Lenovo rebranded its midrange and high-end gaming laptops into the Legion line a number of years again, and we have been followers of a lot of the Legion fashions. The Legion Y530 and the Legion Y740 had been sturdy 2019 entries, and the brand new Legion 5i (begins at $1,099.99; $1,599.99 as examined) evolves the road additional. Apart from a streamlined naming scheme, the 5i options an developed design with an up to date keyboard, a extra logically positioned webcam with a privateness shutter, and a tenth Era Intel Core i7 processor. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU and the 144Hz show in our evaluation mannequin present a clean full HD gaming expertise, and it is all rounded out by loads of storage and ports. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 edges it out as a at the moment unmatched worth, however that is an interesting 15.6-inch midrange laptop computer that prices lower than actually premium options.
A Clear Look, With Refined Options
The Legion 5i shares a common design model with the earlier technology of Legion gaming laptops, with only a few visible modifications. It is fairly much like the Legion Y530 and Legion Y740, which is essentially optimistic as we rated these builds properly. Whereas the design could also be a little bit tame for some, it is preferable to some garish options, and the standard of the development is powerful.
Although the chassis is plastic, the tender contact and sturdiness of it’s satisfying, and provides you confidence in its high quality. The lid is a polymer mix that is not fairly as good as metallic, however has an honest really feel, and the brand now has an iridescent shine to it when seen at sure angles. The Legion 5i is compact and pretty transportable at 0.93 by 14.3 by 10.2 inches (HWD) and 5.4 kilos. Meaning it is hardly the lightest round (the 14-inch Zephyrus G14 and a number of other premium gaming laptops beat it on each thinness and weight), however it’s proper on the mark versus entry-level and midrange competitors. (The Acer Predator Helios 300 is 0.9 inch thick and 5.1 kilos, whereas the Dell G5 15 SE is 0.85 inch thick and 5.5 kilos.) It is nonetheless transportable sufficient to throw in your bag and tackle the go, although a tad heftier than you need as a day by day commute associate.
Cautious observers will observe some bodily format modifications in comparison with previous Legions, mainly involving the keyboard and digital camera. The keyboard now features a full quantity pad on the fitting facet, absent from the Legion Y740 and a welcome inclusion. The keyboard itself has additionally been improved, and I’ve to say, it is actually comfy and responsive. It employs Lenovo’s “tender touchdown” switches that do what the identify implies, even should you’re bottoming out your keys. The keyboard can also be lit throughout 4 customizable zones.
With 1.5mm of journey, sculpted keycaps, and bigger arrow keys, it is a satisfying typing expertise. The presence of the quantity pad makes the remainder of the keyboard a little condensed, however you adapt to the form fairly rapidly. The touchpad can also be bigger than earlier than (a 39 % improve, to be precise), and has modified model from devoted left and proper click on buttons at its base to a single clickable piece. It is positioned barely off middle and ran up towards my left palm considerably whereas typing. It did not trigger unintentional presses, it simply felt a bit odd.
As for the digital camera, Lenovo has improved it over previous Legion laptops by making it, properly, extra regular. The Legion Y530 and Y740 each had their webcams beneath the show on the underside bezel. Many of the trade has determined this can be a subpar answer to getting thinner bezels, and Lenovo has adopted swimsuit, putting it again up high. On this time of widespread distant work (and potential sport streamers who might wish to look higher versus chin-camming it), it is a good change. There’s additionally a bodily privateness shutter you could flip into place to dam the lens with a change alongside the highest bezel. The digital camera decision is 720p and produces common image high quality.
Now, on to what’s between these bezels. Our unit is supplied with a full HD 144Hz show, an ideal match for gaming (particularly with the elements on this mannequin). We’ll get into body charges a bit later, however the GPU can push above 60 frames per second (fps) on loads of video games, and method the 144fps ceiling on less-demanding multiplayer titles, making this display screen a great match. The IPS panel is sufficiently shiny at 300 nits.
Lastly, for the bodily port format: There is a sturdy choice right here, with most on the rear block. The left and proper sides of the laptop computer every host one USB 3.1 Sort-A port, and the left additionally consists of the headset jack. The rear is the place you may discover two extra USB 3.1 ports, a USB Sort-C port, an HDMI output, an Ethernet jack, and the Lenovo-specific energy jack.
Part Test: Midrange Intel and Nvidia Energy
Most essential for a gaming laptop computer, we come to the elements. As I famous earlier, costs begin at $1,099.99, with our $1,599.99 evaluation unit the most costly choice. These figures vary from higher entry-level to midrange—no model of this laptop computer is both super-cheap or overly costly.
Our take a look at mannequin carries a Core i7-10750H processor, 16GB of reminiscence, a GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, and a 1TB solid-state drive. On the time of writing it is the usual itemizing at B&H Picture, with a restricted inventory at a sale worth of $1,299. The $1,599.99 mannequin on Lenovo.com is identical as ours apart from the storage, with a 512GB SSD and a 1TB exhausting drive. So you may wish to hunt round varied etailers and Lenovo itself if on this machine.
The $1,099.99 mannequin comes with a Core i5-10300H processor, 8GB of reminiscence, a GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, and a 128GB SSD. The 2 center fashions on Lenovo’s website supply Core i5 and i7 choices, in addition to diversified storage capacities and GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics. In all instances, I might keep away from the 128GB SSD configurations, as that storage capability simply approach too skimpy for contemporary sport necessities.
Efficiency Testing: Sturdy HD Gaming Proficiency
To supply context for the Legion 5i’s efficiency, I’ve put collectively a batch of competing laptops. Most are different 15-inchers, although the ROG Zephyrus G14 has actually damaged the mildew on worth and efficiency, so it is included as properly. You may discover their specs within the desk under.
We do not evaluation as many midrange gaming laptops—roughly $1,300 to $2,000 fashions—as we do entry-level and premium machines (partly because of the configurations producers select to ship for evaluation), so there is a combine right here of lower- and higher-priced fashions. The Acer Predator Helios 300 ($1,199.99 as examined) represents one of the best entry-level worth over $1,000; the Dell G5 15 SE is an all-AMD various on the similar worth. The Zephyrus G14, as talked about, is an outstanding midrange worth at $1,449.99.
Final, the Legion Y740 is Lenovo’s 2019 equal mannequin. We examined it in a better $1,919.99 configuration, so although it is a technology behind our Legion 5i, it boasts a extra highly effective Nvidia GPU. On sure CPU-centric assessments, although, the enhancements of the 5i ought to present in its newer-generation processor, although the GPU is a step down in our specific configurations.
Productiveness, Storage, and Media Checks
PCMark 10 and eight are holistic efficiency suites developed by the PC benchmark specialists at UL (previously Futuremark). The PCMark 10 take a look at we run simulates completely different real-world productiveness and content material creation workflows. We use it to evaluate general system efficiency for office-centric duties akin to phrase processing, spreadsheet jockeying, internet looking, and videoconferencing. PCMark 8, in the meantime, has a storage subtest that we use to evaluate the velocity of the system’s boot drive. Each assessments yield a proprietary numeric rating; greater numbers are higher.
The Legion 5i wasn’t the highest performer in PCMark 10, however all of those laptops present a flair for zipping via on a regular basis house and workplace jobs and multitasking. Equally, all of those SSDs are snappy, so you’ll boot and cargo information and video games rapidly.
Subsequent is Maxon’s CPU-crunching Cinebench R15 take a look at, which is absolutely threaded to utilize all obtainable processor cores and threads. Cinebench stresses the CPU moderately than the GPU to render a posh picture. The result’s a proprietary rating indicating a PC’s suitability for processor-intensive workloads.
Cinebench is usually a great predictor of our Handbrake video modifying trial, one other powerful, threaded exercise that is extremely CPU-dependent and scales properly with cores and threads. In it, we put a stopwatch on take a look at techniques as they transcode a typical 12-minute clip of 4K video (the open-source Blender demo film Tears of Metal) to a 1080p MP4 file. It is a timed take a look at, and decrease outcomes are higher.
We additionally run a customized Adobe Photoshop image-editing benchmark. Utilizing an early 2018 launch of the Inventive Cloud model of Photoshop, we apply a sequence of 10 complicated filters and results to a typical JPEG take a look at picture. We time every operation and add up the whole. As with Handbrake, decrease occasions are higher right here.
The Legion 5i and its processor are respectable performers right here, with notably good ends in Photoshop. As we have seen earlier than, AMD’s Ryzen 4000 processors in like-priced machines are typically a notch above Intel’s choices in thread-aware media duties, so you might favor these choices should you intend to do media modifying on the facet. None of those machines is a specialist media workstation, although, and in the end the Legion 5i and its cohort are simply serviceable for these duties. It is all about gaming and, as you may see, the AMD Ryzen chips right here can’t assert superiority on that entrance; gaming is generally in regards to the GPUs.
3DMark measures relative graphics muscle by rendering sequences of extremely detailed, gaming-style 3D graphics that emphasize particles and lighting. We run two completely different 3DMark subtests, Sky Diver and Fireplace Strike, that are suited to several types of techniques. Each are DirectX 11 benchmarks, however Sky Diver is extra suited to midrange PCs, whereas Fireplace Strike is extra demanding and made for high-end PCs to strut their stuff. The outcomes are proprietary scores.
Subsequent up is one other artificial graphics take a look at, this time from Unigine Corp. Like 3DMark, the Superposition take a look at renders and pans via an in depth 3D scene and measures how the system copes. On this case, it is rendered within the eponymous Unigine engine, providing a unique 3D workload state of affairs for a second opinion on every laptop computer’s graphical prowess.
All of those scores are sturdy, demonstrating succesful efficiency for 3D duties and gaming. There is not a lot separation within the outcomes, although, so it is exhausting to attract agency conclusions among the many laptops. The in-game benchmark outcomes do a greater job of that, so let’s proceed on…
Actual-World Gaming Checks
The artificial assessments above are useful for measuring common 3D aptitude, however it’s exhausting to beat full retail video video games for judging gaming efficiency. Far Cry 5 and Rise of the Tomb Raider are each fashionable, high-fidelity titles with built-in benchmarks that illustrate how a system handles real-world gameplay at varied settings. We run them at 1080p decision on the video games’ medium and finest image-quality presets (Regular and Extremely for Far Cry 5 beneath DirectX 11, Medium and Very Excessive for Rise of the Tomb Raider beneath DirectX 12).
These are fairly nice outcomes for the 5i for quite a lot of causes. On one hand, it caught very near the GeForce RTX 2070 within the Legion Y740, doubtless as a result of that was the down-tuned Max-Q model of that GPU. On the opposite, it bested the AMD-based machines, even the Zephyrus G14 utilizing the identical GPU. That might be an element right down to CPU and half to improved thermals (Lenovo’s so-called “ColdFront 2.0” thermal design does appear efficient, and the G14 has much less room for cooling with its 14-inch chassis), however it’s value a number of frames per second both approach.
The Legion 5i additionally beat out the Helios 300 and its GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, although that machine hung shut and represents good efficiency per greenback. I additionally discovered that the Legion 5i ran moderately quiet and did not get particularly heat, which we are able to once more thank the thermal design for. You’ll hear the followers extra with the higher-performance setting obtainable in Lenovo’s software program, and that tradeoff is value a few frames per second.
Exterior of those head-to-head GPU comparisons, the body charges listed below are objectively good. The RTX 2060 is probably higher than some might imagine as Nvidia’s entry-level RTX GPU, even with out contemplating its addition of ray-tracing capabilities over the GTX sequence. It produced properly above 60fps in these assessments, in reality nearer to 100fps in AAA titles, whereas much less demanding video games will method the 144fps ceiling.
Battery Rundown Take a look at
After absolutely recharging the laptop computer, we arrange the machine in power-save mode (versus balanced or high-performance mode) the place obtainable and make a number of different battery-conserving tweaks in preparation for our unplugged video rundown take a look at. (We additionally flip Wi-Fi off, placing the laptop computer in airplane mode.) On this take a look at, we loop a video—a regionally saved 720p file of the identical Tears of Metal brief we use in our Handbrake take a look at—with display screen brightness set at 50 % and quantity at one hundred pc till the system quits.
The Legion 5i outlived its rivals. This consequence means the 5i can function your day by day driver, lasting off the charger for college or a commute via a lot of the day. It does not come near rivaling the 15- or 20-plus-hour lifetime of some ultraportables, however it’s lengthy a gaming laptop computer.
A Strong All-Rounder at a Cheap Worth
There’s a lot to love in regards to the Legion 5i, from a sturdy construct to strong gaming efficiency. It is not the lightest or most enjoyable design, however it feels well-made and consists of some superior options. The keyboard is improved over previous iterations, and the webcam placement is extra smart. Add a GPU that almost matches the efficiency of a costlier choice from previous-generation Legion laptops, in addition to a superior processor, and that is an general higher worth than earlier than.
It is not fairly an Editors’ Selection, because the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 affords an as-yet unbeatable midrange worth and a few premium gaming rigs ship extra energy on the excessive finish, however it strongly occupies an interesting house between.
The Backside Line
The Lenovo Legion 5i is a brilliant refinement of final 12 months’s Legion gaming laptops, delivering sensible design updates, a brand new CPU, and strong 1080p gaming efficiency at a good worth.
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