The Lenovo Legion Y740 (15-inch) is a straight-up beast when it comes to graphics performance, and for $1,989 (starting at $1,739), you get a smooth 15.6-inch, 144-Hz display and a comfortable RGB-lit keyboard as well. The combination of an Intel Core i7 CPU and Nvidia RTX 2070 graphics is pretty potent. Aside from its short battery life and awkwardly placed webcam, the Legion Y740 is a pretty solid choice for a mainstream gaming laptop.
Lenovo Legion Y740 price and configuration options
The 15-inch Legion Y740 that I tested currently sells for $1,989 on Lenovo's website and comes with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU with 8GB of VRAM, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 1TB 7,200-rpm HDD.
The base model costs $1,739 and drops you to an RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM and a sole 256GB SSD. The maxed-out version costs a meaty $2,329, and comes with a 512GB SSD and 32GB of RAM on top of our original configuration.
The Legion Y740's hood is a vast plane of gunmetal painted aluminum, accompanied only by a Legion logo with an RGB-lit Y in the center of the O. Beyond the hinges lies a black plastic shell with RGB-lit vents that look like they're slowly consuming the rest of the chassis.
A big plus for me is that the Legion Y740 feels sturdier than its 17-inch sibling, which flexed like no tomorrow, but there was still a little give on the bottom of the lid between the hinges. The interior suffers from the same dull color palette, with the keyboard and deck blending in with each other. The webcam was moved to the bottom bezel, which is a bummer, but for me it's worth having those superslim bezels.
While its 15-inch size gives it a more petite look, the Legion Y740 (5 pounds, 14.2 x 10.5 x 0.9 inches) is still quite a big machine when stacked up against the Razer Blade 15 (2019) (4.7 pounds / 14 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches) and the Asus ROG Zephyrus S (4.6 / 14.2 x 10.6 x 0.6 inches).
The 15-inch Legion Y740 has the same ports as its big brother, which is great.
The left side features a headphone jack and a Thunderbolt 3 port, and the right side has room for one USB 3.1 port and a OneKey Recovery button.
Meanwhile, the back of the machine offers a Mini DisplayPort, an HDMI 2.0 port, two USB 3.1 ports, an Ethernet RJ45 port, the power jack and a security lock slot.
For a mainstream gaming laptop, the Legion Y740's 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 display is acceptably bright and colorful. Plus, you get the benefit of a silky smooth 144-Hz panel with Nvidia G-Sync compatibility.
As I was lifting up a log in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the deep browns and sharp beige stitching of Lara's leather scabbard and quiver caught my eye. And when I took cover in the shade of the trees, the panel was bright enough to reveal the rocks and tree roots that surrounded me.
In the epic trailer for Dora and the Lost City of Gold, the titular character's signature pink shirt and orange shorts glowed on the Legion Y740's display, and in the next scene I could make out the sharp strands of hair on Dora's head. The panel was also bright enough to pick up the dark suspenders that a background character wore while diving underwater.
The Legion Y740's panel matched the mainstream gaming laptop average and covered a solid 112 percent of the sRGB color gamut. The competition did a little better, however, with the Razer Blade 15 nailing 149 percent and the Zephyrus S scraping by at 113 percent.
At 267 nits of brightness, the Legion Y740 beat the Razer Blade 15 (262 nits) and is just barely dimmer than the 273-nit category average. Despite that, the Zephyrus S averaged a superbright 335 nits.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Despite having slightly mushy, low-travel keys, the Legion Y740's keyboard was still relatively comfortable to type on. However, even though the external chassis felt sturdy, the deck still flexed a bit as I typed.
I typed 65 words per minute on the 10FastFingers.com typing test, which is below my 77 wpm average. It didn't help that the keys offer just 1.3 millimeters of travel, which is out of our preferred 1.5 to 2.0 mm range. Although, it did require a solid 70 grams of force to actuate.
There's no numpad on the 15-inch Legion Y740, but there are two macro keys. What annoys me, however, is that there are two keys under the macro keys that are dedicated to adjusting keyboard backlighting. I would much rather these keys function as additional macro buttons, which would bring the total up to four.
Like its 17-inch counterpart, the Legion Y740's keys are individually lit with RGB backlighting, and you can customize the lighting effects via Corsair's iCue software. It gives you the option to highlight groups of keys to change at the same time, and each setting can be saved to a profile that you can assign it to a specific game or application.
The 4 x 2-inch touchpad is exceedingly smooth and comfortable to use, but the discrete buttons dig too deep into the chassis and cause my thumb to hit the sharp lip that surrounds them. On the plus side, Windows 10 gestures like two-finger scrolling, and three-finger tabbing worked like a dream.
Although the Legion Y740's speakers were loud enough to carry Jonathan Young's cover of "Unravel" throughout my small room, the quality was subpar (at first). The Legion Y740 is outfitted with the Dolby Atmos Speaker System app, which is on by default and can tune the audio via five presets: Dynamic, Movie, Music, Gaming and Voice. It also has a full equalizer as well. My first listen was on the Music setting.
The higher notes during the vocals were crisp, but they lacked proper bass, and the power- chording guitar was muddy and barely audible. By the third verse of the song, I could barely hear the percussion or the guitar riffs over the vocals. However, when I took the song off the Music setting and switched to Dynamic, it was like removing a muddy filter over the notes.
The Dynamic presetting sounded the best, and fixed some of the issues I had with the speakers, but I still couldn't get the quality guitar riffs to come through. I found that even turning the app off provided crisper quality in some cases, especially where the vocals were concerned.
In my first test of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, it was on the Gaming preset. As Lara and Jonah were having a conversation, their voices peaked during certain bits of dialogue, emitting an uncomfortably sharp and hollow sound. The speakers did re-create a satisfying pierce when I fired my rope arrow at a bundle of other rope. Despite that, the river that was flowing beneath me wasn't crisp or clear -- it just sounded like garbled noise.
When I tested Shadow of the Tomb Raider again, turning off the app made Lara's voice sound softer and more bearable. I flipped back and forth between Dynamic, Game and turning the app off completely, and the general background noise from the environment was much more pleasant with the app turned off.
In some cases, turning off the app made the audio sound better, but it didn't make the overall quality good.
Gaming, Graphics and VR
Underneath the Legion Y740's hood lies an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU with 8GB of VRAM that ran Shadow of the Tomb Raider at a smooth 55 frames per second as I shinnied along a cliff and then found myself staring aimlessly at a puzzle that I was too tired to solve.
The Legion Y740 crushed the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark (Very High, 1080p) with an average of 66 fps, sailing past the 41-fps mainstream gaming laptop average. The Zephyrus S (46 fps) couldn't get close with its GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU, and, surprisingly, the Razer Blade 15 (60 fps) lagged behind with its own RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU.
On the Hitman benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), the Legion Y740 matched the Razer Blade 15 with 96 fps and toppled the 73-fps category average. Even the Zephyrus S wasn't too far behind, at 83 fps.
This time around the Legion Y740 scored a lower 67 fps on the Grand Theft Auto V benchmark (Very High, 1080p), compared with the Razer Blade 15's 76 fps. Of course, it still made short work of the mainstream gaming laptop average (51 fps) and the Zephyrus S (64 fps).
The Legion Y740 can (almost) perfectly handle VR, as it scored a 10.9 out of 11 on the SteamVR Performance Test, beating the category average (7.6) and the Zephyrus S (9.7).
The Legion Y740 packs an Intel Core i7-8750H processor with 16GB of RAM, which easily juggled 40 Google Chrome tabs and five 1080p YouTube videos while Shadow of the Tomb Raider ran in the background.
The Legion Y740 posted a strong 21,629 on the Geekbench 4 overall performance test, but it couldn't quite match the Razer Blade 15 (22,179) and the Zephyrus S (21,711), which pack the same CPU. The Legion did, however, beat the 20,844 mainstream gaming laptop average.
On the HandBrake benchmark, the Legion Y740 transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in just 9 minutes and 23 seconds, blazing past the category average (10:21) as well as the Razer Blade 15 (12:53) and the Zephyrus S (10:12).
Lenovo's 256GB SSD copied 4.97GB of data in a speedy 9 seconds, which translates to 566 megabytes per second, and once again beats the mainstream gaming laptop average (393 MBps) and the Zephyrus S' 512GB SSD (424 MBps). However, the Razer Blade 15's 512GB SSD had a faster rate of 636 MBps.
Similar to its 17-inch sibling, the Legion Y740 didn't do so well in the battery life department. After continuously surfing the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the Legion Y740 survived only 2 hours and 16 minutes, which is nearly half the 4:01 mainstream gaming average. You could chalk it up to the power-soaking RTX GPU, but the Razer Blade 15 lasted 5:02 with the same chip. The Razer Blade 15 even surpassed the less-powerful Zephyrus S (3:33).
As you might expect from a webcam that's placed on the bottom bezel, I could see nothing but my fingers typing and part of my chin (epic) when I used the Legion's 720p camera. To be fair, it did capture the color in my gray-and-blue shirt decently well, and the sun didn't completely blow out my face.
However, the biggest issue was that quality was just poor. It looked like a muddy water painting, and I couldn't see any sharp detail in my hair or beard. You're better off with an external webcam.
Despite the numbers, the Legion Y740 didn't feel very hot after I played Shadow of the Tomb Raider for 15 minutes. The underside measured 103 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a few ticks off our 95-degree comfort threshold. The center of the keyboard hit 101 degrees and the center of the touchpad nailed 81 degrees. The hottest the machine got was 119 degrees, which was located on the right-hand side of the subwoofer.
On our normal heat benchmark (streaming a 15-minute 1080p video), the underside measured 95 degrees, while the keyboard and touchpad hit 92 and 81 degrees, respectively.
Software and Warranty
Lenovo's Vantage app combines all of the branded bloatware you typically get in a laptop and stuffs it in once place. With it, you can monitor your CPU, GPU, RAM and drives, use the Optimizer tool to automatically manage your RAM, customize your battery usage through the Power tab and use the Wi-Fi Security section, which can distinguish safe wireless networks from dangerous ones. And of course, you can run a hardware scan and check your warranty through the app as well.
Microsoft, however, likes to spread out its Windows 10 bloatware and gives you apps like Cooking Fever, Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Friends.
The 15-inch Lenovo Legion Y740 ($1,989) boasts the kind of power you'd expect from a machine with RTX graphics, and features a comfortable keyboard and a decently colorful 144Hz display. But it doesn't do quite enough to stand out and make our best gaming laptop list. On top of that, its battery life and bottom-bezel webcam are working against it.
If you want something that'll blow you away, consider saving for the Razer Blade 15 ($2,649), which offers a display teeming with color, longer battery life and graphics performance that's on a par with the Legion all packed into a slimmer and sexier chassis.
However, if you want to save a couple hundred dollars, consider springing for the Asus Zephyrus S ($1,799). While you'll take a hit to your GPU, you can still play high-taxing games on max settings. It also has longer battery life and a viciously bright display packed into smaller profile.
But overall, the Legion Y740 is a solid mainstream gaming laptop, especially for the price.
Credit: Laptop Mag