Lenovo often has laptops that are on lists of the best gaming laptops, but the Legion 9i didn’t sound like it would make the cut. An expensive 16-inch laptop with an RTX 4090 GPU and a liquid cooling system that makes it stand out? It sounds cool, but I don’t think it’s worth a thousand dollars. The good news is that the Legion 9i doesn’t depend on the success of its main feature.
Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8: Description
The Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8 Gaming Laptop is a powerhouse designed for immersive gaming experiences. Equipped with cutting-edge technology, it features a high-refresh-rate display for smooth visuals and NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics for stunning graphics performance. The laptop is powered by Intel’s latest processors, ensuring top-tier gaming and multitasking capabilities.
Its sleek design incorporates RGB lighting, giving it a dynamic and customizable aesthetic. The Legion 9i Gen 8 also boasts advanced cooling systems, keeping temperatures in check during intense gaming sessions. With premium build quality, a responsive keyboard, and a range of connectivity options, this laptop offers a compelling package for gamers seeking top-tier performance and style.
This is a top-of-the-line gaming laptop from Lenovo. It has a 16-inch mini-LED screen, an Intel Core HX-series processor, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card. It also comes with up to 8TB of PCIe Gen 5 SSD storage and up to 64GB of DDR5 memory.
|13th Gen Intel Core i9-13980HX
|Up to Windows 11 Pro
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU, 16GB GDDR6 (150W TGP)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Laptop GPU, 12GB GDDR6 (150W TGP)
AI Chip: LA2
|64GB (2x32GB) 5600Mhz Dual Channel DDR5
32GB (2x16GB) 6400Mhz Dual Channel DDR5
|Up to 2TB (in single 2TB drive or two 1TB RAID-0 drives)
|99.99Whr Super Rapid Charge (0%-70% in 30 minutes, 0%-100% capacity in 80 minutes)
|2 x 2W Harman Super Linear Speaker System
Smart Amp with Nahimic Audio
|Built-in FHD (1080p) webcam with Electronic e-Shutter
|Left Side: Headphone / mic combo, SD card reader
Right Side: USB-C 3.2 Gen 1, USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
Rear: DC-in, USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 (Always-on USB 5V2A), 2 x Thunderbolt 4 (DisplayPort 1.4, Power delivery 3.0 100W or Lenovo Power Delivery 140W), HDMI 2.1, 2.5G Ethernet (RJ45)
|2 x 2 Wi-Fi 7, 2 x 2 Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1
|Display: 16″ 3.2k (3200 x 2000), Mini LED, 16:10 aspect ratio, 165Hz refresh rate (3ms response time), 100% Adobe, 100% DCI-P3, 1200 nits, up to VESA DisplayHDR 1000 Certified, Dolby Vision support, NVIDIA G-SYNC support, AMD Freesync support, TÜV Rheinland Certified
|Display: 16″ 3.2k (3200 x 2000) 16:10 aspect ratio, 165Hz refresh rate (3ms response time), 100% Adobe, 100% DCI-P3, 430 nits, up to VESA DisplayHDR 400 Certified, Dolby Vision support, NVIDIA G-SYNC support, AMD Freesync Support, TÜV Rheinland Certified, per-unit X-rite color calibration AE<2
|18.99-22.7mm x 357.7mm x 277.7mm / .75″-.89″ x 14.08″ x 10.93″
|Starting at 2.55kg
|1.5mm key travel, Per key RGB, 0.3mm ditch, 100% anti-ghosting, Included Switchable set (8 key caps), Legion Spectrum RGB software support
|Lenovo Antivirus, Lenovo PC Manager, Lenovo Vantage & Legion Zone, McAfee LifeSafe, Microsoft 365 Trial, Power2Go, Tobii Aware, Tobii Horizon
What’s in the Box
- Legion 9i Gen 8 (16″ Intel)
- User manual
- 330W GaN AC adapter
- 140W USB-C AC adapter
- Switchable keycaps kit (8 key caps)
Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8: Design
The Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8 (16-inch, Intel) stands out because of its unique design. It is small enough to be a gaming laptop while still having top-notch hardware. It has a profile of less than 19 mm and weighs just over 2.55 kg. Inside, it has an Intel Core i9-13980HX processor and a choice of powerful NVIDIA Ada Lovelace GPUs. The hybrid cooling system keeps temperatures under control and ensures peak performance during tough tasks.
Its 16-inch 3.2K Mini LED display covers 100% sRGB and 98% DCI-P3 and has very accurate colours, making it more useful for color-sensitive work. Its high-end status is reflected in the way it is built, with a unique forged carbon lid and magnesium-aluminum base. The Legion 9i is a powerful and well-designed gaming laptop with a lot of ways to connect and comfortably designed input devices. You can also change the RGB lighting to suit your needs.
Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8: Display
It’s not quite as good as an OLED screen, but the mini LED panel is still very good. I played video games and watched videos on the Legion 9i’s screen for hours to get a feel for it. As you might expect from a screen with 3.2K resolution and HDR support, the colours look great and the details are clear. Using a colorimeter, I found that the screen produced 98% of sRGB, 74% of AdobeRGB, and 74% of P3.
These numbers are lower than the 100% that Lenovo says the laptop can reach in all three categories. What I don’t like about it is that it looks great in real life. In terms of brightness, the screen can get as bright as 1,200 nits, but for me, working indoors at a brightness level of 50% or less has always been fine.
Also, tests of contrast showed that the screen had true black, which helps explain how well the colours show up in darker scenes. With a response time of 3ms, this mini LED display isn’t as fast as some others in the gaming category, but it’s also not bad. The display can reach 165Hz thanks to a great refresh rate. With NVIDIA G-Sync, this will make it possible for games to run very smoothly on the Legion 9i, with no screen tearing or stuttering.
Keyboard and Trackpad
This is the same keyboard that comes with other Lenovo laptops. It’s one of the best keyboards for gaming laptops that you can find. It’s quick, and the key travel and spacing between keys are just right. For typing, I like laptops with a little more travel, like Asus’s, but Lenovo’s Legion keyboard is great for gaming.
This one is a little different, though. It’s the same keyboard, but Lenovo gives you a small kit with eight keycaps that you can change. This is the first laptop I know of that has keycaps that can be changed. The set that comes with the keyboard has four white keycaps and four pastel-colored ones. They have a glossy finish instead of the matte finish on the rest of the keyboard. It’s a good idea, but Lenovo could really make it stand out if they could back it up with keycap sets.
I really like the keyboard. The trackpad is not the same. The Legion 9i’s trackpad is too small, which is my main complaint about it. There are vents at the top of the key deck, just like on the Alienware x14 R2 and x16. These vents push the keyboard and trackpad down towards you. The trackpad doesn’t work well because it’s too close to the Legion 9i’s edge. The fact that I kept flying off the trackpad is a shame.
Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8: Audio
The Legion 9 has two speakers under the palm rest that are much better than most laptop speakers. “Half of My Heart” by John Mayer sounded full and punchy, and the vocals had great detail. “Misery” by Maroon 5 had happy vocals and a bassline that I liked.
The volume is just right for listening alone or with a small group. The Nahimic app that comes with it has equaliser settings and pre-sets. I liked the sound of the Music preset the most, but I changed the bass boost from 6 dB to 3 dB to make the volume response better.
Gaming and Graphics
This Legion 9i Gen 8 has 32GB of DDR5-5600 RAM (2x 16GB), an Intel Core i9-13980HX processor, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card. This late-2023 laptop is powerful by desktop standards. With Ray Tracing Low, Cyberpunk 2077 at the Legion’s 3200 x 2000 resolution ran at 70-85 fps; with DLSS, it ran at 105-120. Firefights and everywhere else in Night City had fluid action and consistent frame rates.
However, this game shows that even with the GeForce RTX 4090, not all games can achieve maximum visual-quality settings at the laptop’s native screen resolution. This Legion is the first laptop with an RTX 4090 under 17 inches. GPUs usually have 17- or 18-inch designs due to their cooling needs. In our Legion 9i performance comparisons, we included the 17.3-inch MSI Titan GT77 HX and the 18-inch Asus ROG Strix Scar 18, both with Core HX-class CPUs and GeForce RTX 4090s.
The GeForce RTX 4080-equipped 16-inch HP Omen 16 was included to match the Legion’s screen size. For even comparisons, we test baseline games at 1920 x 1080, the top bar in the charts below. Where possible, we included results at each laptop’s native screen resolution: 3200 x 2000 for the Legion, 2560 x 1600 for the ROG Strix Scar 18, 2560 x 1440 for the Omen 16, and 3840 x 2160 for the GT77 Titan. If your game’s GPU can handle it, native resolution numbers allow maximum sharpness.
Hardware and Processor
High-end hardware is built into the Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8 Gaming Laptop to make it the best for gaming. It has the newest processors from Intel, most likely from the Core i9 or i7 series, which make it very powerful. The laptop has a dedicated graphics card, most likely from NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX line, which makes sure that the graphics are smooth for both gaming and making content. It’s likely that the screen will have a high refresh rate, which will make gaming responsive and immersive.
It might also have a lot of RAM for multitasking and fast storage options, like SSDs, to make the system faster overall. The advanced cooling system helps keep the right temperature even during long gaming sessions. The laptop has a high-end build and looks great for gaming with RGB lighting and other features.
Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8: Performance
The Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8 Gaming Laptop has powerful hardware that gives it top-notch performance. With the newest Intel processors, fast RAM, and a dedicated graphics card, it can easily play demanding games and do many things at once. When you combine a display with a high refresh rate with cutting-edge cooling technology, you get smooth gameplay with few problems caused by heat.
The overall look of the gaming PC is improved by RGB lighting that can be changed and a high-quality build. The Legion 9i Gen 8 is a high-performance gaming laptop with cutting-edge parts that can meet the needs of both long-time gamers and power users.
Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8: Battery Life
So far, I’ve only been able to say great things about the Legion 9i’s features. The only area where it falls short is its battery life. The gaming laptop only lasted 49 minutes when it was in High Performance mode, 50% brightness, and RGB lighting. I put the laptop in Quiet mode, lowered the brightness to 0%, and turned off the RGB lighting. It lasted longer, but only up to three hours and eleven minutes, which is still not very long.
It’s not a big surprise that this happens because gaming laptops, especially high-end ones, are known for having short battery lives. However, this could still be a problem depending on how you plan to use it. For some reason, the Legion 9i only has a small amount of power. The 330W charging adapter can charge it back up to 70% in as little as 30 minutes. You might find it easier to bring the 140W charging adapter with you if you’re always on the go. The fact that both adapters are included gives you a little more freedom.
Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8: Heat
While the Metro Exodus stress test is going on, we check the surface temperatures of the laptops. Between the G and H keys on the Legion 9i, the keyboard got as hot as 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), and the touchpad got as hot as 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius). On the bottom panel, the hottest spot was 115 degrees in the middle back.
The laptop’s top surface didn’t feel rough when you touched it. This laptop has three fans that push a lot of air out of the back and side vents. When you play games, you can hear fan noise, which sounds more like air being pushed through vents than motor noise. If I used the laptop’s built-in speakers, the fan noise drowned out the game sounds, but I had no trouble hearing them with an open headset.
- Desktop replacement levels of performance
- Support for both USB-C and GaN charging
- Gorgeous mini-LED display
- Surprisingly portable
- Poor battery life
- Trackpad is too small
The Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8 is impressive because it looks great and has great hardware in a small package. The 16-inch 3.2K Mini LED display has bright colours and good detail, but it’s not quite as good as the manufacturer says it will be. The keyboard is great for gaming, and the keycaps can be changed to fit your needs. However, the trackpad is too small and in the wrong place.
The speakers produce sound that is truly exceptional. With an Intel Core i9 processor and an NVIDIA RTX 4090 GPU, the laptop performs very well. The battery life is bad, though, which is normal for high-end gaming laptops. In spite of this, the Legion 9i Gen 8 stands out as a powerful and beautiful gaming PC.