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Lenovo renames and revamps its Legion gaming laptop lineup

Wave goodbye to the "Y".

lenovo-legion-7
The Lenovo Legion 7 adds an underglow strip around the base.
Lenovo

For the most part, Lenovo kept the spring refresh of its Legion gaming laptops and desktop relatively low key and under the hood, with the de rigueur updates to the latest Intel processors (and the addition of AMD Ryzen options), Nvidia GPUs and faster screens. The company did upgrade most of the systems with a new keyboard, dubbed "Legion TrueStrike" along with a new, bigger Precision trackpad and some fancier lighting.

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But this time the updates are accompanied by name changes. So goodbye, Legion Y740 and Y540; hello, Legion 7, 5i and 5.That "i" denotes an Intel CPU-equipped model, but only, it seems, if there's an AMD alternative; sans "i", the Legion 5 incorporates an AMD Ryzen 7 or 5 4000 series processor, the first time Lenovo's offered an AMD-based model. But the Intel-based Legion 7 doesn't bear the "i," nor does the entry-level gaming laptop, the IdeaPad L340 Gaming, which now becomes the IdeaPad Gaming 3. The one exception to the new-name rule is the Y740S announced at CES 2020, the gaming laptop that's not a gaming laptop.

All the laptops are expected to ship in May, priced as follows:

  • Lenovo Legion 7, starts at $1,600
  • Lenovo Legion 5i 15-inch, starts at $830 
  • Lenovo Legion 5i 17-inch, starts at $1,130
  • Lenovo Legion 5 15-inch, starts at $850
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3, starts at $730
  • Lenovo Legion Tower 5i, starts at $800

As revealed by Nvidia in its updated Max-Q Design announcement, the flagship Legion 7 is the first laptop to take advantage of Nvidia's Advanced Optimus technology. Advanced Optimus' redesigned graphics architecture essentially puts a switcher on the bus between the integrated GPU and the discrete GPU so the system can change between them on the fly. You previously had to be on one bus or the other, and the built-in display was usually connected to the iGPU. Being able to switch on the fly allows the system to better choose whether to use the slower, low-power iGPU or the fast, high-power discrete GPU. In theory, that means less battery drain without sacrificing performance when you need it.

The new Legions debut the TrueStrike Keyboard, which Lenovo says has a softer landing than the previous one, despite a reduction in key travel from 1.7mm to 1.5mm, and adds a number pad at the expense of the column of macro keys down the left on current models. Otherwise, it retains all the features. And in a welcome change, the webcam moves up to the top of the screen and gets a shutter.

Screen options vary depending on the model, but Lenovo now lets you dial it up to 11 on the Legion 7 with a 240Hz 1080p DisplayHDR 400 calibrated IPS display covering the Adobe RGB gamut. You can also go as high as a 10th-gen i9 CPU and GeForce RTX 2080 Super GPU. Of course, Lenovo's upped the performance of its cooling system to keep pace.

On the desktop side, the Legion Tower 5i replaces the Y530 and Y730 -- it's got an "i" because there will be an AMD model later this year. Lenovo made some subtle design changes, such as moving the grab handle, adding some fans and venting, embiggening the transparent panel and so on, in addition to bumping up the CPU and GPU options. The company also has an updated wireless mouse, the M600 and a new, full-featured 25-inch 240Hz esports monitor that can decode HDR, has a built-in USB hub, supports FreeSync and is G-Sync Compatible.