The segment of gaming laptops is one of the most profitable among all areas of computer electronics, which naturally attracts the attention of a large number of manufacturers. Those who already had models suitable for games in their assortment, but did not single out them in separate lines, are now in a hurry to improve the situation. One by one, large companies present, in their opinion, the best solutions for mobile gaming, supplying them with various high-profile names: Predator, Dominator, Phantom, Omen, etc. In a similar way decided to go and Lenovo, which finalized the existing range of Ideapad, introduced its own series of charged laptops – Legion.
Two novelties, which laid the foundation for the series, were created on the principle of classic gaming laptops. There was not room for ultra-thin solutions, or on the contrary, bulky models with a curved screen or a mechanical keyboard.
Lenovo Legion Y720 and Legion Y520 models are medium-sized devices with a 15.6-inch display, equipped with a high-performance processor and one NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti or GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. In this review, we will talk about top-end configuration of the older model, estimated by the manufacturer in approximately 1500 dollars. It should be noted that this price is due to the presence of a system NVMe SSD for one terabyte of free space. A more balanced package with a solid-state drive for 256 gigabytes or 512 gigabytes, but without a hard drive, will cost the buyer $ 1350-1380.
The delivery kit of the laptop is slightly wider than the standard one and consists of a power supply unit, a paper instruction and an external optical Blu-Ray drive. It is difficult to say what exactly is the presence of the latter, since all the necessary software is pre-installed in the factory in advance, and the modern game and entertainment content has long been optimized for downloading via the Internet.
The power of the power supply is 170 W, which reinforces the game purpose of the laptop.
The design of the review hero did not undergo significant changes with respect to the previous Ideapad Y700 series.Such elements of exterior design as an inverse coating of the upper case cover, a red-black color scheme, plastic decorative inserts for a more aggressive design remained in place. From the new – added a corporate logo in the form of a highlighted letter Y in the center and performed several general improvements.
The external dimensions of the device are now 380x277x29 mm, and the weight of the notebook without PS is 3.2 kg.This is more than similar ASUS ROG or MSI Stealth Pro slim models, but at the same time larger dimensions should contribute to better cooling, which means to prevent potential throttling of the main components of the system.
As the materials of the case used aluminum alloy and plastic. The metal is made of the entire lower part of the laptop and the top cover. The lid is stable and does not bend when pressed in a closed state. Build quality can be described as good. We did not succeed in finding any loopholes or gaps. To complain it is possible unless on маркость front surfaces.
For the rotation of the display corresponds to a single elongated hinge, located in the central part of the body. On the practical side, this solution looks better than the hinges and should contribute to a longer service life of the device. At the same time, the beveled edges of the bottom half of the laptop and the top cover led to the formation of visual “holes” in the design, which may not taste to all users.
The angle of the display is 135 degrees. The situation with the use of a gaming laptop rarely implies the location of the device on the owner’s lap, so this value can be considered quite acceptable.
The set of available interests is extensive and contains all the ports needed to connect the gaming peripherals. On the right side of Lenovo Legion Y720 are two connectors USB 3.0 Type-A, Thunderbolt, combined with USB Type-C, HDMI and Mini DisplayPort.
On the left side is also available USB 3.0 Type-A, RJ-45 LAN connector for direct network cable connection, a combined audio port and a slot for charging the device.
A standard webcam, with a maximum resolution of 720p, mounted in the upper frame of the display border.
The ergonomic keyboard for a gaming laptop is as important as the productive hardware, because during the game the user will spend a lot of time at the computer. In this regard, the Lenovo Legion keyboard has a number of successful solutions that contribute to a comfortable gameplay. These include a separate dedicated block of arrows and extended Shift keys.
The keys of the keyboard rise slightly above the surface of the case and are characterized by a short soft stroke. I wanted to move a couple of millimeters more. The backlight is available in a single red color and can be adjusted by three levels of luminous intensity.
The power button is taken separately above a number of function keys, which can also be written in pluses. The Numpad has been redesigned and now it has several assignments for each button, which will require a certain adaptation period.
The touchpad is shifted to the left side relative to the center of the notebook and does not stand out with any features. If necessary, you can disable it through the proprietary Lenovo Nerve Sense application.
Lenovo Legion Y720 has a 15.6-inch display based on the IPS-matrix with a screen resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. Above, the matrix is covered with a qualitative semi-matte coating, which is devoid of a pronounced crystalline effect.
The brightness adjustment range is available in wide aisles from 3 to 310 cd / m². The contrast ratio averaged 830: 1.
A specific instance of the IPS panel produced by LG Electronics is characterized by a mediocre level of basic settings.The correspondence of color coverage to the sRGB space was 59.5%, the AdobeRGB standard – 41%, the color triangle is shifted towards the blue and green tones. The color temperature is overestimated by 500K relative to the reference and stable in the range from 30 to 90% of the brightness of the screen. Gamma curves are somewhat scattered and pass above the base curve, which indicates a partial decrease in the contrast of the output image.
The color deviation without additional matrix adjustment reaches 24.55 units at the peak and 6.15 units at the average value. Manual calibration allows you to correct the situation and reduce DeltaE’s deviations to a minimum of 0.62 (norm to 1.5) and 2.59 (the norm to 4) points respectively.
In itself, the presence of an IPS-panel in the gaming laptop of the middle price segment is a positive thing, even despite the flaws of its basic setting. Some manufacturers prefer to use cheaper matrices based on TN + Film technology, justifying such a step with a smaller pixel response rate. In practice, TN + Film technology should always be supported by overclocking the screen sweep frequency to 120-144 Hz and one or two high-performance graphics cards capable of stably maintaining the required level of fps. Otherwise, IPS will always be preferable. First of all, we are talking about the widest viewing angles that Lenovo Legion Y720 has 178 degrees. When the viewpoint is shifted, the picture remains bright, color burnout is not observed.
As for SHI modulation, the matrix is devoid of it or the pulse frequency is at such a high level that the camera is unable to fix it.
We did not have the opportunity to open the case of the laptop and become familiar with its internal structure, therefore, the analysis of the filling was done solely on the basis of indications of soft applications and presentation materials.
Lenovo Legion Y720 is built around a bunch of Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPUs and a discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. The system is supplemented with 16 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM, a 1GB solid state drive from Samsung, and a standard hard drive for another 1 terabyte of free space.
CPU refers to the latest generation of Intel processors – Kaby Lake. It is manufactured on a 14-nm process technology, has in its active four computing cores with a clock speed of 2800 MHz and the possibility of further automatic acceleration to 3800 MHz in Turbo Boost mode. There is support for Hyper-Threading technology.
The GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card is equipped with six gigabytes of GDDR5 video memory, which for modern games will not be superfluous. The peak frequency of the video core can reach 1671 MHz, but its exact value will depend on the efficiency of the cooling system of the laptop.
Speaking about the very CO, it consists of two radial fans, two radiators and four heat pipes, which connect the heat-distributing plates with the rest of the structure.
Interestingly, the vented part of the radiator takes about 2/3 of the height of the butt, and the remaining space is covered with a decorative plastic insert.
Complete with the Lenovo Legion Y720, as with many other branded laptops from different manufacturers, comes a set of pre-installed “software”. It’s good that the hero of the review of such software has a minimum. The main application is called Lenovo Nerve Sense and provides quick access to a short series of system settings: fixing maximum RPM fan speeds, priority of Internet processes, touchpad on / off, sound quality improvement technology.The system of acoustics, by the way, for Legion was developed with the support of the well-known in the world sound of the company JBL.
Separately, you can run the advanced settings program Lenovo Settings. Here, the most popular settings from Windows Control Panel are duplicated, but for the convenience of not very advanced users they are collected in one place and segmented in clear sections.
To assess the overall performance of the notebook, we compare the results of Lenovo Legion Y720 tests with the indicators of the dextopic system based on the Intel Core i5-4690K processor. Unfortunately, at the time of the tests, there was no desktop version of the GeForce GTX 1060, therefore, in gaming applications, the main attention was paid to testing the laptop with different graphics settings.
As you can see from the complex tests of PCMark 8, Lenovo Legion Y720 has a sufficient power reserve for any resource-intensive tasks. The advantage over Intel Core i5-4690K is more than confident and in percentage terms it reaches 12%.
Domination was also preserved in synthetic benchmarks Cinebench. Even if you omit the results of OpenGL subtests, where the discrete video card Lenovo Legion Y720 played its role, due to improvements in the microarchitecture, the product from Lenovo is able to compete on an equal footing with systems based on high-speed desktop processors from Intel of the previous generation.
A large number of processor threads are good for performing tasks such as video encoding. In the first subtest, Lenovo Legion Y720 showed a result of 62.02 fps, which is 11.77 fps more than a desktop PC. In the second subtest, the Intel Core i5-4690K processor was faster, bypassing the pursuer by 10%.
The combination of high-speed SSD, fast processor and high-frequency RAM allowed Lenovo Legion Y720 to complete our test in Adobe Photoshop with a record result. The indicator in 41.9 seconds was seven seconds faster than last year’s leader MSI GT80 2QE Titan SLI and 11 seconds better than the desktop test system.
The DDR4 memory operates at a frequency of 2400 MHz with 17-17-17-39-T2 timings. Peak reading speed was 33233 Mbytes / s, records – 35844 Mbytes / s, copying – 31622 Mbyte / s.
The disk subsystem consists of the Samsung MZVLW1T0HMLH-000L2 SS (M.2, NVMe, 1 TB) and the WDC WD10SPCX-24HWST1 hard drive (5400 rpm, SATA 6 Gb / s, 1 TB). The PCI Express connection interface allows the solid state drive to achieve phenomenal results, both in linear read / write speed and when working with small 4K blocks. HDD, in turn, demonstrates typical for its class peak performance in 119 MB / s when reading or writing information.
In real load scenarios simulated by the benchmark PCMark 8 Storage, the average speed of SSD operation was, again, a record 456.26 MB / s. The fastest Lenovo Legion Y720 was in the subtests of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and applications from the Microsoft Office suite.
In 3DMark Fire Strike GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB managed to score 11316 points in the Graphic score. For comparison, the full-fledged desktop version of GeForce GTX 1060 6GB with a standard frequency scheme in 1507-1860 / 8000 MHz gives about 13000 points. This suggests that the mobile version of the video card is weaker by about 15%, but its capacity should still be enough to comfortably play in modern demanding games.
Real tests in several popular games with different graphics settings confirm the above sounded statement only partially. With the parameters twisted at maximum parameters, the average frame rate was noticeably lower than 60 fps in three applications out of eight. Revision of settings in the direction of high / very high provides an increase in fps by an additional 8-52%.
Checking the possibilities of the cooling system passed in a room with a stable air temperature of 22 ° C. Measured as the peak values of the internal components of the device, and the heating level of its housing. The required load was provided by the AIDA64 utility.
The temperature of the external surfaces of Lenovo Legion Y720 remains slightly warm in all resource-intensive modes of loading. The hottest point (42,1 ° C) is in the location of the processor and video card. Then the temperature gradually decreases to 22-27 ° C at the place of contact with the wrist. But with the internal components of things are not so good. Monitoring clearly recorded trotting. Already after 5 minutes after the test, the temperature of the Intel Core i7-7700HQ cores reached the critical 98 ° C, so the processor began to cycle clock speed from 2700 MHz to 800 MHz.
Earlier we mentioned that in the settings of the utility Lenovo Nerve Sense you can manually increase and fix the speed of the complete fans. The noise level after such manipulations will naturally increase, but this gives the desired result. The CPU temperature decreased by more than 10 ° C, the clock slowness stopped, the manifestations of throttling were minimized.
It should be noted that no game or professional programs can replicate the load similar to the AIDA64 stress test. In real applications, even without “turbo-cooling”, the processor’s temperature does not exceed 82 ° C, and throttling is not present as such. As an example, below you can get acquainted with the screenshots made after an hour of continuous game in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
The GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card is heated between 72 ° C and 82 ° C. The maximum fan speed allows not only to lower the temperature of the graphics chip, but also provides an automatic increase in the clock frequency of the video core by an additional 50 MHz.
Testing the battery life of the laptop was held according to the updated methodology. We used the utility Battery Eater Pro v2.70 and three built-in benchmarks: maximum system load, read mode, idle mode. The role of the source file when watching the video on myself took the film Interstellar (format. Mkv, bitrate 7698 KB / s). During the passage of all tests, the Wi-Fi module was activated. The brightness of the screen was fixed at 120 cd / m².
Regular development of energy-saving technologies on the part of Intel and NVIDIA allow us to achieve acceptable battery life even when using combinations of very high-performance hardware.During watching movies, browsing the web or reading documents, Lenovo Legion Y720 is able to work from 5 to 8.5 hours. This will be enough, for example, to take the owner on a long journey. In gaming mode, the laptop will report low battery 60 Wh after only one hour of work.
Launching a series of Legion gaming notebook, Lenovo decided to follow the proven path and begin to release the balanced average person models. Lenovo Legion Y720, thanks to the Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor and graphics card GeForce GTX 1060, has sufficient headroom to play any modern games at 1080p resolution. The strengths of the laptop may include an assembly good quality, high-speed disk subsystem when working with any type of data, a large margin of battery life in a mixed load mode. With further upgrading models Lenovo engineers should think about finalizing the notebook cooling system to completely eliminate the problem of a possible throttling the main components of the system.