At CES 2019, Lenovo launched its gaming lineup for 2019 that included the new RTX laptops as well. The new Lenovo gaming lineup starts from Y540 and goes all the way till Y740 (17-inch). All the laptops are powered by Intel’s sort of latest 9th gen processors along with Nvidia’s flagship RTX graphics. One thing to note here is Lenovo for some reasons includes only the Max-Q version of RTX 2070 and 2080. For those who don’t know, Max-Q is basically a stripped-down version of the full desktop graphics card.
To try out the new Lenovo’s gaming lineup, we went ahead and grabbed a Lenovo Legion Y740 gaming laptop. We went with Intel i7-9750H CPU which is coupled with 32 GB of DDR4 RAM at 2666 Mhz and Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU. Do note that Lenovo does offer the full desktop RTX 2060 GPU which is slightly better than the Max-Q version. We also have a 1 TB Seagate Barracuda HDD running at 7200 rpm paired with a 512 GB WD SN720 PCIe NVMe SSD for the boot drive. For WiFi and Bluetooth, Lenovo has included a Killer 1550i network card and the hardware is powered by a 57Wh battery.
At first glance, Lenovo Legion Y740 does look better than most of the gaming laptops in the market. Even though I personally enjoy games, I don’t like gamer accents like red colours all around the laptop or weird graffiti on the laptop. The design of Y740 is clean and simple and apart from the RGB keyboard, there’s nothing that screams gamer.
This simple and clean design allows you to carry it around and in meetings or to college without the fear of being judged. I personally loved the Legion branding on the laptop and the way Lenovo put it to the top side of the lid and not in the middle like other companies.
In terms of display design, I liked the fact that Lenovo made an effort to create a near bezel-less display. However, that gets shadowed by a massive chin on the bottom. The chin houses the camera and it’s not really useful since it’s a nose cam. I wouldn’t mind giving up the bezel-less display for uniform bezels on all the side and the webcam on top of the display, where it belongs.
Moving on to the keyboard, the design is similar to what we have seen in other gaming laptops. One annoying thing that Lenovo did was to add a set of keys on the left which pushes the whole keyboard to the right. It’s a weird design and it takes time to get used to it. You will accidentally end up pressing Lenovo Vantage key instead of escape or RGB brightness key instead of Shift. It’s annoying especially when playing games. While we are on the subject of poor design choices, Lenovo for some reasons decided to center align the trackpad to the laptop and not the keyboard. Due to this, you can expect some accidental taps and clicks while typing as the trackpad is a little to the left side of the keyboard.
The keyboard itself is pretty good and the key travel is low which I personally like but it can differ from person to person. It also has support for RGB lighting which can be controlled using Corsair’s iCUE software. Speaking of RGB, Lenovo has also added lighting to the side exhaust vents as well as to the “O” in Legion logo. All these can be controlled from iCUE and you can also turn off lights in specific regions.
Since Lenovo Legion Y740 is a gaming laptop, it doesn’t lack the I/O. Lenovo has managed to add every single port you will ever need. Another thing that Lenovo did was to put all the major I/O to the back of the laptop which hides the wires behind the screen and gives you a tangle-free experience.
On the back, left to right, is the charging port, a USB 3.0 Gen 1 port, Ethernet port, a USB 3.0 Gen 2 port, an HDMI output, a mini-display output and mini security-lock slot. On the left side is the USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3 and a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the right is an Always-on USB-A 3.0 and the Novo button for Lenovo one key recovery.
There’s no doubt the Lenovo Y740 is a beast and you can feel how snappy it is even when doing lightweight tasks like browsing or editing files. For instance, I hardly ever saw the splash screen while launching Microsoft Word. It’s quick enough to jump directly into the software skipping the Word’s blue loading screen. The same holds true for most of the other Office apps and other first-party softwares.
That said, I am pretty sure no one will be buying this laptop to use Word and PowerPoint. So let’s get into the benchmark performance on this laptop. To replicate the real-world conditions we left some apps like Steam and Origin running in the background as well as using the laptop for a little while before starting the benchmarks. The benchmarks were done in a room temperature of 24°C and CPU temperature at 40°C.
In Cinebench R20 the laptop scored 2037 points and hit a maximum temperature of 82°C on the CPU with an average temperature of 65°C. During the test, the CPU boosted to a maximum of 4.2 GHz with an average clock speed of 3.0 GHz.
Moving on we also ran 3D Mark’s TimeSpy benchmark to measure the 1080p gaming performance on DirectX 12. The laptop scored 5909 points and hit a maximum temperature of 89°C on the CPU with an average temperature of 70°C. During the test, the CPU boosted to a maximum of 4.2 GHz with an average clock speed of 3.5 GHz.
Lastly, we ran 3D Mark’s Port Royal to test the RTX capabilities of the laptop. The device scored 3413 points on the test and had a maximum temperature of 86°C on the CPU core with an average temperature of 55°C. During the test, the CPU boosted to a maximum of 4.3 GHz with an average clock speed of 3.3 GHz.
While synthetic benchmarks are great for measuring the performance, they don’t always translate to real-life performance. To measure that we ran several new and upcoming gaming titles on the laptop to see if it can handle it or not. Do note that all the fps measurements were done with Nvidia’s software and with all the graphics settings maxed out unless stated otherwise.
- FIFA 19- 110 fps
- FIFA 20 (Demo)- 93 fps
- CS GO- 140 fps (locked since it’s a 144 Hz panel)
- GTA V- 63 fps (motion blur off)
- Control- 23 fps (RTX set to ultra and DLSS off), 63 fps (DLSS on), 92 fps (RTX set to low and DLSS off)
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint- 63 fps (motion blur off)
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare- 75 fps (Motion blur off)
- Forza Horizon 4- 65 fps
- Gears 5- 70 fps
- Metro Exodus- 52 fps
- Battlefield 1- 58 fps
- Call of Duty: WWII- 66 fps
As you can see, the laptop can easily spill out 60 fps on most of the AAA titles. One thing to note here is while the RTX 2060 is a beast, it still is the lowest card in the RTX lineup. Due to that, it cannot handle Ray Tracing too well. You will be fine running games at ultra with RTX off or set to low but don’t expect to run Ray Tracing at Ultra settings. You can, however, use DLSS to get better frames with RTX set to high but DLSS will decrease the overall graphics of the game.
Since Lenovo makes different variants with different specs, the performance results might differ. Another thing to note is the missing Fan controls. In the recent BIOS update, Lenovo removed the ability to control Fan speeds which in my opinion reduces the performance as the fans kick in when the laptop gets hot. Lenovo should bring the feature back in the next BIOS update but for now, the fans are controlled by Windows/Lenovo.
Finally, we have arrived at the weak line of the laptop. While gaming laptops aren’t expected to give a 10-hour battery life, the Lenovo Legion Y740 managed to get us to just 3 hours on a single charge. Do note that we had the laptop set to 50% brightness with all the RGB lights turned off. We had also turned on Hybrid Mode which disables G-Sync and improves battery life. With G-Sync turned on, the laptop lasted around 1 hour and 25 minutes. The good thing is you can enable and disable G-Sync from the Lenovo Vantage software, but it does require a restart.
Another thing to consider is the huge power brick that Lenovo has bundled with the laptop. The power brick is rated for 230W but is huge compared to other 230W power bricks. The good thing though is Lenovo’s rapid charging which should get you back to 80% in no time. Overall, it should be fine if you don’t carry the laptop around often but if you do, make sure to carry the charger with you.
So should you buy it? We would say yes. The laptop overall is great, and I personally loved the clean design. It was refreshing considering it didn’t scream gamer to me with all the red accents. The performance of the laptop is absolutely amazing. Although, you might need a couple of days to get adjusted to the keyboard layout but once you do, the keys feel really good and I loved the tactile experience while typing on the keyboard. The mouse comes with left and right click buttons which are always better.
The battery life could have been better when compared to other similar laptops. However, I am not complaining here. Although, I do hope Lenovo adds back the fan control because that’s an important feature personally for me while playing games.
That said, nothing is ever perfect and the same applies to Lenovo Y740. The laptop still is a great option and I recommend it to anyone in the market for a gaming laptop. The price of the laptop vary from region to region and also the specs you decide to go with. We recommend checking out Lenovo’s website for the updated pricing and other information. Lenovo also offers RTX 2070 Max-Q and RTX 2080 Max-Q so if you plan to take advantage of Ray Tracing then I would recommend going for one of those instead of the RTX 2060.