Lenovo Legion 7i Review – Worth The Hype?
Laptop lets find out why and see if it lives up to the hype. In this detailed review. Ive got one of the higher tier configuration options, but it is available with quite a few different specs. You can find examples and updated prices linked in the description.. The 7i has an all metal, build with slate gray finish. Overall build quality, felt nice Id say its above average, and there were no sharp corners or edges.. The 7i is listed at 2.1kg, though my configuration was closer to 2.3kg and with the 230w power brick and cables for charging were looking at 3.1kg or 6.9lb.. The size is fairly standard for a 15 gaming laptop its not too thick. Given the specs inside., I found the bezels just 7.5mm thin on the sides, though the bottom chin is larger.. The 15.6 1080p screen is available in a few different options. Ive got the middle one here: 144Hz, with 500 nit screen. Mine has G Sync, but this isnt available with all models, so youll need to double check the specs. Advanced optimus, also wasnt available with my panel Stephen from Ownordisown noted that this feature is only available with The lowest 300 nit panel option., I measured the screens average grey to grey response time at 7.6ms theres a link in the description. If you need an explanation on these numbers., When we look at how this compares against others its closer to the middle of the pack, so not super impressive, but not as bad as some others.
. The Lenovo Vantage software has an option for enabling overdrive, but I didnt find this to change the screen response time. So not sure if its a bug – or maybe it only works with certain panels. Ive tested the screen with the Spyder 5 and got 100 of sRGB 96 of NTSC 100 of AdobeRGB and 90 of DCI P3. At 100 brightness. I measured the panel at 475 nits in the center, with an 9701 contrast ratio, so very good results for a gaming, laptop. Backlight bleed was fairly minor. I wasnt able to notice the glow spots when viewing darker content, but this will vary between laptops and panels.. There was some movement when intentionally flexing the screen, but it felt quite solid due to the metal exterior.. While doing this, I noticed the machine would slide a bit on the desk the feet underneath were hard and less grippy, so its not that difficult to move it around with little effort.. The hinges are found out towards the far corners and these allow the screen to open right back by 180 degrees.. There was some keyboard flex when pushing down hard, but it mostly felt sturdy again due to the metal build., Despite the screen, bezels being quite thin. The 720p camera is above the screen in the center and it has a physically sliding privacy filter, no Windows, hello, support, though.. This is what the camera and microphone look and sound like on the Lenovo 7i heres.
What typing on the keyboard sounds like, and this is what it looks like if we shut the privacy filter.. The keyboard has bright RGB backlighting, which illuminates all keys and secondary key functions., Its controlled through the included Corsair iCUE software, and there are a number of effects and customizations that can be made., Theres, also RGB lighting that runs along the left front and right sides.. It gives a subtle, underglow effect and isnt as obvious as say, the ASUS Scar, III. Theres, more lighting from the air vents on the back and theres, also the O in the Legion logo on the lid.. All of these separate spots can be controlled together or independently. Through the iCUE software., Although you can customize it or turn it all off, it still spews RGB during boot until the software loads. I didnt find a way of stopping this and I only mention it because I had a few comments saying it was annoying.. I suppose the fix would be to implement control through the BIOS instead of software. Back to the keyboard, though, I appreciate that the arrow keys, arent small and were moved down., Sometimes the backspace key felt a little small but other than that. No issues to note. Its got 1.3mm of key travel heres. How typing sounds to give you an idea of what to expect.. There are 3 levels of key brightness which can be controlled through software or with the function plus up and down arrow keys.
. You can also quickly cycle between three different effects by pressing function and the space bar. There are far more options in software though.. The power button is above the keyboard in the center and is surrounded by what appears to be small ventilation, holes.. The light of the power button changes based on the performance mode that its currently in so you can quickly visually. Tell a nice touch.. The precision touchpad clicks down anywhere feels nice to use and works. Well. Fingerprints were difficult to see on the matte finish and as its smooth theyre easy to clean, with a microfiber cloth. On the left from the back there's, an air exhaust vent Type C, Thunderbolt 3 port with DisplayPort support, followed by USB 3.1 Gen1 Type C port. With DisplayPort 1.4 and 3.5mm audio combo jack. On the right there's, just a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type, A port and an air exhaust on this side too., The back has RGB lit air exhausts, then from left to right, a HDMI 2.0 output, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type, A Port gigabit ethernet second USB 3.1 Gen2 Type, A port, the power input and Kensington, lock slot.. As with many other Lenovo laptops. There are illuminated icons above the ports on the back, so you can easily see where to plug the cables in when in front of the machine, no need to turn it around or look over.. The front just has a small lip in the middle that sticks out.
So you can easily open it with your finger., Given we can disable optimus all external display. Outputs are connected to the Nvidia graphics.. Underneath there are air vents towards the back section above the intake fans., You need to remove 10 Phillips head screws to get inside and the 4 down the front are smaller than the rest. Inside weve got the battery down the bottom two M.2 slots above that on The left and right WiFi, 6 on the left above the storage slot and two memory slots in the middle, with a vapor chamber, cooler up the back.. Not all models have the vapor chamber cooler, though its not really specified, but I think the 6 core, CPU or 2060 GPU and below options have standard heatpipes.. The two 2 watt speakers are found down the front on the left and right sides. They sounded alright. A solid average for a gaming laptop with a little bass and remained clear enough at higher levels, though there was a little vibration in the palm rest at maximum volume., The latencymon results were looking good.. The 7i is powered by a 4 Cell 80Wh battery and theres a serious battery issue to be aware, of. By default, while just sitting there idle doing nothing. It was drawing about 50 watts from the wall in optimus mode with the RGB lighting off.. After some investigation. I found this high power draw was due to the Corsair iCUE software.. If I closed the software, the high power draw didnt change.
. If I killed the processes in task manager, the power draw would dip to 10 to 20 watts from the wall, but it would rise back up shortly after, as the processes would start back up.. In the end, I uninstalled the software to do my testing, but later found you can just disable the Corsair Service, which has the same effect and you can even still control the lighting with iCUE. Ive tested with the screen brightness at 50 background apps, disabled and all Lighting off., I was getting almost 5 hours more battery life in optimus mode, just by ensuring the corsair software wasnt running., Even running with the higher power Nvidia graphics only was doing better than optimus with iCUE., Given iCUE is installed and running by default. I think this is a pretty poor out of box experience, but as its software related in theory, they could improve it in future, updates. Lets check out thermals next. Ive updated the results from my previous thermal testing video to include undervolting, as this can be enabled by Accessing the advanced BIOS Ive got a link in the description outlining how to do this.. There are plenty of extra options for tuning power limits and more. The Lenovo Vantage software lets you select between different performance modes, which, from lowest to highest, are quiet, balanced and performance.. Unfortunately, its not possible to change fan speed manually its controlled automatically in these three modes.. You can also swap between these by pressing function and Q.
Either changes the power button light to reflect.. Although the RTX 2070 is Max Q, its using Nvidias new Dynamic Boost, which means the power limit, can boost higher depending on. If there is power available., I saw a 105 watt average in a GPU only stress test, but it will be less with the CPU active. Ive got a whole video, comparing dynamic boost on and off with the 7i coming soon so make sure youre subscribed for that. One. Thermals were tested with a 21 degree Celsius. Ambient room, temperature. Idle results are down the bottom worst case. Stress tests with the Aida64 CPU stress test, with CPU only checked and Heaven GPU benchmark, followed by gaming tests done with Watch Dogs 2.. The CPU was thermal. Throttling any time its listed at 94 degrees Celsius, so this was still happening in most cases, even with a cooling pad and undervolting.. These are the clock speeds for the same tests., Not too much difference to the GPU speeds, while CPU speeds would vary. More. As thermals are the limit. We see a boost from undervolting or using a cooling pad best case. I was at 4.0GHz over all 8 cores, but Id expect the lower 6 core i7 to hit higher speeds due to having fewer cores.. The GPU power level would vary a bit due to max q dynamic boost, while the CPU power level would just raise up. As we improve thermals, as the 94 degree default cap was being hit in my testing.
Heres, how a game actually performs with the different modes in use, so we could get more than a 5 boost with all tweaks applied and due to the high GPU power limits Observed in quiet mode, its possible to get decent gaming performance with quieter fans. Heres, how a CPU only workload performs with the different modes in use. So the undervolt was just able to boost us above 4000 points. When we look at how this compares against other laptops. Well, its the second lowest result: Ive recorded for an 8 core processor, so far, so not too impressive.. As for the external temperatures, where youll actually be putting your hands at idle in quiet mode, it was in the low 30s pretty standard., With the stress tests running it gets to the mid 40s in the center. Wasd was still cool, though., Stepping up to balanced mode, and the middle is now just a little warmer. In performance mode. Its similar, but just a little cooler – and this is due to the fans getting louder – lets – have a listen. At idle. The fans were just audible. With the stress tests running in quiet mode, its not too loud when compared to other gaming, laptops. Balanced mode was a little louder. Then the highest performance mode increased the fans more putting total system noise close to most others. I test in their maximum performance mode. Now lets check out how well this configuration of 7i performs in games and compare it with some other laptops.
Ive tested with performance mode enabled and optimus disabled for best results. In Battlefield 5 Ive got the 7i highlighted in red. Its giving a great result for a 2070 Max Q, most likely due to that higher power limit and, of course, were also seeing a boost from the ability to disable optimus too.. These are the results from Far Cry 5, with ultra settings in the built in benchmark.. The 7i is a bit higher in the stack now, which makes sense, as this test is more dependent on processor power and theres. An 8 core 16 thread chip, here. Shadow of the Tomb Raider, was also tested with the games benchmark tool, and the results were quite decent here too, with the 2070 Max Q, giving good results and hanging in there with higher tier options. Ive also tested the 7i. In 20 different games at all setting levels, you can check the card in the top right or link in the description for more benchmarks.. Now for the benchmarking tools, Ive tested, Heaven Valley and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike Timespy and Port Royal from 3DMark. Just pause: the video, if you want a detailed look at these results. Ive, used Adobe Premiere to export one of my laptop review videos at 4K and the 7i was giving one of the better results out of the machines. Ive tested completing the task in just under 10 minutes. Ive also tested Premiere, but with the Puget systems benchmark, which also accounts for things like live playback rather than just export times.
. The 7i was still doing quite well, though, is beaten by cheaper Ryzen based laptops here.. In the Adobe Photoshop test its ranked in the same position and then in the more GPU heavy DaVinci Resolve test its doing even better now. Ive also tested SPECviewperf, which tests out various professional 3D workloads. Ive used the OpenVR benchmark to test the HTC Vive, Cosmos Elite And the 7i was doing quite well only those two machines at the bottom struggle with games like half life alyx. So no issues playing VR with these specs. Ive used Crystal Disk Mark to test the 512gb NVMe M.2 SSD and the results were quite good. But this may vary between regions if different drive models are used. For updated prices check the links in the description as prices will change over time. At the time of recording in the US. The 7i seems to start for above 1500 USD for the i5 and 1660 Ti configuration so pretty expensive for that level of specs. Given we can get the same combination for 900 or so elsewhere. Youre, really paying more for the extras like metal, build, bigger battery, better screen G, Sync thunderbolt and more.. The configuration Ive tested isnt listed here, but after customizing, one to a similar spec, were looking at around 2200 USD.. Meanwhile, here in Australia, the higher spec Ive tested with were looking at over 4000 AUD.. Alright, with everything tested lets conclude by summarising the good and bad aspects of the Lenovo 7i gaming laptop to help you decide if its worthwhile.
, The vapor chamber, cooler didnt, seem that impressive granted, I do have a higher specced 7i here, but still fact is Ive had Other machines that outperform it under heavy load.. That said, though, the 7i was still doing quite nicely in games, and this would be due to the combination of Nvidias new Max Q, dynamic boost DDR4 3200 memory and option of disabling optimus.. Further tweaks, such as undervolting can be enabled through the advanced BIOS, and this is something many others dont offer, even if it isnt exactly intuitive to access. Battery life was quite good for a gaming laptop once you stop the Corsair service from running. Hopefully they update this. In the future, as its honestly, a suboptimal configuration if battery life suffers out of the box by default. Theres some confusion as the 7i is available with so many configurations. For instance, only the higher end options have the vapor chamber and not all panels offer G Sync or advanced optimus. So youve really got to pay attention to the specs youre buying to make sure youre going to get whats expected and even then in many cases their site, isnt, clear. Dont, get me wrong. I love having options. I just dont think these things are that clear. When ordering., The screen in particular, is quite impressive and would work well for someone that is a content creator and gamer as its got excellent colour, gamut and brightness, but also good refresh rate options with G Sync and ok enough response.
Time. Theres plenty of RGB, but thats obviously going to be a subjective thing, but there is a fair bit of customization available.. Overall, the 7i is quite a nice machine. The key issues were lower CPU performance due to thermal throttling when the GPU is active, but gaming performance was still good and the battery issue is easy enough to fix by manually stopping the Corsair service. But I hope Lenovo continue to improve the device and fix whatever is causing the battery to drain.. Let me know what you thought about the Lenovo Legion 7i gaming laptop down in the comments and, if youre new to the channel get subscribed for future laptop reviews and tech.