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Highlights

Lenovo Legion Y720 Cube Gaming PC Review




With its aggressive, robotic look, powerful hardware and portable form factor, the Lenovo Legion Y720 Cube has a beast within — one that you can easily take with you if you’re into LAN parties and similar gatherings. Our unit packs a 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, 16GB of RAM, and even a 128GB SSD. Is this cube of power worth getting? Let’s check it out.

Design and Construction

If you’ve seen the 2004 science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica, then the prominent red LED lighting on the front face of the Y720 Cube will surely remind you of the Cylon Centurions from the show. The entire body is full of sharp, aggressive angles, and employs different textures. The matte rubberized finish on top, the carbon fiber finish around the perimeter of the sides, all make the PC feel nice to the touch.

As we mentioned portability in the introduction of this review, that factor is reflected in the carrying handle at the top of the chassis. Its flat shape doesn’t make it the most comfortable top handle, but having one altogether is certainly better than carrying a PC with both hands.

Handling cooling and airflow, we have some mesh grille intake and exhaust areas around the front, top, and both sides. The ones on the side panels and the top, in particular, come in aggressive looking fins which adds more to the overall aesthetic.

Moving on to front I/O, we have two USB 3.0 ports one of which can be used for charging even if the PC is off. Beside those are a headphone jack and microphone jack, and of course the power button. It’s also worth noting that there is no dedicated reset button included.

At the back, the rear I/O panel of the proprietary ITX motherboard gives us four USB 2.0 ports, two more USB 3.0 ports, RJ45 ethernet, 4-channel audio jacks, and legacy combo PS/2. While looking at this area, we also noticed that the power supply didn’t have an on/off switch. It’s not completely necessary, but it would have been nice to have.

Looking inside, the Y720 Cube implements a split chamber design. Behind the left side panel are the power supply and drive cages, while behind the right side panel are the rest of the components. Cable management on the right side could have been done better, and a rear exhaust fan might have been able to help with airflow.

Overall upgradeability is very good. You’re left with a free DIMM slot to expand your RAM, the chassis can accommodate a full length graphics card, and there’s one more SATA port left to add another 3.5″ or 2.5″ storage drive.

While the chassis is made of mostly plastic and aluminum, it feels very tough, but reasonably light enough to carry around at 7.4 kg. There isn’t a lot of room in a small form factor PC like this, but it swings by.

Peripherals

The Y720 Cube comes with a very basic keyboard and mouse set. The DOK-M680 mouse is tiny, generic looking, and is just an unpleasant inclusion considering that it comes with a PC clearly meant for gaming.

The DOK-5321 keyboard however, is actually pretty decent. It doesn’t use a standard layout, with the Fn key being uncomfortably close to the left CTRL, but it doesn’t take long to get used to. The chiclet style keys have a very shallow travel, and it’s actually quite nice to type on, unlike other stock keyboards which generally feel mushy.

OS and Storage

Naturally running the software department is Windows 10 Home Edition. Proprietary software and other bloatware is kept at a minimal with this installation.

It comes with Lenovo Nerve Center, an app that lets you check basic statistics of your PC, network optimization settings, LED control, and others. You also get Lenovo Companion, which handles system and driver updates, checks system health, and customer support.

As for storage, you’re given a fairly basic and standard setup for modern PC’s, namely a 128GB SSD for your OS and high priority software, and a 2TB HDD to store your Steam Library and everything else.

There are two drive cages inside the Y720 Cube, one for 3.5″ drives, and one for 2.5″ drives.

Each can fit two drives of its type, but you can only add a total of one additional drive, as the motherboard only has one free SATA port left.

Performance and Benchmarks

Now, let’s get into what this mini beast is capable of. Under the hood, it sports an Intel Core i7-7700 clocked at 4.2GHz, 16GB of DDR4 2400MHz RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Founder’s Edition. As you can expect, performance is great, and it can easily handle the most demanding AAA games at high, even ultra settings. We tested six games at 1080p, with most settings maxed out. Check out the results below.

Note: Scores are in average frames per second. 

We also ran some synthetic benchmarks to further test performance. Check out the scores below.

As for content creation, the Y720 Cube handled Adobe Premiere and DaVinci Resolve very well, and was able to smoothly edit and export 4K footage. We were able to export a 5-minute 4K project to a 1080p h.264 video in 5 minutes and 13 seconds, which is great, as it’s almost real-time.

All the connectivity options: wired Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 all worked flawlessly and as advertised. Even when playing online games using a Wi-Fi connection, no hiccups were experienced. The machine has a Killer NIC (network interface card), but those have a reputation of making little to no difference in real-world usage.

Thermals

We used FurMark and Prime 95 to test GPU and CPU temperatures, respectively. Under full load, the GTX 1070’s temperature maxed out at 83°C, while the i7-7700 maxed out at 79°C.

These numbers aren’t so great, as it directly translates to how loud the system gets. The GTX 1070 under load ends up sounding like a mini jet engine, as it is a blower-style graphics card. As we brushed over the airflow inside the chassis earlier, these temperature results can somewhat directly be attributed to that.

Conclusion

The Lenovo Legion Y720 Cube is a nicely portable, aggressive looking gaming system that is well equipped to handle what you throw at it. It’s ideal for those who appreciate an alien-like aesthetic, and those who are still fond of attending LAN parties. It’s a well-built machine that does have some minor problems, but has a solid enough upgrade path to potentially address those problems and make it even more powerful.

The Lenovo Legion Y720 Cube (with GTX 1070) is priced at Php89,988 and can be purchased over at Villman. See listing here.

Lenovo Y720 Cube 90H2000EPH specs:
Intel Core i7-7700HQ (2.80GHz up to 3.80GHz/6MB Cache)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, 8GB
16GB DDR4
2TB SATA HDD + 128GB SDD
2×2 AC + Bluetooth 4.0
Killer Wireless-AC 1535
Killer Doubleshot Pro WiFi/LAN 10/100/1000M
Gigabit Ethernet
Rear Ports:
2 x USB 3.0
4 x USB 2.0
1 x PS/2
1 x RJ45 Gigabit LAN w/ Killer LAN
6 x audio w/ S/PDIF
Front Ports:
2x USB 3.0
1 x microphone jack
1 x headphone jack
Windows 10 Home
393.3 x 314.5 x 252.3 mm
7.4 kg

What we liked about it:

  • Portable design
  • Outstanding build quality
  • Solid upgrade path
  • Powerful hardware
  • Elegantly aggressive aesthetic

What we did not like:

  • Cable management inside
  • Use of a blower-style graphics card
  • Not so great airflow
  • Unimpressive included keyboard and mouse



Joey graduated with a degree in Digital Filmmaking from the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde last March 2017. A filmmaker by heart, he has since put aside cinema to focus on his other passion, technology. PCs, mechanical keyboards, audio, cameras, and gaming are among his biggest tech interests.

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