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Lenovo Legion Y540 with RTX 2060 laptop review: Gaming laptop with good sound and 144 Hz panel

Mike Wobker, 👁 Florian Glaser (translated by Stephanie Chamberlain), 08/04/2019

3 TB with SSD/HDD combo. Lenovo has given the Legion Y540 a small hardware upgrade and now included a GeForce RTX graphics card within the slim case. The space left for storage devices is very large. In our review we'll show the level of performance that the Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 provides.

Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH

With the gaming laptops of the Legion series, Lenovo serves the 15- and 17-inch market with devices that have a slim case. While customers will receive an aluminum case with models such as the Legion Y740-15ICH, laptops like the Legion Y540-17IRH are made of plastic. The latter also offers a full-fledged numeric keypad, which is accordingly also available in our current review model.

This comes with an Intel Core i7-9750H and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060. Alongside the Intel UHD Graphics 630 graphics unit that is integrated into the CPU, 16 GB RAM and a 1 TB SSD are also available, as well as a 2 TB HDD. This should allow the Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH to run modern games smoothly, in which playing at 4K resolution and maximum details won't always be possible.

Naturally, the Lenovo gaming laptop has to face the competition. Therefore, we've included some comparable devices in our review. The Aorus 15 W9, the CUK Model Z, the Dell G5 15 5590, the HP Omen 15 and the MSI GL73 8SE are among these. In addition, further devices can be added to the comparison under each table.

Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH (Legion Y540 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop) - 6144 MB, Core: 960 MHz, Memory: 1750 MHz, GDDR6, ForceWare 417.98, Intel UHD Graphics 630 (Optimus)
Memory
16384 MB 
, SO-DIMM DDR4 2666, dual-channel, 2 out of 2 slots occupied
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, BOE NV156FHM-N4G (BOE084D), IPS, 144 Hz, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM370
Storage
Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR, 1024 GB 
, Samsung MZVLB1T0HBLR-000L2 + WDC WD20SPZX-08UA7, Slots: 1x M.2 & 1x 2.5", 2700 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek ALC257 @ Intel Cannon Point PCH - cAVS
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combined 3.5 mm audio jack
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 26 x 365 x 260 ( = 1.02 x 14.37 x 10.24 in)
Battery
57 Wh, 4955 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 0.9 MP, 16:9 (1280x720)
Additional features
Speakers: Harman stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 230-watt power adapter, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.3 kg ( = 81.13 oz / 5.07 pounds), Power Supply: 794 g ( = 28.01 oz / 1.75 pounds)
Price
1700 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case - Bezel-less and with webcam below the display

Webcam below the display
Webcam below the display

Lenovo has built the Legion Y540 with stable black plastic. While the base unit is very resistant to warping, the lid slightly gives way. In this way, the display flexes especially when being opened with only one hand. So as to achieve the narrowest possible bezels, Lenovo has placed the webcam below the display. This perspective isn't exactly advantageous with video chats, but it also occurs more frequently with other manufacturers. The hinges hold the display firmly in its place and allow an opening angle of 180 degrees.

Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH

The Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH is among the most compact laptops in our test field. The Aorus 15-W9 and the CUK Model Z are the only ones able to show even some millimeters less in our measurements. Weighing 2.3 kg, the Lenovo gaming laptop can also secure a place in the midfield of our chosen comparison devices in regard to weight.

Size comparison

419 mm / 16.5 inch 287 mm / 11.3 inch 33 mm / 1.299 inch 2.7 kg5.95 lbs365 mm / 14.4 inch 260 mm / 10.2 inch 26 mm / 1.024 inch 2.3 kg5.07 lbs364.3 mm / 14.3 inch 273.4 mm / 10.8 inch 23.7 mm / 0.933 inch 2.7 kg5.91 lbs361 mm / 14.2 inch 246 mm / 9.69 inch 24.4 mm / 0.961 inch 2.2 kg4.88 lbs360 mm / 14.2 inch 263 mm / 10.4 inch 25 mm / 0.984 inch 2.4 kg5.25 lbs359 mm / 14.1 inch 243 mm / 9.57 inch 22 mm / 0.866 inch 2.2 kg4.77 lbs

Connectivity - No Thunderbolt in the Legion Y540-15IRH

Lenovo concentrates most of the ports on the back of the laptop. This reduces obstructing cables and protruding devices to the left and right of the Legion Y540-15IRH to a minimum. Besides the already large number of ports, further ones can be set up through the USB Type-C port. Additionally, 4K monitors with a 60 Hz refresh rate can be used with HDMI 2.0. Like many other manufacturers, Lenovo has excluded an SD card reader.

Left: 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A, combined audio jack
Left: 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A, combined audio jack
Right: 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A
Right: 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A
Back: 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C, Mini DisplayPort, 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, power connector, Kensington lock
Back: 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C, Mini DisplayPort, 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, power connector, Kensington lock

Communication

The Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH can establish wireless connections over Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi. The fast 802.11ac standard and 2x2 MIMO antenna technology are available here, with which the gaming laptop reaches very good speeds of 677 Mb/s at receiving data and 684 Mb/s at sending data in our tests. The Y540-15IRH is only surpassed by the Y540-17IRH in our test field.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
680 MBit/s ∼100% 0%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
677 MBit/s ∼100%
Aorus 15 W9
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
671 MBit/s ∼99% -1%
HP Omen 15-dc1303ng
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S CNVi: WiFi
666 (min: 597, max: 686) MBit/s ∼98% -2%
Dell G5 15 5590
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
657 (min: 556, max: 690) MBit/s ∼97% -3%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
650 MBit/s ∼96% -4%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
638 MBit/s ∼94% -6%
Average of class Gaming
  (141 - 702, n=249)
605 MBit/s ∼89% -11%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
684 MBit/s ∼100% 0%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
684 MBit/s ∼100%
Aorus 15 W9
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
680 MBit/s ∼99% -1%
Dell G5 15 5590
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
642 (min: 581, max: 693) MBit/s ∼94% -6%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
623 MBit/s ∼91% -9%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
611 MBit/s ∼89% -11%
HP Omen 15-dc1303ng
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S CNVi: WiFi
601 (min: 562, max: 639) MBit/s ∼88% -12%
Average of class Gaming
  (144 - 730, n=249)
558 MBit/s ∼82% -18%

Accessories

In the box, the Legion Y540-15IRH includes the laptop itself and a corresponding 230-watt power adapter. Lenovo doesn't offer any other accessories that have been made especially for the gaming laptop. Furthermore, users can also purchase general accessories such as carrying bags, mice, keyboards, external drives and more from the manufacturer's website.

Maintenance

The Legion Y540-15IRH doesn't provide a maintenance hatch or anything similar. In order to access the inside, users will have to remove 11 screws from the bottom and then carefully detach the bottom cover. After this, it's possible to access components like the RAM, SSD and HDD.

Maintenance options
Maintenance options

Warranty

Lenovo honors a 24-month warranty for buyers of the Legion Y540-15IRH. Further information on this subject can be found in our guarantees, return policies and warranties FAQ.

Input devices - Gaming laptop with keyboard backlighting

Keyboard

The Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH provides large keys that are easily reached. Although the surface is comparably smooth, finger slips happen quite rarely. The feedback is soft with a clear pressure point, and the keys are very quiet. Therefore, writing tasks work well. Only the numeric keypad is a bit smaller. The Legion Y540 also has keyboard backlighting, which illuminates edges and symbols well and can be configured in two different levels to be lighter or darker.

Input devices
Input devices
Keyboard backlighting
Keyboard backlighting

Touchpad

As mouse alternative, Lenovo opted for a classic touchpad with separate mouse buttons with the Legion Y540-15IRH. The pad offers the fingers a comfortable resistance and allows in this way a precise navigation with the mouse pointer, and the dedicated mouse buttons operate uniformly and with a clearly audible click noise. Unlike the keyboard, the touchpad doesn't have any backlighting.

Mouse alternative
Mouse alternative

Display - Reasonably priced gaming laptop with 144 Hz panel

Screen bleeding
Screen bleeding

The display in the Legion Y540-15IRH is comprised of a 15.6-inch 144 Hz IPS panel that provides a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. With an average of 277 cd/m², the brightness sits in the lower midfield of our chosen comparison devices. At 87%, the brightness distribution is also average compared to other gaming laptops. Moreover, our measurements show that the Lenovo laptop doesn't use PWM to control brightness levels.

293
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
295
cd/m²
271
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
262
cd/m²
258
cd/m²
275
cd/m²
274
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
BOE NV156FHM-N4G (BOE084D)
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 295 cd/m² Average: 277.3 cd/m² Minimum: 2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 284 cd/m²
Contrast: 947:1 (Black: 0.3 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.53 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1, calibrated: 1.81
ΔE Greyscale 3.56 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
91% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 59% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.47
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
BOE NV156FHM-N4G (BOE084D), IPS, 1920x1080
Aorus 15 W9
LG Philips LP156WFG-SPB2 (LGD05E8), IPS, 1920x1080
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
LG Philips LGD05C0, IPS, 1920x1080
Dell G5 15 5590
AU Optronics B156HAN, IPS, 1920x1080
HP Omen 15-dc1303ng
LG Philips LGD05C0, IPS, 1920x1080
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
CMN1747, TN LED, 1920x1080
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
AU Optronics B173HAN04.4 (AUO449D), IPS, 1920x1080
Response Times
-60%
-38%
-306%
-35%
-14%
-67%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
8.8 (4.4, 4.4)
16.8 (9.2, 7.6)
-91%
13.6 (6.8, 6.8)
-55%
45 (22, 23)
-411%
14 (7, 7)
-59%
12.8 (6.8, 6)
-45%
18 (8.4, 9.6)
-105%
Response Time Black / White *
10 (5.6, 4.4)
12.8 (7.6, 5.2)
-28%
12 (7.6, 4.4)
-20%
30 (17, 13)
-200%
11 (7, 4)
-10%
8.2 (6, 2.2)
18%
12.8 (7.6, 5.2)
-28%
PWM Frequency
25770 (15)
Screen
-6%
-0%
-57%
3%
-37%
8%
Brightness middle
284
295
4%
306.8
8%
234
-18%
316
11%
326.4
15%
286
1%
Brightness
277
292
5%
309
12%
219
-21%
295
6%
317
14%
282
2%
Brightness Distribution
87
80
-8%
87
0%
82
-6%
84
-3%
90
3%
87
0%
Black Level *
0.3
0.34
-13%
0.38
-27%
0.17
43%
0.42
-40%
0.28
7%
0.19
37%
Contrast
947
868
-8%
807
-15%
1376
45%
752
-21%
1166
23%
1505
59%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.53
3.89
-10%
3.16
10%
8.6
-144%
2.7
24%
7.83
-122%
3.57
-1%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
6.11
7.28
-19%
6.05
1%
17.49
-186%
5.65
8%
13.36
-119%
7.5
-23%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.81
1.44
20%
2.4
-33%
4.06
-124%
1.58
13%
2.83
-56%
1.31
28%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.56
4.98
-40%
2.3
35%
8.55
-140%
2.35
34%
10.9
-206%
4.51
-27%
Gamma
2.47 89%
2.45 90%
2.17 101%
3.02 73%
2.41 91%
1.97 112%
2.36 93%
CCT
7257 90%
6407 101%
6557 99%
7802 83%
6904 94%
11056 59%
7411 88%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
59
60
2%
60
2%
37
-37%
60
2%
75.8
28%
64
8%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
91
93
2%
92.6
2%
59
-35%
93
2%
100
10%
98
8%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-33% / -14%
-19% / -6%
-182% / -95%
-16% / -3%
-26% / -33%
-30% / -3%

* ... smaller is better

With a contrast ratio of 947:1 and a black value of 0.3 cd/m², the Legion Y540 also performs averagely in regard to these aspects. While the first value only provides a moderate separation between colors, a light bloom is visible on top of black image content due to the slightly elevated black value.

The CalMAN analysis also shows that out of the box the display in the Lenovo laptop reproduces colors with a slightly raised blue proportion and a too low red proportion. This behavior can be evened out well through calibration. The corresponding ICC file can be downloaded in the upper right window found next to the display's brightness distribution graph.

CalMAN: Grayscales
CalMAN: Grayscales
CalMAN: Color saturation
CalMAN: Color saturation
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: Grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN: Color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: Color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)

Due to the fairly low brightness, the Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH can only be used with limitations outdoors, even in shady areas. Image content is still recognizable and can barely be read in direct sunlight. However, thanks to the matte display, only a little reflection can be seen, and there is no mirroring from surrounding objects.

Legion Y540-15IRH vs sRGB (91%)
Legion Y540-15IRH vs sRGB (91%)
Subpixel
Subpixel
Legion Y540-15IRH vs AdobeRGB (59%)
Legion Y540-15IRH vs AdobeRGB (59%)
Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Outdoor use

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
10 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5.6 ms rise
↘ 4.4 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 8 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
8.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4.4 ms rise
↘ 4.4 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 6 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (40 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9428 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The IPS panel in the Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH has very stable viewing angles. Content can be read from almost any angle, without it becoming distorted or showing wrong colors.

Viewing-angle stability
Viewing-angle stability

Performance - Legion Y540-15IRH offers solid performance

With an Intel Core i7-9750H and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060, our review model of the Legion Y540 currently offers Lenovo's strongest performing CPU/GPU combination. The available RAM can be up to 32 GB, according to the datasheet, and the mass storage is configurable with an SSD up to 1 TB and an HDD up to 2 TB. Further graphics options are available with the following Nvidia GeForce models: the GTX 1660 Ti, the GTX 1650, and the GTX 1050. The prices are between about 800 Euros (~$890) and 1,900 Euros (~$2,115), depending on the configuration variant.

 

Processor

The Intel Core i7-9750H is a processor based on the Coffee Lake architecture, which achieves clock speeds between 2.6 and 4.5 GHz with its six cores. However, the full 4.5 GHz can only be used by up to two cores at a time. When all cores are maxed out, the highest possible clock speed is 4 GHz. The i7-9750H offers additionally an internal Intel UHD Graphics 630 graphics unit that can be activated within the BIOS settings. In this way, users of the Legion Y540-15IRH can also use the more energy-efficient integrated GPU instead of always having the dedicated Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 in use.

How long the gaming laptop from Lenovo is able to sustain its maximal performance depends significantly on the implemented cooling system. In our Cinebench endurance test, performance drops by around 6% after only a short period. The Legion Y540-15IRH is able to maintain the subsequently reached value for the rest of the test with little fluctuations though. The Cinebench R15 individual tests corresponding to the single- and multi-core performance show that our review model is able to take advantage of the performance of its CPU very well; it manages to outperform the average of all the devices with the Intel Core i7-9750H that we've reviewed.

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
GPU load
GPU load
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: Ø1208 (1186.17-1271.21)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Intel Core i7-9750H
188 Points ∼100%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
Intel Core i7-9750H
187 Points ∼99% -1%
HP Omen 15-dc1303ng
Intel Core i7-8750H
171 Points ∼91% -9%
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
Intel Core i5-9300H
171 Points ∼91% -9%
Aorus 15 W9
Intel Core i7-8750H
170 Points ∼90% -10%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
Intel Core i7-8750H
169 Points ∼90% -10%
Dell G5 15 5590
Intel Core i7-8750H
165 Points ∼88% -12%
Average of class Gaming
  (77 - 212, n=496)
155 Points ∼82% -18%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Intel Core i7-9750H
1271 Points ∼100%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
Intel Core i7-9750H
1261 Points ∼99% -1%
Dell G5 15 5590
Intel Core i7-8750H
1191 Points ∼94% -6%
Aorus 15 W9
Intel Core i7-8750H
1122 Points ∼88% -12%
HP Omen 15-dc1303ng
Intel Core i7-8750H
1082 Points ∼85% -15%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
Intel Core i7-8750H
997 Points ∼78% -22%
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
Intel Core i5-9300H
850 Points ∼67% -33%
Average of class Gaming
  (196 - 2022, n=499)
814 Points ∼64% -36%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
188 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1271 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
89.26 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help

System performance

The Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH also performs very well in the synthetic PCMark benchmarks for system performance. In the overall score of both tests, the gaming laptop is at the head of our test field. It's only slightly outmatched by the Legion Y540-17IRH in the PCMark10 "Productivity" and "Essentials" disciplines. In everyday use, the Legion Y540-15IRH offers a smooth operating system without micro-stutters and with applications that load quickly. However, the speed when accessing data depends on whether it is stored on the SSD or HDD.

The performance reached by other laptops compared to the Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH can be found in our CPU benchmarks article.

PCMark 10 - Score
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
5997 Points ∼100%
Aorus 15 W9
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
5839 Points ∼97% -3%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H, Intel SSD 660p 2TB SSDPEKNW020T8
5678 Points ∼95% -5%
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9300H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
5613 Points ∼94% -6%
HP Omen 15-dc1303ng
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5609 Points ∼94% -6%
Average of class Gaming
  (2603 - 7171, n=192)
5190 Points ∼87% -13%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
5118 Points ∼85% -15%
Dell G5 15 5590
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, KBG30ZMS128G
5069 Points ∼85% -15%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
5901 Points ∼100%
Aorus 15 W9
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
5899 Points ∼100% 0%
HP Omen 15-dc1303ng
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5857 Points ∼99% -1%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H, Intel SSD 660p 2TB SSDPEKNW020T8
5696 Points ∼97% -3%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
5359 Points ∼91% -9%
Dell G5 15 5590
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, KBG30ZMS128G
5291 Points ∼90% -10%
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9300H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
5138 Points ∼87% -13%
Average of class Gaming
  (2484 - 6515, n=376)
5023 Points ∼85% -15%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
5185 Points ∼100%
Aorus 15 W9
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
5077 Points ∼98% -2%
HP Omen 15-dc1303ng
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5077 Points ∼98% -2%
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9300H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
4818 Points ∼93% -7%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H, Intel SSD 660p 2TB SSDPEKNW020T8
4459 Points ∼86% -14%
Average of class Gaming
  (3638 - 6093, n=394)
4247 Points ∼82% -18%
Dell G5 15 5590
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, KBG30ZMS128G
4165 Points ∼80% -20%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
3876 Points ∼75% -25%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
5185 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5901 points
Help

Storage

Lenovo offers the Legion Y540-15IRH with different storage configurations. Our review unit has a 1 TB SSD and a 2 TB HDD. While the SSD provides very good read and write speeds in our storage benchmarks, the HDD is rather among the slower storage devices with its 5400 rpm.

The performance that other storage devices were able to reach in our tests can be found in our SSD/HDD benchmarks article.

Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
Aorus 15 W9
Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
Intel SSD 660p 2TB SSDPEKNW020T8
Dell G5 15 5590
KBG30ZMS128G
HP Omen 15-dc1303ng
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-3%
5%
-65%
-18%
-64%
-30%
Write 4K
131.7
99.18
-25%
134.4
2%
64.27
-51%
50.19
-62%
71.19
-46%
105.1
-20%
Read 4K
48.06
54.06
12%
56.75
18%
29.3
-39%
35.32
-27%
32.7
-32%
34.41
-28%
Write Seq
1234
1524
24%
1742
41%
131.1
-89%
990.6
-20%
404.5
-67%
1298
5%
Read Seq
972.5
2325
139%
1687
73%
775.8
-20%
1526
57%
8.3
-99%
1099
13%
Write 4K Q32T1
576.3
259.2
-55%
535
-7%
96.78
-83%
445.1
-23%
204
-65%
335.7
-42%
Read 4K Q32T1
655.1
328.9
-50%
639.2
-2%
198.6
-70%
526.2
-20%
303.2
-54%
231.4
-65%
Write Seq Q32T1
3012
1566
-48%
1903
-37%
127.8
-96%
1647
-45%
386.5
-87%
1454
-52%
Read Seq Q32T1
3481
2767
-21%
1849
-47%
1044
-70%
3427
-2%
1214
-65%
1740
-50%
Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
Sequential Read: 1297 MB/s
Sequential Write: 2637 MB/s
512K Read: 997.4 MB/s
512K Write: 2613 MB/s
4K Read: 56.51 MB/s
4K Write: 105 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 450.7 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 396.1 MB/s

Graphics card

Alongside the integrated UHD Graphics 630 graphics unit, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 is also available to the users of the Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH. This GPU is also suitable for applications with higher demand for graphics performance in a laptop and can run most modern games at high graphics settings smoothly. In the 3DMark 13 tests, the performance of the GeForce RTX 2060 is slightly below the level of other gaming laptops with this graphics card. Performance is even a bit lower in the 3DMark 11 benchmark and is comparable to a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti.

Our GPU benchmarks list shows the results obtained by other graphics cards in these tests.

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
16460 Points ∼100% +10%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
15731 Points ∼96% +5%
Aorus 15 W9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
15501 Points ∼94% +4%
Dell G5 15 5590
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
15415 Points ∼94% +3%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
14970 Points ∼91%
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
14186 Points ∼86% -5%
HP Omen 15-dc1303ng
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
11563 Points ∼70% -23%
Average of class Gaming
  (385 - 40636, n=522)
11187 Points ∼68% -25%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
21409 Points ∼100% +10%
Aorus 15 W9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
20464 Points ∼96% +5%
Dell G5 15 5590
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
20196 Points ∼94% +3%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
20157 Points ∼94% +3%
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
19733 Points ∼92% +1%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
19537 Points ∼91%
HP Omen 15-dc1303ng
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
14723 Points ∼69% -25%
Average of class Gaming
  (513 - 50983, n=596)
13146 Points ∼61% -33%
3DMark 11 Performance
17422 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
36582 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
13706 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
 points
Help

Gaming performance

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 can run modern games smoothly. High detail levels are no problem in Full HD, but 4K resolution requires a reduction in graphics settings with demanding titles. The titles that we tested all ran without issues on the Full HD panel of the Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH. The expected performance in other games can be found in our GPU games list.

The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H
63 fps ∼100% +11%
Dell G5 15 5590
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H
60 fps ∼95% +6%
Aorus 15 W9
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H
58 fps ∼92% +2%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H
56.7 fps ∼90%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H
55.1 fps ∼87% -3%
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9300H
55.1 fps ∼87% -3%
Average of class Gaming
  (12.6 - 115, n=291)
49 fps ∼78% -14%
Dota 2 Reborn - 1920x1080 ultra (3/3) best looking
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H
118.9 (min: 103.9) fps ∼100%
HP Omen 15-dc1303ng
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
105.8 (min: 93.9) fps ∼89% -11%
Average of class Gaming
  (14 - 125, n=22)
94.9 fps ∼80% -20%
Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H
96.6 fps ∼100% +15%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H
83.9 fps ∼87%
Average of class Gaming
  (8.9 - 159, n=168)
68.5 fps ∼71% -18%
Thief - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H
97.7 fps ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (9.3 - 142, n=185)
58.7 fps ∼60% -40%

Our endurance test with The Witcher 3 shows that the Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH is also able to sustain its gaming performance over a very long period of time. Although there are small fluctuations in the frame rates, these remain on a relatively constant level.

0510152025303540455055606570Tooltip
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR: Ø56.5 (52-63)
low med. high ultra
Thief (2014) 97.7fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 56.7fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 139132.5123.2118.9fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 83.9fps

Emissions - Good speakers in the Lenovo laptop

Noise emissions

The fans in the Legion Y540-15IRH also spin in idle usage, but they are very quiet. The noise level increases significantly under load and reaches a maximum of 52 dB in our test. In this way, the Lenovo laptop is similarly loud to comparable gaming laptops, but it's not an extremely loud device. We weren't able to find any miscellaneous noises, such as coil whine or the kind, in our review model.

Noise level - Idle
Noise level - Idle
Noise level - Load
Noise level - Load
Noise level - Speakers
Noise level - Speakers

Noise Level

Idle
30 / 32 / 34 dB(A)
Load
44 / 52 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30 dB(A)

Temperature

Our measurements show that the Legion Y540-15IRH reaches surface temperatures of up to 41 °C (~106 °F) in idle usage and up to 60 °C (~140 °F) under load. The warmest spots are in the rear section of the bottom. Using the Lenovo laptop on the lap is therefore almost impossible.

The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3
Stress test
Stress test
Full load - Top
Full load - Top
Full load - Bottom
Full load - Bottom

The core temperatures within the Legion Y540-15IRH increase to up to 86 °C (~187 °F) during our The Witcher 3 stress test. The clock rates stabilize to an average of about 4.1 GHz by the end of the test. The CPU reaches a maximum value of 95 °C (~203 °F) in our even more demanding stress test scenario, where an average clock speed of about 2.9 GHz is maintained.

Max. Load
 45 °C
113 F
47 °C
117 F
43 °C
109 F
 
 45 °C
113 F
47 °C
117 F
43 °C
109 F
 
 40 °C
104 F
41 °C
106 F
36 °C
97 F
 
Maximum: 47 °C = 117 F
Average: 43 °C = 109 F
57 °C
135 F
59 °C
138 F
50 °C
122 F
60 °C
140 F
59 °C
138 F
50 °C
122 F
41 °C
106 F
44 °C
111 F
29 °C
84 F
Maximum: 60 °C = 140 F
Average: 49.9 °C = 122 F
Power Supply (max.)  45 °C = 113 F | Room Temperature 23 °C = 73 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 43 °C / 109 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 47 °C / 117 F, compared to the average of 39.5 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 60 °C / 140 F, compared to the average of 42.1 °C / 108 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 33.8 °C / 93 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
(-) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 40.2 °C / 104 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
(-) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 41 °C / 105.8 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.8 °C / 83.8 F (-12.2 °C / -22 F).

Speakers

The speakers in the Legion Y540-15IRH offer comparably high volumes and a relatively broad sound spectrum. Mids are slightly over-represented and high tones drop a bit. On the other hand, there is barely any bass. The speakers are definitely suitable for the occasional reproduction of media content, but external speakers or headphones are recommended in the long run, especially for gaming. These can be connected to Lenovo's gaming laptop through a combined 3.5 mm audio jack, which holds corresponding connectors firmly in place and doesn't impact audio quality in a negative way.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2035.235.62541.639.43130.729.5403535.95030.230.66327.930.78028.441.810025.242.712524.234.316026.149.320021.857.525020.767.831520.667.240019.269.550018.770.963017.974.68001773.7100017.370.2125018.272.1160017.771.2200017.170.6250017.371.2315017.570.1400017.467.7500017.463630017.467.7800017.566.41000017.258.51250017.260.91600017.560.4SPL3082.2N1.356.7median 17.5median 67.7Delta1.66.232.337.438.242.330.933.834.434.529.730.926.432.526.129.425.529.329.238.626.350.423.157.820.968.220.16819.270.719.272.218.473.317.875.817.672.618.274.417.973.617.572.717.773.517.773.117.66817.668.517.666.517.767.717.65717.463.117.45830.2841.462.1median 17.8median 68.22.47.6hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo Legion Y540-15IRHLenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 14.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.9% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (13.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 24% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 68% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 9% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 88% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (84 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 16.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (3.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.5% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (15.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 38% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 58% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 16% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 80% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy management - Battery life can be improved with iGPU

Energy consumption

Our measurements show that the Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH has an energy consumption of at least 15 watts in idle usage and up to 213 watts under load. This places the gaming laptop among the least energy-efficient devices in our test field, but it can't be described as an energy waster either.

The included power adapter provides an output of 230 watts and therefore has enough capacity to be able to supply the Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH with energy at all times.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.4 / 0.8 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 15 / 20 / 33 Watt
Load midlight 88 / 213 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
9750H, GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
Aorus 15 W9
8750H, GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Dell G5 15 5590
8750H, GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
HP Omen 15-dc1303ng
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
8750H, GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
9300H, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
Average of class Gaming
 
Power Consumption
2%
-20%
38%
17%
17%
-3%
-9%
Idle Minimum *
15
18
-20%
23.5
-57%
3.5
77%
14.7
2%
8.8
41%
19
-27%
19.5 (3.5 - 113, n=679)
-30%
Idle Average *
20
20
-0%
28
-40%
6.9
65%
18.6
7%
16.2
19%
22
-10%
25 (6.8 - 119, n=679)
-25%
Idle Maximum *
33
28
15%
32
3%
8.5
74%
22.6
32%
18.3
45%
30
9%
30.2 (8.3 - 122, n=679)
8%
Load Average *
88
87
1%
102.4
-16%
127
-44%
90
-2%
86.1
2%
79
10%
104 (14.1 - 319, n=670)
-18%
Load Maximum *
213
175
18%
209
2%
179
16%
120
44%
186.4
12%
201
6%
170 (21.9 - 590, n=669)
20%
Witcher 3 ultra *
128
135
-5%
142.8
-12%
146.7
-15%
134
-5%

* ... smaller is better

Battery life

The Lenovo Legion Y540 reaches a runtime of 3 h 12 m in our practical Wi-Fi test. Although it performs rather below average in this regard, it sits in the midfield of our chosen comparison devices. If the integrated graphics unit is activated in the BIOS, users can expect an increase in battery life of about two hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 53min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
3h 12min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 07min
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
9750H, GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 57 Wh
Aorus 15 W9
8750H, GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 62 Wh
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 46.74 Wh
Dell G5 15 5590
8750H, GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 60 Wh
HP Omen 15-dc1303ng
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 70 Wh
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
8750H, GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 41 Wh
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
9300H, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 57 Wh
Average of class Gaming
 
Battery Runtime
-10%
-7%
191%
12%
1%
16%
33%
Reader / Idle
233
176
-24%
890
282%
301
29%
388
67%
311
33%
342 (39 - 1174, n=650)
47%
WiFi v1.3
192
141
-27%
178
-7%
463
141%
197
3%
168
-12%
220
15%
255 (78 - 622, n=342)
33%
Load
67
81
21%
168
151%
69
3%
33
-51%
68
1%
79 (18 - 202, n=616)
18%

Pros

+ good CPU performance
+ 144 Hz panel with fast response times
+ ample SSD/HDD combo
+ fast Wi-Fi

Cons

- no Thunderbolt 3
- no card reader

Verdict - Simple but good gaming laptop from Lenovo

Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH. Review device provided by:
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH. Review device provided by:

The Legion Y540-15IRH proved to be a solid gaming laptop with only a few weaknesses in our review. The system performance is on a high level, and although the performance of the GeForce RTX 2060 isn't optimally used, it's still well taken advantage of. In addition, the combination of a fast SSD and large HDD provides diverse storage possibilities for sizeable amounts of data, where users can later also expand or exchange them.

The Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH makes a good impression in its maximum configuration and leaves only little room for criticism.

However, it's somewhat incomprehensible that the battery life is reduced to such an extent when disabling the integrated graphics unit. Users can take action themselves here too, but without technical background knowledge, this isn't easy for everyone. Lenovo has also forgone a card reader, and instead of Thunderbolt 3 there's "only" a USB Type-C port with the 3.1 Gen1 standard. Since these aspects will likely be less bothersome for some users, the Legion Y540 remains a good gaming laptop at a reasonable price.

Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH - 08/04/2019 v6
Mike Wobker

Chassis
75 / 98 → 77%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
59 / 81 → 73%
Weight
61 / 10-66 → 91%
Battery
70%
Display
88%
Games Performance
96%
Application Performance
95%
Temperature
77 / 95 → 81%
Noise
75 / 90 → 83%
Audio
76%
Average
79%
86%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo Legion Y540 with RTX 2060 laptop review: Gaming laptop with good sound and 144 Hz panel
Mike Wobker, 2019-08- 4 (Update: 2019-08- 6)