Lenovo sell some of the best-value performance/gaming laptops available these days with their Legion 5 and 7 series, yet those are full-size laptops and might not always cater to potential buyers that are looking for something perhaps not as powerful, but lighter and easier to grab along.
If that’s you, then these newer Lenovo Legion Slim 7s models that are scheduled for release in this last quarter of 2020 might be of interest.
In just a few words, these are slimmer and lighter iterations of the popular Legion 7, with still powerful hardware specs, long battery life, and solid screen options. They do compromise to some extent on the hardware specs, IO, and thermal design compared to the full-size Legion 7, though, aspects that need to be balanced out by the more portable form-factor.
This clip down below quickly compares the Legion Slim 7 to the regular Legion 7, so you’ll know what to expect in terms of design, IO, inputs, and technology when opting for one over the other. It’s about the Intel-based Legion Slim 7i, but most of it also applies to the AMD-powered Slim 7 as well. We’ll get to that in a bit.
Then, here’s a quick specs sheet of the Legion Slim 7 lineup next to the standard Legion 7, and we’ll dive into some details further down.
|Lenovo Legion Slim 7||Lenovo Legion 7i|
|Screen||15.6 inch, matte, non-touch, FHD 144 Hz 5ms with 300-nits, 100% sRGB
15.6 inch, matte, non-touch, UHD 60 Hz with 600-nits and VESA HDR 400, 100% Adobe RGB
|15.6-inch, matte, non-touch, FHD 144 to 300Hz 3ms, 100% sRGB, 500-nits|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 4000 CPU, up to Core i9 8C/16T or
10th gen Intel Comet Lake Core H CPU, up to Core i7 6C/12T
|10th gen Intel Comet Lake Core HK CPU, up to Core i9 8C/16T|
|Video||up to Nvidia RTX 2060 Max-Q, with Optimus||up to Nvidia RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, with NVIDIA Advanced Optimus/G-SYNC|
|Memory||up to 32 GB DDR4 3200 MHz (2x DIMMs)||up to 32 GB DDR4 3200 MHz (2x DIMMs)|
|Storage||2x M.2 SSD||2x M.2 SSDs with RAID support|
|Connectivity||Wireless 6 AX, Bluetooth 5.0||Gigabit LAN, Wireless 6 AX, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Ports||2x USB-A 3.2 gen2, 2x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3 (on Intel models), card-reader, mic/headphone||3x USB-A 3.1, 1x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB-C, HDMI 2.0, LAN, mic/headphone|
|Battery||71 Wh, up to 230W power brick||80 Wh, up to 280W power brick|
|Size||356 mm or 14.02” (w) x 250 mm or 9.84” (d) x 17.9 mm or .7” (h)||360 mm or 14.19” (w) x 255 mm or 10.03” (d) x 19.9 mm or .78” (h)|
|Weight||from 1.8 kg (3.96 lbs)||from 2.1 kg (4.6 lbs)|
|Extras||White or optional Corsair TrueStrike RGB backlit keyboard, webcam, Slate Gray color, fully metallic build, quad speakers||Corsair TrueStrike RGB backlit keyboard with 1.3 travel, RGB light bars, webcam, Iron Gray color, fully metallic build, quad speakers|
Ok, it’s obvious that while the Legion 7i is primarily a gaming laptop with those screen and GPU options, as well as the Advanced GSync support, the Legion Slim 7 is more of a multi-purpose laptop and a powerful notebook targeted at creators/editors/professionals on the go. It’s the only one of the two to offer an SD card reader or an UHD screen option with 100% AdobeRGB color coverage, and is also the only one available with a choice of either Intel or AMD hardware.
That aside, the Legion Slim 7 is .3 of a kg lighter and slightly smaller and thinner than the full-size Legion 7, and with the less powerful hardware, it also ships with a smaller power-brick, something else to consider when carrying the laptop around every day.
On the other hand, the standard Legion 7 has its own share of advantages, such as the faster screen options and more powerful GPU choices, the dual-storage with RAID support, the more complex IO, and the larger battery, among others, as well as what I expect to be a more capable thermal implementation with the vapor-chamber design. This is especially something to look for in the detailed reviews of this Slim 7 version, which implements a more standard thermal module similar to what we’ve seen in the Legion 5.
Sure, that only needs to cope with a 65W dGPU, but still needs to cool the power-hungry processors in this space-constrained chassis.
And here’s where we get to what;s perhaps the most interesting part of this Legion Slim 7: it’s one of the very few compact laptops built on AMD Ryzen 4000 hardware, with up to a Ryzen 9 4900H processor at the very top.
So far, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 was the only other such available laptop that I can think of, but with its own share of compromises, as that is an older 2019 chassis updated to 2020 hardware. Sure, there’s also the Zephyrus G14 out there, but that’s a smaller-screen model. In comparison, Lenovo had a lot more time on their side to put up a better-balanced product that can hopefully tame that Ryzen 9 processor and mid-range Nvidia GPU the right way.
As for the Intel-based configurations, those can be specced up to an Intel Core i9-10980HK processor with the same kind of Nvidia graphics, but Comet Lake is more power-hungry and less-efficient than the AMD platform, and should be your choice only if you’re primarily looking to run workloads that would benefit from some of Intel’s design particularities and superior single-core performance. Otherwise, I’d recommend going with AMD.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that Lenovo mentions that they’ve implemented the Max-Q Dynamic Boost technology on the Nvidia GPUs, which allow the system to increase the GPU’s allocated power by up to 15W when needed, while subtracting it from the CPU. That means more power can be allocated to the GPU in games, which could push the 65W 2060 in these laptops to perform closer to a full-power 80W 2060 implementation. However, what I don’t know at this point is whether this is properly supported by both the Intel and AMD variants, or is just something reserved for the Intel configuration.
Nonetheless, we should have our answers shortly, as the Legion Slim 7 should go on sale in late October 2020, starting at $1369 for the AMD model and $1349 for the Intel versions.
Image credit: This video made by Hardware Canucks on Youtube.