Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) review

The Legion 7i is an absolute beast for under $2,000

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) review
(Image: © Rami Tabari)

Laptop Mag Verdict

The Lenovo Legion 7i packs stellar performance, a gorgeous display and long battery life into a sleek, compact design, but its keyboard and audio are rough around the edges.

Pros

  • +

    Sleek design

  • +

    Bright and vivid display

  • +

    Stellar performance and graphics

  • +

    Solid battery life

Cons

  • -

    Keyboard needs some work

  • -

    Shallow speakers

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It’s rare to find a gaming laptop that goes all out for under $2,000, but consider that loot drop snagged with the Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel).

For $1,859, the Legion 7i offers incredible performance from its Intel Core i7-11800H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU, a beautiful 16-inch display, long battery life and a svelte design. But despite how well it performs, its keyboard doesn’t live up to the Lenovo ThinkPad standard, and the speakers are practically unusable.

However, if you can get used to the keyboard and have an alternative audio solution, the Lenovo Legion 7i is a hell of a gaming laptop to have by your side. It’s even worthy of a spot among our best gaming laptops.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) price and configurations

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) specs

Price: $1,859
CPU: Intel Core i7-11800H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 1TB SSD
Display: 16-inch, 1600p, 165Hz
Battery: 5:02
Size: 14.2 x 10.2 x 0.8~0.9 inches
Weight: 5.5 pounds 

The Lenovo Legion 7i that I tested totals up to $1,859; It’s outfitted with an Intel Core i7-11800H processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a 16-inch, 1600p, 165Hz display.

If you’re looking to save some money, you can drop that total to $1,439, but you’d be stuck with an RTX 3060 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. Want to go balls to the wall? The $3,154 model will be more than enough to accommodate your needs, outfitting the Legion with a Core i9-11980HK CPU, an RTX 3080 GPU, and a 2TB SSD.

The Legion can get a bit pricey, so if you’re looking for something more affordable, consider checking out our best cheap gaming laptops page.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) design

Like most Lenovo gaming laptops, the Legion 7i features a subtle aesthetic that doesn’t scream “I’m a gaming laptop, please rob me.” Despite its 16-inch stature, the chassis is rather compact, adding to its svelte design. The gunmetal paint pours over the expansive lid, surrounding the Lenovo logo in the bottom right and the RGB-lit Legion logo in the top left. Beyond the lid is a thin cylinder that acts as the precipice to the rest of the hinge, which houses an array of ports.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

To my surprise, opening the lid not only lit up the keyboard with an RGB flair, but the lip and the sides of the deck showed off a bright underglow via a discrete lightbar. It felt like a real “business in the front, party in the back” situation. Above the keyboard is a vent surrounded by a power button. Meanwhile, the display takes up a wide space with little to no bezels apart from the center lip, which is home to a webcam and a protrusion that features an engraved Legion logo.

At 5.5 pounds and 14.2 x 10.2 x 0.8~0.9 inches, the Legion 7i is rather slim and compact for a 16-inch gaming laptop. The Asus TUF Dash F15 (RTX 3070) (4.4 pounds, 14.2 x 10 x 0.8 inches), MSI GS76 Stealth (5.4 pounds, 15.6 x 10.2 x 0.8 inches), and Acer Predator Helios 300 (2021) (5.5 pounds, 14.3 x 10 x 0.9 inches) range from 15 to 17 inches, but the Legion 7i managed to keep the shortest length.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) ports

There’s a wide array of ports onboard the Legion 7i thanks to its backside (booty ports as we call it in the tech business). However, it would’ve been nice to see a Mini DisplayPort.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

On the left, there’s a headphone jack and a Thunderbolt 4 port, while the right side features a USB Type-C port and a kill-switch for the webcam.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

Meanwhile, the backside holds room for the power jack, three USB Type-A ports, an RJ45 Ethernet port, one Thunderbolt 4 port, and an HDMI port.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

If you need more ports, check out our best USB Type-C hubs and best laptop docking stations pages.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) display

The Lenovo Legion 7i’s 16-inch, 2560 x 1600 display is impressively bright and quite vivid. The 165Hz refresh rate is the cherry on top.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

In the trailer for Operation Fortune, the blue ocean popped on screen during the establishing shot of some fancy villa. Even when badass secret agent Jason Statham cleared a house at night, I could make out the glass dome in the background filled with blue and purple lights. Statham’s dark stubble was sharp as a knife on screen thanks to the display.

I played some Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and the bush I found myself hiding in was surrounded by lush greenery that exploded on the display against the gorgeous sunset in the distance. When navigating through a dark cave, the display perfectly balanced the brightness and contrast so I could actually see where I was going. When I turned down some graphics settings, I saw my ax land into some dude’s neck at a silky 165Hz.

When tested, the Legion 7i showed off 80.2% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which is great compared with the average mainstream gaming laptop (69.6%). It was more colorful than the  Dash F15 (77.9%) and Helios 300 (73.7%), but was outmatched by the GS76 Stealth (112.1%).

At 488 nits of brightness, the Legion 7i outshined the category average (319 nits) as well as the Dash F15 (265 nits), GS76 Stealth (300 nits), and Helios 300 (283 nits).

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) keyboard and touchpad

I didn’t enjoy typing on the Lenovo Legion 7i’s keyboard. While the keys were bouncy, the key travel was just short enough to make the typing experience a bit frustrating as opposed to satisfying.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

I hit 73 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, which is a little short of my 78 wpm average. The spacing can take a bit to get used to, but I don’t think I’d ever get used to the keys. If the key travel stayed the same but were clicky, then that would be more satisfying than the mushy, bouncy experience that each key delivers. If you are still sold on the Lenovo Legion 7i then consider adding one of the best gaming keyboards to your cart along with it.

The 4.7 x 3.0-inch touchpad is soft and provides a medium-depth click. Two-finger scrolling and three-finger tabbing gestures worked perfectly well on the Legion 7i’s touchpad.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) audio

The Lenovo Legion 7i’s bottom-firing speakers are shallow and not worth listening to.

I listened to GIRLI’s “More Than A Friend,” and the opening vocals were loud, but the percussive beats that backed the vocals were hollow and artificially bassy. All the instruments sounded far away, like I was hearing a neighbor's block party from inside my house. The speakers weren’t able to keep the song present.

When I spoke to an NPC in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, their voice sounded shallow and echoey. Similar to music, I felt like I was hearing someone else play the game from a different room. I slashed a bear with my greataxe, and it sounded like a distorted metallic shriek. Even when I used my assassin vision to search the area, the sound effect was so low that I barely heard it.

The Legion 7i features the Nahimic audio app, which comes with presets for Music, Movie, Communication, Gaming, and Smart (automatic). Each one has an array of settings, like bass, treble and voice, to drastically change the sound, but you can’t fix crappy speakers with software alone.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) gaming, graphics and VR

Powering the graphical engine of the Lenovo Legion 7i is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU with 8GB of VRAM. It was more than capable of running Assassin’s Creed Valhalla at 69 frames per second on Ultra, 1600p settings while I wrangled a polar bear for a cowardly NPC.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

On the Borderlands 3 benchmark (Badass, 1080p), the Legion 7i nailed 89 fps, crushing the mainstream gaming laptop average (66 fps). With the same GPUs, the Dash F15 (62 fps), GS76 Stealth (72 fps), and Helios 300 (77 fps) couldn’t keep up with the Legion. At 1600p, the Legion 7i averaged 60 fps.

The Legion 7i achieved 103 fps on the Far Cry New Dawn benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), excelling beyond the category average (82 fps), the Dash F15 (70 fps), the GS76 Stealth (82 fps), and the Helios 300 (84 fps). The Legion 7i scored 92 fps on the 1600p test.

On the Red Dead Redemption 2 benchmark (Medium, 1080p), the Legion 7i averaged 77 fps, which sped past the average mainstream gaming laptop (58 fps). Once again, Lenovo made short work of the Dash F15 (52 fps), GS76 Stealth (64 fps), and Helios 300 (69 fps). When cranked up to 1600p, the Legion 7i averaged 49 fps.

Yet again the The Legion 7i scored a wild 105 fps, this time on the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark (Highest, 1080p), which blew away the category average (71 fps), the Dash F15 (69 fps), the GS76 Stealth (84 fps), and the Helios 300 (86 fps). At 1600p, the Legion 7i scored 64 fps.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) performance

What really makes the engine come to life is the Lenovo Legion 7i’s Intel Core i7-11800H  CPU and 32GB of RAM. It easily cleared through 50 Google Chrome tabs and five 1080p YouTube videos without an issue. Even though Intel’s 12th Gen CPUs are here, the Legion 7i is still quite impressive.

On the Geekbench 5.4 overall performance test, the Legion 7i nailed (9,250), racing past the average mainstream gaming laptop (7,332). The Dash F15’s Core i7-11375H (5,166), the GS76 Stealth’s Core i9-11900H (8,102), and the Helios 300’s Core i7-10750H (6,257) couldn’t keep up.

The Legion 7i took only 5 minutes and 44 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p on our HandBrake benchmark, surpassing the category average (8:55) with ease. The Dash F15 (10:40), GS76 Stealth (7:36), and Helios 300 (9:18) couldn’t come close.

The key to the Legion 7i’s success may lie with its 1TB SSD, which boasts a whopping 1,806 megabytes-per-second transfer rate. On average, mainstream gaming laptops are as fast as 826 MBps. Meanwhile, the SSDs in the Dash F15 (1,003 MBps), GS76 Stealth (1,107 MBps), Helios 300 (544 MBps) can’t even cross the same atmosphere as the Legion 7i.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) battery life

Battery life in gaming laptops is getting better as the years go on, and the Legion 7i narrowly adheres to that trend. On our Laptop Mag battery test, the Legion 7i lasted 5 hours and 2 minutes, surpassing the average mainstream gaming laptop (4:43). It also outpaced the GS76 Stealth (5:01) and Helios 300 (4:40), but the Dash F15 (6:53) still came out on top.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) webcam

A 720p webcam is a bad webcam no matter what laptop it’s in.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

In my test shot, my face was blotchy, and you couldn’t see the stubble on my face whatsoever. My dark green shirt turned blue, and the poor contrast blew out parts of my skin, whitewashing this lovely arab skin. I wouldn’t even think about playing D&D Online with this thing. Treat yourself and make yourself look the best you can be with a tour of our best webcams page.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) heat

The Lenovo Legion 7i can get a little warm under the hood. After gaming for 15 minutes, the Legion 7i’s underside reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit, climbing above our 95-degree comfort threshold. The center of the keyboard and touchpad hit 101 and 73 degrees, respectively. However, the hottest it got was 125 degrees on the far left underside, middle-left of the vent.

When it’s not gaming, the Legion remained relatively cool after streaming a 15-minute video, with its underside reaching 91 degrees. The keyboard reached 89 degrees and the touchpad measured 77 degrees. It got the hottest in the same spot as before, reaching 99 degrees.

Lenovo Legion 7i (Gen 6, Intel) software and warranty

The only important app that’s included with the Legion 7i is Lenovo Vantage. This app includes performance modes, fan modes, component monitoring, overall system settings, and hardware scan and troubleshooting features.

However, there’s still some Windows bloatware, like Disney+, Hidden City, and Amazon Prime Video.

The Legion 7i comes with a one-year limited warranty. See how Lenovo performed on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands ranking.

Bottom line

The Lenovo Legion 7i has a lot going for it, from its incredible performance and long battery life to its gorgeous display and design. However, it’s not perfect, and one of its flaws is hard to ignore considering you’ll be constantly using it (the keyboard).

If you want to save some money and get a better keyboard, consider the Acer Predator Helios 300 (2021). However, you’d be sacrificing a better display and longer battery life.

Keyboard aside, the Lenovo Legion 7i is a great gaming laptop, and you’ll be hard pressed to find another with as powerful performance and as bright and vivid of a display under $2,000.

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.