December 1, 2021

Excellent Pix

Unlimited Technology

A no-nonsense gaming laptop that doesn’t pull any punches



Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Review: A no-nonsense gaming laptop that doesn't pull any punches


© Carlsen Martin
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Review: A no-nonsense gaming laptop that doesn’t pull any punches

Lenovo offers some of the best mobile gaming hardware across various segments under its Legion brand. And the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is no exception. The 2021 version of the Legion 5 Pro brings powerful specs including the latest AMD 5000 H series processors and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3000 graphics cards.

Moreover, Lenovo is also bringing higher resolution screen with higher refresh rates as well as some powerful audio. Our model of the Legion 5 Pro was equipped with the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of M.2 SSD storage, and an Nvidia RTX 3070 mobile GPU. On paper, the Legion 5 Pro is nothing less than a mobile powerhouse, but can it deliver in the real-world and is it worth considering; stick around to find out.

Design

In terms of design, the Legion 5 Pro opts for a more subtle touch. The notebook has an aluminium chassis that looks and feels great. However, it isn’t attempting to hide its heft with a chunky design that weighs around 5.5 pounds. But this may not necessarily be a bad thing, but more on it later. The Storm Grey finish of the Legion 5 Pro doesn’t really attract fingerprints and smudges.

The only other things that slightly resemble the gaming aesthetics are the vents on the back of the laptop and the Legion logo on the lid. And while the logo does light up, there’s no RGB in sight. In an era where ‘over-the-top design’ is the standard blueprint for gaming laptops, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro opts for a more subtle and mature look.

Ports

The Legion 5 Pro has an excellent selection of ports, even by gaming laptop standards this is quite a lot. The notebook has a full-size USB Type-A port on the right and a USB Type-C port and headphone jack on the left. However, most of the ports here are on the back. There are three full-size USB Type-C ports, a USB Type-C port, an HDMI 2.1 port, an Ethernet port, and a charging port on the back.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro comes with a full-size backlit keyboard with a Number Pad. Lenovo’s TrueStrike keyboard features a travel distance of 1.5mm, giving you nice tactile feel when gaming and typing. Additionally, there was no keyboard flex, although the keys do feel cramped together, which can result in some annoying typing errors. The Precision touchpad on the Legion 5 Pro is fairly large, while the matte finish allows your fingers to smoothly glide across the surface area.

It also accurately records gestures and sliding your palm across the surface doesn’t really move the mouse, which was really convenient. You can also disable the touchpad with the FN + F10 command. I defaulted to using the mouse throughout my use of the Legion 5 Pro and very rarely used the touchpad, but it felt comfortable and convenient to use when needed it.

Display

One of the biggest highlights of the Legion 5 Pro is its tall display. The notebook opts for a 16-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600 pixels) IPS display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. The display also features a 165Hz refresh rate and a 3ms response time. The screen comes with Dolby Vision and VESA DisplayHDR 400 support. Unlike traditional gaming laptops, the screen on the Legion 5 Pro delivers peak brightness of 500 nits as well as an anti-glare finish, which makes the laptop pretty easy to use outdoors.

Additionally, the screen has excellent viewing angles when watching content. The display also features 100 percent sRGB coverage and comes with X-Rite Pantone colour calibration, making it a formidable tool for content creation as well. Lastly, the panel supports Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync, which cuts down screen tearing making it excellent for gaming. There’s no doubt that the screen on the Legion 5 Pro is arguably one of the best for gaming and does a pretty good job for work as well as content creation.

Performance

When it comes to performance, the Legion 5 Pro packs an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU paired with 16GB of RAM as well as 1TB of super-fast M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD storage. It also features a dedicated Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 mobile graphics card. On paper, the specs of the Legion 5 Pro certainly impress, but how do they fare on paper?

The Legion 5 Pro can handle competitive multiplayer titles with little effort. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War delivered an average of 130fps on high settings in 1080p resolution with ray tracing turned off. Apex Legends and Overwatch delivered consistently high frame rates, going all the way up to 150 fps in the former and over the 165-mark in the latter. I also tested Battlefield V in campaign mode with the Legion 5 Pro pumping out around 100 fps on average on ultra-settings.

#CallofDutyBlackOpsColdWar on the @Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, clocking well over 100 fps. pic.twitter.com/RPGHLjy8xO

— Carlsen Martin (@Carlsen0491) October 19, 2021

In GTA V, the laptop managed around 110 fps on ultra-settings. Far Cry 5 was tested on high settings, delivering between 70 to 85 fps on average. The last game I tested on ultra-settings was the Witcher 3, which averaged at around 100 fps. It is worth noting that all games were tested on 1080p resolution with DLSS turned on in support titles. Switching to 1440p resolution will result in a slight drop in fps, anywhere between 10 to 25 FPS depending on the title, although we wouldn’t recommend this for multiplayer gaming.

#BattlefieldV on the @LenovoLegion 5 Pro pic.twitter.com/F3nw7wMGBc

— Carlsen Martin (@Carlsen0491) October 18, 2021

The Legion 5 Pro’s AMD CPU managed a multi-core score of 12301 points and a single-core score of 1501 points in Cinebench R23. Another ace up Lenovo’s sleeve is the cooling system on the Legion 5 Pro. The chunky design has its advantages, allowing you more room for cooling. The Legion 5 Pro has vents along the side and back of the device, allowing for better heat dissipation.

In Performance mode, the CPU rarely crossed the 90-degree Celsius threshold, while GPU consistently remained under 85 degrees Celsius. You can also use the shortcut keys or the software to switch between modes. The colour of the power button also changes to indicate which mode you are running the laptop in. Both the GPU and CPU didn’t face any thermal throttling while gaming. When it comes to performance, the Legion 5 Pro certainly packs a punch, but thanks to its excellent cooling system, it doesn’t pull any punches as the hours pass on.

Battery

The Legion 5 Pro packs an 80Whr battery that can last for around five to six hours depending on your usage. You can enable Optimus mode using the Lenovo Vantage software, which will allow you to switch to the integrated GPU to deliver more battery life. Nvidia battery boost also helps with preserving battery life.

YouTube playback with Optimus enabled and the screen resolution set to 1080p and refresh rate set to 60Hz delivered around eight hours of playback. It is worth noting that the FN + R command allow you to easily switch between 165Hz and 60Hz.  Gaming on the battery life is not a good idea as it cuts performance and will only last you about 90 minutes. Overall, the Legion 5 Pro has above average battery life for a gaming laptop, but we’ve definitely seen better.

Audio

The Legion 5 Pro features dual 2W downward firing stereo speakers. In most instances, be it gaming or watching content, I defaulted to the laptop’s speakers as the audio quality here is top-notch. In most part, this is thanks to the Nahimic Audio app, which allows you to customise your audio via an equaliser or choose from multiple audio presets for different tasks.

Competitive gaming did require a headset but in most other instances I found the speakers to be quite effective. The Legion 5 Pro also comes with a 720p webcam that is adequate for video calls. It doesn’t have a physical shutter but there is a kill switch on the keyboard that shut the camera off.

Verdict

All things considered; the Legion 5 Pro is a superb gaming laptop. Despite a starting price of Rs 1,42,990, the notebook delivers on its promise of performance, while doing well above average in all other aspects as well. The display here is top-notch for gaming and is pretty damn good for content creation, making it one of the best on a gaming laptop. Moreover, the keyboard and trackpad were also a delight to use, while the overall build felt pretty solid. This is not to say that the Legion 5 Pro is without its faults, I did find battery life to be average when compared to other AMD gaming laptops.

Additionally, there’s no RGB at all here, while the notebook itself is meant for use on a desk and can be quite uncomfortable on your lap. And then there’s the price, which is around Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 more than similarly configured machines from Asus and Acer. However, all of these caveats were easy to overlook, even the price aspect, when you consider what’s on offer here. This is a no-nonsense gaming laptop that is built to handle the heat and help you take full advantage of that powerful spec sheet. The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is arguably one of the best gaming laptops I’ve tested in 2021 and is more than worth the extra price.

Source News