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Lenovo Legion Y740 (17-inch) review: Understated design conceals superior Nvidia RTX firepower

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The Good One of the first laptops on the market with the latest Nvidia RTX graphics cards. High-performance display. Rear ports prevent cord tangles on the sides. Highly programmable RGB keyboard lighting. Understated, professional look.

The Bad Heavy. Keyboard feels a bit mushy.

The Bottom Line The Legion Y740 delivers cutting-edge gaming performance at a considerably lower price than the competition.

8.3 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 9
  • Battery 7

Many gaming laptops wear their credibility on their proverbial sleeves, garnished with glowing serpents or alien logos. The top dog of Lenovo's Legion series, the Y740, is straightforwardly all business.

We really liked last year's edition of this laptop for its subtle design, competent performance and reasonable price. Then the 2019 version surfaced at CES in January looking quite similar but with some new, cutting-edge GPU options and an enhanced display, addressing two shortcomings of the Y730. Now, our like has evolved into something more like love.

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New display and GPU for 2019

Available with a 15-inch or 17-inch IPS display, the Y740 now features 144Hz full HD with G-Sync support, providing smoother gaming performance with fewer artifacts. And, more importantly, it can be configured with the new GeForce RTX series -- the 2060, 2070 Max-Q or 2080 Max-Q. These new graphics cards feature ray-tracing technology that enhances in-game lighting and reflection. (The Max-Q variants, which deliver slightly less power than their full-size counterparts, are designed to fit inside of thinner laptops.)

The 15-inch model starts at $1,750 (£1,370 and AU$2,450), and the 17-incher at $1,950 (£1,530 and AU$2,730). Our $2,203.99 test configuration (model 81HH0004US) features the larger display plus most of the top component options: a Max-Q RTX 2080 GPU, a six-core Intel Core i7-8750H processor running at 2.2GHz, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB 7,200 RPM hard drive paired with a PCIe-NVMe 256GB SSD. 

Lenovo Legion Y740 (17-inch)

Price as reviewed $2,203.99
Display size/resolution 17.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 display
CPU 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H
Memory 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz
Graphics 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Storage 1TB hard drive, 256GB SSD PCIe-NVMe
Networking Killer Wireless 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.1
Operating system Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

RTX speed at a GTX price

Equipped with some of the most powerful hardware on the market, the Y740's performance is pretty much what you'd expect: straight flames. But, interestingly, it held its own among some other, pricier RTX 2080-equipped configurations we tested, including the $3,299 Asus ROG Zephyrus GX701 and the $3,000 Acer Predator Triton 500 -- a lighter, more compact 15.6-inch laptop.

The data is fairly conclusive: among the four RTX 2080 Max-Q systems we've tested, the Y740 turned in the most frames per second in Far Cry 5, took second place in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and landed in the middle of the pack in the Metro Exodus RTX benchmark. It also took the top spot in our PCMark 10 Pro and Cinebench R15 tests. And yet the Y740's price is more in line with laptops from last year equipped with Nvidia's previous GeForce flagship graphics card series, the GTX. 

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