Lenovo Legion Slim 7i gaming laptop fixes a too-thin predecessor
Because the short-lived Y740S lacked the main thing that makes a gaming laptop good for gaming: a discrete GPU.
Lori GruninSenior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
ExpertisePhotography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
addition to its style-first, Intel-based
laptop laptop line, the Legion 7 series, swaps some dedicated connections and GPU power for a thinner and lighter design. The 15-inch Legion Slim 7i compromises between the ludicrous sacrifice of discrete graphics made for the Y740S launched at CES 2020 in order to achieve its ultrathin profile -- discrete graphics make a gaming laptop a gaming laptop -- and the high-powered graphics options and connectors available in the chunkier, heavier Legion 7i.
It's slated to ship in October starting at $1,329.
Like the Y740S, the Slim 7i still ditches the HDMI, Mini DisplayPort and Ethernet ports in exchange for two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 connections (and keeps the two USB-A), but it retains discrete graphics options up to an
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q or a CPU up to an
Core i9-10980HK of the Legion 7.
That makes it thicker at 17.9mm compared to 14.9mm for the Y740S and 0.3 pound heavier at 4 pounds, but it's still over half a pound lighter than a full-size Legion 7 and still very light for a 15-inch gaming laptop. Much of the extra space went to improved ventilation, with increased intake through the bottom and exhaust through the sides and keyboard deck.
Lenovo will still offer the Thunderbolt 3-connecting BoostStation external GPU, which was supposed to put the gaming back into the Y740S but never shipped in the US. (It seems to have become available in the UK, though.) That will allow you to boost the GPU up to an RTX 2080 Super if you need the power.
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The display options are slightly different than its big brother, though. You'll be able to get the same base 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution screen with a 60Hz refresh rate or an optional 144Hz sRGB screen as the Legion 7, but the Slim will also have a 4K 60Hz Adobe RGB choice instead of the 144Hz FHD equivalent. An updated TrueStrike keyboard is here, too, which mimics the actuation "bump" of a mechanical keyboard with a dual-stage rubber dome switch. It will also support faster 3,200MHz memory with the higher-speed CPUs.
Otherwise, it has most of the same features of the Legion 7, including dual-storage options, support for Nvidia's Advanced Optimus for reboot-free switching between the integrated and discrete graphics, and Dynamic Boost, which allocates 15 watts of power toward the CPU or GPU, depending upon which needs it at any given moment. Lenovo promises up to 7.8 hours of battery life.