The Good The Lenovo Legion Y545 has a clearer design than the rest of the Legion gaming notebook range without going over the top. It comes with several great components, including a choice of three Nvidia graphics cards.
The Bad The Y545 isn’t as slim as its line-up or competitors, and it lacks applications such as RGB turnkey lighting and keyboard macros.
The Bottom Line Like its predecessor, the Y7000P, the Legion Y545 Lenovo surpasses its price.
The line of Legion gaming laptops from Lenovo at the moment is a mess as they sell new and used models nearby. And new Legion Y540 and Y740 sit next to the senior, but still excellent Y530 and Y730. The newer models have the same lowered blackboard design as the old ones, but have newer ninth-generation Intel processors and the latest Nvidia GTX and RTX graphics as well as better display options. Then there is Legion Y545.
Y545 replaces Legion Y7000P , which was only available at retail – not directly from Lenovo – and more like a typical gaming laptop. Although it was a big game value, here is the case with the Y545. It has the same chassis as the Y7000P, but now you get it with upgraded components that received impressive gaming value for money.
Also, unlike the Y7000P, the Y545 is available from Lenovo starting at $1,000. However, it seems you’ll still find a better deal from a retailer. For example, my review laptop was available from NewEgg for $950, an amazing price considering what’s in it including a GTX 1660 Ti GPU. A similar deal for $1,100 with twice the SSD storage and a 144Hz display is currently at Costco — a configuration that’ll run you $1,550 direct from Lenovo at the moment. But if you’re even considering spending that much, you’d be better off spending $1,400 at B&H and get one with an Nvidia RTX 2060 and a 144Hz display.
Because the Y545 is so similar to the Legion Y7000P, you will see much of the same soil here. The conclusion is the same with this: If you want a gaming laptop with a performance that exceeds the original level and no frantic price tag, the Legion Y545 should be included in your short list.
Lenovo Legion Y545
|Price as reviewed||$1,300|
|Display size/resolution||15.6-inch 1,920×1,080 display|
|CPU||2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H|
|Memory||16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2667MHz|
|Graphics||6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti|
|Storage||128GB SSD + 1TB HDD|
|Networking||802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.2|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home (64-bit)|
Choose your style
Many component options are the same between the Legion Y540 and Y545, so the design is pretty much what sets them apart. The Legion Y540 is more reminiscent of a Thinkpad black workstation with a slim Legion branding than a typical gaming laptop. The Y545 is a little more aggressive with its flared vents and an angular iron-gray metallic lid with a large glowing Y symbol. It’s not on top, but it’s also not your average thin and light laptop, especially not at 5 pounds (2.3 kg).
Like its line-up, however, most of the Y545 ports and power source are on the back panel between its main vents. This is a good setting for controlling cable clutter, especially if it is regularly at a desk connected to an external display, mouse, and keyboard. However, it can also be a pain to blindly cover your back until you remember which port it is. On the one hand, there are USB-A ports and a headphone jack on the left, in addition to the rear, but no SD card slot.
The slim design continues from the inside with a slim panel around a nice 15.6-inch full-screen display. Although he has a chin, you will find a webcam that either points to your joints or nose. The brightness of the display is average for its class – about 300 bolts, and the color characteristics are good enough for games. If you need a wide color gamut for your photo and video work, it won’t cut it. However, you can get it with the 144Hz refresh rate display.
The keyboard is good, but nothing special. There are 1.7mm of key travel, which is nice and they pop up easily when pressed. However, they do have a softness that some may not care about, but I found it convenient for long gaming sessions. An abbreviated keypad may also bother some, though it does allow for large, large arrow keys. There is a single-color white backlight with two brightness levels.
The touchpad is beautiful, but there are no discrete buttons, which is not uncomfortable to have for casual games. It’s also a Windows Precision touchpad, so you get multi-core gesture support. It’s smooth and responsive, but you need to boldly adjust the sensitivity to tame the cursor.
Lenovo’s Legion Y7000P laptop does mainstream gaming right by Joshua Goldman01:33Replay videoLarge play-pause toggle Legion of Lenovo … AutoplayOnOff 00:00 01:33 Settings
Higher performance, less $$
Getting a six-core Intel processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics for about $ 1,000 is great, and while there are other gaming laptops for $ 1,000, the performance and price ratio are impressive here. You can play the latest games with native resolution and high settings, and this gives you a good place for the future. Not much, mind you, but it’s a space you won’t get when you go with a GTX 1650 or older GTX 1050 or 1050 Ti. Also, if you’re playing with the idea of getting a VR headset, the GTX 1660 Ti can handle it.
Despite the relative portability of the laptop, the battery life still lasts for a typical gaming laptop. This configuration got 4 hours 59 minutes on the CNET streaming video test. Do not hope to get somewhere near these games – you will be lucky if you spend an hour and a half. However, for everyday things like web browsing, video and music broadcasting, and work at the office or school, you can get four to five hours.
Like its predecessor, the Y7000P, the Legion Y545 Lenovo surpasses its price. The design may not be for everyone (I prefer the more comfortable Y540 design), but it’s hard to argue with its overall cost. You will definitely want to keep an eye on retailers and Lenovo prices, especially as we push into the holiday shopping season.
The best new gaming laptops, ranked
|Lenovo Legion Y545||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeFroce GTX 1660Ti; 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD|
|Dell G5 5590||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-9300; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeFroce GTX 1650; 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD|
|Lenovo Legion Y7000P||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeFroce GTX 1060; 1TB SSD|
|Alienware m15||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeFroce GTX 1070 with Max-Q Design; 512GB SSD|
|Lenovo Legion Y730||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.2HGz Intel Core i7-8750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti; 2TB HDD + 256GB SSD|