Lenovo Legion Y740 Review: A hulking beast with a touch of refinement

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You can spot a gaming notebook from a mile away, and whether you love it or hate it, designs for these high-powered devices is always going to air on the brash and bold side.

So what if you want to do some casual gaming, but also need a notebook that does not look out-of-place at your cubicle? Here the options are increasingly slim, with the likes of the Acer Nitro series being able to do a bit of both.

But what about when you need an uncompromising gaming experience? This is where we think the new Lenovo Legion Y740 notebook can come to the fore.

We recently got some time to review this latest offering from Lenovo’s gaming division to find out if it was up to muster while gaming, as well as refined enough for an office setup.

Here’s what we learned.

Not the usual breed

Take a look at the Legion Y740 it does seem like your usual gaming notebook. In fact it is a little plain, despite being as large as it is. Normally a gaming notebook is embellished with something eye-catching, but that is not the case here, unless you count the Legion logo lighting up when the notebook is powered on.

As such it’s a rather refreshing change of pace from the normal gaming notebooks that cross our path for review, and ultimately one that you would be happy to haul to the office. We say haul as this notebook is not on the lightweight and svelte side of things, tipping the scales at a hefty 2.2kg.

While there are indeed heavier gaming notebooks out there, the words “portability” do not immediately spring to mind when you try to pick up the Legion Y740.

There’s also the battery pack to consider, which too is large and conspicuous, and can take up a good deal of desk real estate if placed table top. It’s more than likely going to be placed on the floor, which is why we think it was a good idea that Lenovo placed the power port at the back of the Y740, so as to ensure that it does not interfere with anything or get in the way.

In fact most of your necessary ports are situated on the back of the Legion Y740, which again hints that this notebook can be moved around, but is best left desk-bound.

Touch and Type

Once powered up the Y740’s keyboard illuminates with a bluish hue, matching the default Legion wallpaper seen in the header image.

This provides an unobtrusive visual touch while in general use, but can of course be customised to fit your gaming or non-gaming needs. Here a Corsair iCUE RGB system in at work, with Lenovo also claiming a response time from the keys at under 1ms, as well as 100 percent anti-ghosting.

While we did not time the former, the keyboard on the Y740 is rapidly responsive and did not leave us wanting. The anti-ghosting functionality also appears to hold true, with furious typing of word documents registering every key stroke.

If there are two elements of the keyboard we need to highlight as potential issues, it would be the layout takes a few hours to get use to, especially if you’re more accustom to a traditional keyboard setup. Also the feel of the keys could use a little bit more snap, but that’s more of a personal preference than a flaw.

In general though the keyboard provides a solid typing experience, and is pleasant enough to use when you’re not gaming.

A gaming breeze 

Now that we’ve tackled how the Legion Y740 performs as a more traditional notebook, let’s get to the really important stuff – its gaming performance.

As expected Lenovo has a number of different internal specification options on offer, with our review model featuring an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8300H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics and 16GB DDR4 RAM.

This mix places it in about the middle of the pack for all the different types of specification Lenovo offers, with it costing you in the region of R26 999 depending on the retailer you head to.

In terms of actual performance the Legion Y740 seems to handle everything that is thrown at it, and the graphics performance in particular proved impressive, which is important should you have AAA titles in mind for this notebook.

This also showed itself during benchmarking, should you care about such things, with a gaming score of 83.8 percent on UserBenchmark. The same test also pointed out that the Y740 is well suited for workstation-esque tasks, which creatives and designers may be interested in knowing.

Better visuals?

The final element to touch on for the Legion Y740 is the screen, a 15.6″ Full HD offering here that delivers a resolution of 1920×1080. All in all this provides a solid viewing experience, with few hitches.

That said there is a 72 percent colour gamut available, which means richly nuanced titles may lack a little lustre on this notebook.

Luckily things are buttery smooth to compensate as Nvidia G-Sync, Dolby Vision and a 144Hz refresh rate at 500 nits brightness are all working to improve the visuals.

There are indeed more display-rich offerings out there, but there is enough on offer with the Legion Y740 to ensure that players do not feel like they are being short-changed in any regard. If colour gamut is a massive consideration for you though, you may want to search elsewhere.

One other element that was on the slightly lower side is battery life, with Lenovo noting up to five hours depending on the resources being thrown at a game. In our time with it, we got to about three and half hours before a trip to a power point was needed, again pointing to the Y740 being a tad under-equipped if you want some portability.

Final verdict

The Legion Y740 is a well constructed gaming notebook. It feels like Lenovo has focused on what is important, while trying to offer a competitively priced device.

Unnecessary flourishes (with the exception of the screen being laid flat) have been kept to a minimum, and this notebook could easily be used by someone who needs a powerful notebook for the latest AAA titles, as well as something that needs to be taking into the office.

Given its size and weight though, those kinds of trips should be kept to a minimum.

Should you be quite savvy when it comes to selecting specifications, picking the right Legion Y740 model to meet your needs can be easily achieved.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.