Gaming laptops can be a hit or miss when it comes to pricing for the specs that you’re getting on the laptop. Sure, you could get something on the higher end of a gaming laptop, but you might as well sell your soul plus fork out $2,000+ for getting the best of the best when within the next two or three years the computer will be obsolete. It’s the same with lower end specs too. You could be looking for something that’ll let you play games at a decent framerate but still hand over your soul for a lower end model. Not all gaming laptops are created equal, especially with pricing, but Lenovo has made these years Y series gaming laptop at an affordable price with some great specs. Our Lenovo Legion Y720 review finds out if the pricing matches the specs and performance you’re getting from one of the latest gaming laptops from the company.
- OS: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
- Display: 15.6″ UHD (3840 x 2160) LED Backlit IPS Glossy with integrated camera
- CPU: 7th gen Intel Core i7-7700 @2.80GHz
- GPU: Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5
- Storage: 1TB 5400RPM HDD & 128GB PCIe SSD
- RAM: 16GB DDR4 2400MHz
- Connectivity: x 1 WiFi 802.11 ac + Bluetooth® 4.1 Combo / 10/100/100M Gigabit
- x3 USB 3.0
- x1 Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
- x1 Mini DisplayPort
- x1 HDMI
- Audio/microphone 3.5mm jack
- x1 Ethernet RJ45
- X1 Integrated receiver for Xbox controller
- Audio: 2 x 2 JBL speakers & 3W subwoofer with Dolby Atmos
- Battery Life: 4Cell 60 WHr Li-Polymer Battery, up to 5 hours
- Dimensions: 380 x 277 x 29 mm
- Weight: 7.05lbs
- VR capabilities
What’s in the box
- Lenovo Legion Y720 Gaming Laptop
- Power adapter
- Power cord
With a similar design to the Lenovo Y700 gaming laptop, the Y720 adds to last year’s Lenovo gaming laptop lineup and makes it an even better gaming machine. The top of the laptop has a brushed aluminum cross-hatched finish which reminds me more of a carbon fiber finish. While that would have been more awesome, the aluminum finish may be easier on gamers who may have a tendency of dropping their laptops. The Y logo sits in the center of the top of the lid and lights up red while the laptop is powered on with a Lenovo wordmark in the top right. The bottom of the unit has the same exact aluminum finish giving it an all-around beautiful design.
Continuing on with the bottom portion, you’ll see plenty of air vents to let all that heat exit while playing heavy games. The backside of the laptop contains two more air vents on each side. I’ll explain later on in the Performance section why there are so many vents.
Flip the Lenovo Legion Y720 open and you’ll be introduced to the 15.6″ UHD display, a webcam with a mic next to it, and Lenovo’s logo in the bottom left. Moving downward, the screen is held on by a smaller single middle hinge, unlike most other laptops. From there, red speaker grills are above the RGB backlit keyboard on either side with the power button leaning towards the right side of the center of the laptop. Speaking of the keyboard, each key is evenly spaced out making typing or in this case, playing games, easier with less travel between each key that needs to be pressed. You don’t have to put too much pressure on the keys to get them to bring up a letter or number. The trackpad is the same way as the keys, travel was easy and light pressing selects whatever you’re trying to select.
As for ports and other accessories on the laptop, the Legion Y720 is equipped with a USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3, Mini DisplayPort, two (2) USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI port on the right-side. The left-side has a Kensington Lock, power port, RJ-45, another USB 3.0 port, and a headphone jack (at least laptops are getting it right).
Lenovo offers two different display options with the 15.6″ screened Y720: an FHD (1080 x 1920) or UHD (3840 x 2160) display. The review unit sent to us was a UHD model and was it wonderful to look at when playing games or watching 4K videos. Brightness levels are good at just about any setting I put them at. Viewing angles were also good up until the screen became less visible, but no one is going to be viewing their screen at such an angle.
The screen has a semi-matte screen protector type film on it and while it’s not to my fancy, it does add a nice touch to the laptop so there wasn’t a lot of glare while you’re playing games indoors or outdoors.
Windows 10 64-bit comes pre-installed on the Lenovo Y720 and it runs smoothly like Windows 10 should on any laptop. Per usual, Windows 10 comes with its own perks of being able to share your gaming content with the Windows Game Bar or NVIDIA GeForce Experience due to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 video card on board. There isn’t much bloatware on here other than a few pre-installed games here and there along with some pre-installed Lenovo applications. That seems to be normal for Lenovo these days, to have minimal installed apps to keep users from having to uninstall programs they know they don’t need.
One Lenovo program that’s already installed, and you will need to keep especially if you’re going to mess with the RGB keyboard, is Lenovo Nerve Sense. This program has features that will allow you to customize the RGB keyboard as well as to seeing what specs the computer has to being able to turn on/off the fan with a shortcut of your choice. All features are listed below.
- System Specifications – A quick glance at overall system CPU, memory, GPU, and storage specs.
- Light Shift – Customize and adjust RGB keyboard lighting effects.
- Extreme Cooling – This setting ramps up the fans to keep the system cool and performance optimal.
- Network Priority – Adjust network speed priority for games and applications.
- Prevent Mistaken Input – This feature turns off the Windows Key and touchpad to prevent accidental pressing of those items during gameplay.
Inside the Y720 you’ll find an Intel Core i7 SoC clocking in at 2.80GHz with 16GB RAM. That itself will tell you this laptop has plenty of power behind it. Lenovo has also added in an Nvidia GTX 1060 (6GB) graphics card to this already powerful gaming laptop. Sure, the GTX 1060 isn’t going to show off like the GTX 1070/1080, but it still works out for those who aren’t particularly looking for top of the line graphics on a budget. Boot and load times were fast thanks to the 1TB HDD and 128GB PCIe SSD, so you won’t have any trouble in that department.
At first, when I started out playing Overwatch, I changed the settings for the screen to 1080p, high graphics settings in game and went from there. A few matches of Escort, Mayhem, and Quick Play were awesome, the game kept a great frame during gameplay at 92fps max and 72fps at its lowest. After those matches, the frame rate just dropped and wouldn’t go past 20fps. I didn’t know why so I shut the computer down and left it alone for the rest of the day. The next day, I changed the settings to max on everything, screen, epic settings in Overwatch and started playing a few game modes. Each match played at 60fps and never dipped lower than that. I’m not sure what happened the day before, but every time I play Overwatch, frame rates now stay at 60fps.
Trying out a different game, I choose to play CS:GO and the frame rate stayed at a constant 30-33fps with the settings set to the highest setting. There was no lag unless it was dealing with someone else’s connection. The guns shot as smooth as they can get, switching weapons didn’t show any sort of hiccup, and movements were fine.
Lenovo went full out on getting some great sounding speakers in the Y720 by adding in two 2W JBL speakers and a 3W subwoofer with Dolby Atmos. You can either use headphones to enhance the full effect of surround sound or use the onboard speakers and still get some pretty good sound. The bass, treble, and mids sound great with and without headphones and there was no distortion or muffled sound when using the speakers on the laptop at any volume.
Like just about any other laptop camera, you’re looking at a 720p camera resolution. Photos tend to come out with a lot of noise in it, even in a well-lit area but it’ll make do if anyone is going to use the camera every once in a while. If you plan on using the camera for streaming, then you’ll do just fine when it comes to others seeing you clearly. I was streaming a game and I was told people could see me just fine even with messing around with the settings for the streaming program I was using.
Battery life on gaming laptops aren’t necessarily the best before you need to recharge, but Lenovo claims you can get up to 5 hours of battery life with the 4Cell 60WHr Li-ion battery. During my first test, I barely even got 2 hours and that was letting the laptop fully charge before using it. After charging it up again and testing out the battery life, I was able to get well past 2 hours of gameplay. Since gaming laptops use a lot of battery power, users will leave it plugged into the charger at all times, so if you’re without a charger at the time, just know you’ll be getting up to five hours of use and not necessarily play time.
As most of you know, gaming laptops aren’t particularly cheap. You can find some entry level ones for an affordable price like the Lenovo Y520, but if you’re looking for a high-end model you know you’ll be paying a lot more. That’s sort of the case with the Y720. You’re paying more for what you get, but it’s still at an affordable price. What I mean by that is, you’re looking at higher-end specs with a mid-tier pricing and you definitely can’t go wrong with that. I’ve said this before about the GTX 1060, it’s not the most powerful graphics card out there, but it gets the job done. That itself is more than enough to buy this gaming laptop at $1099.99 from Lenovo.
For the specs and price you’re getting in the Y720, it’s hard to pass up. This gaming laptop was able to keep up with the games I played, so I don’t foresee anyone else having issues depending on what games you play.