First Lenovo discovered to make low cost gaming laptops. Now it’s discovered to make low cost gaming laptops that additionally look good. I’ve spent the previous few weeks with the Lenovo Legion Y7000, a stopgap launch that sticks with Nvidia’s GTX 10-series graphics playing cards as Lenovo’s flagship Y500 and Y700 fashions begin to transition to higher-end (and higher-priced) RTX 20-series GPUs.
Is it a efficiency monster? The kind of laptop computer you purchase to impress your folks? Completely not. Nevertheless it’s a sensible, refined choice that may carry out admirably for a minimum of a couple of years—and at a aggressive worth level.
Lenovo’s by no means one to draw back from choices, and the Legion line appears to get increasingly more convoluted each era. Working example: The Y7000 and the Y530 are primarily the identical laptop computer, however in a unique pores and skin. Final yr we took a take a look at the most cost effective Y530 mannequin. This yr, the other as we delve into the costliest Legion Y7000—although “costliest” sounds scarier than it ought to. Even absolutely tricked out, the Y7000 we reviewed retails for about $1,100 (although the worth varies from place to put, because it’s in a roundabout way bought by Lenovo).
It’s an honest worth for what you get: An Intel Core i7-8750H processor, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 1TB 7200 RPM HDD.
And the mannequin we reviewed is the optimum setup, to my thoughts. There are a number of different choices, together with a $1,000 mannequin with solely 8GB of RAM and no secondary onerous drive. There’s additionally an ultra-budget choice within the $800 vary, however that mannequin’s i5-8300H and GTX 1050 Ti are a poor funding for video games at the moment, not to mention going ahead.
Lastly, there’s a second $1,100 mannequin that omits the 1TB exhausting drive in favor of upgrading from the 256GB to a 500GB SSD, however given the dimensions of video games nowadays I’d really feel safer taking the bigger general area. That stated, an SSD is each quicker and extra dependable, so should you’re diligent about ending after which uninstalling video games then that specific variant could possibly be helpful.
Final yr we described the Lenovo Legion Y7000’s counterpart, the Y530, as a “generic enterprise machine.” The Y7000 is the other, unmistakably a gaming laptop computer—albeit one which’s a hair classier than its friends.
Adam Patrick Murray/IDG
The Legion Y7000 measures 14. 2 by 10.5 by 1.zero inches and weighs a smidge over 5 kilos. That makes it smaller (and considerably lighter) than your common “desktop alternative” gaming machine, however nonetheless not almost as moveable as, say, the Razer Blade. The bottom is particularly dense, a thick hunk of plastic that however hides a few of its bulk with sharply tapered edges. It’s properly complemented by the lid, skinny and aluminum-plated, with Lenovo’s distinctive “Y” emblem backlit in white. There’s no different exterior branding, which is an aesthetic (and assured) contact.
Pop the lid open and also you’ll discover a 15.6-inch IPS show with a 1920×1080 decision, a normal 60Hz refresh fee, and a barely underwhelming 277 nits most brightness. It’s not a nice display, and also you gained’t need to do any color-intensive work on it, however there are not any surprises right here both. It’s precisely the show you’d anticipate to see in a mid-tier gaming laptop computer. And the Legion Y7000’s slim prime and aspect bezels are an actual coup at this worth, serving to scale back its general footprint.
There’s a compromise, although. Or quite, two compromises. To start with, the webcam is positioned on the backside of the display, which isn’t a flattering angle. It’s a disgrace Lenovo couldn’t work out a approach to embed it on the prime like Razer did with the equally slim Blade.
Adam Patrick Murray/IDG
The second problem: Lenovo’s opted for a full keyboard full with numpad and arrow keys, however due to the skinny bezels there’s much less room to work with on the bottom as nicely. Thus the keyboard is barely condensed, with the Escape key pressed up towards F1 and the fitting fringe of the typing area brushing the numpad. Personally I feel Lenovo would’ve been higher off omitting the numpad solely. You achieve virtually nothing from it, particularly on the subject of gaming, and in the meantime it’s comically onerous to pinpoint the Backspace key. I used to be continually misfiring the “four” on the numpad, my finger anticipating a niche after which not discovering one.
Then again, it’s good to have full-size arrow keys. Pointless, perhaps—you not often use them for video games these days so once more, they might have been omitted or shrunk to make extra room for the primary keyboard. However I typically reap the benefits of the arrow keys when writing, or whereas searching the web, and the Legion Y7000’s setup is much more sensible for these functions than the half-sized arrow keys you often discover on laptops. It’s a reasonably nice machine to put in writing on as properly, with a stiff however snappy response to the keys, and white backlighting.
Adam Patrick Murray/IDG
The trackpad is offset to the left, centered on the area bar as an alternative of the laptop computer itself. That’s pretty commonplace on gaming laptops, however it could actually take a while to regulate. Extra annoying is that there are not any discrete mouse buttons, although should you’re gaming on a laptop computer you’ll in all probability need to plug a mouse in. Be warned that each trackpad and the encompassing soft-touch plastic decide up greater than their justifiable share of fingerprints and grease smudges. The “Recent New Laptop computer” look doesn’t stick round for lengthy.
Our favourite gaming headset
The audio system are unremarkable, however loud—which is sweet, as a result of so are the followers. The Lenovo Legion Y7000 runs pretty cool for day-to-day use, sufficient so the followers didn’t kick on whereas watching video. Video games end in an instantaneous whoosh of air although. That’s to be anticipated from gaming laptops in fact, and the Y7000 is admittedly much less shrill than slimmer laptops just like the Blade, besides the fan noise was loud sufficient to be distracting. Spend money on an honest gaming headset.
My solely remaining grievance: Rear ports. So many rear ports.
Adam Patrick Murray/IDG
The Legion Y7000 has a three.5mm jack on the left aspect, plus a single USB three.1 port on each the left and proper aspect. The whole lot else is on the again, together with one other USB three.1 port, a USB-C port, HDMI and Mini-DisplayPort, ethernet, a lock, and the oblong charging port. Rear ports are nice for those who plan to set your laptop computer up on a desk, because it’s simpler to cover the muddle. They’re a ache whenever you need to use your laptop computer like an precise laptop computer although, and I want my inputs arrayed on the left and proper sides with further vents on the again.
Mid-tier worth, mid-tier efficiency. That’s precisely what Lenovo promised with the Legion Y7000 and precisely what it delivered once we ran it by means of our benchmark gamut. The GeForce GTX 1060 is a well-established piece of hardware at this level, and even the i7-8750H is acquainted territory. The Y7000 put up the anticipated numbers towards equally outfitted friends just like the Acer Predator Helios 300, and blew away the GTX 1050-equipped Lenovo Legion Y530 we examined final yr.
First up is Cinebench, which measures a CPU’s short-term efficiency. The Y7000’s rating of 1,zero20 gained’t flip any heads, nor does it greatest the aforementioned Acer machine. It’s properly inside the margin of error although, which is not any shock. These machines are principally equivalent, and thus put up principally similar scores. That’s what you need to see, truly! It means there’s nothing basically mistaken with the Legion Y7000, no aggressive throttling or heat-related issues to seek out.
The identical is true of our Handbrake check, which provides the CPU a lengthier activity to finish. We re-encode a 30GB MKV file right down to the “Android Pill” preset, which takes a few half-hour on most trendy gaming laptops, thus permitting us to measure how warmth impacts system efficiency. Within the Y7000’s case? Not a lot. On this case we see barely larger scores than the MSI and Acer machines, although once more the variations are negligible.
Shifting onto the graphics efficiency, we first ran the Y7000 by way of 3DMark’s FireStrike Excessive benchmark. This one’s shut sufficient you possibly can in all probability name it a tie, although the Acer Predator Helios 300 pulled barely forward.
And for real-world gaming efficiency, we examined the Legion Y7000 with each Rise of the Tomb Raider and Center Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Each these video games are lengthy within the tooth at this level, and a laptop computer just like the Y7000 ought to simply deal with these benchmarks, even with each maxed out at 1920×1080.
Certainly it did, placing up 72.zero frames per second in Rise of the Tomb Raider and 89.6 frames per second in Shadow of Mordor. You guessed it: Each are inside the margin of error for a tie, in contrast with the Acer and MSI machines. And each are respectable, indicating that you simply’re set to recreation at Excessive or Very Excessive presets for a number of extra years.
That stated, it’s value taking a look at how giant the leap is between the GTX 1060 and RTX 2060 machines. We lately examined a 2060-equipped Acer Predator Triton 500, and that put up scores of 85.three and 120.1 frames per second in Tomb Raider and Shadow of Mordor respectively. That’s a reasonably vital hole, and naturally the GTX 1060 is hardware on the finish of its lifespan whereas the RTX 2060 is simply beginning up. Given we even have a console refresh coming within the subsequent few years, simply remember that any 1060-equipped laptop computer isn’t as future-proofed as you may like from an $1,100 machine.
Lastly, our battery check. We sometimes run this at 250 nits, which the Y7000’s 277 nit display is juuuust able to hitting. As soon as the show is about we loop a 4K video file, unplug the laptop computer, and anticipate it to die. The Legion Y7000’s 57 watt-hour battery went by means of this course of in a bit over 6 hours, which is superb for a laptop computer of this sort—although real-world gaming efficiency will undoubtedly fee decrease. You’re fortunate when you get greater than two to 3 hours of playtime from any gaming laptop computer.
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It may be exhausting to face out within the mid-tier gaming laptop computer market nowadays, however the Lenovo Legion Y7000 is definitely value a re-evaluation from potential consumers. There are different laptops with comparable specs, however few as all-around strong. For example, the aforementioned Acer Predator Helios 300 is barely cheaper and has a greater show—nevertheless it’s additionally bulkier, sports activities an edgier (or, in case you’re like me, uglier) red-and-black colour scheme, and doesn’t embrace the 1TB arduous drive. And the MSI GS65 Stealth is way extra moveable, however retails for over $1,500.
The Lenovo Legion Y7000 is a strong performer with a horny design, nice battery life, and a budget-friendly worth. Lenovo’s nonetheless in all probability not the model you consider first if you consider “Reasonably priced Gaming Laptops,” however after the previous few years? Perhaps it ought to be.
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