Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 7 Gaming Laptop Review: Going berserk with a hardcore machine

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Pros:
– Mind-boggling performance
– Phenomenal display with Dolby Vision
– Subtle but aggressive aesthetics
– Great selection of ports
– Small footprint considering the specifications
– Keyboard
– Loud and dynamic speakers
– Upgradability
– Pricing, compared to other similarly specced laptops

Cons:
– Battery life
– Fans can get a little loud
– CPU and GPU can get a little toasty under heavy load
– Can be a bit cumbersome to carry around

Price: Rs 3,59,990/-
Rating: 4.5/5

The Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 7, truly is an enigma. From a brand that has made a reputation for itself for making some of the best business-class laptops (also read as serious, sophisticated and tack sharp), we have a laptop that has a lot of zing, flamboyance and character.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 7 Gaming Laptop Review (1)
Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

On the surface, the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 7 seems to be a bit bulky for a laptop. However, the sheer performance that proper hardcore users will be able to extract from this laptop is truly amazing. There’s no point in beating around the bush – as far as performance is concerned, this is as near the top as it gets, without breaking the bank.

Yes, even at Rs 3,59,990, the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 7 is a bargain, considering that similarly specced laptops from other manufacturers easily charge a lakh and a half more. Some others, meanwhile, give you way less than what you pay for, while charging you a premium.

So who is the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 7 meant for? And does the fact that it is priced sensibly, mean that Lenovo has cut corners? We take a look.

Specs and features
We received the 82TD009KIN model of the Legion 7i Gen 7 as our test unit, which was equipped with an Intel Core i9-12900HX CPU. Our test unit featured a dual-channel configuration of 32GB DDR5 RAM (2x16GB), operating at a speed of 4800MHz, to complement the i9 12900HX processor.

In terms of graphics, our test unit was equipped with the laptop version of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080Ti, boasting 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM. Additionally, Intel’s UHD Graphics is also available for handling less demanding tasks.

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Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

The display on our test unit was a 16-inch QHD+ (2560X1600) IPS antiglare screen, with a refresh rate of 165Hz. Notably, this display was certified with Dolby Vision, ensuring enhanced visual quality.

In the storage department, our unit came with a 1TB M.2 PCIe Gen4 SSD. For connectivity, users had access to two Thunderbolt 4 ports, which are USB4-rated and offered a speed of 40Gbps. These ports also supported DisplayPort 1.4. Additionally, there aretwo USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, one of which supports Always On functionality. Furthermore, there was one USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, an HDMI 2.1 port, an RJ45 Ethernet port which is rated at 2.5Gbps, and a 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack.

As for wireless connectivity, we get WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 through an Intel-based Killer 1675i chip on this laptop.

The battery on our unit had a capacity of 99.99Whr, and it was accompanied by a 300W charging brick with a proprietary connector. Security features included fingerprint-based Windows Hello biometrics, while a 1080p FHD camera with an e-camera shutter was provided for video purposes.

Design and build quality
The design of the Legion 7i Gen 7 exemplifies the concept of “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” The laptop’s construction combines anodized aluminium and polycarbonate, with Lenovo referring to the colour as Storm Grey. The bottom half of the laptop, known as the chassis, features an RGB strip powered by Legion Spectrum, offering over 16 million colours and various effects. However, the overall design remains understated and simple. By turning off the RGB lighting, the laptop appears like any other device suitable for a professional corporate setting.

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Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

The presence of large vents on the sides and rear hints at the exceptional performance capabilities of this high-end laptop, surpassing typical expectations. Even the exhaust vents at the rear receive the RGB treatment.

The metallic top lid houses the display and exhibits minimal flex. It is slightly recessed from the edge of the clamshell, resulting in a noticeable rear protrusion of about an inch. The lid also features a glowing Lenovo Legion logo, enhancing the gaming aesthetics of the machine. It sits on a sturdy hinge that can be easily opened with one hand while ensuring the display remains stable without unnecessary movement. The bezels surrounding the screen are thin on the left, top, and right edges, with a slightly thicker bezel at the bottom housing the Legion logo.

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Through the Lenovo Vantage app, users can customize settings and create up to six profiles, granting control over the RGB lighting options available.

The placement of ports is well-considered and user-friendly. The right edge accommodates an audio combo jack and a USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port. New to the Gen 7 model is the webcam cutoff switch, which proves more effective than a simple privacy shutter by physically disconnecting the webcam from the laptop.

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Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

On the rear, you’ll find additional connectivity options, including Ethernet, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, HDMI 2.1 video output, and two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports. The rightmost USB-A port supports device charging even when the laptop is turned off.

The Legion 7i Gen 7 is built like a tank, evident from its weight of over 2.5 kilograms. While the weight may initially seem like a drawback, considering the laptop’s specifications and the necessary cooling system inside, the weight becomes more understandable and less cumbersome.

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Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard on the Legion 7i Gen 7, while slightly shallow, provides a comfortable and enjoyable typing experience. The keycaps are well-sized and spaced, even with the inclusion of a numeric keypad. The key switches offer a snappy feel, and deliver a satisfying tactile feedback while preventing accidental keystrokes. 

Each key features RGB backlighting and supports 100 per cent anti-ghosting. Additionally, the WASD keys are equipped with force sensors, making them ideal for gaming. The package also includes four extra switchable keycaps.

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Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

Although it may not be the absolute best laptop keyboard available, it certainly ranks among the top options. It offers a comfortable and pleasant typing experience even during long periods of use.

Despite being a gaming laptop, the Legion 7i Gen 7 features a decently sized trackpad. Positioned towards the left side to accommodate typing, this layout creates extra space on the right. The trackpad is accurate and easy to use, providing excellent tracking and sensitivity. It is suitable for daily tasks, although gamers may prefer to use an external mouse, making any minor trackpad issues less significant.

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Webcam and speakers
The webcam is housed on the top bezel of the display, which is actually very thin. We get a 1080p FHD webcam, with a dedicated kill switch for security and privacy. As a result, you don’t need a physical shutter to cover the lens. 

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The image and the video that you get from the camera is more than good to get the basic job done, but if you are planning on streaming while you game, you will want to invest in something else. It gets the colours right and works well in some challenging situations. It will do just fine for most of your video conferencing needs.

You also get Tobii Horizon Technology which brings in-game camera control via user head movements for a seamless expansion of the field of view.

The speakers, again, are great. You get two stereo 2W speakers at the bottom, which have good depth, great bass, decent treble and do hit the midranges pretty well. All in all, they are balanced really well. They also get pretty loud without any distortion. You can easily fill up a room without having to raise the volume beyond 70 per cent. 

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Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

However, due to how they’re placed on the flat underbelly, you’ll need to be careful not to cover and muffle them when not using the laptop on a desk.

You also get the Nahimic app which has sound presets and a graphic equalizer.

Display
The unit we tested featured a 16-inch QHD+ (2560X1600) IPS anti-glare screen with a refresh rate of 165Hz. Although the refresh rate may not be exceptionally high, the QHD+ resolution compensates for it. The display has a 16:10 aspect ratio, which results in black bands on the content. As for the hinge, it has a one that opens up to 180 degrees.

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Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

The display is Dolby Vision certified, bringing colours to life and offering HDR 400 support. It covers 100% of the sRGB colour space and features Nvidia G-Sync to eliminate frame tearing. Additionally, it has an anti-glare surface to reduce reflections. With excellent brightness and colour reproduction, this display appears to have everything one could desire.

With a peak brightness of 500 nits, the colours are vibrant and the contrast is impressive for an IPS display. Content consumption is a delight, and games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider truly come to life.

The display’s exceptional colour accuracy makes it well-suited for photo editing and colour grading tasks.

The Legion 7i also offers MUX support, specifically in the Hybrid – Advanced Optimus modes.

Performance: Productivity and Gaming
The Legion 7i Gen 7 is equipped with the powerful Intel i9 12900HX CPU, which can boost up to 5 GHz and features 16 cores and 24 threads. Among these cores, 8 are high-performance cores, while the remaining 8 are efficiency cores.

For the GPU, the laptop is equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080Ti, a high-end graphics card with 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM and a TDP of 175W. This configuration allows the GPU to perform at its full potential, delivering excellent graphics capabilities.

The overall performance of the Legion 7i Gen 7 is remarkable. The i9 12900HX CPU excels in all benchmark tests, showcasing its superiority in both single-threaded and multithreaded workloads. Thanks to Intel’s hybrid architecture, it achieves some of the highest scores across various benchmarks.

Similarly, the GPU performs exceptionally well, outperforming synthetic benchmarks. With a TDP of 175W, Lenovo has provided ample power for the RTX 3080Ti to deliver impressive graphics performance. Both the i9 12900HX CPU and the RTX 3080Ti are effectively powered.

To maintain optimal performance, the Legion 7i Gen 7 incorporates Lenovo’s advanced cooling solution called Legion Coldfront 4.0. It features a vapour chamber for improved heat dissipation. The cooling system includes a 20 per cent more powerful fan system with thinner liquid crystal polymer blades, ensuring quiet operation. Additionally, the laptop’s design includes multiple intake holes and ports to enhance airflow and optimize cooling.

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The Legion 7i Gen 7 effectively manages its heat during intensive workloads and demanding games. While it may get warm towards the top near the power button, the keyboard area, where users typically place their fingers, remains relatively cool.

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While benchmark numbers don’t always reflect real-life performance, the Legion 7i Gen 7 excels in most benchmarks, as demonstrated by the chart. The gaming performance is equally impressive, showcasing the capabilities of the i9-12900HX CPU and RTX 3080Ti GPU.

In 3DMark’s Time Spy test, we got a score of 11,852. On Cinebench R23, we had a single-core score of 1,926 and a multicore score of 12,469. PCMark10’s overall score was 8,150. In Crossmark, we had an Overall score of 2,072, a Productivity score of 1,920, Creativity score of 2,360 and a Responsiveness score of 1,901.

During testing, games like Shadow of The Tomb Raider, Far Cry 6, Far Cry 5, GTA V, Valorant, and Metro Exodus were played at the highest presets, with a resolution of 2650X1600, ray tracing turned off, and DLSS set to its highest setting. The Performance mode in Lenovo Vantage was used for all tests. We also ran the gaming benchmark at 1080p.

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In 2.5K we were averaging 115 fps in Shadow of The Tomb Raider, 87 fps in Far Cry 6, 133 fps in Far Cry 5, 85 fps in GTA V, 285 fps in Valorant, and 80 fps in Metro Exodus. 

In 1080p we were averaging 138 fps in Shadow of The Tomb Raider, 120 fps in Far Cry 6, 162 fps in Far Cry 5, 162 fps in GTA V, 378 fps in Valorant, and 98 fps in Metro Exodus. 

Battery
The Legion 7i Gen 7 comes with one of the largest batteries to be ever fitted to a laptop. It has a 4-cell, 99.99W/hr battery, and a 300W charging brick. However, given its bulk, size and performance, and the fact that this is a hardcore gaming laptop with a performance that you wouldn’t find on most desktops, the GT77 Titan has a very mediocre battery life for a laptop.

On an average day of work, which consisted of a ton of writing, some photo editing, and quite a bit of content consumption on YouTube and Netflix, we got about 5 hours of usage at about 65 per cent screen brightness. 

During our extended battery testing, where we play a 4K Video on YouTube on 75 per cent brightness and 50 per cent volume, with all RGB lights on, the Legion 7i Gen 7 lasted just under 2 hours. As wit all the serious, hardcore gaming laptops that we have tried, battery life isn’t a strong suit for the Legion 7i Gen 7. 

Verdict
The Legion 7i Gen 7 is a pricey laptop that is not within reach for many individuals. Additionally, the machine’s high-performance capabilities are only necessary for specific use cases, which means that not everyone requires such tremendous processing power.

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Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

So, who is the target audience for the Legion 7i Gen 7? We believe it caters to high-performing content creators, gamers, ML engineers, architects, and game developers who are frequently on the go and need a laptop capable of competing with high-end desktop computers. 

We can confidently state that the Legion 7i Gen 7 surpasses the power of most desktop computers in India, including some of the best-dedicated gaming desktops. Additionally, the presence of an impressive display is an added bonus.

Certainly, there are a few drawbacks, but they are almost inconsequential and minimal. The laptop tends to generate some heat, particularly when placed flatly. Additionally, the battery life could have been improved, and the Lenovo Vantage app could benefit from better design and a user-friendliness approach.

However, once you experience the incredible combination of the i9-12900HX processor and the RTX 3080Ti graphics card, working together seamlessly, the minor flaws of the Legion 7i Gen 7 fade away. If you seek uncompromised and unparalleled performance and have the means to invest Rs 3.5 Lakhs in a laptop, look no further. Plus, with the Intel 13th Gen CPUs and RTX 4000 series GPUs becoming more common, you can easily expect the price to go down a little.

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