Lenovo Legion Y530 gaming laptop first impressions: Designed with care

The Legion Y530 has been designed with care and features an unexpected friendliness of design.

Lenovo’s been on a bit of a roll of sorts recently. Since the last couple of years, the company’s been taking a lot of care to ensure that their laptops, regardless of budget, meet some sort of minimum requirements on user-friendliness, features and quality. They’re built and designed with care.

Their laptops have been very friendly and welcoming in design, they’re not intimidating, have all the connectivity that you could need and feel comfortable to use. It’s a subtle art that’s not so easy to master.

I did not expect this care and friendliness of design to transfer to a gaming laptop, but with the Lenovo Legion Y530, Lenovo has somehow managed to do just that.

The unit I’m looking at will retail at around Rs 95,000 in India.

Build and Design

The Legion Y530 is a hunk of black plastic, but a well-crafted one at that. It features a simple enough design, but it’s still a very beautiful design, eliciting quite a few ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from everyone in the office.

The lid of the Y530 features an interesting design. Image: tech2/Anirudh Regidi

The lid of the Y530 features an interesting design. Image: tech2/Anirudh Regidi

It’s not festooned with RGB lights and neither is it coated in garish colours. I wouldn’t go so far as to call the design classy, but I do think I could get away with calling the design elegant.

The display sits a little forward from the main body of the laptop, allowing it to rotate a full 180 degrees. The rear does jut out a bit because of this.

I love the design of the Y530. Image: tech2/Anirudh Regidi

I love the design of the Y530. Image: tech2/Anirudh Regidi

The lid features some sort of concentric pattern embossed into it, adding to the grip. On one of the sides is a ‘Legion’ logo, part of which glows when the display is turned on.

The palm rest area is covered with some sort of rubberised plastic, which does feel nice, but I'm worried that it'll be a fingerprint magnet of sorts over time.

Features

The laptop I got my hands on features an Intel Core-i5 8300H, 16 GB RAM, a 128 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD combo for storage, a 15.6-inch FHD screen (60 Hz) and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti.

The bulk of the I/O is on the rear of the laptop. Image: tech2/Anirudh Regidi

The bulk of the I/O is on the rear of the laptop. Image: tech2/Anirudh Regidi

There’s nothing special to note here, but again, it’s a very sensible combination of specs. There’s nothing excessive here. Yes, Lenovo could have tossed in a more powerful CPU, as its rivals do, but that GPU is going to bottleneck your experience anyway, making it unnecessary for gaming tasks.

In terms of I/O, all the basics have been covered. You get several USB-A ports, 1x USB Type C port (sadly, it’s only rated for USB 3 speeds), HDMI, mini DP, etc. You won’t be left wanting.

The sides of the Y530 feature one USB port apiece. The rest of the I/O is on the rear. Image: tech2/Anirudh Regidi

The sides of the Y530 feature one USB port apiece. The rest of the I/O is on the rear. Image: tech2/Anirudh Regidi

The bulk of the ports sit on that jutting-out rear of the laptop, with only USB and audio to be found on the left and right sides of the device.

The keyboard appears to have a bit more travel than Lenovo’s regular keyboards and is backlit with white LEDs.

Display

The 15.6-inch FHD display is, like the laptop, nothing exceptional. It’s just a comfortable, sensible LCD panel. The brightness could certainly have been a bit higher, and I suspect that the colour gamut is a bit low, but in this price range, I don’t really expect more than this. And the contrast ratio seems quite good.

Performance

The few hours I spent gaming on the Y530 was quite pleasant. Being a plastic-bodied laptop, it doesn’t get too hot, and the heat tends to dissipate away from my palms.

The Legion Y530's keyboard is backlit by white LEDs and feels great to use. Image: tech2/Anirudh Regidi

The Legion Y530's keyboard is backlit by white LEDs and feels great to use. Image: tech2/Anirudh Regidi

The performance was rock-solid and on par with my expectations from the laptop. I didn’t benchmark any games, but I could play most games at medium-high settings without any trouble.

Conclusion

The Legion Y530 is a surprisingly pleasant laptop, to use and to look at. The device does have some serious competition from the likes of the Dell G and a few assorted Acer and MSI laptops, but I don’t think there’s anything in the market to match the Y530 for design.

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