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(Pocket-lint) – Lenovo’s line of gaming laptops got a refresh in 2022, and one of the most exciting new additions is the Legion Slim 7i Gen 7 – a bit of a hard name to pronounce, but a laptop with a completely new design.
Compared to heavier options in the Legion series, the Slim 7i aims to reduce weight and provide a more portable gaming experience. We’ve had it for a few weeks, so here’s how it works.
It’s a complex question to classify a gaming laptop that has obviously made some compromises to lose weight and keep things slim. On the one hand, the Legion Slim 7i is a winner, with a profile that makes it far more portable than many options on the market.
The screen looks great, you get solid power, and you don’t need to buy a case to move it around. That said, the downside is that you get a bit less power than most comparably priced laptops, so you’re paying a bit more for the slim build.
We think that means it’s a niche proposition, but for those who want a capable and truly portable gaming laptop, it’s certainly a worthy new contender.
Lenovo Legion Slim 7i Gen 7 review: An easier way to play
- Impressive in its lightness
- Its solid performance
- Its big screen.
- very hot
- Compromises with weight
- Not exactly an ultrabook.
- Weight from 2.05 kg
- 16.9mm x 357.7mm x 256mm
- A bulky power block
When you read 2.05 kg, you might think that this is not a really light laptop, and you’d be right. The Legion Slim 7i might not be the lightest laptop on the market, but it’s significantly lighter than most gaming PCs of this size, which is the most important thing.
So while it can’t compete with a MacBook Air, the latter also can’t offer an RTX 3060, which is like comparing apples and oranges.
The thing is, we think Lenovo has done a pretty solid job of keeping the weight down here, resulting in a laptop that isn’t exactly a liquid cloud, but nonetheless feels great slipped into a backpack or bag. , especially if you don’t need to take its Power Brick with you.
Of course, most of the time this is what you have to do, which adds extra weight. But it’s hard to avoid these drawbacks if you want your laptop to perform well.
Design-wise, we really like the Slim 7i – it’s very understated when it comes to gaming laptops. Our light gray model is one of two options, the other is dark gray.
Either way, this is a laptop that at first glance could be a productivity machine, minus the usual external RGB matrices and gamer logos. It is of course also very thin, as the name suggests.
On closer inspection, it’s obvious this is a powerhouse thanks to the ventilation and solid base, but we can’t think of many gaming laptops we’ve tested that look better than this, which is fair impressive for Lenovo.
Keyboard and trackpad
- Full size keyboard with numeric keypad
- Good key trip
- Backlighting can be customized
Lenovo has an excellent reputation when it comes to keyboards, which it richly deserves, and thankfully that translates to the Legion Slim 7i. The key travel is enough to be satisfying for both gaming and writing, but it’s also nice and easy to use.
The backlight can be adjusted for night sessions and the keyboard is full-sized with a numeric keypad for those who want to be sure to have all the options at their fingertips.
It won’t revolutionize the industry, but it’s a really solid keyboard, and it’s more than some competitors can sometimes offer.
As for the trackpad, things are a bit mediocre – not to say it’s bad, but nothing to rave about. The pad isn’t huge and sits on the left side of the laptop, which we found a bit odd.
It is centered relative to the part of your keyboard with letters, but this offsets it from the screen. While most people won’t mind this, we found it bothered us a bit when trying to work or play.
Speaking of gaming, you still won’t be playing an FPS or fast-paced title using this trackpad unless you have no other choice, but it’s great for work and browsing and can even run at home. rigor if you need it a strategy game or something.
Ports and functions
- Ports: 1x Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB-C, 2x USB-A, HDMI 2.1, SD card, 3.5mm aux jack.
- Harmon Kardon speakers
- 71 or 99 Wh battery capacity, fast charging
Lenovo hasn’t skimped on the ports side either, with a wide range of useful sockets on offer. In particular, there is a full-size HDMI 2.1 port, compatible with the latest features of monitors and televisions, which is a good way to prepare for the future.
It’s on the back of the laptop, on the little shelf that hangs behind the hinge where the screen rotates, and you’ll also find the power plug there, as well as a couple of USB-A ports for the accessories and connections that still use an old gate.
On the left side of the laptop is a Thunderbolt 4 port as well as a normal USB-C option, so this side can accommodate most modern connections at no extra cost, while the right side adds a headphone jack, a software block for webcam and an SD – full size card slot, ideal for professionals.
This is a very healthy package in our opinion and we never wished there was an extra port on the machine.
This webcam switch brings us to the laptop’s camera, which is a surprisingly capable 1080p lens that may not be the best on the market, but is better than we’d expect from a gaming laptop. This means that it can function very well as a working machine when needed.
The laptop’s speakers are stereo, supplied by Harmon Kardon and again credible enough without being something you’d rely on for actual gaming. They are good for watching a little TV, but headphones are best in most cases.
Lenovo has provided two battery options, 71 or 99Wh depending on your choice, but both support impressive fast charging that gets you back to half the battery capacity in just 30 minutes, a very welcome touch.
That said, when you’re gaming, you’ll only get a few hours if you’re using something very power-hungry, so as always with gaming laptops, it’s good to remember to bring your charger.
Display and performance
- 16-inch, 2560 x 1600 IPS display
- 165Hz refresh rate
- Intel Core i7-12700H
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU
Of course, when evaluating a gaming laptop, there are two important factors that outweigh the above discussion: how do games look on the laptop and how do they perform?
The Legion Slim 7i can be outfitted with several different 16-inch IPS displays or the more expensive Mini LED version, and while the latter choice will likely look great at a hefty cost, the IPS options are truly impressive to behold.
They’re nice and bright, with vivid colors and a resolution of 2560 x 1600 and a refresh rate of 165Hz means that if you can set your games right, you can expect really smooth control and performance, which can give you an edge in online gaming.
The model we tested was equipped with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 portable GPU, which means it’s capable of delivering great performance, although we found it struggled at the highest resolutions available.
In highly optimized games like Valorant, we were able to easily take advantage of refresh rates of several hundred pixels, allowing us to play very quickly without any lag. In Call of Duty: Warzone, we were forced to drastically reduce the settings and resolution to achieve a speed of 120FPS.
That said, 120FPS is a lofty goal, and if you just land around the 60FPS mark so coveted by console gamers, you’ll be able to enjoy far more impressive lighting and detail while gaming.
Our device was powered by a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H processor, and we found it more than adequate to run things smoothly, including when multitasking and playing a game in a window for a while. Another downloader in the background.
The Lenovo Legion Slim 7i is an impressive gaming laptop that really doesn’t weigh a ton, although the lightweight construction does come with some performance trade-offs. It has a great screen and is still a very solid option for gaming on the go.
Written by Max Freeman-Mills. Edited by Verity Burns.