Lenovo Legion Y740 15 vs. Legion Y545: Which should you buy?

These two laptops help make up Lenovo's Legion gaming lineup, but they're targeted at different users. The Legion Y740 15 is more of a premium option for serious gamers who like to have high-grade features, while the Legion Y545 keeps things cheaper by cutting down on features and limiting performance.

Lenovo Legion Y740 15 vs. Legion Y545 tech specs

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Header Cell - Column 0 Legion Y740 15Legion Y545
Processor9th GenIntel Core i7-9750H9th GenIntel Core i5-9300HIntel Core i7-9750H
RAM8GB, 16GB, 32GBDDR4-2666MHz8GB, 16GB, 32GBDDR4-2666MHz
Storage256GB, 512GB, 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD1TB SATA HDD256GB, 512GB, 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD1TB, 2TB SATA HDD
Display size15.6 inches15.6 inches
Display resolution1920x1080 (FHD)144Hz refresh rateG-Sync400 nits, 500 nitsDolby Vision HDR4001920x1080 (FHD)60Hz, 144Hz refresh rate300 nits
GraphicsNVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti (6GB)NVIDIA RTX 2060 (6GB)NVIDIA RTX 2070 (8GB)NVIDIA GTX 1650 (4GB)NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti (6GB)NVIDIA RTX 2060 (6GB)
PortsThree USB-A 3.1Mini DisplayPort 1.4HDMI 2.0RJ45 EthernetThunderbolt 33.5mm audioUSB-C 3.1Three USB-A 3.1HDMI 2.0RJ45 EthernetMini DisplayPort 1.43.5mm audio
WeightFrom 4.85 pounds (2.2kg)From 5.1 pounds (2.3kg)
Dimensions14.2 x 10.5 x 0.88 inches(361.42mm x 267mm x 22.45mm)14.22 x 10.5 x 0.97 - 1.05 inches(361.1mm x 266.7mm x 24.7 - 26.6mm)

Different design, different features

Lenovo Legion Y740 (Image credit: Windows Central)

The Legion Y740 15 ⁠— like its larger 17-inch sibling ⁠— has a modern, slim design with dual hinges for its display. It has customizable RGB lighting for its exhaust vents and keyboard, and most of its ports are located along the back for easy cable management. It weighs less than the Legion Y545 and also has a thinner body, though neither laptop is exactly ultra-portable.

The Legion Y545 has a thicker chassis with a single hinge for the lid. It also has the majority of ports along the back to manage connectivity, though the rear is overall thicker and less streamlined. You don't get the same customizable RGB lighting for the keyboard, but it does include a full number pad. Instead of a number pad, the Legion Y740 15 includes customizable macro keys for in-game shortcuts.

Ports are the same other than the USB-C port on the Legion Y545, which is Thunderbolt 3 on the Legion Y740 15. With either device, you should be able to connect all peripherals, though you can add a performance docking station to the Legion Y740.

Overall, the Legion Y740 15 brings more features and a more mature look, though the Legion Y545 isn't necessarily far behind. If you focus more on a performance to price ratio, the Y545 might prove to be more attractive.

Gaming displays

To help keep the price down, the Legion Y545 has comparatively basic display options. Both options are FHD and max out at 300 nits brightness, though you can choose between a 60Hz and 144Hz refresh rate. Testing color accuracy, we got back 96% sRGB and 73% AdobeRGB, both respectable results that provide a colorful picture.

The Legion Y740 15 has more impressive display options available, though at an elevated price. Again you can't go any higher than FHD resolution, but you get a 144Hz refresh rate, G-Sync compatibility for smoother graphics, 400- or 500-nit brightness, and Dolby Vision HDR400. Color reproduction in our testing hit 98% sRGB and 85% AdobeRGB.

If you want your games to look as good as possible, you'll want to go with the Legion Y740 15.

Performance and battery life

These two laptops both feature the same 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H processor (CPU), though only the Legion Y545 can be had with the lesser Core i5-9300H if you'd like to save money by sacrificing performance. Both laptops can also be had with up to 32GB of dual-channel DDR4-2666MHz RAM, upgradeable after purchase. Storage options include speedy M.2 PCIe NVMe solid-state drives (SSD), and the Legion Y545 can be had with up to a 2TB SATA HDD. The Legion Y740 15 tops out at a 1TB SATA HDD.

The major difference between these two laptops is in the available dedicated GPUs. The Legion Y740 15 has up to an NVIDIA RTX 2070 with 8GB of VRAM, while the Legion Y545 tops out at an RTX 2060 with 6GB of VRAM. With the latter device, you can go as low as an NVIDIA GTX 1650 to save money and again sacrifice performance. The Legion Y740 15 goes as low as an NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti.

Overall, the Legion Y545 is going to deliver mid- to high-range performance (especially if you opt for the RTX 2060), while the Legion Y740 15 is better suited to deliver a high-performance gaming experience with the RTX 2070.

Don't expect anything remarkable from either laptop when it comes to battery. Both come with a 57Wh battery, and both will deliver somewhere between two and four hours of life. Depending on the display and performance hardware chosen, the battery life in both laptops will vary.

One thing to note is that the Legion Y545 with GTX 1660 Ti GPU suffered from some thermal issues under load. When we tested the Legion Y740 15 with much beefier RTX 2070 GPU, there was no thermal throttling to worry about.

Finally, the stock SSD in the Legion Y545 is much slower than the stock option in the Legion Y740 15. However, you can upgrade the storage in both laptops.

Go with the Legion Y740 15 for a better gaming experience

Although you'll pay more for the Legion Y740 15, it's going to deliver more features, better display options, and higher performance that doesn't suffer from any thermal throttling. If you want the complete package, this is it.

If you're more concerned with the price to performance ratio and don't mind fewer features ⁠— like RGB lighting, G-Sync and HDR displays, and thicker chassis ⁠— the Legion Y545 should still be considered. If you're on a tight budget, it will make a better choice.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.