Introduction, Design Features
Top-shelf gaming notebooks like a audacious Razer Blade Pro competence take a headlines, yet usually like in many markets, it’s a value-centered products that make a bottom line and sell in most incomparable volume. In a gaming-notebook world, that means those labelled south of a grand.
Take Lenovo’s latest in that space. Meet a new Lenovo Legion Y520, a 15.6-inch gaming cover with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics and a starting cost of $849. We’ve been watchful some time for this cover to turn accessible for purchase, ever given we previewed a incomparable Legion Y720 cousin during CES 2017. “Legion” is Lenovo’s rebranding of a Y-series gaming laptops; progressing models have had identical designs yet were subsumed confusingly underneath a company’s Ideapad family, with usually indication numbers differentiating a Ideapad gaming models from, say, customary Ideapad bill laptops.
The groundbreaking news with a Legion Y520, besides a new name, is that it delivers a far-reaching viewing-angle integrity of an IPS arrangement even during a bottom cost point. That’s not loyal for a series one competitor, a Dell Inspiron 15 7000 GamingAsus Republic of Gamers Strix GL553VD-DS71 we reviewed didn’t offer a GTX 1050 Ti during all, usually a non-Ti, and it was labelled into a four-figure range.
All those numbers and prices lead us to one conclusion: The Lenovo Legion Y520 is already off to a good start, and we haven’t even finished a introduction.
Ideapad Y700. The pattern on a Legion Y520 is wholly redone, yet we can tell both notebooks were done by a same company.
The Legion Y520 retains a Lenovo Y-gaming sub-brand’s black-and-red tone scheme. The red accents are singular to a keyboard backlighting, and a edges of a hold pad and a energy button. They’re adequate to mangle adult a routine of an differently all-black exterior. We cruise a design, overall, looks a partial of a gaming notebook, generally a pointed tip of a lid and front of a chassis. The endless cooling vents on a behind of a framework are another spirit this cover has high-performance roots.
The extraneous is indeed a step down in peculiarity from a Ideapad Y700. The Legion Y520 trades a brushed-aluminum lid subsidy and framework underside of that indication for cosmetic with a mistake carbon-fiber finish. We cruise it looks fine, yet it usually doesn’t explain a same plain feel as brushed aluminum. Chassis flex seemed sincerely minimal, yet a lid wasn’t clever adequate to forestall ripples from arrangement while we pulpy in from behind. To be fair, we had to use an aberrant volume of vigour to make that happen. (Don’t try this during home, please.) The soft-touch surfaces around a palm rest are a transparent plus. The cloaking also masks fingerprints and dust.
The Legion Y520 is a half-pound lighter than a Ideapad Y700, during 5.3 pounds, and it also has a half-inch reduction depth. The framework measures an excusable 15×10.4 inches, both of that are customary for a 15.6-inch notebook. Its 1-inch density is a bit thicker than we’d design a non-gaming 15.6-incher to be, yet it’s right on aim for a gaming machine.
As we pronounced when we reviewed that monster, a blueprint of a categorical keyboard area is normal, yet a number-pad blueprint is officious strange. It looks like, in sequence to accommodate full-size arrow keys, Lenovo pushed all of a number-pad keys one quarrel up. Not usually that, yet there’s no Enter pivotal in a series pad, a and and reduction buttons are reduce than they should be. We aren’t certain because Lenovo chose this layout, as even for gaming, it doesn’t seem to have any apparent advantage over a normal number-pad layout, other than a full-size arrow keys. (Ordinarily, we’re vast fans of private arrow keys for those who cite not to use WASD as their control intrigue in games, yet arrow-key loyalists will be thrown for a loop by what surrounds them here.) We suspect it is a effect of a 15.6-inch laptop rug rather than a 17-incher. Trying to adjust to a blueprint is expected to be futile, unless we don’t devise on regulating any other keyboards.
If we can indicate out one certain aspect of a keyboard blueprint as a whole, it’s a full-size F1 by F12 keys. Those are roughly always half-size on notebooks these days, and we really don’t mind them being full-size; brave we say, properly sized.
The keyboard opportunely offers a soothing and accessible feel. The red backlighting is splendid and manifest in a daytime. It offers dual levels of luminance, and off, toggled by dire a Fn pivotal and space bar. Unless we attempted to use a series pad, we had tiny to protest about here.
The touch-pad aspect is on a tiny side relations to a 15.6-inch arrangement on a Legion Y520. The pad isn’t rectangular, yet it has pointed edges for a sportier look. The silken cosmetic edges competence demeanour appealing in a photos, yet in existence they valid to be fingerprint and dirt magnets. It became an ongoing diversion for us to see if we could use a pad yet touching a silken cosmetic edges and smudging them.
The left- and right-click buttons are indeed a singular square of plastic. Only a utmost three-quarters of any corner is indeed pressable. We found this disorienting, during first, yet eventually got used to a fact that we couldn’t press down in a middle. Clicking a buttons creates a minimal volume of noise.
The IPS arrangement that is customary even on a lowest-priced Legion Y520 is a trump card. In a seductiveness gripping it all relative, we’ll go right out and contend that when it comes to design quality, this arrangement isn’t a equal of some of a IPS panels we’ve seen on pricier notebooks. But it still looked utterly good to a eyes.
Colors are vibrant, there’s adequate brightness, and a anti-glare aspect is an discernible underline if we ever find yourself gaming where there’s ambient light, as against to a common gamer cave. (Gasp!) The far-reaching observation angles are also welcome; we can lean a arrangement brazen or behind to fit your preference, instead of carrying to worry about being forced to lean it a certain approach so we can see a design yet distortion. Last, a panel’s 1080p (1,920×1,080) fortitude is ideal for gaming. We wouldn’t wish it any aloft for that purpose, given that 1080p is about a border of pixel-pushing that a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU can handle.
Overall, a Legion Y520’s IPS arrangement is illusory for a cost point. We pronounced a same thing behind when we reviewed a Dell Inspiron 15 7559. However, we didn’t contend that when we reviewed a stream (2017) Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming. The Legion Y520’s arrangement is most improved than a Dell’s washed-out TN-type panel. Dell pronounced it was formulation to offer a 1080p IPS hold arrangement during some indicate on a Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming, yet when we checked while essay this review, it still hadn’t rolled out.
The usually bone we can truly collect with a Legion Y520’s arrangement is a miss of Nvidia G-Sync support. This would have been an glorious underline to have in a complement with GTX 1050 Ti, as that graphics chip is generally incompetent to contend 60 frames per second (fps) in a latest titles yet significantly obscure a settings. (See after in this examination for a real-world gaming benchmarks.) G-Sync would well-spoken this out by synchronizing a fps outlay of a graphics label with a modernise rate of a monitor. The Legion Y520’s arrangement has a 60Hz modernise rate, that is customary for a notebook, and a good compare for a GPU.
Two Harman-tuned speakers lay in a Legion Y520’s arrangement hinges. The upward-firing inlet of a setup helps a speakers sound transparent and full. The complement struggles a bit to furnish low notes, though. We’re unhappy to see that a subwoofer on a underside of a Ideapad Y700 wasn’t carried over. The limit intensity could also use a boost, yet it’s copiousness for gaming or examination a film by yourself.
The pier preference is acceptable on a Legion Y520. The left corner has a Kensington-style cable-lockdown notch, Lenovo’s USB-like AC energy jack (which, nonetheless it looks like one, isn’t a USB port), a Ethernet jack, a USB Type-A 2.0 port, a headset jack, and a reset pinhole. The headset jack supposing static-free sound all a approach adult a limit volume.
The right corner of a Legion Y520 binds a USB Type-C 3.0, a four-format label reader (you get SD, SDHC, SDXC, and MMC format support), a span of USB Type-A 3.0 ports, and HDMI video-out…
Internally, a Legion Y520 exam section had a Realtek 802.11ac wireless label with a 1×1 receiver array. The label also granted Bluetooth 4.1 wireless. Connections to a wireless router valid trouble-free. The 720p Webcam above a arrangement wasn’t a tip resolution, yet it had sharp-enough picture peculiarity for online video chat.
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti G1 Gaming 4G, for example.) In short, a “Ti” chronicle of a label is good value a additional income over a non-Ti, as it’s around one-third faster in real-world gaming. That’s a vast difference, generally when we cruise that a Ti is already on a corner of playability during a 1080p fortitude in a latest titles, presumption we keep a in-game picture peculiarity incited adult high. (It’s not like games are going to get any reduction perfectionist in a future.)
Fortunately, a GTX 1050 Ti is customary apparatus on a Legion Y520, including a bottom $849 model. The label isn’t VR-ready, since a one-step-up GeForce GTX 1060 is. However, it’s still able of providing really good picture peculiarity in a latest games.
The CPU choice in a Legion Y520 is between a Intel Core i5-7300HQ or, in a box of a examination unit, a some-more absolute Core i7-7700HQ. Both “Kaby Lake” processors are quad-core variants, yet of a two, usually a Core i7-7700HQ has Hyper-Threading support for deploying adult to 8 estimate threads during once. It’s also clocked somewhat higher, using during 2.8GHz base, and adult to 3.8GHz in Turbo Boost. The Core i5-7300HQ some-more than meets a mandate for complicated gaming with AAA titles, so if you’re strapped for cash, don’t tatter about not carrying a Core i7-7700HQ. In a benchmarks to follow, we’ll be comparing a opening of a Legion Y520 to that of a Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming, that we reviewed with a Core i5-7300HQ. You can confirm for yourself possibly a opening disproportion is worthwhile.
The Legion Y520 has dual memory slots for DDR4-2400 memory. Our examination section had 16GB in a two-8GB DIMM dual-channel configuration, a limit Lenovo offers. For unchanging storage, this cover offers an M.2 Type-2280 (80mm) container for solid-state storage, and a normal 2.5-inch bay. The M.2 container in a examination section had a 256GB Samsung SSD with a quick PCI Express-bus interface and NVMe custom support. That’s a tallness of consumer-storage tech, here in mid-2017. We were softly astounded to see a 2TB tough expostulate in a 2.5-inch bay; 1TB drives have been a normal for several years.
Naturally, we don’t get all a specs we usually listed during a Legion Y520’s starting $849 cost point. What we get in a $849 pattern is a Core i5-7300HQ CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB tough drive, and no SSD. Lenovo usually sells pre-built configurations of this notebook, and a configurations on offer can change during a moment’s notice; as of this writing, a subsequent step adult from a $849 indication was $1,179. We’d like to see a indication that’s still underneath 4 total that offering possibly 16GB of RAM or an SSD foot drive. (Or both; can’t harm to ask, right?) Some of a latest games are starting to need 8GB of memory, so carrying double that is a good thought for future-proofing.
End-user upgrades on a Legion Y520 are possible, yet you’ll have to work during it. The bottom row of a framework is cumulative by no reduction than 13 Phillips-head screws. You’ll need a spare screwdriver to get into a recessed holes…
Once a screws have been removed, removing a bottom row off competence give we a jitters. We had to slip a credit label underneath a front corner to cocktail a clips loose, that didn’t sound good. We indeed roughly quit while perplexing to get a behind partial of a row around a cooling vents to disengage; it usually didn’t seem to wish to come apart. We eventually did it (that good solver of problems: additional force), and that bid rewarded us with entrance to a Legion Y520’s dual DIMM slots for memory, a 2.5-inch bay, and a M.2 Type-2280 slot…
On a and side, during slightest there were no surprises putting a cover behind on.
The Legion Y520 concentrates a cooling in a rear-center of a chassis. The heatpipes for a CPU and GPU intersect behind there. Its dual fans take caring of promulgation a feverishness out a behind of a chassis.
We found a fan function in a Legion Y520 to be overzealous. The fans usually would be off while a cover was idling, yet infrequently they’d be using during an heard speed for clearly no reason. The atmosphere entrance out of a vents was room temperature, in those instances, so we didn’t know because they were running. It was a protected gamble that if we were doing anything remotely demanding, such as surfing a Web with a garland of tabs open, that a fans would be spinning away. It wasn’t wholly unpredictable.
As you’d expect, then, a fans ran invariably while gaming. The sound turn was simply drowned out by a Legion Y520’s speakers when they were set to half-volume. The multiple of slim fans and high RPMs fundamentally led to some fan whine. We found it probable to ignore, supposing there was some active credentials sound to keep us company. Ideally, however, we’d like to see a fan function be a bit some-more forgiving and adaptive. With a difference of gaming and perfectionist tasks, we didn’t see a reason because a fans ran as mostly as they did.
During a 30-minute gaming session, temperatures on a tip partial of a framework appearance during 102 degrees F. This was during a top right of a keyboard deck. Everywhere else was during slightest 10 degrees cooler. Overall, it didn’t feel some-more than lukewarm. We can contend a same about a underside, where, during a peak, we saw 103 degrees F in a core of a chassis.
On a inside, a Core i7-7700HQ processor surfaced 94 degrees C underneath stress. That’s aloft than we prefer, yet eventually next a acceptable feverishness roof for that sold chip. The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, on a other hand, strike usually 65 degrees C. The reason for a vast inconsistency in feverishness between a CPU and a GPU is expected that a CPU is located in a core of a heatpipes, while a GPU is located serve out toward a edge, divided from a thoroughness of heat. In essence, a heatpipes, that are common between a dual components, have reduction thermal ability by a time they strech a CPU, as a GPU has already warmed them to an extent. By a looks of things, a heatpipes have usually adequate thermal ability remaining to keep a CPU cold enough.