Lenovo Legion 7 gaming laptop review: A smash hit

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(Pocket-lint) - The Lenovo Legion 7 is simply a slayer gaming laptop. It uses lone the champion components, including up to a almighty Ryzen 9 CPU and Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics card, and squeezes unthinkable show from the latter. 

It's a 'no cuts' benignant of laptop. That means you get an (almost) all-metal casing, precocious refresh complaint screen, and neat touches similar a textured solid touchpad, customisable lighting, and adjacent speakers with a spoonful of bass. 

We'll chopped to the chase: the Lenovo Legion 7 is great. However, we bash deliberation the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is the saccharine spot for astir buyers, particularly erstwhile the top-end Legion 7 is conscionable truthful pricey - astatine good implicit 2 expansive - but if you've got heavy pockets and privation amended than large past it's a dependable option. 

Design

  • Dimensions: 23.5 x 356 x 261mm / Weight: 2.5kgs
  • Storm Grey finish
  • iCue RGB lighting

The Lenovo Legion 7 is simply a gaming laptop chameleon. One infinitesimal it tin travel crossed arsenic a sensible workstation. There's nary elephantine light-up insignia connected the back. The grey metallic of the lid and keyboard situation are unassuming. Even the sensible font utilized connected the keys volition assistance debar the rolled eyes of flatmates and co-workers. 

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However, property a fastener and the league centre becomes a wedding reception. The Lenovo Legion 7 has per-key keyboard lighting and a portion of LEDs that runs crossed the sides of the laptop, including the chunky vigor vents. 

You tin take from a full stack of colours and animations utilizing a preinstalled app, and programme your own. We recovered this portion of the Lenovo Legion 7 a spot unintuitive, but it is astatine slightest casual capable to get the LEDs to show a consistent, azygous colour. 

The look is much customisable than adjacent the Legion 5 Pro offers. The 7 tin truthful go adjacent much of a wallflower, and clasp the RGB-lit benignant of gaming hardware successful a mode the step-down alternate conscionable can't.

However, the Lenovo Legion 7 is simply a dense laptop, not the benignant of machine we'd privation to transportation astir each time successful a rucksack. However, the footprint is manageable. Just look astatine the screen: determination are nary large borders connected immoderate side. And portion the backmost extends a spot acknowledgment to further vigor sinks and vents, there's nary mode we'd take to region these.  

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Its plan is much flexible is different sense, though: the Legion 7's show tin fold backmost to 180 degrees, nary the constricted 130-odd degrees inactive communal among gaming laptops. We're not definite this is simply a must-have diagnostic successful a gaming laptop, mind, but it whitethorn beryllium useful if you're much funny successful thing you tin usage successful enactment meetings too, wherever sharing what's on-screen (in person, not implicit Twitch) whitethorn beryllium essential. 

Screen

  • 16-inch IPS display, 2560 x 1600 resolution
  • 500-nit brightness
  • Nvidia G-Sync

The Lenovo Legion 7 seems to person the aforesaid surface we rated truthful highly successful the Legion 5 Pro. It is not, arsenic you mightiness person guessed from the name, a 17-inch sheet though. This is simply a 16-inch laptop, with a 165Hz refresh complaint LCD panel.

It's a people enactment successful astir respects, but its brightness stands retired the most. This happening goes up to 500 nits. That is frankly overmuch much than you'd privation successful a dimly lit room, but is cleanable if you privation a punchy looking representation without drafting the curtains. 

Colour is beardown too, and that precocious refresh complaint is an indispensable portion of making the astir of the almighty hardware on-board. It tin correctly show framework rates of up to 165fps, wherever the mean laptop surface inactive taps retired beyond 60fps. 

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There's 1 flimsy issue: achromatic levels. This sheet seems designed for precocious highest brightness implicit an ultra-deep achromatic floor, and we find its raised blacks somewhat noticeable successful a darker room. You tin besides intelligibly spot the backlight shining done erstwhile you look astatine the Lenovo Legion 7 show from a terrible angle. 

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While this isn't a large contented successful practice, due to the fact that you're apt to presumption the happening dead-on 95 per cent of the time, it's a reminder that the laptop surface of our dreams is inactive an OLED oregon a Mini-LED, arsenic seen successful the latest iPad Pro 12.9. However, determination are inactive highly uncommon successful laptops. Trusty aged modular LCD is inactive the evident prime if you privation a precocious refresh complaint panel, and this 1 much than does the occupation good successful 2021. 

The Lenovo Legion 7 besides supports precocious dynamic scope (HDR), via the VESA400 standard. However, contempt the decent highest brightness you're conscionable not going to get superb HDR images from a surface with a somewhat elevated achromatic floor. Again, immoderate discourse is needed here. No gaming laptop has a surface peculiarly well-suited to HDR astatine the moment, and the “VESA DisplayHDR 400” modular is simply a bottom-rung HDR modular anyway. 

Keyboard and touchpad

  • Corsair iCUE RGB keyboard
  • Textured solid touchpad
  • Full NUM pad

The Lenovo Legion 7 has a crisp keyboard with a NUM pad to the side. It offers bully feedback and a accelerated feel, but we can't assistance but announcement it is simply a small shallow compared to immoderate of the different top-end gaming laptops. That includes the Legion 5 Pro, which has overmuch deeper keys. We similar the cheaper exemplary for typing and, possibly to a lesser extent, playing games. So if this cardinal trimming was indispensable to shave a fewer millimetres disconnected the lawsuit thickness, we don't deliberation it was worthy it. 

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However, it does person the per-key lighting strategy you miss retired connected successful the Legion 5 Pro. The bundle it uses is mode much progressive than the mean too. We're inactive learning however it afloat works, but the on/off keyboard shortcut doesn't conscionable crook lighting connected oregon off, but shifts done a bid of presets. 

This makes creating and utilizing wildly antithetic settings for games and apps little clunky. You tin bash the accustomed RGB chaotic stuff, similar having a lighting effects that respond to dependable playing, and person airy rings that dispersed retired from pressed keys similar h2o rippling distant from a droplet successful a inactive pond. 

The Lenovo Legion 7 mostly has a large keyboard, we conscionable privation the enactment were a spot deeper. 

There's a overmuch little arguable upgrade to the touchpad. The Legion 7 has a textured solid pad, which feels overmuch smoother than the Legion 5 Pro's integrative one. This is simply a important payment for enactment use, but we would ever take to usage a plug-in rodent for gaming.

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And not conscionable due to the fact that astir gamers deliberation touchpads are universally atrocious for play. The Lenovo Legion 7's pad is substantially offset to the near of the situation due to the fact that of the NUM pad, and it puts your arms successful a overmuch little comfy position. We'd besides suggest modifying the pad's behaviour successful Windows 10 to debar accidental 'right button' presses, if you're not accustomed to 1 of these leftwards-nudged pads. 

Performance

  • AMD Ryzen 7 5800H, 16GB RAM
  • Nvidia RTX 3080 (160W)

The Lenovo Legion 7 is simply a superb performer - and not conscionable due to the fact that it has top-quality hardware inside. But let's commencement with the roll-call. 

You get an Nvidia RTX 3080 GPU, a Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, 16GB RAM, and a 1TB NVMe SSD. This is akin to what you get successful the Legion 5 Pro, barroom that all-important bump up from a RTX 3070 graphics card.

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When we saw this happening had an RTX 3080, we were astir a small worried. This is an highly almighty graphics card, and the Lenovo Legion 7 truly isn't each that heavy by design. Could it truly support up without lowering the GPU's powerfulness oregon making the laptop's metallic framework uncomfortably hot?

The real-world acquisition is astir bafflingly good. Not lone tin the Legion 7 provender the graphics paper 160W of power, maxing retired the imaginable of this laptop variant, we are earnestly impressed by however small instrumentality sound it generates nether pressure. 

The Lenovo Legion 7 lone creates a fraction of the sound of the slimmer Acer Triton 300 SE, for example. And that is erstwhile utilizing the Legion's 'Performance' illustration that enables the fans spell chaotic successful bid to tease the astir frames per 2nd imaginable retired of your games. 

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Whatever instrumentality strategy Lenovo uses here, it works. Putting a manus to the outlets you tin consciousness a steadfast travel of lukewarm air, portion avoiding distracting higher-pitch sound oregon rotations-per-minute yo-yo'ing that besides draws your attraction to the fans. It seems to beryllium a amended instrumentality strategy than the Legion 5 Pro's - and that 1 impressed america too. 

The Lenovo Legion 7 is simply a gaming laptop that tin play beauteous overmuch anything, astatine its autochthonal 1600p solution - if with a small assistance from performance-boosting features similar DLSS. It has a large graphics card, and a large implementation of that paper from Lenovo. The institution truly has nailed these latest Legion laptops. 

However, you should carnivore successful caput the summation successful show implicit laptops 1 measurement down is reasonably expensive. You're looking astatine a 15-20 per cent boost successful framework rates implicit the Nvidia RTX 3070, which is disposable successful overmuch cheaper laptops similar - you already cognize what's coming - the Legion 5 Pro. 

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There is different upgrade here, though. The Lenovo Legion 7 has speakers with astatine slightest a hint of bass. Some overmuch thinner manner laptops inactive person acold amended speakers than those seen here, but the Legion 7's stay a chopped supra the gaming laptop average. 

We bash find the country close successful beforehand of your face/head sounds rather empty, though. It's arsenic if the dependable tract is lacking a cardinal transmission due to the fact that the talker array is much acrophobic with pushing audio retired to the close and near extremes to marque it look wider and much immersive. You tin tweak this a spot with the Lenovo Legion 7's Nahimic dependable processing software, but it seems to beryllium a cardinal portion of the talker arrangement, with nary of the dependable coming up done the keyboard. 

Battery beingness and connections

  • 80Whr artillery - up to 8-hour artillery life
  • 300W 'slim' powerfulness adapter

The Lenovo Legion 7 has an 80Wh battery. While this is simply a higher capableness than galore ultra-portable laptops that request to past a agelong time, we're inactive a mode disconnected the 99Wh utilized by companies that privation to max-out artillery size (anything much and you wouldn't beryllium allowed to instrumentality specified a instrumentality onto an aircraft). 

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According to our investigating you should not expect the Legion 7 to past much than 5 hours. It was astir dormant connected that duration erstwhile playing a video watercourse successful its artillery saver mode. This is simply a mode beneath Lenovo's 8 hr claim.  

Battery beingness conscionable isn't a apical information of the Lenovo Legion 7. But show is. Which besides means the Lenovo Legion 7 needs a hefty powerfulness brick, further adding to the value if you program connected taking this laptop anywhere. Granted, it's reasonably slim 'brick', but weighs an further 866g. 

Even the Lenovo's connections layout is designed for a semi-permanent desktop-style setup. Most of the connectors are arranged on the back, and their icons airy up truthful you won't needfully request to crook the laptop astir erstwhile trying to plug thing in. Neat. 

A full-size HDMI 2.1 connector, Ethernet port, a USB-C, and 3 USB-As are lined up on the rear, alongside the powerfulness connector. Only 1 USB-C larboard sits connected each side, and there's a headphone jack connected the right. This layout is intended to fto you support your workspace bully 'n' tidy. 

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None of the USB-Cs are Thunderbolt 4 connectors. You tin get this modular successful the Legion 7i, the Intel version, but erstwhile it costs adjacent much wealth with the top-end Intel Core i9 CPU, we deliberation this AMD variant is the amended buy. 

Verdict

The Lenovo Legion 7 is an fantabulous gaming laptop that combines powerfulness with versatility. It has a highly customisable LED airy array, but looks sensible erstwhile you power the flashy nonsense off. And its 180-degree tilting surface whitethorn besides beryllium utile successful a enactment setting. 

What impressed america astir was however Lenovo has maxed-out the show of the Nvidia RTX 3080 successful specified a assured and effortless way. We expected the Legion 7 to get louder, and considering it has a metallic ammunition not hugely heavy for this class, vigor absorption is sound.

For sheer bang for your buck, the Legion 5 Pro with RTX 3070 graphics is astir apt a amended buy. Its speakers are worse and the integrative touchpad isn't arsenic slick arsenic the Legion 7's solid one. But we similar its deeper keyboard.

However, if you'll admit the ways Lenovo has added touches that cater for gaming enhancement and you request the powerfulness of the RTX 3080, the Legion 7 is simply a smash hit.

Also consider

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Asus ROG Zephyrus M16

Asus' Zephyrus is selling for akin cash. However, it's astir 600g lighter and immoderate volition similar its much MacBook-like layout. There's nary NUM pad, truthful the super-large touchpad tin beryllium centrally - a presumption we overmuch prefer.

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Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

The step-down Legion volition beryllium a much sensible bargain for many. It cuts retired immoderate of the glossy bits - similar attention-grabbing RGB lighting and the solid touchpad - and has a weaker RTX 3070 graphics card. However, it costs mode little and inactive has the aforesaid super-bright QHD solution surface utilized successful the Legion 7. 

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Writing by Mike Lowe. Originally published connected 27 August 2021.

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