Lenovo Legion 7 15IMHG05 review

Lenovo Legion 7 review (15IMHG05)

Regular visitors to this site might have noticed that it’s been a bit light on the latest Lenovo Legion laptops. While we’ve been assured that the latest and greatest are on their way, we thought we’d take a look at the last generation (10th Gen Intel) with RTX 2000 graphics to create a baseline. This is the 15.6-inch, Lenovo Legion 7 (15IMHG05) with 10th Gen. Intel graphics. Heck, if it’s any good you could pick one up for a bargain price.

Key specs of the Lenovo Legion 7 (15IMHG05)

15.6-inch, matte, 144Hz, 1920 x 1080 LCD display; 2.3-5.1GHz Intel Core i7-10875H CPU; 16GB RAM; 475GB NVMe HDD; Nvidia RTX 2070; 80Wh battery; 2.25KG. SKU: 15IMHG05, Full specs here.

Design and Handling

Many online communities have been raving about Lenovo Legion laptops and for good reason. The Legion 7 has a very solid, matte, aluminium, “Slate Grey” chassis with some sumptuous design flourishes. These include an edgy, corner-mounted Lenovo logo and a glossy Legion moniker opposite it… with an RGB Legion logo in the middle of the ‘O.’ Inside, the keyboard seems to default to a fluctuating rainbow RGB mode and this is complemented by a long, down-lighting strip that runs along the front and round the sides.

Lenovo Legion 7 15IMHG05 elevated
Lotsalights on the Lenovo Legion 7 15IMHG05.

If you turn the lighting off it instantly transforms from a resplendent, show-stealing machine, that will turn heads at LAN parties, into a sleek, Aston Martin-like device that will easily fit into a stuffy boardroom, à la James Bond.

It can hide in a stuffy boardroom.

The bezel around the Lenovo Legion 7’s screen is generally thin. At the top there’s an HD webcam with privacy shutter and array microphone. The screen itself has a Full HD resolution and 144Hz refresh rate. Fast moving objects are rendered smoothly enough for shoot’em up players and racers not to have many gripes. Colours are decent and transitions in gradients offered only modest stepping. Monochromatic gradients could quickly devolve into blocky, artefacty messes though. Contrast was generally good with the bright screen illuminating detail in shadows without washing out colours. Some detail can get lost in highlights, though.

The keyboard looks amazing with its colours and lozenge-shaped keys. Interestingly, while Lenovo used to sport the most comfortable keyboards around (think ThinkPad) this one is actually a little stiff. It’s accurate and has full-sized arrow keys (yay!) and there’s even a slightly-squashed number pad, but extensive typing does make one’s fingers a bit weary. The trackpad is smooth and the integrated buttons are accurate, albeit a bit clicky.

The keyboard can look fabulous. But those keys are a little stiff.

The Lenovo Legion 7’s dual, two-Watt speakers are very impressive for a 15-inch laptop. They deliver loud(ish), well-rounded audio with decent bass, good vocal fidelity and good treble response. Wow!

Performance of the 15IMHG05

Although the CPU is a last-generation, 10th Gen. Intel component, it’s not slow. The Lenovo Legion 7’s (15IMHG05) octa-core, Hyperthreaded, Core i7-10875H processor runs from 2.3 to 5.1GHz (in Turbo mode). There’s 16GB of PC3200-DDR4 RAM but the NVMe drive offers only 475GB of formatted space in Windows 11. That will fill up quickly on a gaming laptop.

In PCMark 10 it scored a decent 5841 which is good, but noticeably behind 11th Gen processors and those from AMD. It performed OK when it came to rendering our Cinebench tests, scoring 1690 in the R15 drag-race and 9909 in the lengthier R23 test. These are average scores… for a high performance laptop.

The last-gen Nvidia RTX 2070 graphics struggled somewhat but they’re not completely without performance. In 3DMark Time Spy it managed 7694 which is an average of 46fps. In Fire Strike Extreme it managed 8882 (average 40fps) while in the Port Royal ray-tracing test it struggled a bit, scoring 4387 (20.3fps average). We actually used it to play the latest Far Cry 6 game and were pleased to find that it did so, at Ultra settings, without any slow downs. That’s widely regarded as the toughest game on the market right now, so it’s good to know this Lenovo Legion 7 can still keep up.

It’s worth noting that when you engage the Lenovo Legion 7’s Performance mode, that the fans ramp up to a constant, low whoosh that’s not quiet. While It’s not unobtrusive, thermal throttling is mercifully at a minimum. But the noise is constant and might be a bit loud for some people.

Connectivity of the 15IMHG05

On the left of the 15IMHG05 is a 3.5mm audio jack, a USB-C 3.2 Gen.1 port which supports DP 1.4 and a USB-C 3.2 Gen.2 port which supports ThunderBolt 3.
On the right of the Lenovo Legion 7 15IMHG05 is a solitary USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port.
At the rear are two USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0 and the power connector.

Portability

At 2.25KG and 2cm thick, the Lenovo Legion 7 is reasonably thin and not too bulky to lug around. The aluminium chassis is very sturdy and stiff although the lid is a bit thin and can flex a bit if a lateral force is applied – try not to bash it.

Butter wouldn’t melt in its mouth.

The 80Whr battery enabled it to run PCMark 10’s Modern Office test for a modest 4hrs 47mins. That’s not great but average for a high performance laptop.

The hefty power brick adds an extra 830g to the weight.

Should you buy the 10th Generation Lenovo Legion 7 15IMHg05?

The first thing to note is that, as an older model, it’s near impossible to find this laptop on sale ‘new’ anymore. However, it has been updated and we’ll be reviewing its successors soon – they’ve already been making waves in the high performance laptop community. We’re looking forward to reviewing these refreshed models as this is generally a very well built high performance laptop that looks great and works well and reliably. Watch this space.

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