"The Lenovo Legion Y27q-20 offers fluid, ultra-fast gaming in an elegant design."
Simple, lightweight design
165Hz refresh rate
Decent value for 1440p
1 ms response time
It's an ideal time to upgrade to higher resolution games, but you will likely need a new game monitor. That doubles when you've updated your PC's graphics card, whether it's a lower-priced RTX 20 series or one of the new 30 series cards.
The Lenovo Legion Y27q-20 offers a resolution of 1440p and a refresh rate of 165 Hz and is in every way an upgrade of your old 1080p monitor. It is quickly becoming a crowded space, however, and $ 430 isn't the cheapest price out there. Does the Legion Y27q-20 have the picture quality and gaming performance to secure it?
While nothing special, the Legion Y27q-20 is not devoid of embellishments, including Lenovo's signature circular cheese grater design on the back of the case. Oddly enough, it's not dissimilar to Apple's Mac Pro or Pro Display XDR. For a gaming peripheral, it's rather sleek and not as bulky as some Acer Predator or Asus ROG monitors.
But don't get too excited. Like most gaming monitors, the Legion Y27q is mostly made of plastic and has a large lower bezel. The HP Omen 27 gaming monitor has more class in my book, but the Legion undercuts the price of this monitor considerably. Fortunately, the stand is made of metal, which offers a lot of stability.
The Legion Y27q's screen, base, and stand are individually wrapped, but I got them assembled in seconds thanks to the monitor's simple VESA mount. The entire package weighs just 14.7 pounds, which makes it even easier to set up. The Acer Nitro XZ272U is lighter at just 11 pounds, but the Y27q isn't far away.
After setting it up, I was delighted to discover how adjustable the Legion Y27q is. With tilt, turn, height and swivel adjustment, you are sure to find something that meets your needs. Switching from landscape to portrait is a notable addition that gaming monitors like the Predator XB273U and Dell S-Series monitors lack.
The connections are on the back and face down. You won't find any surprises here – just a DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4. These are older port standards, but for a 1440p gaming monitor, they're all you need.
The Legion Y27q-20 even has additional USB connectivity to sweeten business. On the back, you'll find a USB-B 3.1 upstream port and a USB-A port, while two USB-A ports flank the side. You will also find a headphone / microphone jack here. These are nice additions to an otherwise fairly simple gaming monitor that turns into a USB hub.
The monitor is supplied with power via the rectangular “Trim Yellow” power connector from Lenovo next to a relatively small external power supply module.
Unfortunately, Lenovo didn't think the Legion Y27q-20 needed speakers. Lenovo sells a separate model with a cone-shaped speaker in the base, but it's missing here. That's a shame. I still think most monitors should include speakers, even if they're not the largest in the world. Yes, most people use headphones or external speakers, but for the rare occasional time you want them, they're missing.
Buttons and Menus
The on-screen menu is accessed using the six buttons just below the control panel. There are no fancy joysticks or buttons behind the screen.
Once you are in the menu, you can adjust settings like brightness and contrast as well as switch between different game settings and color profiles. Lenovo offers genre-specific profiles for first-person shooters, strategy games, and more. You can also switch to "Extreme" mode, which takes you from three milliseconds to one.
Navigating the menu with the buttons is a frustrating experience.
The problem? Navigating the menu with the buttons is a frustrating experience.
For starters, the button furthest to the right is the power button, but it feels identical to the other buttons. Accidentally turning off your monitor during a game is no fun. This can happen if you reach for brightness controls while gaming in a darker environment, especially because the monitor lacks adaptive brightness.
The symbiology used on the buttons and in the menu is also confusing. What looks like a back button is actually a select button that is disoriented while navigating the menu. It would have been a good idea to do some additional user testing on these.
The Legion Y27q-20 uses a 27-inch panel with a 2560 x 1440 resolution. Playing games at 1440p is great. It's not quite 4K, but it's also not nearly as demanding when you have more of a mid-range system. The RTX 2070 Super I tested it with push games like Battlefield V and Fortnite well over 100 frames per second, even at maximum settings.
Thanks to the refresh rate of 165 Hz, the gameplay feels incredibly smooth. Sure, there are 240Hz, 300Hz, or even 360Hz monitors out there – but unless you want to be a professional gamer (and maybe even then) 165Hz should work fine. This is especially true if you are playing in 1440p.
This is not true G-Sync.
Nvidia G-Sync stickers are placed all over the Legion Y27q-20, but it's not a real implementation. Instead of a physical G-Sync module, it is certified by a solution that Nvidia calls "G-Sync Compatible". Essentially, this means it's a Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) monitor that Nvidia checked for flickering, ghosting, and tearing. This is not true G-Sync.
And yet the gaming experience on the Legion Y27q-20 is super fluid. As soon as you jump into the Nvidia control panel and change the refresh rate to 165 Hz, you'll immediately notice the smooth animations, even of your cursor, as you move it across the screen. Next, you want to enable the Extreme setting to achieve the specified response time of one millisecond.
Response time is about how quickly the pixels on your monitor can change color. There is no agreed measure of response time, so the difference between 1 ms and 3 ms can be inconsistent depending on the monitor. However, with the Legion Y27q-20, you can tell the subtle difference in responsiveness when you switch between the two settings.
Thanks to the IPS display (In-Plane Switching), the Legion Y27q-20 can also be used for activities outside of the game. It's pretty bright with a maximum of 415 nits, and the color saturation isn't bad either. With 99% of sRGB and 77% of AdobeRGB, the Legion Y27q is as colorful as you can expect from a gaming monitor.
Many inexpensive or medium-sized gaming monitors opt for VA panels (vertical orientation) or TN panels (twisted nematic). These screens tend to have worse viewing angles, so I am pleased that Lenovo has chosen IPS.
However, it wasn't perfect. The contrast was low at only 650: 1, which was affected by the flat black values. The images look a bit washed out next to other displays. For comparison: the Acer Nitro XZ27 has a size of 1,060: 1, which leads to much richer images and colors.
The Legion Y27q is a hit or miss in terms of image quality.
The second problem was color accuracy. With an average Delta-E of 3.07, the color accuracy is surprisingly poor for 202o. The Nitro XZ272U, for example, has an average of 1.23. Again, this isn't the biggest issue for gamers, but there's no reason a $ 430 monitor should be so poorly calibrated.
I tried calibrating the screen myself to see if I could improve some of these numbers with my Spyder5Elite. The gamma has been corrected from 2.1 to 2.2 and the color accuracy has been reduced to 1.85. Both are positive improvements in image quality, which shows that this panel could have used an additional factory calibration. However, contrast and black levels were not helped.
The Legion Y27q is a hit or miss in terms of image quality. It's not a screen that you want to perform precise color grading or watch movies all the time.
With RTX 30 series graphics just around the corner, gaming monitors like the Lenovo Legion Y27q-20 will soon become important. There are some cheaper options that result in higher resolutions and refresh rates, but the Legion Y27q-20's looks and responsiveness make it a solid option for a monitor upgrade.
Are there alternatives?
The Acer Nitro XZ272U is only $ 330, though it's also a 27-inch 165Hz gaming monitor. It uses a VA panel and has a response time of 4 ms instead of 1 ms. It even has a curved screen.
Another option is the Asus TUF VG27 gaming monitor, which is available for $ 479. Finally, the $ 400 Dell S2719DGF is another great option. It has a 1ms response time and 155Hz refresh rate, but uses a cheaper TP panel.
How long it will take?
The Lenovo Legion Y27q-20 should last around five years. The standard warranty is three years, but with the refresh rate of 165 Hz and the resolution of 1440p you are equipped for PC games longer.
Should you buy it?
Yes. The Legion Y27q-20 combines features, design and performance in one affordable package.