The latest Lenovo Legion Y530 and Y730 notebooks can be described as hybrids between previous Legion models and ThinkPads. No large stylized vents or angular edges highlighted with colors. They are simply black and gray, and even the Legion logo on the hood is relatively unobtrusive. The most striking aspect of the design is the advanced positioning of the hinge with respect to the rear edge which allows a better cooling with the rear and side ventilation vents. This has also made it possible to move the majority of ports backwards, so you do not have a tangle of cords on the sides if you plug in external devices.
However, although the Y530 and Y730 look similar at first glance, there are some significant differences. The Y530 is mostly plastic and the backlight of the keyboard is white. The Legion Y730 is the premium model with a full aluminum chassis and RGB lighting for keypad, fan vents, side ports and logo. The lighting is fully programmable, down to the individual key colors thanks to the included software. There is also an extra row of keys on the left side of the keyboard for custom macros.
Although the Y730 also has slightly better memory and storage options as well as a better display than the Y530, the processor and graphics options are the same: Intel Core i7-8750H or i5-8300H eighth generation and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 or GTX 1050 Ti graphics card.
In France, Lenovo offers two versions of the Y730:
- The Core i5 -8300H model, 8GB, 1TB + 256GB SSD, Nvidia GTX 1050Ti (4GB) to 1.199 euros;
- The model Core i7-8750H, 8GB, 1TB + 256GB SSD, Nvidia GTX 1050Ti (4GB) to 1.199 euros to 1.399 euros.
If having good gaming performance now and in the future is crucial, you will need at least one Nvidia GTX 1060. However, if you do not mind downgrading your video settings a bit, the Legion Y730 offers excellent value for money.
Keyboard is the key option
The keyboard and its lighting system are certainly the most interesting differentiating element compared to the Legion Y530. Having 16 million customizable color combinations at your fingertips is a lot of fun and very useful.
The included Corsair iCue software makes it easy to set the key colors individually or in groups by using the cursor to draw a circle around them. You can choose from predefined patterns or configure your own patterns and save them to apply them to a specific game, for example.
Another application is used to configure custom macros for the six-key row on the left side of the keyboard. It is also easy to use. However, the location of these macro keys slightly shifts the entire keyboard to the right which, for those who write a lot, may require a time of adaptation. Moreover, the flexibility of the keys is very pleasant for long sessions of play but again frustrating for typing.
The touchpad is responsive but unusually small for a 15.6-inch laptop. It incorporates mouse buttons, which is a good thing, but like the keyboard, they are a little soft. Fortunately, the generous connectivity allows you to connect other peripherals when needed.
- Left side
- 1 USB-C Thunderbolt 3;
- 3.5 mm audio connector.
- Right side
- 1 USB 3.1;
- Novo Hole.
- In back
- 2 USB 3.1;
- 1 RJ45;
- 1 mini DisplayPort;
- 1 HDMI 2.0;
- Kensington lock slot.
The 15.6-inch 1.920×1.080-pixel matte screen is ideal for gaming, photos, and video. It is brighter and has a better color than the Y530's screen. Lenovo also scores points with thin borders. But this is paid at the location of the webcam in the lower part of the screen, which gives an unflattering angle when it is used in video conferencing.
With a full HD resolution and high settings on older games like BioShock Infinite and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the result is quite satisfying, although the latter is more fluid with intermediate graphics settings. Ditto for Battlefield 1 and Strange Brigade. For anything that is graphically demanding, you will want to stay in this intermediate mode.
The sessions of PUBG and Fortnite went very well. So, if you're just looking for a nice gaming laptop to watch for your break during work or school breaks, this setup is enough.
As we know, autonomy is not the strong point of PCs for players. The Legion Y730 is pretty mediocre in this area with only 2:49 to our endurance test. The Y530 did a lot better with 7 hours.
The Lenovo Legion Y730 is essentially a Y530 with an aluminum chassis, a screen and a keyboard better bill for 200 euros more. Its design is the one we enjoyed most this year on an entry-level gaming notebook. Although it is thin and light for this type of machine, we appreciate the fact of being able to connect a screen, a mouse or an external keyboard from the back without encumbering cables on the sides. However, if graphics matter to you more than design, you'll be better served with the Legion Y530's Nvidia GTX 1060 card or turning to another option such as Dell's 15-inch G5.