Earlier this year, Lenovo unveiled its updated Legion lineup of laptops for gamers and content creators. We reviewed the Legion 5i a while back and it left us fairly impressed with its package. However, it was lacking in some areas and Lenovo addressed those with a no-compromise Legion 7i variant. When I mean no-compromise, there’s absolutely nothing that this laptop lacks in terms of options and features.
It starts at Rs 1,94,600 for the build-your-own model but if you want to hit the sweet spot of massive power and fairly reasonable price, you got to check out the variant that Lenovo sent me for a few weeks. With the 10th Gen Core i7 chip and an NVIDIA 2080 SUPER Max-Q GPU, it costs Rs 2,47,990. And, after spending almost three weeks with it, I can definitely say it is one of the best gaming laptops I have used this year.
Design and build
Lenovo has stuck to its industrial design theme for some years now and despite seeing practically the same aesthetics, I still find it handsome. Given that you are paying a premium for the Legion 7i, you get an all-aluminum chassis with a dark silver finish. The rear vents stick out of the back and the display hinge mounted on the deck makes for a striking design. Being premium, you also get the Legion logo with an illuminated “Y” in RGB colors. This looks exciting, especially in dark rooms.
In fact, open the lid and switch on the Legion 7i in a dark room. Your eyes will be treated to a glorious light RGB show from every corner of the laptop. The keyboard itself glows in a spiral rainbow pattern while the rear heat vents throw out RGB light shows all while you are on power Similar to several Asus ROG system, Lenovo has now adopted a lightbar design element that illuminates the edges facing you. Honestly, I haven’t seen such a beautifully lit gaming laptop this year.
The deck itself is spacious and holds a full-size keyboard with a dedicated Numpad. The trackpad size is small for a laptop of this size and I expected Lenovo to offer a larger surface area for it. The trackpad in itself is highly responsive and does all of Windows 10 gestures without an issue. That said, there’s some notable gap while the trackpad is pressed and I witness some dirt accumulation in it, which could be a cause for worry in the future.
The keyboard itself is magnificent! Magnificent in the way it handles typing and aids productivity. The TruStrike keys state key travel of 1.3mm and it certainly feels it. While dealing with my office work, which includes writing lengthy stories daily, the keyboard offered good feedback and its spacious layout minimized the typing errors. It is still not as good as the ThinkPad keyboards but I do not recall a gaming laptop keyboard that offers such nice feedback.
The other side of the deck holds a large firm hinge system that holds the lid. The display itself extends to edges on the outer sides but the button still has a very fat bezel. Not only has Lenovo squeezed a webcam on the top, but you also get a privacy shutter. For doubters like me, a privacy shutter for a webcam is always welcome while working.
Given that this is the flagship model, Lenovo hasn’t compromised on the connectivity options. You get a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, another USB 3.2 Type-C Gen 1 port, one USB 3.2 Type-C Gen 2 port, an RJ45 port, an HDMI port, and a headphone/microphone combo jack. There’s also a proprietary charging port for the Legion’s 230W charger.
The Legion 7i unit that I had comes with a 15.6-inch 1080p IPS LCD display with very narrow bezels. Given that you are paying in lakhs, Lenovo is offering its ultimate display technology on this one. The display can achieve brightness levels of up to 500 nits, has a refresh rate of 144Hz, and supports 100 percent Adobe RGB colors as well as HDR400. There’s also support for Dolby Vision and G-Sync.
In daily usage, the Legion 7i’s display seems lively with its vibrant color tones and high levels of brightness. With support for Dolby Vision, I was able to enjoy the video footage shot on the iPhone 12 without any loss in colors and quality. Whether playing games or watching movies, the experience was pleasurable. The 144Hz refresh rate made for smoother visuals while gaming. Honestly, next to this display, my work laptop’s (Dell Vostro 14) display looks dull, bland, and obsolete.
This laptop currently has some of the top specifications you can find on a mobile Windows device. The Legion 7i that I had used the 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H processor with boosted clock speeds of up to 5GHz. This was paired with 16GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM and 1TB PCIe SSD storage. For graphics, there was the NVIDIA 2080 SUPER Max-Q GPU with 8GB of memory.
This kind of setup is dreamy for gamers and content creators. I do not edit video but under some light photo editing on Photoshop, the Legion 7i handled all the loads easily than I assumed. I was happy to throw some of the latest gaming titles at it and it came out with flying colors.
I ran my favorite Codemasters F1 2020 on this laptop in Ultra graphics at the full 1080p resolution. Even after two hours of a split-screen gameplay, the laptop kept rendering the game without dropping the frame rates under 60 fps. Mafia Definitive Edition also ran at the highest graphics settings without any notable drops in frame rates under 60 fps. I tried Watch Dogs Legion at the utmost graphics settings with a ray-tracing set to max, and the performance was decent. The graphics quality was great but I occasionally saw the frame rates drop under 40 fps in crowded streets and busy parts of the world. Similarly, Assassins Creed Valhalla ran at the best graphics settings but there were occasional drops in frame rates after long hours.
While the gaming performance was great, I found the thermal performance lacking efficiency. Despite the large vents and powerful fans, HWInfo momentarily showed the Legion 7i touching higher temperatures of above 90-degrees. That said, the heat is deflected very well and none of those high temperatures are transmitted to the palm rest or the keyboard – something that not many gaming laptops are very good at. Good job Lenovo.
If you are into benchmarks, here’s a list of the scores that we got in various tests. In 3DMark Firestrike, the Legion 7i threw up a score of 18,700. In the TimeSpy test, it scored 8,440. CineBench R20 showed us scores of 3,800 on an average while the PCMark 10 test threw up a score of 5,600 on an average. Note that we took the best of three runs for each of the tests.
Wireless connectivity performance was good and I did not see any major hiccups with Wi-Fi connectivity as well as Bluetooth connectivity. The Lenovo Vantage software offers a network booster function but for some reason, I found it to reduce the network speeds while playing online games (could be an issue with the update it received after I set it up).
The stereo speaker setup on the Legion 7i is great as per laptop standards. In silent households, the volume is quite loud. The audio quality itself is nice as well, with meaty mids as well as decent amount of bass. While gaming or watching movies, I did not feel the need to plug-in my headphones or wireless speakers to amp up the audio experience.
The Legion 7i relies on an 80Wh battery and Lenovo promises up to 7.3 hours of battery life. In my usage though, I was able to max out this laptop at four hours under regular workloads. I kept the laptop in “Better Performance” mode while unplugged and worked mostly on Google Chrome with 8-9tabs opened at a time. If I had 100 percent at the start of my workday, I needed to plug-in by noon for a quick top-up from 40 percent on an average. The laptop ships with a 230W charging adapter and it took close to an hour to fill it up from the 40 percent mark.
At Rs 2,47,990, the Lenovo Legion 7i demands a premium as a laptop for gamers and content creators. It competes with the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 as well as the Dell Alienware M15, based on the costs and specifications. While the latter two have some specialties up their sleeves, the Legion 7i means business with a no-nonsense approach. The performance is great and so is the rest of the package. I personally am impressed with the display quality as well as the overall build and design, the latter imparting high durability and longevity. Also, can I say the RGB light show is lovely? You need to see it for yourself to get a better idea.
To sum it up, if you are looking for a robust high-performance laptop for gaming and content creation, I am happy to recommend the Lenovo Legion 7i.