Lenovo Legion 7 review (2021 Legion 7i 16ITH6 model – Core i9, RTX 3080)

53 Comments

  1. Necter

    August 10, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    Perhaps I missed it but I don't see any mention of the mux switch. The one in the Legion Vantage. Turn off Hybrid mode and reboot. Did you test that?

    • Derek Sullivan

      August 10, 2021 at 7:12 pm

      Yes, hybrid mode in Vantage on this model is merely just turning on advanced Optimus. If you turn off hybrid mode, it forces the dGPU to always be on. Even in hybrid mode, you can still select between GPUs in the Nvidia menu.

  2. Miracle Man

    August 10, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    I just bought one myself and am super happy with it! There really isn't much more you can ask for performance and feature wise with some minor exceptions, but those weren't a deal-breaker for me either.

    For the battery, how about trying to do:
    – Keyboard backlight OFF
    – Brightness 50%
    – Quiet Mode
    – Hybrid ON (Then go to Nvidia Control -> Manage Display -> Set to "Integrated Graphics")
    – Power Savings in the Battery Settings
    – 60Hz refresh rate

    I was able to get around 6-7hrs with that. It's a bit of a requirement but helps that have it when you're in a pinch lol.

    • Derek Sullivan

      August 10, 2021 at 7:14 pm

      Did you see any extra benefit to setting it to integrated graphics? It should do that automatically.

      I've tried 60hz and that helps a lot. I just hate suggesting it because it's a pain in the butt to switch. Curious if Fn-R works for you because that's supposed to change the refresh rate.

      • Miracle Man

        August 12, 2021 at 5:43 am

        I believe it still switches to dGPU even in Hybrid Mode ON thanks to Advanced Optimus. Setting “Optimus” under Manage Display in the Nvidia Control Panel just forces every application to run on the Integrated Graphics.

        Also, Fn+R doesn’t work for me either. It might just be a software bug or the need of a BIOS update.

    • patrick lanard

      August 15, 2021 at 11:43 am

      How do you switch the refresh rate to 60 Hz?

      • Derek Sullivan

        August 15, 2021 at 6:01 pm

        You have to do it manually through Intel graphics control center. Fn-R is supposed to do it but it's not working for anyone yet.

  3. Khaki

    August 10, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    I recently cancelled my Ryzen 7 / 3070 build after the delivery dates pushed out until December 22nd, and managed to order an 11800H / 3080 instead.

    Thanks to your thorough review, I feel really good about that decision! Really appreciate the level of detail regarding wattage, thermals, and fan noise dbs.

  4. Serge

    August 10, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    Fantastic review, im so thankful you guys are here to guide us through bunch of those choises ! Hope you can review slim version soon.

  5. Matt

    August 13, 2021 at 4:03 am

    Can you turn off all of the extra side lighting but still keep the keyboard backlit? Also is ThrottleStop worth using or does this laptop do a good job at doing those things with the Legion software? I used your TS guide with my X1e Gen 2 and it helped a ton.

    Your reviews are always my go to.

    • Derek Sullivan

      August 13, 2021 at 4:15 am

      You can, but it requires using the battery hog iCue software in order to customize it.

      Without iCue and under the default system lighting there is only one "normal" lit option which is blue, but it has the blue bar underneath lit as well. There is a secret to turning it off but it involves switching to battery power first. If you hit Fn-Q to go into quiet mode it turns the lights off completely. Hitting fN-Q again restores the keyboard lighting(still blue) but leaves the light bar off. You can replace the power connection and the settings will stick even after putting the laptop through a sleep cycle.

      I decided not to use Throttlestop. I didn't find it necessary yet. I'll probably fool with it in a few weeks when I have time to tweak it properly. The only thing I plan on using it for is to tune an ultra low TDP for use on battery power when I need to maximize it.

      • Elrondolio

        September 6, 2021 at 11:27 am

        You can safely install iCUE, run it to create and activate your prefered RGB setup with static colors (for keyboard or any other area) then make sure the customized profile you want is the first in the iCUE profile list as that'll be the one that gets activated upon iCUE startup. From there you can create a batch file like below, create a shortcut for it, customize that shortcut with a shortcut key combo from its Properties (such as setting it to CTRL-ALT-K, etc) then place that shortcut in your Start Menu's Programs folder.

        From then on, all you have to do is hit the keyboard combo anywhere in Windows and it'll auto-kill the iCUE process and its services while leaving the loaded RGB profile in tact (until reboot). Here's an example for an icue_kill.bat file one might use:

        @ECHO OFF

        REM Terminate the iCUE software process if running
        taskkill /IM "iCUE.EXE" /F

        REM Stop the three Corsair services if running (the first process requires admin mode to stop, the other two do not)
        net stop "Corsair Gaming Audio Configuration Service" /y
        net stop "Corsair LLA Service" /y
        net stop "Corsair Service" /y

        Point is: you can still have iCUE installed to take advantage of all the RGB goodness on your laptop (static colouring, that is, animated coloring freezes when iCUE is stopped) but still use a simple keyboard kepress to stop it from eating all of your battery runtime. When you want it back, just run it again… rinse, repeat.

        May not be elegant, but its the best we can do until Corsair gets off their buts after all these years and fixes this hog (or, even better, Lenovo integrates RGB lighting controls directly in Vantage).

        Best to you all.

      • Derek Sullivan

        September 6, 2021 at 4:02 pm

        Nice, that worked great! Thanks for pointing that out.

  6. John Dolly

    August 14, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    Is it possible to disconnect the rgb bar if one never wants to use it

  7. txhousa

    August 27, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Is it really all metal ? Did you try to disassemble internal parts to see the laptop's frame structure ?
    Thanks.

    • Derek Sullivan

      August 27, 2021 at 6:38 pm

      Feels like it to me. To which part are you concerned isn't metal?

  8. Alvin

    August 28, 2021 at 3:49 am

    I have legion 7i with i9 11980HK model.
    And i cannot undervolt it using xtu or throttlestop as the option is disable.

    Can u help me list your steps to do undervolt?
    Thanks in advance ^^

    • Derek Sullivan

      August 28, 2021 at 4:27 am

      It works for me with both. By disabled do you mean the offset voltage is greyed out?

      • Alvin

        August 28, 2021 at 9:41 am

        Yap, it's grey out.

        I read in internet that i need to open advanced bios and tick something.
        But i cannot go to advanced bios (either by q to p method or fn+r)

      • Derek Sullivan

        August 29, 2021 at 4:02 am

        I've checked discord and nobody has figured out how to unlock advanced bios yet. I must be lucky that mine is unlocked. I still haven't updated the bios and now I probably won't

    • Christian Laguna

      August 31, 2021 at 1:03 am

      Hi there

      Try the below link, let us know if it worked for you.

      https://youtu.be/ecn_sKNeiKc

      • Derek Sullivan

        August 31, 2021 at 1:41 am

        That's last year's model. It doesn't work with this bios.

    • Andrew W

      September 2, 2021 at 11:30 pm

      Mine works fine (i7 model). Open Lenovo Vantage and make sure you are in Performance mode.

  9. Mr. Belvedere

    September 3, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    The L7 deal is really good right now making it the same price, if not cheaper than an equivalent speced L5P. I'm very happy with the L5P that I have though and there really isn't anything I need the L7 for other than the better speakers. Still sounds like they aren't amazing speakers, just better than the L5P's. My my main concern about switching is that I really like the L5P keyboard with the 1.5mm travel and concave keys. Sounds like I'd lose both on the L7 for shallower travel, flat keys. Do you like the keyboard now or still miss the L5 keyboard?

    • Derek Sullivan

      September 3, 2021 at 7:57 pm

      I've adjusted pretty well to this keyboard. I do miss the concave keys for sure but the former feedback makes up for it. Not that it really matters, but the RGB is a little better on the L7. The only thing I kind of miss about the L5P keys is the black color. I'm not a fan of having no contrast.

      • Mr. Belvedere

        September 3, 2021 at 8:44 pm

        Thanks. Figure it is easy to get used to anything. I have used a Razer before and after while my fingers get more tired with the flat keyboard than the with the legion 5 I have also used. I'm going on the L5P being more like the L5 wheras the L7 may be more like the Razer. None of the aesthetic make a huge difference to me. Still with today's deals the L7 actually comes in at a cheaper price than I paid for a L5P with the same options. Still in the return window and it is still a hard decision. Which is crazy because the 2 systems will perform 100% the same and have the same display.

        Is the travel on the keys a bit shorter on the L7 vs L5P?

      • Derek Sullivan

        September 3, 2021 at 9:39 pm

        I just measured it now and it's 1.2mm of key travel, nearly identical to my Razer Blade 15. The main difference is in the feedback. For both keyboards, it takes 55g to depress the key. But on the L7, the springs are a little different ant lift a little more naturally. The Razer Blade keys spring back when the force is dropped to 30g, while the L7 keys lift back at 15g. Hard to explain, but the key doesn't fight back as much on the L7, making it feel like it's easier to depress the key and to tell if it's depressed.

        I don't take these measurements anymore(I used to do this for every laptop but it's a tedious test and offers little reward). I would describe the L5P keyboard to be a little "mushier" though mainly because the lift back force is probably somewhere smaller than 15g. It wasn't bad – I've certainly had worse. But the keystroke depth makes up for it for sure.

        Tough call because I was ok with both Lenovo keyboards. But I type much better on the L7 than I did on the Razer Blade 15 and I've had that laptop for nearly 2 years now. for the RB15, I would occasionally miss keystrokes, which I attribute to the feedback force being too high and not getting a "full" keystroke in.

      • Mr. Belvedere

        September 3, 2021 at 10:22 pm

        Couldn't reply to the comment to the comment. Great info. Wouldn't even know how to begin measuring key travel. One other question. Have you tried the L7 slim? Best buy has it on display. I'm thinking the L7 and L7 slim have the same keyboard. Closest I'll come to testing our an L7. I liked it. Did noticed the flat keys, less travel and more snap/spring back

      • Derek Sullivan

        September 3, 2021 at 10:34 pm

        I haven't tried it but I might be in the area this weekend. If I am, I'll give it a try and will let you know.

      • Mr. Belvedere

        September 4, 2021 at 12:20 am

        Cool, let me know what you think. I tried it out and a Legion 5 at my local BB. They didn't have a L5P, but I think the L5 is similar. Different feeling keyboards. I can't really say which was better.

  10. Maria

    September 4, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    I want this laptop but this is out of my budget, could you suggest me from where i can buy this laptop in use?

    • Derek Sullivan

      September 4, 2021 at 8:27 pm

      Keep an eye on deal sites like Slickdeals. If you put an alert in, it'll email you if a deal pops up. Lenovo.com just had a 3080 Ryzen version on sale for roughly $2400 a few days back. I'm sure the 3070 version has also had sales. Good luck

  11. Colin

    September 4, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    Thanks a lot for the review, really good stuff!

    I just got a Legion 5 Pro because I got a really good deal and I really like it so far! I was also looking at the Legion 7, but that was not available for a long time and I felt the difference was not so big between the two.

    I also have the BOE NE160QDM-NY1 display panel and it is really bright and the colors look good!
    I was a bit sensitive with PWM in the past, in another laptop review I read that the panel does not have any PWM – did you by any chance check that? I don't really have proper measurment tools (or knowledge) to see if the display uses PWM .
    Would appreciate your reply and thanks again for the review!

    • Derek Sullivan

      September 4, 2021 at 9:46 pm

      I don't have the equipment to check for it unfortunately. Notebookcheck says they didn't detect any though, so I would trust in that.

  12. Rob

    September 9, 2021 at 8:39 am

    I don't understand why you won't show the blender benchmarks for legion series unlike the reviews of Asus laptops where you show them.

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 9, 2021 at 9:26 am

      As much as we're trying to keep our testing consistent between us, I run a couple more benchmarks than Derek does in his reviews. Hence, no Blender or Specviewperf here.

      • apw100

        September 11, 2021 at 6:04 pm

        I have run Blender benchmarks on my Legion 7i (i7, 32GB, 3080 16GB model) but only for OptiX rendering. The GPU in this thing is extremely impressive with only the 3090 and 3080ti consistently beating it. Let me know if you want me to run a particular benchmark for you.

  13. Sid

    September 10, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    A few questions. Trying to configure this laptop to be an all rounder/applicable for versatile use. A little bit of everything done well. Advice much appreciated!

    1. Will i9 11980 HK be overkill for this laptop? Does i7CPU provide a better balance of performance and lower batter power consumption?

    2. Given RAM issues, should I just go for the stock 16GB that comes installed from Lenovo and upgrade the RAM to 32GB with a dual rank RAM on my own?

    3. Is RTX 3080 GPU that much better than RTX 3070 for the additional $700 cost?

    • Derek Sullivan

      September 10, 2021 at 6:38 pm

      1. Yes, the CPU is overkill. The i7 is probably fine, although I don't know if the power profiles are the same. I really liked the quiet profile on this model since it still was playable for all games.
      Power consumption is probably negligible though.

      2. The 32gb kit is fine with me on this model. I've tested the AMD model too and swapping out the RAM made no difference on performance. If you go the 16gb route, you'll have to upgrade but the 32gb models are fine as is.

      3. Absolutely not. It's only good because it's so higher powered and a lighter pill to swallow than the 3070/80 difference on other models. But $700 different, no way. But also consider that the top tiered model has an extre ssd, more ram and a "better" CPU. So that plays into the cost difference too. Another option is the AMD model, which went on sale for just over $2400 a week ago. Given that choice, I would say the 3080 model is the way to go. The AMD model has a couple cons to it though which I'm still working on an article for. Given the choice, I'd pick AMD though, especially if you can find it significantly cheaper

      • Sid

        September 11, 2021 at 6:05 am

        Thanks Derek. Does the 3080 (160 Watts) GPU get bottlenecked by the i7 11800H CPU or is this pairing ok for the Legion 7i?

        I will also be keen to understand your perspective on the difference between the AMD configuration and the Intel. Did you say you will be publishing a review of the Legion 7(16") AMD soon?

      • Derek Sullivan

        September 11, 2021 at 12:41 pm

        No chance that is bottlenecked by any of the CPU options on these models. The CPU power is pretty overkill for most games.

        I should have an article up within a week or so. I've got all the data, I just need to write it. Been super busy this week.

    • apw100

      September 11, 2021 at 6:25 pm

      1) I'd say so. The i7 version is easily undervolted/overclocked to give better than i9 performance. See Tally Ho Tech's videos on YouTube for more info.

      2) The RAM isn't that bad, it's more of an issue with AMD CPUs.

      3) I probably wouldn't go for the 3080 16GB model if I was only gaming but I primarily use it for GPU rendering (Blender, etc) so it's worth it for me.

  14. Mitia

    September 17, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    Thank you very much for the review. Based on that I just have purchased a Legion 7 16ITHg6. It arrived with empty battery. After charging, the laptop turned on. Now I notice that the Laptop discharges 10-20% battery over night in a shut down state. Do you notice such bahaviour or might it be faulty?

    Cheers,
    Mitia

    • Derek Sullivan

      September 19, 2021 at 1:29 am

      That's not normal at all. The battery shouldn't be discharging more than 1% a day while it's off. Battery being dead on arrival like that is a red flag something is wrong hardware wise. It could be firmware too but I haven't heard of anyone else having this problem. You could check their Discord server to see if anyone else has that issue, but if it were me I'd just RMA it.

  15. Eric H.

    September 19, 2021 at 1:01 am

    Excellent review! Can you offer some advice on finding a suitable car charger or otherwise more portable solution using the USB C port? And will it extend battery life while in use, whether regular or intensive, or is it mainly for charging while not in use?

    I've ordered a 7i with i7/3070/32gb/1tb. I'm currently a light gamer interested in dabbling in video/photo editing and 3D design, and wanted a basically future-proof laptop (5+ years). In light of this, what's your opinion of these specs?

    Thanks for the great review!

    • Derek Sullivan

      September 19, 2021 at 1:26 am

      I actually have one coming in on Monday. If it works, I'll report back. My older PD car chargers and my PD power bank don't work with this USB port – only my newer GaN charger. Perhaps older PD protocols aren't supported?

      Good specs on that model. 3080 is overkill and over priced. I think the 3060 is probably fine for almost anyone who doesn't do heavy gaming. A 3070 will be futureproof for the 5 years you are intending to use the machine though. Same with the CPU. Good luck with your new purchase!

      • Eric H.

        September 19, 2021 at 1:56 am

        Thanks! Looking forward to hearing more about the USB C charger you have on order, assuming it works.

        What really sold me on this laptop (in addition to the great specs and appearance, etc.) was the new 16" 16:10 screen. Been trying out a 5i Pro with the same screen, and it's as good as everyone says.

        A little disappointed with lack of USB A on either side, but maybe a non-issue if/when USB C fingerprint readers become more common. Happen to know of any good Windows Hello ones with USB C?

        Thanks again for the quick response!

      • Derek Sullivan

        September 19, 2021 at 2:06 am

        Yeah, I was kind of bummed they didn't have the USB-A port on the right hand side like the 5 Pro. I really don't need 3 USB-C, especially since the right one doesn't support Thunderbolt or charging…

        Never used an external fingerprint reader, sorry. I've adapted to just using the pin on this model. You can set up the laptop to boot when you open the lid, and by the time you get it open, you can type your pin in right away. Takes 2 seconds and no need to touch the power button.

    • Derek Sullivan

      September 21, 2021 at 1:06 am

      USB-C car charger I got on Amazon didn't work with the laptop. Only my phone. :(

      I got the Raycono 45W one. Works great for my phone though.

      • Eric H.

        September 21, 2021 at 4:29 am

        Thanks for the info. I'm thinking of getting a Jackery 1000 or 1500, and keeping it in the car for use in a pinch.

        Heck, get the solar panels that go with it, and you could game or edit video just about anywhere!

      • Elrondolio

        September 21, 2021 at 5:30 am

        You'll want a cable that has an E-marker chip in it to successfully support up to the 100W (20V at 5A) that these Legions support. I use the following cables successfully with my PD charger on my Legion 7 AMD as they do up to 100W while also supporting Gen 2 transfer speeds (10Gbps) and video (4K@60 at minimum):

        Fasgear 90-Degree Type C 10Gbps speed 4K@60Hz Video Output 100W 5A Power Delivery
        https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08FXZLHJ9

        TDBT USB-C to USB-C & Thunderbolt 3 Universal Cable, 100W Power Delivery, DisplayPort DP 1.4, 4K/5K/6K/8K 60Hz Monitor Cord, 10Gbps Data Transfer
        https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08C28GSKH

        There are other cables as well, of course, but make sure whatever you pick has an E-marker chip.

        For reference, here's the GaN 100W PD charger I use, it's very versatile:

        Hyphen-X 100W 4-Port GaN Fast Wall Charger
        https://www.amazon.com/Charger-Hyphen-X-Charging-Laptops-Compatible/dp/B08X42DRMR

        Thanks so much, Derek, for your excellent review.

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