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Lenovo Legion Y540 review: Professional or a gaming laptop?

Lenovo Legion Y540 looks quite minimalist, with no RGB lights or heavy fans, however, this is a beast of a machine when it comes to power output.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Rs. 1,19,990
Written by Karanveer Singh Arora | New Delhi | Published: October 16, 2019 6:05:12 pm
Lenovo Legion Y540 review While this is a gaming laptop and one would expect a lot of RGB lighting here and there, the Y540 likes to keep it simple.

Lenovo’s Legion sub-brand is a big name when it comes to the gaming industry. It makes great hardware and provides gamers with the performance which they think is worth their money. Considering how many gaming enthusiasts are emerging in India, it is no surprise that the company has announced all of its best laptops and PCs in the country.

The latest is the Lenovo Legion Y540, which looks quite minimalist with no RGB lights or heavy fans. However, the Legion Y540 is a beast of a machine when it comes to power output. To give a small glimpse, the laptop can easily run PUBG PC for eight hours straight without breaking a sweat. So let’s find out if this is the gaming laptop you want to purchase.

Lenovo Legion Y540 review: Specifications

15.6-inch full HD IPS display | 144Hz refresh rate | Intel Core i7-9750H | 16GB DDR4 RAM | 1TB PCIe SSD | Windows 10 Home 64 bit | 3 cell 57Wh battery | 230W fast charging support | Nvidia RTX 2060 with 6GB VRAM |Bluetooth version 4.2 | 720p camera

Lenovo Legion Y540 review: Design

One of the key highlights of Lenovo Legion Y540 has to be its design. While this is a gaming laptop and one would expect a lot of RGB lighting. The Y540 likes to keep it simple. It is a machine that even if you take it to an office meeting, it won’t grab a lot of unnecessary attention and would just look like a chunkier professional laptop. Lenovo has also provided a white light embedded into the Legion logo at the back, which looks simple but elegant.

Lenovo Legion Y540 review: Display

Legion Y540 sports a 15.6-inch full HD IPS LCD panel and it comes with a 144Hz refresh rate. The display has a maximum brightness of 300 nits and can reproduce 72 per cent of the colours in the sRGB colour gamut.

Lenovo Legion Y540 review Lenovo Legion Y540 display is quite crisp and colourful.

As for the real world usage, it was one of the best displays I have ever encountered on a laptop. Yes, it is not 4K, but considering the price of the machine and the high refresh rate, it is a better buy for FPS gamers out there. The display is quite crisp and colourful, which means you will not only enjoy gaming but also have fun while browsing the web, watching content and more.

Lenovo Legion Y540 review: Performance

Since this is a gaming laptop, most of you would be wondering what is powering this machine and how well does it perform in the real world. The variant I received for review comes with a 9th generation Intel Core i7-9750H processor, which provides adequate performance in most of the high demanding games. For graphics, the Legion Y540 comes with an Nvidia RTX2060 GPU with 6GB of dedicated VRAM.

My unit came equipped with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB Samsung PCIe NVMe solid-state drive. The RAM was enough to handle heavy usage, which includes opening dozens of tabs on Google Chrome and running applications like Microsoft Word, Spotify and more simultaneously.

I played a number of games on this laptop, including Counter Strike: Global Offensive, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Battlefield V, FIFA 19 and more. I enjoyed playing all of these games at full HD resolution with all settings maxed out. I did not notice any lag on most of the games.

Lenovo Legion Y540 review I enjoyed playing all of these games at full HD resolution with all settings maxed out.

However, when I switched ray tracing on, I noticed a significant FPS drop in Battlefield V. This is quite expected as the RTX2060 is not capable when compared to something like a desktop class RTX2070.

During my testing, Counter Strike: Global Offensive ran at 134 to 140 frames per second on Ultra graphics settings. While playing this game I was able to check out the maximum potential the 144Hz display has to offer. During the gameplay, there were no stutters and I was able to take headshots with my AWP much more effectively.

The lowest frame rates I got was while playing Battlefield V with ray tracing switched on. During the gameplay, I was able to get an average of around 55 frames per second in Ultra graphics. Enabling ray tracing does make the gameplay much more fun thanks to the increase in the graphics performance, however, I prefer having a higher frame rate as with that I can experience the game at a higher refresh rate on the display. Without ray tracing at Ultra settings, the game was able to output 85 frames per second.

Lastly, PUBG felt the most demanding on the laptop, as the game took up a lot of resources and was able to output 85 frames per second with no multi-tasking at its Ultra setting. At the medium graphics settings, the game was able to output around 135 frames per second.

Lenovo Legion Y540 review: Keyboard and trackpad

This is a section where I was extremely disappointed at Lenovo. The company had changed a few keys on the right side, in order to make way for larger arrow keys. I understand why they have done this, but they could have found other ways to increase the size of the arrow keys. These changes included changing the way the numpad is supposed to be, which is really crucial in racing games. So, it took me more than 5-6 days to get used to the keyboard of this laptop.

Lenovo Legion Y540 review The company had changed a few keys on the right side, in order to make way for larger arrow keys.

The trackpad is way too small when compared to an Apple MacBook Air or even some of the Windows laptops the competition has on offer. It was not only the size of the trackpad that caused an issue here, it was also the smoothness. I might be a bit harsh here since I use a MacBook Air as a daily driver, which has an amazing mousepad, but gaming laptops like Asus ROG Strix II have a way better trackpad on offer.

So, if you plan to buy the Lenovo Legion Y540 gaming laptop, you will take some time to get used to its unbalanced keyboard. Also, you will need to carry a wireless mouse at all times for a better experience, but then many gamers already prefer that.

Lenovo Legion Y540 review: Audio

Lenovo Legion Y540 comes equipped with 2x2W Harman speakers with Dolby Atmos support. While it sounds impressive on paper, it does not sound as impressive on a bed top. Since the speakers are downward-firing, they can be a bit muffled when using the laptop on your lap or on a bed.

Lenovo Legion Y540 review Lenovo Legion Y540 comes equipped with 2x2W Harman speakers with Dolby Atmos support.

However, when using the laptop on a wooden table, it can help in amplifying the sound. The audio quality itself is average at best. If you are planning to game on it, you should carry a pair of headphones with you for a better experience.

Lenovo Legion Y540 review: Battery

This gaming machine is backed by a 3 Cell 57Wh battery. Since it has a high refresh rate display and a high-end processor, the Legion Y540 does not last as long on a single charge. Upon charging up the device fully, the device was able to last around three to four hours with medium to heavy usage at Windows 10’s Better Battery Power Mode.

Lenovo Legion Y540 review The audio quality itself is average at best.

If we switch to the Best Performance mode, then the battery will die even before ending the third episode of your favourite Netflix series. However, the company has provided a hefty 230W power brick, which is capable of fast charging this machine and providing enough juice in less than an hour. The drawback here is that the power brick itself is quite heavy and carrying it with the laptop in your bag might hurt your back a little.

Lenovo Legion Y540 review: Verdict

Lenovo Legion Y540 is a gaming laptop that looks like a professional laptop. For the price it is being offered at, it is quite a capable gaming machine that can do everything you throw at it without any issues. It is a laptop that I loved everything about except for a few quirks like the IO, speakers and the battery performance. Overall it is a good laptop that you can take to the office and at the same time can also play a few hours of Battlefield V on.

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