Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Review - Substance and Style
The Legion Pro 7i gaming laptop is bloody brilliant. There, that’s the review.
In all seriousness, I’m no stranger to a gaming laptop – I was using one for a long time before I built my desktop in 2021. I always loved the idea of them but felt that in order to get the most out of the machine, you’d have to future-proof yourself past the point of it being a financially viable option. However, with the Legion Pro 7i, you get three different model options (which range in price and specs) and all three would keep you a happy gamer for years to come.
My review model had the following specs:
- CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i9-13900HX
- Memory: 32GB DDR5 5600MHz
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080
- Storage: 1TB SSD
- Display: 16-inch QHD (2560×1600) 240Hz display
- Webcam: 1080p
1 x Thunderbolt 4 (NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4070
4 x Type A (USB 3.2 Gen 1) Two per side, Two in rear
1 x Audio Combo Jack
1 x E-Shutter Button
1 x DC in
1 x Type C (USB 3.2 Gen2 +DisplayPort1.4+Power Delivery 140W)
1 x HDMI 2.1
1 x RJ45
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1
- Battery capacity: 99 Watt-hours (roughly 8 hours)
- Weight: 2.8kgs
I used the laptop for about 4 weeks for a range of different activities, and here’s what I thought.
At first glance, you wouldn’t really know that the Legion Pro 7i is a gaming laptop as it lacks a lot of the snazzier design elements you often associate with gaming devices. Once you turn it on, however, the gamer flag flies. The full RGB keyboard is bright and comfortable to use, and the Legion Pro 7i also boasts RGB lighting underneath the body of the machine, giving it quite an elevated look. The 16-inch display is crisp, bright and dynamic – it made everything just look better, from all the games I tested on it to my weekly online grocery shop.
I also took the opportunity to jump into a virtual meeting whilst I had the machine and tested out both the webcam, mic and speakers. The webcam was fantastic – I wish I could have my work meetings on this thing because it made me look worlds better than my crappy work laptop does. Mic also picked up my voice clear as day, and the built-in speakers worked a treat.
I enjoyed having the use of the full-size keyboard on the laptop and found the keys themselves to be comfortable for long-form typing as well as gaming. Port variability was also great – I was able to charge my phone, plug in my devices and still have ports left over for whatever I wanted to do.
Playtesting Level: Easy - Game: Overwatch 2
I really thought that I was going to jump on Overwatch 2 on PC and just suddenly be good at the game. I honestly thought that it was using the controller that had been holding me back all this time and that I was suddenly going to use a mouse and be the queen of aiming. Well, that didn’t happen. It didn’t even come close to happening. But here’s what did happen, and that was that the Legion Pro 7i ran the game like a freaking champ.
Overwatch 2 isn’t a very power-hungry game – but there’s never any shortage of random crap going on on screen. I wanted to see how the machine would handle the bursts of activity and whether or not I could see any weakness. Spoiler alert- I couldn’t.
Throughout my whole gameplay, the FPS stayed at a constant 240, with all my settings on epic. My mates could all hear me on the mic perfectly fine, though they did at one point say I sounded a little soft (which has never happened in the history of my existence). I didn’t play with a headset and the speakers didn’t let me down – easily distinguishing between my friends yelling at me to “GROUP UP” and the sounds of the game. The speakers did muddy the soundtrack a little, but for voice and game SFX I had no complaints.
In all the hours of Overwatch 2 I tested on this, I also noticed the GPU temp never jumped above 80. However the fans were blowing their little hearts out for a lot of my gameplay, and they were loud. Because I wasn’t playing with a headset they began to interfere with how much of the game I was able to hear – it sounds like a small aircraft trying to take off, but I don’t think you’d notice this with a headset on. My mates also couldn’t hear the fans coming through the mic.
Playtesting Level: Hard - Game: Cyberpunk 2077
With a machine this beefy, you’ve really got to flog it to see what it can do. When I built my very first gaming PC, the way to test its capabilities was “Can it run Crysis?”. These days there’s a few contenders for the ultimate stress test, but the one I went with was Cyberpunk 2077.
I started the game with everything up as high as it could go – I wanted to see every strand of hair, every drop of blood, every ridiculous thing Night City had to offer in the crispest and cleanest of graphics. I also wanted it to run at 60 FPS whilst looking this good, which, unfortunately, did not happen without some tweaking.
With everything turned up to full, the game reached about 30-35 FPS. However, this stayed constant throughout my gameplay, with no sudden drops or spikes, even in intense shoot-outs or car chases. Because the screen on this laptop is so damn good, it made the 30 FPS feel much smoother. If I didn’t have the counter in the corner, I don’t think I would have noticed.
I fiddled around with NVIDIA’s DLSS settings, and for a smidge of graphics loss, I was able to boost the FPS to around 120-140 which stayed pretty consistent. I could really only tell a difference in the reflections of people’s glasses and other very obscure graphical moments, but getting a power-hungry game like Cyberpunk running in graphical glory and over 100 FPS on this machine was very possible.
I also played Cyberpunk without the laptop being plugged into power for part of my testing and noticed only a slight drop in performance. Obviously, this did, however, tank the hell out of my battery life, but Cyberpunk 2077 on the go is totally possible!
I really tested this laptop to within an inch of its life. I ran the battery down, I had the fans almost launching it into outer space, I thrashed the hardware with Cyberpunk – and it passed everything I threw at it.
My only gripe with the machine is the exterior and the battery life. For a gaming PC, I thought it would look a bit snazzier – however, once you power the Legion Pro up, it really comes to life. Its mundane exterior is perfect for gamers who want a bit of subtlety in their machines – but I am not one of those people. It does look very similar to the other Legion machines Lenovo has released, so if you like their aesthetic you won’t be disappointed.
In terms of battery life – yes you’ll get 8 hours out of it if you’re browsing the internet, but not if you’re gaming. It was disappointing to see I had lost 5% of battery life just from unplugging the power cord, but there is a lot of power running through this thing so it makes sense.
The highlight of the hardware for me was definitely that big, beautiful, 240hz screen. Everything I played on that screen, from The Sims to Cyberpunk, looked magnificent. My desktop is by no means a slouch, and my monitor is pretty snazzy. But the Legion Pro i7 makes everything look better. If you’re in the market for a new gaming laptop and this is the one you pick up, I can confidently say you won’t be disappointed.