Lenovo Legion Y520 Gaming Laptop Review

The Lenovo Legion Y520 is a gaming laptop with dedicated graphics designed to be lightweight while still providing ultimate temperature control for true, hardcore gamers.

Lenovo Legion Y520 Review


Intel Core i7 processor

The Intel Core i7 processor is a 7th generation processor from Intel with Kaby Lake microarchitecture featuring 4K support for those game modders who want to go all out with HQ textures or for those who are just really into HQ video. Lenovo Legion Y520 sideThanks to the innovations inherent in all 7th generation i7 processors from Intel, you can expect superior productivity with reduced latency—ideal for those who place a lot of demand on their systems.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti dedicated graphics

The Lenovo Legion Y520’s use of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics with Pascal architecture provide for richly vibrant graphics experience with the added bonus of NVIDIA GPU Boost 3.0. The GTX 1050 Ti graphics feature a memory speed of 7Gbps and 4 GB GDDR5 standard memory configuration. Base clock is 1290 MHz while boost clock is 1392 MHz. It’s also NVIDIA GameStream-ready and NVIDIA G-Synch-ready to further enhance the gaming experience.

Hybrid storage

One of the cooler aspects about the Lenovo Legion Y520 is its use of hybrid storage. As most of us know, HDD drives are prone to failure sometimes for reasons that just seem ridiculous or even for no reason at all. Lenovo Legion Y520 screenIt’s a flaw of their design that until recently had no feasible alternative. Now that SSD storage is a thing, hybrid storage has become the new common-sense solution to the high failure rate of HDD by backing it up with the robust and comparatively fast SSD storage type. For those unfamiliar with the term, SSD storage is Solid State Storage, and functionally very similar to a thumb drive.

This means that, on its own, there is no disc that has to spin up or could inconveniently fail at the drop of a hat. So, why hybrid storage (a combination of HDD and SSD), you may be wondering. Because SSD is a newer technology, each gigabyte of storage is more expensive. So, while HDD is now commonly measured in terabytes even on midrange computers, SSD is still in doled out in gigabytes due to the expense. This is where the hybrid drive comes in handy; you still get the security and robust build of SSD with the ultra-large storage capacity of HDD—the best of both worlds. The Legion Y520 features 256 GB of SSD storage and 2TB of HDD storage.

Thermal control

Gaming can put a lot of heat on a laptop, so keeping their gear cool is constantly on the minds of any serious gamer. The Legion Y520 addresses that concern by keeping the fans tight against the GPU and CPU. Thermal vents at the back filter out the hot air to intelligently cool the device. Lenovo also has something called an Extreme Cooling shortcut that’s integrated with Lenovo Nerve Sense that can give you an extra cooling boost when you need it.


Gamers are a social people, so portability is crucial for modern gaming laptops. In fact, this aspect is something that really sets apart a gaming laptop from 2017 from a model that’s just a couple of years old. The Legion is only 1.01 inches thick and weighs just 5.3 pounds. At this weight, those with mobility issues who once just didn’t have the option of a gaming laptop can now partake since it’s on part with the weight of a standard laptop from years past.

First impression

The Legion Y520 looks great right out of the box. Lenovo Legion Y520 keyboardI really enjoy the red backlit keys, which add a certain something that just makes the gamer inside of me feel extra special and badass.

The graphics from NVIDIA are great. Playing Witcher 3, Hitman and Battlefield 1, you can see rich details with no lag and great overall looks that just make the games pop for all the right reasons.

As always, the Intel Core i7 is a solid processor choice for modern gaming and it doesn’t disappoint. Paired with 16 GB DDR4 RAM, there’s no latency and you can really ramp up the settings on your games to their max potential without suffering for it, which is a big part of what makes this little gaming laptop so special.

For portability, it’s hard to beat. Being only an inch thick with a 15-inch display, it can easily fit in my backpack for when I go to my girlfriend’s house for game night. I’m a big fan of walking, which is kind of a must in the city if you can, since it’s free and often quicker than public transport, so the Legion only weighing about 5 pounds is definitely a huge plus in my book.


The Lenovo Legion Y520 is covered under a 1-year warranty.

Final verdict

Easy to use and transport, the Lenovo Legion Y520 offers great graphics, a killer processor and handy hybrid storage in one convenient location. It’s a great choice for anyone looking for a gaming laptop that’s above mid-grade but still has a budget to consider.

  • Intel Core i7 processor with Kaby Lake microarchitecture
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti dedicated graphics with Pascal architecture
  • Windows 10 operating system
  • 15-inch FHD screen with 1920×1080 resolution
  • 4K compatible
  • 16 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Hybrid storage
  • 256 GB SSD storage
  • 2 TB HDD storage
  • Ergonomic keyboard with red backlighting
  • Harmon speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
  • Slim profile at 1.01 inches thick
  • Lightweight at just 5.3 pounds

  • There’s no optical drive; though unfortunate, it’s a sad fact that this is becoming increasingly common in laptops in general since more and more people stream their videos and download games directly instead of loading them off discs. If you still use discs, you’ll likely need to invest in an optical drive that you can plug in via USB just on general principle, whether or not you go for this laptop, because this is the wave of the future.Lenovo Legion Y520 review

Lenovo Legion Y520
  • Design & Quality
  • Performance


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