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Lenovo Legion 7i Gaming Laptop Review: A Top-Tier Gaming Machine
We previously reviewed the Lenovo Legion 5i, which was an entry-level gaming laptop, capable of handling most games at 1080p without breaking a sweat. However, it was a big, bulky laptop, especially considering other options available in the market.
- Excellent display with vibrant color, good brightness, and higher refresh rate
- Great CPU and CPU performance
- Premium design
- No SD card slot
- No biometric authentication
This time around, we tried our hands on the Lenovo Legion 7i, the most powerful gaming machine from Lenovo with a high-performance CPU and GPU from last year. So, does it make sense to buy this laptop in 2021, especially for a hefty price of Rs. 232,990? Well, here is what we think of the Lenovo Legion 7i, powered by the Intel Core i7-10875H CPU and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super GPU.
Lenovo Legion 7i Specifications
- CPU: Intel Core i7-10875H(16M Cache)
- Display: 15.6-inch IPS FHD 1920x1080, 144Hz
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max Q, 8GB GDDR6
- Memory: 16GB DDR4-3200MHz
- Storage: 1 TB PCIe SSD
- Battery: 80 WHr
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit
High-End Gaming Laptop Of 2020
There is no denying the fact that the Lenovo Legion 7i was the most powerful gaming laptop of 2020. This has changed now, as we now have laptops with RTX 3000 series GPUs with AMD Ryzen 5000 series CPUs, which offer much better overall performance when compared to a laptop with last-gen flagship CPU and GPU from Intel and NVIDIA.
As this was a cutting-edge gaming laptop, it still has a lot of potentials and should be capable of handling most modern and demanding AAA titles like Cyberpunk 2077 without any issues. This specific model also offers 1TB fast PCIe SSD-based storage along with 16GB DDR4 RAM with 3200MHz clock speed.
Lenovo Legion 7i Design: Surprisingly Thin And Premium Looking
The Lenovo Legion 7i looks a lot like the Lenovo Legion 5i. However, as a much premium machine, it feels much thinner, lighter, and more premium, from the materials of construction to the overall fit and finish of the product.
The laptop has RGB lighting all around, and it is made in such a way that, you can completely turn off the lighting, and this laptop goes from being a super gaming laptop to a regular professional laptop that you can use to give a presentation. It has RGB on the keyboard, at the back, across the bottom panel, and even the "Y" in the Legion logo lights up, which is my favorite part of the RGB implementation on this machine.
When it comes to I/O, the Legion 7i has almost every port, including two USB Type-C port, a single USB Type-A port on the right side (very useful to connect accessories like a mouse), and two 10Gbit USB Type-A ports, Ethernet port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a full-sized HDMI port. So, you can connect almost any accessory to the Legion 7i without requiring a dongle.
The one I/O option that I missed on the Legion 7i is the SD card slot. If you are a photographer, who constantly transfers photos and pictures from a camera to your PC, then you will require an external SD card reader, as the laptop doesn't have a built-in SD card slot. Hopefully, the next version of the Legion 7i will solve this issue.
Lenovo Legion 7i Display: Best-In-The-Business
If there is one feature that I want every high-end gaming laptop to adapt from the Legion 7i is its display. The Lenovo Legion 7i has the best 1080p 144Hz display that I have seen on a laptop. Trust me, when I say the best, I mean it, as I have tested more than a dozen gaming laptops from multiple vendors, and nothing comes close to this one.
Even in terms of specs, the 1920 x 1080p display on the Legion 7i offers a peak refresh rate of 144Hz with a peak brightness of 500nits, which makes it one of the brightest displays on a laptop. This is also a great laptop for professional photo and video editors, as this display offers 100% Adobe RGB coverage and HDR400 certification.
Plus, the display is also Dolby Vision certified and it also has Dolby Atmos support, offering the best possible content consumption experience on platforms like Apple TV+ and Netflix. As one can expect, this is also an NVIDIA G-Sync certified display, which is going to reduce screen tearing while gaming.
Whatever I have mentioned so far regarding the display of the Legion 7i is with respect to the specs sheet. When it comes to real-world usage, I was thoroughly impressed with the color-reproduction, brightness, and sharpness of the display. This is a 10-bit panel, capable of displaying a whole range of colors while most laptops just offer an 8-bit panel.
The display of the Lenovo Legion 7i covers a whole spectrum of use cases from gaming (high refresh rate, G Sync), multimedia consumption (HDR, and Dolby Vision), and professional usage (100% Adobe RGB coverage), and that high brightness means, you can also use these laptops outdoors without any issue.
Lenovo Legion 7i: Keyboard And Trackpad
When it comes to the trackpad, I still feel the MacBooks have an upper hand when compared to any Windows laptop. If you are a serious gamer, then, you definitely have to look for an external gaming mouse, as it is almost impossible to game using the built-in trackpad. For the rest of the tasks, the trackpad on the Legion 7i does a good job and works as expected.
Coming to the keyboard, the Legion 7i has low travel TrueStrike (1.3mm) keys with RGB lighting (individual keys). These are soft landing keys, so, you don't either get that mechanical key like sound or feel when you are gaming or typing on them.
The laptop has a dedicated num pad along with multimedia control keys. Overall, the keyboard of the Lenovo Legion 7i is great. However, this is definitely not the best keyboard that I have used on a gaming laptop for sure. I used this laptop to write articles and play games, and I had no issues when it comes to both tasks.
Lenovo Legion 7i: Web Camera
The Legion 7i has a 720p web camera, which is nothing special and it also has a PrivacyShutter, which is a good feature for privacy-minded people. However, this laptop does not support Windows Hello, and there is no fingerprint sensor either. The company should have included one biometric security option on a laptop of this class, which is again, another feature that I really missed on this laptop.
Lenovo Legion 7i CPU Performance: Superior Mobile CPU
The Legion 7i is based on the Intel Core i7 10875H, which is one of the fastest mobile CPUs from Intel with eight cores, and a max turbo frequency of 5.1GHz, which is again, one of the first mobile CPUs to achieve this feat.
To keep everything cool, Lenovo has incorporated a 2mm Vapor Chamber and a 6-point thermal sensor array, which has helped the company to make this device as thin as it is. It has a dual-fan system (one for GPU and one for CPU) with 73 liquid-crystal polymer fan blades that help to take out the heat.
If you are a PC nerd, then you can manually control fan speeds and voltage to tune the performance of the laptop. If I were you, I would suggest choosing between the built-in modes, which have been created by the Lenovo engineers that offer optimal performance and cooling.
When we consider the performance of the Intel Core i7-10875H, it goes against the Ryzen 7 4800H. In both single-core and multi-core CPU performance on Geekbench 5, the Intel Core i7-10875H outperforms the Ryzen 7 4800H by scoring 1251 points on single-core and 7092 points on multi-core performance.
On CPU-Z, the CPU posted 460.1 points on single-core and 4324.9 points on multi-core CPU performance. Even on Cinebench, the Intel Core i7-10875H offered great performance with 1156 points on single-core and 8400 points on multi-core performance.
Overall, the Intel Core i7-10875 is a fast CPU that excels in both single-core and multi-core CPU performance, making the Legion 7i a great laptop for gaming and content creators.
Lenovo Legion 7i: GPU Performance
The NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super Max-Q is the most powerful laptop GPU in 2020, and it has changed now, as the RTX 3000 GPU powered laptops are now available in the market. The GPU offers 8GB video memory and is also capable of offering the best ray-tracing experience too.
On GTA: V, we got an average FPS of around 140 with graphics settings set to maximum. Similarly, on the Shadow of the Tomb Raider with the ray-tracing quality set to Ultra, we got an average FPS of 70, with the ray-tracing completely turned off, we got an average fps of over 100.
We also tested the Cyberpunk 2077 on the Lenovo Legion 7i, and here is a video of the same, which showcases the graphics capability of this laptop. Even with ray-tracing quality to set to the highest settings, the laptop easily offered over 60fps without any issues.
We also ran the Superposition benchmark tool. At 1080 highest graphics settings, we got an average FPS of 90, and at 1080p medium settings, we got an average FPS of 120. So, any non-ray-traced game should be able to offer at least 90fps even with the highest graphics settings without any issue.
While running the Legion 7i in the high-performance mode, I could clearly hear the fans blowing. However, I didn't notice much of a heating issue on the keyboard even with continuous gaming. Overall, the Lenovo Legion 7i can handle most modern games without any issue.
Lenovo Legion 7i: Battery Life
The Legion 7i comes with an 80WHr battery with support for fast charging 50 percent charge in 30 minutes. The laptop uses Advanced Optimus Technology which directs graphical power to the display via the dedicated or the integrated GPU. Gaming on the Legion 7i without connecting it to the charger will affect the performance. If you want to use this laptop for non-gaming tasks, try using it in quiet mode, as it can offer around three to four hours of battery life on a single charge.
If you want a laptop that can last for an entire day, then don't even consider buying a gaming laptop, as no gaming laptop even with the highest capacity battery can offer over 5 hours of battery life. Another way to improve battery life on the Legion 7i is to turn off the RGB lighting.
Considering this is a gaming laptop, I was satisfied with its battery life. As expected, it uses a proprietary charging mechanism, which is one of the downsides of this laptop.
Lenovo Legion 7i Verdict: Think Twice Before Buying
If I had reviewed this laptop in 2020, I would have told you to buy this laptop for this budget. However, with the new laptops with the next-generation CPUs and GPUs hitting the market, especially with improved performance at the same or even with a lower price, it would be difficult to recommend this laptop.
This specific laptop works well in almost every use case. However, it is outdated considering how fast the technology evolves. If you want the best display on the laptop with a great speaker setup, premium build-quality, then go for the Legion 7i.