[Review] Classy and Powerful: The Lenovo Legion 7i
After reviewing the Lenovo Legion 5 a couple months ago, we've finally gotten our hands on its older (not literally) sibling, the Legion 7i.
As denoted by the 'i' suffix, this model packs an Intel processor. If you're unfamiliar with Lenovo's updated naming conventions, the 3 series are entry-level laptops, the 5 series are mainstream tier laptops, and the 7 series are the cream of the crop.
The Legion 5 struck gold for me in many aspects, so I'm pretty excited to review the souped up version of it. Without further ado, let's go!
A more premium finish
Instead of the mixture of plastics used for the Legion 5, the Legion 7i boasts a metal body which definitely feels much more premium. Though some people may prefer the velvety texture of soft-touch plastic, I personally prefer smooth metal as it tends to withstand Malaysian weather and humidity better in the long run.
Another prominent addition was the generous smattering of RGB lighting found all over the laptop. The Legion logo on the front now boasts soft illumination, while the back vents and front rim are also lined with bright RGB lighting. The keyboard also now features it by default, instead of via an upgrade options like the Legion 5 - the RGB lighting even spills over into the ports and glows gently if you look closely enough.
Same features we love
Apart from the added burst of RGB, the Legion 7i echoes many of the design choices I loved on the Legion 5. The back-facing I/O ports are as welcome as ever, with the HDMI, Ethernet, power, and 2 USB ports tucked neatly away from wandering hands. The symbols denoting each port are facing up and illuminated for easy identification.
The sides are relatively neat, with half of each side covered by vents, plus 1 USB port on the right, and 2 USB-C ports on the left, one of which is Thunderbolt 3 compatible.
The lid can be easily lifted with one hand thanks to a slightly protruding notch on the top, under which the webcam is placed. If you're the paranoid type who's afraid of hackers or the FBI catching you in uncompromising positions, the webcam comes with a built-in privacy shutter.
Build-wise, it's still not as solid as we expected despite the metal build. Pushing down on the keyboard deck and touch pad still elicits a pretty deep flex, but not to the extent that you'll feel that it'll break easily.
Bright and responsive display
For the Legion 7i, the display comes in multiple options. You can choose from the following:
144Hz, 100% sRGB, 300 nits
144Hz, 100% Adobe RGB, 500 nits
240Hz, 100% sRGB, 500 nits
From the base model, you can upgrade to an 100% Adobe RGB screen with 500 nits brightness for RM240. Add on another RM120, and you'll get a buttery smooth screen perfect for gaming.
Once again, the screen is capable of folding flat, so if you find a need for that, it is possible.
It does have a little bit of flex, but otherwise it was an extremely pleasant viewing experience overall - colours were bright and vibrant, and the high refresh rate resulted in smooth gameplay that just felt super satisfying.
A better experience with TrueStrike
In my review for the Legion 5, I mentioned that I did not appreciate the TrueStrike keyboard at all. I found it mushy and caused a high error rate. Well, either that review unit was a lemon or my typing style has changed drastically since then, cause I had absolutely no issue with the keyboard on the Legion 7i. Although the keys still boasted a soft landing, it still felt solid enough when bottoming out, unlike the Legion 5 unit I reviewed. This made typing both satisfying and comfortable.
The RGB lighting was also well implemented - it was evenly lit and allowed for pretty extensive customisation. I'm also a big fan of the choice of font - simple ones have always appealed to me much more than thick and edgy 'gamer-like' fonts.
As with the Legion 5, the Legion 7i also boasts a full numpad as well as full-sized arrow keys, which I appreciate. The power button is also located separately from the keyboard, so there is no chance that you'll put your laptop to sleep by accident.
On top of the power button is an LED indicator to show which mode you're in - blue for Quiet, white for Balanced, and red for Performance.
Great performance, average battery life
Speaking of performance, out unit comes with an Intel Core i7-10750H processor, RTX 2070 Super Max-Q graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage.
Unsurprisingly, with such a kit, it excelled in both synthetic and gaming benchmarks.
At max settings for Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Far Cry New Dawn, the Legion 7i was unfazed, hitting an average of nearly 100 fps for both. For the less optimised AC Odyssey, it still struggled a little, managing on 51 fps on average - but that's on Ultra High settings; lowering it will definitely improve performance.
One great thing I'd like to point out is that this thing has great transfer speeds - the 1TB SSD was blazingly fast with over 3,000MB/s read and write speeds.
And again, it seems that Lenovo's Coldfront 3.0 cooling system did is job, keeping the laptop within a comfortable temperature even while gaming. The palm and finger areas were kept cool, and the toastiest bits were well away from skin contact.
Battery-wise, it was just so-so, ekeing out around 1.5 hours while gaming, and 4-5 hours of general usage.
Buy or no buy?
The Lenovo Legion 7i is a tastefully designed gaming laptop that would easily fit into a professional setting. Performance-wise, it certainly lives up to the specs it boasts, though battery life was pretty average. Overall, it has intelligently designed features, a great keyboard and screen, and beautiful RGB implementation.
You can easily upgrade the display, storage, and memory capacity by selecting the 'Build Your Own' option on Lenovo's website, offering even more flexibility to suit individual needs.
Prices begin from RM7,699. For more information, you may visit the official product page here.