Lenovo Legion Y7000: Playing Games on That Sweet 144 Hz Display

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With the rise of mobile gaming, Twitch streamers, and eSports, it’s no secret that gaming has become mainstream. It’s not uncommon to see people playing games to pass the time, especially while traveling. Most devices can play a wide variety of games, but PC gaming is still the way to go if you want the best graphics and performance, thanks to its high-end processors and powerful graphics cards. While it’ll probably be difficult to take your custom-built gaming tower with you on the plane, the Lenovo Legion Y7000 gaming laptop can step in as a perfectly suitable travel companion.

Lenovo 15.6" Legion Y7000 Gaming Laptop

Design

Gaming laptops have always had a certain aesthetic. Their designs are usually loud, colorful, and covered with decals. Oh, and lots of RGB lighting… a lot. However, Lenovo went in a different direction with the Legion Y7000. While it does have some sharp lines and a white LED Legion logo on the back, it is surprisingly subtle in its design. Measuring 1.1" thin and weighing just over 5 pounds, the Legion Y7000 is also not as bulky or heavy as other gaming laptops. But like other gaming laptops, you’ll be hard pressed to achieve the claimed 5-hour battery life. Realistically, you’ll be looking at closer to 3.5 to 4 hours. That’s to be expected though, mostly due to the six-core CPU and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. Be sure to always travel with the included power brick and cable, because the Legion Y7000 uses a proprietary power port, and be on the lookout for power outlets.

To keep the sides clear, Lenovo put most of the ports on the back of the Legion Y7000. There’s only one USB 3.1 Gen-1 Type-A port on each side of the laptop and everything else is in the back, such as its HDMI 2.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, a Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 LAN jack, and the proprietary power port. There are built-in stereo speakers from HARMAN, which work well and are a step up from standard designs, but if want an audio experience that matches your immersive gameplay, you’ll want to use the 3.5mm headphone jack. Also, the fans on the Legion Y7000 can get noisy while under load (a common issue for most gaming laptops) so headphones will help block that noise.

The keyboard also features the same white LED backlighting found on the logo. While the keys are not mechanical, they’ll work well enough for most of your favorite PC games. The keyboard also includes a numeric keypad. This results in the keyboard being a little more cramped to the left, and the touchpad will also be off-center. Personally, we prefer not to have the numeric keypad (on any gaming laptop, to be fair), but other gamers may find it useful, so we don’t consider this to be a design flaw, just a personal choice. The touchpad works well with left and right mouse button controls. Obviously, you won’t be gaming with the touchpad, but if you’re occasionally going to be using the laptop to surf the Web, you won’t get frustrated trying to click links as you might with some other laptops. The touchpad and the palm rests are fingerprint magnets, though, so be sure to have a microfiber cloth ready to wipe them away.

The display is where the Legion Y7000 really shines. Its 15.6" screen features Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio, and 300-nit brightness. While it doesn’t have G-SYNC support, it does have a 144 Hz refresh rate. We ran a popular fps test, and watching that UFO fly past your screen at 144 fps without any ghosting or stuttering was extremely satisfying. It also helps that most of the bezels around the display are thin, with the bottom bezel being the lone thick one, mostly because it has to house the webcam. If you’re thinking of streaming on Twitch with a face cam on this laptop, we recommend using a separate webcam because of the unflattering angle (hello, nostril cam).

A Quick Look at the Specs

CPU: 2.2 GHz Intel® Core™ i7-8750H Six-Core (can be boosted to 4.1 GHz)

RAM: 16GB DDR4

SSD: 512GB PCIe

GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB of GDDR5 VRAM)

Ethernet: 10/100/1000 Mb/s Gigabit

Wi-Fi: 802.11ac

Bluetooth: 4.1

Gameplay

The first game we tested was Far Cry 5. After installing the game, we went straight into the graphics settings and turned everything to Ultra. Here’s a quick look at our settings.

Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Refresh Rate: 144 Hz

Graphics Quality: Ultra

Anti-Aliasing: TAA

V-SYNC: Off

The game’s benchmark test got an average fps of 63, with a minimum fps of 56. Since it was on Ultra settings, getting 60 fps is solid. You can get higher frame rates if you tweak the settings, but it’ll most likely cost you in graphics quality. Benchmark tests are good for numbers, but we wanted to get the full hands-on experience by playing the game (side note: it’s fun).

We jumped into a new game save and experienced the tense opening mission of Far Cry 5 in all its glory. The cutscenes looked particularly good. As a first-person shooter (FPS), Far Cry 5 benefits from the higher refresh rate. We noticed how fluid and smooth the gameplay felt with the Legion Y7000 steadily holding at 60 fps. Combined with the precision of the keyboard/mouse combo, running and gunning in Far Cry 5 on the Legion Y7000 felt much more rewarding than it did when we played the game on the Xbox One with a controller.

We then decided to let the Legion Y7000 take a shot at Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Here are our settings for the game.

Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Refresh Rate: 144 Hz

Preset: Highest

Graphics Quality: Ultra

Anti-Aliasing: TAA

V-SYNC: Off

The Lenovo Legion Y7000 couldn’t hit 60 fps on the highest graphics setting in the game’s built-in benchmark test. It got an average of 45 fps. The game still looked great, but you could see some stuttering in certain scenes. If that bothers you and you prefer to get 60 fps, you’ll have to tweak some settings and most likely drop the graphics quality down to Medium or Low.

We jumped into a new game save on the Ultra setting to see if the sub-60 fps would bother us. The opening cutscene looked gorgeous, despite its chaotic nature. The beginning of the game starts you out in the cave and that’s where the beautiful lighting comes into play. Lara Croft’s flashlight lights up just what’s in front of her while the moonlight gives you a hint of where the exit is. You exit into a huge cavern and the view is quite impressive. We didn’t see any screen tearing, but there was some noticeable stuttering in certain parts. While not ideal, you could force the game to run at 1080p@30fps to maintain Ultra graphics or drop the graphics quality down to get 60 fps. The choice is up to you.

Our Thoughts

The Lenovo Legion Y7000 is an understated laptop built for gaming. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card can run most games at Full HD 1080p with high graphics settings. Its subtle design lets you game anywhere without standing out too much, as well as letting you use it for work or school without blinding your fellow coworkers or classmates with RGB lights. If you’re looking for an understated gaming laptop that can play most games at Full HD 1080p with Ultra graphics quality, the Lenovo Legion Y7000 gaming laptop might be right for you.

Do you see any benefits to having a 144 Hz display? Do you prefer high frame rates or maxed-out graphics? Let us know in the Comments section, below.

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