RTX 4080 is a hard find on laptops, but Lenovo's Legion Pro 7i brings that along with a massively powerful 13th Gen Core i9 CPU for the ultimate gaming performance on the go. But for this bestial strength, you also pay between INR 2.7 and 3.6 lakh (starting at $1,950 in the US). Is trading a huge chunk of your savings worth the joy of gaming at 240Hz anywhere? You'll find out here.
Disclaimer: Lenovo India sent us the 32GB RAM unit of the Legion Pro 7i but had no inputs in this review. This evaluation is after nearly 10 days of continuous use.
Build and Design
- The Legion Pro 7i has an all-black matte finish with an aluminum plate on the lid and the deck underneath. The aluminum, especially at the bottom, helps with heat dissipation. I've tried plastic shell gaming laptops before, and trust me, they want to singe your thighs after a brief spell of gaming due to bad heat management.
- There are large cutouts for the air inlet at the bottom, serving air to two exhausts used alongside the vapour chamber cooling system inside. It's a fairly standard stuff for gaming laptop, but the execution is done well.
- The keyboard top case and the sides of the chassis are made of hard plastic with negligible signs of flex. Overall, the attention to detail reflects the very first time you lay your hands on this machine.
- The display's hinge feels sturdy, a perk not every gaming laptop can claim to offer. There's a lip alongside the top edge of the display that makes it easier to open the laptop. These are thoughtful tweaks, even if they seem like minor touches.
- Because the weight is most centered at the bottom, there's no trouble opening the display with one hand, and there's little flex to be seen owing to the aluminum reinforcement.
- The display can open for a full 180°, which facilitates gaming on a variety of setups.
- There's a tiny webcam at the centre of the lip with an indicator light and two microphones on either side. A neat privacy-centric addition is that Lenovo also offers a physical switch for the webcam on the side of the laptop.
- The sides and the back are mostly laced with large vents, while the majority of the ports are limited to the backside.
- The powerful hardware can produce a lot of heat, but the large vents and fans do a great job of emitting it out of the system efficiently.
- The price you pay for the herculean performance is in terms of the heft. Lenovo Legion Pro 7i weighs roughly 2.65kg, which may not always be convenient to carry around.
- The charger adds another 1.1kg, so carrying the setup around every day can be toilsome.
Display and Sound
- There's a 16-inch IPS panel with a 2560 x 1600 pixels resolution up on offer. Of course, the highlight here is the 240Hz refresh rate with Nvidia G-Sync support.
- The display offers up to 500 units of brightness and is sufficiently bright for daytime viewing. Overall, I find it plenty vivid, but I would appreciate more accuracy. The high refresh rate is definitely fascinating for gaming, but it can get tiring for the eyes if you're using it primarily for typing on web pages or sifting through Excel sheets.
- The anti-glare coating improves visibility, especially in bright or well-lit scenarios. Lenovo claims the display covers 100% of the sRGB gamut, which means you can do a healthy bit of creative editing work without complaining about narrow color coverage and risk being fired by Quentin Tarantino.
- The display also gets HDR support with AutoHDR functionality that can be set to activate in games. HDR does enhance visibility in games, especially with darker scenes, but is no use otherwise.
- Jarrod's Tech also says there's a MiniLED version with 165Hz, much higher colour accuracy, and 1,000nits of brightness, but I couldn't find details on the official website. It looks like Lenovo is keeping certain SKUs limited to specific markets, which isn't really surprising.
- There is an option to lower the refresh rate to 60Hz, but nothing between 60 and 240Hz. An option like 120Hz would have perhaps been a suitable middle ground that would be better for the battery and less taxing on the eyes as well as system resources.
- The sound on the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i is phenomenal, with just two 2W Harman-tuned speakers, placed at the bottom of the palm resting area on either side.
- The speakers are fairly crisp, and their loudness can easily cut through blaring ambient noise, such as an old AC.
- The bass, especially, is plenty powerful, and I could feel ripples across my desk every time a thunderous track or background score would play on the speakers.
Keyboard and Trackpad
- The Legion Pro 7i gets a full-sized chicklet keyboard with per-key RGB backlighting. You can toggle between eight different keyboard lighting presets using Fn + Spacebar.
- The lighting can be customized using the Lenovo Vantage app. The app supports multiple customizable effects, including ripple, rainbow, wave, rain, etc., or sync them with the audio or the display.
- Despite plenty of effects to choose from, you cannot customize the presets or choose combinations of colors. Given this is controlled through software, Lenovo can hopefully improve upon it with an update.
- You can also change the speed of the effects but only between three speeds (1-3). The same software can also be used to change the colors of the light strip and the bottom.
- Lenovo claims a key travel of 1.5mm, which is longer than traditional laptops. Typing feels great, but you might still long to smash keys harder if you usually use a mechanical keyboard like I do.
- If you don't absolutely desire a mechanical keyboard, then the keyboard will fare well on your expectations. Among gaming laptops, Lenovo's Legion lineup ranks high when it comes to offering a rewarding tactile experience.
- The keycaps feel smooth and do not catch up gunk or sweat marks easily, which is a welcome convenience.
- Another good thing is that Lenovo lets you swap keycaps, but replacement keycaps are not included in the box (at least not in India) like they are on the Legion 7i.
- The keys on the numpad are smaller than the rest of the keyboard, but that's not a deal breaker. You can customize individual number keys in the numpad as macros if you don't use it all that much. However, I would have liked it if I could use the macros with the num lock off and the numpad with it on.
- But there are still a few caveats. The num lock key is dangerously close to the backspace, which makes it prone to being hit accidentally multiple times while typing.
- The heat from performance-intensive tasks can transfer to the top of the keyboard and is especially felt around the D-pad.
- The trackpad has a smooth finish and feels highly responsive, especially with multi-finger gestures.
- There are no markings for the left and right click buttons. You can either press closer to the bottom right to right-click or simply press anywhere on the trackpad with two fingers. Of course, you can also just tap instead of clicking.
- The trackpad is pretty good at avoiding accidental touches while you're gaming or typing. That said, I would still use a mouse for FPS games. Duh
- There's no light to indicate when the trackpad might be locked, which can be a bit baffling in rare situations.
Performance and Gaming
- The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i is a fierce beast (in a good way) when it comes to performance. You wouldn't doubt a 13th-Gen Core i9 and RTX 4080 combo anyway.
- You have the Intel Core i9-13900HX driving this thing, along with options between 16 and 32GB of DDR5 RAM @ 5600MHz (I got the latter from Lenovo for testing).
- It would be idiotic to expect this thing to lag or stutter, but Windows 11 and its ad-packed shenanigans can prove you wrong sometimes.
- Matthew Moniz on YouTube has extensively benchmarked the Legion Pro 7i. Although the version they use has RTX 4070 instead, the CPU scores should remain the same irrespective (Thanks, Matthew!).
- When it comes to gaming, the RTX 4080 does a phenomenal job for a laptop (although, don't expect it to be as powerful as the desktop version).
- Playing Starfield at Ultra Settings at 2560 x 1600 pixels, I easily got 60-70fps consistently with minor stutters during combat or sudden changes in scenes.
- On Forza Horizon 5, I could easily get 120fps at Extreme settings (2560 x 1600px) and MS AA.
- With Microsoft Flight Simulator at the highest settings and Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), I was able to achieve frame rates ranging between 50 and 65fps.
- These are all determined while running with the AC adapter.
- In demanding games, such as Starfield, the CPU temperatures go up to 100°C while the GPU can hover around the 80-90°C mark. The outer body, however, stays relatively cooler at around 50-60°C, thanks to aluminium build.
- The large vents and the fans also help emit the heat out without sounding disturbingly loud.
- In normal usage, fans stay fairly quiet, and you can choose the Performance mode in the Lenovo Vantage app.
- The Lenovo Vantage app also gives you the option to overclock the GPU, increasing the GPU clock speed by an extra 200MHz and the VRAM by an additional 400MHz.
- After overclocking, I noticed better frame rates (especially when starting a game), although it plateaued as the laptop got hotter within a matter of few minutes.
- Starfield at Ultra settings went up to 85-90fps.
- Forza Horizon 5 bumps up to 130fps at Extreme settings (2560 x 1600px).
- As expected, overclocking generates more heat, especially on the GPU.
- Talking of the storage, there are options including 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB of SSD over a PCIe Gen 4 slot. We got the 2TB variant for testing.
- CrystalDiskMark shows promising speeds on the preinstalled SSDs.
- Based on other teardowns online, the Legion Pro 7i has two M.2 slots — an 80mm one preoccupied with the SSD and a 60mm one free if you have the 512GB or 1TB variant. Make sure to check which slot is empty before getting yourself an upgrade.
- There are two RAM slots inside, and both are occupied irrespective of whether you get the 16GB or the 32GB RAM variant.
Ports and I/O
- Lenovo places most of the ports on the back of the laptop, which, although puts them out of sight, also makes them a bit cumbersome to reach, especially without looking.
- Here are the ports that you get on the back:
- Proprietary charging port
- Two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
- HDMI 2.1
- USB-C 3.2 with DisplayPort 1.4 and USB-PD up to 140W
- Ethernet RJ45
- Meanwhile following ports are found on the side
- USB-C 3.2 — while Lenovo claims the same USB-PD capabilities here, I wasn't able to charge the laptop with this port
- USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 (one on the left and another on the right)
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- For wireless connectivity, the Legion Pro 7i gets Wi-Fi 6E AX with 2x2 multichannel support. It's good enough for gaming if you can't access a LAN port everywhere.
- There's Bluetooth 5.1 on offer, with decent connectivity for the majority of the latest headphones or audio accessories — although I did run into some trouble relaying audio through my Xiaomi smart speaker with Google Assistant.
Battery and charging
- The Legion Pro 7i has a 4-cell 99.9Wh battery pack.
- It lasts around 2 to 2.5 hours of regular usage with internet browsing, constant Wi-Fi, brightness set to about 100%, and the refresh rate set to 240Hz.
- Lowering the display to 60Hz will improve battery life significantly, but then where's the fun?
- While gaming, the demanding innards cut down the battery backup to nearly an hour.
- For charging, Lenovo supplies a 300W GaN power adapter. It is phenomenally fast and charges the Legion Pro 7i in less than 90 minutes while it is being used.
- However, the 300W brick is also substantially bulky and might feel like a pain to carry around along with the already-heavy Legion Pro 7i.
- You can also charge with a standard USB-C connector. I used a 140W GaN USB-C charger, but the charging is comparatively very slow.
- Of course, the USB-C charging can't keep up if you're gaming since the battery drain is higher than the rack up. But for regular PC chores, cranking down then performance profile will be enough to keep it afloat and juicing up.
Price and different configurations
- Internationally, Lenovo sells three different models:
- 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, RTX 4070 — Starting at $1,950
- 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, RTX 4080 — Starting at $2,565
- 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, RTX 4090 — Starting at $3,065
- In India, Lenovo has the following variations:
- 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, RTX 4080 — Starting at ₹2.77 lakh
- 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, RTX 4080 — ₹3 lakh
- 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, RTX 4090 — ₹3.57 lakh
- Design - 8/10
- Build - 8/10
- Display - 7.5/10
- Sound - 9/10
- Gaming chops - 9.5/10
- Regular performance - 9/10
- Heat management - 9/10
- Battery life - 8/10
- Charging - 9/10
- Keyboard - 8/10
- Backlight customization - 8/10
- Trackpad - 8/10
- Connectivity - 8/10
- OVERALL - 8.5/10
The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i has to be the best value-for-money gaming beast of a laptop. It is nearly perfect, but a few things lacking — such as the ability to run the display at 120Hz, performance limitations on battery power, and a heavy build — might leave you with some remorse.
Thankfully, it's too powerful to overlook those drawbacks if you like gaming at different locations but not necessarily while on the move. Moroever, most of these category-specific flaws will greet you on every other brand's top-tier mobile gaming rig, so there's that. In a nutshell, you know what you're getting into.
The brute performance that the Intel Core i9 and the RTX 4080 offer makes up for other deficiencies in ergonomics. On a closing note, if you've mustered the courage to shell on this gaming machine, it won't leave you clamoring for more firepower and won't demand any trade-offs either.