Lenovo Legion 9i Packs An RTX 4090 Into A Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop With AI Smarts

Open and angled Lenovo Legion i9 gaming laptop on a desk.
Lenovo has a new flagship gaming laptop—Legion 9i (16", Gen 8)— and at least on paper, it leaves little to be desired. It's also the first 16-inch laptop in the Legion lineage, and the only one in the world to boast a self-contained liquid cooling system, which Cooler Master helped design. And that's all just the tip of the spec sheet.

The 16-inch form factor is growing in popularity, offering gamers a wee bit more physical screen real estate than the crop of 15.6-inch laptops without stepping up to a bigger and bulkier 17.3-inch form factor. Lenovo choosing a 16-inch display for its top laptop is noteworthy in and of itself, and it's made far more interesting with the decision to equip it with a 3.2K (3200x2000) mini LED panel. That's a higher resolution than HP's Transcend 16 with a mini LED option (2560x1600).

One of the big advantages of mini LED over regular LED is that it has the potential to crank up the brightness to new levels—an eye-searing 1,200 nits, in this case. It also allows for finer grain control of where to light up a scene, which can offer a better picture and help mitigate blooming.

Front open and angled view of Lenovo's Legion 9i gaming laptop on a gray gradient background.

The 16-inch mini LED display doesn't compromise on speed or image quality, according to Lenovo's specifications. It rocks a 165Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time, while offering 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 and Adobe color spaces. Other features include G-Sync validation, Dolby Vision support, and DisplayHDR 1000 certification. Note that there are multiple display options, so not all of these traits will apply across the board.

Moving on to the core hardware, the latest Legion 9i packs a 13th Generation Intel Core i9-13980HX processor (8C/24T, up to 5.6GHz, 36MB L3 cache) with up to a GeForce RTX 4090 mobile GPU (150W + 25W, 2,370MHz boost clock), 64GB of DDR5-5600 or 32GB of DDR5-6400 RAM, and up to a 2TB PCIe 4 NVMe solid state drive. Fully loaded, this thing has the potential to run circles around some high-end desktops.

The big challenge with laptops, and gaming laptops in particular, is tackling thermals to stave off throttling for as long as possible. That's where the liquid cooling solution comes into play.

"The system— co-engineered with Cooler Master—runs over the GPU VRAM to manage heat under extreme gaming sessions, turning on when the GPU hits 84°C to cool the GPU back down. Coupled with the AI-tuned, triple-fan air-cooling system with 6,333 individual intake vents, the Lenovo Legion 9i (16”, Gen 8) stays cool even under the most grueling of gaming and content creation sessions," Lenovo claims.

Angle view of the patterned lid on Lenovo's Legion 9i gaming laptop on a gray gradient background.

To account for the added weight of the cooling system, Lenovo said it designed a new A-cover made from forged carbon chips. This has the dual benefit of giving each Legion 9i (16" Gen 8) a unique pattern so that no two laptops look identical.

Speaking of AI smarts, they extend beyond the cooling. Lenovo's flagship laptop wields an LA-2 chip with a Smart FPS feature with a direct line to the display. It uses that line to track your FPS and automatically adjust power to the CPU and GPU as needed, for maximum performance.

"The Lenovo LA-2 AI chip also syncs the Legion Spectrum RGB present in strips around the keyboard and bottom covers, on the top cover’s Legion wordmark, and in the per-key RGB Lenovo TrueStrike keyboard with visuals on the screen—truly immersing the gamer in the on-screen experience. Furthermore, Tobii Horizon software provides gearless head tracking that gives players an extra level of immersion when playing their favorite games," Lenovo adds.

Closed right-side view of Lenovo's Legion 9i gaming laptop on a gray gradient background.

Wireless connectivity is served by a 2x2 Intel Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.1 adapter. As for I/O, the Legion 9i (16" Gen 8) serves up a 3.5mm combo audio jack and SD card reader 3.0 on the left side; USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, and an e-shutter button on the right side; and USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, two Thunderbolt 4 ports with DisplayPort and 140W power delivery, HDMI 2.1, Ethernet, and a power-in port on the rear.

It also features a pair of 2W speakers with Nahimic audio and a 99.99WHr battery. This all comes packed in a chassis that measures 14.08 x 10.98 x 0.74-0.89 inches and weighs 5.64 pounds.

All this decadence comes with a premium price—Lenovo says you'll be able to order the Legion 9i (16" Gen 8) in October starting at $4,399.
Tags:  Lenovo, Laptops, AI, legion 9i