Lenovo Legion Y7000 Gaming Laptop Review
The Lenovo Legion Y7000
A midrange gaming laptop with a Core i7 and GTX 1060 graphics
The Lenovo Legion Y7000 (specifically we are looking at the Y7000P-1060) is a 15-inch gaming notebook with a no-frills design, 1920x1080 IPS anti-glare display, and a capable combo of 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor and discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB graphics. And while NVIDIA’s Pascal and the venerable GTX 1060 have been supplanted by Turing and the GTX 16-series, the GPU in this Legion Y7000 is still capable of offering a great 1080p gaming experience. So does the overall package present a good value in spring of 2019?
One of the most appealing aspects of generational component updates in the pre-built computer market is the potential for savings on existing systems, and the laptop market is a great place to find deals if you don’t need the latest hardware. The $1099 list pricing of this Y7000 model is likely to drop, with the laptop being offered for sale on Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Costco.com. A current example of a lower price is from Costco, which is currently selling this to members for $899, a discount of $200.
- Model: Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060 (81LF0000US)
- Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H Processor 2.2 GHz
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
- Display 15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS
- Memory: 16 GB DDR4 2666 MHz
- Storage: 1TB 7200 RPM + 256 GB SSD
- WLAN & Bluetooth: 2 x 2 WiFi 802.11 ac + Bluetooth® 4.2
- 3x USB 3.1 Type-A
- USB 3.0 Type-C
- HDMI 2.0
- Audio/Microphone Jack
- Ethernet RJ45 LAN
- Mini DisplayPort 1.4
- Audio: Harman Speakers with Dolby Audio
- Battery: 52.5 Wh, 3 Cell
- Dimensions: 361 x 266.72 x 26.9-22.6 mm / 14.21” x 10.5” x 1.06” – 0.89”
- Weight: 5.1 lbs (2.3 kg)
- Color: Iron Gray
- Materials: Aluminum Top Cover/ ABS Plastic
“The Y7000P is the latest addition to the Legion family of gaming laptops and its most affordable variant. The Y7000P can be found major retailers such as Amazon online and the shelfs of Walmart and Costco. Despite the attractive price points the system still keeps in line with the Legion new design principals of a subtler aesthetic on the
outside but still packs a performance punch under the covers.”
The Y7000 laptop has a clean, minimalist appearance with just enough of the sort of automotive-inspired look that we have seen from other laptop makers to suggest its gaming categorization. Overall the construction feels solid, though there was some flex to the lid toward the top of the LCD display (more on this in a bit). The laptop has a footprint of 14.21 x 10.5 inches, with a thickness that slopes from 1.06 inches at the rear to a low of 0.89 inches in front.
The smooth aluminum lid lends a premium look and feel, while the bottom of the machine gives us a clear indication that this is a gaming machine, with large intakes on this lower cover for a pair of cooling fans just behind the mesh, and then a pair of exhaust vents on the back of the machine. Upon opening the laptop we see that the wrist wrest features a slightly tacky rubber-like finish that is offset by the smooth trackpad, with a keyboard that is all business with a distinctly ThinkPad look.
The Y7000’s I/O is mostly on the rear of the laptop; there is just a USB 3.1 jack on right side and a second USB 3.1 along with a 3.5mm audio jack on the left side, while the back offers a standard HDMI port, mini DisplayPort, Gigabit Ethernet, another USB 3.1 port, a USB Type-C port, the power input, and a Kensington lock.
The Legion Y7000 has a straightforward internal layout with the heatpipes and fans dominating the upper half, storage and battery occupying the lower half, and RAM in the center. The cooling system is designed with dual air intakes and dual rear vents, with a pair of fairly large fans to expel warm air, positioned on opposite sides of the laptop to provide better balance and help reduce vibration.
The 52.5 Wh 3-cell battery is a large L-shaped design which leaves room to access the central SO-DIMM slots without removing anything but a small metal cover. A pair of 8GB DDR4 2666 MHz modules are installed from the factory, and 16GB is more than adequate for gaming (up to 32GB is supported). Storage is a combination of a 1TB 2.5-inch HDD which is configured as a data drive from the factory, with the OS installed on the NVMe drive occupying the adjacent M.2 slot. This SSD is a 256GB Samsung PM981 rated at sequential speeds of up to 3,000 MB/s reads and 1,300 MB/s writes.
This is quite close to a modern ThinkPad keyboard, with similar layout, key shape, and travel (1.7 mm in this implementation). Keyboard backlighting is a plus, and is of the white LED variety (no RGBs here). The feel of the shallow key presses is light, with just enough of a tactile sensation to feel good, though it does have some give toward the center of the keyboard that is particularly noticeable if you use a lot of force when typing. It does have quite a bit of the ThinkPad feel to it (speaking only of the modern, shallow-depth TP keyboard era), though the center’s softness made me feel slightly less “in control” while typing given my heavy-handed style.
I admit that I am a trackpad snob, and in spite of this my experience with this was great. The trackpad surface is fairly large and feels very smooth – an instantly noticeable contrast to the slightly tacky feel of the soft-touch wrist wrest. Tracking is met with very little resistance, taps register accurately, and overall I didn’t find myself battling the trackpad at all, which was a welcome change from most of my recent laptop experiences.
While colors were not accurate out of the box (a slightly warm temperature with a greenish hue) my overall impression of this IPS panel is a very good one. It offers excellent viewing angles, and the matte finish and reasonable brightness resulted in a good experience in a variety of lighting conditions. I was able to attain a brightness of 355 lux, which was a little better in a bright room than this number might suggest thanks to the anti-reflective screen surface. A quick calibration would take care of the color balance, and in fairness this is not being advertised as a laptop for creative professionals so a factory calibration is not expected.
Not all is rosy here, unfortunately. A concerning aspect of the design is the display housing, as the thin aluminum lid of the Y7000 allowed more flex to the LCD panel than I prefer – most notably near the upper corners. In normal use this was not an issue, but a stiffer lid would make me feel more at ease with this banging around in a bag. A dedicated laptop sleeve or compartment with adequate padding is a good idea with this laptop.
With its dedicated GeForce GTX 1060 6GB graphics and 1080p display the gaming experience with the Legion Y7000 was solid, and if you are familiar with a GTX 1060’s capabilities this provides a typical experience – when plugged in, of course. Gaming notebooks naturally have to balance performance with battery life, and this comes with a huge performance penalty when gaming on battery as the GPU will be power limited – and you will have much lower sustained clock speeds. Since the Y7000 offers an NVIDIA Optimus dual-graphics solution all non 3D-accelerated work will make use of the integrated Intel processor graphics for better battery life, with the GTX 1060 kicking in as needed.
Gaming performance with the Y7000 was very close to a desktop experience when plugged in, though it will lag a bit behind a gaming PC due to the lower GPU clock speeds. The GeForce GTX 1060 6GB in this laptop has the same 1280 CUDA cores and 6GB of GDDR5 memory as a reference desktop card, but base/boost clock speeds in the Y7000P-1060 are 1405 MHz / 1671 MHz, while a Founders Edition GTX 1060 6GB is 1506 MHz / 1709 MHz. To complicate what would otherwise be a straightforward comparison I discovered that Shadow of the Tomb Raider performed slightly better using the Y7000 compared to the last time I benchmarked this using the GTX 1060 6GB FE desktop card, but this could be due to game or driver version differences.
Cooling and Noise Levels
The Legion Y7000 offers a very good cooling system with its big heatpipes and dual fans, and as long as this is sitting on a table or desk and not your lap (it needs air from the lower vents to cool properly) thermals should not be a problem. I recorded temperatures during the benchmarking process and saw a bit of a balancing act between CPU and GPU thermals, depending on load. The cooling system encompasses both chips, so intensive CPU loads will heat up the GPU and vice versa. This also made recording idle temps a little tricky, and during my benchmarking sessions I saw a range of 42 C to 60 C CPU idle, with GPU idle ranging from 40 C – 46 C.
Load temps encountered included a high during gaming of 68 C on the GPU and 85 C on the CPU during the test. A CPU benchmark session using the latest version of Cinebench produced a high of 91 C during this stressful multi-threaded workload, but this was still within the limits of the Core i7-8750H (100 C Tjunction). As to noise levels, when the fans were needed at idle they registered at 33.5 dBA, and I had levels up to 41 dBA during gaming tests. Considering the character of the noise – a pronounced “whoosh” sound with no trace of any whine – I was very pleased with the noise overall. 41 dBA is very noticeable, but this is a gaming laptop and that just goes with the territory.
Using the Intel graphics for our venerable Wi-Fi battery test the Legion Y7000p provided 7 hours and 11 minutes of total life, which I found to be quite good considering the 180 lux brightness setting (roughly 50% max brightness in this case). Gaming will lower this tremendously, of course, and given the performance penalty I didn’t bother with any tests. As with most gaming laptops you will definitely want to leave all but casual gaming to a situation with wall power if you want the best experience.
The Legion Y7000 is an appealingly low-key approach to a gaming laptop with a businesslike design and just enough of the ThinkPad DNA to make it stand out against increasingly ostentatious designs on the market. Overall it is a bit of a mixed bag, however, beginning with the keyboard, which has a great layout and feel with just enough key travel – but is also soft toward the center and flexed under heavy-handed typing. The trackpad on the other hand is excellent, and one of the better examples I’ve ever personally used on a Windows laptop. The Y7000’s 15.6-inch IPS display offers a good mix of saturation and brightness with great viewing angles, and its anti-glare finish is a welcome alternative to glossy screens if you don’t mind the reduced contrast. But the display was not calibrated out of the box, so if you want accurate colors it will be necessary to do this yourself. Again, a mixed bag.
I enjoyed my time with the Legion Y7000 overall and the design really grew on me, and in fairness I can’t fault Lenovo too much for things like the color accuracy of the display at this ~$1000 price level. I would expect more if this was marketed at creative professionals, but it is squarely targeting gamers and to that end it really does offer a solid desktop-replacement experience at this mid-range GTX 1060/1080p level. It isn’t perfect, and I would love to see an updated version with more rigid construction for both the keyboard and the upper corners of the lid, but for a mainstream machine that we’ve now seen drop as low as $899 at places like Costco it can be an excellent value.