Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) review: Small changes make it better than ever (and it was already great)

The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i hasn't changed much with Gen 9, but the changes are good ones.

Image of the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) gaming laptop.
(Image: © Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

Windows Central Verdict

The Legion Pro 7i is consistently one of the best gaming laptops you can buy year over year, undercutting the most premium devices from competitors without compromising on performance. With Gen 9, Lenovo hasn't changed its formula much (or hardly at all), but small changes add up in a big way — this is an incredible gaming laptop.


  • +

    Stellar performance upgrades and excellent thermal management

  • +

    Updated display is more color accurate and pleasant to look at

  • +

    New matte black design looks and feels amazing

  • +

    The keyboard continues to be one of the best on a laptop


  • -

    More expensive than before

  • -

    Still no Windows Hello login or Thunderbolt ports

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Last year's Lenovo Legion Pro 7i was one of my favorite gaming laptops of 2023 thanks to its consistent quality and excellent performance, and Lenovo hardly changed it at all when updating it for a new year. The Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) is now available, and I didn't expect much when accepting it for review. However, small changes have a huge impact on the overall experience when using this laptop, solidifying the Legion Pro 7i as one of the best gaming laptops you can buy right now.

Performance has improved to a surprising degree for just a CPU bump, the subtly updated design is more attractive and solid than ever, and the display finally drops the color accuracy issues. Much is gained, and almost nothing is lost... Except that the price tag is now a little bit higher than before, with few configuration options. Still, the Legion Pro 7i continues to be an awesome value-play among premium, high-powered gaming laptops, and the list of complaints is smaller than ever.


This review was made possible with a review sample provided by Lenovo. The company did not see the contents of the review before publishing.

Recent updates

June 2, 2024 — Updated with Windows Central's review of the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9), which is very similar to last year's Legion Pro 7i (Gen 8).

Everything new with Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9)

Is this the Gen 9 or Gen 8? Spoiler, it's the Gen 8. Hard to tell from the outside, though. (Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

If you weren't aware of the differences ahead of time, it'd be nearly impossible to tell the difference between the Gen 8 and Gen 9 versions of the Legion Pro 7i. Honestly, Lenovo didn't change very much from 2023 to 2024, hence why the Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) didn't quite earn an entirely new review just for itself. However, there are still several notable changes.

  • An upgrade to the Intel Core i9-14900HX CPU and a faster SSD, translating to better performance across the board
  • An updated QHD+, 240Hz display that's now X-Rite Pantone Certified for better color accuracy and white balance
  • An extra USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 port with 140W Power Delivery
  • A new matte black colorway with slightly improved build quality
  • A much higher starting price, as configurations now start with an RTX 4080, 32GB of RAM, and 2TB of SSD storage

It'd be understandable if you expected a longer list of improvements, but rest assured the Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) is a better laptop than the Gen 8 was, with three of my criticisms for the Gen 8 being addressed.

Legion Pro 7i review: Pricing and specifications

The new Lenovo Legion Pro 7i is refined to near-perfection. (Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

Pricing highlights

  • The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) starts at $3,219.99 with a Core i9, RTX 4080, 32GB of RAM, and 2TB of SSD storage, but is very often on sale or heavily discounted.
  • You can upgrade to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 GPU, bringing the total cost up to $3,639.99 at full price.
  • This is more expensive than the Gen 8, as the entry-level configuration was dropped from the lineup.
  • Value rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Reviewed configuration

Price: $2,699.99 at Best Buy | Lenovo
 16-inch, 16:10 IPS LCD, QHD+ (2560 x 1600), 240Hz refresh rate, non-touch, 500 nits, NVIDIA G-Sync support, Dolby Vision HDR support, X-Rite Pantone Certified
 Intel Core i9-14900HX (24 cores, 32 threads, up to 5.8GHz)
 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 (175W TDP, 12GB DDR6 VRAM)
 32GB DDR5 @ 5,600MHz
 2TB M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 4.0 SSD
 99.9WHr w/ 330W barrel charger (140W charging via USB Type-C possible in Hybrid mode)
 363.4 x 262.15 x 21.95-25.9mm (14.3 x 10.32 x 0.86-1.01in)
2.8kg (6.2lbs)

The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i is not a value-driven laptop. In fact, I wouldn't suggest paying full price for this laptop, especially considering it's on sale more often than it isn't. You can rest assured that however much you spend, though, you're getting a quality product with a ton of features. However, the Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) is overall considerably more expensive than its predecessor, as there's no longer an entry-level configuration with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070.

Instead, the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) starts at $2,699.99 at Best Buy (this is discounted over the same configuration at Lenovo) for a 14th Gen Intel Core i9-14900HX CPU, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 GPU, 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and 2TB of PCIe Gen 4.0 SSD storage. You can upgrade to an RTX 4090 if you need extra graphical oomph, but every Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) will come with the same 16-inch, QHD+, 240Hz IPS display. For most people, the configuration I reviewed (and the new entry model) will be the sweet spot.

Fewer configuration options does mean a much higher starting price tag, but that's likely to make more room between the Legion Pro 7i and the more affordable Legion Pro 5i. When compared to the competition, the Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) is still an excellent value for a premium, high-powered gaming laptop, especially when you consider its discounted prices and not the inflated retail tags attached to Lenovo's website. You can see all the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) configurations from $3,219.99 at Lenovo to keep track of these sales.

In the box, you get the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) laptop, a 330W barrel charger and adapter, and 3-months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate after you first set the laptop up.

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) | Core i9 | RTX 4080 | 32GB RAM | 2TB SSD — $2,699.99 at Best Buy | Lenovo

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) | Core i9 | RTX 4080 | 32GB RAM | 2TB SSD — $2,699.99 at Best Buy | Lenovo

Lenovo may tell you that this configuration is over $3,200, but lowered prices and frequent sales means you should never buy the Legion Pro 7i at its full retail price. This configuration is well-rounded and is overall a great value when compared to the competition.

Legion Pro 7i review: Design and build quality

It's hard to tell these two apart in pictures, but in person the subtly darker color looks significantly better and resists smudges far more effectively. (Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

Design highlights

  • The Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) is nearly indistinguishable from its predecessor, apart from a new chassis color.
  • However, build quality does seem to have improved, with less flex in the keyboard deck and fewer creaks.
  • The new "Eclipse Black" colorway looks amazing, and overall the Legion Pro 7i continues to be very well designed... It's still missing Thunderbolt 4, though.
  • Design rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Design overview

• Materials: Aluminum (50% recycled) bottom cover and lid, polymer (30% post-consumer) everywhere else
• Design features: "Eclipse Black" color, Per-key RGB backlit keyboard, front-facing RGB light strip, rear-facing ports
• Dimensions:
363.4 x 262.15 x 21.95-25.9mm (14.3 x 10.32 x 0.86-1.01in)
• Weight:
2.8kg (6.2lbs)
• Ports:
Rear — 1x DC power, 1x USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 w/ 140W Power Delivery, 2x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI 2.1, Ethernet RJ45 / Left — 1x USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 w/ 140W Power Delivery, 1x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 / Right — 1x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1x 3.5mm audio jack

When I got the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) in for review, I found it to be basically indistinguishable from its Gen 8 predecessor. The overall chassis design, dimensions, and weight remained entirely unchanged versus last year's model, with the only obvious difference being the new "Eclipse Black" color. This isn't a bad thing, though; the Legion Pro 7i was already well-designed, and the new colorway looks amazing. It's the perfect example of how to do matte black correctly — dark, smooth, and resistant to fingerprint smudges.

Overall, it's a well-constructed laptop that isn't trying to be particularly light (6.2 lbs) or portable (1 inch thick) but doesn't feel too large to carry around if you need to. The hinge for the display is perfectly balanced and feels rock solid, and I had no concerns that this laptop would fall apart on me. Lenovo seems to have upped its game when it comes to build quality, as well, as the Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) generally felt tighter and more solid all around. Less creaking around the edges of the chassis and less flexing on the keyboard deck gave me more confidence in the new Pro 7i.

I do think the RGB lighting looks fantastic, too. The per-key backlit keyboard isn't quite as refined as what Razer and Alienware do with their gaming laptops, but combined with the front-facing RGB light strip helps give the Legion Pro 7i some personality. I like this laptop's design quite a bit; it's practical and not too flashy, which I appreciate. Ports-wise, the situation is pretty great.

Similar to other Legion laptops, Lenovo places most of the ports on the rear to keep cables and dongles out of the way but does have a USB Type-A port on either side for convenience (which I love to see). Now, all Legion Pro 7i models come with two USB Type-C ports, although Thunderbolt 4 is still strangely missing. I've no major complaints here; there are plenty of ports and no major misses, although I'm sure many will lament the absence of an SD card or even microSD card slot. At least Lenovo didn't omit the Ethernet port or cheap out on the HDMI port.

Legion Pro 7i review: Display quality

This display is much better than last year, and it's a joy to use. (Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

Display highlights

  • On paper, Gen 9 boasts the same roomy 16-inch IPS LCD panel with a 240Hz refresh rate and a crispy QHD+ resolution.
  • However, X-Rite Pantone Certification and factory calibration means color accuracy and white balance woes are issues of the past.
  • This display is still fast and extremely responsive for gaming, but not it generally looks better.
  • Display rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Display overview

• Display type: 16-inch IPS LCD w/ 16:10 aspect ratio
• Display specs: QHD+ resolution (2560 x 1600), 240Hz refresh rate, 500 nits max brightness, 1,400:1 contrast ratio, 100% sRGB color gamut
• Display features:
NVIDIA G-Sync support, VESA DisplayHDR 400 support, Dolby Vision HDR support, Overdrive (response time overclocking), MUX switch w/ NVIDIA Advanced Optimus support, anti-glare coating

The display on the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 8) isn't as spectacular as the miniLED offering on the far more expensive Legion 9i, but it's still one of the best displays I've had the pleasure of using in a gaming laptop. On paper, it's a pretty traditional affair, pairing a now-standard 16:10, 16-inch IPS LCD panel with a QHD+ (1600p) resolution and a 240Hz refresh rate. In use, the screen looks awesome. Detail is retained, colors are vivid, and there's no ghosting or screen tearing anywhere to be found.

The refresh rate and resolution are my personal sweet spot for gaming, and the Legion Pro 7i is powerful enough to take advantage of the combination. You get NVIDIA G-Sync support this time around to match the display refresh rate to your gaming framerates, and that works exactly as expected. There's also an Overdrive option in Lenovo Vantage that boosts the response time of the display, if you need the best possible performance for competitive games.

This display's only weakness is in color accuracy, which falls short of the promised 100% sRGB color gamut. (Image credit: Windows Central)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
SettingBrightnessBlackContrastWhite point
0%0.600:17,000 (0.305, 0.323)
25%24.40.011,780:16,800 (0.308, 0.324)
50%1000.071,460:16,800 (0.308, 0.323)
75%253.30.181,420:16,900 (0.307, 0.322)
100%4950.361,390:17,000 (0.305, 0.320)

This may seem like the exact same display as the one found on the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 8), but Lenovo did make some very welcome changes here. For one, each display is now factory calibrated and X-Rite Pantone Certified for 100% of the sRGB color gamut, and I can confirm color accuracy is considerably improved across the board. White balance is also more consistent and closer to "ideal," resulting in a display that looks more vibrant and balanced than ever.

Brightness seems to have taken a very minor downgrade, but it still approaches 500 nits, which means the Legion Pro 7i is still useable for HDR content. That's great, because you also get Dolby Vision support. Backlight bleed continues to be minimal, and contrast levels have actually improved versus last year. In short, all the great things about this display from last year are unchanged, but the changes that are here make this one of the best IPS LCD screens in a gaming laptop.

Legion Pro 7i review: Performance and thermals

Lots of aggressive vents help keep this monster laptop cool. (Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

Performance highlights

  • The Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) may only get a CPU bump on paper, but in reality it's quite a bit more powerful.
  • Performance across the board has improved a fair amount, with the Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) beating its predecessor in every conceivable test.
  • Thermal performance is still very good, even if the fans have a tendency to get loud.
  • Performance rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Performance overview

• CPU: Intel Core i9-14900HX (24 cores, 32 threads, up to 5.8GHz)
• GPU: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 (16GB GDDR6 VRAM) w/ Advanced Optimus
• RAM:
32GB DDR5 @ 5,600MHz (2x 16GB)
• Storage:
2TB M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 4.0 (2x 1TB)
• Thermals:
Lenovo AI Engine+ w/ LA-2Q chip, Legion Coldfront 5.0 cooling system, 3D blades, massive intake and exhaust vents, CPU liquid metal, hybrid heat pipe system, large vapor chamber
• Upgradeability:
2x SODIMM slots, 2x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 4.0 slots

Surprise, surprise, the Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) is an exceptional performer. As you'd hope, it's more powerful than last year's model... Except the gap is even greater than I expected. Equipped with an Intel Core i9-14900HX, up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090, 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and 2TB of SSD storage, this laptop is a beast through and through. Lenovo's thermal management continues to excel at keeping the laptop cool, too, even if the fans are still as loud as ever.

Lenovo Vantage still offers multiple performance profiles and modes to optimize your experience. You get the absolute best performance with the Performance and dGPU mode, which always uses the most powerful components at their best. By default, though, the Legion Pro 7i is in the Balanced and Hybrid mode, which uses Lenovo's AI Engine+ and NVIDIA Advanced Optimus to dynamically optimize your laptop depending on your power needs. You lose top-end performance, but the laptop does last longer away from the charger.

Need even more firepower? You can overclock the GPU and display directly from Lenovo Vantage. There's still no CPU or RAM overclocking here, though, which is a small omission. If you want to upgrade your Legion Pro 7i, you do have a little leeway. There are two DDR5 SODIMM RAM slots that are both user accessible, but both slots are in use out of the box. There are also two M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 4.0 slots, but, again, both are taken out of the box.

The numbers don't lie: The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) is a blisteringly fast laptop. It placed near or at the top in every single benchmark, often even besting laptops that, on paper (and according to their price tag,) should be the more powerful system. The Legion Pro 7i regularly surpassed the Lenovo Legion Pro 9i, ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D (2023), and Razer Blade 18 in both single-core and multi-core performance on multiple benchmarks.

Despite only being behind by one CPU generation on paper and boasting the same GPU, the Gen 8 version of the Legion Pro 7i couldn't compete. Lenovo has squeeze the maximum performance out of these internals while maintaining excellent thermal management, making the Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) one of the best performing gaming laptops you can buy right now.

Legion Pro 7i review: Gaming performance

Gaming highlights

No matter what you throw at this laptop, it won't stumble. (Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)
  • With such capable hardware, it's no wonder that the Legion Pro 7i also performs great when gaming.
  • The experience is improved by the fantastic, responsive, and fast display that you can overclock for competitive gaming.
  • Lenovo Vantage gives you multiple ways to get the best performance in games, too, and thermal performance ensures long play sessions aren't interrupted.

With the display, performance, and thermal management all scoring high for me, it shouldn't be surprising that the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i also does great in this segment. In every game I played, the Legion Pro 7i was able to run without fuss at the highest settings I wanted. Games just worked, and even long play sessions never resulted in slowdown or noticeable dips in performance. This is a monster of a gaming laptop.

Even using the same GPU, the Gen 9 scored a modest improvement over its predecessor. (Image credit: Windows Central)
  • Forza Horizon 5 131 FPS average on the Extreme preset, QHD+ (2,560 x 1,600) resolution, 240Hz refresh rate, v-sync enabled, AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution/NVIDIA DLSS disabled / 186 FPS average with all settings maxxed, NVIDIA DLSS enabled and set to "Auto," NVIDIA DLAA enabled, NVIDIA Reflex Low Latency enabled
  • Gears 5 — 119 FPS average on the Ultra preset with Ultra textures installed, QHD+ (2,560 x 1,600) resolution, uncapped framerate, v-sync enabled
  • Cyberpunk 2077 — 77 FPS average on the Ray Tracing: Ultra preset, QHD+ (2,560 x 1,600) resolution, 240Hz refresh rate, v-sync enabled, NVIDIA DLSS enabled and set to "Auto," NVIDIA DLAA disabled, NVIDIA Reflex Low Latency enabled / 108 FPS average on Ultra preset
  • Counter-Strike 2 — 173-224 FPS average on the Very High preset, QHD+ (2,560 x 1,600) resolution, v-sync enabled, AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution disabled, NVIDIA Reflex Low Latency enabled

The latest Legion Pro 7i has more than enough firepower to play all the latest and greatest PC games for years to come, and you'll never have to worry too much about your settings to get a stable framerate. Gains in games are modest versus last year's model, but they're there. The Legion Pro 7i achieved the same level of performance in Forza Horizon 5 with all the same settings but without relying on NVIDIA DLSS, for example. In Cyberpunk 2077, the Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) gained 2-3 FPS on multiple presets, while Gears 5 jumped up by a decent 7 FPS.

In all of these games, performance also felt more stable, as well. This was especially true in Counter-Strike 2, which fluctuated considerably less versus the Legion Pro 7i (Gen 8).

Legion Pro 7i review: Battery experience

We can finally begin shutting the lid on the battery woes of the Gen 8. (Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

Battery highlights

  • Somehow, Lenovo managed to quite literally double the battery life of the Legion Pro 7i.
  • Of course, doubling zero still gets you zero... So the Legion Pro 7i still isn't an endurance champion.
  • Still, matters have improved greatly here, and the Legion Pro 7i is feasibly useable away from the charger for a few hours if you turn down settings.
  • Battery rating: ⭐⭐⭐

I won't beat around the bush here. The Legion Pro 7i is not an endurance machine, even with a massive 99.99WHr battery stashed inside of it. You're right; that's the largest battery a laptop can have and still be legal to take on an aircraft in the United States, but don't expect too much. This laptop is unlikely to last more than a couple hours unplugged, but it is at least much improved over the Gen 8 from last year.

The Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) quite literally doubled its endurance in this benchmark with all the same settings. (Image credit: Windows Central)

The Legion Pro 7i (Gen 8) returned one of the worst endurance scores Windows Central has ever seen out of a laptop, but Gen 9 lasted literally twice as long, even with a slightly higher display brightness (~200 nits versus ~150 nits). That's a major improvement, even if the laptop still clocked out after less than three hours. Still, disabling the RGB lighting, lowering the display refresh rate from 240Hz, and setting the laptop to its least power-hungry performance profile could actually see this laptop last more than four hours away from the charger. That's a big step in the right direction.

Generating a Windows Battery Report didn't return me much useful data since I mostly used the Legion Pro 7i while it was plugged in, but the few instances where it ran on battery power it lasted longer than its predecessor. The 330W charger in the box can easily top the laptop off, even under load, and you can even use 140W USB Type-C charging when you're in a bind... Just maybe don't use the NVIDIA GPU when you do that.

Legion Pro 7i review: Keyboard and touchpad

This keyboard is mostly the same, but there's less flex in the deck and display hinge, and the new matte black colorway looks slick. (Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

Keyboard highlights

  • As usual, Lenovo's keyboard is excellent on the Legion Pro 7i, with a fantastic layout, awesome travel, and a comfortable typing experience.
  • The touchpad is average, but Microsoft Precision drivers and a decently large surface make it usable.
  • There's far less flex in the keyboard deck this time around, and the RGB lighting still looks fantastic.

I've not used a Lenovo laptop that doesn't have an awesome keyboard, and the Legion Pro 7i is no exception. It's roomy, with plenty of space between keys and decent levels of travel for a comfortable and accurate typing experience. I also love the layout and the fact that the arrow keys are actually full-sized (seriously, take notes, Razer). The number pad is cramped on a 16-inch laptop, but I personally appreciate that it's here (although extra macro keys also would've been nice).

I appreciate Lenovo's thoughtful design that comes from years of making laptops for businesses, like holding down the Function button to highlight all the buttons on the keyboard that interact with it. It's a small touch, but it makes the laptop so much nicer to use. All-in-all, it's an excellent keyboard. With Gen 9, Lenovo seems to have reinforced the keyboard deck so there's hardly any flex, which is great to see. That was basically my only complaint with this fine keyboard.

The touchpad is your standard Microsoft Precision affair. It's smooth, gestures work, and it's consistent and responsive. It's also a good size, and the button action is consistent. I don't have any real criticisms, except that it's boring. That's okay, though, because you're going to hook up your favorite gaming mouse anyway. Finally, the RGB lighting looks great and works as a regular backlight, too, if you want.

Legion Pro 7i review: Other features

In basically every other way, the Gen 9 feels identical to the Gen 8. (Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

Other highlights

  • The front-facing camera is functional but certainly nothing more than average — at least it has Tobii eye-tracking if you're into that, but there's still no Windows Hello.
  • The dual-speaker system isn't that impressive on paper, but in usage, it gets surprisingly loud and actually sounds pretty good (at low-to-mid volumes, at least).
  • Wireless connectivity covers all the bases, and Wi-Fi performance was excellent when gaming.
  • Other features rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Other hardware overview

• Camera: FHD (1920 x 1080) front-facing camera, no Windows Hello support, Tobii Horizon eye-tracking support, electronic camera shutter on side, dual-microphone
• Audio: 2x 2W Harman Super Linear speakers w/ Smart Amp and Nahimic Audio
• Connectivity:
Wi-Fi 6E 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1

Alright, let's wrap things up by tackling the miscellaneous parts of a laptop that are still vital to the experience. First, the front-facing camera here is an FHD (1920 x 1080) affair, but you wouldn't know it just by looking at it. The colors and white balance are fine, but the camera suffers a lot from noise. It's good enough for casual video conferences but not much more than that. The dual microphones are solid, though. There's still no Windows Hello support (or any biometric authentication of any kind,) which is disappointing at this price point, but you at least get Tobii Horizon eye-tracking... If you care about that.

The Legion Pro 7i is equipped with dual 2W speakers. On paper, that's not particularly impressive, but I was actually pleasantly surprised by this system. It's not as good as the Alienware x16 R1, but these speakers get surprisingly loud — louder than is comfortable when you're sitting right in front of the laptop. Lenovo seems to have somewhat reduced distortion at higher volumes, but the speakers still sound better at low-to-mid volume levels, with solid detail and low-end bass. Considering the reputation of Windows laptop speakers, I'd say that's a win.

Finally, wireless connectivity is handled by Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1 (strangely not a newer version). I never had any issues with Wi-Fi performance, even when playing competitive games, so there's nothing to complain about here. You also still have a physical Ethernet port for a faster, more stable internet connection when you need it. As expected, there's no cellular connectivity here.

Legion Pro 7i review: Software experience

That includes software, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. (Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

Software highlights

  • Windows 11 continues to be a great OS, and it runs smoothly on this laptop.
  • There is a sizeable batch of preinstalled apps, but most directly related to managing the Legion Pro 7i's hardware.
  • Your main application will be Lenovo Vantage, which is a fast, responsive, and feature-packed hub to manage your laptop.
  • Software rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Software overview

• OS: Windows 11 Home
• Preinstalled apps: Dolby Vision, Intel Graphics Command Center, Killer Intelligence Center, Legion Arena, Lenovo AvatarMaster, Lenovo Hotkeys, Lenovo Now, Lenovo Vantage, McAfee LiveSafe, Nahimic, NVIDIA Control Panel, NVIDIA GeForce Experience, Thunderbolt Control Center, Tobii Experience, User Guide, X-Rite Color Assistant

I'm usually a fan of Lenovo's software experience, and that's no different with the Legion Pro 7i. The laptop is powered by Windows 11, a known quantity at this point that runs great on this hardware. Aside from that, you get a rather long list of preinstalled apps, but most of it is directly related to the laptop and doesn't cause any harm. You have Dolby Vision and X-Rite Color Assistant to manage the HDR and display color profile, Nahimic for the audio, Intel and NVIDIA apps to manage the hardware and a small collection of Lenovo apps.

The only "bloatware" on this laptop is the dreaded McAfee, which is unnecessary. Back to Lenovo's apps, you have Legion Arena (a very barebones games launcher), Lenovo Vantage (your one-stop shop to manage your Legion Pro 7i), Lenovo Now (a forgettable "welcome" page), Lenovo Hotkeys (to manage some of Lenovo's unique keyboard shortcuts), and a little bit of an oddity in Lenovo AvatarMaster, if you care about that.

The app you'll use most is Lenovo Vantage, though, which continues to be one of my favorite hubs on a gaming laptop. It's fast and responsive, it has a decent number of features, and it is pretty easy to use. Some parts of the interface are a little convoluted, and some options are a little too buried for my taste, but everything you need the most — hardware monitoring, driver and firmware updates, and gaming-specific tools like performance profiles and overclocking — are all instantly available whenever you need them.

Legion Pro 7i review: Competition

The Gen 9 is absolutely better than its predecessor, but is that enough? (Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

If you want one of the best gaming laptops, the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) should be on your list. If you want to save money, though, the Lenovo Legion Pro 5i (Gen 8) gives you a similar experience with less power, a slightly worse display, and less RGB lighting (there's also a new Gen 9 version of that). If you want to spend more money, the Lenovo Legion 9i gives you industry-leading cooling, one of the best displays ever put in a gaming laptop, and a gorgeous design.

Outside of Lenovo, MSI and ASUS both have a wide variety of great gaming laptops at different budgets. The Razer Blade 16 (2024) is a fantastic choice if you want the same level of power as Lenovo but in a more premium chassis, but you'll pay a lot more. You can also consider the new Alienware m16 R2 for a great laptop with a lower starting price point but less power.

However, the greatest competition for the Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) is honestly its predecessor. If you can find it in stock, the Gen 8 will save you a ton of money for 95% of the experience.

Legion Pro 7i review: Score card

Swipe to scroll horizontally
AttributeRating & notes
Value4.5/5 — This is not a budget laptop, but frequent sales make it a solid value for a high-end gaming laptop with lots of power.
Design4.5/5 — The Legion Pro 7i isn't much different than its more affordable sibling, but the nice RGB lighting and rear-facing ports are great here.
Display4.5/5 — Greatly improved color accuracy, more consistent white balance, and greater contrast makes this display much better than last year's.
Performance5/5 — Performance is expectantly exceptional, and thermal management is also effective at keeping things cool. These fans are loud, though.
Battery3/5 — Battery life is still terrible, but it's substantially better than the older model.
Other hardware4.5/5 — The keyboard is great, the speakers are surprisingly good, the touchpad is decent, and the webcam is... Okay.
Software4.5/5 — Lenovo Vantage continues to be a highlight for Legion laptops, being faster and more responsive than most competitors' hubs.
Overall4.5/5 — Small changes and upgrades in a few areas make this laptop better than ever.

Legion Pro 7i review: Final thoughts

Hands-down one of the best gaming laptops you can buy right now. (Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

You should buy this if ...

✅You want an extremely powerful, capable gaming laptop

The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) is packed with the most powerful gaming hardware, and it has good enough thermal management to take advantage of it. If you want to play every PC game with the highest settings, this is the laptop for you.

✅You want a gaming laptop with a practical, understated design.

(Optional) RGB lighting aside, the Legion Pro 7i is a very reasonably designed laptop with all the right ports in all the right places, a great keyboard, and all the fundamentals nailed. A great choice for those who don't want anything too flashy. That new matte black color looks awesome, too.

You should not buy this if ...

❌You already own the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 8)

I was pleasantly surprised by just how improved the new Legion Pro 7i is over its predecessor, but the fact remains that no one with the older model needs to upgrade. If you still own the Legion Pro 7i (Gen 8), or can save good money by getting it, then that's still a fantastic gaming laptop. The Gen 9 is just a little better.

Put the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 8) and Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) side-by-side, and you won't be able to immediately tell the difference. Actually use them, though, and you'll realize that Lenovo did listen to feedback and make some key improvements. The result is not just a top-notch gaming laptop, but one of the best Windows laptops in general. When you can save so much buying last year's model, though, is it enough?

The new matte black Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) is a gorgeous, practical, and feature-packed powerhouse with an attractive price tag attached. The Gen 8 is all of those things, too, though, and it'll be even cheaper if you can find it in stock. Those with the money to spare should get the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9), which is now by go-to recommendation for anyone looking for a premium, full-powered, no-compromise gaming laptop.

You can buy the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 9) for $2,699.99 at Best Buy, or look for more configurations from $3,219.99 at Lenovo.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.