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Review Lenovo Legion 7 AMD – Worth it vs the Legion 5 PRO?


when we reviewed the legion 5 pro back in may we thought that it was an incredible machine so we obviously jumped at the chance of reviewing its older sibling the lenovo legion 7. now side by side or even looking at their spec sheets you would be hard-pressed to tell these two apart since they share so many components however the legion 7 despite having its higher model number is actually a little bit more expensive than the legion 5 pro and that’s mostly due to some extra features that they’ve added to the aesthetics and a few improvements to the build quality so the real question is is it worth it well let’s take a look at today’s video sponsor and then come back to it and answer that question oh yeah that’s the stuff the newly only unifan al120 daisy chained to each other for simplified installation and handling connected by a single cable exit for clean cable management with beautiful blade interior and exterior arcb illumination on both black and white models that are fully controllable through the software for rpm and all the cool looking effects check out the unifen al120 down below all right so before i get into pricing i do want to talk about availability because at the time i’m making this video both in canada and in the united states official website a lot of the legion laptops including the 5 pro are temporarily unavailable i’m pretty sure this could be a bug or they could have some serious trouble meeting demand so i hope that changes very soon now on to pricing and it starts at eighteen hundred dollars and for that you get a ryzen 7 5800 h 16 gigabytes of ram half a terabyte of storage and an rtx 3060 gpu oddly they’re only offering this q on their website but on their spec sheet they say that they offer a ryze 9 cpu with an rtx 3070 and 3080

variants with up to 165 watts of tgp the issue is actually finding one and i have no idea what pricing is for those models so if you happen to find one you get free internet points i should also mention that unlike a lot of other companies legion is actually not trying to limit its lower end gpu it almost has the same tgp as the rtx 3070 found on the 5 pro which is 140 watts this one is 130 watts but we’ll get into the performance a bit later in the video now taking a look at the design i really like what legion has done with the seven you get this beautiful storm gray finish with the legion logo tucked away at the corner interestingly it does a better job at resisting fingerprints compared to the slim7 that i checked out recently the y logo is backlit and it supports rgb but you can turn that off easily through the shortcuts to maintain that consistent and clean look across the board the entire chassis is made out of aluminum and magnesium alloy and overall build quality is superb i had no issues with creaking especially with the hinge that i experienced on last year’s 7i so that’s definitely good news now speaking of the hinge it actually is very stiff and there’s barely any wobble so that’s certainly an improvement uh compared to the seven eye and definitely the slim 7 which definitely had a wobbly screen as for size believe it or not the legion seven is actually a little bit smaller than the legion five pro and it’s also thinner too coming in at point nine three inches versus one point one inches or twenty three point five millimeters versus twenty six point eight five millimeters for those of you who want metrics and um they weigh about the same now just like the five pro i wouldn’t classify this thing as a super thin high performance gaming laptop it’s actually quite chunky and you can feel that when you pick this thing up so you’ll definitely need to make room in your backpack and also not to mention the power brake that legion includes with these laptops especially with the legion 7 and the 5 pro is ginormous i mean it wouldn’t even fit a fanny pack actually coming to think of it nobody really puts power adapters inside fanny packs so yeah but hey at least you get the idea so from a portability standpoint those two things are certainly something to take note of now the interior space is nothing too different compared to the other legion laptops you get a full-size keyboard which has the same great aesthetic as the rest of the chassis personally i

like the black on gray contrast on the 5 pro another thing i noticed is that this laptop doesn’t feature a fingerprint reader like the legion slim 7 which is a bit disappointing considering the price premium you still get the quick shortcuts within the function keys to adjust the performance profiles uh the refresh rate for the display the rear leds for the connectors and also you can also cycle between different lighting effects using the function and spacebar keys so everything that is normally there within other legion laptops are still here the keys themselves are great lenovo’s true strike mechanism offers adequate amount of travel distance and smooth feedback when you type on them but perhaps the biggest addition or upgrade to the legion seven is this beautiful rgb lighting system so you get this cool under glow light strip beneath the palm rest and it looks beautiful with perfect diffusion and it’s pretty consistent i can certainly tell that it’s brighter than the 7i that i reviewed last year now obviously with legion laptops expect corsair’s iq software which does have its own set of issues but at the same time you can actually do a lot of cool things with this software for instance you can custom set your zones to the color of your choice and also the individual keys as well you can actually turn off the lighting for the events like what i did over here which is designing that i like but basically you can go all out with customization and set it to your preference and i really like the flexibility with this software the trackpad is pretty good it’s a glass surface but just like i mentioned on my slim7 video it doesn’t feel as smooth or comfortable as the g14 or the blade series from razer but it’s still pretty big and i didn’t notice any metallic cling that i did with the slim 7 so that’s nice but i did wish if the primary left and right buttons had a little bit more travel distance or a little bit more throw just because it still feels a little too stiff this is the webcam test on the legion 7.

The quality is pretty much on par with the legion five pro and the slim seven uh you know my skin doesn’t look overexposed and the microphone sounds really really good so this should do a pretty good job when it comes to conference calls and if you want to use it for uh streaming and stuff like that this will do a pretty good job for a portable setup there’s also a dedicated webcam shutter switch on the side which disables the webcam from the device manager so that’s an added layer of security for those of you who value privacy now the speakers are positioned at the bottom and they sound average it’s not something that i would use for serious music listening because the bass response is i mean it’s it’s it’s all right it’s not the best so you’re actually much better off using a good pair of headphones taking a look at the i o and this laptop is very generous in that area as you probably are aware of most legion laptops they’re located at the back so you have power in usb 3.2 gen 2 port with displayport passthrough and pd charging up to 100 watts a couple of usb type hn2 ports hdmi 2.1 and an ethernet jack switching over to the right hand side there is a single usb type c gen 1 port and on the left hand side another gen 2 type c port with displayport support and an audio jack interestingly the 7 is missing a full-size sd card reader and i find that quite odd because the slim 7 features that and it’s a similar version of this laptop so i’m not sure why legion did that shifting gears to the display and you’re greeted with a beautiful 16 by 10 quad hd plus ips screen with a refresh rate of 165 hertz and the color gamut is pretty respectable as it shares the same numbers as the 5 pro and the slim 7.

As you can see it covers 100 srgb 78 adobe rgb and 79 dc ip3 it’s not the best out there but this will do an amazing job at any task you throw at it also the brightness levels are exceptional my sample went as far as 550 nits which is a bit dimmer than the five pro but i’m not complaining because it’s still great for outdoor use and the gaming experience is amazing since you do get g-sync support but you have to make sure that you directly run the display off of the rtx 3060 and that can be done through nvidia’s control panel upgradability is pretty straightforward on the legion seven so once you get under the hood you have instant access to two ram slots maximum supported memory is 32 gigabytes the primary nvme ssd is right over here and the drive speeds are in line with the legion 5 pro the wii performance is over 3 gigabytes per second and rights are around 2.8 gigabytes per second it’s not as fast as some of the gen 4 drives that we’re seeing on intel’s 11th gen laptops but it’s still very fast okay so moving on to battery life there’s a few things to mention here first of all legion never really stuffed their 15-inch gaming laptops with the biggest possible battery like asus does but 80 watt hours isn’t exactly small either and thanks to the efficiency of the ryzen mobile processor we were able to get almost but not quite nine hours of battery life in our light load tests in balance mode in quite mode you could expect this laptop to touch the 12 hour mark after seeing the light load results we weren’t expecting any miracles in our heavy load test but the 7 actually did better than expected it could be due to the lower wattage rtx 3060 helping because it outlasted the otherwise identically spec’d legion 5 pro by a good 30 percent and that laptop used an rtx 3070.

Now we’ve been fans of legion’s laptop power plants for a while and the reason for that is simply because they’re very easy to get to uh so when you look at the performance profiles you have performance balanced and quiet which can all be controlled through the vantage software along with the switchable graphics display overdrive and a few other things but with the legion 7 the balance mode punched way above its weight class by having higher wattage levels than the performance mode but only for about two and a half minutes and then it smoothly transitioned to a lower level of about 74 watts performance just carries along at a constant 81 watts but either way both of those power levels are really quite high compared to some other amd laptops we’ve seen the quiet mode has pretty decent peak power levels for about 20 seconds kind of in line with the processors to reboost but then it falls to a steady 20 watts for the rest of the test now moving on to cpu temperatures and in performance mode the cpu temperature crept up to a little over 95 degrees celsius which is pretty typical for any laptop cpu in its highest power mode when you look at balance mode on the other hand well it hits a pretty beautiful sub 70 degree celsius temperature mark after the initial two and a half minute power spike that we saw a few seconds ago quiet mode does what its promises and as usually it gives a quiet computing experience without sacrificing temperatures now it’s really nice to see how controlled and consistent these temperatures are they don’t fluctuate wildly due to fans spinning up and down because lenovo’s engineers did a really nice job of properly designing and tuning uh their cooling solutions now when it comes to actual core clocks the performance mode ended up being really impressive keeping the 5800h at about 4 gigahertz for the whole maya run that’s closer to the cpu’s 4.4 gigahertz max boost clock than its 3.2 gigahertz base clock so again very very impressive the balance mode

peaked at 3.8 gigahertz dipped down a little over 3.6 gigahertz until the two and a half minute mark and then it gradually slid down to about 3.4 gigahertz that’s a fair bit slower than performance mode but you’re rewarded with lower overall temperatures and less fan noise too quiet mode has the greatest variations with a brief spike to 3.2 gigahertz and then a drop down to 2.4 gigahertz which to be honest still provides great web browsing and light productivity performance so now about noise well i’ve got to say both quiet and balanced are some of the best i’ve seen given their overall clock speeds and temperatures meanwhile performance does step things up a notch now it doesn’t run the fans at full speed so it isn’t screaming loud but this is also a setting that i wouldn’t want to use without headphones on it’s also good to see the exterior temperatures well managed there aren’t any hot spots that would be too worrying even with the laptop under full load honestly though this is one area that legion always excels so anything less than perfection here would have been a little disappointing now before jumping into performance results i do need to talk about memory because it’s been a hot topic in a comment section lately i think it’s because it could either be to save money or because there’s a shortage of high quality ddr4 memory at the moment and let’s be honest why wouldn’t there be a shortage of ddr4 just to combine with every other you know shortages out

there you see legion outfitted this laptop with some slow memory and no not slow in the sense of frequency since this is actually still rated at ddr4 3200 but it’s actually with the secondary timings because they’re quite bad now let me explain so in these screenshots you’ll see the kit on the left is what’s installed into the legion seven and on the right is a standard kit of crucials 3200 megahertz that we bought about a year ago now as you drill down into the secondary timings you’ll see the default modules have really loose timings they’re not the only company doing this we and others saw the same thing with the asustrix g15 advantage edition and recently with some other intel based laptops as well now obviously the performance takes a gigantic hit but it’s still a shame because there’s additional performance left on the table but anyways i just wanted to bring this up before drilling down into the actual performance so let’s take a look at that starting things off with cinebench there’s really no surprises here since all of these ryzen 5000 mobile chips are running at roughly the same 72 to 80 watt power levels the more power you pump into them the better they perform of course provided temperatures are kept in check since the legion 7 hits both those points in its performance mode it sticks ahead of the slim 7 and pretty much ties with the 5 pro which rocks the same cpu operating at the same tdp levels in premiere pro the legion 7 comes in dead last but that’s not surprising since it does have the weakest gpu in this lineup and our premier test relies heavily on gpu acceleration so if you need more rendering performance just grab one of the higher end models it does a

little better in resolve but unsurprisingly is outdone by the more expensive laptops with rtx 3080s and that intel based os15p which also has a 3080 though one operating at lower power levels so just keep that in mind while the rtx 360 might not be the highest 10 gpu in the mobile rtx 30 series lineup legion is definitely not trying to hold it back at all in both the performance and balance modes we saw wattages of over 120 watts which is way above average for that gpu and it means that we should see solid performance in the gaming benchmarks quiet mode is interesting because the gpu power is basically doing the opposite of what the cpu did if you remember the earlier chart in quiet mode the cpu had higher power levels for about 20 seconds and then they decreased and here the gpu has lower power levels for about 20 seconds and then they boost up why well that’s because legion is only allowing one of those two components to run at a certain temperature at a time that’s so that heat doesn’t overwhelm the cooling system while its fans are spinning slowly now this is a really impressive chart okay maybe it’s just me but no matter the power mode that you pump in the gpu temperatures just barely broke the 70 degree mark usually 85 degrees is the maximum and even the best struggle to hit below 75 i’m guessing this extra cooling capacity is there to properly take care of the hotter running rtx 3070 and 3080 gpus the great thing about low gpu temps is that it means high potential gpu clocks and that’s what we see here as well technically the rtx 360 mobile has a base clock of 1387 megahertz and a boost of 1702 megahertz so the fact that it’s running at just under 1900 megahertz in both balanced and performance mode is

really impressive even in quiet mode the gpu frequency was bouncing between 1500 and 1600 megahertz so you should still have a pretty solid gaming performance as long as you’re not playing a particularly cpu intensive game given that it has the lowest end gpu in this lineup it’s no surprise that the legion 7 generally comes into the lower part of the charts however it does do quite well in more cpu intensive games like cs go and also occasionally achieves better one percent lows than some of the other higher end but lower wattage gpus but i also want to mention again that with the 5 pro you get the 30 70 for about the same amount and that’s something you absolutely need to remember it’s more performance for the same price and a few small aesthetic changes now sure that might change as legion puts these things on sale but it’s really hard to deny how good the pro really is moving on to our 1440p and 1600p results and i’m saying both here because the legion 7 and the legion 5 pro have 2560 by 1600p quad hd plus displays while all the others are running at 1440p theoretically that puts the legion seven at eleven percent disadvantage compared to the 1440p models and that’s obviously not great since it already has one of the weakest gpus here so aside from a few games the legion seven plays closer to the back of the pack and sometimes by a lot in most gpu intensive games however looking at the legion five pros numbers i’d be tempted to jump over that model with its more powerful rtx 3070 especially right now given how close they are in price it’s almost a no-brainer unless you absolutely need to have the slightly different look of the seven i guess this is also what happens when a laptop lineup gets a bit too big there’s always gonna be a crossover guys so i think it’s time to conclude my thoughts on the lenovo legion 7.

now this is a very interesting laptop because it shares a lot of things with the legion 5 pro and i mentioned that numerous times in this video and from a price perspective it certainly looks like the 5 pro takes the crown because you get more power and performance compared to the seven the only reason to upgrade to the seven is because of the aesthetics and this cool rgb lighting goodness and other things and of course a much improved build quality compared to the legion five and that’s about it now if you don’t find those things too attractive i would still steer your way towards the legion five pro simply because i think i still think it offers an amazing value provided you can actually find one right now because it’s a joke that you can’t actually buy these at the moment so on that note thank you so much for watching i hope you were able to take away everything that you needed to know about the legion seven let us know what you guys think about the entire legion lineup and if you’re looking to pick up or if you’re debating between choosing the legion 5 pro and the legion 7 which one would be your pick and why curious to hear your thoughts i’m here with howard canucks thank you so much for watching and i’ll talk to you guys in the next one oh and definitely spend responsibly

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