Lenovo Legion Y720: Design, Build Quality and Features
Lenovo employs aluminum and plastic for the chassis on the Legion Y720. The aluminum parts have a brushed cross-hatch pattern that gives it a carbon fiber-like appearance. The lid is finished with a stylized Y logo that lights up red. The finish on the machine is smooth to the touch and gives the Legion Y720 a positive first impression.
There’re zero ports on the back-side of the Legion Y720, which lets it maintain a slim physique for portability, but prevents clean, hidden-cable installations for desktop-replacement users. The back of the Legion Y720 resembles a subdued fighter-jet with exhaust vents on each side. Lenovo finishes the heatsink fins in red, which gives it a slick look behind the black grille. We dig the exterior looks of the Lenovo Legion Y720 with its carbon fiber-like appearance and red accents.
The red and black theme continues when you open the Legion Y720. Lenovo goes a little overboard with red speaker grilles and a red outline around the touch pad. We’d prefer Lenovo forego the red speaker grilles and stick to a simpler and stealthier appearance. Nevertheless, a pair of JBL-tuned speakers reside beneath the red grilles.
The 4K IPS display is gorgeous, but it’s a little dim. We had to crank the brightness to around 80-percent of the way to get it to the 115-lux necessary for our battery tests. However, it isn’t a major issue if you only use the Legion Y720 in your home. You may run into issues using it in brighter, public environments, however.
Key spacing on the main keys feels like a full-size desktop keyboard, but the adjacent number pad is smaller. Since the main keys are more frequently used than the number pad, this is the preferred trade-off. Unfortunately, it’s a standard membrane keyboard without much travel so each keystroke feels a little mushy. I could achieve a brisk 91 wpm in a typing test, compared to 98 wpm on my Logitech G910.
There’s four lighting zones on the keyboard, which are configurable via the Lenovo Nerve Sense app. Color options are limited to the 19 predefined colors and not the full RGB color range, like gaming notebooks from Alienware, ASUS, MSI and Razer. Lenovo supports five different effect options – breath, heartbeat, smooth, wave, and always on, but is missing a gaming effect that highlights the WASD keys, unfortunately.
Moving around the left side reveals your basic Kensington lock, power connector, Ethernet port, USB 3.0 and headset audio jack. The right side contains USB-C with Thunderbolt 3.0 support, mini-DisplayPort, a pair of USB 3.0 ports and HDMI output. The dual display outputs are a nice touch for those that want to use the Legion Y720 with dual monitors or a second display and VR headset.
Not pictured is the integrated Xbox One wireless receiver within the Legion Y720. The integrated receiver lets you connect all Xbox One controllers without the need for the bulky USB dongle – if you’re inclined to use a game controller for PC gaming. It’s a thoughtful addition if you already have an older Wi-Fi direct Xbox One controller, but the new controllers you can buy support Bluetooth.
Popping off the lower cover requires removing 11 Philips-head screws. Beneath the cover is access to the m.2 SSD, slim 2.5-inch HDD, and memory expansion. The memory slots are covered by a metal shield that easily pops off. The Legion Y720’s cooling system is well thought out with a single heat-pipe shared between the CPU and GPU, second independent heat-pipes for each, and dual cooling fans. We didn’t encounter any cooling issues during our time with the Legion Y720, so the cooling system does its job well.