Outside of the iconic office Thinkpad, Lenovo has also been hard at work keeping their gaming-oriented Legion brand competitive among a rising number of formidable peers, and has found success with fans and critics alike. While there’s an Intel version also available, this seventh-generation Legion Slim 7 Gaming Laptop is an all-AMD affair that makes this an attractive option without sacrificing portability.
Did I mention it’s also slim? OK, maybe it’s not the slimmest gaming laptop out there, but it’s definitely trimmer than its beefier and more powerful Legion 7i brother. This means some compromises along the way, but handles itself quite well as a solid package.
The Legion Slim 7 looks sleek, sporting a similar appearance from its sixth-gen predecessor. The chassis is onyx grey and constructed with aluminum magnesium alloy and aesthetics that favor thick lines with blunt edges; you can certainly feel the quality in its weight at a hefty 4.5lbs/2.04g. The screen lid is another detail that gives the Slim 7 some flair, thanks largely to its 180 degrees of articulation and hinge design that doesn’t extend all the way to the back of the frame.
Lenovo definitely wants people to know this is a ‘Legion’ laptop thanks to a prominent reflective metallic logo flushed onto the lid and Lenovo brushed badging outside and inside. There have been minor changes involving the rear ventilation and choice of port connectivity, but generally this laptop looks very much like what came before.
This generation of the Slim 7 touts a 8-core/16 thread Ryzen 9 6900HX mobile processor (3.3GHz, 4.9GHz boost), Radeon RX 6800S 8GB GDDR6 GPU, 16GB 4800-DDR5 memory, and a 1TB NVMe 4×4 SSD. These specs are the equivalent of a mid-tier gaming desktop, excellent for gaming in 1080p on max settings or content creators working away from their home studio.
A large 16″ WQXGA IPS display at 2560×1600 native resolution is front and center here. You get 16:10 aspect ratio for more vertical room, antiglare filter and Dolby Vision included. What further makes this display gaming-worthy is its certified HDR400 color range and 165Hz refresh rates at 3ms response times. It looks fantastic and shows off relatively deep colors albeit with mild black levels and contrast detail.
The layout offers a full-size island-style RGB backlit keyboard that utilizes soft travel keys. There’s also a generously big trackpad that’s accurate and mostly error-proof, though not entirely intuitive with its integrated left/right click buttons. It’s a decent setup that held up to my strenuous writing sessions that’s more than suitable for most productivity work.
Connectivity is pleasantly robust with each side of the laptop offering some of kind of relevant port. Around the back you’ll find the main power connector, two USB-A 3.2/Gen2 and a full-size HDMI 2.1 output. The left side is equipped with two USB Type C 3.2/Gen2 ports, while the right has a full-size SD card reader, headphone/mic jack and a physical privacy kill switch for the integrated webcam. Wireless networking comes in the form of onboard WiFi 6E 802.11ax and Bluetooth 5.1 for modern devices.
Works Hard, Plays Hard
The Legion Slim 7 makes good on being a mainstream gaming machine. It’s not a top-end benchmarking beast but can easily do 1080p/165Hz without breaking a sweat, not that it would excessively considering how many vents are on this thing. Airflow is a top priority with heatsinks pushing air through constantly. The cooling system is audible under moderate loads, but the humming noise is light, unobtrusive and never gets concerningly hot when used for longer periods of time. 1440p is also achievable, although you may need to scale down in-game enhancements to maintain frame rates above 60 depending on the title.
Speaking of audio, the Slim 7 produces adequate stereo sound for everyday entertainment thanks to its dual 2W Harman speakers, though you shouldn’t expect strong bass with a prominent treble profile picking up most of the slack.
The 71Whr battery is also meant to handle a complete workday and Lenovo claims it should last up to 7-8 hours between charging. During my testing I was able to get about 6.8 hours under minimal load and 60% brightness. Unsurprisingly, gaming effectively cuts down battery life to a paltry 1.9 hours. Fortunately, Super Rapid Charge support means you can quickly recharge your laptop back to 100% power in roughly 80 minutes. Those looking to game long term will definitely want to keep its mammoth power brick handy for long term sessions.
Gaming and Apps
The Slim 7 is billed as a gaming laptop, and on that front it certainly delivers. All the titles I played were launched in 1080p at max settings whenever possible, and nearly all performed well with rare dips below the 60fps minimum threshold. When paired with the Ryzen 6900HX CPU and RX 6800S GPU, games such as Forza Horizon 5 (74fps-86fps), Far Cry 6 (59-68fps) and God of War (65-71fps) held up quite well with the Slim 7 brushing off dynamic moments and stutter without a hitch.
Content creation is another task the Slim 7 handles extremely well, and didn’t throttle under heavy Photoshop or Premiere Pro workloads. This is another area where all those ports will be essential if you don’t want to overload it with dongles to get work done.
Conclusion: Slim Gets It Done
Every manufacturer offering a gaming laptop have a habit of over-promising. Lenovo wants to buck this trend with their Legion Slim 7, an ideal solution for mainstream gamers who want power with few compromises. Like its name suggests, it’s relatively slim, handles modern gaming well enough, and does so with few issues. Things like bloatware (think McAfree and Lenovo Vantage) and so-so battery life means the Slim 7 doesn’t outshine the competition in any specific area, which is fine considering its all-around performance for mass appeal. The ‘Legion’ brand still has some work to do, but its definitely headed in the right direction.