Lenovo gaming laptop slate: Which should you get?

Choosing a laptop for its gaming performance might be a difficult task for people. So to see that Lenovo has its slate of laptops available that can satisfy the gamer in you is pleasing. The problem is, how do you choose between them? 

We take a look at the differences between Lenovo’s four gaming-centric laptops; the Legion Y740, Legion Y7000 SE, Legion Y540 and the IdeaPad L340 Gaming, and see which device is a better fit for you.

Legion Y740

The first of the Lenovo gaming laptops is the Legion Y740, who is the big boy of the group, equipped with a massive 17-inch display. The display itself is a Full HD 1080p panel but is capable of producing a 144Hz refresh rate — perfect for gaming.

As the heftiest laptop of the lot, you might expect it to have the most gamer heavy design out of the rest. Not exactly the case, at least at first. It is as subtle as can be, being fitted with a clean metal frame, with only the Legion name that is emboldened onto it giving a hint of it being a gamer-centric product.

Once you do turn on the device though, that’s when it shows its true colours, literally. The keyboard showcases the full array of its RGB capabilities, which also branches off and lights up on the vents and the Legion logo at the front of the laptop. 

It is undoubtedly the most eye-catching aspect of the laptop and one that is likely to garner a few eyeballs if you choose to use it in a crowded public space. If you are one that prefers not to have that attention, you can customise the colours to be more discreet to your liking. 

The Legion Y740 is equipped with a 76WHr battery. On testing the battery life for the laptop, we managed to get about two and a half hours of usage before needing to charge. This testing was based off using the laptop for regular tasks such as web-browsing and office work.

Gaming on the laptop garnered us about an hour and a half of battery life on the device.

As expected of the massive Legion Y740, it comes packed with some powerful specs in the device. The laptop can be configured with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics card in the system, which is one of the most powerful cards available.

Running Overwatch aptly gave us a smooth experience, getting an average of 108 FPS on Epic settings. Borderlands 3 also fared well on testing and averaged about 65 FPS on Badass setting, the game’s highest visual setting.

Gaming after roughly fifteen minutes started to kick the fan into gear, which was noticeable if you aren’t wearing headphones. With that said, the loud fans meant that the laptop was doing well at blowing hot air out and keeping the system cool.

Legion Y7000 SE

The Legion Y7000 SE is more modest size-wise. It features a 15.6-inch display, also equipped with a Full HD 1080p panel. However, they do give you the choice of getting the regular 60 Hz refresh rate or shelling out more to be on par with Y740’s 144 Hz refresh rate.

It is also the most indicative of it being a gaming branded laptop. The front of the laptop has a distinct Legion branded logo that has an accented red glow when you turn the device on, further adding to that gamer look. Instead of the usual feel of smooth metal, the laptop frame for the Legion Y7000 SE has a grippy textured touch to it.  

The keyboard completes the gamer aesthetic, which follows the same red colour scheme found on the frame of the laptop. In summary, the gamer visual is fairly evident though it does well at not going over the top compared to other models on the market.

For the Legion Y7000 SE, it either comes with a 57 WHr or 52.5 WHr battery depending on the configuration you have for the processor and GPU. 

Testing the battery life on productivity tasks like web-browsing yielded less than 2 hours before reaching zero — a fairly short time.

Likewise, on gaming with the laptop, we were only able to achieve about an hour before the screen went blank on us.

The Legion Y7000 may be smaller than the Legion Y740 but still has enough space to be able to fit a powerful GPU into the system. You’ll be able to fit up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card. For our system, we had an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660TI equipped.

On Overwatch, the game also ran at a high frame rate of around 90 FPS on Epic settings. For Borderlands 3, running it on Badass settings got us roughly 45 FPS on average.

Fan noise is less loud compared to the Legion Y7000 SE but is otherwise still noticeable. Similarly, the fan does well to blow the heat out of the system to keep thermals at an acceptable level for use.

Legion Y540

The Legion Y540 is very similar to the Y7000 SE from the Lenovo gaming laptop slate. From the same 15.6-inch Full HD 1080p display, all the way to the 60 and 144Hz configuration.

Design-wise, seeing the Lenovo’s Legion LY540 is almost as if the Legion Y740 and the Legion Y7000 SE combined.

Its exterior has the same outer frame design from the Legion Y740, featuring the Legion name branding. But it also has the same textured feeling on the surface as the one featured on the Legion Y7000 SE. 

The keyboard is at least different from the two latter laptops. It does not feature full RGB lighting, nor does it have the aggressive red lighting that makes it gamer-centric. Instead, it features a muted white backlit lighting, making for a very unassuming laptop for use outside.

The Legion Y540 has an identical battery capacity to the Legion Y7000 SE, featuring both variants of 57 and 52 WHr batteries. It also has a similar battery life on simple tasks, though it at least managed to hit the 2-hour mark before needing charging.

The same goes as well for battery life while gaming, which garnered slightly more than the hour we got with the Y7000 SE.

The Legion Y540 can also be configured to a similar degree to the Y7000 SE. Our configuration again was that of an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1660Ti.

Running Overwatch clocked a 90 FPS average on Epic settings. Borderlands 3 in the meantime managed to get a 45 FPS average while running on the Badass setting.

Fan volume was slightly softer than that of the Y7000 SE, so while you may be able to hear it, it is not likely something that would disturb your gaming session. Thermals for the laptop also perform at an acceptable temperature for usage.

IdeaPad L340 Gaming

The IdeaPad L340 Gaming laptop is the last 15.6-inch display laptop out of the Lenovo gaming laptop set. It too features a Full HD 1080p resolution but is stuck at only being to have a 60Hz refresh rate for gaming.

The design for the laptop is also modest. It sports a brushed metal finish on the frame, with a small blue Lenovo branding affixed at the corner on the exterior; clean and straightforward.

The backlit keyboard lighting for it emanates a blue hue when you power the laptop on. The lighting for it is intense, and is more noticeable than a normal white backlight, but is less eye-catching compared to the red lighting that is on the Legion Y7000 SE.

Lenovo did not provide the exact specification for the battery capacity on IdeaPad L340 Gaming but did say it can last up to 9 hours on a single charge.

In reality, our tests found that it did not quite live up to that claim. Non-intensive usage got us between six to seven hours. Still, it is a respectable amount for a laptop and is close enough to Lenovo’s estimate.

On gaming, the battery life ranged from roughly four and a half to five hours before being completely depleted.

The IdeaPad L340 Gaming laptop is the smallest out of the four laptops, and that means there is little space to include a truly powerful GPU. Still, you can spec it up to a respectable NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650. 

Sadly, this laptop is not capable of running games up to a competitive level. While playing Overwatch still gets you a fairly high frame rate, it still isn’t quite able to hit the minimum 60 FPS mark for competitive play; averaging about 55 FPS or so.

Worse still is running Borderlands 3. It is completely unplayable, barely making 5 FPS on Badass setting. For whatever reason, putting it on the lowest visual setting possible still does not help much, running at around 15 FPS.

Noise for the fan seems to be lowest in out of the four laptops, only discernible if you are looking out for it. It does feel a little warmer to the touch while using the device but nonetheless is still comfortable enough to use.

So which laptop is for you?

Now that you’ve got a gist on each device, which Lenovo gaming laptop should you get?

If you want a laptop with no compromise on the gaming performance and are willing to shell out at least S$2,489, get the Legion Y740. It has the best performance along with the biggest display for you to enjoy the visuals of both games and movies. Just take note that not a laptop suited for taking outside, owing to its size and battery life.

If you are more casual with games as well as have a budget, the IdeaPad L340 Gaming is a suitable option at a just S$1,209 for the base model. You may not be able to get competitive or enjoy the latest games at their highest potential, but it should still a solid experience. And you don’t have to worry too much about battery when you do take it out with you.

That leaves a toss-up between the Y7000 SE and the Y540. Both laptops perform very similarly in terms of battery life and gaming performance,  also priced close to each other at S$1,449 and S$1,393 respectively, so that leaves with what you prefer in terms of design. If you want to showcase that gamer-heavy design, get the Y7000 SE. If you prefer to be more subtle, the Y540 will also serve you well. Like the Y740, they aren’t built to last long outside, even if they are smaller in size.

Whichever Lenovo gaming laptop you do choose, you’ll definitely be able to enjoy the gaming aspect of it.

Photos by Darren Chiong of the DANAMIC team.

Russell Matthew Loh

Watcher of films and player of games. Dabble with writing in between.

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