Lenovo Legion Y520 Review: One of the First Legion Laptops

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By Oluwaseun Bamisile


My take on Lenovo Legion Y520


The Lenovo Legion Y520 is a 15-inch gaming laptop with powerful hardware specs. Furthermore, the laptop offers multiple dedicated GPU options and an impressive design. However, the battery life of the laptop is subpar.



  • Multiple storage options
  • Impressive keyboard
  • Powerful hardware
  • Good HD webcam
  • Strong overall performance


  • Awkward touchpad
  • Chucky and heavy
  • Poor battery life

Lenovo Legion Y520: At First Glance

The Lenovo Legion Y520 is among the first set of laptops introduced in the Legion lineup. This Lenovo gaming laptop was released in 2017 and comes with some powerful hardware specifications.

For example, the laptop offers a strong 7th-generation Intel processor and two dedicated GPU options. However, as with other gaming laptops out there, the Lenovo Legion Y520 has one or two flaws.

One of these flaws is an oddly-designed touchpad. Having said a bit about this gaming laptop, move on to the other sections below to know more.

Lenovo Legion Y520: Design, Display, Ports, and Connectivity

The Lenovo Legion Y520 comes with a subtle design that doesn’t scream “gaming laptop.” To give more details, the laptop features a solid plastic chassis with a black finish and woven patterns that are observable on its lid.

In addition to these woven patterns, the laptop’s lid also has a few lines that make the laptop look aggressive but still presentable. Aside from that, you will find a subtle “Lenovo” inscription at the top right corner of the lid.

Connecting the lid to the base of the laptop is a center-mounted hinge that is quite robust and sturdy. Due to the robustness of this hinge, the lid barely wobbles when nudged.

That being said, the first thing you will notice when you open the Lenovo Legion Y520’s lid is a 15.6-inch display. Impressively, this laptop’s display features a Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution.

With this resolution, the display is able to render outstanding picture quality for enjoying graphics-intensive games. However, the colors produced by the laptop’s display seem dull, which is pretty disappointing.

On a positive note, the display is made with an IPS panel, which allows it offer wide viewing angles. Hence, you should be able to view the display off-center without experiencing color distortion or losing picture quality.

In addition to the IPS panel, the Lenovo Legion Y520’s display also has an anti-glare coating on its surface. This anti-glare coating prevents reflections and limits the intensity of sun glares on the laptop’s display.

Moreover, this laptop’s display offers a peak brightness of 250 nits. Although this peak brightness is ideal for moderately-lit rooms, the display may struggle to keep up in well-lit areas or outdoors.

Surrounding the Lenovo Legion Y520’s display are bulky bezels, with the bottom bezel featuring a “Lenovo” inscription. Meanwhile, the top bezel accommodates the laptop’s 720p HD webcam at the center.

Outstandingly, this webcam produces images with accurate colors. Also, it is ideal for video calls.

Moving on, the Lenovo Legion Y520 comes with a full-sized keyboard. This keyboard features well-spaced keys with red lettering on top and impressive key travel of 1.8 mm.

Therefore, the keyboard should offer a comfortable typing experience, even during long typing sessions. By the way, key travel is the distance between a key at rest to full depression.

In addition to its comfortable typing experience, the Lenovo Legion Y520’s keyboard features a red backlight. This red backlight emits attractively under the keyboard’s keys and also aids when typing in dark areas.

Besides, the W, A, S, and D keys are surrounded by red lines, which makes them stand out among the other keys on the keyboard. This is because those keys are often used by gamers for navigation in certain video games.

Below this laptop’s keyboard, you will find an oddly-shaped touchpad surrounded by red lines. This touchpad has an upside-down trapezoid shape with plastic fillings, which makes it look awkward and unusual.

Honestly, this touchpad is a classic case of design over function. This is because the touchpad is a pain to use, as you will constantly hit your finger on the plastic fillings while navigating.

Nonetheless, the touchpad is responsive, and its surface is smooth. Also, the touchpad’s dedicated click buttons are impressive and work without any issues.

Port-wise, the Lenovo Legion Y520 is pretty decent. Precisely, the laptop’s left side houses a charging port, an Ethernet port, one USB 2.0 port, and a 3.5 mm combo audio jack.

On the other hand, the right side of the laptop features two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.1 Type-C port, and one HDMI 1.4 port. In terms of wireless connectivity, the Lenovo Legion Y520 offers two Wi-Fi options – 802.11ac (1 x 1) and 802.11ac (2 x 2).

It also comes with Bluetooth 4.1.

Moving to the weight and dimension, the Lenovo Legion Y520 weighs 2400 g and measures 380 x 265 x 25.8 mm (W x D x H). Apparently, this laptop is somewhat heavy and thick, meaning you may find it difficult to move it around.

In comparison, this laptop is heavier and thicker than one of its Legion siblings, the Lenovo Legion Y730 15-inch. Specifically, the Lenovo Legion Y730 15-inch weighs 2200 g and has a dimension of 361.4 x 267 x 19.9 – 22.4 mm (W x D x H).

In conclusion, the Lenovo Legion Y520 has a good design and a sturdy build. Also, it features an impressive keyboard and a decent amount of ports.

However, this laptop is somewhat heavy with chunky bezels. Considering all that, I will rate the Lenovo Legion Y520 an eight out of ten in this design review section.

Lenovo Legion Y520: Processor (CPU) Performance

The Lenovo Legion Y520 comes with an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor. This 7th-generation Intel processor has a base frequency of 2.80 GHz and a maximum frequency of 3.80 GHz.

Furthermore, the processor is a quad-core (4 cores) CPU with a cache memory of 6 MB. Performance-wise, this Intel Core i7 CPU is one of the fastest processors out there.

Hence, with this processor, the Lenovo Legion Y520 should be able to handle most computing tasks, including hardcore gaming. To give more information about this laptop’s processing performance, let us analyze its results on the Cinebench R15 test.

This test evaluates a computer’s processing ability by putting its CPU cores under intensive workloads. Furthermore, the test is divided into two – the single-core test and the multi-core test.

The single-core test measures the computer’s performance when one of its CPU cores is in use. On the other hand, the multi-core test evaluates the computer’s performance when all its CPU cores are being utilized.

Moreover, a high score on the Cinebench R15 single-core test and multi-core test equate to good performance. On that note, the Lenovo Legion Y520 scored 159 points on the single-core test and 652 points on the multi-core test.

Comparatively, this laptop performed better than the ASUS ROG Strix GL553VD in the single-core test but was outperformed in the multi-core test. Specifically, this ASUS laptop, which uses the same CPU, scored 148 points on the single-core test.

Also, it scored 732 points on the Cinebench R15 multi-core test.

Regardless, the Lenovo Legion Y520 deserves a nine out of ten rating in this processor review section.

Lenovo Legion Y520: Memory (RAM) Performance

The Lenovo Legion Y520 comes with a DDR4 2400 MHz memory type. Furthermore, the laptop offers two memory slots with a standard memory of 8 GB.

Also, the laptop supports a maximum memory of 32 GB. Thus, you can upgrade the memory of the Lenovo Legion Y520 up to 32 GB.

For this review, we will focus on the Lenovo Legion Y520 with 16 GB RAM. With this amount of RAM, this laptop will be able to run most high-end games with ease and perform demanding computing tasks without issues.

In fact, the laptop should be able to handle heavy multitasking with this amount of memory. For instance, it can run 25+ Chrome tabs simultaneously while streaming a movie on Netflix without lagging or slowing down.

To give you a better idea of how well the Lenovo Legion Y520 can perform with 16 GB RAM, let us discuss its PCMark 10 test result. Just so you know, PCMark 10 simulates a series of real-world productivity tasks in order to evaluate the memory performance of a computer.

Furthermore, like other benchmark tests in this article, a high score on the PCMark 10 test means good performance. Impressively, the Lenovo Legion Y520 with 16 GB RAM scored 5102 points on the PCMark 10 test.

That score is on par with the category average. Also, it is miles above the 3786 points achieved by the Lenovo Legion Y730.

All things considered, I will rate the Lenovo Legion Y520 a nine out of ten.

Lenovo Legion Y520: Storage Options and Performance

The Lenovo Legion Y520 offers two storage options – 2.5″ 5400 RPM SATA HDD and PCIe SSD. The HDD option supports a max storage capacity of 2 TB.

Meanwhile, the SSD storage option supports a maximum storage capacity of 512 GB. Regardless of the storage option you choose, the Lenovo Legion Y520 features a 4-in-1 card reader that allows for storage expansion.

That being said, this review focuses on the Lenovo Legion Y520 with 256 GB PCIe SSD. With this storage option, the laptop should deliver a fast transfer speed.

For example, on a file transfer test, the laptop was able to transfer (copy) about 4.97 GB of mixed-media files in just 14 seconds. Impressively, it does that at an outstanding transfer rate of 363.5 MBps.

Apart from having a fast transfer speed, the Lenovo Legion Y520 with PCIe SSD should also offer a fast read and write speed. To prove that, I will now share the laptop’s result on the CrystalDiskMark test.

For your information, this test is a benchmark test that estimates the read and write speed of a computer’s storage drive. In case you don’t know, read speed is the time it takes a storage drive to open a file.

However, write speed is the time it takes a storage drive to save a file. Moreover, the higher the “MBps” value on the CrystalDiskMark test, the quicker the read and write speed of the storage drive.

In that regard, the Lenovo Legion Y520 with PCIe SSD recorded a sequential read speed of 2170 MBps. It also recorded a sequential write speed of 1202 MBps.

In comparison, this laptop has a faster read speed but a slower write speed than the MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US, which also uses PCIe SSD. Specifically, this MSI gaming laptop recorded a read speed of 2141 MBps and a write speed of 1621 MBps.

All in all, I will rate the Lenovo Legion Y520 an eight out of ten in the storage review section.

Lenovo Legion Y520: Graphics Card Performance

To start with, the Lenovo Legion Y520 comes with a default Intel HD Graphics 630 GPU that is integrated into its processor. Furthermore, the GPU has a base frequency of 350 MHz and an 1100 MHz boost frequency.

However, as an integrated GPU, this GPU lacks a dedicated VRAM. Therefore, it depends on the system memory to perform graphics-related tasks.

Due to this, with the Intel HD Graphics 630 GPU alone, the Lenovo Legion Y520 won’t be able to run high-end games or perform graphics-demanding tasks. Gladly, in addition to this integrated graphics card, this Lenovo laptop offers multiple dedicated GPU options.

These dedicated GPU options include AMD Radeon RX 560 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. The AMD GPU option offers a base frequency of 1291 MHz and a boost frequency of 1275 MHz.

Meanwhile, the NVIDIA GPU option has a base frequency of 1175 MHz and a boost frequency of 1392 MHz. As expected from a dedicated graphics card, the AMD Radeon RX 560 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti has a dedicated VRAM.

As a matter of fact, they offer the same amount and type of dedicated VRAM –  4 GB GDDR5. Hence, they don’t depend on the system memory to perform graphics-related tasks, unlike the integrated graphics card.

Thus, with either dedicated GPU option, the Lenovo Legion Y520 will be able to handle graphics-demanding tasks like video editing effectively. Also, it should be able to run most high-end games smoothly.

For instance, with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, the laptop delivered 101 fps while playing Batman: Arkham Knight. It also generated 76 fps while playing Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Having said that, let us discuss the Lenovo Legion Y520’s result on the 3DMark test with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. If you are wondering, this test measures the 3D graphics rendering capability of a computer.

Furthermore, a high score on the test signifies a good graphics rendering performance. So, according to the benchmark test result, the Lenovo Legion Y520 delivered a score of 8493 points.

Comparatively, this laptop outperformed the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7567, which scored about 7646 points on the test. It is important to note that this Dell laptop also uses an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card.

Hence, I will be rating the Lenovo Legion Y520 a nine out of ten in this graphics card review section.

Lenovo Legion Y520: Battery Life and Performance

This Lenovo Legion Y520 comes with a 3-cell 45 WHr Li-Polymer battery. As advertised by Lenovo, this laptop can last up to 4 hours.

Although this advertised battery life seems poor, it is expected from a gaming laptop. This is because gaming laptops are known for having poor battery life.

Nonetheless, to confirm Lenovo’s 4-hour claim, we will now discuss the laptop’s result on a web-surfing battery rundown test. This test involves surfing the web on the laptop continuously over a Wi-Fi network until it dies.

Interestingly, at the end of the test, the Lenovo Legion Y520 lasted for exactly 4 hours, which is on par with Lenovo’s claim. However, under an intense workload and long gaming sessions, this laptop was only able to last for 46 minutes.

In comparison, the Alienware 15 R3 has a slightly better battery life than the Lenovo Legion Y520. Specifically, this Alienware laptop delivered a battery life of 4 hours and 14 minutes on the web-surfing battery rundown test.

Meanwhile, under an intensive workload and long gaming sessions, the laptop lasted for 1 hour and 42 minutes.

After thorough consideration, I will rate the Lenovo Legion Y520 a seven out of ten in this section.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does the Lenovo Legion Y520 have Bluetooth?

Yes, the Lenovo Legion Y520 has Bluetooth – it comes with Bluetooth 4.1.

2. How much does the Lenovo Legion Y520 weigh?

The Lenovo Legion Y520 weighs 2400 g.

3. Is the Lenovo Legion Y520 a gaming laptop?

Yes, the Lenovo Legion Y520 is a gaming laptop with exceptional performance. However, it offers poor battery life.

4. When was the Lenovo Legion Y520 released?

The Lenovo Legion Y520 was released in 2017.

5. Is the Lenovo Legion Y520 a touchscreen laptop?

Sadly, the Lenovo Legion Y520 doesn’t feature a touchscreen display. Hence, it isn’t a touchscreen laptop.


The Lenovo Legion Y520 is a well-designed 15.6-inch gaming laptop that comes packed with exceptional features. To be more specific, this laptop offers a powerful 7th-generation Intel processor and multiple dedicated GPU options.

Also, it features a comfortable keyboard and multiple storage options, including a fast PCIe SSD. However, the Lenovo Legion Y520 has poor battery life, as with most gaming laptops out there.

In addition to that, it is pretty chunky and features an awkward touchpad. Nevertheless, the Lenovo Legion Y520 offers an overall excellent gaming and productivity performance.

Hence, if you need a 15-inch gaming laptop, you should consider this Lenovo laptop!

I hope you found this Lenovo Legion Y520 review helpful. If you found this gaming laptop review helpful, click on “Yes” beside the “Was this page helpful” question below.

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About the Author

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Oluwaseun Bamisile

Oluwaseun is the Lead Content Editor at Itechguides.com. He holds a National Diploma in Computer Science (currently studying part-time for his Higher National Diploma). An internet geek with a love for automobiles, he writes product reviews, tech articles, and how-to guides on the site.

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