Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review: Bargain for hardcore gamers
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro has been the center of attention ever since it launched in India a few months ago. Lenovo's clever choice of the latest AMD Ryzen processors along with NVIDIA's RTX 30 series graphics cards at reasonable prices have caught the attention of gamers and creative professionals. Packed in a durable yet handsome design, the Legion 5 Pro easily appears to be a gaming laptop that's making the Dell Alienware m15 and the ROG Zephyrus M16 sweat.
I happened to have the top-end variant of the Legion 5 Pro at my disposal for a while now. Priced at INR 1,74,990, this one offers the Ryzen 75800H processor and the NVIDIA RTX 3070 GPU. This makes for a beefy combo for any gaming laptop. And, after subjecting it to hours of Forza Horizon 5, it has certainly come out with flying colours.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Design
Similar to Dell's Alienware and HP's Omen gaming laptops, Lenovo has kept the basic chassis design and for factor unchanged from previous models. The Legion 5 Pro still has that muscular design with large vents peeking at onlookers, while you are greeted with a minimalist fascia. The fit and finish is top notch despite Lenovo sticking to a combo aluminium-plastic as its material of choice (aluminium on lid and bottom, plastic on deck) . The lid with its backlit Legion logo and two character lines is suggestive of the laptop's gaming intentions.
Yes, it is not as jazzy as those ROG laptops but the Legion looks distinctive with its old-school design. The display bezels are surprisingly slim for a gaming laptop and they still hold the 720p webcam in the conventional spot. The webcam shutter key is a slider that sits along with the ports on the deck.
Since we touched upon ports, the Legion 5 Pro has plenty of space to host four USB-A ports, two USB-C ports (one of them supporting PD), an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, a 3.5mm audio port, and Lenovo's proprietary charging port.
At 2.5 kilos, this is surely not as portable as a generic ultrabook. Moreover, usage on the move is pretty limited (reasons explained later).
Lenovo Legion 5 Display
With its 16-inch 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution IPS LCD display having an aspect ratio of 16:10, the Legion 5 Pro is a wonderful laptop for editing photos and going along with a generic workflow. The display is bright and renders vivid colours, which is a boon while gaming.
Add to that the 165Hz refresh rate and support for NVIDIA's G-Sync tech, and it becomes a delight to play games; higher frame rates and no screen tearing. However, I observed a slight colour shift when viewed from an angle; this may not bode well if you are hosting a multiplayer split-screen session on this laptop.
Lenovo Legion 5 Performance
The Legion 5 Pro can be had with either the RTX 3060 or RTX 3070 GPU options. My unit had the RTX 3070 GPU paired to the Ryzen 7 5800H processor, 16GB RAM and 1TB M.2 SSD storage. At the time of setting it up, I was presented with the option of either sticking with Windows 10, or make the move to Windows 11. Upon opting for the latter, the PC booted into Windows 10 and downloaded the update in the background, only to install it after a restart.
With Windows 11, some of Lenovo's software options are kept out of sight. For example, the Lenovo Vantage tool sits as an icon on the taskbar, and you no more get to see the battery widget. However, the Vantage app gives granular controls over charging, power modes, and controlling the mic. You also get a pre-installed licensed copy of MS Office 2019.
On a daily basis, the Legion 5 Pro bodes well with work tasks. Be it opening 8-9 tabs on Google Chrome, or editing photos in Adobe Photoshop, the Legion 5 Pro handles it well. Throughout a usual workday, the laptop did not kick off its cooling fans, unless I was downloading a game in the background.
The large full-size keyboard is comfortable but I wish Lenovo had squeezed better keys. The key feedback is soft and it often makes for an unsatisfactory typing experience. Having a dedicated Numpad helps with generic work. The trackpad is large and very responsive with Windows 11 gestures.
Switch to gaming though and the Legion 5 Pro comes into its elements. With this combo of the RTX 3070 and Ryzen 7 5800H, the Legion 5 Pro was able to run some of the latest titles at its highest graphical settings at its full 2K resolution. Forza Horizon 5 was running at Ultra graphics preset, High ray tracing, and with an average frame rate of 35-46 fps at 2k resolution. Scaling the resolution down yielded frame rates of around 60 fps on an average.
Similarly, F1 2021 ran at the highest possible graphics preset of Ultra at 2K resolution and yielded an average frame rate of 60 fps. I also observed an average 60 fps frame rate for Mafia:The Definitive Edition at its highest graphics and Dirt 5.
While I had no issues with the gameplay experience, the laptop ran hot all the time and after an hour of the fans working continuously, I observed frame drops in Forza Horizon 5 and Mafia. However, other titles for over 1 hour sessions did not cause any noticeable performance throttling.
Another concern while gaming is the audio experience. The onboard speakers are loud enough for a single room but the audio quality has room for improvement. The speakers lack any kind of depth to the audio and gamers will be better off with either a headphone or an external speaker. The onboard mic arrangement, however, works great; was a boon while participating in video calls and group meetings.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro battery life
Gaming laptops usually do not excel with regards to battery life and the Legion 5 Pro affirms that. On battery power, the Legion 5 Pro lasted at most for 1.5 hours before throwing up the low-battery prompts. Note that my use case involved having the display at 50 percent battery, constantly connected to the Wi-Fi, and the laptop set to Legion Balanced Power plan. Gaming on the battery power also saw a major drop in frame rates.
Thankfully, you can use Lenovo's Rapid Charge feature to fill up the battery faster. The 300W charging adapter is suggested to be plugged in while gaming. The adapter's massive bulk may prevent many from travelling with the Legion 5 Pro. I tried using a 65W Lenovo charger and a USB-PD charger for charging but it refused to top up.
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro does best what its supposed to do -- gaming. With the RTX 3070 GPU and Ryzen 7 5800H at disposal, this can do the latest titles at the highest graphical presets with ease, although you may need to dial down the resolution for keeping the frame rates around 60 fps average. While the design may seem c conservative for a gaming laptop, it makes up for it up with a great display.
Most importantly, the Legion 5 Pro with RTX 3070 is selling at a bargain price of INR 1,70,000. The MSI GP76 and HP Omen 15 with Ryzen 7-RTX 3070 combo come close but Lenovo offers double RAM at 32GB and an industrial design. If you have got this much money to spend on a gaming laptop, you have to consider the Legion 5 Pro.
- Gaming performance
- Nice display
- Value for money
- Battery Life
- Thermal performance
- Speaker audio quality
ProcessorRyzen 7 5800H
Display16-inch 2560 x 1600 165Hz IPS LCD
RAM (as tested)16GB LPDDR4 3200MHz
Storage1TB M.2 SSD
Ports2 x USB-C, 4 x USB-A, 3.5mm audio, HDMI, Ethernet
GPUNVIDIA RTX 3070