Lenovo Legion Y520 laptop review: Great choice for gamers and power users

Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

We needed a new laptop for working while traveling, running virtual machines, testing many apps and Windows features. We are also gamers at heart, and we needed something with a bit of punch regarding video processing power. Not only that, but we also wanted a comfortable keyboard because we write a lot and a cooling system that’s quieter than on most gaming laptops. After carefully looking on the internet, we chose Lenovo Legion Y520. On paper, this gaming laptop met all our demands. After a few weeks of testing, playing on and working on it, here is our final review for the Lenovo Legion Y520:

What is the Lenovo Legion Y520 gaming laptop good at?

Lenovo Legion Y520 shines when it comes to:

  • Gaming - its hardware, together with the efficient cooling system, make it ideal for any gamer. It can play any game, no matter how demanding, in high or at least medium graphic quality settings.
  • Writing - the keyboard is a delight for any typist. The key travel distance is ideal for a laptop keyboard. Moreover, it is also backlit for easy typing in low light.
  • Video editing - if you equip it with the latest mobile processor (Intel Core i7 770HQ) and a powerful graphic card (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or GTX 1050 Ti), the Lenovo Legion Y520 is a great device for editing videos.

Pros and cons

Here are the main reasons we like the Lenovo Legion Y520:

  • Good build quality. Although its case is made of plastic, it feels sturdy and durable
  • It is available in several hardware configurations, with pricing for different budgets
  • The cooling system is highly efficient
  • The keyboard is a delight to type on, and it is also backlit
  • The sound system offers good fidelity
  • The price/performance ratio tends to be a very good

There are also a few things that are not so positive:

  • Although it uses IPS technology and its viewing angles are very generous, the display has low brightness and yellowish colors
  • Battery life is rather poor
Product Rated
4/5

Verdict

The Lenovo Legion Y520 gaming laptop is a device that packs a lot of power at a decent price. You can equip it with the latest processor, graphics card, and storage, without making the cost overwhelming. If you want to play games on it, run demanding apps, type a lot, get good sound quality and an efficient and silent cooling system, Lenovo Legion Y520 is one of the best choices you can make. It is one of the most balanced laptops that we tested recently, and we believe that it is an excellent acquisition for anyone who is looking for good gaming laptop.

Unboxing the Lenovo Legion Y520 gaming laptop

The Lenovo Legion Y520 gaming laptop arrives in a black cardboard box that is simple and minimalistic. The only thing printed on it is a big text that says: “Legion by Lenovo.” There are no details about the laptop.

Open the box, and you will find the laptop inside a protective cover, together with its power charger, power cable, quick start guide, and warranty card.

The Lenovo Legion Y520 gaming laptop comes in a simple box that looks good. The unboxing experience is pleasant, but there are no accessories bundled with the laptop, which might be disappointing for some users.

Hardware specifications

The Lenovo Legion Y520 gaming laptop can be equipped with an Intel Core i7 or an Intel Core i5 processor. The model we tested came with the 7th generation Intel Core i7 7700HQ processor, running at a frequency of 2.80GHz and up to 3.80GHz in turbo mode. This processor has four cores and eight threads, and a cache memory of 6MB. Intel launched it in the first quarter of 2017, and it is one of the most powerful mobile processors available today.

The processor works together with 8 or 16GB of DDR4 RAM running at 2400MHz. The model we tested came with 8GB of RAM, which should be just enough for gamers. However, you should know that you can add another 8GB of RAM to make a total of 16GB RAM if you wish.

The Lenovo Legion Y520 is a gaming device, and that means that it has a decent graphics card inside. The model we tested came with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB of GDDR5 RAM. However, this laptop can also be equipped with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB of RAM or a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 3GB of RAM.

The images are projected on a 15.6” LED screen with a Full HD resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The display is based on the IPS (In-plane switching) technology, which means that the color rendering should be of good quality and the viewing angles generous. The display is covered with matte glass that should help against unwanted reflections. Although some may argue that a resolution of 1080p is small by today’s standards, we believe that it is more than enough to have a solid gaming experience.

Regarding storage, the Lenovo Legion Y520 gaming laptop we tested came with an NVMe SSD with a storage capacity of 256GB, manufactured by Samsung. However, the laptop can also be equipped with a 512GB PCIe SSD or with a traditional hard disk of up to 2TB and 5400 RPM. It is also possible to get this laptop in a dual drive configuration, meaning that you can equip it with both an SSD and an HDD. None of the storage configurations include an optical drive. If you are still using CDs, DVDs, or even Blu-Ray discs, you must buy yourself an external optical unit.

The audio is delivered by two 2W Harman certified speakers with Dolby Audio Premium. Also, on the top side of the screen, there is a webcam with a standard 720p resolution, useful for making video calls.

Regarding connectivity options, the Lenovo Legion Y520 laptop comes with 1 x USB 3.0 (Type-C), 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 audio jack, 1 microphone jack, an Ethernet port for wired network connections, and one 4-in-1 card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC).

You also get the best in networking options: an integrated wireless network adapter (Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265) which supports the 802.11ac standard. The wireless card works with 2x2 MIMO, which means that it offers two spatial streams of transmitting and receiving data on the same channel or frequency. Together with the wireless card, you also get a Bluetooth 4.2 chip. As for the wired networking, it is worth noting that the Ethernet card is capable of transfer speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

The Lenovo Legion Y520 gets its autonomy from a three cell 45 Watt Hour battery. The power adapter is capable of an output of 20V DC, 6.75 A, 135W, which is more than enough to keep the laptop going even for very long gaming sessions. Depending on its configuration, the Lenovo Legion Y520 weighs at least 5.29 lbs or 2.4 kg, but not less. If it is equipped with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050 or 1050Ti, the laptop has a size of 14.96 x 10.43 x 1.09 inches or 380 x 265 x 25.8 mm in height, width and depth. If it is equipped with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, it has a size of 14.96 x 10.43 x 1.09 inches or 380 x 265 x 27.8 mm. In other words, it is slightly thicker.

If you want more details, you can find the official hardware specifications here: Lenovo Legion Y520 Tech Specs.

The Lenovo Legion Y520 gaming laptop is a device that can be equipped with some impressive hardware. Even in its barebone configuration, it should be more than capable of running any game at high-quality settings.

Read the next page of this review to see the user experience you get, what is bundled with the Lenovo Legion Y520 and the results that we measured in benchmarks.