Lenovo Legion Y740 and Y540 Hands-On: RTX Gaming, Improved Displays

LAS VEGAS –– Sometimes, all a situation needs is a tweak or two. Such is the case with Lenovo’s new Legion Y740 and Y540 laptops. Available in February and May, respectively, the Y740 (starting at $1,749.99) and Y540 (starting at $929.99) are refreshes of last year’s models. But Lenovo has improved on key areas to make each system stand out in a crowded gaming laptop market.

The biggest changes to each system lie underneath the hood. Both devices will feature Intel 8th Gen processors with the Y740 topping out at a Core i7-8750H CPU. Each laptop can be configured with up to 32GB of RAM and a maximum 512GB SSD or a 2TB HDD. Depending on your model, you can even get some Intel Optane memory.

In terms of graphics cards, both systems will be outfitted with Nvidia’s new RTX GPUs. The higher-end Y740 has a few options. The 17-inch system can be configured with up to an RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU while the 15-inch laptop goes up to a 2070 Max-Q. The Y540 will feature an RTX 2060 GPU.

MORE: Best Gaming Laptops

However, there is one change that you can see and that’s the display. Both the Y740 and Y540 have Dolby Vision HDR software, which is designed to add an extra pop of color for prettier, more vivid images and video. However, the Y740 has gotten a significant boost in brightness with Lenovo claiming 500 nits while the Y540 is estimated at 300 nits. Although both panels seemed bright and vivid, we’ll need to get them into the lab before we can make any concrete calls.

And since this is a refresh, Lenovo kept the sleek, unassuming aesthetic that we liked about the previous models. It’s a demure design that looks just as good in an office setting as at a LAN party. The Y740 still has those beautiful RGB backlit keys powered by Corsair iCue software. The Y540 lacks colorful backlighting but makes up for it with a full Num Pad.

Lenovo has made solid updates to its gaming laptop line –– enough to keep both models on a par with competing systems. But we’ll reserve final judgment until both systems arrive in the lab for testing. Stay tuned.

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.