Lenovo’s flagship gaming laptops always do very well so we were hoping for great things from the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i. Will it be our new Number 1 Best Laptop?
Table of Contents
|Screen||16-inch, matte, 240Hz, 2,560 x 1,600, IPS display|
|Processor||3.9-5.4GHz Intel Core i9-13900HX CPU|
|Memory||32GB DDR5-5600 RAM|
|Graphics||12GB Nvidia RTX 4080 GPU|
|Hard Drive||1TB PCIe NVMe|
1 x Thunderbolt 4
1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
4 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1 x Gigabit Ethernet port
1 x HDMI 2.1
1 x 3.5mm audio
|Extra Security||E-camera shutter|
|Dimensions||360 x 260 x 28mm|
Features, Ergonomics and Design
The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i conforms to Lenovo’s design ethos of being an epic gaming laptop that could just as easily fit into a stuffy corporate office. Its ‘Onyx Grey’ grey chassis looks classy with nice, unassuming Lenovo and Legion monikers on the lid, while opening it up reveals a fantastic-looking RGB keyboard and a front-mounted light bar.
The matte, 16-inch, IPS, UHD 2,560 x 1,600 screen is similar to the outstanding model we saw on the Legion 5i Pro. It’s 500-nit rated, properly supports HDR and gets very bright indeed. It displays a crisp Windows Desktop while multimedia is outstanding. Colours are vibrant while transitions (along with monochromatic transitions) are very smooth with no banding. Contrast is excellent and well-enhanced by the HDR. Details remain present in both dark and bright areas with the only niggle being that blacks can’t match the true-black of OLED. That said, the matte screen banishes reflections in dark scenes in a way that glossy, OLED, dark mirrors just don’t.
It also has a very fast, 240Hz refresh rate and G-Sync. This keeps fast moving objects looking silky smooth and tear free. The pixel response time isn’t the fastest, but only the most ardent, FPS professionals might grumble.
Above the screen is a Full HD webcam which is protected by a hardware ‘E-Shutter’ that’s activated by a switch on the side. It offers good quality and even makes a decent fist of fighting-off grain in low light. The array microphones are also very good at capturing your voice in a noisy environment.
The keyboard is worthy of Lenovo’s (and, before that, IBM’s) pedigree. The lozenge-shaped keys are high-quality, touch-type affairs that are very well weighted and very accurate (and comfortable) for both typing and gaming. It also has full-sized arrow keys and a very usable, reduced-width number pad. Lenovo also provides a key-maintenance kit with translucent blanks, spare actuators and a tool for installing them. It’s also per-key, RGB-back-lit and looks stunning.
Lenovo doesn’t specify what the Legion Pro 7i’s speakers’ specs are, but they’re awesome. They have excellent, all-round fidelity, they get loud and there’s some excellent punchy bass.
In short, the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i looks great and feels amazing.
Inside the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i is a top-tier, 3.9 – 5.4GHz Intel Core i9-13900HX processor with 8 Performance cores, 16 Efficiency cores and 32 threads. It’s backed by 32GB of very fast DDR5-5600 RAM and a speedy, 1TB NVMe hard drive.
In the general-computing, PCMark 10 benchmark, these combined to score a decent 8,542 which is very fast indeed, but a not quite as high as we were expecting. In the Cinebench rendering tests it scored an excellent 4,755 in the R15 drag race and 28,665 in the longer R23 version. These are both excellent scores.
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Gaming performance comes via an impressive 12GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU. In the difficult 3DMark ray-tracing tests it scored 4,857 in the newest Speed Way test which is an average of 48.6fps. In Port Royal it scored 12,312 (average 57fps). These are very good scores and illustrate that it will be able to play the latest and greatest games at full resolution and details.
In the AAA-gaming tile tests, 3DMark Time Spy and Fire Strike Extreme, the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i scored 18,971 (average 120.5fps) and 20,645 (average 95.6fps) respectively… underlining its gaming prowess.
In the casual-gaming Night Raid test it scored 81,841 (average 889.3fps). So, no problems there.
In our complicated CS:GO test, which stresses the whole system, it averaged 447fps and this only dropped to 82fps in the slowest one per cent of frames (1% Low test) when smoke grenades were going off: pro gamers won’t suffer any lag.
We expect these laptops to get hot and noisy but the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i impressed us. Sure, in maximum performance mode, the fans can ramp up to a robust, low whoosh but it’s nowhere near as noisy as many rivals. Things can get a little warm at the top and bottom under sustained usage in all modes, but it really is a case of a little warm and not ‘roasting’ – unlike Legions of yore.. Impressive!
Inside there’s Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1. It’s a good collection.
The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i is quite dense but, considering the internals and build quality, the 2.66KG weight isn’t too heavy for a 16-inch gaming beast. The power brick is slim and nicely designed and it supports a full 330-Watt power draw. In that context, the 951g weight isn’t terrible.
The large, 99.9Wh battery ran our PCMark 10 Modern Office test for a disappointing 5 hours and 53 minutes. That’s disappointing and should be better… we’ll run it again and update this article accordingly. EDIT: After a couple more attempts, we realised that an always-on USB port was probably affecting things. Running the test subsequently saw it push up to 7 hours and 1 minute, which is slightly more respectable.
Meanwhile, build quality is excellent – including the hinge – and we fully expect it to survive life on the road.
Price and availability
The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i is available right now for a ridiculous $3,999 – down from $5,599 thanks to a soon-to-expire Click Frenzy sale. At $3,999 it’s the best value laptop on the market. At $5,599 it’s still excellent value.
5 Alternatives to the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i
1. Asus ROG Strix SCAR 18: Asus’ flagship gaming laptop is equally brilliant, two-inches bigger and much more expensive. But, it’s also cooler, quieter and (potentially much) faster.
2. Lenovo Legion 5i Pro (Gen 8): Lenovo’s lesser ‘disguised’ gaming laptop is also brilliant. However, check the price as it can be more expensive or much cheaper depending on sales.
3. Asus ROG Zephyrus M16: Probably more of a Lambo vs this Lenovo Ferrari. The Zephyrus with its bonkers ‘Matrix’ lid looks amazing. It can be cheaper too.
4. Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17: Another winner from Asus, this AMD-powered, 17-inch SCAR has blistering 2D speed and great 3D performance. It comes in at a good price point too.
5. MSI Raider GE67 HX: While we’re still waiting to see MSI’s latest-gen Raider, they’ve only ever been excellent. The price can make it a steal, too.
Conclusion: Should you buy the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i?
We’re rushing to press because, right now, the sale price of $3,999 makes the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i the Best Laptop on the market, the Best Gaming Laptop on the market and very very nearly, the Best Value Laptop on the market. However, that sale is literally about to end, so do the clicky equivalent of, ‘run, don’t walk’ to Lenovo’s website to get one, right now.
If you do miss the big sale, note that the $5,599 RRP knocks it into third-place overall, but only just – behind both of Asus’ slightly-larger SCARs. Still, whichever way you look at it, and whatever setting you want to use a does-it-all portable computer in, the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i is a winner.
Fan isn’t silent
Can get warm
Poor battery life
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Scores
The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i has it all… almost: Great looks, great features and great ergonomics. Only the portability score lets it down.