Lenovo recently reached out to us to ask whether we had any interest in reviewing one of their new gaming PCs. Personally, I’m not a huge gamer and I said in my IdeaCentre Y910 AiO review, but I still like to play with new toys when they come out. So, I sent over our address, got the laptop in the mail, and have been using it for the past couple of weeks. Here are my thoughts.
First off, this thing is a mammoth of a laptop. I always knew anything with the word “gaming” in its title was chunky and probably heavy, but the Y920 gives new definition to that fact. It’s a laptop so you can take it everywhere, but you won’t want to. It weighs an insane 9.5 pounds (4.3 kg) and is 1.42 inches thick. So if you actually wanna tow this thing around with you, it’s gonna take something like a suitcase to do so.
That being said, it’s probably one of the most coolest looking gaming laptops on the planet. Lenovo’s signature red accents are found throughout the aluminum carbon-colored body with the Legion “Y” logo on the lid. Angles are the name of the game when it comes to the Y920 as there’s triangles and slopes nearly everywhere you look. I kind of wish this design language is what Lenovo used for its regular laptops since it’s so awesome looking.
Things get even cooler when you open the laptop. Inside the Y920 sits a fully-illuminated RGB keyboard. It’s a mechanical keyboard which feels less than fantastic to type on, but it makes up for this with its cool light tricks. By turning the lights on, the keyboard will cycle through the entire RBC color space and give off a really stellar appearance. The lights are even customizable via the Lenovo Nerve Center app that comes pre-installed on the Y920. If you buy this machine, you need to turn on these lights. They look too cool not to.
For ports, Lenovo provides four classic USB 3.0 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, a DisplayPort, an HDMI port, an audio/microphone combo jack, an Ethernet port, and an SD card reader. If you’re worried about ports, don’t be; the Y920 will suffice all your needs and then some.
One downside to the port array of the Y920, however, lies in the power supply department. Lenovo chose to opt for a proprietary solution which they use on various other machines they make. I’m not calling this a disappointment or anything, but it would’ve been nice to see charging enabled through USB-C. I guess this may’ve not been possible since the actual power supply that ships with the laptop is rated at a whopping 230 watts and a proprietary charging method likely had to be used. Regardless, to add a touch of future-proofing to this laptop, I wish the company opted for USB-C.
On the other hand, the Y920 doesn’t exactly need any futureproofing. Inside, you’re getting an unlocked Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of Samsung SSD storage. Performance from these specs alone is fantastic and all day-to-day operations – including browsing Google Chrome, interacting with Office apps, and opening and closing applications – are fast and fluid.
Of course, since this a gaming laptop review, there’s a lot more than just an i7 and 16GB of RAM to the Y920. Inside, Lenovo packs Nvidia’s GeFore GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5 graphics. By utilizing this graphics card and the 17.3-inch 1080p G-Sync-enabled display (which, mind you, looks pretty good other than the fact you can see individual pixels pretty clearly), you get some stellar gameplay. I tested a demo version of Forza 7 during my review period and was insanely impressed by what this laptop was pushing out. And since the laptop has a 1080p screen, it can push the graphics even harder at a smoother framerate rather being taxed by something like a 4K screen. And the G-Sync technology on board lets the refresh rate of games dynamically adjust to better suit different case scenarios. So really, this thing is a true beast.
And that’s why Lenovo wants people to think. At $2,699 as a starting price, the company wants to give the impression that the Legion Y920 is a high-end gaming laptop you can take anywhere and still get insane performance. Heck, there’s even a Turbo mode you can flick on with a switch on the keyboard to further boost the device’s performance. I mean, this thing is a mother.
But that’s not all. There’s a bunch of little things hidden across the experience using this laptop. A dedicated key on the keyboard lets users record their screen at any given time regardless of what they’re doing. Multiple controls sit across the Function keys and number pad. The trackpad lights up with the same RGB lights as the keyboard. There’s a rubber coating for where your wrists sit for improved traction while gaming. JBL speakers with Dolby audio tuning provide some of the best sound I’ve ever heard out of a laptop. Lenovo’s improved thermal design adjust the positioning of the fans in the Y920 to dispense heat and airflow. Truly, this thing is packed to the rim with features that will make buyers enjoy their experience through and through.
Unfortunately, I can’t say this is true in terms of battery life. The Y920 blows through its 90WHr cell in less than three hours. This is much less than what Lenovo estimates the battery is capable of (3.5 hrs). Therefore, unless you’re on the road, I would always keep this laptop plugged in so you don’t lose power in the middle of gameplay or other important tasks.
But besides the poor battery performance, what you get for your dollar is an extremely well-built, stupid powerful, sick-looking, mammoth of a gaming laptop. It’s crazy to think all the power that’s in this machine ships in a laptop form factor and not a desktop or all-in-one. So if you’ve been eyeing up the Legion Y920 for a while and have the money to spend, just do it. You won’t regret it.