Lenovo Legion Slim 7i (Gen 8) review: 120Hz gaming on the go

Searching for the finest gaming laptop computer is a complicated journey of sifting by way of producers, all claiming to supply the identical factor: desktop-grade efficiency on the go. Some can ship, however others miscalculate vital points that by no means seem in promoting. Thankfully, Lenovo is a well-adjusted vendor in the laptop computer area, a minimum of for the business-conscious viewers, however pivoting to avid gamers should not be so tough, proper?At first look, the Legion vary appears like Lenovo re-purposed some leftover ThinkPad shells and adjusted the internals to suit extra intense thermal options, which is not a nasty concept, but it surely’ll take some testing to see if it really works. I’ll run the regular benchmarks and break my findings into easy classes for my Legion Slim 7i (Gen 8) gaming laptop computer evaluation that can assist you determine if it is price your money.Today’s finest Lenovo Legion Slim 7i Gen 8 offersLenovo Legion Slim 7i Gen 8 at Lenovo USA for $1,499.99Disclaimer: This evaluation was made doable by a evaluation unit supplied by Lenovo. The firm didn’t see the contents of the evaluation earlier than publishing.Legion Slim 7i: Pricing, specs, and availabilityWiskinny the eco-friendly outer field is a glossy but refined theme for Legion packaging. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)Lenovo sells a customizable ‘construct your PC’ Legion Slim 7i mannequin by way of its official storefront alongside three inventory eighth Gen sequence variants. Also out there through third-party retailers, together with a Best Buy unique duplicate of the Intel Core i9-13900H mannequin with an RTX 4070 GPU examined on this evaluation, the inventory fashions begin at $1,770 MSRP for an entry-level Intel Core i7-13700H CPU and RTX 4060 GPU.Legion Slim 7i specsPrice: $2,100 (MSRP); $1,650 (reviewed)CPU:  Intel Core i9-13900HGPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 LRAM: 16GB DDR5-5200Storage: 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 TLCDisplay: 16-inch, IPS WQXGABattery: 6hr 10m (benchmarked)Size: 19.9 x 357.7 x 259.3 mmWeight: <2 kg (claimed) 2.11kg (weighed)Lenovo supplied me with its top-spec Legion Slim 7i Gen 8 mannequin, which often retails for $2,100, that includes an Intel Core i7-13900H CPU; nonetheless, the value was discounted to $1,650 at the time of writing for a 21% low cost. Packaged solely with an AC adapter appropriate to your area, it is out there for buy now. Each Legion Slim 7i variation options an Intel thirteenth Gen H-series cell processor, selling highly effective efficiency for skinny and moveable machines for avid gamers and different lovers. All three inventory fashions embody a 240Hz IPS panel supporting as much as a 2560 x 1600 decision with HDR 400 and the newest Wi-Fi 6E normal for ultra-first wi-fi networking.Memory is the identical for every inventory mannequin, with 16GB of soldered LPDDR5 clocked at 5200MT/s, however you may improve to 32GB for an additional $55 when you configure your individual Legion Slim 7i spec. You'll at all times get a single M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 TLC solid-state drive with both 512GB or 1TB of cupboard space, and the latter is offered as a $50 improve for a customized construct. NVIDIA GeForce RTX cell GPUs deal with the visuals with both an RTX 4060 or 4070 L, with the extra highly effective graphics tied to the Core i9-13900H CPU possibility bundled with a 1TB SSD. There's additionally a fingerprint reader constructed into the energy button, regardless of which mannequin you select.Going on to the official Lenovo retailer, you may improve the Legion Slim 7i Gen 8 to a 3.2K (3200 x 200) display for $15, however the most refresh price drops from 240Hz to 165Hz. Maxing out all the {hardware} choices alongside the boosted show, together with Windows 11 Pro for a $70 premium, an i9-13900H CPU, RTX 4070 L GPU, 1TB SSD, and 32GB of RAM, would value you $2,549 earlier than any reductions.Lenovo Legion Slim 7i (Gen 8) really helpful configurationLegion Slim 7i: Design and construct high qualityLenovo nails subtlety in its designs, fortunately avoiding the urge to create ugly gaming {hardware}. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)It's a reduction to see a development of extra normal-looking gaming laptops in recent times, with Lenovo amongst the producers resisting the urge to totally embrace sci-fi aesthetics with a chassis that appears like a disassembled UFO. A Legion motif is stamped into the lid, reverse a standard metallic Lenovo icon, identical to you'd see on any ThinkPad. It's slim however weighs 2.11kg in comparison with Lenovo's 'beneath 2kg' declare, feeling dense however not too heavy.The unmistakable giveaway that exposes the Slim 7i as a gaming-centric machine is a conspicuous array of vents, able to exhaust warmth as effectively as doable whilst you're taking part in high-end video games. A protruding dock sits behind its display hinge to deal with quite a lot of ports chunkier than the side-mounted USB-C choices, together with 3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 (1x with always-on 5V2A energy,) HDMI 2.1, and AC energy — a intelligent determination by its group of designers when you think about the supposed viewers.Booting into Windows with out making modifications treats you to a slick Legion wallpaper. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)A gaming laptop computer is much extra prone to be flanked at each side by a mouse and exterior keyboard or joypads, so trailing AC cables are higher suited at the rear. Still, there was a missed alternative to incorporate Ethernet LAN on this thick dock, particularly contemplating what number of ultra-thin laptops nonetheless handle to side-mount their HDMI-out ports.Gamers are considered one of the few remaining audiences that also keep away from Wi-Fi the place doable, opting to cut back the probabilities for elevated latency by sticking to wired networking. A 2.5Gb port would have higher suited the Slim 7i, completely aligning with its advertising and marketing by promoting a no-compromise answer to lag-free gaming.Image 1 of threeThe rear 'dock' is ideal for AC energy, however I'd have taken an Ethernet LAN port over the HDMI-out placement. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)No lack of energy supply on the left facet, with USB-C ports clearly labeled. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)A full-size SD card slot on the proper facet is nice information for avid gamers moonligting as photographers(?) (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)I'm blessed with sturdy Wi-Fi protection in my dwelling. However, I'd nonetheless want a LAN possibility on as many gaming laptops as doable since not everyone seems to be fortunate sufficient to have dependable connections in bedrooms or different far-reaching rooms. It may appear to be a distinct segment function to focus on, however it is best to contemplate your community surroundings earlier than choosing up {hardware} solely designed for gaming when you plan to play on-line.I am unable to think about avid gamers recurrently relying on full-size SD playing cards, but it surely's sensible sufficient for microSD with adapters.A mix audio enter/output sits alongside 2x beforehand talked about USB-C ports on the left-hand facet, with one providing Thunderbolt 4 usefully highlighted by a bolt icon.The different is rated for USB 3.2 Gen 2 speeds, however each USB-C ports supply DisplayPort 1.4 output and 140W energy supply regardless. The proper facet holds solely a 4-in-1 SD card reader and a bodily webcam shutter. I am unable to think about avid gamers recurrently relying on full-size SD playing cards, but it surely's sensible sufficient for microSD with adapters to develop the storage of handheld gadgets.Legion Slim 7i: ShowImage 1 of threeThe Legion Slim 7i display scored 100% of sRGB, 80% of AdobeRGB, and 80% of P3 with a Datacolor Spyder X Pro colorimeter. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)Datacolor SpyderX Pro tone response check outcomes (gamma 2.2) (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)Datacolor SpyderX Pro grey ramp check outcomes (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)Swipe to scroll horizontallySettingBrightnessBlackContrastWhite Point0percent9.70.000:1710025percent63.80.051360:1710050percent1400.121210:1700075percent337.10.251340:17000100percent528.20.411280:17100Lenovo advertises this model of the Legion Slim 7i with a WQXGA (2560 x 1600) 16:10 IPS panel supporting as much as 240Hz of VRR (variable refresh charges) and round 3-5ms response time. By default, Windows 11 sticks to the native decision with a 150% zoom, and HDR is disabled, although it's VESA DisplayHDR 400 licensed and could be activated in settings. G-Sync is offered when utilizing the devoted RTX 4070 L GPU alongside the numerous NVIDIA 40-series enhancements like DLSS for picture upscaling and decreased display tearing.Testing the panel with a SpyderX Pro colorimeter reveals the marketed 500-nits brightness is completely achievable when the brightness is ramped as much as 100%, and dropping to the minimal 0% creates a comfortably dim output for gaming in the darkish. Only 100% sRGB is claimed by Lenovo, which is correct. Still, a decrease results of 80% of Adobe RGB and 80% of P3 means creators in search of excellent coloration accuracy will not be glad with this gaming laptop computer.Nevertheless, the display appears attractive in movement at 240Hz, and the colours are vibrant sufficient for gaming. Enable HDR for supported apps and video games, and also you get a fairly spectacular expertise that makes the decrease coloration accuracy outcomes much less of a problem. All that is housed in a lid with skinny bezels and a inflexible hinge that permits the laptop computer to open with a single finger.Legion Slim 7i: Keyboard and touchpadCutting out the row of F1-F12 keys might have shifted the keyboard up and allowed for a bigger touchpad. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)Lenovo consists of its Legion TrueStrike keyboard with the Slim 7i, supposedly designed for intense gaming. Per-key RGB lighting definitely suits that theme and appears incredible with a number of tweaks in the Vantage companion app. For instance, the third pre-set RGB profile triggers a reactive ripple impact as you kind, however the default pace is much too gradual, wanting extra like a slow-pulsing neon signal from a gasoline station than a cyberpunk keyboard.Interchangeable keycaps are marketed in its advertising and marketing, however there isn't any signal of a keycap puller in the field and no units of replacements in the suitable equipment class of the official Lenovo retailer. Nevertheless, I doubt I'd ever really feel tempted to swap out the keycaps since the default set completely enhances the Slim 7i chassis. The per-key RGB does most of the heavy lifting for personalisation choices anyway.As on most Lenovo keyboards, a 1.5mm journey distance feels completely tactile. Having not too long ago written my ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 8) evaluation, the identical slight protrusion of every key continues to be wonderful for contact typing. I'd fortunately dim the keyboard backlight to save lots of battery energy with out worrying about dropping my place, apart from a few events attributable to the dropped arrow keys and Lenovo's inclusion of a quantity pad shifting every thing to the left.Gamers do not care about numpads, Lenovo. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)The numpad is considerably of an elephant in the room as a result of I am unable to determine the way it appeals to avid gamers. Don't get me improper; there was a gentle interval the place I believed giving up a numpad would drastically have an effect on my workflow. However, I've written virtually each article with a 60% SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini since its evaluation and have not regarded again. Plus, it is the identical keyboard I exploit for evenings of gaming, and I've by no means felt like I might profit from a devoted quantity pad.It's purposeful, and boy, are you able to kind 2FA codes with speedy accuracy when logging into Steam, however that is the place the novelty ends. I'd gladly sacrifice any inclusion of a numpad in favor of side-mounted audio system to boost the stereo impact for each gaming laptop computer. Perhaps reducing it out would have saved the arrow keys from dropping under the backside row and allowed for a bigger touchpad, which might have been massively appreciated.The touchpad is not dangerous, however Lenovo advertises it as 'giant' when it is not. I'm not asking for bodily mouse click on buttons, simply one thing that makes higher use of the free area round the backside facet of the chassis. Hidden left and proper buttons are embedded in the backside in a typical style. Still, it is too simple to by chance press each collectively, inflicting failed proper clicks as a result of I wasn't far over sufficient on this left-aligned touchpad.Legion Slim 7i: Gaming and efficiencyTobii Horizon head monitoring is not mind-blowing tech, however transferring my head to go searching in Euro Truck Simulator 2 appeals on to my coronary heart. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)It would not be a lot of a revelation for me to say that the Legion Slim 7i performs brilliantly with processor-focused benchmarks because it's packing a "skinny fanatic" thirteenth Gen Intel Core H-series CPU with 14 cores and 20 threads. A fast keyboard shortcut (Fn + Q) switches between thermal modes, recognized by an RGB ring mild round the mixture fingerprint reader energy button.I switched to the crimson 'efficiency' setting for exams, which comes with the caveat of thunderous fan noise. Not an amazing shock, given the variety of vents, and the slim design should include a trade-off. The i9-13900H positioned principally the place I anticipated it will, barely under some extra monstrous gaming laptops with chunkier chassis designed for improved airflow.Image 1 of 6(Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)(Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)(Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)(Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)(Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)(Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)My colleague Zachary Boddy reviewed the Lenovo Legion Pro 5i (Gen 8) and identified a thicker design, so its i7-13700H was presumably in a position to barely edge previous the Slim 7i in Geekbench 6 benchmarks due to barely much less thermal throttling. Otherwise, the numbers all match the principle of coming under the high-end i9-13950HX from Intel's thirteenth Gen however above most twelfth Gen performance-focused laptop computer equivalents.On the graphics facet, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 L suits into the center of the 40-series laptop computer class, however I would not essentially promote it as mid-range. If you are primarily taking part in on AC energy (and let's face it, you'll be,) then the Slim 7i barely breaks a sweat whereas sustaining the 60-120 FPS vary on high-ultra settings for contemporary AAA video games. Drop to 1080p whereas using the energy of NVIDIA's DLSS upscaling tech can push you nearer to the most 240Hz refresh price of its WQXGA display.Image 1 of 6Cyberpunk 2077 'Ultra Ray Tracing' preset at 1600p is the default possibility on launch, however a tad overkill. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)Cyberpunk 2077 on 'High' settings at 1080p simply pushes previous a 120 FPS common. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 'High' 1600p averages over 120 FPS on AC energy. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 'High' 1080p pushes as much as 175 FPS common, however not fairly the max of 240Hz. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)Fary Cry 6 at 'High' 1600p averages properly above 60Hz, with a minimal of 83 FPS. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)Far Cry 6 at 'High' 1080p hits the candy 120Hz common with a minimal 103 FPS. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)Cyberpunk 2077 is keen to default to its extremely graphics preset with ray tracing enabled on launch, but it surely means averaging 49 FPS as you navigate the shiny streets of Night City. I dropped the decision to 1080p, disabled ray tracing, and activated DLSS body era on the Legion Slim 7i to catapult as much as a median of 173 FPS.DLSS can upscale a barely decrease decision in favor of considerable efficiency features pushing gameplay over 120Hz.It's the identical story with high-end titles like Far Cry 6 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, main with the default 1600p decision and across-the-board excessive graphical settings that can maintain you above 60 FPS. However, DLSS can upscale a barely decrease decision in favor of considerable efficiency features pushing gameplay over 120Hz.Booting up a aggressive shooter like CS:GO confirmed no struggles, simply sustaining a 240 FPS+ body price throughout multiplayer matches. I do know, it is not precisely a cutting-edge shooter anymore, with Counter-Strike 2 simply round the nook. Still, most eSports lovers would doubtless inform you they prioritize framerates over visible constancy anyway, so the Legion Slim 7i is a superb match for these titles.Finally, together with Tobii Horizon permits for easy head monitoring in supported video games. While not as spectacular as the intricate eye-tracking tech provided by the identical producer, you should utilize it to regulate your view in video games like Euro Truck Simulator 2. A slim viewers, I do know, however I'm all for it.Legion Slim 7i: Battery life(Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)Testing the common battery lifetime of a gaming laptop computer is a needed evil, regardless of the consensus that making an attempt to play video games whereas touring is a recipe for catastrophe. While it is true that almost all aren't as much as the process of all-day efficiency, the Legion Slim 7i gave a surprisingly spectacular effort in benchmarks and even battery-powered gaming exams.Coming in at a bit over six hours in our PCMark 10 battery rundown check, which emulates on a regular basis use of an ordinary laptop computer opening frequent apps and video conferencing, nestles the Slim 7i nearer to business-grade machines than its gaming siblings. It's lightyears forward of the Lenovo Legion Pro 5i (Gen 8) outcomes, which noticed it barely handle two and a half hours, and ranks greater than the 18-inch behemoth Razer Blade 18 outcomes that got here in at beneath 5 hours.An common FPS north of 120Hz on battery energy is gorgeous. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)More eye-opening than the common lifespan check, the Legion Slim 7i impressed with its gaming efficiency on battery energy. Sure, after an hour or so of playtime, you are greeted with warnings to hook up with AC for charging, however a median FPS of over 120Hz on Cyberpunk at excessive settings and 1080p with DLSS enabled is not any joke. Any titles with much less demanding visuals would run even higher and drain much less energy, too.You would have the problem to claw me away from my Steam Deck and transfer to a gaming laptop computer for moveable play, however when you had been caught out for a number of hours and wished to get some sport time in with out worrying a couple of useless battery, the Slim 7i would have your again. The solely caveat is the 'efficiency' thermal mode is not out there on battery energy, however the 'auto' mode would not appear to wrestle, and something extra would drain the energy so rapidly it will have the entire effort considerably pointless.Legion Slim 7i: Webcam and audio testAudio playback sounds higher than anticipated, contemplating the normal double 2W speaker setup on the Legion Slim 7i. It's not too dissimilar to a high-end pill, which is a reduction when firing up such a slimline laptop computer and anticipating a dreadful listening expertise. Lenovo advertises Nahimic by SteelSeries as the expertise behind the audio system, claiming a 3D audio expertise, however realistically it is only a cheap effort at stereo.The webcam and built-in microphone are equally stunning, choosing up vibrant pictures and clear audio with out the terrible limitations anticipated of such microscopic {hardware} constructed right into a chassis as skinny as this. Realistically, you will need to put on a good pair of headphones or a gaming headset whereas taking part in AAA titles as a result of the fan noise will at all times outrank any potential of those audio system. Still, the setup is nice sufficient for informal use and even some mild content material creation.Legion Slim 7i: CompetitionASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 (2023) (Image credit score: ASUS)Exact matches for the Legion are slim (pun supposed,) however ASUS does supply a powerful various in its 2023 ROG Zephyrus G16. Selling for as little as $1,599.99 at Best Buy as I'm penning this evaluation, it options the identical i9-13900H CPU and RTX 4070 L GPU combo paired with a 240Hz panel. However, it is a 16:9 display, so that you're getting a most 2560 x 1440 display decision, which could really feel extra applicable for video games, however I'm a sucker for 16:10 and three:2 with new laptops.Alternatively, the HP Omen Ascend (2023) bumps the CPU to an i9-13900HX, preserving the RTX 4070 L GPU the identical. It's a 16:10 display operating as much as 240Hz, identical to the Legion Slim 7i, however you are paying further for the processor. Discounted to $1,999.99 at Best Buy as I'm looking out, it is often listed for $2,300, which is much much less interesting in comparison with Lenovo's providing. HP does cowl the Omen Ascend in a beautiful all-white chassis, which might look considerably extra refined than your common gaming laptop computer (if it weren't for the highlighted WASD keys.)Legion Slim 7i: Should you purchase it?It's the laptop computer I want I discovered earlier than dumping all my money into PC parts. (Image credit score: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)You should purchase this if …You need the finest worth gaming laptop computer with out going overboard.You have dependable entry to sturdy Wi-Fi networks.You love quantity pads.You mustn't purchase this if …You rely on Ethernet connections for lag-free gaming.You want to keep up a quiet gaming surroundings.You hate quantity pads.If Lenovo retains making laptops like this, they will be inside a shot of turning into my new favourite {hardware} producer. Adding per-key RGB keyboards and a slick emblem on the chassis would not assist keep away from that unusual feeling that Legion machines are nothing greater than re-purposed ThinkPad shells, however who cares if they're? If nothing else, it'd clarify the uncommon inclusion of a full-size SD card reader and the lack of an Ethernet port (which is baffling for lag-conscious avid gamers.)However, the efficiency on show from the i9-13900H CPU and RTX 4070 L GPU combo is spectacular, even on battery energy, which equally impresses with its lifespan throughout informal duties.Lenovo might take a number of further steps to separate its Legion vary from the business-focused flagships, however I recognize its resistance to going overboard on ugly aesthetics. It's not the finest gaming laptop computer I've ever used total, but it surely checks sufficient packing containers to come back extremely really helpful as a correct bang to your buck possibility. Despite the skinny chassis, Lenovo punches above its weight class with the Slim 7i, proving worthy of its high-end parts. Missing some key {hardware} that avid gamers may lament, but it surely's a stable selection for the value. Lenovo Legion Slim 7i Gen 8: Price Comparison

Recommended For You