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Lenovo Legion 7i and Legion 5i / 5Pi 2020 gaming laptops update on Legion Y540/Y740 series

By Andrei Girbea - @ andreigirbea , last updated on June 26, 2020

With 10th gen Intel Core H hardware now available, everyone is updating their notebook lineups, including Lenovo.

Among others, they have some brand new Legion gaming models in the works, called Legion 5 and Legion 7, scheduled as follow-ups for the popular Legion Y540 and Y740 series. Looks like Lenovo decided to dump on their previous naming scheme, so these are no longer called Legion Y550 and Legion Y750, instead just 5i and 7i for the Intel versions, and Legion 5 for the AMD model.

First off, both of these are powered by Intel Core H 10th platforms, with the 4C/8T Core i5-10300H and the 6C/12T Core i7-10750H in most configurations, as well as the 8C/16T Core i9-10980HK on the higher-tier Legion 7i. No mention of the enticing 8C/16 Core i7-10875H, so that’s most likely not going to be an option.

An AMD Ryzen variant of the Legion 5 is also in the works. That’s only going to be called Legion 5, as the i at the end is only reserved for the Intel versions. While the Intel version are available in 15 and 17-inch variants, the AMD model is only available as a 15-inch laptop with up to a 144 Hz panel, 60Wh battery and only up to GTX 1650Ti graphics (we’re waiting for confirmation on this, other sources mention up to RTX 2060 and 80W battery). There’s no AMD variant of the higher-tier Legion 7.

Update: Our detailed review of the Legion 5 is available here.

The Intel-based Legion 5i is going to top at an RTX 2060 GPU configuration, while the Legion 7i variants will get an up to RTX 2080 Super graphics chip, most likely the Max-Q 80W version. Both offer support for up to 32 GB of DDR4-3200 MHz memory, although 32GB DIMMs might also be compatible, for up to 64 GBs.

Update1: Here’s a first review of the Legion 7i in the i9-10980HK /RTX 2080 Super Max-Q configuration. It’s not in English, so use translate. We’ve also updated some of the info below based on these findings.

Update2: Aside from the AMD Legion 5, there are also two versions of the 5i: a basic Legion 5i with a plastic chassis, and a Legion 5Pi available with higher tier specs and an 80Wh battery, and perhaps partially made out of aluminum. This needs to be confirmed. We’ve been told that the 5Pi won’t be available in North America.

Update3: There’s also an IdeaPad Gaming 3 model introduced at the bottom of the stack, as a follow-up for the IdeaPad L340 from 2019. It only gets Intel 10th-gen and lower-tier GTX 1650/1650Ti graphics. We’ll cover it in a separate article.

Lenovo have also improved the internal design and cooling module to some extent, and we’ve covered that further down. The i7’s chassis looks much like the Y740’s, so I wasn’t expecting much to have changed, but it actually did. Those early rumors suggesting 2.x M.2 storage with RAID support and an 80Wh battery have been confirmed for the 7i.

Here’s a quick specs sheet of the two 2020 Legion models, and we’fill in the blanks when possible.

Lenovo Legion 5i 15/17-inch / Legion 5 – reviewLenovo Legion 5Pi 15-inchLenovo Legion 7i 15IMH
Screen15.6 inch, matte, non-touch, 60/120/144/240 Hz options on Intel 5i models
17.3 inch, matte, non-touch, 60/144 Hz options on Intel 5i models
15.6 inch, matte, non-touch, 60/120/144 Hz options on AMD models
15.6 inch, matte, non-touch, 240 Hz 500-nits
no 17-inch version
15.6-inch, matte, non-touch, 144 or 240Hz 3ms, 100% sRGB, 500-nits
no 17-inch version
Processor10th gen Intel Comet Lake Core H CPU, up to Core i7 6C/12T
AMD Ryzen 4000 CPU, up to 8C/16T (on Legion 5)
10th gen Intel Comet Lake Core H CPU, up to Core i7 6C/12T10th gen Intel Comet Lake Core HK CPU, up to Core i9 8C/16T
Vide0up to Nvidia RTX 2060, with NVIDIA Advanced Optimus/G-SYNC on Intel models
up to Nvidia GTX 1650Ti on AMD models in NA (up to RTX 2060 in other regions)
up to Nvidia RTX 2060up to Nvidia RTX 2080 Super, with NVIDIA Advanced Optimus/G-SYNC
Memoryup to 32 GB DDR4 2933 MHz (2x DIMMs) on Intel and DDR43200 MHz on AMD versionsup to 32 GB DDR4 3200 MHz (2x DIMMs)
Storage1x M.2 SSD, 2.5″ HDD cage1x M.2 SSD2x M.2 SSDs with RAID support
ConnectivityGigabit LAN, Wireless 6 AX, Bluetooth 5.0
Ports2x USB-A 3.1, 1x USB-C with DP, HDMI 2.0, LAN, mic/headphone, Kensington Lock3x USB-A 3.1, 1x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3,  1x USB-C,HDMI 2.0, LAN, mic/headphone
Battery60/80 Wh on 15-inch models,
80Wh on 17-inch variant
80 Wh80Wh
Size15-inch – 363 mm or 14.29” (w) x 260 mm or 10.23” (d) x 25.5 mm or 1” (h)
17-inch – 363 mm or 14.29” (w) x 260 mm or 10.23” (d) x 25.5 mm or 1” (h)
360 mm or 14.19” (w) x 255 mm or 10.03” (d) x 19.9 mm or .78” (h)
Weight~2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) for 15-inch
~3 kg (6.6 lbs) for 17-inch
~2.5 kg (5.5 lbs)~2.2 kg (4.9 lbs)
Extraswhite or optional Corsair 4-zone RGB backlit keyboard with 1.5 mm travel, webcam, Black or Green variants, plastic build, bottom speakersCorsair TrueStrike RGB backlit keyboard with 1.3 travel, RGB light bars, webcam, Iron gray version, fully metallic build, quad speakers

On the other hand, there seem to be some slight design and exterior changes between the 2020 and the 2019 Legions. Both the 5i and the 7i keep the simple lines and known Legion/Lenovo branding elements.

The 7i also gets RGB illumination in the exhausts, as well as a redesigned RGB keyboard and a new light bar spreading around the front, like on the ROG Scar, plus redesigned speaker cuts on the bottom. There’s also an extra set of speakers above the keyboard.

These aside, there’s also a slight IO redesign on that back edge between the two generations, and what looks like a new color scheme for the 7i, with a Dark-Blue tint. Perhaps some new materials as well, based on these previews images. Oh, and no longer a nose cam, but instead a webcam at the top of the screen, where it should be placed. This also gets a privacy shutter, the kind we’ve previously got with ThinkPads.

 

Lenovo Legion 7i vs Legion Y740 series

And here’s the redesigned keyboard on the Legion 7i in more detail. It’s a shallower implementation this time around, with 1.3 mm of travel and what Lenovo calls Soft-Landing switches, and I’ll need to spend some time with it before drawing any conclusions. There’s also a larger clickpad, made out of glass and with Precision drivers.

Legion 5i/7i keyboard

And here’s another picture hinting the interior redesign, the blue color and the new webcam on the Legion 7i Y750.

Legion 7i redesign, keyboard and webcam

 

I’ve also added a picture of the internal redesign (Source: lab501). The source mentions a redesigned thermal system with larger fans, increased fin-count, and a new vapor chamber module. This is reported to do a good job cooling the Max-Q 2080 Super (80W, as far as I can tell), but the CPU still reaches high temperatures of up to 100 C in demanding tasks. I look forward to getting our own review unit and take this through our own set of tests. The reported GPU temperatures and fan noise of under 40 dB seem almost too be good to be true.

Down below you can also notice that the HDD bay was thrown out and replaced with a large 80W battery. The speakers are still small, so don’t expect much on that front.

Lenovo Legion 7i thermal module, vs 2019 Y540

Lenovo Legion 7i thermal module, vs 2019 Y540

The 5i remains the more basic model, with a black color scheme and without RGB chassis elements.

It too seems to have been redesigned, though, and while I can’t tell these details for the few existing pictures we’ve got from Lenovo so far, I’m rooting for a metallic build this time around and hopefully an RGB keyboard as well. Looks like the RGB keyboard might be an option, but the exterior is probably still plastic. Update: There are actually two versions, the Legion 5i gets a plastic construction, while the legion 5Pi is made out of metal.

The image below does suggest a new keyboard implementation, with a redesigned NumPad/Arrows section.

Lenovo Legion 5i vs Legion 540 series

I’ve also added a few more pictures of the AMD-based of the Legion 5i Y550, which might differ from the Intel model in some ways.

Lenovo were eager to communicate that the Intel-based Legion 5i and 7i are the first performance notebooks to get Nvidia’s Advanced Optimus technology. In few words, this allows both Optimus and GSync simultaneously on a laptop. GSync was offered on the previous Legion Y740 as well, but only at the expense of battery life, when you opted to disable the iGPU in software.

This time around, the iGPU and the dGPU are both connected to a physical switch called Dynamic Display Switch, which smartly selects the GPU of use based on the active load. This means the Intel UHD iGPU takes over with light use and video, and then the GPU and GSync get activated with games. This was not available in this form in the past, and I’m looking forward to seeing it in action.

Keep in mind there’s no way to implement this technology on existing products, as it requires both a software and a hardware component.

Nvidia Advanced Optimus implemented on the Legion 5i and 7i

In all fairness, though, GSync and Optimus have been previously available on laptops from Acer, Asus and Lenovo, but not at the same time. You had to choose between one mode or the other and then restart the laptop, while now it happens on of the fly, as far as I understand.

No word on whether Dynamic Boost is also implemented on these laptops, but hopefully it is.

Nvidia Dynamic Boost

There’s not much we can tell about these two right now, so I’ll leave you with some pricing information. The RTX 2060 configuration of the Legion i5 is set to start at $829, while the RTX 2070 version of the Legion 7i is scheduled from $1599, with availability varying between regions and starting around May 2020. Those are some aggressive prices on what were previously some of the more aggressively priced options in their niches, so I’d expect a lot of interest around these.

The IdeaPad Gaming 3 is set to start at around $730, and also scheduled for availability around May.

AMD Ryzen 4000 variants of the Legion 5 have also been recently listed in some stores, starting at around 1400 $CDN with a Ryzen 7 4800H processor, 32 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage. Base level variants are expected to start for as low as $759 in the US.

Update: Our detailed review of the Lenovo Legion 5 is available here. Stay tuned for our reviews of the Legion 5i and 7i in the near future.

Looking forward to spending more time with them for some proper reviews.

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Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief of Ultrabookreview.com. I've been covering mobile computers since the 2000s and you'll mostly find reviews and thorough guides written by me here on the site.

195 Comments

  1. j.g.

    June 26, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Also, have you checked if you're allowed to underclock your CPU through ThrottleStop?

    Many applications and GPU-dependant games don't require the full CPU turbo and will likely end up bottlenecking and thermal throttling your machine. Could you please try an UC-profile underclocking the turbo frequency (all cores) to something like 3.5 Ghz, then test those apps/games again and compare scores/temps?

    Don't forget W10 stock settings are also far from power-thermal efficient on any machine and need tweaking, also with undervolting being allowed. You could also try to tweak these settings:

    https://www.ultrabookreview.com/10156-how-to-tweak-your-laptop-p1/

  2. Andrei Girbea

    June 26, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    For everyone following and interested, here's my review of the AMD-based Legion 5: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/39830-lenovo-legion-5-review/

    The Legion 5i has also been listed here, but at around 1600 EUR for the i7/ GTX1660Ti model, and that's way too much to justify investing in it just for a review.

  3. j.g.

    June 27, 2020 at 11:36 pm

    Just an important update on Lenovo Plundervolt policy, for anyone following:

    Last Bios update on Legion Y series (BHCN38WW for Y540 models) 'silently' disables undervolting, combined with W10 update KB4497165 from last week. So don't update if you want to keep undervolting enabled, or roll back to BHCN36WW if you already did (also on Linux systems).

    There's still a discussion whether the security implementation from that microcode is even necessary on 2019 Y series models, since SGX software seems to be disabled (?), therefore not affected in theory by Plundervolt. If that's true, why then disable undervolting?

    Only thing I know for sure, KB4497165 didn't disable undervolting by itself on my Y540 last week. Also both 9th gen i7-9750H and i5 -9300H CPU's from 2019 Legion models are not listed as affected by the microcode vulnerability. But still, the updated got self-installed last week on my system, even while stating: "Install this update for the listed processors only":

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4497165/kb4497165-intel-microcode-updates

    I really really 'love' Windows ;)

    Anyhow, today I prevented at least the Bios update. I hope Intel will soon solve those vulnerabilities without disabling undervolting globally.

    I enjoy frying eggs on the pan and a my hands cool on the keyboard, not the other way around!

    • Jeffrey

      July 13, 2020 at 11:34 am

      I just updated to BHCN38WW on my Y540, and my i7-9750 is still undervolted:

      https://ibb.co/yR3229Q

      https://ibb.co/SRjjLNK

      • JG

        July 15, 2020 at 11:41 am

        Do you also have KB4497165 installed? There were users reporting both updates combined disabling undervolting.

        Apart from that, now that I see your values, I'm just curious: Have you tried undervolting even further? How is the stability on your machine?

        Sweet spot on mine is -0.145 V. Great stability and low temps/fans/noises (-.150 V wasn't stable enough).

  4. James Barnett

    June 30, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    Update to previous mini-review with a new RMA'd 7i today. *Massive* difference. Still i7-10750H, 16GB, 2060, 300 nit 144hz panel, no undervolts.

    Fans never too loud even under full loads, and Quiet mode is now actually quiet. CPU performing excellent, much cooler and maintaining more than twice the clock speeds.

    Cinebench R20:
    –New Perf Mode: 3262 score, stable 4.2 Ghz, CPU pulling 72w vs old score of 1893, 2.3 Ghz, 25w
    –New Balanced Mode: 3106, stable 4.2 Ghz, CPU pulling 60w vs old score of 1925, 2.3 Ghz, 25w

    Prime 95:
    –New Perf Mode: 4.2 Ghz, 72w vs old 1.9 Ghz, 25w, 72C
    –New Balanced Mode: 3.4 Ghz, 60w, 84C
    –New Quiet Mode: 2.3 Ghz, 25w, 63C

    Heaven (default settings, 1920×1080):
    –New Perf Mode: 4301 score, 171 FPS, GPU 1,665 mhz and 95w
    –New Balanced Mode: 4065 score, 161 FPS, GPU 1536 mhz and 80w

    Witcher 3 Ultra settings:
    –Perf Mode: 75 FPS from balcony, 90 FPS indoors, 1620 mhz, 95w
    –Balanced Mode: 63 FPS balcony, 82 FPS indoors, 1500 mhz, 80w

    GPU temp: 66-70C under load in both modes.

    I'm *very* pleased now.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 1, 2020 at 9:51 am

      that's more like it

    • jg

      July 1, 2020 at 10:11 am

      Wow, that's a big difference indeed!

      I'm glad to know both you got a right unit and that the Legion 7 can perform as intended :)

    • mind12

      July 1, 2020 at 10:33 am

      Promising, glad it worked out for you.

      Could you check the device ID of the 2060 using GPU-Z? Still wondering whether it is the 115W version or not. GPU memory should also run on 1.25V and the clock speed of vRAM should be 1350Mhz in GPU-Z Sensors.
      You can check GPU power with HWInfo.

      1F15 ID is the refreshed 2060 while 1F11 is the old one.
      Comparison here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=971J_bPQCho&feature=youtu.be&t=214

      • James Barnett

        July 1, 2020 at 6:05 pm

        It's 1F55 (10DE 1F55-17AA 3FCF) with the lower clocked vRAM (1353 mhz), so I'm sure a variant of the refreshed version. Really 1F55, not 1F15, GPU-Z lookup can't find it though it shows up in devicehunt.com with no information other than that it's a 2060 Mobile. I'd posted the HWInfo GPU power above–80w in Balanced mode, 95w in Performance mode. I suspect the card itself is the 90w version–the Y740 used the same 80w/95w for the 90w versions of the 2060 and 2070MQ.

        • mind12

          July 1, 2020 at 6:27 pm

          Thank you.
          Various informations cycles everyday through Reddit about the 7i: the G-Sync confusion, USB-C charging (started today, sales rep told you shouldnt charge it or you will ruin the motherboard) and 2060 GPU wattage.

          I can't understand how this guy achieved 109W: https://youtu.be/xlsJG9X9DdE?t=366
          If you look closely the HWInfo maximum wattage was 109W. However that device is the "premium" one with the 10875 i7 but I dont think it should make any difference.

        • James Barnett

          July 2, 2020 at 1:20 am

          @mind12, his spec list @ 14:13 does clearly say "RTX 2060 6G 109 Watts". But mine will only do 80/95w. Maybe there's a difference between premium/non-premium or the US and Chinese models. Or maybe "dynamic boost" is only available with g-sync monitors (which are only available with the premium models, even though you can get the same panel without g-sync on the i7-10750H and lower)–supposedly it can up the watts by 15, but if there's any place to enable it I can't find it–the NVIDIA 3d settings/power modes did nothing–though I kind of think that's how I'm getting up to 95w in performance mode, another 15w would put it at 110w. He's also got 3200mhz RAM where all the US models list 2900mhz (and it's definitely what I have), so there's at least some hardware differences. He's also got a BIOS version not available in the US drivers section. It would be nice if companies listed the watts of these cards.

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 2, 2020 at 10:25 am

          I noticed there's also a GPU power difference between different games. I haven't yet tested this 2060, but on the 2070/2080 SUper models that I've tried the GPU runs at 90 to 105W between titles, on the exact same power profiles. Witcher 3 for instance is something that allows the GPU to run at higher power.

        • James Barnett

          July 2, 2020 at 11:07 am

          Witcher 3 is one I tried. Everything that used the GPU at all was either 80w or 95w depending on the power profile.

          If the premium version really does get a 110w version, you'd think they'd want to advertise that–specs really should list the watts.

  5. jg

    July 2, 2020 at 10:52 am

    3200 Mhz ram is only compatible with 8-core Intel i7 10875H and i9 CPUs (and AMD), at least officially. That's why you get 'only' 2933 Mhz on yours.

    It's pretty confusing with all the re-naming stuff, but I guess that 'premium' label should stand for something extra, both for (110W) GPU, (8-core) CPU and (3200 Mhz) RAM. So it makes some sense to me.

  6. mind12

    July 3, 2020 at 11:32 am

    • jg

      July 3, 2020 at 12:08 pm

      Jezz, what a mess… Will Lenovo Marketing Department ever make up their minds? XD

      • mind12

        July 3, 2020 at 4:08 pm

        It wouldn't surprise me after all this if only the premium-gsync model's 2060 could go close to 115W and the standard one could remain only on 90W. Despite the fact that the cooling is the same.

        • James Barnett

          July 4, 2020 at 10:34 am

          Maybe. I don't really get why they don't all have gsync–mine definitely has Advanced Optimus (I can see the speed increase when the dGPU connects directly to the panel vs normal Optimus mode, which can still select), the panel can clearly do variable refresh since it's the same as the gysnc ones, and laptop gsync doesn't require an expensive gsync module like external monitors do. All I can think is they intentionally disabled it for product segmentation, so maybe the same segmentation idea for the 2060.

          Though https://laptopmedia.com/review/lenovo-legion-7-15-review-tackling-the-new-super-graphics-cards-with-an-improved-cooling/#temperatures-and-comfort lists the 2080 Super as 90w when nVidia spec allows "80-150+"–it would seem odd to max out the 2060 and leave the 2080 Super stuck at 90 (+5) watts.

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 4, 2020 at 12:44 pm

          The max-q 2080 Super is 80 to 105W in all the laptops that I've tested, and I'd expect the same on the 7i.

          As for that 2060, 115W would be difficult to cool imo. Look like the ROG Scar 15 for instance, which is available with the 115W version of the 2070 and barely copes with it, despite the beefy thermal module and thick chassis.

  7. jg

    July 6, 2020 at 1:23 am

    Not a real fan of these canucks (kind of find their reviews both bias and flawed), but still:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jeZ4XGe6w0

  8. Driz

    July 10, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    10875H w/ 2933MHz mem & 2060/2070/2070Smq/2080Smq is available on the 7i

  9. jis78

    July 19, 2020 at 1:04 am

    I got legion 5pi, which is supposed to have higher performance out of the box. HWINFo recorded max gpu power 103w with 2060 when playing Hitman 2 with a max temp of 78 degrees of celsius.

  10. JG

    August 11, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    For anyone interested, here a nice comparision between 2080 Super laptops, were the Legion 7i seems to stand out both as the all-round best and best-for-the-buck:

    https://tweakers.net/reviews/8012/1/rtx-2080-super-laptops-duurder-is-niet-altijd-beter-inleiding.html

    (in Dutch though, use G-translate)

    I wonder how much higher would it even score with a fast Samsung SSD, instead of the WD drive.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 11, 2020 at 4:16 pm

      Something's wrong with their Zeph Duo and Blade Pro scores, they're significantly lower than what we got in our tests. Look at the 3Dmark Firestrike Physics/Graphics for reference.

      Unfortunately, Lenovo aren't interested in sending us the 7i and the 2080 is just way too expensive to justify getting for the review alone. I hope to get to test it as well and compare it to the other options.

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