The Lenovo Legion Y520 80WK00FHUS 15.6 Traditional Laptop is a total do-over of the Y-series, most particularly the previous Lenovo Y700 Gaming laptop | See at Amazon which hgfit the shelves in 2016. I wouldn’t say Lenovo has been in for forefront of the gaming scene as widely as they have been as prolific business laptops manufacturers. But that seemed not be a reason to back down. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago when they first saddled up their first gaming laptop wagon.
They have so far nonetheless succeeded in designing a respectable bunch of mid-range gaming laptops since then. The Y700 or even the Y50 notebooks are rather a product of their concerted effort and they deliver a polished variant of the Y-series. In this review we focus on the Y520 which is the latest of the Y-series. It trumps its predecessor Y700 owing to its improved features and reasonable pricing.
- Sleek and stylish design
- Ample 15.6 inch screen size
- Full HD display
- Comfortable backlit keyboard
- Desirable gaming performance
- Supports M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs
- Limited color option for keyboard backlighting
The Lenovo Legion Y520 80WK00FHUS See at Amazon is a serious contender for budget gaming laptops line-up. It bolsters a sleek design, top-notch gaming performance, sturdy backlit keyboard, and has a couple of other features to complete its functionality. I’m talking about Full HD, 15 inch screen and a favorable port system.
While it doesn’t have a friendlier price than the Editor’s choice Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming (7567) Laptop See at Amazon, it shares a common pool with it; the best under $2,000 gaming laptops we recommend. The Acer Aspire VX 15 VX5-591G-75RM See at Amazon and Dell Inspiron i7559-2512BLK 15.6 Inch FHD Laptop See at Amazon features on this list too, but we recommend the Lenovo Legion Y520 80WK00FHUS (for your short list) as a best midrange gaming laptop.
DESIGN AND FEATURES
Despite not costing an arm and a let, the Lenovo Legion Y520 80WK00FHUS, it is a well-built machine with an attractive look and excellent performance. I must mention that the design was a little toned down and isn’t as gamer centric as its predecessor Lenovo Y700. Of course it still is adorned with muscle lines on the lid and isolated ridges on its left and right sides, but the brightly lit raspberry speakers (now has Harman speakers with plenty on volume to spare) that adorned its predecessor corners were excluded. (Lenovo must have traded those off to cut down on costs)
So what’s left you ask? Well Lenovo still maintained the futuristic floating theme of the display which while I initially thought a little corny, turned out to be a piped-dream-design come true. The display is sill 15.6-inch LED-backlit In-Plane Switching (IPS) with Full HD (1,920-by-1,080) resolution which is common for this price range. It shares this feature some of its competition such as the MSI GT83VR 18 inch See at Amazon and Alienware 17R4. But should you ever consider higher screen display resolution the Razor Blade Pro (2016) and Dell Inspiron 15 7000 See at Amazon offer a stunning 3840 x 2160 resolution.
A general feel of the Lenovo Y520 size is that it is a fairly svelte machine; relatively light compared to the industry rivals. While 5.28 lbs is not exactly ultraportable it isn’t nerve wracking weight to bare for a gaming laptop (the bearable weight limit for gaming laptops continues to be stretched further thanks to hernia-inducing rigs such as the Alienware 17R4’s See at Amazon (7.1 lbs) and Origin PC Eon17-SLX 10 Series’See at Amazon (12.8 lbs). Carrying it on your back feels no much different than carrying the Lenovo IdeaPad Y700 (5.72 lbs) or ASUS ROG STRIX GL702VM-DS74 See at Amazon (6 lbs).
Lenovo Legion Y520 80WK00FHUS’s small frame doesn’t stop it from hosting a complete set of ports. The port system is healthy and we didn’t have any bone to pick with it. The left side packs the Ethernet jack, headphone jack, power port and a single USB 2.0 port. Meanwhile the right side has two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot for all your extra storage needs, HDMI connection and a USB-C port to grace it all; a complete array if you will.
- 2x USB 3.0
- 1x USB 2.0
- 1x USB-C 3.1 (Gen 1)
- LED keyboard backlight
- SD card reader
- 5 mm combo audio jack
LAN 10/100/1000 Mbps, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
It’s no hoax, good hardware is essential on a gaming laptop, and the Lenovo Y520 80WK00FHUS delivers in that regard. Its four core 2.5 GHz (3.1GHz on turbo) Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor is a premium end part of Intel’s new 2017 notebooks based on the Kaby Lake architecture. The processor works impressively with the 16GB of RAM and 4GB NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti graphics power. Storage comes by way of 256 GB SSD but should that be enough there is a configuration that has 128 GB SSD and 1TB HDD.
The GPU is of course a notable improvement from the Lenovo Y700’s Nvidia GTX 960M which supported longer battery life. The graphics card made the laptop appropriate for all those with a penchant for graphics with better performance than the common integrated graphics could offer; but nothing too expensive or fancy as the Nvidia 970M and 980M GPUs.
The Pascal architecture Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti is relatively a big step up for Lenovo in the AAA gaming cycle. It manages to play most games on medium settings and excellently on low settings. We put the Y520 through our gaming test to check for its strengths and soft spots. Resident Evil 7 2017 registered great scores (68.5 fps) on high 1920 x 1080 settings and 126 fps on medium settings.
- Watch Dogs 2 2016 72.1 fps on medium settings/81.4 fps on low settings
- Dishonored 2 2016 72.3 fps on medium settings/ 86.8 fps on low settings
- Call of Duty Infinite warfare (2016) 66 fps on high settings
KEYBOARD AND TRACKPAD
Owing to the fact that Lenovo reigns in the premium business laptop category, I expected no unsightly keyboard or feature. Everything was sparkly, appealing and up to standard. The wrist rest is plentiful, keypad sizable and keyboard matte black with red accents to adorn it. The RGB lighting mark the edges of each key making a glorious display of red with the WASD keys brightly leading the pack. Lenovo doesn’t officially mention anything about the keyboard being spill resistant, so a little care won’t hurt you?
The keyboard that provides 1.7 mm of key travel for accurate typing and responsive keystrokes whether churning out long emails or just for those late night gaming sessions. The keys don’t click with a snap while gaming as they aren’t mechanical but they still however provide a great gaming experience.
The touchpad is similarly responsive and reliable. It is slightly sunken but has a soft feel to it and no resistance when the finger glides through.
The battery is not as remarkable as the Lenovo ThinkPad T460 See at Amazon but does give you a half day advantage (optimistically thinking). You get 5 hours 46 minutes to work before you get to find an outlet. It shares similar battery specs as the Acer Predator 15 See at Amazon (5 hours). The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 See at Amazon is exceptional here and clearly beats it out of the water – with a whooping 11 hours.
Lenovo Legion Y520 (80WK00FHUS) Gaming Laptop Review: Specs
- Screen Size 15.6 inches
- Panel Type IPS
- Max Screen Resolution 1920×1080 pixels
- Processor 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5-7300HQ
- RAM 8 GB DDR4
- Graphics NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti
- Graphics Card Ram Size 4 GB
- Number of USB 2.0 Ports 1
- Number of USB 3.0 Ports 2
- Average Battery Life (hrs) 5 hours
- Item model number 80WK00FHUS
- Operating System Windows 10 Home
- Item Weight 5.28 pounds
- Product Dimensions 15 x 1 x 10.4 inches
- Processor Brand Intel
- Processor Count 4
- Flash Memory Size 256 GB SSD
- Optical Drive Type None
- Batteries 1 Lithium Polymer batteries
Judging from changes made from the predecessor (Lenovo Y700), like inclusion of the future proof USB Type-C port, great design and battery; the refresh is a success. However, the Lenovo Legion Y520 80WK00FHUS See at Amazon doesn’t have quit as good a battery as its predecessor (or Dell Inspiron 15 7000 for that matter –manages 11 hours of life).
Even so, there still is plenty to love; I’m looking at premium hardware, great performance and a new name to go with. It might not be the best bargain compared to the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 See at Amazon which dominates for more than one reason, but has a reasonable amount of features to challenge it. It’s pricing is more than Dell’s by a few hundred bucks, but the Y520 compensates that with retro aesthetics and a reliable system that won’t disappoint you.