Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 review: A stunning display that keeps you just under $2,000

Brighter than the sun (not really), as colorful as a rainbow (probably not?)

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 review
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Future/Rami Tabari)

Laptop Mag Verdict

The Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 shows up with a classy 16-inch display powered by strong-performing components but takes a hit in battery life and audio.

Pros

  • +

    Vibrant display

  • +

    Bouncy keyboard and silky touchpad

  • +

    Powerful performance and graphics

  • +

    Cool thermals

Cons

  • -

    Scratches will strip the paint

  • -

    Mediocre audio

  • -

    Short battery life

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Are you looking for that sweet spot? A place where a medium-sized gaming laptop can pump out strong performance with a quality display that isn’t going to cost over $2,000? Let me introduce you to the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9.

For $1,999, the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 provides excellent performance from its Intel Core i9-14900HX processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 8GB GPU. It is packed into a chassis supporting a vibrant 16-inch display, bouncy keyboard, and cool thermals. However, there are a few sore spots, like its short battery life and poor audio.

However, being plugged in and rocking some discrete headphones is the go-to for most gamers, so the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 has the potential to land on our best gaming laptops page. Does it, though?

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9: Specs

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Price$1,999 (starts at $1,699)
CPUIntel Core i9-14900HX
GPUNvidia GeForce RTX 4070 8GB
RAM32GB
Storage1TB SSD
Display16-inch, 2560 x 1600, 240Hz
Battery3:01
Size14.08 x 10.33 x 0.69 inches
Weight5.1 pounds

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9: Price and configurations

The Legion 7i that I reviewed costs $1,999 and comes with an Intel Core i9-14900HX processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 8GB GPU, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a 16-inch, 2560 x 1600, 240Hz display. Don’t try to build this laptop on Lenovo’s website; it will cost more. You can find this model at Best Buy.

At $1,699, the Legion 7i drops to a Core i7-14700HX CPU, RTX 4060 GPU, and 16GB of RAM. Meanwhile, bump our model with a 16-inch, 3200 x 20009, 165Hz display, and you’ll need to spend $2,215.

If you want something cheaper, check out the best gaming laptops under $1,500.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9: Design

“Oooh” was my verbal response upon seeing the milky white beauty that is the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9. It’s sad my bar is so low that any other color besides black, gray, or silver will impress me. I like that the lid is just slightly smaller than the deck; it looks like it’s floating and it’s easier to grab. 

Meanwhile, the deck extends beyond the hinge, leaving room for more ports and port labels on top, so you can easily plug in what you need. Unfortunately, its otherwise elegant hood was scarred (literally) by gray scratches, which means the paint isn’t very durable.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 review

(Image credit: Future/Rami Tabari)

Popping the hood revealed more of the same color across the deck, keyboard, and mousepad. The keyboard was delicately carved and depressed into the deck while a white LED-lit power button of the Legion logo sat above it. I’m happy to see yet another laptop with thin bezels all around, especially the chin.

At 5.1 pounds and 14.1 x 10.3 x 0.7 inches, the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 is the thinnest and lightest out of its 16-inch competitors. From thinnest to thickest was the Alienware m16 R2 (5.75 pounds, 14.33 x 9.81 x 0.93 inches), Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 (5.7 pounds, 14.09 x 10.97 x 1.02 inches), and MSI Vector 16 HX A14VHG (6 pounds, 14.05 x 11.18 x 1.12-inches).

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9: Ports

There’s a wide array of ports across the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9’s chassis.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 review

(Image credit: Future/Rami Tabari)

You’ll find one USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 (always on) port, one USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, one Thunderbolt 4 port, and a headphone jack. The right comes with one USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, webcam killswitch, one USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 (DisplayPort) port, and an SD card slot.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 review

(Image credit: Future/Rami Tabari)

The back comes in with the power jack and HDMI 2.1 port.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 review

(Image credit: Future/Rami Tabari)

Need more ports? Check out our best USB Type-C hubs and best laptop docking stations pages.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9: Display

Yum, yum, yum. Standing at 16 inches, the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 sports a 2560 x 1600 display clocked in at 240Hz. It supports excellent color and a brightness that’ll carry you through the darkest tunnels in Minecraft.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 review

(Image credit: Future/Rami Tabari)

I jumped into Far Cry 6 and drove along the dirt road at night, running over every destructible object I could find, where the display revealed an enemy hiding in the shadows of the forest; let’s just say I found my next destructible object. Walking around one of the neighborhoods, the colorful Caribbean-inspired buildings popped off the screen. Painting the walls with the blood of the oppressors looked that much more satisfying.

I watched the Borderlands trailer, which highlighted the Legion’s sharp screen, revealing the individual strands of hair on Kevin Hart’s beard, just shortly before he’s covered in pee. The fireworks behind Cate Blanchett were a colorful fever dream, and when Claptrap punched a pair of Psychos in the no-nos, I could still see the treads on his wheel despite the deep shadow.

According to our colorimeter, the Lenovo Legion 7i covered 81.6% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which hovers around the average mainstream gaming laptop. It’s more colorful than the Alienware m16 R2 (69.9%) but doesn’t come close to the Helios Neo 16 (92%) and Vector 16 HX (108%).

At 479 nits of brightness, the Legion 7i crushed the competition, including the category average (365 nits), m16 R2 (288 nits), and Neo 16 (370 nits). Only the Vector 16 managed to get a bit brighter, clocking in at 495 nits.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9: Keyboard and touchpad

Tap-dancing away on Legion 7i’s keyboard made my fingers feel as light as a breeze. The bouncy clicks kept me moving from one key to another with little issue.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 review

(Image credit: Future/Rami Tabari)

I banged out 88 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, which is quicker than my usual 81-wpm. The spacing of the keys and the large deck contributed to my success as a speedster.

To top that off, the per-key RGB lighting on the keyboard looks stunning against the milky white deck. You can customize the lighting via the Lenovo Spectrum tab in the Lenovo Vantage app.

The 3 x 4.9-inch touchpad reminded me how good a non-haptic touchpad could feel when done right. Its glassy texture and sharp click made navigating through Windows that much more satisfying.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9: Audio

The pair of bottom-firing Harman speakers packed into the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 produced mediocre sound; it didn’t get loud, and it lacked the oomph of proper bass.

The crunching beneath my boots and the screech of my hands sliding down the ladder added a layer of atmosphere in Far Cry 6 that sounded impressive. Dani’s voice shouting at me to turn a valve came off crisp, and the propaganda music in-game was also louder than expected. However, when I started blasting through fools, the gunshots were a little duller than I imagined.

I listened to “Good Luck, Babe!” by Chappell Roan, and the opening percussion was too light, losing the necessary impact to introduce the vocals, which came off clear but narrow. Simply, there wasn’t a lot of bass to go around. The background synths were lost in translation for a majority of the track. Overall, it was tough to distinguish instruments.

With the Nahimic audio app, you can use presets like Music, Movie, Communication, Gaming, and Smart (auto). I used all of them, and while they radically changed the sound, the audio didn’t land anywhere I was happy with.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9: Gaming and graphics

Powering through with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU with 8GB of VRAM, the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 guided me along my journey of revolution in Far Cry 6 at an average of 68 frames per second on Ultra, 1600p settings. Important note: our testing lab found that when the GPU mode (in Lenovo Vantage) was set to anything other than “dGPU,” Steam titles produced a black screen on launch. It's not a terrible inconvenience since “dGPU” is the highest-performing mode.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 review

(Image credit: Future/Rami Tabari)

On the Borderlands 3 benchmark (Badass, 1080p), the Legion 7i hit 90 fps, which ran faster than the average mainstream gaming laptop at 82 fps. It beat out the lower-tier RTX 4060 from the Helios Neo 16 but was outmatched by the Alienware m16 R2’s similar RTX 4070 (102 fps) and the Vector 16’s higher-end RTX 4080 (136 fps). At its native resolution (1600p), the Legion 7i scored 60 fps.

The numbers were consistent on the Cyberpunk 2077 benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), where the Legion 7i got 35 fps, sliding past the Neo 16 (32 fps) and hovering around the category average (37 fps). However, the m16 R2 (40 fps) and Vector 16 (54 fps) crushed it again. Unfortunately, it scored a measly 17 fps at its native resolution.

On the Assassin’s Creed Mirage benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), the Legion 7i  came in with 98 fps, surpassing the average mainstream gaming laptop (91 fps) and chomping at the heels of the m16 R2 (101 fps). Naturally, it surpassed the Neo 16 (88 fps) and lost to the Vector 16 (133 fps). At its native resolution, the Legion managed 68 fps.

Finally, jumping into the barnyard madness of Red Dead Redemption 2 (Medium, 1080p), the Legion 7i lassoed in 68 fps and defeated the Alienware m16 (65 fps). It also crushed the category average (64 fps) and the Neo 16 (65 fps). Of course, the Vector 16 powered through a ridiculous 133 fps. Also, the Legion actually hit a solid 40 fps at its native resolution.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9: Performance

Intel is here with that mic drop, showing up with its epic Intel Core i9-14900HX processor and 32GB of RAM, all jam-packed into the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9. I threw a couple dozen Chrome tabs and a handful of YouTube videos while Spotify pulsed away in the background, and this baby didn’t stutter.

On the Geekbench 6.3 overall performance test, the Legion 7i scored 17,261, dominating the average mainstream gaming laptop (10,154). It wrecked the Helios Neo 16’s matching CPU (16,730) and the Alienware m16 R2’s Intel Core Ultra 7 155H (12,784). And it came close to keeping pace with the Vector 16 HX (18,055), which also shared the same CPU. 

The Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in just 3 minutes and 8 seconds on our HandBrake benchmark, crushing the category average (4:20) and any dreams that the m16 R2 (3:46) and Neo 16 (3:10) might’ve had. However, the Vector 16 finished first, at 2:31.

Lenovo’s 1TB SSD sports a transfer rate of 1,705 megabytes per second, which is faster than the average mainstream gaming laptop (1,582 MBps) and the Vector 16 (1,353 MBps) but falls short of the m16 R2 (2,015 MBps) and Neo 16 (2,121 MBps).

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9: Battery life

Some are long-lasting, and some are named the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9.

On the Laptop Mag battery test, the Legion 7i lasted 3 hours and 1 minute, which is nearly two hours shorter than the average mainstream gaming laptop (4:56). It was even the first to die among the Alienware m16 R2 (6:13), Helios Neo 16 (4:09), and Vector 16 HX (6:13). 

The Legion 7i didn’t do any better gaming either, lasting a paltry 47 minutes. All battery life while gaming is short, but at least the Vector 16 lasted 1:38.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9: Webcam

A 1080p webcam cannot save the Legion 7i and many other laptops from me shaming them in this section.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 review

(Image credit: Future/Rami Tabari)

The balance of contrast was poor, exploding half my background into a sea of white due to the light coming in from the window and ceiling fan. My blue floral shirt looked darker than usual, while the details on the flowers were lost in a fuzzy mess. If you plan on streaming, do yourself a favor and check out the best webcams.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9: Heat

For a spicy competitor, the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 doesn’t get too hot.

After gaming for 15 minutes, the underside of the Legion 7i reached 85 degrees Fahrenheit, which is well below our 95-degree comfort threshold. The center of the touchpad came in cool at 82.5 degrees as well, but the center of the keyboard hit 101 degrees. That’s not terrible, and the hottest the underside got was 100 degrees, located near the top center of the laptop on the rubber feet.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9: Software and warranty

The Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 comes with the usual Lenovo Vantage app. With that, you can customize your settings for performance, fans, touchpad, wifi, and power, perform hardware scans or system updates, and monitor the usage of your components, such as CPU, GPU, Storage, and RAM.

The Legion 7i Gen 9 comes with a one-year limited warranty. See how Lenovo performed on our Tech Support Showdown ranking.

Bottom line

No, it’s not perfect, but the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 checks all the boxes necessary to satisfy most gamers, especially those who want killer performance and a high-end display.

However, if you want a machine with longer battery life and better audio, you can try the MSI Vector 16. It features an RTX 4080 for that superior power, but it’s $700 more than the Legion 7i. And you’d miss out on the Legion’s silky touchpad and faster SSD.

The Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 is a wild performer and a great choice for most gamers who don’t mind using headphones and being plugged in. However, those scratches on the body are frustrating.

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Rami Tabari
Editor

Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.