Gaming

Lenovo Legion 7i review: Flagship with trade-offs

Everything is great, until some things get in your way

Published

on

After writing the hands-on for the Lenovo Legion 7i, I came to the conclusion that this device has upside. It wasn’t the most powerful configuration you could get for the device, but initially the whole thing just fits well. It was even a welcome surprise to me that the build quality is great, and has RGB!

But much like NBA prospects, one must see them in action to truly assess their worth. While my initial impressions of the device were positive, I wanted to see if this device truly stacks against the best of them. 

To recap, here’s what the Lenovo Legion 7i offers:

It comes with an Intel Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA RTX 2070 SUPER Max-Q

It has a 240Hz FHD anti-glare display with 100% Adobe sRGB

It features a full-size keyboard with RGB lighting even at the back

It comes in an all-metal finish, with the metal Legion logo

Great performance for the most part

The unit I received came with the 6-core, Intel Core i7-10750H processor and the NVIDIA RTX 2070 SUPER Max-Q. It’s not the most powerful configuration you can get for this device, but it brings a lot to the table. Performance across the board was great the more applications I threw at it.

Whether it was for work or simply gaming my heart out, the Legion 7i kept me going through and through. I still haven’t won a game of Fall Guys while testing this machine out. But in terms of its raw power, this device definitely competes with the best of them.

My only issues with the device’s performance actually isn’t with the hardware. See, Lenovo always ships its devices with Vantage installed. Obviously, this should aid in the main operations of the device and should tick the important settings during certain activities. I don’t know why Vantage doesn’t automatically switch some of these, but it gets in the way.

Gaming on it feels like a breeze… for the most part

I’ve touched on how well this thing can game, and it still met my initial impression of it. Trying out a variety of titles for this laptop felt relatively easy, as I managed to play most games properly. Even heavy titles like Call of Duty: Warzone clocked in close to 60-70 FPS at near max settings during my tests.

Also, because the unit I came with has a 240Hz refresh rate display, I almost experienced no image tearing. Gameplay felt almost buttery smooth, especially in shooter games such as VALORANT. I kept up with everything that was happening around me with such ease, it almost felt natural.

Yet again, my issues with this wasn’t with the RTX 2070 SUPER Max-Q. Rather, there were two things that I somehow couldn’t understand how they got in there. First, for some reason Vantage doesn’t automatically turn on Performance Mode. Second, even while the laptop was on Performance Mode and plugged in to the charger, I experienced some level of FPS drops.

Even though these might not be the case for you, I’d still watch out for these down the road.

Battery’s what you expect, but the thermals were off

Upon initial use, I got about 5-6 hours just doing the normal routine. Compared to most gaming laptops, this is just what you would expect even from a 80Wh battery. Strictly gaming on the device only registered 2-3 hours, which is disappointing but expected. I guess that’s your payoff for siding with Intel, instead of going for the new AMD chips.

Charging the device didn’t take too long, especially with Rapid Charge turned on. Without it, it took me about 2-3 hours for a full charge. Honestly, I feel like you will need to bring the charger at all times for prolonged play. At least, it brings you back to the action and your work.

However, the bottleneck truly lies in the device’s Vapor Chamber cooling system. Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate the fact that there are four exhaust vents for all that hot air. Ideally, it’s supposed to keep things relatively less warm than usual. But alas, the device still felt too warm to touch and the fans were super loud.

The laptop’s saving graces?

Although, the device had some other good features that I felt made the experience a little better. First was the variety of ports available on this device, and where they’re all placed. Specifically, I found it a nice touch that high-usage ports for charging and all your peripherals were at the back. It makes cable management easier, and nothing gets in the way.

I also loved the way the keyboard felt as I was typing and playing. Lenovo’s TrueStrike keys have a certain smooth feeling every time I press them. Honestly, I didn’t feel any lag input especially while gaming. Also, the privacy webcam shutter was always a nice touch.

But alas, there are some things that just didn’t sit well with me. One was the webcam itself, which only stood at 720p. The images turn out a little grainy, and you can’t really use it at night unless under well-lit conditions. Next were the bottom-facing speakers, which I honestly felt would have been better with an elevated hinge.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

At Php 134,995, the Lenovo Legion 7i fits the mold of the usual gaming laptop. You get the power and performance from all the internal hardware. Also, you get a high refresh rate display to complement and elevate your gaming experience. Along with some great additional features, it’s a solid piece of hardware.

Of course, you really can’t get past the things that are bad about it. The obvious ones include the subpar battery life and the thermals that don’t cool down effectively. For the rest, it’s all up to your personal preference and what you intend to use this laptop for.

For what it’s worth, you actually get a great gaming machine that competes with the flagships. Just be wary of what you’re trading off to get all that power.

Gaming

Marvel’s Avengers: Does it stick the superhero landing?

A title featuring Earth’s mightiest heroes carries great expectations

Published

on

Marvel's Avengers

The Avengers is the most popular superhero team today thanks in large part to the 23 films and counting that belong to the Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU. This could lead one to believe that anything that has “Marvel’s Avengers” on it will be well-made and polished because of heightened expectations and the backing of perhaps the largest entertainment company today. Well, not quite.

Perhaps we should have seen this coming following the rather lukewarm reception to the A-Day trailer that was released in E3 2019. But that was just a trailer. Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics — the companies responsible for the game’s development — still had time to address things.

While there may have been improvements here or there, the overall experience just falls a bit short of the grandiose, spectacle, and fun factor that we’ve come to associate with the Avengers.

Heroes divided

So what’s wrong with it, exactly? There’s not one big glaring thing. But the sum of its parts just doesn’t feel like it makes up a cohesive whole.

Just like how the team was split up after the disaster that was A-Day, the game feels like it’s split between two disjointed parts.

The first is the Reassemble Campaign which takes you through a 10-12 hour single-player Action-RPG type of campaign. You get a chance to play as all of the Avengers but the story is mostly told through the perspective of Kamala Khan AKA Ms. Marvel.

Ms. Marvel hard-carrying this game

The second is the Avengers Initiative which is the multiplayer live service part of the game. It’s the part that the developers hoped would keep players coming back.

While the two game modes share the same combat, skills, items, and mission design, the overall experience varies heavily depending on what type of game you’re into.

Ms. Marvel coming of age story

At the core of the Reassemble Campaign is Kamala Khan/ Ms. Marvel. She goes from this bright-eyed fangirl in A-day to a hero in her own right, fighting alongside the heroes she admired.

As someone who generally prefers single-player games, this was the part of the game I enjoyed the most. It’s got enough heart, humor, and character that made the MCU such a mainstream hit, while also sprinkling a little bit of Saturday-morning-cartoon campiness.

The best thing about the story is the dynamic between the characters: Kamala and Bruce Banner’s mentor-mentee relationship, the anger between Tony Stark and Bruce after the latter’s testimonies in court after A-Day, and this bromance between Tony and Steve Rogers.

There’s a lot of great character moments here that should be familiar to Marvel fans whether you came in from the comic books, TV series, or the MCU.

It isn’t without any problems though. Thor had very little to do with the plot except for just being there. He played the deus ex machina role when he first rejoined the team. I guess that’s fitting for a literal god.

The boss battles are also very mediocre. After squaring off against Taskmaster and the Abomination, the next boss battles will all be against AIM Robots. For a superhero hero team with such a rich rogues gallery, this was rather disappointing.

Modok was the only other non AIM robot villain

While it sort of makes sense given the flow of the story, I think they could have thrown in even at least one more Marvel villain there or at least have another tussle against Taskmaster and the Abomination.

Other than that, the story is pretty solid. I wish I could say the same for gameplay.

Grinding for gear

The core of the gameplay is the combat, skills, and gears. This is what connects the single-player campaign to the multiplayer missions. It’s a mixed bag to say the least.

The skill tree for each character is deep but you’ll have to grind through the missions to really get to all of them. More on this later. Meanwhile, the gears are… okay.

There are plenty of skills to unlock

While most other reviewers griped about the lack of cosmetic effect from the gear you pickup, I thought this was mostly okay. It’s almost the same with Marvel’s Spider-Man where I can pick whatever suit I want but change my abilities depending on what the mission requires.

The thing is, in the Spider-Man game by Insomniac, the suit came at no cost. In Marvel’s Avengers, while you can grind your way into some awesome cosmetic changes, a bulk of the better looking ones are stuck behind a paywall. That’s what really grinds most people’s gears, I think.

What grinds your gears?

I also recognize that more thought could have been put into the gears seeing as the whole point of the game is getting loot and items while you’re out on missions. For instance, they could have opted to have a set of cosmetic options for gear that negate certain status effects like frosting.

Feel like a superhero

Despite sharing mostly the same controls — light and heavy attacks, dodging, and jumping on the main buttons plus special abilities on the shoulder buttons —  the game does a good job of making each character feel distinct.

Your experience playing as Iron Man will be very different from the one playing as Thor despite both sharing the ability to fly. Same is true for Captain America and Black Widow even though they’re both mostly grounded melee fighters.

Marvel’s Avengers

The stretchy Ms. Marvel also offers perhaps one of the most unique play styles as she also has the ability to heal. It’s perfect for when you’re embarking on multiplayer missions.

Mission unbearable

The missions are where I think the game fumbles a lot. They have a relatively good combat core to build around, but the level designs and challenges leave so much room for improvement.

The missions revolve around retrieving an item, defeating hordes of AIM robots and soldiers, and most frustratingly, defending a small circular area while being swarmed by even more AIM robots and soldiers.

Combat can get chaotic

It’s just a whole bunch of small fries coming at you from left and right. There’s very little variation and it can get old real quick. What’s even more frustrating is to really level up the characters, these are the missions you have to grind through. You don’t get to the really good parts of the combat unless you go through these missions.

Remember the final act of both The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron where the team is battling against armies of Chitari and Ultron’s robots? That’s what the missions feel like except it happens over, and over, and over, and over again.

Good for team players

To balance the opinion, I spoke with our good friend Francis Romero who is both a long-time gamer and huge Marvel fan. Unlike yours truly, Francis actually finds enjoyment in the missions.

What struck me the most with his observation is how team play is crucial in the missions. You can customize your characters’ loadouts to fit the needs of the team. Each one can play a certain role so you can accomplish missions with relative ease.

Flying to a mission

For instance, he said he wasn’t a fan of Ms. Marvel being part of his main team but being a healer, she would be an essential part of the team.

In this regard, the play-with-friends appeal is real. It’s honestly not my cup of tea, but there’s certainly something here that can be enjoyed by people with actual friends or those who play well in a team-setting.

A better future

The other appeal of Marvel’s Avengers being a live service game is the promise of a better future. The developers have already promised that any future DLC content will be free-of-charge.

Hawk-eye — both Will Barton and Kate Bishop — have already been teased and there are more characters coming in the future. Each character, I supposed, will come with their own unique story that will build on the campaign. Their abilities will also be something to consider when building a team for the Avengers Initiative missions.

While the present may be slightly disappointing, a promising future awaits.

Does it stick the superhero landing?

The promise of a better future shouldn’t be the leg that a game stands on. The game can be a little fun at best and a messy, buggy experience at worst.

The loading time from one segment of the game to another is ridiculously long. It almost feels like you can watch an entire MCU film and the game would still be loading when you come back to it.

This loading screen can go on FOREVER

Marvel’s Avengers is weighed down by the expectations surrounding it. When you have a title so mainstream and the backing of an entertainment giant that has dominated the mainstream consciousness for a better part of the decade, it’s fair to expect a polished game. One that feels like the triumphant third act of most MCU films.

Instead, it feels more like the first time Tony Stark took the Iron Man Mark II out for a spin in the first Iron Man movie. It was a fun but clunky ride, and when he soared to go higher he ran into an icing problem.

Marvel’s Avengers

In many ways, that’s what this Marvel’s Avengers game feels like. It’s clunky but fun and while it’s not perfect, there’s certainly something here that Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics can build on.

It doesn’t quite stick the superhero landing, but it sure as hell didn’t crash and burn.

Continue Reading

Gaming

Honor launches Hunter V700 gaming laptop with a kickass design

Honor’s first gaming laptop

Published

on

Honor’s first gaming laptop has arrived and the brand is confident it can make a mark in the market. Starting with the Hunter V700, the brand says it packs best-in-class performance, excellent heat dissipation, as well as portability.

To start off, the laptop has a very aggressive design that focuses on RGB lighting, ergonomics, and sustained performance. Honor has managed to fill a high-end configuration despite the thin chassis.

It has a 16.1-inch display with a 144Hz refresh rate that’s accompanied by 4.7mm thick bezels, 100% sRGB color, and a maximum brightness of 300 nits. Unlike Apple’s laptops, Honor has managed to pack a USB-A port, HDMI, and an RG45 ethernet jack.

Honor has also included a new hinge that it likes to call Wind Valley design. According to the brand, the design facilitates up to 40 percent more volume of air for cooling.

“Traditional gaming notebooks tend to be thick and heavy to meet the high-performance and heat dissipation requirements expected in this category. Honor believes the pursuit of performance can co-exist with a lightweight and portable design,” Honor said in a statement.

The Honor Hunter V700 starts at CNY 7,499 (US$ 1,105) for the Core i5-10300H,  GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, 16 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of storage.

It’s followed by a Core i7-10750H with an RTX 2060, along with the same volume of RAM and storage, costing CNY 8,499 (US$ 1,250).

Lastly, you can get a Core i7-10750H, RTX 2060, 16 GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD storage for CNY 9,999 (US$ 1,475). The sale is currently limited to China via VMall.

Continue Reading

Gaming

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Bringing together impressive power and top-tier design into one device

Published

on

ASUS ROG ACRONYM

ASUS ROG pits its ROG Zephyrus G14 as its most all-around gaming laptop. It comes with powerful hardware in a sleek design, along with features fit for a personalized experience. In essence, it’s the ultimate laptop for gamers and content creators, alike. And apparently, ASUS isn’t the only one who sees it that way.

Errolson Hugh, co-founder of leading technical appparel company ACRONYM has his vision of an empowered user. He believes that more empowered users aren’t strictly just gamers, but is also a thinker and a creator. Since 1994, the company built an extensive portfolio of apaprel sourced from top notch materials.

These initiatives make ACRONYM an ideal partner for ASUS ROG, and it’s seen in their Special Edition Zephyrus G14. In terms of hardware, the Special Edition ROG Zephyrus G14 still carries the latest AMD Ryzen 9 CPU and NVIDIA RTX 2060 GPU. Now, ACRONYM infuses its own design philosophy and brings distinct visual features to the device.

Pricing and availability for the Special Edition ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 have yet to be announced.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 review

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Gadget Reviews

Trending