This is the lenovo legion 7i it’s the successor to the very popular y740 which i reviewed last year and i was amazed at the performance that lenovo was able to offer in a 15-inch chassis it was really just incredible and the price was also justifiable too at the time before ryzen entered the horizon now the 7i series from legion represents their highest performing gaming notebook series and they have like a mid tier level which is the 5i series and then the legion 5 which offers amd ryzen processors so what they’ve done with the 7i is they’ve tweaked a few things with a design they’ve updated the hardware with intel’s 10gen core h series processors and rtx super max q graphics and they’ve also upgraded the cooling solution on this notebook and i gotta admit this thing it loves to flex its muscles so let’s take a closer look at the 7i right after this the razer viper ultimate the lightest and fastest wireless mouse designed for esports with an accurate focus plus 20k dpi optical sensor razer hyper speed wireless technology that is 25 faster than the competition all packed into lightweight body
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Okay so pricing for the 7i starts at 15 30 and for that, you get a core i5 10
300 h 8 gigs of ram a 256-gigabyte nvme drive a 1660 ti and a 1080p IPS 144hz display the model that we have over here is specked out to the brim
so it comes with intel’s fastest core i9 109980 HK CPU with twice the number of threads 32 gigabytes of ram two one terabyte SSD in a raid an rtx 2080 supermax q GPU and the same display now I wasn’t able to find the exact price for this config since Lenovo doesn’t offer the core i9 option on their site at the time making this video, however, I did find a model on b h photo that was listed for less than three thousand dollars which are also unfortunately back ordered so expect to pay over three grand for this config when it’s available with that being said where does the 7i align with the rest of competition well there is the MSI gs66 stealth which is actually priced similarly to the 7i if you were to configure expect its back then we have the razer blade15 advanced uh the aero 15 from gigabyte and we also have the Zephyrus s15 from rog.
Let’s start with exterior impressions and as I mentioned earlier legion has made a few tweaks here and there but they still managed to keep it low profile the legion logo has been relocated from the top left-hand corner instead of the bottom on the y740 they’ve also added a Lenovo badge on the other side which is a nice touch you’ll also find the addition of ring lighting at the bottom which looks absolutely amazing I’m certainly getting concept vibes with the 7i this is an all-aluminum build, for the most part, there are some plastic bits here and there but overall I think it’s built really well
though i would have preferred a unibody design considering the price point the hinge is okay it’s not the strongest that I’ve come across there is a bit of wobble and it opens 180 degrees flat just like the gs66 stealth.
The interior space does look different from the y740 they replace the standard layout with a full-size keyboard and I have mixed feelings about this you see when I place my hands on top of the palm rest I really don’t have a lot of space to work around especially when I’m trying to use the washed areas particularly for gaming scenarios I can easily sort of getting over that edge there’s just not a lot of room so I’d rather have a standard keyboard that looks just cleaner and just simple I mean it’s great news for gamers who are also accountants and love using num pads but I really want to know your thoughts about this would you rather prefer having a standard layout on a 15-inch notebook or a full-size keyboard let me know the other thing I should mention is that you lose dedicated keys on the left-hand side which used to give instant access to vantage software game capture a few macro keys and lighting adjustments. The keys themselves are fantastic Lenovo has really nailed it on the 7i each keystroke feels stable and there’s a good amount of travel distance this thing is just perfect for gamers and typists the cherry.
On top of that is the rgb lighting legion has partnered up with corsair to deliver this beautiful lighting atmosphere it’s right on par with my blade 15 advance and i love it not to mention corsair’s iq software comes with a million lighting effects that you can play around with and you can customize them per zone or individual keys although i will say that the led logo on the lid struggles to display accurate colors for instance when you choose white it shows like a greenish ton it’s just something to keep in mind the trackpad is decent they’ve made it about 40 larger than the y740 they did this by eliminating the dedicated primary left and right buttons to be honest i expected more from the 7i like a glass surface but that’s not the case it’s a smooth plastic finish that gets the job done it’s pretty good and it has support for windows precision drivers but it just doesn’t have that premium feel to it compared to other notebooks that i’ve tested now listen i’m a trackpad guy and this is a gaming laptop and most of you if you’re using it for gaming you most likely have an external mouse plugged in but if you’re just using it for other tasks like say if you’re you know taking this to a coffee shop or somewhere else you most likely want to have a really nice experience using a good trackpad and this just doesn’t fall in line with those expensive gaming notebooks out there so something that you should know.
The webcam test on the 7i Lenovo actually moved the camera from the bottom nose cam setup to the top which is the more appropriate setting
and I mean this is the perfect angle what’s really awesome is that they’ve also implemented a privacy shutter button like a physical one right over here so if I just block that boom you can’t see my face which is awesome
but uh yeah really cool thoughtful uh features added to uh the webcam here and the microphone also sounds pretty good i mean it’s not compressed so it should be perfect for skype conversations or just business meetings.
The speakers are located at the bottom and they sound okay I mean given the orientation expect a little bit of bass there is some trouble and they do get loud I’d say it’s a little bit better than the gs66 stealth from MSI so that’s welcoming port selection is well thought out on the 7i just like the y740 the majority of them are located at the back which just seems practical so you get a Kensington lock power in a couple of USB 3.1 gen 2 ports gigabit ethernet HDMI 2.0 on the right-hand side there’s an extra USB 3.1 gen1 port and on the left, you’ll find a couple of type c ports one of them being thunderbolt 3 and the other being the standard gen 2 port and an audio jack, unfortunately, it does not have an sd card reader.
Switching gears to the display it’s a 15.6-inch 1080p panel with a refresh rate of 144 hertz and it’s ups and it’s factory-calibrated by x right plus it’s g-sync ready which is great it passed our display analysis test with flying colors as it covers a hundred percent srgb 76 adobe RGB and 79 dc ip3 so if you’re looking to create content this will not disappoint you and the best part is the screen gets really bright we’re talking close to 400 nits so outdoor visibility shouldn’t be an issue it’s got great contrast ratio and viewing angles the gaming experience on this thing is fantastic guys I have no complaints whatsoever it’s fast and there’s a panel overdrive option in a vantage that tightens up the response time which is awesome all in all this is by far the best-looking screen that I’ve ever encountered on a gaming laptop there’s also a 240-hertz option that you can opt for when you’re customizing the specs to your desire which is nice.
Legion is also carrying over their GPU mux switch from previous generations which allows you to either enable the discrete GPU full time
or have the system enter a more typical hybrid model that dynamically switches between the GPU and the input based on workload both of these modes are taken over by Nvidia’s new advanced Optimus and the 7i is the first gaming notebook that we reviewed that used this feature before advanced Optimus people either needed to make a tough choice either gaming laptop with g-sync or the power savings of Optimus you couldn’t have both since the igp ended up controlling what was being displayed on the screen so g-sync was impossible now it’s the discrete GPU and Nvidia software doing all the heavy lifting so the switchable graphics and g-sync can be featured on the same device like the 7i not only that but you can switch between Optimus and full-time discrete mode without having to reboot the system which is nice.
Under the hood, Lenovo has made it fairly easier to access components
the memory sticks are right over here with thermal padding on the top maximum supported memory is 32 gigabytes which I did find to be
quite weird because my blade 15 can support up to 64 gigabytes the two nvme drives are scattered across both sides and the drive speeds are insane guys keep in mind that Lenovo did configure them in raid 0 so the read-write performance is right in line with our expectations but if you value redundancy you can opt-out of the raid 0 option they’ve also stepped up the cooling system legion is calling it cold front 2.0 so it comes with an integrated vapor chamber and an updated thermal sensor array it also has a dual-fan system of 73 liquid crystal polymer fan blades that enhances four dedicated thermal channels to cycle air at top speeds this certainly helps the CPU to achieve higher clock speeds without sacrificing temperatures.
They’ve also upgraded the battery on the 7i so now you’re getting an 80-watt battery instead of a 57-watt battery on the y740 and they did that by eliminating the two and a half-inch hard drive bay now we performed our battery test in balance mode and it’s honestly not that great as you can see in our light load test it only lasted for about six hours which is respectable but not as good as something like the gs66 stealth or the tough a15 which both have bigger batteries, of course, part of this has to do with the higher tdp on that core i9 CPU and a really fast GPU unlike the efficient ryzen processors you’ll also notice that we’ve added results with g-sync enabled and that certainly affects battery life both during idle and heavy load scenarios.
Okay so now let’s get into performance now before I get into the synthetic results let’s go over the CPU temperatures and frequencies over time and see how Lenovo’s ability to cool intel’s fastest power-hungry core i9 processor well in the highest performance mode it starts out at 4 gigahertz but then eventually it settles to an average of 3.7 gigahertz on all cores that are actually pretty impressive given the temperatures settled around 83 degrees celsius remember the i9 10980 HK has a maximum configurable the frequency of 3.1 gigahertz so it almost feels like legion has enough confidence in their cooling solution that they’re operating the i9 at a slight overclock so now we’re aware of how the 7i performs in its highest performance mode which seems to be the popular option among a lot of you when you have your devices plugged in we obviously figured this out from a recent twitter poll that we conducted but there is more to that story guys because a lot of these devices do come with custom power plant so with just a flip of a switch it’ll convert a laptop to a portable monster with the best performance or a more efficient setup where it boosts battery and gives you you know more quiet setting that’s more efficient we’re planning on investing this investigating uh this custom power plant options in another video so definitely stay tuned for that but without any further ado but without any further due let’s dive into the benchmarks.
Starting off with cinebench you will see the same theme carry throughout the cess in multi-core intel’s highest-end CPU being used in a 3 000 laptop
can barely keep up with a 1200 device using a ryzen 7 4800h on the other hand intel still leads by a significant amount when it comes to lightly threaded applications another area where the legion 7i really excels is when the rtx 2080 super can flex its muscles like in resolve studio then handbrake once again shows AMD’s domination while WinRAR benefits the ultra-fast raid zero nvme SSD array.
when it comes to gaming frequency this is actually one of the first gaming notebooks we’ve come across that has super consistent results it hits 4.4 gigahertz and just stays there for most of the test temperatures were a bit higher but that’s probably due to some heat soak from the GPU into the CPU’s cooling array but there’s nothing to worry about here the rtx 2080 supermax q is one heck of a powerful graphics card to be crammed into such a thin notebook but it looks like its heat is pretty well managed
like all Nvidia GPUs part of the heat, management is done through gradually modulating clock speeds up and down over time, in this case, it’s moving from 1500 megahertz to about 1700 megahertz both of which are well above Nvidia’s 12 30 megahertz boost back so it’s obviously getting more than enough cooling in games that leads to absolute domination in
every single title we threw at the 7i this is by far the fastest gaming notebook we’ve ever come across a period and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the fastest we’re going to see this year it looks like legion has been able to seamlessly combine a slim chassis with great cooling and high-end components to create a desktop-class gaming experience I mean sure you can build a faster desktop or less but with component prices the way they are these days this seems to be a pretty good option if you want some portability.
The acoustic performance is pretty good the notebook doesn’t sound like a jet fan during gaming scenarios and during idle it’s very quiet although I will mention that when you’re in a completely silent environment when you can’t really hear anything in the background you will start to hear some inductor noise coming from the chassis I think I’m going to play a clip right after this so you can actually listen to what I’m talking about and to wrap things up surface temperatures are really good on the 7i uh there are not a lot of hot spots on the chassis and this is again thanks to the amazing
cold front 2.0 cooling technology that legion was able to implement into this chassis, great job guys.
All right so I think it’s time to wrap up my thoughts on the legion 7i I really like what they’ve done with the design they’ve tweaked a few things Compared to the y740 but those are welcoming changes I especially love the cool ring lighting at the bottom it definitely gives you those concept vibes and you can turn it completely off if you want to get that stealth simple-looking laptop you can easily take this thing to a business meeting because it doesn’t look like a gaming laptop but it does when you turn on those
RGB lights uh the display is fantastic it is again one of the best that we’ve encountered it’s bright it’s color accurate the keyboard is fantastic my only issue with it is the trackpad I really wish that they improved upon that but we could expect or hope, they’ll improve on that with the next revision the battery life is not that great unfortunately that is something to expect and given these specs and of course you’ve got a g-sync display to work with.
And finally, there is the performance that is where this thing shines because the numbers are off the charts they do speak for themselves you got a really fast GPU a fast CPU not the fastest I really wished if it had a ryzen CPU but unfortunately, we’re not getting that and it also goes to show that intel has a lot of catching up to do because legion was just so confident in their cooling system that they applied a slight overclock but it still couldn’t keep up with the fastest that AMD has to offer that definitely conveys a story so if you’re in the market looking for the fastest gaming notebook um I think the 79 should be on the top of your list so on that note thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you guys in the next one.