Lenovo Legion Y520 Review: Better than most
Lenovo Legion Y520 detailed review
If you’ve been following the digits for a long time, you probably know that the Lenovo Y700 won our Zero1 Award for “Best Mainstream Gaming Laptop” in 2016. This year the company is taking the envelope a bit further with the Legion Y520, a replacement for last year’s machine. The design has been tweaked, the courage has been upgraded, the weight and dimensions have been reduced and the machine is now part of Lenovo’s Legion sub-brand. On paper, it looks quite attractive and somewhat like the Dell inspiron 7567 that I reviewed recently, which has plenty of 1080p performance to absorb the meaning. Exploitation I’ve done, the Legion Y520 has been a good gaming partner for the past two weeks. But not everything is up to the mark.
Technical specs of our test machine:
Display: 15.6-inch, 1080P, IPS panel
CPU: Intel Core i7-7700HQ
RAM: 16GB GB
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
Storage 1: 128GB Samsung NVMe SSD
Storage 2: 1TB Seagate 5400RPM
Battery: 45 Wr
Price: Rs. 1,05,101
Design and build: new and refined
Like its predecessor, the Legion Y520 continues the red-and-black gaming theme. It’s primarily made of plastic, but it’s a sturdy machine and easily comparable to an entry-level ThinkPad. The use of red accents in places makes the machine look more attractive and the front angular lip makes it stand out in a group of rectangular designs. The orange exhaust on the back and the speakers mounted on the shoulder not only look attractive, but also enhance the aesthetics.
The Y520 Dell Inspiron 7567 uses the same middle-mounted single-hing mechanism as the gaming, but here the flex on the display is significantly less, though completely absent. The keyboard deck provides ample space for both hands and the use of matte-ish paint feels good. The laptop is fairly thin and has wide rounded edges, making it easy to reach the keyboard and use it for a long time.
I / O: Whatever you need
I am quite pleased with the I / O selection of the Legion Y520, as it covers all the basics. On the left, you’ll find a USB 2.0 port, a Gigabit Ethernet jack, a microphone / headphone combo, and a proprietary power port taken directly from the ThinkPad lineup. On the right, you have two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, a USB 3.0 Type-C port and an HDMI out.
At the moment, I should say that the laptop missed a Thunderbolt port, but the limited compatibility of third party graphic amplifiers and the lack of 4K gaming performance on the NVIDIA 1050 Ti made it an important point. That being said, I would have preferred a third USB 3.0 port with faster charging capability.
Display: Good or great
While the 1050 Ti’s 4K capabilities are limited to video playback and some non-graphic intensive games, it does justice to the 1080p display here. The matte 15.6-inch panel, one of the best I’ve seen in the section, though it’s not as bright as I expected. Making the 260 Lux in the center, it’s definitely better in quality and viewing angles than the Dell Inspiron 7567 and most other laptops, but it makes me want to get more. Color reproduction is decent, but unless you are using this machine for Photoshop, it will serve you well.
Keyboard and touchpad: good enough
The Lenovo Legion Y520 has a similar island style keyboard that we have seen from the company in the past. It has big keys, it is quite sensitive and responds well. The red backlighting matches the whole gaming theme of the laptop. Moreover, this time it uses a two-step backlighting, which means it has two intensity settings. The addition of a dedicated screen record button is also appreciated.
The Synaptics touchpad is also quite good and responsive. Compared to Dell, it certainly looks smoother, but the accuracy is almost equal. The two cursor keys are shiny and slightly raised, which may seem like they have more depth, but in reality the depression is quite small and both buttons are a little harder to press.
Performance: Equal to competition
The Lenovo Legion Y520 has the same hardware setup and performance as the Dell Inspiron 7567 Gaming. The Intel Core i7-7700HQ is a good performer and it provides uninterrupted performance whether you are converting a video or playing hard games. It was really impressive to see Nvidia’s smallest GTX GPU consistently out at 65fps in Doom, running in ultra settings.
Graphic intensive titles like Battlefield 1 maintain up to 45fps in ultra settings with occasional screen tearing. Once I dialed the graphics quality higher I got a better frame rate, easily producing more than 50fps. Low graphic compact tiles like Dota 2 run comfortably at 120fps in ultra settings.
While the gaming performance was right, I encountered a strange problem that prompted me to connect an external keyboard. The thing is, the Lenovo Y520 locks the Windows key while in the game, which is a good thing, but if you accidentally press it, the keyboard sometimes locks itself in (Windows key + X) format. This means that if you accidentally press the Windows key, Cortana opens just by pressing Q, or if you press E for example, a new Explorer window will open, and so on. This happened to me during Dota 2 and I can tell you that it was much more annoying than the problem of slight overheating of the machine.
Speaking of heating, I found the mark on the right side of the keyboard and felt it only when playing games in an air-conditioned room. It’s not uncomfortable, or it doesn’t affect performance in any way, but it is there and the palm of your hand is bound to sweat at least.
The 16GB RAM in our test machine copes well with the various workloads we throw at it. Moreover, 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD storage solution is the fastest among its peers. However, in this higher variant of Y520 I would have preferred a 256GB SSD.
The audio quality is also not surprising with the two shoulder mounted speakers and although the audiofiles don’t agree with me, the machine does a really good job for its price. There is little to speak of, but laptop makers never seem to get that right. Still, speakers try to keep things submerged when you’re gaming, but they’re nothing like writing at home. Although they are loud.
Battery Life: Just enough
In terms of battery, Dell Inspiron 7567 Gaming has set a new benchmark that is hard to beat. Lenovo tries the Legion Y520, but manages half of what Inspiron has achieved in battery tests. It lasts two hours two minutes in our battery test. You can play games on the go, without throttle GPU and processor, but only for one hour. Video playback time is still good and you can finish one or two movies on a single charge.
The last row
The Lenovo Legion Y520 is a good gaming laptop, which has a very serious problem. Although the Windows key problem is not permanent, if you look at the past, the design looks good, the build is strong and the performance is impressive. In addition, battery life is reliable and having an IPS display certainly helps to enhance the visual experience.
On the other hand, I believe it would have been a more complete package with a larger SSD option. Overall, I would easily recommend this machine to anyone looking to invest in a sub-one-million laptop capable of 1080p gaming.