The Lenovo Legion Slim 7i 16 is an excellent gaming laptop. It packs in plenty of power in a stylish package that also provides some good battery life to offer a good all-round mid-range choice. What’s more, the display on offer is a real highlight with good accuracy and sublime detail. You’ll just have to watch out for the iffy trackpad and some quite loud fan noise.
- Gorgeous looks
- Plenty of power
- Solid battery life
- Skittish trackpad
- Fan noise is loud under load
- Formidable powerFeatures a lot of power with an H-series 13th Gen Intel Core i9 processor and an RTX 4070.
- Wide array of portsLots of ports including USB-A, USB-C, HDMI and an SD card reader.
- Detailed gaming-friendly displayComes with a vibrant and detailed 3.2K resolution display and 165Hz refresh rate
For what’s felt like far too long, gaming laptops have always carried with them quite a mean aesthetic. The Lenovo Legion Slim 7i 16 aims to change those perceptions with a device that subdues the sharp edges in favour of a more refined, and classier look.
As well as this, it also opts for a beefy spec sheet, including an Intel Core i9-13900H, as well as an RTX 4070, and a sublime 16-inch 3.2K resolution 165Hz refresh rate screen. With the Legion Slim 7i 16, Lenovo hasn’t done things by halves. With that in mind, is it enough to make it one of the best gaming laptops I’ve tested? Let’s find out.
Design and Keyboard
- Sleek, subdued looks
- Excellent port selection
- Comfortable and tactile keyboard
Much like the Legion 5 (Advantage Edition) I took a look at last year, the Legion Slim 7i 16 is classy and sleek. This laptop doesn’t scream that it’s a blazing-fast gaming machine, in a good way. There are some sharper edges and meaner looks, but the Legion Slim 7i 16 tones it down compared to other options, which is a welcome change.
This is a modern laptop, with its grey aluminium and magnesium alloy chassis, as well as being slender thanks to its 19mm thickness, and with its thin bezels around the large display. At 2kg, for a laptop of this size, it also isn’t the bulkiest. It’s heavy, but you could still sling the Legion Slim 7i 16 in a bag, if you want to take its power with you.
As much as it may look better than other more traditional gaming laptops, the Legion Slim 7i 16 retains the trope of putting the majority of ports around the back of the laptop. This makes them a little harder to access than if they were at the side, but I’m pleased to report the selection of connectivity is decent. The rear houses three USB-A ports, as well as an HDMI 2.1 out port, and a power connector, while on the left-hand side, there is room for two USB-C ports (one being capable of power delivery) and a headphone jack. The right-hand side is home to a full-size SD card reader, as well as a small slider to remotely enable the webcam’s privacy shutter. It’s a good all-round selection of ports, especially with a triple helping of USB-A.
The keyboard is a comfortable one to use, with a good level of travel and tactility. Unlike some other laptops of this size, it also uses a larger layout, with a full complement of keys. The squished-up number pad that’s employed is a bit of an odd decision, but it’s good to have the functionality on offer. There’s no RGB backlighting here, but some bright white underglow – this is perhaps more of a functional decision, and one I actually prefer to the RGB-laden offerings from other brands.
As much as the keyboard is a clear success though, the same can’t necessarily be said for the Legion Slim 16 7i’s trackpad. There’s a good amount of real estate on offer for your fingers, but its buttons feel a little hollow and tracking can be a little skittish at times. It’s at moments like this where I’m glad this laptop has three USB-A ports so I can plug in a receiver for a powerful wireless gaming mouse.
Its packaging is comprised of cardboard for packaging the actual laptop and its power adapter, and the only sign of plastic wrap was around the cable inside. Lenovo is aiming to use recyclable packaging wherever it can but makes no claims about the composition of the Legion Slim 16 7i’s packaging.
Display and Sound
- 3.2K resolution offers great detail
- Accurate colours
- Speakers carry good body, but with a lot of mids
Usually, laptops like to skimp out on the front of their displays, severely holding back their ability to offer as crisp and detailed of a gaming experience as their specs would otherwise suggest. However, the Legion Slim 7i 16 opts to put its display front and centre of the spec sheet, with it matching the internal power that this laptop has.
With it, you’re getting a large 16-inch IPS screen, complete with a 3.2K resolution that offers some marvellous detail in both watching films and playing games. The benefit of a 165Hz refresh rate also provided some smoother motion, and combined with a measured 405 or so nits of peak brightness, images were also pretty vibrant, too.
In getting my colourimeter out, the Legion Slim 7i 16’s display also proved to be a colour-accurate one, too, with a measured 100% of the sRGB colour space. This means the panel can display all the mainstream colours for gaming and day-to-day work, while its 98% DCI-P3 rating also makes this a good choice for more colour-sensitive work, too.
The speakers on offer are downwards firing, meaning that audio can sound muffled if placed on a softer surface, such as a bed. When placed on a desk or table, the speakers offer sound with a decent body to it, although it lacks a fair bit of bass or top-end.
- Excellent performance across FHD and QHD resolutions
- Plenty of power in synthetic benchmarks
- Can get warm and load under load
In theory, you’d expect the combination of an Intel Core i9-13900H with its 14 cores and 20 threads, and RTX 4070 to make for a formidable combination for both gaming and more intense workloads. I’m pleased to report that after a fair amount of testing, this certainly is the case.
The Legion Slim 7i 16 blitzed our suite of synthetic benchmarks and real-world testing I threw at it, with high-riding scores in the likes of Geekbench 6, PCMark and 3DMark. What’s more, in titles such as Returnal and Rainbow Six Extraction, it provided some more than playable frame rates at 1440p, with results of 61fps and 71fps respectively.
Cyberpunk 2077 also served up some decent results despite being quite a demanding title, although cranking things up to the max with the ‘RT Ultra’ preset provided the lowest FPS figures with an average of 28.07fps at a QHD resolution. Turning DLSS on though provides a much-needed boost, which goes to prove that the powers that modern Nvidia GPUs have are more than worthwhile.
It doesn’t fair amazingly well up against one of its closest rivals, the Alienware M16, with the AMD Ryzen 9 chip outshining the Intel Core i9 chip in the Lenovo in our testing. The gaming benchmarks largely line up, but the M16 excels in our higher frame rate, FPS title testing. Though, the equivalent Alienware model does cost slightly more.
Combined with the beefy CPU and GPU on offer, the Legion Slim 7i 16 in the config I’ve got here also features 32GB of fast 5200MHz DDR5 RAM, as well as a speedy PCIe 4.0 1TB SSD. This also proved quick in a run of CrystalDiskMark with respective read and write speeds of 6633.49MB/s and 4933.14MB/s respectively, giving you snappy access to saved files.
Under load, though the Legion Slim 7i 16 got pretty toasty, while the fans also spooled up a fair amount, so this is definitely a laptop to use on your desk while gaming, as opposed to in the more typical sense of the type of device this is.
- Lasted for 6 hours and 34 minutes in the battery test
- Capable of lasting for one working day
Laptops such as the Legion Slim 7i 16 traditionally fall off a cliff in terms of how long their battery lasts. However, I’m pleased to report this particular laptop surprised me in our battery test.
In dialling the brightness down to 150 nits, turning the keyboard backlight off and running the PC Mark 10 Modern Office setting, it lasted for six and a half hours before conking out. This compares well against similarly specced machines and gives the Legion Slim 7i 16 a fighting chance when you’re away from the wall.
However, as with other laptops, to get the full power of this Lenovo candidate, you’re better off sticking with it plugged in, so battery life isn’t a concern, either.
Should you buy it?
You want a stylish chassis
The Legion Slim 7i 16 opts for a stylish aluminium and magnesium alloy chassis, and if you want more refined looks, this is a laptop to consider.
You want an amazing trackpad
The keyboard is solid but the trackpad is not, and if you want the absolute best surface for all that clicky goodness available, look elsewhere.
If it’s a solid all-round gaming laptop you’re after, then the Lenovo Legion Slim 7i 16 is a great choice. There aren’t many laptops that provide everything from stylish looks to good performance and battery life, as well as a decent display in this price bracket. To get all this, usually, you’ll be spending an extra few hundred, so to get all this for £2300 or so is a good deal, actually.
Of course, you can get a little bit more power for less money with the likes of the Alienware M16 and its clever dual refresh rate display. However, it weighs over a kilo more than this Lenovo choice and offers a poorer battery life. The Medion Erazer Major X20 is perhaps a better choice for those who want all-out power at a similar price tag, and a rather similar spec sheet – it comes at the cost of a much smaller battery, though.
Whichever way you cut it, though, the Lenovo Legion Slim 7i 16 makes for a good all-round mid-range gaming laptop in what is a fiercely contested part of the market. However, if it doesn’t tickle your fancy, then feel free to check out our best gaming laptops for other choices.
How we test
Every laptop we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things, including build quality, performance, screen quality and battery life.
These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real-world checks, such as how well it runs popular apps.
We use review machines as our main laptop for at least a week.
We test the performance via both benchmark tests and real-world use.
We test the screen with a colorimeter and real-world use.
We test the battery with a benchmark test and real-world use.
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The Lenovo Legion Slim 7i 16 has a 165Hz refresh rate.
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