your viewing pleasures.

If the Legion 7i was a star in the night sky, it would outshine its competitors with its 445-nit display. The average premium gaming laptop emits 357 nits of brightness. The ROG Strix Scar G15 (278 nits) and GS66 Stealth (321 nits) are far dimmer than the Lenovo gaming rig. 

Lenovo Legion 7i keyboard and touchpad 

I’m on the fence about the Legion 7i’s keyboard. On one hand, the keyboard feels very comfortable. I typed on it as if I’d had the Legion 7i for years. On the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I reached 91 words per minute on the Legion 7i’s keyboard, which is notably faster than my 85-wpm average. The keyboard offered firm, springy feedback as I typed rhythmically and cozily on its keys.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Image credit: Future)

On the other hand, the keyboard felt cramped — Lenovo added a numpad to the Legion 7i, which its Y740 predecessor did not have. I often found myself accidentally landing on the Num Lock key instead of Backspace. 

Another difference is that the 4.2 x 2.8-inch trackpad no longer has dedicated left-and-right buttons, but this didn’t sour my experience. The one-piece touchpad felt smooth and responded well to Windows 10 gestures, such as pinch-to-zoom and three-finger swipe for opening all windows. 

Lenovo Legion 7i (Image credit: Future)

You can turn on the RGB lighting on the Legion 7i’s keyboard by pressing the Fn key and the spacebar. From there, you can cycle between a number of different eye-catching, colorful lighting animations, including a spiraling rainbow and a stationary blue backlight. You can customize your own illuminating light show with the pre-installed Corsair iCue software.

Lenovo Legion 7i audio

Listening to “Hit Different” by SZA on the Legion 7i’s speakers —  well — “hit different,” as the Millennial and Gen Z generation would say. The R&B jam sounded like it dropped from music heaven as SZA’s dreamy, ethereal vocals filled my large testing room at max volume. 

Lenovo Legion 7i (Image credit: Future)

It’s loud enough that my mom, shouting at me from her second-floor bedroom, demanded that I turn down the tune that blasted from the first floor. The music that emanated from the speakers blessed my ears with punchy bass and buttery-smooth vocals.

You can tune the speakers to your liking by using the Dolby Atmos Speaker System app. There are five presets: Dynamic, Movie, Music, Gaming and Voice. Dynamic and Music are my favorite profiles for listening to tunes; they offer rich, well-balanced sound. Voice is excellent for enjoying your favorite podcasts with an emphasis on vocals. And naturally, Gaming and Movie are optimal for play sessions and watching Netflix, respectively, thanks to the surround-sound effects.

Lenovo Legion 7 (Image credit: Future)

Within the Gaming preset, there are four options: Shooter, Racing, RTS and RPG. I experimented with all four while playing Hitman 2, listening to one of Agent 47’s female assassination targets speak on the phone in a thick foreign accent. On Shooter, Racing and RTS, the woman sounded flat, but RPG helped to reinvigorate the victim’s voice with a balanced tone. I also indulged in some Dishonored 2 gameplay, and while the Shooter preset did indeed emphasize sounds of gunshots and other projectile weapons, I still preferred RPG for heightened situational awareness. It helped me keep my ears peeled for enemy footsteps and important conversations.

On Microsoft Flight Simulator, I preferred the Racing preset, which amplified the roar of my jet engine as I flew over the beautiful city of Paris.

Lenovo Legion 7i gaming, graphics and VR 

The Legion 7i, packed with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q GPU, achieved 64 frames per second on the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey gaming benchmark, which we ran at 1080p on, Very High settings. The Lenovo gaming rig crushed the 59 fps premium gaming laptop average. The Legion 7i also whizzed by the ROG Strix Scar 15’s Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super GPU (60 fps) and the GS66 Stealth’s Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q GPU (55 fps).

Lenovo Legion 7i (Image credit: Future)

When we ran the Shadow of the Tomb Raider test, the Legion 7i reached 79 fps, crushing the category average (72 fps), but the ROG Strix Scar G15 notched 82 fps, leaving the Legion 7i in its dust. The Legion 7i redeemed itself when it went up against the GS66 Stealth, which only scored 66 fps.

On the Grand Theft Auto 5 benchmark, the Legion 7i reached 91 frames per second, which is one frame higher than the category average (90). The Legion 7i also cruised past its Asus (86 fps) and MSI (82 fps) rivals like a cool cat on a highway.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Image credit: Future)

During the Metro Exodus test, the Legion 7i knocked it out of the park with 68 fps, which beat the average premium laptop (61 fps), the ROG Strix Scar G15 (63 fps) and the GS66 Stealth (55 fps).

If you’re interested in how well the Legion 7i performs in VR, you’ll be happy to know the Legion 7i achieved a score of 8,267 on the VRMark Cyan benchmark, which bested the  premium gaming laptop average (5,774), the Asus ROG Strix Scar G15 (7,647) and the MSI GS66 Stealth (6,762).

Lenovo Legion 7i performance 

I challenged the Legion 7i’s Intel Core i7-10750H CPU and 16GB of RAM to face an avalanche of 40 Google Chrome tabs. I also fired up two Twitch streams, which played simultaneously. The Legion 7i didn’t even break a sweat. There was no lag as I continued to zip through the web.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Image credit: Future)

I pitted the Legion 7i against its Asus and MSI rivals on our benchmarks, and unfortunately, the Lenovo gaming rig could not hold its own during the performance battle. The Legion 7i achieved a score of 6,012 on the Geekbench 5.0 overall performance test, which falls below the performance score of the average premium gaming laptop (7,431). Unsurprisingly, the Legion 7i also got its butt whooped by ROG Strix Scar G15’s Core i9-10980HK CPU (8,263), and it couldn’t outperform GS566 Stealth’s Core i7-10750H processor (6,261).

The Legion 7i took 9 minutes and 9 seconds to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution using the HandBrake benchmark, which is slower than the average premium gaming rig (8:28). The Legion 7i moved at a snail pace compared to the ROG Strix Scar G15, which completed the task in 7 minutes and 26 seconds. However, the GS66 Stealth was more sluggish than the Legion 7i (9:25).

Lenovo Legion 7i (Image credit: Future)

When we ran the file-transfer test, the Legion 7i’s 2TB SSD duplicated 25GB of multimedia files in 20 seconds, which translates to a transfer rate of 1,342.4 megabytes per second. That smokes the category average (237.6 MBps). The Legion 7i also edged out the ROG Strix Scar G15 (2TB SSD), which offered a transfer rate of 958.8 MBps. The MSI G566 (512GB SSD) took its sweet, sweet time on the file-transfer test with a rate of 433 MBps.

Lenovo Legion 7i battery life

The Legion 7i lasted 4 hours and 37 minutes on the Laptop Mag battery test, which consists of browsing the web continuously over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. This is shorter than the category average (5:14) and one minute less than the ROG Strix Scar G15 (4:38). The GS66 Stealth outlasted the Legion 7i by two hours (6:36).

Lenovo Legion 7i (Image credit: Future)

We also ran the PCMark 10 gaming battery-life test on the Legion 7i and it lasted only 54 minutes.

Lenovo Legion 7i heat

On our non-gaming heat test, which consists of running a 15-minute, 1080p video, the Legion 7i’s touchpad was the coolest location on the laptop with a temperature of 83 degrees Fahrenheit. This falls below our 95-degree comfort threshold. The middle of the keyboard and the underside reached 97 and 95 degrees, respectively. The hottest location on the Legion 7i was the bottom near the vent — it reached 103 degrees.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Image credit: Future)

On our gaming heat test, which consists of looping the Metro Exodus Extreme benchmark five times, the touchpad reached 82 degrees. The center of the keyboard and the underside peaked at 102 degrees and 101 degrees, respectively. The hottest location on the Legion 7i was, once again, the bottom of the laptop near the vent with a scorching hot temperature of 118 degrees.

Lenovo Legion 7i webcam

Lenovo learned from the mistakes of its Y740 predecessor and ditched the nosecam. The Legion 7i’s webcam is now in its rightful place — on the top bezel. Security-minded users will be relieved to know that this webcam features a privacy shutter.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Image credit: Future)

The Legion 7i’s 720p webcam isn’t as bad as I expected it to be. The visual noise is minimal and the definition is tolerable, however, the camera isn’t the best at reproducing colors. A bright-red logo on my shirt emanated orange tones and a nearby sky-blue water bottle gave off a darker blue hue.

Lenovo boasts that the Legion 7i’s 720p webcam is ideal for YouTube and Twitch streaming, but I wouldn’t go that far. If you want to wow your livestreaming audience with crystal-clear visuals, I’d recommend purchasing an external webcam. 

Lenovo Legion 7i software and warranty

The Legion 7i has some pre-installed software that gamers may find to be useful. That includes the Lenovo Vantage app and the Corsair iCue software. The former lets you update your drivers, review your warranty status, run system diagnostics and request support. You can also choose between three modes on the Lenovo Vantage app: Performance, Balance and Quiet. Quiet is perfect for light productivity tasks. Performance is optimal for gaming as the fans will kick up speed. The fan noise can be loud on Performance mode, but it’s not ear-deafening.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Image credit: Future)

The Corsair iCue software lets users customize the flashy, colorful backlighting of their keyboard with static colors, ripple animations, wave effects and more. Other pre-installed apps you’ll find are Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Paint 3D, Skype, Spotify and the Your Phone app.

The Lenovo Legion 7i ships with a one-year limited warranty. See how Lenovo fared in our Best and Worst Brands and Tech Support Showdown special reports. 

Bottom line

The Legion 7i offers mixed performance. The Lenovo gaming rig towers above its rivals when it comes to file-transfer speed, virtual reality and screen brightness, but the Legion 7i fails to stand out on overall performance, video transcoding and battery life. If you’re seeking a longer-lasting gaming rig, you should consider the MSI GS66 Stealth, which lasts two hours longer on a charge.

Lenovo Legion 7i  (Image credit: Future)

However, the Legion 7i performed well on most gaming benchmarks, outperforming its competitors in Grand Theft Auto V and Metro Exodus. The Legion 7i also features smooth-sounding speakers and a satisfying stock of ports. The Lenovo gaming rig may not be a ring leader in performance, but it’s a decent laptop for users seeking a device that can seamlessly transition between work and play.


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