In a world where laptops are as powerful as you need them to be, is there a place for the desktop PC? If you’re a gamer, then you know the answer. Lenovo certainly does. To prove their point, they sent us the Legion T530 Tower for review. Here’s what we think about it.
The T530 strikes a great balance between understated and edgy. It’s got clean lines all around, with nice textured accents on the front panel, and the Legion branding on the front. Powering the unit up brings lights to life, removing any doubt as to its purpose as a gaming machine. A particular thing I like about Lenovo, especially with the Legion devices, is that they do the business without looking like they were designed by teenage gamers. This tower is a great example of how to properly put a gaming rig together: simple, understated, without looking plain. It even has USB ports on the top, by the power button, along with a conveniently located carry handle that actually adds to the overall look.
Being a gaming PC, the T530 packs a beefy nvidia RTX 2060 GPU with a healthy 6GB serving of RAM. Our review unit came with the extremely capable Intel Core i7-9700, 16GB of RAM (8GB DDR4-2666 x 2), and 1TB of SSD Storage. WLAN 11ac and Bluetooth 4.1 come standard, and as a nice touch, there’s even an optical drive hidden behind a neat sliding panel at the front of the case. Should you want to get in there, the case panels are easily removable thanks to thumb-turn screws, with plenty of room on the inside for additional aftermarket drives and accessories, if you want to go down that road in the future.
USER EXPERIENCE: 5/5
I have to admit that I still get excited when I get sent desktops for review. Though I do have a gaming laptop, the upgradability of a desktop can’t be beat, and having grown up with desktops, it just feels right.
Setting up the T530 Tower is as simple as any other desktop out there. It takes a three-prong power cable, and even throws in a handy cable organizer right on the case to tame any frizz. After that, plug in a display, some peripherals in either the rear or front USB ports, and you’re off. The power button is on the top edge of the case, and is easy to press, with a raised guard around it to keep you from hitting it accidentally. One thing I do love about the case, aside from the simple design, is the inclusion of a carry handle. Whether you want to take it to a LAN party (that’s still a thing, right?) or you just need to move it around, the unobtrusive carry handle makes the job so much safer and easier.
As for performance, you can feel the speed of the SSD and 16GB of RAM. It takes no time to boot up and get moving from a cold start, and games load faster than you can get a soda from the fridge, so it’s best to be ready beforehand. Bright, but not blinding red lighting emanates from the front of the case letting you know it’s on, and giving it an appropriate gaming vibe, and the fans are generally quiet enough, and certainly don’t make their way past headphones even when running at full tilt. Thermals seem to be in order though, as it didn’t need to blast the fans on full very often at all—yet another reason to go with a well-designed, pre-built system.
The first thing I did was fire up a ray-tracing-enabled game, in my case, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and see how it did. Now, I’m a little late to the ray-tracing party as it’s not time for it in my upgrade cycle yet, but man, I have to admit I’ve been missing out. It makes a great-looking game like this even more realistic, and the T530 pulled it off without a hitch. I know benchmarks only mean so much, but I took a screenshot of the numbers for you to check out.
Non-RTX gaming is just as solid on the RTX 2060. I have recently been playing a lot of Overwatch and Call of Duty, and in both games, I was able to get the full 75Hz experience my display could deliver with no problems whatsoever, even at almost the highest graphics settings. Lenovo built this rig well, and it should easily last a few years’ rotation as your primary gaming device with no problem. Should things change, you can always swap out some components, and you’re again all set.
One of the most compelling reasons to get the T530 though is that it’s fully backed by a Lenovo warranty, and should some problem arise after that period, you can be sure that they will still be able to see to any problems at the nearest service center. If you aren’t too much into building and maintaining your own hardware, this is a massive plus.
The T530 isn’t cheap, particularly if you build your own rigs, but it’s justified by the reliability, service and trust that the brand has earned through the years. Also the performance is superb, which is no surprise given the performance and the red-lit case really is quite nice.
- Processor: Intel Core i7-9700 (8C / 8T, 3.0 / 4.7GHz, 12MB)
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6
- Chipset: Intel B360
- Memory: 2x 8GB DIMM DDR4-2666
- Storage: 1TB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe
- Optical: 9.0mm DVD±RW
- Ethernet: Integrated 100/1000M
- WLAN + Bluetooth: 11ac, 2×2 + BT4.1
- Color: Raven Black
- System Fan: Rear + Front
- Chassis Light: Red
- Power Supply: 500 W Energy Star
- Great case
- Powerful performance
- Small overall footprint
- Slightly pricey
This isn’t a CPU I’d mind having to fork my money over for.
Reviewed by Ren Alcantara. Also published in Gadgets Magazine June 2020 issue.