LENOVO Legion 5 Pro Review

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In this article, I give you my Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review with specs included. I’ve been waiting a while to get this in for review. At the time of writing this, it was not out on the markets of the US and EU, but it’s been out in some Asian countries for several weeks. For the US and EU markets, it came officially in June of 2021, for those who are wondering.

So what’s the big deal about this laptop? Well, Lenovo Legion gaming laptops have been around for a while but they’re finally just getting it right. It takes several years often to make a product line before you really hit your stride.

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Lenovo Legion 5 Pro has a QHD plus display with a 16 by 10 aspect ratio on board. Also, we have Ryzen which is the latest hotness and for a reason, it runs cool and it runs fast. So, ins this laptop there is a Ryzen 7 5800H processor.

Of course, in video graphics, you got your choice of an RTX 3060 or RTX 3070. And those are Max-P wattages not Max-Q for good performance and there’s a lot more to talk about.

There are a couple of different models of the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, let’s talk about that.

First, the Legion 5 Pro is the slightly ‘gamery’ looking model but it’s still relatively speaking on the chill end of ‘gamery’.

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Yes, you have the Legion logo which I think is supposed to be a Roman legion’s helmet kind of thing, not an upside-down Mercedes logo. I don’t have any issues with it. Compared to a dragon head logo on an MSI it’s not that out there. There’s no RGB body lighting on this so that’s about as bling-tastic as you get.

So, this one has one of the 16 by 10 aspect ratio displays, that’s one of the things that sets it apart.

Also, there is the Legion 5, not Pro which is a bit less expensive, and then there’s the Legion 7 which is kind of the upsell of Legion 5 Pro. It is also a 16-inch laptop just like 5 Pro with a QHD display but that one goes up to Ryzen 9. Also, you can go up to the RTX 3080 where 5 Pro stops at the RTX 3070.

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And, yes, there are Intel versions with intel 11th gen of all these from Lenovo and the Legion line too. So, we’ll see after I test those how they compare to the Ryzen models all that sort of thing.

Obviously, Lenovo Legion 5 Pro competes with the Alienware M15 R5 that I just reviewed and also the Asus Rogue Strix line. Let’s not forget to add that the Legion 5 Pro one has a webcam and not just that, it actually has a webcam privacy switch because it’s got Lenovo ThinkPad DNA going on too, so you get a little privacy and a little security there.

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We have an aluminum chassis here and the build quality on this is quite nice. Lenovo does improve every generation considering. That they’re keeping the price I won’t say budget I mean this is not a sub thousand dollar laptop because the specs are too high for that.

But they keep the prices down by not going too crazy with fancy build qualities. You’re not going to get a zeus rogue Strix scar removable back plates that you can customize out of the box or translucent keyboard decks and all that sort of thing.

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But you are getting something that feels pretty rigid and pretty well made without any creaky seams. And I know there’s gonna be some of you in the comments who said i bought last year’s legion seven and the hinge failed. And that sucks if it happened to you and I’m sorry to hear that but Lenovo does say they have redesigned the hinges for this year’s model.

So that shouldn’t be a problem anymore. It’s available in our storm gray color which kind of has blue undertones a little bit. It’s fine looking and there’s a stingray white which i it’s up to you. I mean at first it seems cool but to me it makes it look a little chunkier and it is nearly about an inch thick. So it’s not a super skinny laptop. Weighs 5.4 pounds which is 2.45 kilograms.

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So it’s about typical for a 15-inch non-ultra thin and light gaming laptop in that respect. It somehow feels a little heavier than that even though it’s not. I don’t know it’s the density of it. Being a 16-inch laptop is interesting because it is well gee the sort of between a 15 and 17-inch laptop in terms of size.

When i’m using it because of the bigger screen and the added little bit of height you get with that 16 by 10 aspect ratio display it feels much like using a 17-inch visually speaking for looking at that screen which is nice. In terms of portability it’s not so far off from the 15-inch laptops on the market that i feel like it’s a horrible carry or something like that but you know.

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It’s not an Asus rogue Zephyrus g 15 which we also reviewed which is you know pound lighter and meant to be a sort of ultrabook cross with a gaming laptop. Another nice little touch that they do with the design here is many of the ports are off the backside. Which i’m okay with though some of you might not be thrilled that there isn’t a usb a port on each side.

There’s only one on the right and there are three more in the rear. But what they do on the right above the top there they have little icons with the labels. So i mean especially because i cycled through gaming laptops reviewing them in non-gaming laptops too and they put the points out the back and it’s like okay where was this and where was that.

So it takes care of that problem it’s those little things that just really make you like a product. In terms of the game bling and all that sort of thing we have a four zone backlit keyboard here. Not a perky rgb i’m okay with that that’s up to you though as to whether you need your wasds to be a different color than everything else and all that.

Again no body lighting other than the logo on the back side of this. So it’s pretty calm and quiet. And you’ll manage everything through Lenovo’s vantage software. And if those of you who use lenovo business laptops are familiar with advantage. It’s almost weird to see it brought over to a legion and a gaming laptop but there it is.

And you won’t see much here for those of you who are power users who want to control your GPU overclocking your fan profiles and all that stuff. They want you to use lenovo ai to take care of all that. And part of which i’m sure is nvidia’s dynamic boost 2.0 that balances cpu and gpu usage and shared memory and all that sort of thing. So that stuff’s not here.

You do have msi afterburner third-party software you know. If you want to do things like overclock your gpu. For our tests we left it at base default. We didn’t do any tweaking that is. And we put it on the performance profile. And you get a little sticker above the keyboard that tells you you hit the fn and q buttons to cycle through the low power profile the balanced one and the high performance.

So everything was done in the high performance profile. In terms of performance it’s as you would expect which is to say excellent. I mean with ryzen zen 3 here you’re really not going to lose are you. Even if it’s the 5800 h 8 core CPU versus the 5900 hx which you can get on the legion 7 should you wish it. I mean the performance difference between those two cpus is not exactly huge so i wouldn’t obsess on it too much especially budget considerations and all those things for some of you out there right.

Performance is excellent on this and it still smokes until 10th generation. We’re still waiting to be able to show you our benchmarks for intel 11th gen to see how it does but i expect it to be very good. And thermals again are excellent because we have this seven nanometer cpu. Less heat more efficient that’s a good thing. Intel’s even on their 11th gen still at 10 nanometers so i expect thermals to be still better with ryzen.

That said we have seen some rise in gaming laptops whose thermals are not the best because it’s still you know you’re running north of four gigahertz when you’re playing games you’re doing something demanding video editing so we’re still talking a lot of horsepower here. And well unlike the Alienware m15 r5 we just reviewed sorry to all which didn’t really have the most robust cooling design.

This one is really well cooled. Other than the usual very nice oversized fans with that have a very good noise profile it sounds like a whoosh of air and not like a whine or a screech or I’m going to go deaf and i can’t hear my game kind of thing. Look at the heatsink on this thing. I mean it is beefy it looks like a vapor chamber style. There’s so much metal plating here.

The other metal covers i’ll tell you what they’re about later. But it’s well done folks. In playing games mostly demanding aaa titles like cyberpunk 2077 ultra dls dlss on and retracing on too. I mean the cpu was at 79 centigrade nice. And the GPU temperatures typically were 75 to 76. So the cooling on this is good the noise profile for a gaming laptop. Yes you’ll hear the fans but still it’s not that bad.

It’s not as quiet as the Asus rogue Strix scarf 15 that i reviewed which is miraculously relatively speaking quiet for a gaming laptop. But this is quieter than most kids on the block. Especially anything with intel inside 10th gen. Those of you who want to get the most frames from games will be happy to hear that there is a d GPU only mode. You can switch between hybrid graphics and dedicated graphics mode only.

That does require a reboot. Also the hdmi port is directly connected to the Nvidia GPU. The good news continues on with upgradable parts and accessible parts. So you just remove the bottom cover phillips head screws. We do have some semi-tenacious plastic clips to work your way around to get that back cover off. You’ve got two ram slots on here ddr4 3200 megahertz which is standard rise and stuff.

And you can get it with 16 gigs of ram upgrade it yourself up to 64 and you’re good. You have two m.2 SSD slots nvme one of them is populated ours came with the 512 gig ssd. Again you get one put whatever you want inside of there. The intel wi-fi six card which is an ax-200 card with Bluetooth 5.1.

That is also socketed and upgradable. And yay the whole cooling system is right there when you take the cover off. So if you wish to replace this you can. Speaking of that back in january in virtual ces mode there. Lenovo had said they were going to use liquid metal on some models but they’re not doing that.

I’ve heard that’s because they thought that users might have a difficult time if they repasted it they might short their motherboards if they didn’t clean it off carefully and properly. Whatever it is so no liquid metal here. But given the temperatures i’m alright with that. For connectivity you’ve got two usbc 3.2 gen2 ports supporting Displayport and the rear one supports power delivery. We’ve got the four usb a’s like i said.

You have hdmi 2.1 and those of you with the fancy pants latest gen tvs would be happy about that. You got gigabit ethernet on board and a headphone jack. So pretty well covered as ports go. For the speakers we have two two watt harmon branded speakers with nahimic 3 audio. Which is the same software that msi has been using in their gaming laptops for a while.

And they’re okay they get pretty loud they don’t have a lot of bass but they’re not like totally tinny either. And they’re decent not something i would go whoa about but you’re all right. The display on this here only option is a qhd plus display 16 by 10 aspect ratio. Again that’s the plus part of them. So a little bit taller nicer productivity work and most modern games i’ve played have actually had that resolution available and doesn’t look like this just stretching the imagery to me. It looks like they’re truly running at that resolution anyway.

It’s a very nice display. Hertz refresh rates fast response times on this. Lenovo claims 500 nits of brightness and we measured 531. Gaming laptops typically don’t have very bright displays in part because they’re already consuming a lot of power for the performance part of it because people do tend to play indoors and in darker environments but for those who do need to take this outside in a bright place or you just love the look of brightness when gaming you have it. The color gamut on this is pretty good.

It’s not as wide as the Asus rogue Strix scar 15 that we reviewed or the Zephyrus g15. Both of which have full p3 coverage. This one doesn’t come close. You get full srgb and you get decent coverage that’s competitive with premium gaming laptops on the market. So, all in all, it’s a very nice-looking display. There’s no pwm no complaints unless you’re hoping for that white gamut that Asus gives you on the strix.

Which is a bit more premium laptop then again to be fair. And the display supports hdr 400 which really isn’t that big a deal i hate to say it’s not a very demanding standard. But it does have g-sync so yeah that. For the keyboard as i said it’s zone backlit and it’s not super-duper tactile.

It’s pretty low travel um you do get a sense of tactility when you press the keys all the way down it’s okay. Not to type the stream this is not thinkpad folks it’s not up there with the asus rogue keyboards or with some of msi’s better steel series laptop keyboards or the mechanical hybrid options that are available on Alienware and some Asus laptops. So how about battery life. Well because it has ryzen inside even if it’s a gaming laptop we have high hopes don’t we.

Now my tests are with very bright amd’s display power-saving technology turned off. I haven’t found that it really helps battery life that much on the several ryzen based gaming laptops i’ve tested this year but it sure makes the colors look more muted and drops the brightness on the display as well. Yeah dropping brightness okay reducing my color gamut not okay.

Anyway battery life on this with the display set of 200 nits doing a mix of productivity work some streaming video a little bit of photoshop work that sort of thing is at about six hours. And we have an 80 watt hour battery. So that’s decent enough for a gaming laptop these days. It’s not as high as some of the competitors.

Well i mean like again the Asus rogue Strix and Zephyrus they have a 90 watt hour battery so they have a bit of a leg up there. But it’s certainly competitive with the Alienware m15 r5 in terms of battery life. The charger is weird. When they first announced this in january 2021 they said it would come with a 230 or 240 watt charger which wouldn’t be adequate and appropriate for what we have inside here.

But instead they’re shipping it with the 300-watt charger. That’s a lot of watts and i really don’t know why. And it’s actually the same charger they’ll give you with the legion 7 which is available with more high-performance internals. So it’s big it’s um Lenovo thinkpad x1 nano heavy. It’s certainly carrying a little ultrabook with you in terms of the weight. But that said the footprint is actually the same size as Alienware’s 240-watt adapter.

It is heavier than the alienware one though so yeah it’s. A it’s a heavier carry and certainly bigger than the asus charger that they’re shipping with these days. Well no matter what you do with it you definitely won’t drain the battery while you’re playing a game anyway.

So that’s a Lenovo legion five pro again available June 2021 in the united states starting at around 1599 or so. And for that price and for the cooling here and this lovely qhd plus display and did I mention how good the cooling is and the performance on this I really do like it in this price range a lot.

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Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
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