Review: Lenovo Legion Y730-15

Oct 24, 2018

Thanks to Lenovo for providing GWW with this review unit.

  • Gorgeous and sturdy aluminum chassis
  • Keyboard is fantastic
  • No GTX 1060 MQ or greater option
  • 17″ option also available

Lenovo’s brand new Legion Y730-15 is a 15″ laptop that slays, from a design perspective. The new keyboard has per-key back-lighting and was made in partnership with accessory veteran company Corsair. It comes preloaded with Corsair’s iCue tuning software, which is easy to use. The big winner is the the chassis, which improves upon the Legion Y530, with a soft yet sturdy aluminum finish that stays cool while gaming.

Specifications ($1549.99 As-Tested)

  • CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2 GHz, 6-cores)
  • Display: 15.6″ FHD (1080p) | 60 Hz | non-touch
  • Graphics: Intel Integrated UHD 620 | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB)
  • Webcam: 720p HD
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 2666 MHz
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD + 2 TB 7200 RPM HDD
  • Battery: 3-cell | 57Wh
  • Audio: Harmon speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
  • I/O:
    • (1) USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 3)
    • (3) USB 3.1 Type-A (2x Gen 2)
    • (1) HDMI
    • (1) Mini DisplayPort 1.4
    • (1) Microphone / Headphone Combo Jack
    • (1) Ethernet RJ45 Jack
  • Dimensions: 14.25″ x 10.51″ x 0.785″
  • Weight: 4.8lbs

The Good

There aren’t many mid-level gaming laptops with this level of sturdiness. I can’t stress the high level of quality Lenovo put into this chassis. There is very little flex around the chassis, save for the display. The vents on the side and back have a cool, grilled aesthetic that are also backlit. Like the Y530, the display is displaced from the back of the chassis, unlike most laptops. This design allows for the keyboard to stay cool. The back of the laptop has several ports, which help with cable management.

The lighting effects are fantastic and well placed. The side vents, keyboard, and even the power button light up and can all be changed. A small accent that is a super cool effect is the lighting of the letter “Y” on the back of the display in the Legion logo. That can also be programmed to a variety of effects, such as rainbow scrolling, pulsation, wave and static. My kids love the rainbow effects but I ultimately went with a pure blue color around the entire laptop. The iCue software from Corsair is easy to use and allows for profile saving.

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Performance is excellent in this Core i7 model. But gaming performance is similar to the Y530. I’m using the top configuration that has a GTX 1050 Ti. If you’re interested in performance, take a look at my review of the Legion Y530.

What Needs Improvement

Lenovo is playing games with our hearts. The Y730-15 is one of the best looking gaming laptops available, yet the configurations max out at a 4GB NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti. Why this doesn’t have at least a GTX 1060, I do not know. I had interviewed folks at Lenovo who told me they cannot comment on it. My assumption was, and still is, they’re going to release a line of these laptops with NVIDIA’s new RTX cards. That could be, however, several months from now.

While I love the keyboard, I had quite an issue adjusting to the placement of the home row. The trackpad is placed squarely in the middle of the chassis, but the keyboard is not. Lenovo added a column of keys to the far left that are useful, but really confuse my while I’m blindly placing my hands down on the keyboard. I’ll end up with my left pinkie finger on the key “M2” instead of “A”. It took some getting used to, and I also didn’t really use them much. But I’m an old school computer user and gamer - I don’t use macros, which is what 1/3 of those keys are for. The other keys are keyboard brightness control, a video key that doesn’t do anything as far as I can tell, and a dedicated key for Lenovo’s Magic Y software. The latter can be confusing since Corsair’s iCue software is also installed. But Magic Y is for the actual function that occurs when a key is pressed, while iCue is for lighting.

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The camera is placed on the bottom of the display frame. This doesn’t bother me too much, but I’ve seen Razer deploy bezels just as thin as the Y730 and they have their camera on the top. I know Lenovo can do better here.

Who is this For?

This is a tough question to answer. The Y730-15 and the Y530 are very similar laptops. The core difference is the chassis. With the Y730-15 you’re getting a much sturdier laptop that looks amazing. The keyboard is also considerably better with the Y730-15 both in feel and lighting effects. The Y730-15 presents better in an office setting and you’ll certainly prefer the look and feel if you value design. Although, you can save several hundred dollars by purchasing the Y530 - keep that in mind if you’re considering a new, mid-level performance gaming laptop.

About the 17″ Model

In the pictures below, you’ll see the difference in size between the 15 and 17-inch models. The internals are the same, which is helpful for understanding the differences. To me, the most significant difference, other than the display size, is the keyboard. In the Y730-17 you get a full keyboard and number pad. Oddly, however, the touchpad is the same size. This is a great opportunity for Lenovo to include a larger touchpad akin to the Razer Blade 15. Overall, if you’re looking for a 17″ laptop, you need to understand they’re more difficult to travel with. Not only are they heavier, but a backup that’ll fit these laptops are harder to come by. But, if you need a larger display and you love a well built and good looking laptop, these is a great option. Of course the max configuration is a GTX 1050Ti and an H processor. Good specs, but they won’t blow you away if you’re a hardcore gamer.

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