This review gathers out thoughts on one of the better-value gaming laptops of the moment, the Lenovo Legion Y540.
Lenovo offers the Y540 in a couple of different variants, with Core i5/i7 CPUs, GTX 1660Ti/2060 graphics chips, several screen options and in either a 15 or a 17-inch option. Our review model is the 17-inch Legion Y540-17IRH, configured with a Core i5 processor, SSD storage and a full-power RTX 2060 GPU. However, given the fact that the 15 and 17-inch models share the same design and internals, most of this article also applies to the 15-inch Legion Y540-15IRH.
This is also one of the most affordable 17-inch RTX 2060 notebooks on the market, at close competition with the AMD/RTX 2060 powered Asus TUF FX705. At the time of this review, the Core i5/RTX 2060 Legion Y540 starts at around $1200 in the US (with current discounts) and around 1400 EUR in Europe.
But is it a good buy? For the most part, it is, but it does come with quirks you’ll have to accept at this price range and there’s a good chance you’ll get even better performance for your buck in one of the more affordable GTX 1660Ti configurations out there. We’ll explain why in the detailed review below.
Specs as reviewed
|Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH|
|Screen||17.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 px, IPS, 60 Hz – 300 nits, non-touch, anti-glare ( BOE NV173FHM-N47 panel)|
|Processor||Intel Coffee Lake-R Core i5-9300H CPU, quad-core, with HyperThreading|
|Video||Intel HD 630 + Nvidia RTX 2060 6GB 80W – GeForce 441.41 drivers|
|Memory||16 GB DDR4 2666 MHz (2x DIMMs, up to 64 GB)|
|Storage||512 GB SSD (Micron MTFDHBA512TCK – M.2 NVMe 80 mm) + empty 2.5″ 7 mm bay|
|Connectivity||Gigabit LAN (Realtek RTL8168/8111), Wireless AC (Intel 9560, 2×2), Bluetooth 5.0|
|Ports||3x USB 3.1 gen1, 1x USB-C 3.1 gen1, HDMI 2.0, mini DisplayPort 1.4, mic/earphone, LAN, Kensington Lock|
|Battery||57 Wh, 230 W charger|
|Size||400 mm or 15.74” (w) x 290 mm or 11.72” (d) x 26.5 mm or 1.05” (h)|
|Weight||6.15 lbs (2.79 kg) + 2.05 lbs (.93 kg) charger and cables, EU version|
|Extras||white backlit keyboard, 2x 2W bottom-placed speakers, webcam|
Design and construction
Much like with the other entry-level gaming notebooks of the moment, the Legion 540 is averagely sized and entirely made out of plastic. Lenovo went with small bezels around the sides and top of the screen, but also a hefty chin underneath. They placed the microphone and camera down here, which is not ideal.
The laptop’s profile also shows an extra bulge behind the screen, which accommodates parts of the IO and cooling system, and leads to its overall large footprint. Despite that, the Legion Y540 is not very heavy for a 17-inch notebook with this sort of specs, at a little over 6 lbs (2.8 kg) in our configuration, which can be attributed to the all-plastic construction.
As far as build quality goes, the textured lid does feel a little cheap for my taste and bends when pressed harder. I’m not seeing any impact on the screen, but I’d still be careful when carrying this around in my backpack.
The interior, on the other hand, reminds me of Lenovo’s ThinkPads, with a similar kind of smooth rubberized surface. It’s pretty strong, with not a lot of give on the keyboard deck, and feels nice to the touch. The Legion Y540 is also one of the stealthiest gaming notebooks on the market, with its matte black theme, but the palm-rest shows smudges and fingerprints easily. You’ll want to peel off those arm-rest stickers to benefit from the subtle design.
Speaking of aesthetics, there are no shiny or colored accents on this device, and no RGB lights either. The status LEDs have been smartly moved on the edge as well. All these could make the Legion Y540 an ideal option for those interested in a sleeper laptop, something they can use for school, work and fun. However, I still don’t understand why Lenovo put an always-on light in the power button, it’s right in the way and annoying when watching movies in a dark room. At least it’s not very bright.
On to how this laptop feels with daily use, you should keep in mind that you’ll need both hands to lift up the screen, as it’s held in place by stiff hinges. They do allow the screen to lean back flat to 180 degrees, something you’re not going to find on most other gaming notebooks. Grippy rubber feet keep the Y540 well anchored on a desk, and the IO is lined mostly on the back, with USB-A slots and the headphone jack conveniently placed on the sides, towards the back.
There’s a fair selection of ports on this laptop, with USB A and USB-C slots, HDMI and miniDP for video output, an RJ45 slot for wired internet and a Kensington Lock. There’s no card-reader, though, and that USB-C slot doesn’t support charging or Thunderbolt 3.
All in all, the Legion Y540-17IRH partially shows its budget targeting. It’s entirely made out of plastic, it’s fairly large and lacks certain features and IO options you’ll get with higher-tier notebooks. At the same time, though, this is fairly well built, practical and looks much cleaner than most other options in its class.
Keyboard and trackpad
For me, the keyboard on the Legion Y540 proved nicer than the one on Lenovo’s own higher-tier Y740 15 reviewed a while ago, thanks to a more standard layout and slightly crispier feedback.
The layout gets an entire deck of full-size keys, including the Functions row at the top, a smaller NumPad section, and large and well-spaced arrows. Lenovo uses this exact layout on both the 15 and the 17-inch variants, hence the extra space around this larger variant.
However, you’ll notice that you don’t get dedicated keys for certain Functions like Home/ End/ PgUp/ PgDn, no extra Enter key in the NumPad section and no macro-control keys, that’s why professionals might prefer the more standard implementation available on other 17-inch notebooks.
As far as typing goes, the keys are softly coated and feel nice to the touch. The keycaps are also slightly rounded on the bottom, like on Lenovo’s IdeaPads notebooks. In fact, this keyboard shares some with those, since it’s also a rather shallow and soft implementation. I’m used to this sort of feedback from my XPS 13 and was able to type very quickly on this keyboard, but the mushy feeling did hurt my accuracy.
Overall, I got along fine with it after a while, but I’d reckon the average user might prefer springier feedback on a performance/gaming computer.
I should also mention that the keys are backlit. You’re only getting white LEDs at this level, without any sort of RGB. They get fairly bright and they’re even across the whole keyboard, but I noticed some annoying light creeping from beneath the Space key on my model, as well as the fact that the illumination did not have a timeout, I had to manually turn it off each time.
Finally, the vast majority of the keys are also quiet, aside from the squeaky Space key. That’s why the Y540 should be fine in most school/work environments, but you will find quieter alternatives out there.
For mouse, Lenovo went with a tiny plastic touchpad. It works fine, but it’s just too small to comfortably accommodate gestures. It’s also not a clickpad, hence the dedicated buttons underneath. Normally, I’m all for physical click buttons, but these are stiff and clunky, thus one more reason why you’ll want to hook up an external mouse.
As for biometrics, there are none on this computer.
The Legion Y540 gets a 17-inch matte non-touch display, but Lenovo offers it with three panel options: FHD 60 Hz 250-nits, FHD 60 Hz 300-nits and FHD 144 Hz 300-nits. Our version came with the middle option, which is what you’ll mostly find on the lower and mid-level configurations of this notebook.
It’s a decent panel for everyday use, with average brightness, contrast and color accuracy, as you can see below (recorded with our Spyder4 sensor):
- Panel Hardware ID: BOE BOE0838 (NV173FHM-N47);
- Coverage: 87% sRGB, 65% NTSC, 67% AdobeRGB, 70 DCI-P3;
- Measured gamma: 2.04;
- Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 291 cd/m2 on power;
- Contrast at max brightness: 687:1;
- White point: 8300 K;
- Black on max brightness: 0.45 cd/m2;
- PWM: -.
We didn’t have the tools to test for flickering, but other implementations of this panel use PWM at 1 GHz for everything aside max-brightness, which could bother those flicker-sensitive among you.
I’ll also mention a glitch I’ve noticed on my sample. Lenovo offers the choice of two modes: Hybrid and Discrete. The laptop ships in Discrete, which turns off the iGPU within the processor. Opting for Hybrid allows the Intel HD 630 to take over in daily use and helps with battery life, but for some reason, I was not able to adjust the screen’s brightness in any way while in this mode. That’s most likely an issue with the Intel drivers, but I had the latest version suggested by the Lenovo Vantage app installed.
This aside, compared to the base FHD 60 Hz 250-nits panel, this one is brighter and a bit richer in colors. However, if you’re planning to run games on this notebook, I’d recommend paying extra for the FHD 144 Hz screen option with the AU Optronics B173HAN04.4 panel. That one is a little dimmer, but with wider gamut coverage, no PWM, and faster performance that’s going to reduce tearing and other artifacts noticeable when playing games at 60 Hz.
Hardware, upgrades, and performance
Our test model is a base-level configuration of the Lenovo Legion Y540. It comes with the Intel Core i5-9300H processor, 16 GB of DDR4 dual-channel memory, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 80W graphics chip and a single M.2 PCIe SSD. There’s also room for a 2.5″ HDD inside, but our model did not include one.
Our review unit is a retail model with mature drivers from Nvidia (Version 441.41) and the BHCN33WW BIOS version, the latest available as of late-November 2019.
As far as hardware goes, the CPU and GPU are fairly standard. The Core i5-9300H is a quad-core processor with HyperThreading, and Lenovo also offers the laptop with the popular six-core Core i7-9750H, a roughly $100 upgrade. The i5 is fine for daily use and games, but as you’ll see in our tests, it’s also significantly slower than the i7 in specific multi-core loads.
The GPU is the full-power 80W implementation that you’ll find on many other 15/17-inch gaming notebooks. It’s the mid-level GPU in Nvidia’s current mobile offer and the entry-level for Ray Tracing. Lenovo also offers the Legion Y540 with a GTX 1660Ti GPU, for roughly $80 less.
RAM and storage vary between configurations. Our unit came with 2x 8 GB DDR4 sticks and a mid-level Micron QLC SSD, so there are definitely faster options out there. Accessing the components is simple on this laptop, as it gets a dedicated access bay kept in place by only two screws at the front. Once you remove that you’ll get to the M.2 SSD, 2.5″ storage bay and the two ram sticks, further hidden beneath a metallic shield.
However, you’ll need to remove the storage drives and unscrew the multiple screws that hold in place the plastic cage in order to get to the thermal module and the wireless module. We haven’t stripped out our sample, but this is what it looks like once you do. Still, I find it odd that Lenovo went with this approach for the 17-inch Y540, given how the smaller 15-inch variant is a lot easier to pry completely open.
Before we get to talk about performance and the daily-use experience, I should add that Lenovo allows two working modes for this Legion Y540: Discrete and Hybrid. You can switch between them from BIOS or from the Lenovo Vantage app, which also does a great job of keeping drivers up-to-date. On Discrete, the Intel HD 630 iGPU is disabled and everything runs through the Nvidia GPU, while on Hybrid both are enabled and Optimus chooses between them based. This mode favors battery life with daily use and it’s what I’d normally keep the laptop on. However, if you’ll constantly use your unit for demanding loads and games while plugged in, you can stick with Discrete instead.
The following logs show what to expect in terms of performance and inner-temperatures with daily tasks such as browsing, Youtube, Netflix or text-editing, all on Hybrid.
And this is what to expect on Discrete. As expected, the system runs less efficiently with video in this case, and we’ll further cover this in the Battery section down below.
With that out of the way, let’s focus on this unit’s performance in demanding loads. For that, we switched on to Discrete and the Performance Thermal Mode in Lenovo Vantage. Three Thermal modes (Quiet, Balanced, Performance) are available here and they affect the CPU’s power-limits and behavior in these tests, so we went with the higher-tier settings.
We test the CPU’s performance in demanding loads by running Cinebench R15 for 10+ times in a loop, with 2-3 sec delay between each run, which simulates a 100% load on all the cores.
With stock settings, the CPU continuously runs at 3.9-4.0 GHz even after several Cinebench runs and a TDP of 65+ W, which translates in scores of 800+ points and high temperatures of around 93-96 degrees Celsius. The Performance profile raises the TDP limit, and as a result, the CPU runs at high clocks and with raised temperatures.
We proceeded to improve this behavior by undervolting the CPU. Our unit proved stable at -125 mV, which maintained the flawless CPU performance, but at lower power and temperatures. We haven’t run our tests on the Balanced and Silent modes, as those limit the CPU’s power. We did test the performance on battery, and in this case, the CPU was limited to 20W and clock speeds of around 2.7-2.8 GHz. Details below.
The Y540 doesn’t disappoint and allows for excellent CPU performance in these tests as long as it’s plugged in. Be default, the cores run very hot, that’s what I’d advise undervolting to lower the energy demands and temperatures (explained in this guide).
Next, we move on to test the performance in combined CPU and GPU tests. We do that by running the 3DMark Stress test, as well as the Luxmark 3.1 test. The laptop passes the 3DMark tests with both stock and undervolted settings. From the logs below you’ll notice that the CPU/GPU temperatures are hardly affected by the CPU’s undervolt, which is a bit unusual.
The Luxmark stress test shows that the CPU and GPU can both run smoothly in longer demanding loads. For some reason, the log shows low-level CPU power, but the clocks remain at 4.0 GHz across the entire test. The processor continues to run well with the laptop unplugged, but the GPU drops to around 30W+ on this implementation, which is backed up by the gaming experience on battery, as you’ll see below.
Corroborated with the Cinebench CPU test, all these suggest that on battery, the Legion Y540 won’t offer the same kind of excellent performance you’ll get while plugged in.
Next we’ve added a set of benchmarks, for those of you interested in the numbers. Firstly, here’s what we got on the stock Performance profile.
- 3DMark 11: 15960 (Graphics – 19838, Physics – 10151);
- 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 12911 (Graphics – 14952, Physics – 12081);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 5673 (Graphics – 5893, CPU – 4684);
- 3DMark 13 – Port Royal: 3312;
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 3481;
- GeekBench 5.0.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 1100, Multi-core: 4327;
- CineBench R15 (best run): CPU 844 cb, CPU Single Core 169 cb;
- CineBench R20 (best run): CPU 1941 cb;
- x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 66.56 s.
Then we reran some of them on an Undervolted Performance profile with a -100 mV undervolted CPU (we dialed back to -100 mV in order to prevent any stability issues) and stock GPU settings:
- 3DMark 11: 16001 (Graphics – 20024, Physics – 10027);
- 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 12913 (Graphics – 15064, Physics – 11900);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 5693 (Graphics – 5887, CPU – 4800);
- 3DMark 13 – Port Royal: 3332;
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 3485;
- PCMark 10: 5547 (Essentials – 9140 , Productivity – 7052 , Digital Content Creation – 7186);
- PassMark: Rating: 5871, CPU mark: 11094, 3D Graphics Mark: 11659;
- GeekBench 5.0.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 1097, Multi-core: 4336;
- CineBench R15 (best run): CPU 841 cb, CPU Single Core 168 cb;
- CineBench R20 (best run): CPU 2032 cb, CPU Single Core 413 cb;
- x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 63.98 s.
Don’t forget that our configuration only comes with a quad-core i5 processor, which affects the CPU benchmark scores across the board. Given our findings and our experience with the Lenovo Legion Y740, I’d expect the 45W Core i7-9750H processor to perform similarly inside this chassis as well, once undervolted. That’s why the i7 is a recommended upgrade if you plan to run the kind of demanding chores that can benefit from its extra cores and performance.
The GPU, on the other hand, works well and you’ll most likely be able to squeeze even better performance if you’re willing to experiment with overclocking, as the thermals allow it. We stably overclocked our sample at +200 MHz Core and +1000 MHz Memory with GPU Tweak II, and that lead to a significant increase in GPU related tests:
- 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 13612 (Graphics – 16150, Physics – 11875);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 6036 (Graphics – 6335, CPU – 4766);
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 3705;
Finally, let’s look at some gaming results. We ran a couple of games representative for DX11 and DX12 architectures at the screen’s native FHD resolution on FHD UV (-100 mV CPU, stock GPU) and FHD Tweaked (-100 mV CPU, overclocked GPU) profiles.
|FHD UV||FHD Tweaked|
|Battlefield V (DX 12, Ultra Preset, Ray-Tracing OFF)||74-88 fps||– fps|
|Battlefield V (DX 12, Ultra Preset, Ray-Tracing ON, DLSS Off)||27-30 fps||– fps|
|Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Ultra Preset, SMAA)||84 fps||91 fps|
|Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Ultra Preset)||114 fps||123 fps|
|Rise of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Very High Preset, FXAA)||88 fps||100 fps|
|Shadow of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA)||74 fps||79 fps|
|The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Ultra Preset, Hairworks On 4)||62-96 fps||74-104 fps|
- Battlefield V, The Witcher 3 – recorded with Fraps/in-game FPS counter in campaign mode;
- Far Cry 5, Middle Earth, Tomb Raider games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities.
The HWinfo logs below show the CPU and GPU speeds in Farcry 5 and Witcher 3 on the stock profile, with the fans on Performance (they’re pushed to fast speeds quickly, which translates in noise levels of around 46-47 dB at head level).
Undervolting the CPU helps improve thermals, but with a minuscule effect on performance.
Still, the bottom gets hot and that negatively impacts the CPU/GPU temperatures, and you can see that lifting the laptop from the desk leads to a decrease in those temperatures.
Even so, with the GPU running at roughly 70 degrees Celsius on this laptop, there’s room to further overclock it. Here’s what happens on the Tweaked profile, with the undervolted CPU and overclocked GPU.
Finally, we ran Witcher 3 on battery, which limits the GPU’s power and performance, just like in our other battery benchmarks.
In conclusion, this particular configuration of the Legion Y540 performs excellently in our benchmarks and gaming tests. Yes, the i5 drags down some of the results and an i7 would be recommended in certain tasks, but even so, this gets close to the best performing RTX 2060 notebooks out there. For comparison, the top-tier 15-inch MSI GE65 Raider in a Core i7/ overclocked RTX 2060 90W variant performs within 7-15% better, but it’s also a much more expensive product, while the Acer Predator Helios 300 we’ve reviewed a while ago is a similar performer, but runs noisier in games.
The comparison you’re all expecting is with the Asus TUF Gaming FX705, which is priced similarly to the Legion Y540 or even cheaper in some regions. We don’t have the 17-inch RTX 2060 TUF for a direct comparison, but we are working on the 15-inch model in an AMD Ryzen 7/RTX 2060 configuration and we’ll link to that review once it’s published. We’ve also reviewed the GTX 1660Ti TUF FX705 and you can find how that performed from this article.
Finally, there’s also the matter of whether an RTX 2060 is worth getting over a GTX 1660Ti on such a laptop. They’re both 80W chips, but the RTX 2060 runs at higher clocks and includes RayTracing, albeit with limited use at this level.
This review of the i5/GTX 1660Ti Legion Y540-17IRH mentions 83 fps on FarCry 5 and 55 fps on Witcher 3, both on FHD Ultra settings, as well as a 3DMark TimeSpy Graphics score of around 5500 points. That’s within 5-7% of our RTX 2060 with stock GPU settings, and 12-15% of what we got on the overclocked profile. In conclusion, I’d say the RTX 2060 is worth getting if it’s within 70-120 USD/EUR more expensive than the GTX 1660Ti variant, but not if you have to pay more for it.
Noise, Heat, Connectivity, speakers, and others
The Legion Y540 uses a fairly standard thermal module with two fans, three heatpipes, and enough heat-plates to cover the CPU, GPU and VRMs. This 17-inch variant uses longer heatpipes on the GPU side, which helps keep the temperatures a little lower.
As shown above, this cooling implementation does a good job of keeping the components at bay, especially in the undervolted CPU profile. The CPU runs fairly cool in demanding loads, peaking in the high-80s Celsius, but the GPU stays cool at around 70 degrees in most games.
The two fans rest inactive with daily use on both the Quiet and Balanced fan profiles, and only kick on from time to time with heavier multitasking. I haven’t noticed any coil whine with daily use either, but I did notice some electronic noise while running PCMark10, so you might run into this issue with certain tasks.
With games, the fans ramp up to about 46-47 dB at head-level on both the Balanced or the Performance fan profiles. That’s not bad for a gaming notebook with this kind of specs, a little noisier than the higher-tier options, but quieter than other affordable models. You’ll still need headphones to cover that up, though.
As far as case temperatures go, the interior stays within high-30s, low-40s in the areas that you’ll get in contact with, but the bottom goes into high-50s around the back, where the thermal module is placed.
*Daily Use – streaming Netflix on Edge for 30 minutes, fans on Auto (mostly off)
*Load Tweaked – playing Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Tweaked Performance profile, fans on Auto (46-47 dB)
For connectivity, there’s Gigabit Lan, WiFi 5 and Bluetooth on this laptop. We’ve mostly used our sample on wireless, and it worked very well, even proving faster than some of the newer WiFi 6 models we’ve tested with our setup.
For audio, there’s a set of speakers firing through small cuts on the front lip. Judging by their actual size, I was expecting these to be awful, but they proved OK. We measured maximum volumes of around 76-78 dB and fair sound quality, just greatly lacking in the lower frequencies.
Finally, I should mention the webcam and the microphones, both placed in an awkward position underneath the display. This design puts the mics very close to the keyboard and translates in a nose-cam with a mediocre sensor. In other words, just forget they’re there.
There’s only a 57 Wh battery inside the 17-inch Legion Y540, just like on the 15-inch model, which is one of the quirks you have to accept in a lower-tier gaming laptop.
Still, you’re going to get decent battery life as long as you’re using the laptop in the Hybrid mode, which enables the Intel iGPU and Optimus. Here’s what to expect, with the screen set at around 120 nits of brightness (60%).
- 14 W (~4 h of use) – text editing in Google Drive, Better Battery Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 10 W (~5 h 30 min of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Better Battery Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 8.5 W (~6 h 30 min of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Better Battery Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 20 W (~3- h of use) – browsing in Edge, Better Performance Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 58 W (~1 h of use) – Gaming – Witcher 3, Max Performance Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON, no fps limit.
Just for comparison, the Discrete mode is more taxing on the battery:
- 15 W (~4- h of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Better Battery Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 23 W (~2 h 40 min of use) – browsing in Edge, Better Performance Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
The laptop comes with a chunky 230W power brick, which seems somewhat oversized for an RTX 2060 configuration. It weighs 2+ lbs (.93 kg) in the two-piece European version, including the cables. That’s something to keep in mind as you’ll most likely have to carry it around in your backpack, since the Legion Y540 doesn’t charge via USB-C.
Price and availability
The Lenovo Legion Y540 has been available in stores for a few months now.
Our test-model is a lower-tier configuration and goes for about $1270 on Lenovo’s website with the current discounts. That’s with the Core i5 processor, 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB of SSD storage, the RTX 2060 GPU and the 60 Hz FHD 300-nits display.
However, you can configure your own variant and lower the price to as low as $1100 if you’re OK with a smaller SSD, just 8 GB of RAM and the GTX 1660Ti GPU. That’s what I’d aim for if shopping on a limited budget. At the other end, you can add a Core i7 processor and the 144 Hz FHD display and make this a more capable gaming machine, for roughly $1400 at this point.
Pricing and configurations always vary between regions, so you should check out Lenovo’s website for more details, as well as sites like Amazon for potential discounts.
Lenovo did a very good job with their Legion Y540, and there’s no wonder it’s so popular. Not only does this perform very well and leaves room for tweaking and overclocking, but it’s also configurable and more affordable than most other options with similar specs.
However, the gap shrinks once you spec it up with a Core i7 processor and the 144 Hz screen, that’s why the better value is within the lower-tier configurations.
I’d also advise you to carefully check the other options when shopping for your gaming notebook. Among them, I’d keep a close eye at the Asus TUF Gaming FX505, the Acer Predator Helios 300 or the HP Omen 15 as the more affordable choices, as well as on the higher-tier Lenovo Legion Y740, Asus ROG Hero/Scar III and MSI GE65 Raider if you can afford to spend more for an overall better computer.
And that’s because the Legion Y540 is not without some quirks you’ll have to make do with. Among them, there’s the all-plastic construction, the rather mushy keyboard and awkward touchpad, the tinny speakers and the lack of certain ports. On top of that, some might also prefer an RGB keyboard and easier software control, as you do have to manually tweak this one in order to get it to perform at its peak.
All in all, though, if you’re looking for excellent performance for your buck and don’t mind tweaking your computer to get it, the Lenovo Legion Y540 is one of the best value gaming notebooks out there and earns our recommendation in its class.
Our content is reader-supported. If you buy through some of the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.