The word ‘gaming laptop’ puts a distinct image in our mind. We all envisage a big boxy device which is anything but aesthetic. We have all had to learn and live with the knowledge that gaming laptops cannot really be stylish because of all the big and expensive hardware it carries forces the companies to add a basic structure to the device. But Lenovo’s legion series of gaming laptops have been innovating even the design element of gaming laptops and the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro continues the tradition.
And while we go on about the design, the laptop does not cut corners when it comes to performance either. With Intel Core i7-12700H processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, the laptop is a powerhouse which can take on most games, at least on paper. And after last year’s Legion 5 Pro, which received high praise in our review, the expectations from the 5i Pro was understandably high.
So, I have been using the device for more than two weeks now, playing various mainstream games from Red Dead Redemption 2, Gotham Knights, Spider-Man Remastered for PC, Cyberpunk 2077 and more. It should be noted that my review unit came with Intel Core i9-12900H processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU. These do not come as part of the prebuilt laptops that you get from retailers and you will have to pay extra to get a custom built unit with these specifications. As far as price is concerned, this will cost you Rs. 2,23,600.
So, let’s get down to the brass-tacks and see if the Legion 5i Pro is worth the hype after all.
If you’re used to the designs of HP Omen or Asus ROG, then the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro will pleasantly surprise you. It still retains hard edges and a boxy design but the body has a smooth texture that just feels more premium. The chassis design and the form factor is similar to the previous models but instead of the legion Y logo, you get the words written in metallic color, which I personally liked a lot. On the white body (which I got), it definitely catches your eye.
The form factor is also very sturdily built and the surface is smudge and fingerprint resistant, which is great considering you get a smooth metallic body. The top lid gets an aluminum and magnesium alloy body and the deck is made of plastic, similar to the previous models in the series. I also like that the hinges are very stable and there is no noticeable wobble on the display. There is also no flex on the lid and keyboard deck.
The laptop offers a healthy set of ports for all your input-output needs. On the right you get a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, a headphone jack and a shutter for the webcam. On the left, you get a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 and Thunderbolt 4 port. Everything else is neatly tucked at the rear where you get two USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, one HDMI port, one Ethernet port, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port and the charging DC port.
Overall, the laptop looks professional and sleek and unlike most gaming laptops, it can easily be used in office or educational settings as well.
For gamers, a good display is paramount and it is good to see that Lenovo has not cut any corners here. You get a 16-inch QHD+ IPS display with 165Hz refresh rate. It also comes with an anti-glare coating, HDR 400 and a brightness of 500 nits. The display has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 and an aspect ratio of 16:10.
The display is quite bright and showcases a vivid array of colors, which makes for a nice viewing experience whether you are watching a movie or playing an especially dark setting game like Batman: Arkham City. The colors feel sharp and are slightly leaning towards the saturated side when left to the default color profile. As a bonus, it also comes with Dolby Vision and G-Sync by Nvidia which particularly creates a great gaming experience. You also get to switch between color profiles quickly using the X-Rite Color Assistant.
I found the display to be very responsive although I should make it clear that the only FPS game I played was Valorant, where the refresh rate was actually tested. Only one little complaint I have is that there is no shortcut to shift between different screen refresh rates. When you want to opt for a lower refresh rate to get a little extra out of the battery life, you have to do it manually from settings.
With the reliable Intel i9-12900H processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU, Legion 5i Pro leaves no opportunity to impress. I played a variety of games on the device (as mentioned above) and the game did not flinch at anything thrown at it. I was able to run all the games at high settings and high to very high resolutions along with HDR support (wherever available). While games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Gotham Knights ran at high performance and the laptop was able to hold on to it for more than 4-5 hours of continuous gameplay (plugged in), an older GTA V ran extremely smooth with almost console like performance.
One small thing you should take note of, however. As you set up the device, you will find an option in the BIOS setting to switch between the integrated low performance Intel GPU and the Nvidia GPU. While the first will give you a longer lifespan, the latter will give you performance. Make sure to pick the right one from here.
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro comes with Windows 11 out of the box, and everything from productivity tasks to general usage is a smooth affair. Also, unless I was gaming or was downloading a game in the background, the cooling fans never really turned on.
My work involves a lot of typing and so, I extensively used the keyboard. To my delight, using them was an absolute delight. It is a full-sized keyboard with spaced out keys, arrows keys and even a NumPad. There is enough travel on the keys to give you the illusion of using a mechanical keyboard and you do feel some finger-fatigue after typing for a couple of hours. While my unit came with white back-lit keyboard, buyers will get zonal RGB lighting. A small downside is missing out on per-key lighting will reduce some customization fun. The trackpad is also large and pretty responsive but the left and right buttons are pretty hard and pressing them can be quite exhausting at times. We would definitely recommend getting a separate mouse with the device.
My only serious concern in terms of performance is the audio output. I found that neither the sound quality nor the loudness was satisfactory. For a gaming device especially, it was a struggle to even hear the cut scene dialogues clearly unless the room was completely silent. Finally, there is nothing to write home about the webcam. It is a standard 720p camera and the performance is barely average.
The Lenovo Legion 5i Pro comes with a 80Wh battery which lasts about 3-5 hours during normal usage. While gaming, however, this comes down to 1.5 hours. While my expectation with regards to battery life from a gaming device was never high, I certainly expected to get more than 2 hours of gaming out of it. However, it is never recommended to play games without being plugged in, so it shouldn’t be an issue.
But if you do want better battery performance from your gaming laptop, you can look at HP Omen 16.
The Legion 5i Pro breaks the notion that a gaming laptop cannot look good while doing its heavy lifting. The laptop is a beast in performance and can do everything from usual office work to heavy gaming without breaking a sweat. Its professional and minimalist look also adds to its appeal.
I do think some improvements are needed in the speaker and battery-life department. But besides that, Lenovo does not let any flaws show. If you are a gamer who is looking for a laptop that can play more or less every mainstream game smoothly and look good while doing it, you should definitely consider it. But it does cost Rs. 1,57,000 for all that and over Rs. 2 lakh if you want the RTX 3070 Ti and Intel i9-12900H upgrade. That is a big amount and I’m not sure if the extra CPU power is worth the price. However, if your usage requires that extra bit of power, this device might be beneficial for you.
But if not, you can also look at HP Omen 16, Acer Nitro 5 and ROG Strix G17 who more or less offer similar specifications to the base model but different design aesthetics to choose from.
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