Notebookcheck

Lenovo Legion Y720 (7700HQ, Full-HD, GTX 1060) Laptop Review

Nino Ricchizzi (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 05/08/2017

A convincing concept. The equation Lenovo uses for describing their new gaming laptop does appear to make sense: power + portability = perfection. The perfection might not be absolute - but Lenovo does show that they know what a true gaming notebook is all about.

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For the original German review, see here.

The new Lenovo Legion laptops look a lot like the models of the IdealPad gaming-series of old. The Legion Y720 is designed to fulfill all the requirements a potential buyer might have when it comes to choosing a new gaming notebook. In addition to a high-end processor from Intel's Core i7 series , 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, Lenovo not only integrates a PCIe SSD, but also a high-capacity HDD. The price for the complete package is about 1700 Euro (~$1865). Users who are satisfied with an Intel Core i5-7300HQ can save 100 Euro (~$110) and spend that money on gaming accessories instead. 

Compared to similarly-equipped competitors, the price point of the new laptop falls right in the middle of the range. The Acer Aspire V15 Nitro costs 1350 Euro (~$1480) and is thus much more affordable - but it comes with less RAM (8 GB) and less storage (1 TB). Also a contender is the Gigabyte P55W V7, which sells for 1600 Euro (~$1750). Another less expensive choice is the Asus FX502VM, which starts at 1300 Euro (~$1420)  for a version of the notebook with less graphics memory and a TN display. With the GS63VR, MSI offers a better-equipped alternative with UHD display and 32 GB of RAM.

The original review was conducted by our German colleagues. While the exact version of review notebook isn't (yet) available from retailers in the US, it can be configured online on Lenovo's site for about $1460. We also found the Y720 with 4K display available for preorder (release date 06/13/2017) from one retailer for $1550. 

Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE (Legion Y720 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop) - 6144 MB, Core: 1405 MHz, Memory: 2002 MHz, 21.21.13.7639 (ForceWare 376.39), Nvidia Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4 (2x8GB, both slots occupied)
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 141 PPI, LG Philips LGD0533 LP156WF6-SPK3, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM175
Storage
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 256 GB 
, Additional: HDD with 1 TB
Soundcard
Intel A171
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Audio-combo jack
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 30 x 380 x 277 ( = 1.18 x 14.96 x 10.91 in)
Battery
60 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 4 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: 2 x 2W JBL Speakers and 3W Subwoofer Dolby Atmos, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Lenovo Companion, Lenovo Nerve Sense, Lenovo Settings, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
3.1 kg ( = 109.35 oz / 6.83 pounds), Power Supply: 680 g ( = 23.99 oz / 1.5 pounds)
Price
1700 Euro

 

Case

The looks of the Lenovo Legion Y720 already hint at its performance potential. Visually, the Y720 seems closely related to the notebooks from Lenovo's former Ideapad Y-series (Ideapad Y700Ideapad Y900). The back of the display lid and the bottom consist of textured aluminum. Although these elements look stunning, they are unfortunately a magnet for fingerprints. The matte keyboard assembly and the touchpad are affected in the same manner, however. It's quite aggravating when a notebook starts looking dirty even though it has barely seen any use. 

We like the uniform look of the display itself, although the bezels are a little too wide for our taste. Users who'd like to upgrade their gaming notebook or perform maintenance unfortunately are forced to remove the entire bottom unit, as the Y720 doesn't have any hatches or panels to swap out memory modules or perform similar tasks. Our scale recorded 3100 g for the notebook alone; with the power adapter included, the weight increases to 3.7 kg. In other words: the Legion isn't particularly well-suited as a daily companion for school and work. All competitors weigh less, while the MSI GS63VR in particular manages to stay under 2 kg.

Lenovos named their newest gaming laptop
The looks of the chassis ...
... hint at the intended purpose.
Lenovo uses both plastic and aluminum.
All surfaces ...
...are extremely susceptible to finger prints.
The logo on the back ...
... lights up red, just like the keyboard backlight
Access to the interior requires removal of the bottom unit.
Compared to the competition, the Legion is neither thin nor light.

Except for the Gigabyte P55W, the competitors we've mentioned are almost 1 cm (~ 0.39 in) less wide. According to our measurements, the Y720 is 3 cm (~1.18 in) high. 

Size Comparison

Connectivity

In addition to a decent complement of standard ports, the Legion Y720 also features a Thunderbolt 3 port as well as a DisplayPort. The location of the ports seems well thought out, with "permanent" connections positioned either on the left (Ethernet) or far back (HDMI). Disappointing is the fact that Lenovo decided to forgo an SD card slot.

left: Kensington lock, power jack, Ethernet 1 x USB 3.0, audio-combo jack
left: Kensington lock, power jack, Ethernet 1 x USB 3.0, audio-combo jack
right: Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort, 2 x USB 3.0, HDMI
right: Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort, 2 x USB 3.0, HDMI

Communication

An Intel Dual-Band AC 8265 module takes care of wireless communication. Although the transfer rates theoretically max out at 867 MBit/s, we recorded an average client transfer rate of only 511 MBit/s one meter from the router. The average server transfer speed is a bit higher at 661 MBit/s. The competitors aren't really any speedier, with only the MS GS63VR and the Gigabyte P55W posting faster speeds (+100 MBit/s) during the client test.

According to the hardware spec sheet and the LMP version number in the device manager, the WLAN module supports Bluetooth 4.2.  Leonvo's specifications for the Legion only mention Bluetooth 4.1.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Gigabyte P55W v7
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
663 MBit/s ∼100% +30%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
662 MBit/s ∼100% +30%
Asus FX502VM-AS73
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
541 MBit/s ∼82% +6%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
541 MBit/s ∼82% +6%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
511 MBit/s ∼77%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
661 MBit/s ∼100%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
618 MBit/s ∼93% -7%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
594 MBit/s ∼90% -10%
Asus FX502VM-AS73
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
513 MBit/s ∼78% -22%
Gigabyte P55W v7
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
470 MBit/s ∼71% -29%

Accessories

The accessories on Lenovo's homepage and the ones suggested by the pre-installed software are simply products which match the Y720 from an aesthetic viewpoint. Offered are a mechanical keyboard ($140), a Lenovo Y Gaming Surround Sound Headset ($50), a Lenovo Y Gaming Precision Mouse ($70) and a 27-inch curved-screen monitor ($400). At the time of writing, prices in Euro weren't available yet.

Maintenance

Since there are not maintenance covers, access to the RAM slots, the WLAN module or to the fans for cleaning requires the unscrewing 11 Phillips screws and the removal of the bottom cover.

Update 06/14/2017: One of our readers pointed out that, according to the manual of the Y720, all maintenance works by the user are prohibited. This includes the SSD, RAM, and the HDD. This was also confirmed by the Lenovo support. The correspondence is available to the editorial staff. Thanks to our reader Benedikt L. for this information.

Both RAM slots are occupied.
Both RAM slots are occupied.
Access to the fans
Access to the fans
HDD/SSD combo
HDD/SSD combo
The inside of the Legion Y720
The inside of the Legion Y720

Warranty

In Germany, the notebook is covered against defects for a period of 24 months - same as the competitors.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The black & red chiclet keyboard stands out in part because of its large keys, which make the transition from a traditional PC keyboard very easy. Only the numpad and the left shift key are narrower. Especially when playing racing games, we appreciated the additional free space next to the arrow keys.

One drawback: the page up and down keys are only accessible via an Fn key combination. 

The typing experience is decent overall. The key travel is a little too short and too soft, but the actuation points are well-defined and the keyboard is very quiet overall. In keeping with the design, Lenovo chose a bright red backlight for the keyboard. Lenvo also offers an RGB backlit keyboard for those wanting to enhance the appearence; at the time of writing, the price for this option is unknown.

Touchpad

The touchpad measures 10.5 x 7 cm (4.1 x 2.8 inches) and features - once again in line with the design philosophy - a red border. The surface is extremely smooth and prone to fingerprints, as we mentioned earlier already. The competitors seem to have similar issues in this regard though.

This adverse visual effect doesn't negatively affect the operation though. Inputs are recognized and translated immediately, although the very corners don't always react well or not at all to a moving finger, which is a common problem.

The mouse buttons are integrated and thus not visible. The sound the clicks produce is acceptable at normal ambient noise levels, but in quiet environments, we noticed a short, high-frequency mechanical sound. The click-travel distance is not uniform and decreases towards the corners.

Good layout with minor idiosyncrasies.
Good layout with minor idiosyncrasies.
Upscale keyboard backlight.
Upscale keyboard backlight.
The quality of the input devices is acceptable.
The quality of the input devices is acceptable.

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

Our configuration uses a Full HD panel. The MSI GS63VR can be ordered with a 4K display as well, but many current games don't run stutter-free at that resolution. Lenovo plans on offering a 4K panel, but at this time we don't know how much this option is going to cost. The Y720 uses an IPS panel from LG; among the others, only the Asus FX502VM is equipped with a less expensive TN panel.

The average recorded brightness is 275 cd/m², which seems to be a common level among the competitors. Since our notebook features a non-glare panel, light sources in the vicinity don't pose much of a problem. With only 205 cd/m², the display of the Asus FX502VM is shockingly dim. The leader in this category is the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro with about 300 cd/m².

259
cd/m²
271
cd/m²
256
cd/m²
275
cd/m²
288
cd/m²
262
cd/m²
296
cd/m²
288
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 296 cd/m² Average: 275.4 cd/m² Minimum: 2.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 288 cd/m²
Contrast: 800:1 (Black: 0.36 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.29 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 4.5 | - Ø
57% sRGB (Argyll) 37% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.39
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
LG Philips LGD0533 LP156WF6-SPK3, , 1920x1080, 15.6
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
3840x2160, 15.6
Asus FX502VM-AS73
1920x1080, 15.6
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
LG Display LP156WF6-SPP1, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Gigabyte P55W v7
LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD046F), , 1920x1080, 15.6
Response Times
-19%
21%
-19%
5%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
43 (22, 21)
28 (15.6, 12.4)
35%
28.4 (11.2, 17.2)
34%
41 (21, 20)
5%
37 (15, 22)
14%
Response Time Black / White *
24 (12, 12)
23.6 (15.2, 8.4)
2%
22.4 (6, 16.4)
7%
34 (21, 13)
-42%
25 (5, 20)
-4%
PWM Frequency
21000 (90)
1351 (39)
-94%
Screen
-18%
-13%
25%
21%
Brightness
275
263
-4%
205
-25%
297
8%
289
5%
Brightness Distribution
86
92
7%
92
7%
86
0%
87
1%
Black Level *
0.36
0.44
-22%
0.69
-92%
0.31
14%
0.29
19%
Contrast
800
623
-22%
304
-62%
1039
30%
990
24%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.29
8
-51%
4.7
11%
4.73
11%
4.92
7%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.5
9.1
-102%
1.8
60%
2.99
34%
3.66
19%
Gamma
2.39 100%
2.24 107%
2.23 108%
2.32 103%
2.32 103%
CCT
6839 95%
5020 129%
6975 93%
6905 94%
6482 100%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
37
45.7
24%
36.2
-2%
56
51%
54
46%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
57
72.1
26%
56.6
-1%
85
49%
82
44%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-19% / -18%
4% / -6%
3% / 16%
13% / 18%

* ... smaller is better

Next we take a look at the CalMAN results. The DeltaE-deviations for both colors and grayscale are around 5 - grayscale in particular benefits from a calibration, as the deviation dropped to 0.67 afterwards. For professional users intending to work with graphics, the coverage of the professional color spaces is not sufficient for both AdobeRGB (37 %) as well as sRGB (57 %). None of the notebooks in our comparison are satisfying in this regard, however. Frontrunner is Gigabyte's P55W (sRGB 82 %, AdobeRGB 54 %).

CalMan: ColorChecker, not calibrated
CalMan: ColorChecker, not calibrated
CalMan: Grayscale, not calibrated
CalMan: Grayscale, not calibrated
CalMan: SaturationSweeps, not calibrated
CalMan: SaturationSweeps, not calibrated
Color space coverage - sRGB
Color space coverage - sRGB
CalMan: ColorChecker, calibrated
CalMan: ColorChecker, calibrated
CalMan: Grayscale, calibrated
CalMan: Grayscale, calibrated
CalMan: SaturationSweeps, calibrated
CalMan: SaturationSweeps, calibrated
Color space coverage - AdobeRGB
Color space coverage - AdobeRGB
Outdoor use
Outdoor use

A rare sight: the Legion Y720 outdoors. Because of the dimensions and the weight, the gaming notebook likely will remain indoors for the majority of the time. The matte display does mean that the Y720 is suitable for outside use when it's cloudy.

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
24 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 12 ms rise
↘ 12 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. » 28 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (26.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
43 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 21 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 58 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (42.8 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 detected 21000 Hz90 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 21000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 90 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 21000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 57 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 6668 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The superiority of IPS-technology based panels compared to TN displays becomes apparent when it comes to viewing angle stability. The display of the Legion Y700 doesn't suffer from a loss of color quality or a decrease in brightness when viewed from various angles - the TN display Asus uses for the FX502VM certainly is affected.

Viewing angle stability
Viewing angle stability

Performance

LatencyMon
LatencyMon

With a brand-new quad-core processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of RAM on board, Lenovo's new Legion Y720 is certainly able to handle Full HD gaming. Depending on the model, the Y720 comes with either the Intel Core i7-7700HQ or the Intel Core i5-7300HQ. The review notebook shipped with a powerful Intel i7-CPU and sells for 1700 Euro (~$1865), so $100 more than the configuration with Intel Core i5-CPU

Processor

The heart of any notebook is the processor. For this reason, Lenovo uses a potent Intel Core i7-7700HQ-CPU. The quad-core CPU operates between 2.8 GHz and 3.8 GHz and features a 45 W TDP according to the spec sheet. Although all competitors use the same CPU, the cooling system can have a major impact on the efficiency and how long the maximum clock speed can be maintained. We use Cinebench R15 to determine the performance of the Intel Core i7-770HQ. With 737 points, the Y720 scores 60 points better than the competition from Acer and Gigabyte.

Even when running on battery, the notebook performance is nearly identical. For a comparison of different processors, please check our comparison of mobile CPUs.

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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

We use Cinebench R15 running in a loop to check if the processor can maintain its clock speed for extended periods of time. We observe two distinctly different behaviors: either the CPU runs at the maximum frequency of 3.8 GHz, or it slows down to 2.8 GHz. The result is an almost cyclical flip-flopping between Cinebench multi-core scores of 700 and 610. The MSI GS63VR only reaches 700 points during the first run; all subsequent scores are lower (around 660 points).

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
162 Points ∼83% +1%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼82%
Gigabyte P55W v7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
156 Points ∼80% -2%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
152 Points ∼78% -5%
Asus FX502VM-AS73
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
140 Points ∼72% -12%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
742 Points ∼35% +1%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
737 Points ∼34%
Gigabyte P55W v7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
733 Points ∼34% -1%
Asus FX502VM-AS73
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
725 Points ∼34% -2%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
673 (min: 660) Points ∼31% -9%
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
737 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
160 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
100.87 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help

System Performance

The Legion Y720 performs at a level we've come to expect from a gaming notebook. In addition to the potent CPU and GPU, the fast PCIe SSD contributes to the responsiveness as well. PCMark 8 confirms our subjective impressions. The Gigabyte P55W does score slightly better (+6 %) in the Work subtest. The MSI GS63VR has an edge as well and scores 200 points more.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D256
5317 Points ∼82% +5%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5268 Points ∼81% +4%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5083 Points ∼78%
Asus FX502VM-AS73
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
2722 Points ∼42% -46%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus FX502VM-AS73
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
4765 Points ∼80% +16%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4141 Points ∼69% +1%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4115 Points ∼69%
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D256
4013 Points ∼67% -2%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4115 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5083 points
Help

Mass Storage

SSD
SSD
HDD
HDD

The primary storage drive is a M.2 SSD. The 256 GB drive is addressed using PCIe, so the transfer speeds are significantly faster than they would be with a SATA interface. According to CrystalDiskMark, the drive is capable of 2.2 GB/s read and 1.14 GB/s write speeds. The competitor from MSI also uses a PCIe drive and improves upon the reads by a rather significant 500 MB per second.

For long-term storage, Lenovo also included a conventional 1 TB HDD, which transfers data at the rate that's typical for this type of drive.

Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Asus FX502VM-AS73
SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
Gigabyte P55W v7
Liteonit CV3-8D256
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
19%
-63%
-96%
-60%
Write 4k QD32
396.3
526.9
33%
99.74
-75%
0.274
-100%
240.1
-39%
Read 4k QD32
485.4
631.7
30%
369.9
-24%
1.133
-100%
358.5
-26%
Write 4k
153.5
158.2
3%
70.91
-54%
0.313
-100%
54.98
-64%
Read 4k
60.07
54.2
-10%
29.36
-51%
0.473
-99%
25.4
-58%
Write 512
810
1531
89%
137.8
-83%
84.36
-90%
254.8
-69%
Read 512
746.5
499.7
-33%
343.5
-54%
37.83
-95%
252.5
-66%
Write Seq
1144
1621
42%
138.2
-88%
101.8
-91%
261.9
-77%
Read Seq
2196
2141
-3%
502.5
-77%
120.9
-94%
466.2
-79%
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Sequential Read: 2196 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1144 MB/s
512K Read: 746.5 MB/s
512K Write: 810 MB/s
4K Read: 60.07 MB/s
4K Write: 153.5 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 485.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 396.3 MB/s

GPU Performance

GPU frequency when disconnecting the power adapter
GPU frequency when disconnecting the power adapter

The most important component of any gaming notebook is undoubtedly the graphics card. Lenovo uses a current top-of-the-line Nvidia Pascal GPU - the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 - which is supposed to allow demanding graphics settings even with the current crop of games. Since the performance of the GPU varies depending on the cooling system, we run the 3DMark benchmark tests to get an idea of the performance. In our case, the GTX 1060 managed about 11000 points (graphics score) when running FireStrike - about average. The other notebooks in our comparison score about the same.

As soon as the notebook is disconnected from the outlet, the performance decreases significantly. The OpenGL sub-test of the Cinebench R15 benchmark test drops to a third of the initial value. The results when running Witcher 3 are similar. The culprit is easy to find: with the notebook running on battery, the GPU frequency decreases by 300 MHz (normally: 1506 MHz).

For additional comparisons of various GPUs, please check our current list of mobile graphics cards.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
14942 Points ∼29% +5%
Asus FX502VM-AS73
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
14732 Points ∼29% +4%
Gigabyte P55W v7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
14693 Points ∼29% +3%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
14450 Points ∼28% +2%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
14233 Points ∼28%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Asus FX502VM-AS73
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
11633 Points ∼29% +4%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
11494 Points ∼28% +3%
Gigabyte P55W v7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
11426 Points ∼28% +3%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
11261 Points ∼28% +1%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
11134 Points ∼27%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Asus FX502VM-AS73
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
80496 Points ∼49% +20%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
66973 Points ∼41% 0%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
66856 Points ∼41%
Gigabyte P55W v7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
54719 Points ∼33% -18%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
32344 Points ∼20% -52%
3DMark 11 Performance
12067 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
21147 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
9527 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Games like Doom pose no problem at all for the new gaming notebook. Gaming is absolutely delightful at a frame rate of 90 fps at maximum settings. To keep Witcher 3 running above 60 fps, we could "only" select the high settings. In fact: the Legion Y720 doesn't seem to have it easy with Witcher 3 and the frame rates trail those of the competition by up to 13 %.

To check if the frame rates are stable over longer periods as well., we run Witcher 3 for an hour at maximum settings. The attached graphic clearly shows that the results are pretty stable and only fluctuate minimally. 

012345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546474849Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 lives up to its full potential when playing current games. The dedicated GPU makes stutter-free gameplay at Full HD resolution and high to ultra settings possible. As we mentioned earlier, operating the notebook on battery power results in much lower performance.

Our article entitled "Computer Games on Laptop Graphic Cards" explains in more detail which GPUs are needed for various games.

BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Asus FX502VM-AS73
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
103.1 fps ∼100% +4%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
100.6 fps ∼98% +1%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
99.51 fps ∼97%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
88 fps ∼85% -12%
1366x768 High Preset
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
159.5 fps ∼100%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
128 fps ∼80% -20%
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
39.4 fps ∼100% +11%
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D256
38.4 fps ∼97% +8%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
38.3 fps ∼97% +8%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
35.5 fps ∼90%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
76 fps ∼100% +15%
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D256
70.4 fps ∼93% +7%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
68 fps ∼89% +3%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
66 fps ∼87%
Doom
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:SM
Asus FX502VM-AS73
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
95.1 fps ∼100% +2%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
93 fps ∼98%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
92.3 fps ∼97% -1%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
97 fps ∼100%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 204.3171.12159.599.51fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 182.61186635.5fps
Doom (2016) 131.7125.19793fps

Emissions

System Noise

One of the most frequent problems affecting gaming laptops is the high noise level. Even at idle, the fan is usually far from silent. The Lenovo Legion Y720 shows that this doesn't have to be the case: during idle, our instrument only indicated 30 dB; the gaming notebook remains quiet as well while surfing the Internet with the balanced profile enabled. Under load, the dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card comes into play and the processor cores run at their maximum frequency. This in turn produces more heat - and getting rid of this heat increases the noise level substantially.

Noise Level

Idle
31 / 30.9 / 31.5 dB(A)
Load
38.7 / 41.9 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft SL 320 (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.3 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2034.433.634.63334.42533.2323233.333.23136.132.635.735.236.14032.628.631.229.932.65035.936.135.136.235.96332.133.228.227.132.18026.427.426.426.626.410026.327.125.324.426.312525.126.225.124.825.116025.126.923.923.625.120025.426.921.721.725.425026.428.222.521.426.431529.531.122.121.629.540029.531.522.120.229.550025.126.820.319.625.163025.126.919.518.625.180026.127.518.71826.1100027.830.319.217.627.8125029.131.518.917.829.1160029.532.118.517.729.520003032.418.617.630250030.632.718.217.730.6315028.731.81817.928.7400024.727.41817.824.7500023.62618.21823.6630023.526.418.418.223.5800021.223.418.318.321.21000019.420.618.418.219.41250018.719.218.318.218.71600021.721.119.71821.7SPL39.641.93130.339.6N3.23.91.51.43.2median 25.4Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGEmedian 27.1median 18.9median 18.2median 25.4Delta2.52.31.71.22.534.333.133.532.835.234.331.230.632.431.238.431.2373641.939.438.53732.329.336.132.232.132.331.231.62930.229.331.228.828.128.228.726.628.826.627.727.626.725.726.626.92826.627.226.426.926.828.525.42526.126.82527.324.423.723.72525.326.622.522.822.725.325.527.821.621.521.625.527.229.821.720.820.827.227.831.421.319.62027.824.326.920.319.919.424.324.727.119.31918.824.72628.821.320.118.32628.731.62120.417.628.728.631.719.818.917.828.628.932.219.318.117.528.929.232.519.518.117.529.230.433.818.918.217.430.432.634.218.518.217.832.630.935.418.218.117.930.926.631.418.418.118.126.626.130.818.618.518.326.121.525.418.418.318.421.520.522.618.418.518.420.519.620.118.418.518.319.621.320.418.718.818.321.340.843.931.630.930.440.83.54.61.61.51.43.5median 26.6Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BEmedian 28.8median 19.5median 18.9median 18.3median 26.61.82.41.51.51.91.8hearing rangehide median Fan Noise

Temperature

The Legion Y720 does well when it comes to the temperatures: at idle as well as under load, the surface temperatures remain at very acceptable levels. Some competing notebooks like the Asus FX502VM are a different story. The bottom of that particular laptop reaches up to 57 °C.

We also check the temperatures after playing Witcher for one hour. The maximum recorded temperature of 43.5 °C isn't exactly bothersome - but the location is not ideal, as the hotspot happens to be right in the middle of the keyboard assembly. The frame rates are nearly constant between 35 and 40 fps. Lenovo's Nerve Sense Software features an "Extreme Cooling“ option, which, when enabled, increases the fan speed to near its maximum. The noise level under load now increases clearly above our previous measurement. The advantage is of course a cooler-running CPU, although the clock speed didn't improve.

Kaum spürbare Hitzeentwicklungen auf der Unterseite
Kaum spürbare Hitzeentwicklungen auf der Unterseite
Das Legion Y720 ...
Das Legion Y720 ...
... muss sich unserem ...
... muss sich unserem ...
... Stresstest unterziehen.
... Stresstest unterziehen.
Temperaturvergleich: Extreme Cooling
Temperaturvergleich: Extreme Cooling
Max. Load
 33.9 °C41.6 °C38.2 °C 
 30.5 °C40.8 °C37.4 °C 
 23.5 °C25.4 °C28.6 °C 
Maximum: 41.6 °C
Average: 33.3 °C
35.3 °C37 °C29.7 °C
31 °C34.8 °C30.8 °C
28.5 °C30.3 °C27.7 °C
Maximum: 37 °C
Average: 31.7 °C
Power Supply (max.)  36.4 °C | Room Temperature 22 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

Two 2 W JBL speakers and a 3 W subwoofer provide the sound output. When watching movies or a series, the laptop does get decently loud but he sound isn't balanced all that well, which the frequency diagram shows. Ideally, the output would be more linear - but that's clearly not the case.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.73331.72531.733.331.73132.335.232.34030.429.930.45036.336.236.36328.927.128.98029.926.629.910037.324.437.312545.224.845.216052.523.652.520055.621.755.625063.421.463.43156621.66640072.520.272.550061.619.661.663067.318.667.380068.51868.5100065.517.665.5125069.317.869.3160067.617.767.6200068.417.668.4250071.817.771.8315071.217.971.2400068.117.868.1500068.11868.1630065.918.265.9800062.218.362.21000060.318.260.3125006018.2601600058.91858.9SPL80.530.380.5N50.91.450.9median 65.9Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGEmedian 18.2median 65.9Delta5.11.25.135.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (70 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 12.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.8% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.5% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (12.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 16% of all tested devices in this class were better, 10% similar, 74% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 18%, worst was 34%
Compared to all devices tested
» 8% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 89% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 19%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

During idle, the gaming laptop is quite frugal and the power draw doesn't exceed 12 W. All competitors require more than 15 W.

Under load, we measured a power consumption of 150 W which - given the hardware components - is certainly appropriate. The MSI GS63VR only needs 93 W at maximum, which might seem bewildering at first. The reason are the at times lower frequencies under load, so the components don't draw as much power. The frame rates during gaming could therefore be possibly lower as well. 

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.5 / 0.7 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 8 / 10.9 / 11.8 Watt
Load midlight 70 / 148 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Asus FX502VM-AS73
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A, TN LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035, AH-IPS, Normally Black, Transmissive, 1920x1080, 15.6
Gigabyte P55W v7
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Liteonit CV3-8D256, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Power Consumption
-41%
-49%
-11%
-16%
Idle Minimum *
8
14.9
-86%
14.5
-81%
7.2
10%
8
-0%
Idle Average *
10.9
15.1
-39%
17.3
-59%
10.5
4%
13
-19%
Idle Maximum *
11.8
15.2
-29%
17.4
-47%
16
-36%
18
-53%
Load Average *
70
105.8
-51%
93
-33%
82
-17%
76
-9%
Load Maximum *
148
148.8
-1%
155
-5%
143
3%
Witcher 3 ultra *
102
128.8
-26%
124
-22%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

To enable mobile use, Lenovo equips their notebook with a 4-cell Lithium Polymer battery with a capacity of 60 Wh. According to the system specs, the battery should last up to five hours - a claim we intend to investigate by running various tests.

First, we establish the maximum runtime. For this purpose, we use the Battery Eater Reader's test at the lowest brightness setting and with the power saver profile enabled. The notebook lasted 12 hours, which exceeds the claims of the manufacturer. In fact, the runtime trounces almost all of the competitors - except for the Gigabyte P55W, which lasted 13 hours. 

To test the real-world battery life, we simulate web surfing. With the brightness set to 150 cd/m², the review model lasted for 6 hours and 20 minutes - good enough for first place in our direct comparison. The Acer Aspire V15 Nitro is a close second with around 6 hours. The Battery Eater Classic test indicates the minimum runtime. The Legion Y720 shut down after a little more than one hour. The Acer Aspire V15 Nitro has much better stamina and shut down after about 2.5 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
11h 47min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
6h 20min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
5h 12min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 11min
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 60 Wh
Asus FX502VM-AS73
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 64 Wh
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 65 Wh
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 69 Wh
Gigabyte P55W v7
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 63 Wh
Battery Runtime
-29%
-26%
23%
14%
Reader / Idle
707
363
-49%
386
-45%
501
-29%
789
12%
H.264
312
WiFi v1.3
380
277
-27%
232
-39%
357
-6%
346
-9%
Load
71
64
-10%
75
6%
144
103%
98
38%

Pros

+ performance
+ PCIe SSD
+ battery life
+ temperature envelope
+ noise level

Cons

- chassis is very susceptible to fingerprints
- high weight
- reduced performance on battery
- no SD card reader

Verdict

In review: the Lenovo Legion Y720, courtesy of Lenovo Germany.
In review: the Lenovo Legion Y720, courtesy of Lenovo Germany.

Lenovo succeeded with their new Legion Y720 - the gaming laptop is certainly a worthy competitor. The build quality is high and both the design as well as the color scheme cater to the target audience. The only major drawback are the sensitive surface areas, which are a magnet for fingerprints.

Important for gaming are the input devices - in particular the keyboard, which impresses with large keys and the snazzy red backlight. One wish for the future: longer key travel and crisper feedback. The display is of course important as well. Here, Lenovo uses a Full HD IPS panel, which we would rate about average. According to the spec sheet, Lenovo plan to offer a 4K display as well. Users who don't want to wait that long might want to look at the competitor from MSI.

The performance is more than acceptable as well: the Legion Y720 might falter slightly under load - but the competition does as well. The new notebook scores well when it comes to the temps and the noise level - the Y720 truly plays to its strengths here. The gaming notebook from Lenovo has plenty of endurance and the battery life is very good as well.

The Lenovo Legion Y720 is exactly what it's supposed to be: a true gaming laptop.

For this very reason, compromises are necessary in other areas. Users searching for a decent gaming laptop which can also be used away from outlets every so often can't really go wrong with the Lenovo Legion Y720 though.

Somewhat more mobile - especially when it comes to transport - is MSI's GS63VR, which also happens to have a 4K display. Potential buyers who don't want to spend 1700 Euro (~$1865) might want to take a look at the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro and the Asus FX502VM

Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE - 05/04/2017 v6
Nino Ricchizzi

Chassis
78 / 98 → 79%
Keyboard
80%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
65 / 81 → 80%
Weight
56 / 66 → 82%
Battery
85%
Display
86%
Games Performance
91%
Application Performance
95%
Temperature
91 / 95 → 96%
Noise
88 / 90 → 97%
Audio
54%
Camera
40 / 85 → 46%
Average
76%
84%
Gaming - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo Legion Y720 (7700HQ, Full-HD, GTX 1060) Laptop Review
Nino Ricchizzi, 2017-05- 8 (Update: 2017-06-14)
Bernhard Pechlaner
Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).