The Lenovo Legion 9i and Legion Pro 7i are great laptops that can run modern games without breaking a sweat. But which one is best for you?
- The Lenovo Legion 9i is the better choice for gamers who want the best performance, thanks to its liquid cooling system, powerful processor, and large RAM.
- However, the more affordable Lenovo Legion Pro 7i is a good alternative for casual gamers, offering good performance scores and a high 240Hz refresh rate for competitive gaming.
- Both laptops have great specs and battery life, but the Legion 9i shines ahead of the Pro 7i in terms of looks and brightness.
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If you’re looking for a powerful laptop to play your favorite games, you might want to consider Lenovo’s new laptops released under the Legion brand this year. The Lenovo Legion 9i is poised to become the best gaming laptop of 2023 thanks to its liquid cooling solution. The Gen 8 Legion Pro 7i is not far behind as it adds new hardware from Intel and Nvidia to the already popular laptop models.
But the real question is: Which is better? A new brand that costs a lot of money or the ol’ reliable that brings a change to the table? In this article, we’ll detail the differences between the two Legion machines to help you choose your next gaming laptop!
Lenovo Legion 9i vs Legion Pro 7i: Price, specs, and availability
The Lenovo Legion 9i was announced at IFA 2023 and is expected to hit the shelves in October. The base model of the Legion 9i ships with an Nvidia RTX 4080 graphics card and costs $3,800, so it’s not the cheapest laptop on the market. Lenovo lets you customize the laptop however you want, and if you have the cash, you can pick up an RTX 4090 GPU for $4,320. Like other Lenovo laptops, we expect many online retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Newegg to stock the Legion 9i when it’s released.
In contrast, Lenovo already released the Legion Pro 7i Gen 8 in March. Lenovo has rebranded the 2023 iteration of the Legion 7i series as the Lenovo Pro 7i, presumably to separate it from the Lenovo Legion 7i Slim, a sleek laptop designed for developers. The cheapest version of the Legion Pro 7i includes an RTX 4070 for $1,950 and is significantly cheaper than the Legion 9i. Buying a laptop from Lenovo’s website allows you to customize its internals, and you can opt for the RTX 4090 model if you don’t mind paying $3,065 for a better GPU. As of writing, pre-built versions of the Legion Pro 7i are sold by Best Buy, Micro Center, and other retailers on Amazon.
Lenovo Legion 9i vs Legion Pro 7i: Design
The Legion 9i lives up to its name as Lenovo’s new gaming laptop with a sleek carbon fiber body. As mentioned earlier, the Lenovo Legion 9i is the world’s first gaming laptop with liquid cooling inside the chassis. A water cooler is placed on top of its VRAM graphics card to ensure low temperatures during heavy gaming. Currently, all other components, including the CPU, are cooled by a vapor chamber where the cold air is drawn from four radiators and the hot air is exhausted through the many holes on both sides and the back of the laptop.
Primarily a gaming laptop, the Legion 9i features multiple RGB lighting, with two RGB strips covering the front and back. It also has a “TrueStrike” keyboard, and you also get RGB lighting on the Legion logo on its cover. Despite its high power, the laptop is 18.9mm thick and weighs 5.64 pounds, so you will have no problem carrying this beast of a machine on your travels. The Legion 9i has all the necessary ports, including three USB Type-C ports, two USB Type-A ports, an HDMI socket, an RJ45 connection, an audio jack, and an SD card slot.
The Legion Pro 7i has an aluminum lid and bottom, though the rest of the body is plastic. The cooling setup here doesn’t hold a candle to the Legion 9i’s own cooling system, but you do get system temperatures. The Legion Pro 7i uses vapor chamber cooling for the processor and graphics card, with air being drawn from under the chassis and hot air being released from the air vents on either side of the laptop.
Lenovo’s Legion Pro 7i also has a gaming touch with a backlit keyboard and an RGB strip on the bottom. The laptop’s height varies by specification, but even the slim 21.95mm is wider than the Legion 9i. Weighing in at 6.17 pounds, it’s significantly heavier than its competitor. Fortunately, it’s not lacking in the ports department where you’ll find two USB Type-C connectors, four USB Type-A ports, a headphone/mic combo jack, an RJ45 socket, and an HDMI connection.
Lenovo Legion 9i vs Legion Pro 7i: Comparison
The Legion 9i outperforms the Legion Pro 7i when it comes to display. The first laptop comes with a beautiful 16-inch mini-LED screen with a resolution of 3200×2000 and a refresh rate of 165Hz. The 16:10 aspect ratio and 100% DCI-P3 coverage make the Legion 9i ideal for professional work. With a maximum brightness of 1200 nits, you won’t have any problems with visibility even if you use the laptop outside on a bright and sunny day.
Meanwhile, the cheaper Legion Pro 7i has a 16-inch IPS display with a lower resolution of 2560×1600. It also has a very bright 500 nits dimmer screen. It has a refresh rate of 240Hz, giving you an edge over the Legion 9i if you’re into competitive gaming.
Both laptops have a 1080p front-facing camera with a privacy lock and have Windows Hello-compatible mobile sensors built into the power button for added security.
Lenovo Legion 9i vs Legion Pro 7i: Performance and battery life
Lenovo’s Legion 9i is designed with the highest quality hardware to deliver the best gaming experience. It packs the latest 13th generation Intel Core i9-13980HX, a 24-core and 32-thread processor that is perfect for heavy workloads. Combine that with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU, and it’s hard to find another laptop that can compete with the Legion 9i’s destructive power. In terms of memory and storage, the base model comes with 32GB DDR5 RAM clocked at 5,600MHz alongside a 1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD, and you can upgrade the memory to 64GB and 2TB of SSD storage.
The Legion 9i has a 99.99Whr battery and Lenovo ships two different chargers with the beast of a laptop: a 330W charger and a 140W Type-C charger. The 330W charger has a proprietary connector and Lenovo claims it can charge the laptop from 0% to 70% in 30 minutes. While you can use another 140W USB Type-C charger to power up the laptop, trying to do so under a heavy GPU load results in so that the battery runs out even though the laptop has to charge. Therefore, you should stick to the 330W power adapter if you only plan to use your Legion 9i for gaming or other hardware-taxing tasks.
The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i has an Intel Core i9-13900HX CPU with 24 cores, 32 threads, and a clock speed of 5.4GHz. This high-end processor can handle most CPU games with ease, although it is weaker than the Legion 9i’s i9-13980HX. GPU-wise, you can opt for a cheaper RTX 4070 card, or upgrade to an RTX 4090 if you want better performance. The base model of the Legion Pro 7i has 16GB of DDR5 memory, but you may want to upgrade to the model with 32GB RAM to avoid interfering with other devices. Finally, the affordable Legion laptop includes up to a 1TB SSD for maximum data storage.
On the battery front, the Legion Pro 7i rocks a 99.9Whr battery that can provide six to seven hours of backup, though this number takes a hit if you try to play games without plugging in the AC adapter. Speaking of which, Lenovo ships the Legion Pro 7i with a matching 330W adapter that supports fast charging.
Lenovo Legion 9i vs Legion Pro 7i: Which is right for you?
With its better specs, processor, and memory, the Legion 9i outperforms the Pro 7i in all parameters except refresh rate. The premium laptop is also more prone to thermal issues due to its liquid cooling. Unfortunately, high-end features come with a hefty price tag.
Lenovo Legion 9i (2023) Excellent performance
The Lenovo Legion 9i takes the crown as a better laptop with a built-in liquid cooling system, a better processor, higher RAM, and an amazing mini-LED display. There are many reasons to love the Legion 9i, and its fan-friendly features are one of them.
$3800 at Lenovo
On the other hand, you should choose the Legion Pro 7i if you want an all-around gaming laptop that doesn’t cost much. It may have a slower CPU, but casual gamers won’t notice the difference in all but the most demanding games. From a price and performance standpoint, the Legion Pro 7i is better than its more expensive sibling.
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8 Other deals $1950 $2300 Save $350
The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i may lose to the Legion 9i, but it’s still a great gaming laptop that ticks all the right boxes. It also has a higher refresh rate of 240Hz, so it’s worth choosing this laptop over its pricier sibling if you only plan to use your new laptop for competitive gaming.
$1950 at Lenovo $2100 at Best Buy $3300 at Micro Center