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Nowadays, you'll get the latest quad-core picks along with desktop-level GPUs -- plenty of horsepower to play all your modern games on your gaming laptop. On that front, Lenovo is now moving further into the gaming-laptop-space with its freshly introduced Legion gaming laptops (introduced during CES 2017). The Legion is a new sub-brand for their gaming products. Simultaneously, the manufacturer introduced two versions of the Legion Y520 15.6 "laptops for gamers”.
The Legion Y520 has an Intel processor from the Kaby Lake generation, but Lenovo does not mention what the options are. The GPU GTX 1050 Ti, the cheapest variant could have a different GPU. The DDR4 memory is up to 16GB in size and the PCI-E SSD and -HDD storage options are the same. The Y520 has a display with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, the case is about 2.6cm thick and weighs about 2.4kg. There is a USB port c present, but that does not support Thunderbolt. There are also two USB 3.0 ports and a USB 2.0 version.
The previous three generations of the gaming laptops that were made by Lenovo had brushed aluminum lid and bottom pieces but now it’s all plastic. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the rigidness of the plastic. The lid bends ever so slightly under great force and overall it is very sturdy. The surface had a carbon fiber-ish look making it grippy and we can even go with “premium” here while fingerprints are easier to clean aren’t as visible. The bottom piece also uses the same plastic finish as the lid retaining the rigidness for the extra airflow at the bottom.
Around the sides, the first thing you will notice is that most of the port placement now is on the right side. On the left you will still have the LAN port, DC charging connector, the 3.5 mm audio jack and one USB 2.0. While on the right, you will see the HDMI, two USB 3.0 connectors, SD card reader and the USB-C port. The sides are made of black matte plastic and meet with the plastic bottom piece seamlessly. The most notable and smart change is the new placement of the main exhaust vents. The laptop has now a more open design. The vents are placed on the back so the screen hinge doesn’t obstruct normal airflow.
The soft-touch matte finish is easy to clean and fingerprints are not as visible. The touchpad is as we are used of Lenovo: very sturdy and Lenovo also has gone the “old school” way with dedicated mouse buttons. This eliminates the unstable surface. The longer key travel is excellent for typing and gaming. Finally, Lenovo includes media control buttons.
The Legion Y520 proves that with impeccable build quality, premium feel achieved by using only plastic and robust construction. The laptop has a comfortable touchpad design, has heat dispersing grills for better efficiency and overall improved keyboard. In addition, by excluding the aluminum from the build, Lenovo was able to cut down on the weight with the laptop now tipping the scale at 2.5 kg.
The Y520-15IKBN 80WK0050MJ model comes with 128G M.2 PCIE+1TB 5400RPM HDD + 4GB DDR4 2400Mhz RAM. The cheaper option comes with 1TB SATA HDD + 4GB DDR4 RAM. The notebook’s display uses a Full HD (1920×1080) IPS (AH-IPS) panel (LG Philips LP156WF6-SPK3) in a 15.6-inch diagonal leading to a pixel density of 142 ppi and 0.18 x 0.18 mm pixel pitch. The screen can be considered as “Retina” when viewed from a distance equal or greater than 60 cm.