New year, new gaming laptop with a new naming convention. Lenovo's ditched the Ideapad moniker for its gaming laptops in favor of the edgier Legion tag. But the company didn't stop with the name, adding some intriguing new innovations targeting virtual reality and traditional gaming.
Available beginning in February, the Legion Y520 has a starting price $899. The 15.6-inch Legion Y720 ships in April for a starting price of $1,399. With powerful hardware and the ability to transform 2D games and videos into VR experiences, Lenovo's higher-end model seems like a winner.
- The Y520 features up to an Intel Core i7 processor (7th-gen Kaby Lake), up to 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD with a 2TB hard drive, up to a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU with a 1080p display.
- The pricier Y720 has the same CPU, RAM and storage choices, but ups the ante to a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU and a choice between a 1080p or 4K resolution display.
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Why You Should Care
- In the case of the Y520, you're not going to find too many sub-$1000 notebooks offering Nvidia 10-series graphics.
- Weighing 5.3 pounds and measuring 15 x 10.4 x 1-inches, the Y520 hits that sweet spot between power and portability.
- The Y720 offers Lenovo's Entertainment Hub app which allows you to watch movies like "Angry Birds" and "Ghostbusters" in a VR movie theater.
- You can also upscale traditional AAA titles such as Deus Ex: Human Revolution for virtual reality play.
- Lenovo's embedded Microsoft's wireless dongle technology into the Y720 for a seamless wireless connection.
My First Impressions
- I'm a fan of the new design, particularly the smudge-proof soft-touch finish. The Y720 has some additional eye-candy by way of its colorful customizable backlit keyboard.
- Watching "Angry Birds" in a VR theater is fun, but Lenovo's going to have to work on expanding the library if they want to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu, each of which has their own VR app.
- The star of the show without a doubt is the VR upscaling. Although it took a bit of getting used to, Deus Ex played rather smoothly upscaled to VR.
Gamers on a budget will definitely want to give the portable $899 Y520 and its Nvidia 1050 GPU the once over. But those with a little bit more disposable income will want the Legion Y720 as it offers a customizable backlit keyboard, the ability to watch movies and play regular PC games in virtual reality.
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Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.