Two minute review
Lenovo proclaims the Legion S7 (short for Slim 7) “the lightest RTX laptop in the world,” which turned out to be an easily refuted statement. Actually, the lightest RTX laptop is Asus’s ROG Flow Z13, although that device’s detachable keyboard and dinky 13-inch touchscreen arguably qualifies it as more of a hybrid tablet than a real laptop, so we’re letting Lenovo cut the loop. .
Weighing in at 1.9kg, it’s still hard to deny that the Legion S7 is impressively light, given its 15.6-inch screen and full keyboard. At less than 20mm thick, it also lives up to its ‘sleek’ name, but doesn’t seem to compromise itself in the slightest for that slim form factor. In fact, the Legion S7 ranks among the very best gaming laptops in terms of design and build quality, despite its relatively reasonable asking price of $1,770 (£1,500, about AU$2,510).
There are a few different models of the Lenovo Legion S7 available right now, and for that price you get the version we sent you for review, which includes an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card and an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor, along with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB fast SSD storage. With these specs, we’d say the Legion S7 is roughly in the middle of Lenovo’s gaming laptop range, with its price tag to match.
We’ll get into the performance details later on, but the RTX 3060 is a pretty reliable GPU for full high-definition gaming; a much better choice for reasonably priced graphics than the cheaper but slightly lackluster RTX 3050 and 3050 Ti. We expect solid gaming performance at 1080p without having to lower the graphics settings too much. Likewise, the octa-core 5800H is an excellent choice for a laptop processor that should provide smooth framerates in CPU-bound games and generally stuttering performance when using the laptop for work or web browsing.
Our review unit also comes with optional RGB keyboard backlighting, which can be swapped out for regular white LEDs if you want to save a few bucks. This version of the Legion S7 has a 1080p display, but more expensive models with 1440p and 4K panels are also available. Read on for the details of our Lenovo Legion S7 review and find out why we think this is one of the best gaming laptops we’ve seen in years.
Here is the Lenovo Legion S7 configuration sent to Ditching for review:
PROCESSOR: 3.2GHz AMD Ryzen 7 5800H (octa-core, up to 4.4GHz boost clock)
Graphic: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Max-Q 6GB
RAM: 16GB SODIMM DDR4 (3200MHz)
Screen: 15.6-inch 1440p IPS panel, 165 Hz
Storage: 512GB PCIe Gen3 SSD
Optical drive: No
Ports: 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, SD card reader, combo audio jack
Connectivity: Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 11AX (2×2), Bluetooth 5.1
Camera: 720p webcam with privacy hatch
Weight: 1.9 kg
Mate: 1.6 x 35.6 x 25.2 cm
Lenovo Legion S7 review: price and availability
The base price for the Lenovo Legion S7 is $1,200 (£1,400, about AU$1,720), although that only gets you the lowest-spec model of the S7, which uses an RTX 3050 Ti GPU rather than the RTX 3060 we see. are testing, which costs $1,770. We highly recommend jumping for the RTX 3060, as the increased amount of VRAM and higher clock speed make it a much more reliable choice for stable 1080p gaming.
If you pay more, you can upgrade the CPU, GPU, display, memory (up to 32 GB in total), storage (up to 2 TB), and keyboard backlight. We don’t recommend bothering with the CPU upgrade, which swaps the Ryzen 7 5800H for a Ryzen 9 5900H; because it’s not a change that will probably make a huge difference in most games. Every model comes standard with Windows 11, the new normal for gaming laptops.
It’s worth noting that at the time of writing, all US models of the Legion S7 are discounted by 20% if you buy directly from Lenovo’s website, where you can ‘build’ your ideal model from a selection of parts. Buyers in other areas will have to settle for choosing from a small collection of pre-selected models. If you are shopping from Australia or New Zealand, please note that import charges may apply.
Price and availability: 4/5
Lenovo Legion S7 review: Design
The Lenovo Legion S7 is an instant eye-catcher, from its sleek metal chassis to the softly pulsing LED embedded in the Legion logo on the lid. It’s undeniably thin and light for a gaming laptop with a dedicated GPU, possibly one of the most portable 15-inch laptops we’ve seen in ages. The hinge is positioned about 1.5cm forward from the back of the laptop, allowing Lenovo to include small LED indicators for the power port and two USB-A ports on the back.
Looking around the other edges, we have two USB-C ports on the right, plus an SD card reader and audio jack on the left. We would have liked a larger selection of ports, but it’s enough for everyday use. The front of the laptop tapers away from the surface you place it on, with the entire device standing on sturdy rubber feet. The dual speakers are wisely placed on the slanted bottoms at each front corner so as not to be muffled.
When we open it, we’re treated to an incredibly vibrant RGB keyboard and a bright, colorful LCD screen. The 99.3% sRGB color reproduction is excellent and at maximum brightness this display boasts fantastic contrast. The 165Hz refresh rate is perfect for esports games, where framerates matter above all else, but keep in mind that the 4K model of the S7 will sacrifice this for a fixed 60Hz display. Our model can switch to a locked 60Hz mode to extend battery life.
That rainbow-backlit keyboard is a joy to type and play, with quiet operation and a good amount of force required to register input. The overall key spacing may be slightly less than comparable laptops, but that’s not surprising given the Lenovo Legion S7’s slim form factor. The layout is complete, with a complete number pad and function keys, and holding down Fn illuminates the keys with a corresponding function for intuitive use.
The trackpad is nice and big, with a firm, responsive click. In our time testing it, palm rejection seemed to work perfectly; despite the trackpad being aligned with the spacebar, we had no problems picking up unwanted inputs while using a USB mouse.
In terms of other features, there isn’t much to write home about; we have a 720p webcam (but no IR camera) for video calls and a fingerprint scanner built into the power button above the keyboard, should you want to log in with Windows Hello. Both are pretty much mandatory additions to a good gaming laptop these days.
Lenovo Legion S7 review: Performance
The Nvidia RTX 3060 is an excellent graphics card for HD gaming, even in its shrunken Max-Q variant for slimmer laptops. As demonstrated in our testing, it can’t quite hit 60+ frames per second at ultra settings in the latest games, but it only takes a few minor tweaks (like lowering texture detail to medium) to erase 60fps. A little extra testing showed that 1440p is doable in some games, but not ideal.
Less GPU-intensive titles should have no issues with maximum graphics settings, from older games to esports mainstays like Overwatch and Valorant. When testing Valorant at maximum settings, stable frame rates above 90 fps were seen. The Ryzen 7 processor performs quite well in CPU-bound games like the Total War series, so that won’t prove to be a performance bottleneck for fans of strategy games.
Ray tracing isn’t really an option here unless you’re willing to make significant compromises in other areas. Attempts to run Cyberpunk 2077 on the Ultra RTX preset (which includes full ray-traced lighting, shadows, and reflections) brought back unplayable framerates that ranged widely between 10 and 20. Still, ray-tracing is a rather niche feature that does. isn’t feasible in most laptops at this price point, so we’re not holding it against the Legion S7.
Overall CPU performance is strong, with the 5800H’s eight cores ensuring the Legion S7 doesn’t struggle with CPU-intensive tasks. General use, from web browsing to video calls, is nice and smooth with no UI lag. Running multiple Chrome tabs remotely is no problem for the S7.
While this slimmed-down Legion ran smoothly through our testing process, with only a moderate hum from the fans at maximum load that was inaudible when wearing headphones, the thinner chassis clearly doesn’t match thermal performance with its fatter siblings. . We’ve certainly seen worse, but the S7 gets pretty hot when gaming on higher settings.
Here’s how the Lenovo Legion S7 performed in our series of benchmark tests:
3DMark: Night Raid: 43,271† Fire Attack: 15,849; Time spy: 6.810
Cinebench R20 Multicore: 4382
Geek Bench 5: 1,453 (single core); 7144 (multiple cores)
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 6.395
PCMark 10 (battery life test): 3 hours 45 minutes
Battery Life (USA Health Reports Movie Test): 5 hours 33 minutes
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra): 50 fps; (1080p, Low): 148 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra): 51 fps; (1080p, Low): 98 fps
Dirt 5 (1080p, Ultra): 65 fps; (1080p, Low): 139 fps
Lenovo Legion S7 review: battery life
The Legion S7’s 71 Whr battery is solid, albeit smaller than those found in some gaming laptops. Our movie test saw the S7 run for over five and a half hours at 50% brightness, while the PCMark 10 battery life test dried the cells in three hours and forty-five minutes. These are undeniably solid numbers for a gaming laptop, which is somewhat notorious for their poor battery life.
Using the S7 for extended gaming sessions without plugging in isn’t an option, but it can handle a comfortable commute, provided you’re willing to turn off the RGB keyboard and turn down the brightness a bit. Switching the display from 165 Hz to the aforementioned 60 Hz mode also saves you some power.
Packed with our Legion S7 was a 230W power supply, with smaller 170W and 180W models available depending on territory. The battery is fully charged in less than two hours (while not using the laptop), which is quite impressive.
Battery Life: 5/5
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First review June 2022
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