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Lenovo Legion Y720 Laptop Review

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Basic-Use Experiences:

This structure to the review might seem odd as I am basically trying to follow the path of one first getting and using the laptop. With the physical look and feel of the laptop covered in the previous section, now I want to look at what it is like to just use it, though not specifically for gaming. That will be a later section.

Booting up the Y720 is pretty quick and resuming from sleep is almost instant, and the latter information is the more important for me. I tend to just let my personal laptop sit in sleep when not using it, only restarting it when needed and I cannot remember the last time I shut it down, as I think about it now. Perhaps not the best habit, but it has not hurt the computer yet.

While booting, you will see the keyboard illuminated red, and Fn+Space will let you cycle through the different keyboard back light options. The back lights are actually RGB, so you are not limited to red, and there are four zones to the keyboard as well. The default settings are lights off, red back light, each zone illuminated a different color, and then a wave effect that crosses the zones. You are able to change these settings through the Lenovo Nerve Sense application. This application also lets you enable or disable Extreme Cooling, which will turn the fans up even now when I am just typing, Network Priority to ensure some applications get more priority over others, a mistaken input protection, and sound enhancement via Dolby effects.

The Prevent Mistaken Input options will let you disable the Windows key and track pad when gaming. The thing about disabling the track pad is that for at least one game, it practically already was. This is not necessarily unique to this laptop, but there is an option in the driver for the track pad to control its sensitivity while using the keyboard, to prevent errant clicks by your palm or thumb. The issue is I have this at the lowest setting and it was still blocking clicks and some movement. It is possible there is another setting somewhere I need to find and disable, but as it is now I feel like it is necessary to use a separate mouse or controller for gaming, which is a little disappointing.

The Lenovo Nerve Sense has a second tab to it, labeled Discover, and it is where you can control the settings for the camera button on the keyboard. This button's purpose is to let you quickly hit it and start recording the screen, which in one way I see as useful, and in another way as annoying. I can see this button being useful if you are someone that wants to record your gameplay, but does not know how to set up software to do so. I am not one of those people, which is why the button can be annoying, because if I bump it, it just starts recording. If I could disable it, or even set it to some action in OBS Studio, I would, but I have not found the means to do so. (I have only looked within the software on the laptop and not searched online for an answer, because it is not that big a deal.)

This image is from the Lenovo Legion Y720 product page

 

Something else I want to point out about this button is the options for the recordings are minimal. You can select resolution from a drop down list and frame rate, again from a list. The default frame rate is 40 FPS with only 50 FPS being higher. Correct, 60 FPS is not an option and there are no settings for quality, like bit rate.

Another Lenovo application on the laptop that has at least one feature worth noting is Lenovo Companion. The feature I find interesting is under Hardware Settings, Power and is something my Yoga 2 Pro also offers. This is Conservation Mode, which will stop charging the battery when it reaches 60%, and will not start charging until it drops below 55%. Obviously this means shorter battery life until you turn the setting off and get a full charge, but the life of the battery should be greater. If I remember how a lithium-ion battery charges correctly, it is pushing a battery to a full charge that can damage it over time, but staying at a lower charge level avoids this. When a lithium-ion battery charges, the lithium ions move into reaction sites on the anode, but as a battery becomes more charged, fewer of these sites are available. This leads to competition between the ions, or at least more effort is required to find a free location. This results in heat, and that heat wears the battery down, but by keeping the battery at 60%, this is avoided. The recommendation for Conservation Mode is to use it if your laptop will spend a lot of time plugged in.

The speakers on the Y720 actually seem pretty efficient. Even set at just 20 the volume is comfortable enough for me to enjoy whatever I am listening to. Not that this will happen much, but if you place your ear near the speakers, you will notice just how separate their frequency ranges are. When I bring my ear near the main stereo speakers on the top, the sound is clearly missing its bass, which is produced by the speaker on the base of the laptop. This is not noticeable to me when my head is in a normal position, but if you ever encounter the sound being biased to the bass or treble, it may be worth looking for what might be blocking either set of speakers.

I already mentioned the display is glossy, but is not a mirror. At full brightness it is really bright and turned all the way down it is actually still usable, but not exactly comfortable to use. I have been keeping it at 40%, which might be a tad brighter than I need it to be, but it is not too dim for normal indoor use.

Being a 4K (3840x2160) display, chances are you will want to use some amount of scaling for Windows. Maybe on a large desktop monitor this will not be necessary, but a 15.6" screen with a pixel density this high is almost certainly going to need it. It came set to 250% scaling, but I have been running it at 150%. This is the same factor I use on my Yoga 2 Pro and its 3K (3200x1800), 11" display, which is comfortable for me.

This specific laptop I have contains both a 256 GB PCIe SSD and a 1 TB HDD, and by default everything has been going onto the smaller, faster SSD. If I were moving in, I would be sure to change the settings to put a number of things onto the HDD, such as documents, music, and probably most games too. (This is also what I do on my desktop with its collection of storage drives.)

Something I have noticed but am not sure how to quantify is the sensitivity of its Wi-Fi. Even when I had it in the garage for a day, well removed from my router at probably the greatest distance it can be without leaving the property, it had a strong signal. My router only supports up to N while the Y720 supports up to AC, so I was missing out on some speed, but apparently not range.

I have noticed some warm and hot spots while using it, almost exclusively while gaming, which is to be expected. Unfortunately a couple of these hot spots are located where I want to place the heel and fingers of my right hand, and I do mean to call them hot spots. If they were only warm, they would not both me, but it was actually uncomfortable for me to keep my hand on the laptop due to this heat. There was also some heat where my left hand rests, but it was not so uncomfortable. I have not noticed the base of the laptop becoming very hot, but I will admit most of the gaming tests I have done have been with it sitting on a desk, and not my lap. Chances are if you are gaming with it on your lap, you are also running on the battery, which means throttling will likely be in play, and that should keep the temperatures down. At least in most situations I have been in, if I have a place to plug in a laptop, I also have a desk or table to place it on as well.

At this point I am not sure what more can be said before getting into some actual performance numbers. It is a fairly powerful laptop so it is not as though it will not be up to the tasks normal users will put it through. The numbers and graphs I have might be what you want to see, so I should probably get to those. Before that, the specs.



  1. Lenovo Legoin Y720 Review - Introduction
  2. Lenovo Legoin Y720 Review - Physical Characteristics
  3. Lenovo Legoin Y720 Review - Basic-Use Experience
  4. Lenovo Legoin Y720 Review - Hardware Specs
  5. Lenovo Legoin Y720 Review - Battery Life
  6. Lenovo Legoin Y720 Review - Gaming Experience
  7. Lenovo Legoin Y720 Review - Conclusion
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