Today we continue our series of affordable gaming laptops under 900 dollars with the new Lenovo Legion Y520 gaming laptop. This laptop is the newest model in Lenovos lineup of affordable laptops of the last couple of years. So let’s see what Lenovo did to improve its already very good gaming laptop family.
If you already know the previous Lenovo Y700 gaming laptop model you pretty much know what to expect. This new model has become part of Lenovo’s Legion brand of gaming related products. The full name of the new model is Lenovo Legion Y520. From the outside the new gaming laptop from Lenovo comes with a new carbon fiber textured finish. It’s not real carbon fiber, but plastic made to look like it and that’s a good thing. Carbon fiber is very expensive and that would make this laptop much more expensive. Apart from one crease down the middle and another 2 on the bottom sides the back cover features just the basic carbon fiber texture finish. A matte black lenovo logo in the usual top left corner of the cover is also present.
The 15.6-inch FullHD IPS screen in surrounded by an atypical matte black border. The top edge is raised in the middle following the crease on the top cover. The top border contains the built in webcam and stereo microphones. The only other design queue is the grey lenovo logo on the bottom left corner. The screen features the same long middle hinge that can be found on the previous model, making for a sturdy screen area.
Also in the screen area are the 2 built in speakers. These are located on either side of the large hinge and are oriented towards the front. This is a very good design choice and is also in keeping with the previous model.
The palmrest features a thin stripe of brushed aluminium below the screen that also contains the power button on the right side. The rest of the palmrest is finished in soft touch matte black. The full sized keyboard features red lettering and red backlighting. The touchpad also gets the same red border all around it. As a final detail you get a small legion badge on the bottom right corner in keeping with lenovo’s usual branding on other laptops.
As final design details, the back and 1 third of the underside feature corrugations that hide the dual fan cooling solution. A big plus point goes to the fact that the entire back panel can come off with just a few screws.
When it comes to connectivity the Lenovo Legion Y520 has everything you’d come to expect from the latest gaming laptop. Present on this model are as follows:
- The right side of the body features HDMI-out, 2 USB 3.0 Ports, the built in SD Card Reader and an USB Type C Port.
- The left side features the lock port, the proprietary lenovo power port, Ethernet LAN port, one more USB 2.0 port, and the headset jack.
- On the inside it feature Wireless WiFi 802.11 AC connectivity and Bluetooth 4.1
This is where we come to the main event and the Lenovo Legion Y520 doesn’t disappoint. While you can spec this gaming laptop with an i7 and up to 16GB of RAM, I think the 80WK00FHUS version we are looking at today is more than enough.
This version of the laptop comes with the latest 7th Generation high power Intel Core i5-7300HQ running at 2.5GHz and 8GB of DDR4 RAM. On top of this it is equipped with the best value for money mobile GPU currently on the market, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB of video memory. This combination is more than capable of running the latest games and high frame rates and quality. Have a look at this video:
For storage you get a 256 GB M.2 SSD and a free 2.5-inch bay where you can install more storage at a later date. The battery is a 45wHr unit good for up to 4 hours of regular use. Lenovo has made it very easy to make updates to this laptop thanks to the entire back panel coming off with just a few screws.
While this laptop does indeed feature dual fan cooling setup, because they are both installed in the middle of the chasis and effectively share both the cooling fins and heat-pipes I don’t think it is as efficient as designs we have seen in the past.
At the time of this review this laptop is priced just around 900 dollars and compared to the ASUS K501UW-AB78 I reviewed last week, I think this is a much better value for the money laptop.