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Lenovo Legion 7 Review: For uncompromised gaming

Lenovo Legion 7 is currently one of the most capable gaming laptops based on AMD Ryzen power you can buy today. Here’s our full review on this machine.
By AMRITANSHU MUKHERJEE
Updated on Dec 12 2021, 08:24 PM IST
Lenovo Legion 7 review: You get an AMD Ryzen 9 5900H running the show along with a NVIDIA RTX 3080 GPU. (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
Lenovo Legion 7 review: You get an AMD Ryzen 9 5900H running the show along with a NVIDIA RTX 3080 GPU. (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
Rating
4 out of 5
Price
INR 239,990/-
Product Name
Legion 7
Brand Name
Lenovo
Pros
  • Gaming performance
  • Nice display
  • Lots of ports
Cons
  • Ageing design
  • Battery life
Specifications
  • Processor
    AMD Ryzen 9 5900H
  • RAM
    32GB DDR4
  • Display
    16-inch QHD+ IPS LCD 165Hz
  • Battery
    80Whr
  • OS
    Windows 11
  • Storage
    1TB NVMe SSD

Lenovo had the gaming community’s attention in 2021 with the Legion 5 Pro and Legion 7. We tested the Legion 5 Pro and were left highly impressed with its capabilities as a hardcore gaming laptop. Hence, with the Lenovo Legion 7, our expectations have been only higher, given its maxed-out spec sheet and an eye-watering price tag. And you know what? It has kept me hooked.

Costing 2,39,990, the Legion 7 compared with the Dell Alienware m15, HP Omen 16, Asus ROG Strix, and other top-end gaming laptops. Instead of the Intel 11th Gen chips, Lenovo is using a powerful AMD Ryzen 9 5900H, which is no slouch by any means. Paired to the rest of the package, this looks like the perfect package for gamers and creators alike. But is it?

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To find out, I have based my daily work and play on a Lenovo Legion 7 review sample for two weeks. Read on to find out whether this is still the gaming laptop you should get if your budget allows.

Lenovo Legion 7 Design

Lenovo Legion 7
Lenovo Legion 7

Lenovo has not changed the basic design and structure of the Legion laptops over the last few years. It is both good and bad: good in the sense that this is a rugged and practical design that simply works for gamers; bad in a way that it looks old. Even with its fancy RGB lighting around the edges and slim bezels, the Legion 7 does not look as exciting as a Alienware m15, or an ROG Strix Scar. What’s worrying is that someone with a Legion 5i has the same design as your more expensive Legion 7. I think Lenovo should bring a change with the design and looks of the entire Legion lineup.

Nonetheless, for what’s what, the Legion 7 is a solidly built gaming laptop. A simple understated lid design, a neatly laid out keyboard deck that lights you up with its beautiful RGB light show, and the cleverly placed I/O ports – I can see content creators and gamers being happy with the ergonomics of this machine. I am a fan of those muscular air vents adorning the sides and the light coming out of them. It weighs 2.4 kilos but considering what it packs inside, I have no complaints here.

Lenovo Legion 7
Lenovo Legion 7

Since we touched ports, here’s the list of all the ports you get with this laptop. There’s a USB Type-C (USB 3.28 Gen 2, DisplayPort 1.4), another USB Type-C (USB 3.28 Gen 1), 3 x USB Type-A 3.28 Gen 1 (1 x Always-On 5V), 1 x USB Type-C (USB 3.28 Gen 2, DisplayPort 1.4, Power Delivery), 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x RJ45 Ethernet, a headphone jack, and a proprietary charging port. There is also a physical shutter key for the webcam.

Lenovo Legion 7 Display

The Legion 7 features a 16-inch IPS display with a pixel resolution of 2560 x 1600. In layman’s English, this means that it is a big display that looks plenty sharp, especially while gaming. The unique aspect ratio 16:10 is a bit unusual while gaming, given that most games are still built for the 16:9 aspect ratio in mind. However, once you adjust the settings accordingly, that extra space surely helps with the immersions. 

Lenovo Legion 7
Lenovo Legion 7

Paired to the 165Hz of refresh rate and NVIDIA’s G-Sync at play, it makes for a very smooth and seamless viewing experience. The narrow bezels are helpful in cutting down the distraction while the vivid colour reproduction makes games look stunning; Forza Horizon 5 and Battlefield 2042 look amazing, although not as much as on the display of the Dell XPS 17.

Lenovo Legion 7 Performance

A top-tier laptop like the Legion 7 has is bound to offer the best of gaming experiences you can expect from a laptop. The unit which I had at my disposal had the Ryzen 9 5900H processor, a 165W TDP NVIDIA RTX 3080 GPU with 16GB of VRAM, 32GB dual-channel DDR4 RAM, and NVMe SSD storage of 1TB. Although it launched with Windows 10, my unit gave me a prompt to download Windows 11 right out of the box. Neat.

Lenovo Legion 7
Lenovo Legion 7

With such insane levels of hardware underneath, the Legion 7 has devoured anything I have thrown at it. Be it Forza Horizon 5 or Battlefield 2042, the Legion 7 kept its cool and kept performing as expected. I was able to play Forza Horizon 5 at Ultra settings at QHD+ resolution with an average frame rate 50-60 fps for 3 hours straight on weekends. The laptop went wild with its fan speed to keep it cool but I did not see a drop in frame rates, or unusual stutters.

A buggy and unoptimized Battlefield 2042 also ran at maxed-out settings on QHD+ resolution, although I witnessed occasional frame drops in busier areas. Codemaster’s F1 2021 ran the Ultra settings with ray tracing enabled to High, returning 50-60 fps with ease. Dropping the resolution to 1080p boosted the frame rates.

Lenovo Legion 7
Lenovo Legion 7

Lenovo’s vantage software helps keep an eye on the thermals and provides granular controls over the fan speeds as well as overall performance output. The app even lets you enable Rapid Charge and auto-bootup while opening the lid.

When not gaming, the Legion 7 has more power than what one usually needs. Windows 11 has been a breeze on the Legion 7, with smooth animations and quick loading times. On the busiest of days when Google Chrome had to deal with 11-12 tabs, Photoshop running in the background, and Steam downloading updates for Forza Horizon 5, the Legion 7 did not show signs of struggle. With such firepower underneath, you cannot expect any less.

Lenovo Legion 7
Lenovo Legion 7

As a portable desktop, the Legion 7 works nicely. Lenovo makes some of the nicest laptop keyboards and the one on the Legion 7 has is comfortable to type on. The keys have sufficient travel with adequate feedback and spacing. While gaming, the layout seems comfortable, especially with the arrow keys protruding out of the keyboard’s usual confines. The trackpad is fine but I would have preferred a larger one.

I wish the Legion 7 had some nice speakers onboard for a chunky gaming laptop. The current ones are fine; they get loud and there’s some decent midrange performance. However, they lack any sort of bass and detailing. For better results, you need to have an external speaker or a pair of gaming headphones. The microphone system is impressive and did not disappoint during online meetings.

Lenovo Legion 7 Battery life

Lenovo Legion 7
Lenovo Legion 7

With an 80Whr battery life, Lenovo claims it offers great stamina considering the internal power-hungry specs. On battery power, I was able to do my office work and had to plug the charger after 3-3.5 hours, when Windows 11 threw alerts of low battery under 10 percent. Gaming on battery power can last at most an hour, although the performance is affected. Lenovo bundles a 300W slim charger in the box that can top up the battery 1.5 hours with Rapid charging turned on. There’s support for USB-PD charging as well, something I found comfy while taking my work to the bed during the cold days.

Lenovo Legion 7 Verdict

Lenovo Legion 7
Lenovo Legion 7

The Lenovo Legion 7 is mighty to play on by all means. For 2.4 lakh, you are getting some serious power here, which is great if you want a machine to play the latest AAA titles at the highest of settings without compromising on resolution and frame rates. Paired with the practical ergonomics and a good keyboard, the Legion 7 also works as a great desktop replacement for power users. And that RGB lightshow does liven up the mood.

That said, the Legion 7 could have done with better speakers. And since you are paying a fortune, there’s no shame in asking for a fancy design that stands out from another cheaper Lenovo Legion variant costing less than 70,000. A similarly priced Alienware or HP Omen machine looks ungodly in comparison, the Legion 7 pales out.

On the whole, the Lenovo Legion 7 is offering a lot of specs and a superb performance for the price it sells. If you are looking for a super powerful portable desktop replacement, or just a beastly gaming laptop, we recommend checking out the Legion 7.

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First Published Date: 11 Dec, 08:40 AM IST
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