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Author Topic: Consider the Lenovo Legion Slim 7  (Read 357 times)

nemophoto

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Consider the Lenovo Legion Slim 7
« on: December 04, 2023, 01:54:27 pm »

Earlier this year, I stupidly and accidentally upgraded my trusty 5-year-old Dell XPS15 2-in-1 4K to Windows 11. While the OS isn't bad (there are a few things I like and a bunch of things I don't), the worst effect was to break my ability to tether my Canon R and R5 cameras with almost all my software. (I generally only use my laptop for tethered shoots and a little digital imaging when I'm away. All the heavy lifting for images is done on my home-built desktop.) No matter how I tried, the only program that worked properly was Canon EOS Utilities. While not a bad program, it lacks some of the functionality I like in other software. I have numerous ways to tether depending on what I want to shoot: Capture One, Smart Shooter 4, and DSLR Remote.

Late in the summer, the decision was made for me to get a new computer. My laptop was accidentally dropped, landed on a corner, and busted the upper right corner of the screen. About an inch had dead display though the touch still worked. The repair was going to cost me between $400-500. In October, after much online research, I finally bought a new laptop. First, the laptops I seriously considered and in the end didn't buy (all were 15"-16" display. Any smaller would be a waste of time for me):

*Dell XPS 15 OLED
*Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED
*Asus Vivibook 16x OLED
*Asus Zenbook 16x
*Gigabyte Aero 16 OLED
*Framework 16"
*Lenovo Legion Slim 7 Gen 8

What I ended up with is the last one, the Lenovo. Though it's classified as a "gaming computer", with the 3.2K AdobeRGB matte screen, it's good for photographers. Several reasons why I rejected the others in favor of the Lenovo: tons of ports, 1TB SSD with the ability to user add a second m.2 SSD, and 90% of the performance of the others at about $1000 less. I do miss not having 4K and a touch screen which I've become accustomed to over the years. I really wanted the Framework computer because of the modular, build-it-yourself-upgradeable approach, but it was a six-month delivery time and I needed one now.

The runner-ups were the Dell XPS 15, but it has a paucity of ports -- only three to be precise, 2 Thunderbolt, 1 USB-C, and you lose a port if you need to run it off AC. Its performance is excellent and has an excellent screen. Almost all the other computers (except Framework) used the Intel i9-13900H CPU and the nVidia RTX 4070 GPU. This combo sucks down the battery when you run them together. Most reviews said only 2-3 hours on battery, the exception being the Dell. The plus side is all had gorgeous (according to reviewers) OLED screens, but which also sucked down battery life. The integrated GPU is a fairly sucky Intel.

In the end, I chose the Lenovo because it had a much better integrated GPU (AMD Radeon 780M) as well as the nVidia RTX 4060 as a discrete GPU. Even more (and I did need to customize/special order this to get it with 32GB), it has a very capable AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU that sips power compared to the Intel. (There is an Intel model called the Lenovo Legion Slim i7 Gen 8, but it has far fewer ports.) So, after using it for a couple of shoots, these are the pros and cons I see so far:

PROS
*AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU
*Both Radeon 780M and nVidia RTX 4080 GPU
*Moderate to lightweight
*Comparatively long battery life: 6-8 hours for normal tasks, 4-5 hours for heavy tethered shooting. The tethered shooting included running a 4K 15.6" second monitor via the USB-C port. 4-5 hours doing digital imaging using the RTX 4060 GPU
*99mWh battery
*Ability to add a second m.2 SSD (I did. Installed a 1TB SKHynix P41)
*Dedicated charger port with very fast charging (about 1-1.5 hours full charge from 10% battery)
*Tons of ports: two USB4 40Gbps (almost all the speed and capability of Thunderbolt including DP capability), three USB3 10Gbps A-connector ports, full sized SD card reader, audio jack, and HDMI
*16" 3.2K matte screen (an upgrade from the standard 2.5K screen in both res and color gamut.)
*AdobeRGB factory calibrated 3.2K screen with adjustable screen refresh rates 60Mhz or 165Mhz. (I'm not a gamer, so I didn't really pay attention to this. I leave it on the default 165)
*1080p camera for the few video meetings I have
*Numeric keyboard
*With discounts applied, cost under $1500 vs $2000-2500 for other laptops.

CONS
*Not 4K screen
*Not touchscreen
*Not OLED
*Doesn't have quite the pop of my old Dell's 4K screen
*Longer lead time to receive since it was shipped from China versus US stock as a customized computer
*Windows 11 (I still like Windows 10, but I'm getting used to 11)

Initially, I never thought about Lenovo. I was poised to buy Dell again or the Gigabyte Aero since the Framework was out because of a very long lead time and I needed it now. So far, it's checked all the boxes for me at a much lower price than most of the others. Truth be told, I really wanted the Framework. As someone who is always tinkering with my desktop computer, I liked the idea of being able to update aspects of the laptop if I wanted and it was based on the AMD platform which I like. (I haven't owned an Intel desktop in probably 15-20 years.) I miss the really vivid Dell 4K screens, but the Lenovo screen isn't bad and definitely has the needed color accuracy for photography.

If you are in the market for a new PC laptop, the Lenovo is worth a look.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2023, 02:46:47 pm by nemophoto »
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David Eckels

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Re: Consider the Lenovo Legion Slim 7
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2023, 11:50:01 am »

Quote
If you are in the market for a new PC laptop, the Lenovo is worth a look.
I am and thank you.

diane29

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Re: Consider the Lenovo Legion Slim 7
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2024, 11:18:26 pm »

From my experience, Lenovo laptops are pretty solid. I've heard good things about their build quality and performance. It might depend on the specific model you're looking at, so checking reviews for that particular one could be helpful. Overall, Lenovo is a reputable brand, but always good to do a bit of research based on your specific needs.
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