With ray tracing becoming more and more mainstream, gaming laptop makers are now embracing RTX graphics all over the place, across a variety of price points. I’ve reviewed a fair amount of RTX-packing gaming laptops over the last few months, and obviously they’ve all been good. However, when Lenovo sent over the Legion Y540 over to us for a review, it sort of blew me away. Part of that was simply because it just looks so good, and part of that is because this is one of the only laptops offering RTX-graphics in its price. So, if you’re looking to buy a gaming laptop with RTX graphics and you’re wondering if the Legion Y540 is worth its Rs. 1,19,990 price tag, well read on for our detailed review of this gaming laptop.
Lenovo Legion Y540: Specifications
Before we jump into the review of this laptop, let’s take a quick gander at the specifications.
|Processor||9th-gen Intel Core i7-9750H @ 2.6GHz|
|GPU||Nvidia RTX 2060 6GB|
|Storage||1TB PCIe SSD|
|Ports and I/O||2x USB 3.1
1x USB 3.1 Type C
1x RJ-45 Ethernet port
1x HDMI port
1x Mini Display Port
Lenovo AC Wireless (2x2)
Design and Build
The Legion Y540 is simply a stunning looking laptop. The black plastic chassis looks insanely good, with a textured lid with the Legion logo, a great looking hinge, and the vents — all of which looks amazing.
Inside, the laptop continues to amaze, as far as design is concerned. The display has thin bezels on all sides but one, but that’s pretty much a standard thing on most gaming laptops out there. There’s the “Legion” branding on the bottom bezel, which is also where Lenovo has placed the web-cam. That’s a very weird place to put a webcam in, and Lenovo isn’t the first company to make this weird choice, neither will it be the last, however, it makes the webcam nigh unusable. That said, you wouldn’t be using the webcam much anyway, and if you’re thinking of starting your own Twitch streams, this 720p webcam wouldn’t have cut it even it was placed on the top bezel like it should’ve been.
What I really like on the design front with the Legion Y540 is the matte black finish on the palm rest and all around the keyboard of this laptop. It looks good, it feels great, and it doesn’t attract a lot of fingerprints. Although oily fingers will leave a mark, so forget snacking while you game. Or at least be ready to have smudges on your gorgeous laptop.
There’s a decently sized trackpad here as well, along with more Lenovo branding, an “audio by HARMAN” branding, along with the Intel and Nvidia stickers that I’m not really a fan of. The power button on the Y540 is smack dab in the center, and it has a white LED that turns on when your laptop is powered on. It’s not the coolest looking power button I’ve seen on a gaming laptop (that honor would go to the ROG G703GXR that I reviewed a while back)
It’s pretty impressive, the way Lenovo designed this laptop, and other than the webcam placement, I don’t have any complaints with it. I mean, sure I would’ve liked the entire “Legion” logo on the lid to glow up (only the Y-shaped design lights up instead), but that’s just me, I don’t think a lot of people would mind that, especially since it’s not even visible to the user when the laptop is being used.
The build here is great as well. Even though this laptop has a plastic chassis, it’s a sturdy, high quality plastic that Lenovo has used here, which is what you’d expect from a laptop priced at around Rs. 1,20,000. The Legion Y540 clearly looks like it can tolerate being poorly handled, if that’s something you tend to do with your laptops. I, personally, didn’t really drop it or bump it in my time using the laptop, so I can’t say with certainty how well it’d hold up in those situations, but it sure looks like it can take quite a bit of abuse, and that’s great for any clumsy users out there.
The Legion Y540 comes with a 15.6-inch Full HD display, but you won’t get any fancy high refresh rates here. It’s a standard 60Hz panel, but that’s alright. It could’ve been Lenovo doing some cost cutting here, and I’m inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt considering this laptop is priced so well.
There’s a matte finish on here, which is great for reducing glare, but it also affects how bright and saturated the display looks. More often than not, displays with a matte finish end up looking slightly faded and having lower brightness. That, however, is not the case here. The display on the Legion Y540 is great at color reproduction, and is bright enough for sure.
Playing games on this screen, or just consuming media of any kind on the display is a wonderful experience. The colours are great, the display is sharp, and thanks to the matte finish, you won’t be annoyed by glare.
So yeah, the Legion Y540 comes in a great looking body, with really good build quality, and the display is great as well. Still, the most important aspect of a gaming laptop has got to be its performance. So let’s talk about that a bit.
The Lenovo Legion Y540 comes with the 9th-gen Intel Core i7-9750H CPU paired with 16GB RAM, a 1TB PCIe SSD for fast storage, and Nvidia’s RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB VRAM. With specs like that, you wouldn’t be wrong to assume amazing performance from this laptop, and thankfully, it delivers.
I ran a couple of benchmarks on the Legion Y540, and it performed great. In 3DMark Time Spy, the laptop got a score of 5,948 points, and in PCMark 10, the Legion Y540 scored 5,650 points.
In gaming as well, the laptop runs everything you throw at it with ease. I played a bunch of games on the Legion Y540, and it handled everything like a champ. In Far Cry 5 with High settings, the laptop got an average frame rate of 88FPS with a high of 103FPS and a low of 71FPS. I also switched the graphics quality to Ultra, and got an average frame rate of 85FPS with a high of 100FPS and a low of 66FPS, so that’s great. Just for the fun of it, I also tried testing the game with Low graphics, and with those graphics settings, the laptop got an average frame rate of 110FPS with a high of 126FPS and a low of 91FPS.
I also played PUBG on this laptop and at high settings it easily got frame rates around the 175FPS mark, which is incredible.
Also, since this is a laptop with an RTX GPU inside, I tried playing Battlefield with RTX turned on, and the laptop pushed a solid 75 to 80FPS at almost all times, which I think is pretty amazing.
Clearly, the Lenovo Legion Y540 is a beast when it comes to gaming performance. However, one great thing about the sleek design of this laptop, and of the fact that there’s no RGB here, is that it can double up as a great work computer. Naturally, I used this for my day to day work-related tasks as well, including writing articles, and the occasional Photoshop use for editing pictures, and I’m happy to report that this laptop handles everything like a charm. Multiple Chrome tabs? Done. Photoshop session to go along with it? Done. Spotify app running the background for music? Done and done. The Lenovo Legion Y540 doesn’t break a sweat at handling daily workloads and I’m very impressed by it.
Keyboard and Trackpad
Part of the reason I’m so impressed by the Legion Y540 as a daily driver and not just a gaming laptop, is the keyboard. Lenovo has put in a full sized keyboard on this laptop, including properly sized arrow keys (that’s something I really appreciate). The keys themselves have ample travel, are easy to type on, and don’t tire the fingers even after long hours of use — I can personally attest to that, having spent hours and hours typing on this keyboard for work.
Everything about this keyboard is great. It looks great, it has ample travel, it’s tactile but doesn’t make loud sounds when you’re typing fast on it. It’s just a really great keyboard.
The trackpad is good too. It’s smaller than what you might find on some other laptops, and that does annoy me, but it’s really responsive and doesn’t feel bad to use unless you’re going for gestures, in which case it can be slightly annoying. The dedicated left and right click buttons below the touchpad are good as well, they’re tactile, and the different texture on the plastic here makes it easier to identify them without having to actually look at it while you’re working.
Overall, I don’t really have any complaints with the keyboard or the trackpad on the Lenovo Legion Y540. The keyboard in particular is really good.
I/O and Ports
The Legion Y540 also comes with a bunch of useful ports, and even though there are not an overload of ports here, there are plenty, and you won’t run out of them. The Legion Y540 comes with 2x USB 3.1 Type-A ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, a miniDisplay Port, an HDMI port, an RJ-45 ethernet port, and a headphone/mic combo port.
In my usage of the laptop, I mostly found myself only using the USB Type-A port to connect a mouse to, and occasionally a USB-C dongle when I needed to copy images off of an SD card since there’s no card reader in this laptop.
The speakers on the Lenovo Legion Y540 are “tuned by HARMAN” which should, in theory, mean that they sound really great. In my testing of the speakers, which included listening to a bunch of songs directly from the speakers, and also watching movies on Netflix and Prime Video, I’d say the speakers are fairly good.
They are not the loudest speakers out there, but the sound quality is above average for sure, and that’s great. That said, if you’re watching a movie or something, I’d suggest you connect a Bluetooth speaker because the volume might give you issues on this laptop.
The Lenovo Legion Y540 packs in a 57Wh battery, and with the Core i7 processor along with the RTX 2060 GPU, that does mean the battery has to do a lot of heavy lifting, and it shows. Lenovo claims a battery life of 5 hours on this laptop, but if you’re doing anything that’s even a little heavy on resources (and yes, multiple Chrome tabs count as that), expect something around the 3 to 3.5 hour mark for the most part. I’m sure you could push that to 4 hours if you reduce the brightness to the lowest it can be, turn off Bluetooth and WiFi, among other things, but it’s probably not worth the effort for an extra 30 something minutes.
As a gamer though, you’re likely going to connect the laptop to an AC outlet for optimal performance, but if you’re thinking of using this as your college or work laptop, keep in mind that you’ll need to carry the charger along, and it’s not a compact charger at all.
Pros and Cons:
- Great performance
- Pricing is good
- Nice keyboard
- Sleek, understated, but cool design
- Webcam positioning is weird (don’t Skype with this, please)
- Battery life is below par
Lenovo Legion Y540 Review: An Amazing Laptop for the Price
So yeah, the Lenovo Legion Y540 is a solid gaming laptop, but is it worth the Rs. 1,19,990 price tag? Well, yeah, it totally is. The Legion Y540 brings an amazing design, great build, really impressive performance across AAA titles, a nice selection of ports, and specs that are definitely future-proof. That said, there are other options you can consider.
There’s the Asus TUF FX505DV that comes with the Ryzen 7, RTX 2060, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD for Rs. 1,04,990 (but is currently available for Rs. 95,990). There’s also the Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GV that comes with all the same specs as the Legion Y540, but brings in a 144Hz display for Rs. 1,51,953.
So yeah, there are choices if you’re looking for a gaming laptop with an RTX-series GPU. However, while both of the options I’ve mentioned above are worthy, the Legion Y540 is just a much better looking laptop, and when compared to the FX505DV, it brings a bigger 1TB SSD instead, so those are things you should definitely keep in mind before you make a decision on which laptop to buy when it comes to Nvidia’s RTX-series GPUs.
Buy the Lenovo Legion Y540 from Amazon (Rs. 1,19,990)