A Gaming Laptop With ThinkPad DNA

Lenovo Legion Y740.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

The Lenovo Legion Y740 is a gaming on laptop that looks like it could be a giant ThinkPad. The slate gray aluminum lid is plain and mostly unadorned. The only design element here is the Legion branding stamped on the side, but there’s also an illuminated Legion logo hidden in the letter ‘O’ should you want an added bit of flair (the vents at the side light up as well, which is pretty cool).

However, while I appreciate the simple design, the laptop can also feel a bit dated. Its keyboard and trackpad give the impression that they’re from a laptop that came out several years ago. There’s nothing wrong with them per se, but the Windows Precision trackpad feels small and cramped and the fonts look like they could have used a more modern alternative. What’s more, Lenovo is still using physical buttons on the trackpad. In comparison, the Razer Blade 15 is also minimalist, but feels very modern.

It’s the details that matter, and I think Lenovo could also have done away with the angled sides around the keyboard and the round power button at the center. In addition, it’d have been nice if the keyboard wasn’t framed by so much empty space; there could have been more efficient utilization of the available room.

I’m nitpicking here though, and the Legion Y740 is still overall a pretty good laptop. Build quality feels solid, and while there’s some flex around the keyboard, you have to push down quite hard to notice it. There is 1.7mm of key travel distance and the backlighting is reasonably vibrant, but the typing experience is otherwise unremarkable.

The laptop also ships with Corsair’s iCUE software, which offers a range of lighting presets to choose from. There is support for per-key customizations as well, should you want to create something more unique. On top of that, you can adjust the lighting on the logo and side vents independently.

Elsewhere, the 15.6-inch display is framed by thin bezels on three sides, which helps reduce the overall space footprint of the laptop. I’d expect nothing less from a gaming laptop released in 2019 though, especially one at this price point. That said, the bottom bezel is still rather chunky, and it’s where Lenovo has stowed the webcam, a placement that honestly isn’t great as it makes for seriously unflattering camera angles.

The display itself is a 144Hz IPS panel with support for NVIDIA G-Sync. The inclusion of G-Sync definitely helps the Legion Y740 score some points against the competition, since there are pricier laptops with no support for that.

As with many gaming laptops, the display was a little on the dim side, and I had to run it at maximum brightness to feel comfortable under bright florescent lighting. There was also a cooler tint to the screen, but colors otherwise appeared vibrant.

The speakers are a Dolby Atmos-capable system that sit at the bottom on the left and right sides. Generallyspeaking, large top-firing units sound better, but these 2-watt speakers are powerful and definitely loud enough with not much distortion. I was surprised by how good the speakers sounded, and you can probably ditch the headphones if you’re watching a movie. That said, you’ll still want to put them on in-game where positional accuracy and maximum clarity is more important.

The laptop is equipped with a decent selection of ports and connectors, distributed across the sides and back. In total, it features one Thunderbolt 3, one USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A, two USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A, one Mini DisplayPort 1.4, and one HDMI 2.0 port. In addition, there is a Gigabit Ethernet jack located at the back, alongside the display outputs and two USB ports. The inclusion of Thunderbolt 3 is great, as for some reason it still isn’t yet a standard feature on many gaming laptops.

Performance-wise, the Legion Y740 is fast and competitive, mostly holding its own against other similarly configured laptops. However, it’s the cooling performance that’s pretty impressive. I’m not talking about CPU or GPU temperatures, but rather how cool the palm rests remain throughout.

Lenovo says that it improved the cooling system for this generation of laptops, and it shows. The laptop pulls in air through large openings at the bottom and dumps hot air out generous vents at the sides and back. It calls this system Coldfront, and it also comprises a dual-channel thermal management design, with dedicated cooling for both the CPU and GPU.

My Reading Room
No-nonsense gaming laptop that will run anything at 1080p.
My Reading Room
Some of the connectors are located at the back as well.
My Reading Room