Lenovo’s Legion 7 promises to enable unlimited gaming fun with a fast AMD Ryzen 5800H and an Nvidia Geforce RTX 3070. But does the claim stand up to reality? And how much compromise does the heavyweight gaming ship demand in everyday life?
WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING: THE LEGION 7 IS HARMLESS
The high performance of gaming notebooks is often optically celebrated with lush cases and angular decorations at just about every point. Lenovo , on the other hand, relies on understatement with the Legion 7; a look at the screen and buttons does not indicate the category. In terms of color, the mouse-gray case is more reminiscent of a business notebook. The angular cut, the small rump behind the display hinge, and the not exaggeratedly thick plastic attachments on the side air inlets are reminiscences of the usual design language.
NOT A LIGHTWEIGHT – BUT NOT A CHUNK EITHER
Anyone looking for a notebook that is as light and slim as possible is generally wrong with gaming laptops. But they are no longer colossi that can only be moved with a hand truck. At 2.5 kg, the Legion 7 is not a heavy chunk, especially since it is equipped with a 16-inch display. The footprint is also almost compact at 35.6 x 26.1 cm. Only the height of 2.3 cm stands out a bit.
The whole thing is processed very neatly. The outer shell promises longevity even with increased travel activity. The hinge ensures that the screen is in a good position. Even strong bumps won’t get it out of position. The display lid also makes a good impression. It can neither be pushed through nor twisted.
DISPLAY: WHAT BOTHERS YOU WHEN YOU PLAY GAMES, YOU LIKE WHEN YOU WORK
Most gamers rely on a dedicated gaming monitor when playing, but the Legion 7’s display is not a stopgap solution: The IPS panel with a maximum resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 pixels offers very good color rendering, decent black, and high contrasts. With a frame rate of 165 MHz, it is also able to cope with fast titles, although real shooter fans would want a little more.
The screen is pleasantly large with a diagonal of 16 inches. However, some gamers are annoyed by the aspect ratio of 16:10, as the screen content allows a little more height. When playing – racing games and shooters, for example – breadth becomes more important. When working, on the other hand, the screen can inspire a little more.
THE FASTEST RYZEN 7 COMBINED WITH AN RTX 3070
The version of the Legion 7 provided by Lenovo for the test was equipped with AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800H, the fastest of the Ryzen 7-5000 series. The processor has eight CPU cores that process up to 16 threads in parallel. They go to work with a base clock of 3.2 GHz and, if necessary, can go up to 4.4 GHz. This can also be seen in the power consumption, which is already 45 watts for this chip. The power pack is also supported at work by a generously sized 32 GB RAM in DDR4-3200 format.
For the graphics card, Lenovo relies on the Geforce RTX 3070, which is in second place in the current Nvidia range for notebooks in terms of performance. In test programs, it outperforms integrated solutions by up to ten times.
Nothing stands in the way of demanding games, but the limits are still visible: If you want to use the maximum resolution of the display, you have to live with a lower frame rate for demanding games. In Call of Duty, this is 2,560 x 1,600 pixels at around 110 Hz. In Full HD, up to 180 MHz is possible.
FAST DATA STORAGE
Current titles can get very large. The Call of Duty mentioned above takes up almost 200 GB of the SSD, so a storage size of less than one terabyte doesn’t actually make any sense. Lenovo sees it that way too. The storage drive from SK Hynix is also appealing in terms of its speeds. Data is read sequentially at almost 3600 MB / s, while writing is possible at up to 3300 MB / s.
GOOD KEYBOARD, BUT ONLY FOR GAMERS TO A LIMITED EXTENT
A notebook for gaming is not only a compromise in terms of performance. The input devices also have to be compromised: While a touch display can almost be expected in office notebooks in this price range, the Legion 7 screen remains lifeless here. The touchpad moved to the left is beyond any doubt. The 12 x 7.5 cm glass surface flatters the fingers, the responsiveness is as it should be. However, gamers will not be able to get around a mouse because the options are often too limited.
Even the keyboard called TrueStrike with “innovative soft landing switches” will not knock gamers off their feet. The pressure point is pleasant, but the key drop is not exactly generous. Prolific writers get their money’s worth, whoever is used to mechanical key switches does not feel at home.
EVEN LAN IS ON BOARD
Screen, headset, mouse, and keyboard. These four peripherals are almost a must for gaming systems, and the Legion 7 is no exception. At least it can be connected without any problems. There are six USB ports in the housing, three of which have a USB Type-C interface. They all correspond to the 3.2 standards.
The classic sockets are based on the first generation, the compact type C plug-in units on the second. This also supports Thunderbolt 4 and DisplayPort 1.4. An additional monitor can also be connected via HDMI 2.1. The jack for the headset is of course also available.
Network interfaces are particularly important in gaming notebooks so that nothing stands in the way of gaming with others. Lenovo not only installs a classic (gigabit) LAN socket, but also a Killer 1650-ax WLAN module that not only supports WLAN 6 , but also ensures higher data throughputs thanks to its 2 × 2 MIMO antenna setup. Bluetooth 5.2 is used for wireless connection of peripherals.
LARGE BATTERIES QUICKLY REACH THEIR LIMITS
A notebook should actually be able to use power cables while on the move. Gaming laptops are not naturally predestined for this type of operation. This can already be seen in the processor with a power consumption of 45 W and in the thick 300 W power supply unit, which seems to underline the system’s hunger for energy.
Although the manufacturer relies on a very large energy storage device with an 80 Wh model, it can no longer work miracles here either. For example, the energy level is indicated in the browser at 60 percent after one hour , while in the racing game Asphalt 9, which is not overly demanding, the reserves are consumed in 59 minutes.
The Lenovo Legion 7 shows why gaming on a notebook is still subject to compromises. The hardware performance when gaming at the highest level reaches its limits, if you want to let off steam in 4K at a frame rate of 300 Hz, you should look more at desktop PCs. The bottom line, however, is that the performance is high and smooth gaming in 2K is not a problem.
The power pack is also convincing. The case is robust and not overly bloated despite the fast hardware, on the contrary. Basically, Lenovo strives for a slim cut.
Last but not least, thanks to the display in 16:10 format, productive users who need more performance than classic office notebooks can feel addressed. Because if the colorful lamps are switched off, the visual staging is no longer far removed from the world of work. The bottom line is that the Legion 7 turns out to be an all-rounder for performance-hungry users.