Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Lenovo recently unleashed its Legion Slim 514, marking its debut in the 14-inch gaming laptop arena. This release came hot on the heels of the Asus G14, a notable contender in the same category. Eager to put the Legion Slim 514 to the test, we delved into its features, evaluating its AMD processor, powerful graphics, OLED display, and competitive pricing. In this review, we aim to answer two crucial questions: Is the Legion Slim 514 now a superior choice compared to the Asus G14, which has been a favorite in the 14-inch gaming laptop category? And, for users seeking a high-performance laptop for tasks such as software development and content creation with a focus on portability, is the Legion Slim 514 the top choice, making pricier alternatives like Lenovo’s own Slim Pro 9i or the MacBook Pro 14 obsolete?

Key Specifications

My unit comes equipped with a Zen 4 7840HS processor, 16GB of memory, and a 1TB storage capacity. Starting with the Cinebench test, which assesses the laptop’s performance under maximum load, the Legion Slim 514 exhibits commendable single-core and excellent multi-core performance, slightly outperforming the G14 in multicore tasks. Digging deeper into its performance during long-running tasks, the Legion Slim 514 maintains stable performance, surpassing the G14 in this aspect. This can be attributed to the laptop’s efficient cooling solution, allowing it to outshine competitors like the MSI Stealth 14 Studio in extended performance tasks.

Performance Per Watt

Understanding the performance per watt, the Legion Slim 514, powered by a 25-watt advantage over the G14, demonstrates the nuanced relationship between power consumption and performance. While the Legion Slim 514 benefits from additional power, the G14 strikes a balance, providing efficient performance. The takeaway is that the Legion Slim 514 excels in multicore performance, while the G14 showcases superior efficiency in CPU tasks.

Graphics Performance

Turning to graphics performance, the Legion Slim 514, equipped with an RTX 4060, competes well in the gaming landscape. Notably, in the Cyberpunk benchmark test, it outperforms most competitors, except the Zenbook Pro 14 with an RTX 4070. The Legion Slim 514’s 105-watt power allocation to its graphics strikes a balance, avoiding diminishing returns observed in laptops with higher power allocations.

Cooling and Fan Noise

Addressing fan noise, the Legion Slim 514, under high-performance CPU tasks, becomes audible but remains manageable. In gaming scenarios, the trade-off between fan noise and a slight drop in performance is reasonable. In quiet mode, fan noise dissipates, but the laptop warms up. Notably, the Legion Slim 514 maintains cooler temperatures compared to competitors in various use cases.

Battery Life

On battery performance, the Legion Slim 514 shows a significant drop in high-performance tasks, lasting barely an hour. However, for more realistic usage, such as video streaming, it performs well, lasting around 7 hours, showcasing reasonable battery life.

Build Quality and Display

In terms of build quality, the Legion Slim 514 is decent but lacks the premium feel of its higher-end counterparts. The keyboard deck exhibits some flex, and the laptop, while not the heaviest, is on the larger side for a 14-inch laptop. The highlight, however, is its stunning OLED display with vivid colors, high resolution, and a fast refresh rate. Despite its excellence, it’s essential to note the use of PWM flickering, potentially affecting users sensitive to such nuances.

Keyboard and Portability

The Legion Slim 514’s keyboard receives mixed reviews, with a somewhat mushy feel and low travel, deviating from Lenovo’s reputation for excellent keyboards. The placement of page up and down keys may be irksome for some users. On the portability front, the laptop’s weight is comparable to its peers, but its larger dimensions may pose a challenge for those seeking a more compact device.

Value Proposition

Pricing the Legion Slim 514 at just under $1,500 (frequently on sale for around $1,300), it competes directly with the Asus G14, which hovers around $1,600 MSRP but often sees discounts. While the Legion Slim 514 offers good value, especially for productivity tasks, top-tier options like the Slim Pro 9i or MacBook Pro 14 outshine it in various aspects.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Legion Slim 514 stands as a competitive option in the 14-inch gaming laptop market, offering commendable performance, efficient cooling, and a stunning display. However, it falls short in certain areas compared to the Asus G14, making the choice between the two a matter of personal preference and price point. For productivity-focused users, the Legion Slim 514 holds its ground but faces stiff competition from higher-end alternatives. Ultimately, the decision hinges on individual priorities and budget considerations.

Note: Prices and specifications are as of the time of the review and are subject to change based on market dynamics.

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