When it comes to gaming, it's all about power, and the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8 (starts at $2,299, $2,749 as tested) brings the heat with 13th Generation Intel processing and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 mobile graphics chip. The laptop may look just like last year's Legion, but that hardware swap means massive gains in gaming performance, more muscle for everyday tasks, and even improved battery life (though not as much as we'd like). Throw in a 240Hz display and support for multiple 4K monitors, and it's a visual feast. Topping it all off with superb performance, without the sky-high price of the category leaders, is no small feat, making the Lenovo Legion 7i Pro Gen 8 our new favorite 16-inch gaming laptop, earning our Editors' Choice award.
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8: Configurations
The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8 starts at $2,299 and comes outfitted with an Intel Core i9-13900HX processor, 16GB of DDR5 memory, 512GB of solid-state storage, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU with 8GB of video memory. Our test model of the Legion Pro 7i is a step up in several ways, with 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU with 12GB of VRAM. It sells for $2,749.
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A 24-core beast, the Intel Core i9-13900HX CPU has eight Performance cores and 16 Efficient cores with 32 processing threads. The mobile Nvidia RTX 4080 in our test machine is no slouch, either. While it's not a true equal to the desktop Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080—it actually uses the same chip as the desktop 4070 Ti—it's still one of the most capable GPUs on the market, and technology like DLSS 3.0 and ray tracing make it even better.
If you want to max out your Lenovo Legion Pro 7i configuration, you can ramp up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 with 16GB VRAM, and dual 1TB SSDs for 2TB total. The extra graphics horsepower and dual-drive storage bring the top-end package price to $3,565.
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Made to Game, But Not Advertise It
Lenovo's Legion laptops have a pretty standard design, with the newest Legion looking pretty much identical to the past Gen 7 and Gen 6 models. The 16-inch laptop has a boxy design, with an aluminum chassis that measures 1.01 by 14.3 by 10.3 inches. Weighing 6.1 pounds, it's not lightweight, but it's portable enough for a 16-inch gaming rig. Compared with something like the MSI Titan GT77 (2023), a 7.2-pound 17-incher, it's positively lightweight, even if the Lenovo is a bit chunkier than the MSI's 0.9-inch thickness.
This laptop's design is equal parts conservative and gamer. Its base juts out behind the hinge, giving the laptop the distinctive profile of a gaming machine or maybe a powerful workstation (and, short of ISV certification, those two categories are pretty similar in terms of powerful hardware). However, the near-black finish and squared-off geometry of the design look more business-oriented than the expected gamer bling—you won't find any dancing LED animations here. If casual observers don't recognize the Legion name on the lid, they might not even know that it's a gaming machine.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
But the keyboard lets your gamer flag fly, if you want it to. With per-key RGB lighting, you can fire up a rainbow of colors, complete with flowing and rippling RGB patterns, highlights on specific keys, and any number of customizations with six swappable profiles. If you want to keep things businesslike, you can turn the lighting off, or stick to a single backlight color, but the swappable profiles mean that you can also jump right back to whatever RGB craziness you prefer once the work day is done.
Beyond the lighting, the keyboard is satisfying. The shaped keycaps have 1.5mm of travel with a comfortable key feel for typing and gameplay, and anti-ghosting means that you'll never be slowed down by the keyboard. The full-size keyboard has a decent layout, with a separate cluster of arrow keys and a number pad with half-width keys. I'm not always a fan of cramming a number pad next to a full-size keyboard on most laptops, but the 16-inch chassis is big enough to accommodate the extra keys.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
Lenovo's accompanying touchpad is roomy enough at nearly 5 inches across, and while you aren't likely to game with the touchpad, it delivers fine responsiveness and a satisfying tactile click when you press on the buttonless surface.
Above the display, you'll also find a 1080p webcam. Lenovo adds an e-shutter for privacy, and pairs the camera with software from Tobii to add some interesting usability features—more on that later.
Game at Warp Speed With a 240Hz Display
With a 16:10 aspect ratio and 2,560-by-1,600-pixel (QHD) resolution, the Legion's 16-inch display is made for gaming, hitting the sweet spot between the lower resolution of full HD and the 4K resolution that would be too much at this screen size. That's not to say that the laptop can't drive 4K resolution—it can handle up to three 4K displays at 60Hz, if maximum pixels and multiple screens are what you're after.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
However, the higher resolution wouldn't do much for you on the laptop's 16-inch display, and then you wouldn't get the awesome 240Hz refresh rate that it supports. That's right, the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i has a 240Hz screen, with Nvidia G-Sync making everything smooth and judder-free.
The display also has other features, like 500-nit brightness, Dolby Vision HDR support, 100% sRGB color, and TÜV Rheinland glass for reduced blue-light emissions. What you don't get (and probably wouldn't even want on a gaming laptop) is touch support. I don't think you gamers will miss it.
One of the luxuries that a larger chassis affords designers is the ample room it gives you for ports, and this Legion has wired connectivity all over the place.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
On the left hand side of the machine you'll find both USB 3 (Type-A) and Thunderbolt 4 ports. On the right is a 3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack, as well as another USB 3 port. This side also includes a switch for the webcam's e-shutter, making it easy to disable your laptop camera when not in use.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
However, the back of the base contains a whole third I/O panel, outfitted with a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, two more USB 3 connections, HDMI 2.1 output, and an Ethernet port for wired networking. You'll also see a proprietary Lenovo power connector, highlighted in yellow.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
If all of those physical plugs and ports aren't enough, the Legion Pro 7i is also equipped with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1, for all of your wireless networking and peripheral needs.
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8: Under The Hood
With a 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900HX CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU inside, I never had any question of whether the Legion Pro 7i would be a capable gaming machine. And, looking at the performance results we got in testing, it's plenty powerful.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
But Lenovo has its own secret sauce to maximize performance: the new LA-2Q AI chip and Lenovo AI Engine+. This specific chip is the hardware that powers the software, which combines machine learning and dynamic settings to balance elements like fan speeds and refresh rates. The result allows the machine to fine tune the performance to stretch the battery life, keep the cooling system quiet, or goose performance as needed. Cycling through preset optimizations for quiet, performance, or auto-balancing is as simple as pressing the Function and Q keys together.
On top of that, the Legion Pro 7i supports Tobii Horizon head tracking, which allows you to use the laptop webcam to control the in-game camera by simply moving their head. While it's a niche feature that's supported in only some games (60 as of this writing(Opens in a new window), with more on the way), it's a cool way to get a more immersive gaming experience, especially in games like Flight Simulator.
The other Tobii-powered trick the Legion Pro 7i has is presence detection, which will keep a laptop awake as long as you're looking at the screen and auto-lock when you leave your laptop. This additional hardware also powers a feature called "peeker detection," which protects your screen content from prying eyes behind you. Its official name is Tobii Aware(Opens in a new window); it's another pre-installed feature, but it's not enabled by default.
Testing the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8: Top-End Performance for Less Cash
Armed with that Intel Core i9-13900HX CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU, the Legion Pro 7i is legitimately one of the most powerful laptops we've reviewed. But it's not entirely alone with its high-end hardware. For comparison purposes, we stacked the Lenovo against top-flight gaming machines like the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 and the MSI Titan GT77 (2023), which have similarly high-octane CPUs and slightly superior Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 graphics. We also looked at the best systems from last year, like the 2022 Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 7 as well as the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE (2022), which won an Editors' Choice award for 16-inch gaming laptops.
Our main benchmark, UL's PCMark 10, simulates a variety of real-world productivity and content-creation workflows to measure overall performance for office-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheeting, web browsing, and videoconferencing. We also run PCMark 10's Full System Drive test to assess the load time and throughput of a laptop's storage. (See more about how we test laptops.)
Three more of our benchmarks focus on the CPU, using all available cores and threads, to rate a PC's suitability for processor-intensive workloads. Maxon's Cinebench R23 uses that company's Cinema 4D engine to render a complex scene, while Geekbench 5.4 Pro by Primate Labs simulates popular apps ranging from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine learning. Finally, we use the open-source video transcoder HandBrake 1.4 to convert a 12-minute video clip from 4K to 1080p resolution (lower times are better).
Our final productivity test is PugetBench for Photoshop(Opens in a new window) by workstation maker Puget Systems, which uses the Creative Cloud version 22 of Adobe's famous image editor to rate a PC's performance for content creation and multimedia applications. It's an automated extension that executes a variety of general and GPU-accelerated Photoshop tasks ranging from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving an image to applying masks, gradient fills, and filters.
In processor-heavy tests like Cinebench and HandBrake, the Legion Pro 7i held its own against the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 and the MSI Titan GT77 (2023), two of the most powerful laptops we've ever reviewed. That's no surprise, given the similarity in hardware, but it puts the Legion firmly among the best of the best in terms of pure power for tasks like media editing and other work. In some tests, like Geekbench and Photoshop, the Lenovo actually edged ahead of these top-flight competitors.
Regardless, the processing power is secondary in a machine like this. A premium gaming machine needs serious graphics chops, and we were especially curious about how well the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 would fare when compared with the top-of-the-line 4090 GPUs used in the Strix Scar 18 and Titan GT77.
We test Windows PC graphics with two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from UL's 3DMark: Night Raid (more modest, suitable for laptops with integrated graphics), and Time Spy (more demanding, suitable for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs).
For even more graphics performance measurements, we run the GPU benchmark GFXBench 5, which stresses both low-level routines like texturing and high-level, game-like image rendering. The 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Car Chase tests, rendered offscreen to accommodate different display resolutions, exercise graphics and compute shaders using the OpenGL programming interface and hardware tessellation respectively. The more frames per second (fps), the better.
Finally, to assess real-world gaming performance in laptops, we run a suite of in-game benchmarks, including the built-in 1080p benchmarks of three real-world games, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, F1 2021, and Rainbow Six Siege. We run Valhalla and Rainbow twice with different image-quality presets, and F1 with and without Nvidia's performance-boosting DLSS anti-aliasing activated.
We shouldn't have worried about how well the RTX 4080 would do in games. Though the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 and the MSI Titan GT77 (2023) delivered the top scores consistently, the 4080-equipped Legion Pro 7i was within spitting distance of those leading machines in every single test. (It even surpassed them in some cases, like with 3DMark Night Raid.)
Just as important for those considering an upgrade, the performance of the RTX 4080 thoroughly trounced the best RTX 30 Series cards you can get. Whether it was the fairly basic RTX 3060 of the Acer Predator Triton or the premium RTX 3080 Ti from last year's Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 7, the difference in graphics and gaming performance is stark. Current-gen GPUs outperformed last year's hardware by huge margins across the board.
Battery and Display Tests
We test laptop battery life by playing a locally stored 720p video file (the open-source Blender movie Tears of Steel with display brightness at 50% and audio volume at 100%. We make sure the battery is fully charged before the test, with Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting turned off.
To test laptop displays, we also use a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and software to measure a laptop screen's color saturation—what percentage of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 color gamuts or palettes the display can show—and its 50% and peak brightness in nits (candelas per square meter).
On a gaming machine like this, our expectations for battery life are never too lofty. The demands of the hardware and the cooling systems required don't lend themselves to long stretches away from an outlet, as a rule. But even with our entirely realistic expectations, the Legion Pro 7i fell a bit short. Lasting just 6:13, it trailed the MSI Titan GT77 (6:51) and the Asus ROG Strix (8:14), and fell even farther behind the Acer Predator Triton (10:03). However, we found one bright spot in this otherwise mediocre display of endurance: The 2022 Legion 7i, with the equivalent 12th Gen CPU and a 3080 Ti, lasted less than half that (3:00). It's nothing to brag about, but at least Lenovo has made some real improvements to the battery life it was capable of before.
The display quality, on the other hand, is excellent. This IPS panel delivers 100% sRGB color, and the claimed 500-nit brightness was right on the money, measuring at 515 nits in our testing. Even better, Lenovo calibrates the display before it leaves the factory, so color representation is competitive as well. And all of that vibrant color and brightness is made even better with the 240Hz refresh rate, which delivers undeniably smooth performance in even the fastest-paced games. Short of paying for something more premium, like an OLED panel or 4K resolution, this is as good as it gets for gaming laptop displays.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
Verdict: Wild Performance at a Tame Price
While the latest Lenovo Legion Pro 7i looks like a simple refresh for 2023, the move to the latest Intel and Nvidia hardware marks a major improvement in capability for gaming and everything else. The tried-and-true design may look the same, but Nvidia's gaming chops are better than ever before (especially when DLSS 3 is supported in a given game), and battery life got a decent improvement, even if it still has room for more. Throw in extras—like the per-key lighting on the keyboard and niche features like Tobii headtracking—and you have a fantastic premium-level mobile PC gaming rig.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
We won't act as if this laptop isn't expensive (nearly $3,000), but it's a lot cheaper than the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 and the ultra-pricey MSI Titan GT77 (2023). It's still not cheap, but it's a heck of a lot more affordable than the nearly $5,000 price that this level of performance has commanded recently. That's enough for the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8 to replace the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE as our favorite 16-inch gaming laptop, earning it our Editors' Choice award.
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8
(Opens in a new window)See It$2,069.99 at Lenovo(Opens in a new window)
Base Configuration Price $2,299.00
Bright and colorful 240Hz display
Comfortable keyboard with RGB extras
Generous port selection
Full HD webcam with extra features
Relatively affordable in its category
Subtle design avoids gamer stereotypes
Noisy fans under heavy load
Lacking in battery life
The Bottom Line
Lenovo's Legion Pro 7i Gen 8 delivers pulse-pounding performance in a premium package that costs far less than other top-flight gaming laptops.
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