Galaxy Z Flip 4 Preorder Quest 2: Still the Best Student Internet Discounts Best 55-Inch TV Galaxy Z Fold 4 Preorder Nintendo Switch OLED Review Foldable iPhone? 41% Off 43-Inch Amazon Fire TV
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

Sleek Lenovo Legion Y740S gaming laptop weighs just over 4 pounds -- but at a cost

Lenovo's thinnest, lightest gaming laptop yet left out something important to make it happen.


This story is part of CES, where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.

Lenovo's Legion gaming laptops offer good mainstream performance with designs that don't necessarily scream "gamer." So when I saw the announcement for the 15-inch Legion Y740S, a gaming laptop that weighs only 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg), is just 0.6-inch thick (14.9mm) starting at $1,100, and is expected to be on display at CES 2020 this week, I quickly searched for what discrete graphics chip would be in it to power my gaming on the go. 

The answer is none. It has no discrete graphics.

The laptop will have up to a 10th-gen Intel Core i9 H-series processor. That chip's integrated graphics are expected to be good enough for entry-level gaming and other graphics tasks that Intel's integrated graphics weren't up for in the past. But for those who expect more from a gaming laptop than integrated graphics, which is everyone really, Lenovo has an answer.  

Now playing: Watch this: Lenovo's new Legion Y740S pushes the definition of a...

In an interesting move, the company made an external Thunderbolt 3 GPU box to pair with the Y740S, the Legion BoostStation. Not every gaming manufacturer makes its own eGPU, but for Lenovo, the BoostStation enabled the ultraslim profile of the Y740S -- by putting the graphics on the outside. The eGPU itself bears a strong resemblance to a rotated version of Razer's Core X, with its slide-out tray, venting design, aluminum build and arrangement of the back Ethernet and USB ports.

The BoostStation is a bit less accommodating, though; it looks like it only fits a dual-width card instead of the triple-width slot on the Razer. However, you can use Lenovo's for external storage as well, with slots for a hard disk/SATA SSD or a pair of PCIe SSD modules, as long as the 500-watt power supply can accommodate your options. 

Lenovo will offer pre-equipped versions of the BoostStation with Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060, 2070 or 2080 Super cards, a GTX 1660 Ti or an AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, though you can always choose your own graphics card. It starts at $250, which is a pretty good price for the empty box. It's expected to ship in May alongside the laptop. That's assuming Intel is able to deliver its processors on schedule, something it struggled to do much of last year

One of the biggest issues with gaming laptops is that the GPU typically can't be upgraded, so at least this gives you options. But without discrete graphics built in, is the Legion Y740S even a gaming laptop? Lenovo gave it a new keyboard design with tactile feedback that it says is better for gameplay. But it also used a display panel with a 60Hz refresh rate, whereas much of its competition has moved to 120Hz panels (or faster) for smoother visuals. In the end, it's a thin-and-light 15-inch laptop with an edgier design and a few gaming features thrown in, but you'll need to spend more on the eGPU if you want to actually game with it.