Lenovo’s Legion 7i gaming laptop (begins at $1,799; $3,269 as examined) has an actual want for velocity within the configuration we examined, producing best-in-class gaming benchmarks with its Intel Core i9 HK-series CPU and high-wattage Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080. It is also been revamped since our last review with a taller 16-inch G-Sync display and PCI Specific Gen 4 storage, and continues to impress with its top-notch construct high quality and connectivity. That mentioned, its dazzling efficiency comes with among the shortest battery life and noisiest cooling followers we have encountered in a late-model laptop computer. The Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 stays our Editors’ Selection choose for a well-rounded, high-end gaming rig, primarily for battery-life causes, but when solely the quickest will do, the Legion 7i has no equal.
Nothing However Bleeding-Edge
The Legion 7i sits above the Legion 5 Pro as Lenovo’s flagship gaming laptop computer. It will get bonus factors for providing a alternative of Intel “Tiger Lake-H” and AMD Ryzen 5000-series processors, each wonderful gaming platforms. The Intel mannequin reviewed right here has the elite eight-core, 3.3GHz (5GHz turbo) Core i9-11980HK, a 65-watt chip that runs at greater clocks than the bottom 45-watt, 2.3GHz (4.6GHz turbo) Core i7-11800H. The equal AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX can be no slouch.
Visually, the Legion 7i does not stand out till you turn it on. Vivid RGB lighting covers each edge, the keyboard, and the Legion brand on the lid. It is fairly the present, and you will be the focal point till you flip it off. Corsair’s iCUE app gives intricate lighting management, together with layered results and brightness changes, which it can save you in customizable profiles.
Lighting apart, the Legion 7i’s straight traces and all-gray shade scheme look plain subsequent to the m15 Ryzen Version R5. This may work in your favor in case you’re going locations the place a garish gaming rig won’t slot in—merely douse the lighting, and you’ve got a comparatively normal-looking laptop computer. Both method, the all-aluminum construct is first-rate. The laptop computer has an exceptionally strong really feel.
The Legion 7i is neither small nor mild at 0.92 by 14.2 by 10.2 inches (HWD) and 5.5 kilos, but it surely’s not unreasonably proportioned for a laptop computer this highly effective. Its 16:10 facet ratio show fills out its body properly, and its inward-sloped edges make it look thinner than it’s. The Alienware is equally sized (0.89 by 14 by 10.7 inches) however heavier at 5.93 kilos. The Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition is extra travel-friendly (0.67 by 14 by 9.25 inches, 4.4 kilos), but it surely has a narrower 16:9 display and is not in the identical efficiency league because the Lenovo.
The Panel: G-Sync Me Up
The Legion 7i’s 16-inch display is a serious spotlight. Its 2,560-by-1,600-pixel decision reveals 11% extra element than the 16:9 equal (2,560 by 1,440 pixels), and nearly twice that of extra widespread full HD (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) panels. Regardless of that, it is a lot much less demanding than a 4K (3,840 by 2,160) display for gaming; the RTX 3080 GPU took full benefit of the show’s 165Hz refresh rate in our esports testing. (See the efficiency outcomes a bit later on this evaluation.) The display additionally helps Nvidia G-Sync for tear-free gaming, which is tough to stay with out when you attempt it.
The image is top-notch, too. We measured 100% protection of the sRGB shade gamut and 78% of Adobe RGB and DCI-P3. Its peak brightness is an admirable 542 nits. Replete with a glare-killing floor, this display is excellent for gaming and absolutely anything else.
First-Class Enter and Output
Enter units are one thing else that the Legion 7i will get spot on. The keyboard is tactile and well-laid-out. Although the quantity pad is undersize, its format is commonplace. The correctly remoted, full-size arrow key cluster warrants further credit score as properly.
The buttonless touchpad additionally behaves properly, with an expansive floor and assertive although audible bodily clicks.
As for bodily connectivity, a lot of the Legion 7i’s ports face the rear to maintain cables out of sight. Lenovo thoughtfully positioned illuminated port labels on the rear overhang; from left to proper are Ethernet, Thunderbolt 4 (USB Sort-C), a trio of USB 3.2 Gen 1 Sort-A ports (the rightmost supplying energy for charging handheld units whereas the laptop computer’s off), and an HDMI 2.1 video output. The 300-watt energy adapter additionally connects right here.
The edges are extra sparsely populated, with only one Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) port and a headset jack on the left and one USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port on the correct. An Intel AX201 networking card gives Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.
The correct edge additionally holds a bodily webcam cutoff change that fully disconnects the digicam from the PC for extra peace of thoughts than a sliding privateness shutter would supply. The webcam itself is not something to put in writing residence about, a generic 720p unit with a semi-blurry image. It lacks infrared functionality for face recognition. Neither is there a fingerprint reader, although some biometric functionality would have been good on a laptop computer this costly.
Testing the Legion 7i: Most Efficiency, No Questions Requested
Although our Lenovo Legion 7i evaluation unit prices a lofty $3,269, the $1,799 base mannequin is already well-equipped with an eight-core Intel Core i7-11800H CPU, a 6GB GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, 16GB of reminiscence, and a 512GB solid-state drive. You will discover premium RTX 3060 gaming notebooks for much less—Finest Purchase provided the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE for $1,499 as I typed this—although laptops with higher-wattage GPUs, such because the Alienware m15 Ryzen Version R5, are likely to command as a lot because the Legion or extra.
Our evaluation mannequin is a customized configuration direct from Lenovo. It has the Core i9-11980HK CPU that I famous earlier, a 16GB GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB PCI Specific Gen 4 SSD. It runs Home windows 10 Professional and is backed by a one-year guarantee with Lenovo’s premium assist tier, Legion Final Assist. It is a number of dosh however finally inside what comparably outfitted laptops are likely to command.
The laptop computer’s GeForce RTX 3080—or quite, how Lenovo carried out it—deserves a call-out. We have seen this GPU restricted to 105 watts within the Aorus 17G YD and 125 watts within the elite Asus ROG Zephyrus S17, however the Legion 7i pushes it to 165 watts. (See our primer on why GeForce GPU wattage issues.) It is also noteworthy that this GPU has 16GB of its personal show reminiscence, not 8GB as seen in some gaming laptops.
The Legion 7i bought toasty throughout our testing; the FLIR One Pro picture beneath (taken throughout a 3DMark Time Spy stress take a look at) reveals a peak floor temperature of 116 levels F, which is a bit of too heat for consolation. The keyboard and palm relaxation stayed cool sufficient—I had no hassle conserving my palms there whereas gaming—however I discovered to keep away from touching the steel above the keyboard.
The highly effective cooling followers weren’t quiet, both. They have been simply audible throughout my front room and evoked just a few feedback from my friends. (The hiss of air going by way of the vents, not fan whine, is what makes the noise.) Thankfully, the interior elements keep cool sufficient; the RTX 3080 hovered just below 80 levels C, with the CPU within the low 80s C.
For our benchmark-test faceoffs, I in contrast the Legion 7i to 4 different gaming notebooks. The Alienware x17 is a bigger 17-inch system, however truthful recreation given our Legion’s top-shelf specs. Additionally current is the all-AMD-based MSI Delta 15. The Razer Blade 15 Superior Version is the one unit with a previous-generation “Comet Lake” CPU, although it has been up to date with “Tiger Lake-H” silicon since we examined it. (See extra about how we test laptops.)
Productiveness and Content material Creation Assessments
The Legion 7i began off sturdy in our first take a look at, UL’s PCMark 10, which simulates quite a lot of real-world productiveness and workplace workflows to measure total system efficiency and features a storage subtest for the first drive. The machine did particularly properly within the latter take a look at, because of its PCI Specific Gen 4 SSD.
Three extra benchmarks concentrate on the CPU, utilizing all accessible cores and threads, to price a PC’s suitability for processor-intensive workloads. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 makes use of that firm’s Cinema 4D engine to render a fancy scene, whereas Primate Labs’ Geekbench 5.4 Professional simulates fashionable apps starting from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine studying. Lastly, we use the open-source video transcoder HandBrake 1.4 to transform a 12-minute video clip from 4K to 1080p decision (decrease instances are higher). Let’s have a look…
Our ultimate productiveness take a look at is Puget Programs’ PugetBench for Photoshop, which makes use of the Inventive Cloud model 22 of Adobe’s well-known picture editor to price a PC’s efficiency for content material creation and multimedia purposes. It is an automatic extension that executes quite a lot of common and GPU-accelerated Photoshop duties starting from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving a picture to making use of masks, gradient fills, and filters.
As anticipated, the Legion 7i’s Core i9 CPU posted fabulous numbers and got here out on prime total. The Lenovo is as quick as you may count on any laptop computer to be in these areas.
Graphics and Gaming Assessments
For Home windows PCs, we run each artificial and real-world gaming assessments. Among the many former are two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from UL’s 3DMark, Night time Raid (extra modest, appropriate for methods with built-in graphics) and Time Spy (extra demanding, appropriate for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs). Additionally looped into that group is the cross-platform GPU benchmark GFXBench 5, which we use to gauge OpenGL efficiency.
Our real-world gaming testing depends on the built-in benchmarks of F1 2021, Murderer’s Creed Valhalla, and Rainbow Six Siege, representing simulation, open-world action-adventure, and aggressive/esports shooter video games, respectively. On laptops, we run Valhalla and Siege twice (the previous at Medium and Extremely high quality, the latter at Low and Extremely high quality), whereas F1 2021 is run as soon as on the Extremely preset and, for GeForce RTX laptops, a second time with Nvidia’s performance-boosting DLSS anti-aliasing turned on.
The Legion 7i sparred with the Alienware x17 within the artificial assessments, but it surely was merely uncatchable in real-world gaming the place its high-wattage RTX 3080 got here into its personal. Its Core i9 CPU additionally helped drive its wonderful numbers in Rainbow Six Siege.
Granted, we run our laptop computer gaming assessments at 1080p, however you may need to run them on the Legion 7i’s native 2,560-by-1,600-pixel decision for optimum sharpness. At that decision, I clocked the system at 147fps in F1 2021 (Extremely settings with DLSS), 63fps in Murderer’s Creed Valhalla (Extremely), and 213fps in Rainbow Six Siege (Extremely). It is a fluid expertise by way of and thru.
Battery and Show Assessments
PCMag assessments laptops’ battery life by taking part in a regionally saved 720p video file (the open-source Blender film Tears of Metal) with display brightness at 50% and audio quantity at 100% till the system quits. Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting are turned off throughout the take a look at.
We additionally use a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and its software program to measure a laptop computer display’s shade saturation—what share of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 shade gamuts or palettes the show can present—and its brightness in nits (candelas per sq. meter) on the display’s 50% and peak settings.
The Legion 7i has a terrific show, as I famous, particularly in the case of peak brightness. However its battery life is an enormous ouch—you may be fortunate to get by way of a streaming film. I ran the take a look at a number of instances and ensured the laptop computer was utilizing the onboard Intel GPU as a substitute of the RTX 3080, however to no avail. Gaming laptops do not final as lengthy unplugged as ultraportables, however we nonetheless count on not less than 5 – 6 hours these days.
Verdict: Extremely-Quick at an Extremely Value
The Lenovo Legion 7i blew the doorways off our gaming assessments with its high-powered Core i9 and GeForce RTX 3080. Coupled with its wonderful G-Sync display, it delivers one of many smoothest gaming experiences round.
In reality, the Legion 7i excels in nearly each space apart from its fan noise and battery life, and it is primarily the latter’s fault that our advice for a high-performance 15- to 16-inch gamer nonetheless goes to the Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5. But when peak efficiency is your calling card, the Legion 7i stands as one of many quickest rides you should purchase.