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Lenovo Legion Y530 review: An affordable gaming laptop saddled with an iffy…

Lenovo Legion Y530 review: An affordable gaming laptop saddled with an iffy graphics card

A relatively thin and light gaming laptop, the inexpensive Lenovo Y530 will be a tempting choice for budget-minded gamers. That said, the Y530’s middling graphics card struggles to keep up with today’s games, let alone tomorrow’s.

Best Today: Y530 (81FV0013US)

The bargain-priced Lenovo Legion Y530 weighs less than five pounds and measures less than an inch thick—impressively portable for a gaming laptop. It packs impressive quad-core multitasking performance, a comfortable keyboard, a reasonably bright screen and solid battery life. Unfortunately, the Legion Y530’s middling graphics card struggles to deliver buttery visuals from today’s AAA games, and its performance will only go downhill as more demanding titles come down the pike.

Lenovo Legion Y530 review | Great Gaming Laptop on a Budget ��

Price and specifications

We reviewed the cheapest version of the Lenovo Legion Y530 (81FV0013US), which comes with a quad-core Intel Coffee Lake Core i5-8300H processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid-state drive. This CPU’s eight threads of processing power (thanks to Intel’s hyperthreading technology) promises plenty of multitasking, perfect for gamers who want to stream or create content while they play. Because it lacks a larger secondary drive, however, the Y530 doesn’t have enough storage for more than one or two top-tier games at a time.

G3 15 Gaming Laptop

When it comes to visuals, the Legion Y530 boasts a 15.6-inch full-HD (1920×1080) non-touch IPS display, plus discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics with 4GB of dedicated GDDR5 RAM. Sitting on the lower end of Nvidia’s GeForce 10 Series laptop graphics cards, the GTX 1050 generally falls short of buttery 60-fps gaming visuals at maxed-out video presets. You can often make up the difference by tinkering with your graphics settings, but we feel that a more powerful GTX 1060 graphics card—or at the very least, GTX 1050 Ti graphics—offers better value, as well as more headroom for the future.

Lenovo offers a series of upgrades that’ll boost the Legion Y530’s processing power, storage and graphics. The top-of-the-line model boasts a hex-core Core i7-8750H CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, and a 1TB hard drive, plus a GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, for about 300 more. That’s enough storage for a much bigger library of games, and enough imaging power to nudge gaming performance closer to the 60-fps mark.

While you can certainly find cheaper gaming laptops with superior graphics chops (the recent GTX 1050 Ti-powered Dell G3 15 comes to mind), you’d be hard pressed to find one that weighs less than five pounds. Indeed, the 4.87-pound Lenovo Legion Y530 (compared to 5.36 pounds for the Dell G3) is by far one of the cheapest recent gaming laptops we’ve seen in its sub-five-pound weight class.

Design

Measuring 14.4 x 10.2 x 0.95 inches and (as we just noted) weighing in at 4.87 pounds, the Lenovo Y530 feels relatively slim and trim for a gaming laptop. At first blush, the laptop’s onyx-black design makes it look like a generic business machine, although the glowing Legion ‘Y’ logo on the side of the finely etched lid sets it apart.

The hinge of the Legion Y530’s lid sits about an inch forward from the laptop’s back edge, which makes the slim rear end of the system look like it’s jutting out from the rest of the chassis—a nifty, console-like design choice that makes the Legion Y530 feel thinner than it actually is.

Lenovo Y530 Review. Thin Bezel Gaming For 930

Speaking of the Legion Y530’s back side, several of the laptop’s key ports are rear-facing, including the power input, HDMI, USB-C and ethernet. (We’ll delve into the specific ports later in the review.) On the one hand, this location makes it easier to hide cables from view, but it also makes those ports harder to access.

Display

Opening the Y530’s lid reveals the 15.6-inch IPS display surrounded by thin bezels (about 8 mm) on the top and sides. It looks about as sharp and vivid as those on other budget gaming laptops we’ve tested. Viewing angles were solid, dimming slightly starting at about 45 degrees or so with no inverse colors as you might see on cheaper displays.

Brightness on the Y530’s display measured about 280 nits (or candelas) according to our measurements, a little above our minimum 250-nit standard for comfortable indoor viewing. We prefer to see brightness readers of 300 or above on gaming laptops, but 280 nits isn’t bad given the Lenovo Y530’s budget price tag.

lenovo, legion, y530, review, affordable

Keyboard, trackpad, speakers and extras

The Lenovo Y530’s full-size keyboard feels comfortable and snappy, complete with two-step backlighting (sorry, no flashy LEDs), a generous 1.7mm of travel, slightly concave key caps, a tactile bump in the middle of each keystroke, and a springy, refreshing rebound. A 10-key numeric keypad sits to the right of the main keyboard, with a roomy set of arrow keys just beneath.

The Y530’s mid-size trackpad sits directly beneath the space bar, meaning it’s somewhat left of center to make room for the numeric keypad. While the trackpad lacks a physical clicking mechanism, you can still tap it to click, or you can click the two mouse buttons along the bottom of the trackpad. While the trackpad itself is smooth, responsive, and adept at rejecting mistaken inputs, it’s also quite the magnet for oily fingerprint smudges.

The down-firing Harman Kardon speakers sound pretty good as far as laptop speakers go. Music sounds crisp and detailed, although bass is (per usual) on the weak side, and dynamics sound compressed whenever tunes reach a crescendo. Still, you can crank the Legion Y530’s speakers nice and loud, perfect for drowning out the laptop’s cooling fans (which never roar too loudly, even during intense gameplay moments). Solid though they are, the Legion Y530’s speakers are no match for a good pair of gaming headphones.

The Legion Y530’s 720p webcam captures average-looking video—that is, a little grainy and blotchy but bolstered by reasonably vivid color and contrast. Serious Twitch broadcasters will, of course, be better off with a dedicated webcam. It’s also worth noting that the webcam lens sits in the bottom bezel of the screen, which means your Skype partners will think you’re gazing over their heads even when you’re looking them in the eye.

Ports

The Lenovo Y530 offers a solid selection of ports, but as we mentioned above, the placement of the Y530’s ports—most in back—could be either or boon or a burden, depending on how you prefer running your cables.

Starting in back, you get a USB 3.0 Type-C port, Mini DisplayPort 1.4, the first of three USB 3.1 Type-A ports, a full-size HDMI 2.0 port, and ethernet RJ-45. Also in back: a rectangular power input, plus a Kensington Lock slot.

On the left side, you get just two ports: USB 3.1 Type-A (second of three), plus a combo audio jack.

Last but not least, a third USB 3.1 Type-A port sits on the right.

Missing in action: Thunderbolt 3 (unsurprising for an entry-level gaming laptop) and an SD memory card slot (a little more disappointing).

General performance

While the Lenovo Legion Y530’s gaming performance is held back by its so-so GTX 1050 graphics card, the laptop’s overall computing and multitasking performance gets a big boost thanks to its Coffee Lake Core i5-8300H processor. We’ve compared it to other lower-priced gaming laptops we’ve tested recently, but we’ve also made sure to show a range of GTX graphics so you can weight performance vs. cost.

HandBrake

In our first benchmark, we use the free Handbrake tool to encode a 40GB video file into an Android tablet-compatible format. It’s a lengthy CPU-intensive test designed to tell us how a given laptop deals with spiking processor temperatures over a relatively long period of time—sometimes an hour or more, depending on a system’s horsepower.

Laptops with the most cores and threads usually do the best with HandBrake, and the quad-core, eight-thread Lenovo Legion Y530 doesn’t disappoint. Its Handbrake score sits near the top, right in the mix with other i5-8300H-powered laptops and ahead of two 7th-gen Core i7 systems. Twitch broadcasters, content creators, or anyone else looking to multitask while gaming will get plenty of support from this CPU.

One interesting observation about the Legion Y530’s HandBrake performance: Unlike other systems that dial down processor speeds and wattage during the Handbrake test, the Y530 keeps CPU package max-core frequencies cranked at about 3.64GHz, with processor package temperatures hovering around 94 degrees Celsius and thermal throttling continually enabled. Yes, it’s a bit like having a roaring fire in your fireplace while the air conditioner is on full blast, but it seems to work, with no hot spots on the laptop chassis or the keyboard.

Cinebench

Next up is Cinebench, a benchmark that checks how a laptop performs under a brief period of stressful CPU activity—in this case, rendering a 3D image in real time. While our HandBrake benchmark takes about an hour to complete, Cinebench is often over in a matter of minutes. Despite the differing lengths of each test, both Cinebench and Handbrake reward processors with the most cores and threads.

Not surprisingly the race was close when only a single thread was tested—meaning performance on mainstream applications should be solid on any of these CPUs. When we switch to multi-threaded testing, the higher-end CPUs tend to pull ahead. The quad-core, eight-thread Legion Y530’s score is bested only by the Dell G7 15 and its hex-core Core i7-8750H CPU.

Gaming performance is important, and you can see if you keep reading.

Gaming performance

Impressive though the system’s Core i5-8300H processor is, the Legion Y530’s gaming performance hangs off its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card, which sits near the back of Nvidia’s GeForce 10 Series line for laptops. If you were expecting 60-fps visuals at maxed-out graphics settings from a bargain GTX 1050-powered laptop like the Y530, well, see for yourself.

FireStrike Extreme

Let’s start with 3DMark’s FireStrike Extreme benchmark, a synthetic graphics test that gives us a solid baseline for comparing gaming laptops at different price ranges.

Unsurprisingly, the Lenovo Legion Y530 sits near the back, a hair behind the GTX 1050-powered Acer Nitro 5 and a couple steps behind the GTX 1050 Ti-packing Dell G3 15.

In the middle, we’ve got a couple of laptops with more powerful GTX 1060 graphics cards, including the Dell G7 15 and the Acer Predator Helios 300. Just looking at those numbers gives you a good idea how big a leap in performance the GTX 1060 delivers versus GTX 1050 graphics.

At the top of our chart sits a pricey GTX 1070-packing laptop, the Gigabyte Aero 15X, which (generally speaking) can wring 60 fps or more from today’s most demanding games without breaking a sweat.

Tomb Raider

Moving on to real-world gaming, we fired up 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot, an older AAA title that relies a little more on CPU power than recent gaming titles do.

Even with the aging Tomb Raider, the Legion Y530 struggles to approach 60 fps at the game’s “Ultimate” preset, as does the similarly GTX 1050-equipped Acer Nitro 5. Crossing the 60-fps threshold (barely) for Tomb Raider is the GTX 1050 Ti-powered Dell G3 15 (which, remember, is cheaper but considerably heavier than the Legion Y530), while GTX 1060 and 1070-packing laptops breeze past 90 fps and beyond.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

The Legion Y530’s gaming limitations really start to show with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The laptop managed only about 45 fps at the game’s “Ultra” preset.

Again, you’ll need a laptop with GTX 1050 Ti or better graphics to squeeze more than 60 fps out of Shadow of Mordor with maxed-out graphics, while GTX 1060- and 1070-enabled laptops can easily crank out 100 fps-plus SOM “Ultra” visuals. (You can chalk up the Dell G7 15’s 88-fps showing to its GTX 1060 Max-Q card, which puts a cap on performance to optimize heat and power management in a smaller chassis.)

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Finally, the GPU-intensive Rise of the Tomb Raider sees the Legion Y530 (along with the GTX 1050-packing Acer Nitro 5) sitting closer to the 30-fps mark at the game’s “Very High” preset. For reliably buttery Rise of the Tomb Raider graphics at maxed settings, you’ll need to shell out more cash for (at least) a GTX 1060-powered system.

None of this is to say the Legion Y530 can’t render smooth gaming graphics under the right circumstances. After a little GeForce Experience-aided tweaking, for example, I was able to get supple Destiny 2 frame rates in the 60-fps range, up from about 45 fps at the “Highest” preset.

But you’ll need to come to terms with the fact that an entry-level gaming laptop like the Legion Y530 won’t earn you bragging rights for the hottest portable gaming graphics. It’s also worth considering that if the Legion Y530’s GTX 1050 graphics card struggles with today’s top-tier games, it’ll fare even worse with next year’s titles.

Battery life

They may have been battery hogs in the past, but gaming laptops are getting better and better at respecting battery life. No, we’re not talking all-day battery life here (and once you fire up a AAA game, of course, all bets are off), but the Legion Y530 makes the most of its 52-watt-hour battery as far as gaming laptops go.

We test battery life in a laptop by looping a 4K video using the stock Windows 10 video player, with screen brightness set at about 250 nits (we cranked up the Y530’s brightness to 90 percent) and volume dialed to 50 percent, headphones on.

With its result of 379 minutes (or about 6.3 hours), the Legion Y530 takes third place in our performance roundup, ahead of a pair of laptops (the Dell G7 15 and the Dell G3 15) with bigger 56-watt-hour batteries. Besting the Legion Y530 in our battery drain test was the Acer Predator Helios 300, a 5.5-pound gaming laptop with a 49-watt-hour battery, and the 4.75-pound Gigabyte Aero 15X with its massive 94-watt-hour battery.

Conclusion

A relatively thin and light gaming laptop, the inexpensive Lenovo Legion Y530 will be a tempting choice for budget-minded gamers. That said, the Y530’s middling graphics card struggles to keep up with today’s games, let alone tomorrow’s.

Lenovo Legion Y530 review

Users of the Lenovo Legion Y530 will find that it gets the job done for gaming and general use, and that’s about it.

Cons

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The Lenovo Legion Y530 is the slightly smaller, slightly less powerful gaming laptop when compared to the rest of the Lenovo Legion lineup. The Y520 line is larger and starts at a lower price point, and uses that extra space for beefier components. The Y720 is more expensive, and follows the Y520’s approach of cramming faster components into the housing.

Not to mention, the new Y530 looks unlike either model. It ditches the mundane black and red housing found on the rest of the Legion line, opting instead for a black and white look. Then there’s a unique hinge that doesn’t line up with the back of the Y530’s housing, thus allowing for an even slimmer design.

With configurations starting at 749 (about £589, AU1,035), the Y530 is an affordable entry level gaming laptop that competes with the likes of Acer’s Nitro 5 and Dell’s G3 15 – only with, perhaps, a little bit more style.

Here is the Lenovo Legion Y530 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

CPU: 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-8300H (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.00GHz with Turbo Boost) Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB GDDR5) RAM: 8GB DDR4 (2,666MHz) Screen: 15.6-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1080) IPS (anti-glare, 250 nit) Storage: 128GB SSD (PCIe); 1TB HDD (5,400 rpm) Ports: 1 x USB Type C, 1 x mini DisplayPort, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ-45, 2 x USB 3.1, 1 x 3.5mm combined audio jack Connectivity: 802.11 AC (2×2 MIMO) Bluetooth 4.1 Camera: 720p HD webcam Weight: 5.1 pounds (2.3kg) Size: 14.37 x 10.24 x 0.95 inches (365 x 260 x 24.2mm; W x D x H)

Price and availability

Again, the base model Y530 starts at 749 (about £589, AU1,035). For the purposes of this review, we were sent a slightly more expensive configuration, currently priced at 899 (about £707, AU1,244).

The difference between the two configurations is limited to a single storage drive (1TB hard drive) and a standard GeForce GTX 1050, compared to the model we are testing with an additional 128GB SSD boot drive and a GTX 1050 Ti.

In the US, Lenovo offers configurations that include an Intel Core i7-8750H,16GB of memory, up to 2TB hard drive and 256GB SSD for around 1,300 (about £1,022, AU1,799).

In the UK, Lenovo doesn’t offer any customization options, with the Y530 priced at £899. For that price, you get the same configuration we tested, save for a GTX 1050 (not a 1050 Ti) and a 300 nit display, as opposed to a 250 nit.

For those in Australia, you’re given more customization options. The base configuration starts at AU1,452 for the same model we are testing, and maxes out at AU1,743 with an Intel Core i7-8750H, 16GB of memory, and a 300 nit display.

All in all, those compare favorable with the Nitro 5, with a starting price of 749 (£899, about AU1009), and the Dell G3 15, with the same starting price. The most notable differences in the starting point between the three different models is the G3 15 comes with a 128GB SSD in addition to a 1TB hard drive, whereas the Nitro 5 and Legion Y530 only have the 1TB drive.

Design

The first thing you see after unboxing the Legion is that the hinge doesn’t quite look normal. Instead of lining up with the back of the screen lid, as most laptops do, there’s roughly 1-inch of space between where the hinge is found, and where the back of the Legion is found.

Looking at the Y530 from the front with the lid open, it looks just like any other laptop. There’s a full-sized keyboard with number pad – a growing rarity in 15-inch laptops – a trackpad, and a 15.6-inch display that has very scarce bezels surrounding it.

The keyboard is backlit with white lights, and isn’t customizable. The keys are soft, and respond accurately to Rapid presses while typing or gaming. The trackpad is smooth and handles interaction without any hiccups, but we suggest finding a nice gaming mouse and using it for everyday desktop tasks along with intense gaming sessions.

As for portability, the Y530 is a respectable 5.1 pounds (2.3kg), and measures 14.37 x 10.24 x 0.95 inches (365 x 260 x 24.2mm). Despite being over the 5 pound mark, the Y530 is deceivingly lightweight and comfortable to carry around.

On either side of the housing you’ll find a USB 3.1 port, with a 3.5mm combo audio jack found on the left side. Where are the rest of the ports? That’s where the back of the laptop comes in.

lenovo, legion, y530, review, affordable

An intriguing hinge

The rear of the Legion Y530 is home to two cooling vents and a myriad of ports. From left-to-right, you’ll find a USB-C port, mini DisplayPort, USB 3.0, HDMI, Ethernet and a charging port.

lenovo, legion, y530, review, affordable

With nearly all ports on the back of the housing, the end result is a cleaner look when you have multiple devices plugged into the Y530. Instead of cables coming out of each side, everything can be organized neatly behind the display. Then again, we can see this arrangement being problematic for those who work on a small desk where more ports on the side would be beneficial.

Furthermore, the hinge allows for the display on the Y530 to open and bend back to 180 degrees. Keep in mind, the Y530’s display isn’t a touchscreen, and this orientation fails to trigger any sort screen rotation in Windows 10. We can’t think of any real reason why the screen can lay flat like this, other than ‘because it can.’

Display

It’s not often we see a laptop manufacturer list a display’s brightness, measured in nits, on the specification sheet. Yet with the Legion line, Lenovo lists the nits for every model we looked at.

The Y530 we reviewed has a 250 nit display, according to the spec sheet. Eventually, Lenovo will release a 144Hz panel with 300 nits, but as of this review that model is not yet available.

Why is this important? Glad you asked. We find the display on the Y530 to lack in overall brightness and color quality. Even with brightness turned all the way up, colors look overly muted and leave us wanting more. Perhaps you’ll want to hold out for the 144Hz version of this laptop on account of this.

Lenovo Legion Y530

Lenovo Legion Y530 is a Windows 10 laptop with a 15.60-inch display that has a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. It is powered by a Core i7 processor and it comes with 8GB of RAM.

Graphics are powered by Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. it comes with HDMI Port ports.

As of 29th May 2023, Lenovo Legion Y530 price in India starts at Rs. 69,500.

Lenovo Legion Y530 Price in India

Product Name Price in India
Lenovo Legion Y530 Laptop (Windows 10, 8GB RAM, 1000GB HDD, Intel Core i5, Black, 15.6 inch) ₹ 69,500

Lenovo Legion Y530 price in India starts from ₹ 69,500. The lowest price of Lenovo Legion Y530 is ₹ 69,500 at Amazon on 29th May 2023.

Lenovo Legion Y530 Full Specifications

Brand Lenovo
Model Legion Y530
Price in India ₹69,500
Model Number Y530
Series Leigon
Dimensions (mm) 360.00 x 267.00 x 25.00
Weight (kg) 2.3
Colours Black
Operating system Windows 10
Battery Cell 3

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Lenovo Legion Y530 User Review and Ratings

It?s a great entry level gaming laptop. It gets the job done and preforms great on the go. The design makes it look better then most entry level gaming laptops and the price doesn?t show with the design. Mine has i7/1050ti/8gbr/128ssd. I am going to upgrade the ram and add a 1tb hybrid drive, which will make it even better. Good thing is that it is simple to upgrade these things.

This is medium range gaming laptop. Screen only 60hz not 144 Hz. Graphics gtx 1050ti 4gb runs every game smoothly. High graphics game like metro Exodus, shadow of the tomb raider, witcher 3 run smoothly in medium settings. Overall laptop is ok within 90 k price.

The look of laptop is good, it seems little professional laptop. Although it provide good gaming. Battery life seems to better than any other gaming laptop.

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