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Lenovo Legion Y740 17-inch review: Ray tracing and DLSS on a laptop

Lenovo Legion Y740 17-inch review: Ray tracing and DLSS on a laptop

Lenovo’s 17-inch Legion Y740 gaming laptop computer actually isn’t that totally different from its predecessor, the Y730, which I reviewed final yr. The primary distinction that you simply’ll discover is that slightly than the mediocre Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU that was on the older one, the Y740 has a GeForce RTX 2080, which is a big distinction in efficiency.

Apparently, once I was briefed on the Y730, Lenovo advised me that each time Nvidia determined to launch its new GPUs, these PCs can be provided with the brand new graphics playing cards. Apparently, the corporate determined to model it as a brand new mannequin although, with another minor enhancements.

However Nvidia’s new RTX playing cards are type of an enormous deal. They help options like ray tracing in video games, and deep studying tremendous sampling (DLSS). HP’s OMEN Obelisk was the primary desktop I reviewed with RTX, and it was actually game-changing. Nvidia lastly introduced the cellular variations of the GPUs at CES, so right here we’re.

Specs

CPU Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz)
GPU Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q (8GB GDDR6)
Physique 16.22x12x0.86-1″; 412x305x21.95-25.45mm Beginning at 6.4lbs (2.9kg)
Show 17.three” FHD (1920×1080) IPS, 300 nits, 144Hz, G-Sync suitable
Storage 256GB PCIe NVMe (Samsung MZVLB256HAHQ), 1TB 7200RPM (Seagate ST1000LM049-2GH172)
RAM 16GB (eight×2) DDR4-2666
Ports (2) USB three.1 Gen 1 Sort-A (one All the time On)
(1) USB three.1 Gen 2 Sort-A
(1) USB three.1 Sort-C Gen 2 / Thunderbolt three
(1) HDMI 2.zero
(1) Mini DisplayPort 1.4a
(1) Ethernet (RJ-45)
(1) Headphone / microphone combo jack
Audio 2W x 2, Dolby Atmos speaker system for gaming certification, dual-array microphones
Battery 76Wh, helps Speedy Cost (cost as much as 80% in a single hour)
Materials Aluminum
Shade Iron Gray
OS Home windows 10 Residence
Worth $2,319.99

In customizing the gadget on Lenovo.com, your essential choices for upgrading from listed here are for extra RAM at 32GB and a bigger SSD at 512GB. There are extra cheap fashions although, as you’ll be able to have it configured with an RTX 2060, though there’s just one CPU choice.

Design

As I discussed, the design is just about the identical as final yr. It’s a extra industrial design, and I used to be a fan of it as quickly as I noticed it. It’s not as flashy as some gaming laptops that you simply’ll see, and it’s an enormous enchancment over the Legion laptops from two years in the past.

The thought is that it seems skilled if you want it to, and it’s nonetheless a strong beast if you want that. Lenovo pulls it off fairly properly, and it’s clear that there was a variety of thought that was put into the redesign. The colour is Iron Gray, and that’s precisely what it seems like. It is available in an aluminum physique that appears modern and professional, however this factor is very large.

Certainly, with a 17-inch show and beginning at 6.four kilos, you’ll really feel this factor in your bag, in the event you may even match it in there. Lenovo despatched me the 15-inch Legion Y740 as properly, and that’s far more manageable. However that is all private choice. All of it depends upon what you care about as a gamer. In case you’re planning to take your laptop computer on the street so much, it is best to in all probability be taking a look at one thing extra moveable just like the 15-inch mannequin. If it’s an occassional factor, the extra highly effective 17-inch mannequin might be just right for you. If under no circumstances, then get a desktop.

What’s unusual is that the bezels are nonetheless fairly giant, the place they’ve shrunken down on the 15-inch mannequin. This one retains the webcam on prime although. Nonetheless, I’d have favored to have seen this in a smaller footprint.

Alongside the aspect of the aluminum lid, you’ll see the Legion branding, with the Legion emblem inside the O. That emblem consists of Corsair RGB lighting, as can also be included within the vents and within the keyboard.

One good factor that we received with final yr’s redesign is a lot better cable administration. Most ports are on the again of the unit now, together with two USB Sort-A ports, Ethernet, HDMI 2.zero, Mini DisplayPort, and Lenovo’s proprietary charging port. On the left aspect, you’ll discover a Thunderbolt three and a three.5mm combo audio jack, and on the best aspect, there’s one other USB Sort-A port.

It’s a great design, one which’s widespread in highly effective laptops with numerous ports. The thought is that you simply don’t need cables in your method, in order that they exit the again. However there are additionally a couple of ports on the edges for when you want to plug in a peripheral on the fly.

There’s one little quirk although. As you may need observed within the specs, two of the USB Sort-A ports are USB three.1 Gen 1, which helps knowledge switch speeds of 5Gbps. The opposite one is USB three.1 Gen 2, which helps speeds of 10Gbps. In case you thought that the one USB three.1 Gen 2 port was the one which stands by itself, on the aspect of the gadget, you’d be incorrect. It’s one of many Sort-A ports on the again, solely recognized by the ’10’ emblem as an alternative of ‘SS’.

Within the again and on the edges, you’ll discover the vents. Lenovo positioned two followers within the again corners, and with vents on two sides of every one, they will push out extra scorching air.

Show

I’m going to be trustworthy. It bums me out a bit bit that Lenovo doesn’t supply the Legion Y740 with a 4K show, however that’s solely as a result of I exploit my laptop computer for lots of issues. One enchancment that was made for this mannequin over the Y730 is that whereas it’s nonetheless 1080p, it comes with a 144Hz refresh price.

Beforehand, it was 60Hz, and that’s what it will be if there was a 4K choice as nicely. So for those who’re solely utilizing the machine for gaming, the upper refresh price is what you in all probability need. A refresh price is strictly what it feels like; it’s how typically the show refreshes. With a better refresh fee, it might imply that cut up second distinction in your response time in a recreation.

1080p additionally means higher efficiency. A Full HD display has about 2.1 million pixels, or 2.1 megapixels. 4K can be eight.three megapixels, which is much more for the GPU to push. If the decision isn’t sufficient for you, you possibly can all the time use the HDMI, Thunderbolt three, or Mini DisplayPort to output to one thing else.

So far as show high quality goes, I discovered it to be spectacular. It’s vibrant, and the matte anti-glare display doesn’t look washed out, as many anti-glare shows do. There’s no contact, however that’s not one thing you need in a gaming laptop computer. A false contact might significantly mess up your recreation within the fallacious second.

Keyboard, trackpad, and Corsair iCUE lighting

The keyboard is identical because it’s been in Lenovo’s gaming laptops, aside from the Legion Y920. In the event you’re in search of the mechanical keyboards you’ll see in premium gaming PCs, you gained’t discover it right here.

Personally, I prefer it higher this manner. Whereas a mechanical keyboard could be higher for exact gaming, I like a normal laptop computer keyboard for precise typing. The Lenovo Legion Y740 is basically meant to be your one machine for each work and play, so a keyboard that does each is perfect.

And Lenovo all the time has nice keyboards, and the corporate says that this keyboard has a lower than 1ms response time. This machine is huge, so the keyboard does have a quantity pad to the proper of it. That additionally signifies that the primary keyboard is off-centered to the left, as is the trackpad.

Sadly, the trackpad is just not clickable, and it’s additionally not very giant contemplating the dimensions of the PC. There are two buttons under it, as you’d anticipate from a trackpad that’s not clickable.

The keyboard is lit up with Corsair iCUE RGB lighting, as is the Legion emblem and the vents within the again corners. Personally, I feel this was completed fairly properly. The areas with RGB lighting don’t attempt to go too far; it’s not too flashy.

The one factor I don’t like is the Corsair iCUE software program. A few years in the past, Lenovo used to have a bunch of apps on its laptops; there was one for system settings, one for driver updates, and so forth. These have been mixed into Lenovo Vantage, which nonetheless exists. Don’t overlook that you simply nonetheless want Nvidia’s Geforce Expertise for these driver updates, after which in fact, there’s Home windows Replace.

The purpose is that there are sufficient apps on a daily PC to configure the system. I don’t want extra.

In fact, Corsair lighting is sort of good. You’ll be able to configure it into particular person zones, and create as many lighting profiles as you need.

Efficiency and battery life

Now we’re right down to the meat of the topic: efficiency. This machine is rather like the Legion Y730 that I reviewed, with an Intel Core i7-8750H CPU and 16GB RAM. The CPU is a 45W hexa-core chip, and it’s a reasonably normal half for a macine that’s made for highly effective duties like gaming.

However then we now have the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU, which is an enormous step up from the GTX 1050 Ti within the Y730. In truth, it’s truthful to say that the Y730 was for the informal gamer at greatest. The Y740 can realy get issues accomplished.

The GeForce RTX 2080 makes use of the newer GDDR6 reminiscence, and it stays at 8GB like its predecessor, the GTX 1080. The large options are ray tracing and deep studying tremendous sampling (DLSS). Ray tracing is tracing rays of sunshine, and it’s not a brand new idea. The distinction now’s that it’s being accomplished in actual time, slightly than on graphic design tasks the place rendering occasions don’t matter.

DLSS makes use of Tensor Cores within the RTX GPU to raised the picture high quality utilizing machine studying. With anti-aliasing, jagged edges are clean by rendering a number of frames, however with DLSS, solely half of these frames are wanted and AI does the remaining.

I performed Battlefield V for my testing, and simply as once I reviewed the HP OMEN Obelisk, it appeared nice. Nicely, to be extra clear, it appeared nice once I turned on DirectX 12 and DLSS. Within the video under, the 26:17 mark is once I turned it on. You possibly can see an enormous distinction within the smoothness – primarily as a result of it was terrible earlier than that – and the body price.

So far as battery life goes, simply overlook about it. The Lenovo Legion Y730 comes with a 230W charger, and that ought to offer you an concept of how briskly this factor will eat by means of the battery. You’ll be capable of play video games for about two hours earlier than you’ll need to plug it in. The reality is which you could have energy or you possibly can have battery life. You’ll be able to’t have each.

For benchmarks, I used PCMark eight and PCMark 10. PCMark eight offers three checks: House, Artistic, and Work. The House check checks widespread duties like video chat, informal gaming, and so forth.

As you’ll be able to see, this machine does fairly nicely, and it’s no shock. Subsequent up is the Artistic check, which checks extra GPU-intensive duties like mainstream gaming, video modifying, and so forth.

As soon as once more, the Legion Y740 simply smokes the competitors. The rationale for it’s because the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 is such a significant improve, and there actually aren’t plenty of them on the market but. I assume that if we ran this check six months from now, the outcomes wouldn’t be higher than 97% of different outcomes; clearly, they’d nonetheless be higher than most.

Lastly, the Work check checks productivity-related duties like writing and spreadsheets.

I used to be considerably stunned to see how nicely the Legon Y740 did on the Work check. Sometimes, gaming PCs don’t do as properly, primarily as a result of productiveness isn’t what they’re engineered for.

As I stated above, I additionally ran PCMark 10, which is an all-in-one check.

On PCMark 10, the Legion Y740 nonetheless outperformed all different classes, though it’s solely 72% higher than different outcomes.

Conclusion

If we break down the gaming market into three classes, it will be informal, mainstream, and aggressive. Final yr’s Legion Y730 would match into the informal class, whereas the Y740 would undoubtedly be on the higher finish of mainstream. The aggressive class would have an unlocked Okay-series processor, a mechanical keyboard, and another bells and whistles.

And let’s face it; this machine has a whole lot of rivals. Lenovo wasn’t the one one at CES that refreshed its gaming laptops with RTX graphics. Actually, just about everybody did. So what it’s a must to search for is what’s distinctive about this machine. In any case, it has the efficiency, the 144Hz display, and so forth.

Personally, I feel it’s the all-aluminum Iron Gray design. Like I stated a couple of occasions, it’s simply not flashy. It looks like an grownup model of a gaming PC. It lights up precisely the place and once you need it to, and you may shut it off in the event you take the machine into work, which many customers may be more likely to do.

When you’re out there for a gaming PC, you’ve clearly acquired a variety of choices, however I feel the 17-inch Lenovo Legion Y740 is a reasonably good selection. It’s large, and we’ll be looking on the 15-inch mannequin in every week or two. However so long as you’re OK with the dimensions, you’re good to go.

 

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