There are a number of good gaming-laptops you can obtain for under $1000 nowadays, every one of them bringing solid performance to the table, good builds and some extras designed to tip the potential buyer towards each one’s side.

Lenovo’s offer in the niche may be the Legion Y520, a 15-inch gaming notebook computer built on Intel Kaby Lake HQ processors, DDR4 RAM, Nvidia GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti graphics, together with dual-storage. Specs wise, that’s on par using what the alternatives offer, however the Legion has at least two aces down its sleeve: a tamed down design, that makes it appropriate for school and business environments than almost every other options, together with its very competitive price (and not merely in the US, however in Europe and other regions aswell).

Alternatively, the Legion Y520 offers a reasonably dull display and among the smallest battery in the segment, so it’s not merely great features with this one.

Actually, we’ve spent about fourteen days with a Legion Y520 unit and you’ll find out impressions below, so continue reading should you have this laptop computer on your own list and wish to know where it excels and where it comes short.

Design
The Legion Y520 looks much as an ordinary laptop, little indicating that is a gaming machine, at least on an initial look.

The outer case does get yourself a faux carbon-fiber finishing and some aesthetic bumps on the hood, but overall this notebook is apparently as simple because so many other black plastic options out there. Even the Lenovo logo on the hood is black and blends in with all of those other shell.

Once you open the lid you’ll spot the red keyboard, shinny red frame around the trackpad and the red Legion branding in the lower-right corner of the palm-rest, which advise the gaming DNA of the machine.

Overall though, the Y520 is probably the most subtle laptops you will discover in its class, alongside the black version of the Dell Inspiron Gaming, and that opens for this doors to academic or business environments where flashy laptops aren’t accepted. So if you wish an all rounder you could try school and work if needed, this Lenovo Legion fits right in. It’s not so portable, at 2.4 lbs and 15 x 10.5 x 1 inches, but it’s not bulkier or heavier than almost every other devices with similar traits and an identical price.

Looks aside, the Legion Y520 can be fairly well developed. It’s completely crafted from plastic and there’s flex in the lid cover, however, not to the stage where it puts strain on the panel. The inner frame is a lot sturdier though and it doesn’t give at all with daily use and typing.

As far as the decision in finishing goes, Lenovo uses the carbon-fiber imitation for the lid, sides and back, while on the inside they went for the brushed plastic along with the keyboard and a smooth soft plastic for the keyboard area and arm-rest, which does feel safe in daily use. Actually, the whole notebook computer feels very nice, without sharp edges and pointy corners, a screen which can be lifted with an individual hand and solid rubber feet on underneath that keep it properly anchored on a desk.

You’ll notice these in the event that you flip this device ugly, and you’ll also notice down here the generous air-intake cuts. Air is drown through these cuts and through the mesh underneath the screen’s hinge, and pushed out through the grills on the trunk edge. There’s no bay which allows fast access to the hardware on the trunk (the access is rather simple, we’ll treat it in a later section) and there are no speaker cuts either, and that’s for the reason that speakers are positioned at the very top, flaking the screen’s hinge. For the hinge, it dates back to about 150 degrees, operates much smoother than on the older Lenovo Y laptops and properly keeps the screen set up, so I’ve nothing to complain about here.

In fact, except possibly the inconvenience of these black surfaces showing smudges easily, there’s nothing wrong with how this notebook looks and feels.

One final aspect we must mention may be the IO, lined around the left and right edge. The Y520 offers 3 full-size USB ports and an USB Type-C connector (gen 1, no TB3 support), HDMI for video output, a LAN port and a Kensignton lock. The PSU and LAN are located on the left side, however the HDMI and USB 3.0 slots are on the proper and can clutter your mouse area in the event that you intend to use many peripherals.

Keyboard and trackpad
We surely got to test the European version of the Y520 with the typical layout for the spot, which I’m not a huge fan of, since it includes a tiny left Shift and the tall Enter keys. THE UNITED STATES layout is way better in my opinion.

Main keys aside though, this keyboard does add a NumPad section with an extremely peculiar arrangement. There are no dedicated Home, End, Pg Dn, Pg Up, Prt Scr keys, as they are all integrated as secondary functions on the NumPad and the directional keys, and that’s likely to require timed to get accustomed to. Casual users is going to be in a position to live with these changes, but professionals may not.

This implementation does bring about big and nicely spaced directional keys, which those enthusiastic about this laptop computer generally for gaming will certainly appreciate, so ultimately the layout includes pros and flaws, and it’s your decision whether it rubs you the correct way or not.

So far as the typing experience goes, I could say this was among the best laptops to type on. Remember I’m used to low-travel low-resistance keys (1.2 mm stroke depth and average resistance), which is what you’ll arrive here. If you’re too, you’ll find this keyboard’s feedback very good and revel in the keys’ soft feel, their speed and accuracy. I did so score a fairly raised percentage of missed strokes upon this test unit, but almost all of those were due to the tiny left-Shift key that I’m not familiar with.

The keyboard can be backlit, with red LEDs and two degrees of brightness to select from.

As a side note, several users report problems with specific keys not registering on the Y520. I didn’t come across this issue, nonetheless it appears to be quite widespread and in line with the forums, it’s due to the improper positioning of the metal shield that covers the RAM slots and will be fixed, according to the facts in this thread. It’s likely that this matter will occur in the event that you remove the shield so as to add more RAM for you unit, but there’s also a good chance that shield is wrongly located out of your factory.

The trackpad is located under the keyboard and stands our both visually and tactilely. It’s framed by a shinny red border and a shinny black edge that gets narrower towards underneath of the top, making the trackpad trapezoidal in form, but requires a toll on its overall size, which isn’t that generous to get started with.

That is a Synaptics trackpad, so that it performs fairly well with daily use and feels smooth enough, despite being crafted from plastic. I came across it too slow for my taste out from the box, but there are a great number of customization options with the Synaptics driver to handle that. I couldn’t discover a way to permit two-finger taps though or two-finger Back and Forward gestures in the browser.

Along with these, this is simply not a clickpad, this means its surface is fixed and there are dedicated click buttons beneath. I’m usually a fan of dedicated buttons, but this implementation is quite mediocre, as the proper and left buttons are bound together rather than independent, this means they only depress of you hit them at their lateral edges.

Screen
Lenovo put some crappy screens on the older gaming laptop, just what exactly the Legion Y520 gets is a significant step-up in the proper direction, but nonetheless only a mid tier option in comparison with what’s available out there.

Put simply, there’s a 15.6-inch matte IPS panel upon this laptop computer with the capacity of average brightness and contrast, yet lacking regarding color coverage and accuracy. You can increase the gamma and color rendition by making use of this calibrated color profile, but at 49% Adobe RGB coverage, this is simply not the panel professionals would decide for whatever requires accurate colors.