There’s no denying the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8 is a powerful gaming machine. Packing a 13th Gen Intel i9 CPU, up to a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU, and plenty of ports capable of multiple 4K displays, this gaming laptop entertains to the highest degree.
It isn’t as if there aren’t other potent machines with these specs flooding the market, too. But the Legion Pro 7i offers a decent price compared to the rest. That, and AI-tuned software thanks to a new LA-2Q chip powering Lenovo’s Legion AI Engine+ that maximises performance and comes with a few niche tricks up its sleeve.
Its riveting power under the hood may contribute to loud fans when put under pressure and a lack of battery life. Still, it’s easy to let that slide when you max out settings in demanding games or whizzing around applications without delay.
Is it one of the best gaming laptops you can grab in NZ? That’s an easy “yes,” but it’s not without its faults.
- Tremendous performance
- Beautiful 16-inch, 240Hz display
- Subtle, sleek design
- Fairly priced
- Build could be better
- Gets noisy
- Lacks battery life
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Price
Considering its specifications, the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i is set at a relatively fair price. Sure, its higher configurations aren’t anything to sneeze at, but its mid-range cost offers good value.
It’s important to note that configurations in New Zealand currently only come with an RTX 4070. This isn’t bad, but getting a gaming laptop with an RTX 4080 at this price is well worth looking out for.
The Legion Pro 7i is available from NZ$3,469 / £2,070 / $2,299 ($1,804 with a discount). This packs a 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900HX processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU, 16GB of DDR5 RAM, a 500GB/1TB M.2 PCIe Gen4 SSD (depending on the region) and a 16-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS display with a 240Hz refresh rate. Those are solid gaming PC specs for the cost, especially with the price cut.
For a bit more power, with an RTX 4080 and 32GB of DDR5 RAM, it will set you back $2,849 ($2,385 with a discount) / £2,650. This is the real “saver” choice of sorts, considering the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 (2023) with the same specs is available or NZ$5,289 / £3,199 / $2,899.99. With a powerful CPU and plenty of RAM to back it up, a mobile RTX 4080 is more than capable of pushing many games to their limits – even if it’s the equivalent of a desktop RTX 4070 Ti.
Our review unit comes with top-shelf specs, with an RTX 4090, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. This ramps up the price to $3,599 (priced at $2,849 with a generous discount) / £4,000. An RTX 4090 is superb, but it comes with a considerable price hike that’s a lot to bid farewell to.
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Design
Finally, we’re foregoing the usual gamer-esque stereotypes seen in plenty of gaming laptops. No over-the-top RGB lighting shooting out from every crevice or overblown etching announcing that, yes, this is a gaming laptop; the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i keeps things cool, calm and sleek.
The 16-inch laptop comes in a squared-off aluminium frame that gives off a sturdy, powerful aesthetic. Its base is a solid platform that extends behind the display’s hinge, giving the screen panel a more slimline look. With the base holding much of the laptop’s weight, it makes it easy to lift the lid and keeps it firmly grounded on its rubberised feet. It’s a subtle appeal that makes it look more like a workstation that’s ready for action – whether it be for work or play.
Coming in a charming Onyx Grey, the Legion Pro 7i isn’t without some cool touches to admire. On the lid, there’s a faint etching of “Legion” in bold, along with a small cut-out for the 1080p webcam – similar to the Lenovo Yoga Pro 9i. Open it up and you’re treated to a well-spaced keyboard with a numeric keypad, something those who handle numbers will appreciate. Strangely, however, there’s a lot of flex on the keyboard, even when casually typing. For a laptop at this price, you’d expect a more solid build, especially on the part you’ll be using the majority of the time.
Aside from this, Lenovo has crafted a machine that can handle the heat efficiently. Hexagon-style vents are placed at the upper end of either side and the rear, allowing it to keep cool in the right places. There’s also a lightbar along the bottom, which isn’t too blaring and offers a neat effect on a surface. Of course, if you’re not about all the RBG effects, you can turn this off or have it show one stable colour.
Ports are plentiful on the Legion Pro 7i, and port placement is on point. You’ll find a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 and Thunderbolt 4 with USB 3.2 Gen 2, DP 1.4 and Power Delivery support on the left, and another USB-A 3.2 and 3.5mm headphone/mic jack on the right. On the rear, there’s a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI 2.1 and an RJ-45 Ethernet port. That’s multiple beneficial ports for peripherals, 4K displays and charging. That’s precisely what you’d want in a gaming laptop.
Coming in at 36.3 x 26.3 x 2.1 cm (14.3 x 10.3 x 0.82 inches) and weighing 2.8kg (6.1 pounds), this laptop isn’t exactly easily portable. It’s even heavier than the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16, which measures 35.4 x 26.4 x 2.26 ~ 3.04 cm (13.94 x 10.39 x 0.89 ~ 1.20 inches) and weighs 2.6kg (5.73 pounds). Most 16-inch gaming laptops aren’t made to be whisked around and taken out in public spaces, making it a better laptop sitting on a desk.
The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i takes a more subtle approach as a gaming laptop, which I’m a big fan of. Despite an aesthetically pleasing frame, its keyboard flex is a shortcoming.
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Display and Audio
The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i has a gorgeous display to show off its specs, complete with all the visual features you’d want to make everything you watch or play a spectacle.
All configurations come with a 16-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS display with a 240Hz refresh rate, DisplayHDR 400, Nvidia G-Sync support, 500 nits of brightness and 100% sRGB coverage. It’s a feast for the eyes, whether taking in the splendour of Avatar: The Way of Water or experiencing smooth graphics in Cyberpunk 2077 or Starfield.
Speaking of, exploring New Atlantis and the vast amount of planets in Starfield with ray tracing is marvellous, with intricate details on ships and towering towers under a starry night being a visual treat. Its HDR support and accurate colours show off crisp images and extremely smooth motion, thanks to the favourable 240 Hz refresh rate. The X-Rite Colour Assistant automatically detects the type of content on screen, changing it to different modes to make the most out of the display’s capabilities.
The 16-inch panel is also fantastic for tucking into shows. Watching the Na’vi first arrive at the turquoise-filled waters of Awa’atlu in Avatar: The Way of Water on Disney+ was fantastic, looking like a (very) small-scale version of the silver screen.
On the other hand, audio isn’t the Legion Pro 7i’s strong point. It comes with 2 x 2W stereo speakers with audio by Harman. It’s fine but often sounds hollow compared to the action taking place on screen. The bass is minimal, and the sounds feel monotone. The laptop includes a Nahimic Audio app that helps optimise surround sound with audio devices connected to it, so it’s best to use headphones or Bluetooth speakers instead.
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Keyboard
The Legion Pro 7i’s keyboard comes with all the fancy features many gaming laptops of this calibre offer, but the typing experience isn’t up to scratch.
The keyboard has 1.5mm key travel, full-sized arrow keys, a numeric keypad and per-key RGB lighting. These are excellent traits, but it’s let down by the feel. Keycaps have a slightly concave shape for better precision when typing and are swappable, but they have more of a mushy, tactile feel that resulted in more than a few typos.
Throw in the noticeable flex on the keyboard without much effort, and it makes for a subpar typing experience. It isn’t a major red flag, but other gaming laptops have set a higher standard.
There’s also a well-sized, multi-touch touchpad with accurate mechanical clicks. It doesn’t take up too much space on the deck but leaves enough room to navigate without hassle.
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gaming
Boasting a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 with 16GB of GDDR6 RAM on board, you bet the Legion Pro 7i pulls off some mighty visuals with clean frames at max settings in the most demanding titles.
Expect to see frame rates in triple figures, whether at 1080p or 1600p resolution. It’s partly thanks to the unique LA2-Q AI chip and AI Engine+ the laptop is equipped with. It balances power output, frames and fan speeds to match what’s being used on the system, adapting to achieve the best performance possible.
I tried playing several popular titles to see what it could handle, including Starfield, Cyberpunk 2077 and Forza Horizon 5.
Playing Starfield with settings set to Ultra at 1600p, I saw an average of 87fps. In 1080p, it jumped up to 105fps. Those are fantastic numbers, and it experienced no slowdown or jittering.
Heading to Night City in Cyberpunk 2077, optimal settings were set to high on most advanced textures (such as ray-traced lighting, shadow quality, crowd density, colour precision, etc.). I hit an average of 89fps at 1600p and 98fps at 1080p. It’s impressive to get past the 60fps mark on a laptop with ray tracing.
In Forza Horizon 5, the spectacle of blazing past swish cars basking in the sunlight can be seen even in Ultra settings. Here, I got an average of 118fps in 1600p and 130fps in 1080. Amazing stuff.
It comes as no surprise I was getting up to 200fps in more graphics-friendly games such as Valorant or Overwatch 2, with the 240hz display being true to its name.
Lenovo also includes a utility app known as Lenovo Vantage that lets you control the system’s output, allowing you to overclock the GPU here. This adds a few more frames to games, but nothing too noticeable to make me want to turn it on constantly.
In a majority of demanding Triple-A titles, you can hear the Legion Pro 7i being put to work. Fans can get quite noisy under pressure, which does an excellent job of keeping it cool. If you’re wearing headphones, though, it isn’t a nuisance.
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Performance
As you might expect, the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i’s 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900HX13 speeds through everyday work tasks and juggles multitasking various apps with little effort and high-demanding apps with ease. I could switch between playing Starfield and the 50 Google Chrome tabs I had open, which included five YouTube videos playing at once. It’s made to take the heat, so expect to be doing multiple tasks at once (like listening to tunes or watching a video while playing a game).
To see how it performs on paper, I put the Legion Pro 7i through the Geekbench 6 benchmark. It scored a multi-core score of 16,621, which is outstanding. It leaves the 12th Gen Intel Core CPU in its tail lights, such as the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2022) equipped with an Intel Core i9-12900H getting a (11,231). As for the Lenovo Yoga Pro 9i’s Intel Core i9-13905H (11,932) MacBook Pro 16’s M2 Max chip (15,173), it moped the floor. However, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 (16,465) looks down at all its competition.
In the PCMark 10 benchmark, it scored an outstanding 7,531. That’s a great score, even if it falls behind the ROG Strix Scar 16 (8,299).
As for the handbrake test, which transcodes a 4K video file to 1080p, the Legion Pro 7i took 2 minutes and 25 seconds. That’s fantastic speeds.
With its 1TB SSD, the Legion Pro 7i clocked a speedy transfer rate of 3,401 megabytes per second.
It’s clear the Legion Pro 7i doesn’t slack on power. In fact, quite the opposite; it knocks it out of the park.
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Battery
As we’ve come to expect with gaming laptops with this much power under the hood, the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i’s battery doesn’t last long. Still, it isn’t abysmal. With a 99.99Whr battery and 330W AC adapter offering rapid charging, it can get you through a few hours when doing moderate activities.
Doing my daily tasks, which usually consist of scrolling through websites on Google Chrome, writing documents, listening to music on Spotify and watching YouTube videos, the laptop lasted around 5 hours and 50 minutes. Not the worst, considering the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 offered just over 2 hours. Lenovo states that it targets up to 12 hours. If that’s the case, then the Legion Pro 7i really falls short. But I never expected it to be that much.
I was more impressed by the rapid charging speeds, which juices up the laptop to 50% in 35 minutes and 100|% in just over 60 minutes. That’s the speed I’m looking for when needing a quick boost, especially when travelling. It’s a chunky power adapter, which adds to the weight of carrying this 16-inch block around.
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Software
The Legion Pro 7i has heaps of helpful software to help optimise gaming performance and keep bloatware to a minimum. In fact, that’s the first message you’ll see when opening Lenovo Vantage: only recommending apps to download rather than having them installed automatically.
The AI-powered Lenovo Engine+ does a lot of legwork for you. It tunes the display to match what’s seen on display and adjusts power to handle the load. With its function keys, you can quickly cycle between different modes, such as performance, quiet and auto-balancing. However, if you’re looking to customise some options yourself, it’s easy to do in the Lenovo Vantage app. This is where you’ll find other nifty tricks, including per-key RGB lighting on the keyboard, the Nahimic sound app and Tobii Horizon.
That last one is intriguing. It lets you use the webcam to act as the camera in-game. Simply move your head or eyes, and the game will reflect this. It’s a fun feature to try out, especially in games such as Microsoft Flight Simulator. So far, there are 174 games with this feature supported.
There’s also Tobii Aware, which acts like Windows Hello by detecting if you’re on your laptop. It will turn your screen off and lock if you’re away and also make it harder for unwanted eyes to look at your screen behind you.
Surprise, surprise. McAfee comes pre-installed on the Legion Pro 7i. It will keep popping up nearly everywhere you turn, including your browser. If you prefer a less intrusive antivirus, check out the best antivirus software around.
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Verdict
Power is everything when it comes to gaming laptops, and the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i knocks it out of the park. The blistering power of an Intel Core i9 CPU and RTX 4090 working together on a well-designed 16-inch rig is something to applaud. But I can hear more cheers for its RTX 4080 configuration thanks to its appealing price tag.
The same can’t be said for its build, keyboard and battery, which doesn’t reach the standard other gaming laptops have achieved. They aren’t dealbreakers in the slightest, but there’s cause for concern when an expensive laptop has too much flex on what should be a solid deck.
That said, if you only care about the experience you see on display, then the Legion Pro 7i is the gaming powerhouse for you. Even on lower configurations, it’s one of the best gaming laptops you can grab.