Lenovo’s gaming division might be under a new brand, but that doesn’t mean its core mission has changed. Whether it’s an IdeaPad or the newly rebranded Legion, Lenovo is focused on offering appealing mid-tier gaming laptops. The Lenovo Legion Y720 proves no different packing an Intel Core i7 CPU and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU for less than $1,500.
Lenovo Legion Y720 Build and Design
While the Lenovo Legion Y270 is under the new Legion brand the laptop still carries its Ideapad lineage on its sleeve. This is most evident with the cross-stitch pattern on the black hard metal display lid. Unfortunately, this is one aspect that NBR wished Lenovo would have left in the past. The shiny metal casing features black on black Lenovo lettering on the top left portion of the lid and the company’s new Legion Y logo in the center. The Y is comprised of this ribbed metal that doesn’t really pop, and the black on black lettering is difficult to make out. Worst of all the reflective surface is easily prone to fingerprint streaking. Even after cleaning the device I would find new fingerprint marks within minutes of handling the device.
Luckily things look a lot better when you open the laptop. The 15.6-inch display sits on a single center display hinge that sort of makes it looks like the edges of the screen floating in mid air. Underneath that are two red grill speakers that contrast nicely against the black soft-touch deck. The bezels are a bit thick on the display but other than that the inside of the device looks great, and the soft touch material provides a comfortable wrist rest for long gaming sessions.
Measuring 15 x 10.9 x 1.1-inches and weighing 6.8 pounds the Lenovo Legion Y720 isn’t exactly portable. The laptop is far heavier than most competing devices such as the MSI PE60 Prestige, which only weighs 5.4 pounds. That extra girth does seem to provide a bit of durability though. The Legion Y720 feels incredibly durable with its thick metal frame that holds up extremely well under pressure.
Lenovo Legion Y720 Ports
As you’d expect from a gaming laptop the Lenovo Legion Y720 has an extensive array of connectivity options. The left side of the device features a Kensington lock slot, a power connector, an Ethernet jack, a USB 3.0 port, and a headphone/microphone combo jack. The right side houses an HDMI connector, two USB 3.0 ports, a mini DisplayPort, and a Thunderbolt 3 port. The Lenovo Legion Y720 also offers Xbox One Wireless controller support right out of the box. So if you prefer having a controller in hand instead of using a mouse and keyboard and you’ll be able to play with an Xbox One controller with no adapter or wires needed.
Lenovo Legion Y720 Keyboard and Touchpad
The Lenovo Legion Y720 features a black Chiclet style keyboard with LED back lighting. The 15.6-inch gaming rig offers large keys with ample surface area and spacing makes it easy to quickly and accurately strike the key that you want. The only design choice that is a bit interesting is the decision to make the number pad smaller to fit it over the arrow keys. However, considering that’s how Lenovo was able to fit these large keys on this device, NBR thinks it was a wise choice.
Key travel is somewhat mediocre at about 1.5mm. There’s enough room to get the sensation that you’re striking down each key as you hit it, but it pales in comparison to a to a full-sized external keyboard. Luckily the keyboard offers solid consistent feedback that makes it possible to strike keys in quick succession without missing a beat.
Located below the spacebar is a moderately sized touchpad. The buttonless rubber pad is soft to the touch, allowing for frictionless travel and added sensitivity. The quick speed at which the cursor travels makes it great for browsing and scrolling on web pages. Equipped with Synaptics drivers the pad performs excellently, accurately responding to swipes, clicks, and multi-finger gestures without fail.
Lenovo Legion Y720 Screen and Speakers
The Lenovo Legion Y720 features a 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS display. The display isn’t the brightest at only 220 nits. Luckily the panel still performs well in direct light thanks to the anti-glare surface. Images will hold up well past 90 degrees without any color loss. However, there is a trade-off, colors aren’t nearly as deep or rich as they would be on a glossy display.
The display is serviceable, but it does feel like you’re missing out a bit. Bright colors, in particular, feel a bit off. When playing a few matches of Overwatch the vibrant bubbly color palette that the game is known for seemed a bit dull. Now in terms of actual performance, the Legion Y720 is fine. Images are crisp and clean, it just all feels a bit flat.
It’s worth noting that Lenovo does offer a UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution IPS glossy panel for a $200 premium (currently listed for a $100 premium) on Lenovo’s website. Unfortunately, NBR didn’t get the chance to test out the higher res panel first hand, but the glossy screen could be the answer to one of this machine’s biggest weak points and may be worth considering.
Where the visuals may lag behind a bit the audio of the Lenovo Legion Y720 is rather robust. The speakers pack a serious punch and are easily capable of filling a modest size room with audio. Better yet the quality is near pristine capturing both highs and lows without fail. The Legion Y720 does a masterful job capturing in game sound effects as you can feel the roar of an explosion or gunshot.
Lenovo Legion Y720 Performance
Equipped with a 2.8GHz seventh generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of DDR5, 16GB of RAM, a 128GB NVMe PCIe SSD, and a 1TB HDD the Lenovo Legion Y720 packs quite a punch for its relatively affordable (at least in the world of gaming laptops) $1,350 price tag.
Lenovo doesn’t offer a whole lot of variety when it comes to specs. The base model is equipped with a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5-7300HQ CPU, with 8GB of RAM, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, and a 1TB HDD. Lenovo offers the most customization options when it comes to the hard drive configurations, maxing out at a 1TB PCIe SSD for an additional $500. Upgrading to a larger SSD will let you store all of your games and programs on it, netting you a nice performance boost, but it’s likely not worth the added cost. In NBR’s opinion, the unit that we tested provides a nice middle ground between performance and price. At $1,350 the Legion is a solid value, but once that machine begins to near that $2,000 mark some of its flaws become less acceptable.
As evident by the strong benchmarks scores the Lenovo Legion Y720 is a beast. The seventh gen i7 makes quick work of most productivity apps and with ample ram to back it up the machine is great at multitasking. While testing the device NBR was able to run 16 active Google Chrome tabs with two HD streams playing and the background all while streaming music on Spotify without any drop in performance.
Of course, the crown jewel of this machine is its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060. The powerful dedicated GPU performs really well with graphically demanding tasks, that means you’ll be able to edit 4K videos and play most games on high settings. The laptop is also capable of playing VR games too if you’re interested, but it’s on the lower end for machines capable of this. Meaning that you’ll have to turn down and adjust your settings with more graphically demanding titles to get the best performance.
The Lenovo Legion Y720 review unit that we tested had the following specifications:
- Windows 10
- 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS display
- Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU 2.8GHz
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB of DDR5)
- 16GB of DDR4
- 128GB NVMe PCIe SSD
- 1TB HDD
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Dimensions: 15 x 10.9 x 1.1-inches
- Weight: 6.83 pounds
- Starting Price: $1,350
Lenovo Legion Y720 Benchmarks
PCMark8 Home (Accelerated) measures overall system performance in Windows 8 for general activities from web browsing and video streaming to typing documents and playing games (higher scores mean better performance):
PCMark8 Work (Accelerated) measures overall system performance in Windows 8 for work-related productivity tasks (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark Fire Strike measures the overall gaming performance of the GPU (higher scores mean better performance):
CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test (C Drive Left, D Drive Right):
Lenovo Legion Y720 Battery Life
Even with its bulky frame, the heart of a travel-friendly laptop resides inside the Lenovo Legion Y720. The laptop impressed with decent battery life, running for 4 hours and 13 minutes before shutting down in our PCMark 8 Battery benchmark. Considering that our tests are a bit more strenuous than real life use users can expect to get upwards of six and half hours under normal use. It may not be matching the battery life of ultrabooks, but that’s extremely good for a gaming laptop with dedicated graphics.
Lenovo Legion Y720 Conclusion
The Lenovo Legion Y720 is a solid machine, but it does have a few warts. The gaming laptop has a sturdy durable build, but it’s far heavier than most of its competitors, and the reflective shiny display lid mars the overall aesthetic. While the machine offers excellent audio, the dim and flat display detracts from your media viewing experience. However, even with those issues, the Lenovo Legion Y720 is a solid offer. Armed with an Intel Core i7, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, and a 128GB PCIe SSD the Legion offers some competitive specs without breaking the bank.
- Amazing robust audio
- Solid battery life
- Decent Performance
- Shiny display lid (fingerprints)
- Bulky Design
- Dim display