Lenovo Legion 5 evaluation: A masterclass in mid-price gaming

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There’s no extra aggressive a part of the laptop computer market than the decrease to mid-price gaming phase. It appears each few weeks a brand new machine pops up with an Nvidia RTX 30-series GPU, a 144Hz+ show and a value between £1,000 and £1,500.

Solely lately we reviewed each the Asus TUF Sprint F15 and the Acer Nitro 5, two excellent machines that characterize glorious worth for cash, redefining the type of efficiency you may count on from a sub-£1,500 gaming laptop computer. Now Lenovo has weighed in with its new Legion 5, however can it outdo the remaining?

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Lenovo Legion 5 evaluation: What it is advisable to know

The Legion 5 replaces the Legion 5P in Lenovo’s lineup and advantages from a Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU, a 165Hz show and an RGB-laden keyboard. It’s accessible in each 15.6in and 17in flavours and comes with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.

There are different cheaper variants of the Legion 5 accessible, however these include the much less highly effective Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU and have shows with decrease refresh charges.

READ NEXT: The very best low-cost gaming laptops to purchase

Lenovo Legion 5 evaluation: Worth and competitors

The mannequin I used to be despatched for evaluation (Ryzen 7, 16GB RAM, RTX 3070, 512GB SSD) retails for £1,299, which is an excellent value for the specification. However competitors is fierce on this value bracket and should you’re after the utmost gaming bang to your laptop computer buck, there are many different contenders.

Acer’s newest Ryzen 7 5800H and RTX 3060-powered Nitro 5 has loads going for it. It’s extremely highly effective for a mere £1,000, has a plethora of improve choices and is designed uncompromisingly with the gamer in thoughts. On the draw back, battery life is poor and the display screen is woefully inaccurate in relation to color illustration.

In the meantime, the Asus TUF Sprint F15 gives glorious battery life, an ideal sound system and a surprising white polycarbonate physique, plus the identical RTX 3070 GPU because the Legion 5 however coupled to an Intel Core i7 processor. The problem with this laptop computer, nonetheless, is getting maintain of the mannequin with each the RTX 3070 GPU and the beautiful 240Hz show. If you cannot, then the RTX 3060/240Hz combo is the one to go for – it prices round £1,400, however that additionally will get you a usefully capacious 1TB SSD.

Lastly, MSI’s new Katana GF66 is another choice value contemplating. Obtainable for rather less than £1,200 with a Core i7 11800H chip, RTX 3060 GPU and a 144Hz show, it seems like strong worth. If you wish to save a number of quid then the GeForce 3050 Ti model is simply £999.

Lenovo Legion 5 evaluation: Design and construct high quality

The design of the latest Legion breaks no new floor: it seems and feels very like earlier fashions. However that’s no dangerous factor, actually, since but once more it advantages from a handful of Legion-specific attributes, such because the considerate grouping of a lot of the laptop computer’s ports on the rear, and a lid-hinge set 30mm ahead.

Two colors can be found: Phantom Blue with a 4-zone RGB keyboard backlight and Diamond White with blue backlighting. Our evaluation mannequin is the previous, but when I used to be requested to explain the color I’d say it was nearer to darkish gray than blue.

The Legion sequence has at all times seemed rather less juvenile than a number of the competitors, and the brand new mannequin is not any totally different. There’s nothing about it that obnoxiously shouts “gaming machine”, aside from the keyboard’s RGB lighting and the sticker that factors out that Fn+Q is a shortcut to vary the cooling profile within the Lenovo Vantage app. We’re all in favour of a little bit of aesthetic restraint.

The aluminium physique feels reassuringly strong and the laptop computer’s lid has little or no flex to it. I like the way in which the hinge has been calibrated with the intention to open it with only one hand, too.

In terms of dimension and weight, the Legion 5 is nothing out of the unusual. Measuring 363 x 259 x 26mm and tipping the scales at 2.35kg, it’s positively sitting on the higher fringe of the category, particularly in relation to depth, because of the ledge that stands out past the hinge meeting.

The Legion 5’s Lenovo TrueStrike keyboard is difficult to seek out fault with, too. It’s a spacious, full-width affair with a numeric keypad and a set of full-size cursor keys which might be set barely aside from the primary keyboard. Bodily it feels rock strong, and the important thing journey is completely judged at 1.8mm. The 105 x 70mm trackpad is offset to the left by fairly a way however is in any other case equally excellent.

Many of the Legion 5’s ports are lined up alongside the again. From right here, you’ll discover an RJ45 1Gbit/sec LAN connector, two USB Sort-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a Sort-C port that helps DisplayPort 1.4, an HDMI 2.1 connector and a bespoke DC-in jack.

On the proper aspect sits an equal Sort-C port and a 3.5mm audio jack, whereas on the left is a 3rd Sort-A port and a shutter button to isolate the 720p webcam, which is constructed into the highest of the show. Total, that is an impressively complete and well-laid-out choice that solely lacks Thunderbolt help, though since that is an AMD system its absence doesn’t come as a shock.

Getting access to the inner {hardware} of the Legion 5 takes somewhat extra effort and time than you would possibly count on. To start out with, unclipping the underside of the case for the primary time is a bit nerve-wracking. You’ll want a really skinny software to pry the case aside, and it’s a lot simpler to peel it open should you begin at one of many entrance corners.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rn0hGFhIrasVideo of Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop computer | Teardown and Consumer Upgradeability

As soon as inside, it’s important to take away three screws and a canopy plate to entry the slot for a second 2280 M.2 SSD after which do the identical once more to get on the pre-installed SSD and wi-fi playing cards. So as to entry the 2 SODIMM reminiscence slots, it is advisable to gently prise aside eight steel grips that maintain one more cowl plate in place.

It’s all fairly doable, simply not fairly as simple as it’s with, as an example, the Acer Nitro 5, which additionally has area for a 2.5in SATA3 drive. In keeping with Lenovo, essentially the most you may improve the Legion 5 to is 2 1TB SSDs and two 16GB sticks of RAM. For completionism stakes, the wi-fi card is an Intel AX200 unit that helps Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1

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Lenovo Legion 5 evaluation: Show and audio

Technically talking, the 15.6in 1,920 x 1,080 IPS panel is effectively up to speed. The utmost brightness of 345cd/m² and the distinction ratio of 1,313:9 are each strong, whereas the Delta E (color accuracy) of 0.63 is fairly excellent for a gaming laptop computer. The Legion 5’s sRGB gamut protection of 94% and quantity of 98.8% do not let the aspect down, both.

As you’d count on of a gaming laptop computer, the display screen isn’t touch-enabled and it has a matte coating. In order for you a show with a QHD decision or help for Nvidia’s G-Sync expertise, you then’ll want to have a look at the costlier Legion 5 Professional or Legion 7 fashions.

The speaker system within the Legion 5 is sweet sufficient, however hardly distinctive. It may’t examine with the Asus TUF Sprint F15, because it has smaller drivers, however there’s an inexpensive quantity of quantity and the sound is tight and punchy. The absence of any type of bass is the most important challenge
, although, which is one thing the pre-installed Nahimic management panel can solely achieve this a lot to ameliorate.

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Lenovo Legion 5 evaluation: Efficiency and battery life

The Legion 5 performs effectively, however then I anticipated nothing much less from a laptop computer with a Ryzen 7 5800H octa-core processor, RTX 3070 GPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 8GB of VRAM.

It chewed by way of the Professional Evaluations 4K media benchmark briefly order and produced a rating of 284. That’s higher than the Core i7-based TUF Sprint F15 (194) however not fairly pretty much as good because the AMD 5800H/RTX3060-equipped Acer Nitro 5 (323).

Turning to recreation assessments, the Legion 5 averaged 61fps within the Hitman 2 take a look at and 68fps in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The latter was carried out with ray tracing enabled, DLSS off and all different graphics settings set on the highest stage.

Lastly, we ran Wolfenstein: Youngblood underneath quite a lot of circumstances: the primary with ray tracing off, then with ray tracing switched on and DLSS off and once more with each ray tracing and DLSS on. The outcomes had been mightily spectacular, returning common body charges of 160fps, 126fps and 143fps respectively.

All of these scores are greater than these recorded by both the Acer Nitro or the Asus TUF Sprint. It’s additionally on a par with these from the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15, which is a £2,600 gaming pocket book with the identical GPU however a Ryzen 9 5900HS processor as a substitute. As little as 18 months in the past such efficiency from a £1,300 pocket book would have been unthinkable.

The Legion 5’s surprisingly excessive body charges might be right down to a pair of Lenovo-specific elements. First, there’s the Lenovo Legion AI Engine, which, in response to Lenovo, is “a system of AI options which dynamically shifts energy between the CPU and GPU for extra FPS”. Sure, it’s a frustratingly imprecise description, however no matter it’s, it appears to make a distinction.

The second string to the Legion 5’s bow is a extremely environment friendly cooling system. Regardless of the followers being quieter than most gaming laptops even when working at full velocity, they do an excellent job of expelling sizzling air. Place your hand subsequent to both of the aspect vents simply ahead of the hinge and you’ll actually really feel a powerful present of sizzling air being pushed out.

The SK Hynix SSD recorded consecutive learn and write scores of three,137MB/s and a pair of,712MB/s respectively, which once more is best than something the direct competitors can handle and really respectable for a PCI-E Gen3 x4 drive.

In keeping with the spec sheet, the Legion 5 ought to have a 60Wh battery however the battery in my evaluation unit was most positively an 80Wh (5,210mAh) unit. Had it been the previous, that might extra simply clarify the reasonably poor efficiency in our video rundown take a look at.

Working for simply 7hrs 32mins, the Legion 5 is effectively beneath common for a laptop computer on this class. The Asus TUF Sprint F15 managed near twice that with its 90Wh battery. Though the 300W energy module that comes with the Legion 5 is a 600g brick of a factor, you can too cost with a Sort-C charger with a 65W or greater output or with a 45W Sort-C charger when the unit is turned off or in standby.

Lenovo Legion 5 evaluation: Verdict

The brand new Legion 5 is one more nice possibility on this more and more contested part of the laptop computer market. It’s able to higher gaming efficiency than each the Acer Nitro 5 and the Asus TUF Sprint F15 and it additionally comes inside placing distance of the far pricier Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 as effectively.

It’s not nearly gaming, although: the Legion 5 each seems and seems like a extra upmarket machine than the Nitro or the Sprint, though granted the previous is £300 cheaper and the Asus has a greater sound system and longer-lasting battery life.

If it was my cash, nonetheless, then I’d say the Lenovo nearly edges it. I largely use headphones whereas gaming anyway and normally have my laptop computer plugged into the wall it doesn’t matter what I am doing. And in addition to, the Legion 5’s unmatched gaming credentials massively outweigh any of its minor drawbacks.

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