Lenovo LEGION Y540 Review: A good gaming device with an RTX 2060 graphics card

To really appreciate how far the Legion brand has progressed over the previous couple of years, it is necessary to pause and contemplate for a few minutes in solitude. However, while the Lenovo Y510P did not even receive the Legion logo, devices starting with the Lenovo Legion Y520 started to receive it.

In the next year, the Legion Y530 received a much-deserved facelift, as well as a large Legion badge on the top cover.

Lenovo India Executive Director Shailendra Katyal stated in a recent speech that the company has just recently began to take the Legion brand seriously, stating that it has only been around a year or so. In fact, Lenovo’s newest model, the Legion Y540, is a clear example of this.

The Lenovo Legion Y540, which replaces the Lenovo Legion Y530 from last year, is a simple update of the previous model rather than an entirely new design from the ground up. The Legion Y540, on the other hand, is equipped with high-quality components on the inside:

The base model, which is almost Rs 6,500 less than last year’s model, is powered by an Intel 9th Generation Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM.

It is powered by an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card with 4GB of video RAM, which is responsible for the visuals. Storage is handled by a 256GB PCIe NVMe solid-state drive, which works in conjunction with a 1TB mechanical hard disc. The Lenovo Legion Y540 is priced at Rs 76,990 (about). Let’s take a look at how it performed in our evaluation.

Performance

Let’s get right into it with the performance. However, while the Lenovo Legion Y540 is available in a variety of configurations starting at Rs 76,990, the machine we got for testing was the top-of-the-line model, which costs around Rs 1,27,150 (according to Lenovo India’s online configurator).

It was powered by an Intel Core i7-9750H processor with 16GB of RAM, as well as an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card with 6GB of dedicated video memory. One terabyte of storage was provided in the form of a Samsung PCIe NVMe solid-state drive. Users who want to increase their storage capacity have the option of installing a 2.5-inch hard drive.

The Legion Y540 review unit delivered remarkable performance on a day-to-day basis. It was unable to detect any latency or stuttering when running numerous instances of common software such as Google Chrome and OneNote on multiple virtual desktops.

Word and Excel were also unaffected by the increased workload of the gaming laptop. Moving between slightly heavier applications such as Adobe Lightroom Classic and Epic Games Launcher went without a hitch and without any issues. The download of many games at the same time went well as well.

When it came to our CPU and GPU benchmark tests, the review unit performed admirably. The review unit scored 5889 points on PCMark 8’s Conventional Creative test, which is much higher than the average score we’ve observed in the past in the same area.

For comparison, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M GU502, which was just released, received 3952 points in the same test as well. The review unit received scores of 3462 and 5749 on 3DMark’s Fire Strike Ultra and Time Spy tests, respectively.

The Zephyrus M GU502, on the other hand, received scores of 3005 and 5281 in the same two tests, according to the results of the tests.

Gaming

On the Legion Y540, which is powered by an RTX 2060 graphics card, gaming in native Full HD quality was a great experience. When played on the review unit, Doom ran at Ultra graphics settings (the highest available in any game, according to our definition) with an average frame rate of 140 frames per second, which is on the verge of exceeding the maximum refresh rate of the 144Hz LCD display.

When we played the same game on High graphics settings (the second highest available in any game, according to our definition), we saw a frame rate of 141 frames per second, which meant there was virtually no difference between them.

According to the Metro Exodus benchmarking tool, we received an average frame rate of 42 frames per second for Ultra and 52 frames per second for High.

It’s worth mentioning that we did not consider the ‘Extreme’ graphics level in Metro Exodus to be Ultra in our testing because the game’s makers state that there is minimal visual difference between the two settings.

While Battlefield V performed at an average frame rate of 83 frames per second on Ultra, it increased by a further 10 frames per second when played on High.

Apex Legends operated with a decent average frame rate of 98 frames per second on Ultra and at a respectable average frame rate of 104 frames per second on High. The benchmarking tool in Shadow of the Tomb Raider produced a score of 71 frames per second for Ultra and 80 frames per second for High settings on the game’s computer.

On Ultra, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice managed an average frame rate of 72 frames per second, which increased to a minimal 75 frames per second on High, a significant improvement over the previous game.

Although Crysis 3 operated at an average frame rate of 79 frames per second on Ultra, the game exhibited an average frame rate of 115 frames per second on High, which is a significant increase.

On the Legion Y540 evaluation unit, the gameplay was enjoyable regardless of whether or not ray tracing was used. I was able to complete all of the aforementioned games without encountering any noticeable latency or stuttering during the process.

The frame clock in games like Doom was effectively stuck at 144 frames per second between cutscenes, which were of course displayed at 60 frames per second.

Heat and noise were also kept under control. While the underneath and back vents of the laptop became rather warm (on average, 49 degrees Celsius) during gaming sessions, there was no evidence of this heat near the WASD keys themselves (38 degrees Celsius on average).

When a game was being played in a quiet conference room, the two fans could be heard (about 60dB), but they weren’t so loud that they interfered with my enjoyment of the game.

Display, audio, and input/output (IO)

The Legion Y540 is equipped with a 15.6-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD resolution and a refresh rate of 144 frames per second. Approximately 300 nits of brightness may be achieved, and the display is capable of reproducing 72 percent of the colours in the sRGB colour space.

In my opinion, the display is sharp and colourful, making it ideal for online surfing, reading, and other forms of content consumption. To summarise, you will not be disappointed with the display of the Legion Y540, whether you are gaming or working on it.

The sound produced by the Legion Y540’s two front-firing speakers, which are angled, is surprisingly impressive. However, in a loud workplace cubicle, the maximum volume is insufficient for watching a brief film while relaxing in the bedroom.

It’s preferable to invest in a nice pair of gaming headphones or speakers for everyday content consumption rather than a smartphone. Having said that, while viewing video game trailers, the voices and highs from the two drivers can be plainly heard effectively. Interestingly, the low frequencies make it through without seeming muffled.

It shares the same ports as its predecessor: ports on the sides and rear of the device. On the left side of the device, we can see a USB-A 3.1 connector as well as a single 3.5mm audio socket for use with headphones. A single USB-A 3.1 port is located on the right side of the device.

USB-C and Mini DisplayPort connectors are located on the rear, which is a less-than-ideal location for ports, as is the proprietary power connector. There are also full-size HDMI ports, LAN ports, and the proprietary power connector.

A Kensington lock hole is also included in case you need to secure the item in any way. However, while Lenovo’s port variety is adequate, the location of the ports is less than ideal. In addition, a fingerprint scanner would have been a nice addition.

Keyboard and touchpad

When it comes to the Legion Y540’s keyboard, it’s a bit of a mixed bag in that the keys are large and easy to read, but they’re not particularly comfortable to type on for extended periods of time.

Because of the number pad, the flat, white-backlit keys feel more left-aligned than they normally would. Furthermore, the keys have a short travel distance and do not provide the appropriate level of resistance.

As a result, you end up making a lot of typographical errors. While this is the case, they are sufficient for gaming and short documents. RGB backlight enthusiasts will be disappointed to learn that there is only a single white colour available. On the plus side, every row of keys, including the top-most one, is substantial in size.

According to Lenovo (APAC) Category Head Clifford Chong, who was in attendance at the launch of the new Legion gaming laptops last month, the Legion Y540 has a new keyboard unit that is more comfortable to use.

The new Legion Y530 keyboard, in contrast to the previous Legion Y530, includes anti-ghosting technology on all of the keys. “While the external appearance of the Y540 is the same as the previous model, we have concentrated on the internals this time around,” Chong explained in an interview with Digit.

The touchpad on the Legion Y540 is a breeze to use and has a large number of buttons. It has a large enough surface area to accommodate clicks, taps, and swipes. The plain matte-finish surface is grippy but not sticky, which is exactly what you want in a touchpad, and it works perfectly.

Because it is a precision unit, the touchpad is capable of accepting multi-finger gestures without the need for any third-party drivers or utilities to be installed. Because of this, switching between applications and virtual desktops is a cinch. Because there are two independent left and right mouse buttons, pressing them at first may be difficult, but you will get used to it over time.

Build and Design

The Legion Y540, without a doubt, builds on the subtle, elegant design of its forerunner. Interestingly enough, it’s the exact same body as the Legion Y530’s body. There is, however, one tiny but significant difference in the new model. Lenovo has removed the tiny Lenovo logo from the rear overhang of the top cover and placed it inside on the palmrest of the keyboard island.

This is clearly a move aimed at promoting the Legion brand over Lenovo’s own. It’s Lenovo’s reticent, low-cost effort towards making gamers and potential buyers remember ‘Legion’ better as a mainstream gaming brand.

All that said, the Legion Y540 looks good and feels sturdy when held. The top cover is made of serrated plastic but it feels quite strong when the lid is held. There’s little flex while opening or closing the lid and using the keyboard.

The overhang behind the display hinges is long enough to be used as a handle but you might not want to do that, unless you’re the type to live life dangerously. At 2.3 kilogrammes, the Legion Y540 is quite heavy in the hands. The weight of the laptop can be felt when you’re carrying it around in a bag or in your hands.

On the inside, we see a 15.6-inch matte-finish LCD panel with really slim black bezels on three sides. The bottom bezel is large and home to a single camera, which is sure to expose your nostrils in a video call. The display folds back all the way to 180 degrees, which we don’t get to see on a lot of gaming laptops.

All things considered, the Legion Y540 enjoys a clean look and robust build for a device of its price. I only wish the top cover were metallic in construction. Lenovo has purposely designed the new Legion series to seem quiet and unobtrusive in a throng of other gaming computers and I think the Legion Y540 succeeds in accomplishing so.

Battery

The 52.5Wh three-cell internal battery on the Legion Y540 is the poorest I have seen on a gaming laptop yet. On our typical battery benchmark test, the review unit scored a mediocre 1 hour, 46 minutes. In regular use conditions (where Wi-Fi and Bluetooth were enabled and the screen was set to 70 percent brightness), the review unit’s battery went from full charge to 63 percent in around 51 minutes.

During these test sessions, I opened and browsed on numerous tabs on Chrome and copied certain files. During another similar session, the battery fell from full charge to 21 percent in around two hours. Charging the laptop back up took close to two hours.

In the preinstalled Lenovo Vantage software in Windows 10 is an option called Hybrid Mode, which enables the laptop use the integrated Intel graphics processor when operating on batteries. Using the integrated graphics card instead of the separate Nvidia chip saves electricity.

So, while I completed the aforementioned tests with Hybrid Mode turned off, I used the review device with it switched on as well. The battery lost roughly 24 percent of its full charge in half an hour, which possibly a slight improvement.

What’s more, I observed stutters in window animations every now and again. In short, the Legion Y540 is unsuitable for you if you’re intending to work unplugged for extended hours.

Verdict

The Lenovo Legion Y540 is a well-built, elegantly designed, and competent gaming laptop that does its predecessor proud. If you’re in the market for an RTX 2060-powered gaming laptop that costs roughly Rs 1,30,000, then you needn’t look any further.

The Legion Y540 is capable of running new AAA titles with a surprising amount of calmness and efficiency. Its advantages include a high-quality display and sound, a simple physical design, and a snappy touchpad, among others.

However, this does not imply that the Legion Y540 is without problems. To begin with, it might have been offered at a more reasonable price. The price of Rs 1,30,000 for an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card, and 1TB of solid-state storage appears to be a couple of tens of thousands of rupees too high.

Furthermore, the laptop is made of plastic and does not have a metal shell, a comfy keyboard, or a powerful battery. We rate the Lenovo Legion Y540 as a winner, despite the fact that it has several drawbacks.

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