Lenovo unveiled its top-of-the-line gaming laptops with the updated Legion 7 and Legion 7 Slim at CES 2021. Both machines offer next-gen AMD Ryzen CPUs, RTX 3000-series graphics, and better cooling performance.
Lenovo claims that its new Legion Coldfront 3.0 thermal design will deliver increased airflow, with an improvement upward of 18%. This is welcome news as last year's Legion 7i ran hot.
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Because Lenovo chose not to underclock components last year, even allowing users to configure up to 8-core CPUs with an RTX 2080 Super Max-Q GPU, the increased power draw caused machines to heat up. Even with vapor chambers, it still led to throttling during high load.
Here's hoping this new cooling design is able to keep up with the added power of the latest AMD Ryzen and Nvidia RTX 3000 series chips.
But there's more to the latest Legion 7 models than just a new cooling design. Here's what you need to know about the newly unveiled Lenovo Legion 7 and Legion 7 Slim.
Lenovo Legion 7 and Legion 7 Slim price and release date
Unfortunately Lenovo did not give an exact date or timeframe as to when customers can buy the newly updated Legion 7 and Legion 7 Slim. But if last year's release schedule is any indication, the Legion 7 will likely launch in May of 2021 with the Legion 7 Slim dropping around the August-September timeframe.
We also don't know pricing for the Legion 7 and Legion 7 Slim yet. Based on last year's iterations, the Legion 7 can likely be configured at a price as low as $1,200 all the way to $2,800. The Legion 7 Slim will have less configuration options, but we estimate it will start at around $1,350.
Lenovo Legion 7 and Legion 7 Slim specs
This year, the Legion 7 will see some modest upgrades overall. The screen is being bumped up to a slightly taller 16:10 aspect ratio and will meet 100% of the sRGB color gamut. The near edgeless 16-inch QHD display (2560x1600) is 16% larger than last year's 15-inch model, has an HDR 400 certification, can reach 500 nits of brightness. Lenovo is also claiming that its Legion 7 will feature the world's first 165Hz panel on a laptop.
As for the processor, RAM, hard drive, and graphics card, Lenovo shared no specific details. The laptop maker did confirm that it would feature the next-generation in AMD processors and Nvidia's new RTX 3000 series GPUs.
The 4000 series of AMD processors does see some major improvements over last year's variants. Unlike the 3000 series, which used combinations of four cores and four threads or eight threads, the 4000 series can go as high as eight cores and 16 threads.
The 4000 series also uses a 7nm manufacturing process, making this year's line of chips more efficient.
As for GPUs, the Legion 7 can likely be configured with either the Nvidia RTX 3060, 3070, or 3080. Given the Legion 7 Slim's thin design, it will likely be relegated to the 3060 only.
Lenovo Legion 7 and Legion 7 Slim design
Given that this year's CES was all virtual, we were unable to get hands on with either the Lenovo Legion 7 or the Legion 7 Slim. But images show a design similar to last year's model.
There's still plenty of RGB through the fan grills and keyboard and port layout looks largely to be the same. The only glaring difference from last year's model is the increase in screen size on the Legion 7.
As for the Slim, like last year's 7i Slim, there's decidedly less RGB. But that's to be expected from such a thin device. But it looks to be using a similar, if not the exact same, chassis.
Lenovo Legion 7 and Legion 7 Slim battery life
Last year's Legion 7i offered decent battery life for a gaming laptop. According to our sister-site Laptop Mag (opens in new tab), the Legion 7i got an acceptable 04:37. While the new AMD 4000 series chips are more power efficient than last year's models, Nvidia's new RTX 3000 series cards draw more power. So, it's likely that there will not be major improvements to battery life this year.
Lenovo Legion 7 and Legion 7 Slim outlook
The Lenovo Legion 7 line is already considered one of the best gaming laptop lines around. While last year's model had some cooling issues, probably linked to its less-than-stellar vapor chamber design, this year Lenovo is hoping its Coldfront 3.0 will help alleviate thermal stress.
While it would have been nice to see Lenovo update the design for the Legion 7 and tie it to Nvidia's excellent new GPUs, that sadly did not happen. Even then, the current design isn't bad, and continues to give that mix of professional simplicity and ludicrous gamer RGB.
If Lenovo can deliver on a thermally tuned machine this year, it will likely be one of the best laptops to launch in 2021.
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