Meet Teddy Lee, The Man Who Created The Lenovo Legion Gaming Computers Utilising The Voice Of Gamers

By Justin Chee on Sep 4, 2017

Lenovo Legion recently launched a slew of new gaming desktops called the Lenovo Legion Y920, 720 and 520 respectively at Gamescom 2017. These VR-ready machines are eye-catching masterpieces not only in looks but also in the latest hardware internally - that are employed to provide gamers with top-of-its-class gaming performance. Whether it’s the Lenovo Legion Y520, Y720 or the Y920, the company had created those machines as complete solutions to gaming for the mainstream gamers up until high-end users. In further partnerships with component giants Corsair and Asetek, the machines are integrated with third-party expertise such as performance RAMs and water cooling, which is very rare in the pre-built desktop scene.

While we were testing the Lenovo Legion machines at Gamescom 2017, we got to learn that their new gaming desktops were designed by Teddy Lee. Lee was often credited as the “Godfather of the Y710 Cube” and it was with pleasure that we received an opportunity to chat up with Lee and learn about his design works at Lenovo and the Legion brand, and how the gaming community actually contributed to the overall design of the gaming machines that we get to experience during Gamescom 2017.

Q: What is the most important thing that you and your team were concerned of the most when designing the Lenovo Legion gaming desktops?

A: We are concerned most about the feedback from our customers and the gamers. We actually reach out to gamers for that and that is extremely important to us. As a matter of fact our Lenovo Legion brand was actually created by the community. So one of our strategies on the design of the machines is to get our customer’s voice, the gamer’s voice. We also had surveys and we really love incorporating our customer’s opinions. Which is why today at Gamescom 2017, we have our latest lineup of great new Lenovo Legion products that is really inspired by the gamers themselves.   

The Legion brand is all about community. It’s in our undertaking to transform PC devices to become more of social devices. It’s because in the gaming community, social is so important. So that’s what we’re going into. We want to give them the best possible social gaming experience with our machines.

Q: How do you merge great design with hardware performance of the Lenovo Legion desktops?

A: Well as you know, Lenovo is one of the top PC manufacturers in the world. We do have a history of reliability. We based our products on that history itself while the design and form factor are continuously engineered to match what gamers are accustomed to in the market.

Once again, the community is also heavily involved as part of the process. On streamlining the design, we basically based it on the pricing and performance and then matching these elements to our community of enthusiast customers and our high-end users who demand absolutely pure performance. This is also the reason why we create a unique and exclusive partnership with Asetek and Corsair to bring in experts and help us design the next generation gaming machines that are packed with great gaming capabilities.

We also partnered up with Microsoft to integrate the XBox One wireless receiver so that our customers can play games using the wireless Xbox One controller. We reach out to our customers a lot, ask them what they would like to see and also if they are willing to pay for it. We do a lot of study on that and then try to balance the product between the customers and high-end users.

Lenovo Legion booth at Gamescom 2017

Q: How do you innovate the Lenovo Legion desktops to be different than those of your competitors out there?

A: We think our competition is great! They help us spark innovation and creativity when it comes to designing our products. It’s one of the things that all of us think is a necessity in order to innovate a product. Since we have our very own gaming community, we try to focus more on what the gamers want and we build upon that, the Lenovo Legion brand. Our customers also help us decide the products together and I think this has provisioned the best product ideas whether they want a high end performance desktop or mainstream desktop that can compete with our competition. This gives us an edge to understand how to better secure our position in the market.

Take for example, a lot of products out there that are gaming have a consistent colour code across their products and we here this a lot from our customers too. A lot of gaming products at the present are black and red and we got a lot of feedback from the community to stay with that thematic consistency. But that isn’t stopping our design team from creating a unique colour that represents the notion of gaming and a line of quality products from Lenovo Legion to compete in the market.

Q: Can you tell us more about the gaming community that you have engaged with for the designing of the Lenovo Legion brand?

A: We engaged with mainly gaming communities from North America, Europe and Asia. Pretty much the major gaming communities around the world. We included competitive gamers and casual gamers, PC and laptop enthusiasts and people who are constantly trying to improve their gaming experience with the best machines they can get.  

The Lenovo Y920

Q: Have you ever considered designing the Lenovo Legion gaming desktops based on a specific game to create something that is uniquely about the game itself?

A: We don’t exactly design our products based on a specific game. But we do see that there’s a specific behaviour in our gaming customers. They tend to play a certain type of game such as the latest multiplayer games and social games. Based on this understanding that we have, our product design are formulated based on the behaviours and we shape the final products to give them the best performance they could get for the latest and trending games at the launch of the latest Lenovo Legion desktops.

The Lenovo Legion Y720

Q: What can we expect from Lenovo Legion in the coming months?

A: What you’re going to expect from Lenovo, which is also a part of our key strategy for gaming products; is to create more gaming partnerships with third parties. We are looking for partners who are extremely strong whether it’s in their technology or whatever their core business is. Again, I would like to mention that we adopted water-cooling and overclocked memory solutions, so we had looked for the best water-cooling and reputable memory manufacturers, designers and suppliers out there. Corsair again is a top gaming computer component manufacturer and they are also known for the aforementioned components. So we’re going to continue on this path to integrate more of these unique gaming partnerships and apply their technologies and know-hows into our product designs.

Q: What advice can you give to those who want to embark on a career involving product design?

A: It’s not just about a specific work that you do such as product design alone. It applies to all things and you need to have a lot of passion. It’s not really easy to design a PC, it’s actually a lot more challenging than you can expect. Even more so a gaming PC. We really try to live up to that passion and believing in ourselves. At the end of the day, it’s really about having a lot of fun, as I did had a lot of fun doing this. It’s a lot of work but it’s not a concern if the right passion is there and the kind of positive energy that you put into it. That makes all the difference.

The Lenovo Legion Y520

Q: And what would it be for yourself in the coming months or the future with Lenovo Legion?

A: I hope that I am still a gamer, that’s my nature, and I will continue to strive on designing the best products for the gaming fans out there. Better things are definitely coming in the future with further innovations and partnerships so I believe I would be having a lot of fun with the brand as we go.

Justin Chee
About the Author
Nerdgeek and sci-fi junkie with addictions to starship technologies and inorganic sentience. Advocate of energetics and forged from the fires of comic books and DOS games. Overseer of Gamehubs but wishes to be a purple megalomaniacal tentacle instead.
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