Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Review: Almost the perfect gaming laptop

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Review: Almost the perfect gaming laptop

PC gamers have always find it hard to get a laptop that gives them the perfect balance between price and performance. The latest Legion 5 Pro from Lenovo seeks to help you find that balance.

SPECS
PRICE: From $2,899 (available in Lazada and Shopee)
PROCESSOR: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H
GRAPHICS: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 (8GB of VRAM)
DISPLAY: 16-inch 16:10 (2,560 x 1,600 pixels)
RAM: 16GB (version reviewed); up to 32GB
STORAGE: 1TB SSD (version reviewed); up to 2TB SSD
BATTERY: 80Wh
WEIGHT: 2.45kg

DESIGN
The Legion 5 Pro is the world’s first 16-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,600 pixels) gaming laptop, according to Lenovo.

To achieve that without increasing the chassis size, its bezels are reduced to fit the 16-inch display that comes with a fast refresh rate of 165Hz. Conventional displays only have a refresh rate of 60Hz. In other words, you are not likely to see screen tearing or ghosting.

In addition, the display has 100 per cent sRGB colour gamut calibrated from the factory with industry leading X-Rite Pantone certification. Ideal if you are also a content creator.

FOR
+ All-round great performance
+ Impressive display
+ Plenty of ports
+ Camera e-shutter switch for privacy

AGAINST
– Noisy fans
– Chassis’ sides can get quite hot
– Poor battery life

Design wise, the Legion 5 Pro looks sleek with its angular shape and Legion’s logo sitting atop of its aluminium lid. The Legion logo can be lit up or turned off. There are four exhaust vents at the rear and side corners of the laptop taking design cues from fighter jets and supercars.

The Legion 5 Pro looks sleek with its angular shape and lit Lenovo “Y” logo. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

Gaming laptops are generally desktop replacements. So, I am glad to see most of the ports – 3 x USB-A, USB-C, HDMI 2.1, Ethernet and AC Power – at the rear of Legion 5 Pro. This allows peripherals to be plugged from the back and helps to keep your table top clean.

Most of the ports are found at the rear of the Legion 5 Pro. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

On its left, there is a USB-C port and a headphone jack for easy access. A USB-A port and the webcam e-shutter switch are sited on the right side.

A USB-C port and a headphone jack are sited on the left side for easy access. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

The webcam e-shutter switch allows you to cut off the power to the HD webcam at the top of the display to maintain privacy. A good touch from Lenovo, as many are still doing a lot of web conferences every day.

The webcam e-shutter switch sited on the right side of the laptop. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

At 2.45kg, this is certainly not the ultra-light laptop you are looking for to lug around in your daily MRT commute. But for a gaming laptop, this is considered to be on the light side.

PERFORMANCE
The Legion 5 Pro is powered by the near-flagship AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card for optimal gaming performance.

In the PCMark 10 benchmark tests, the Legion 5 Pro scored 7,082. This puts it better than 94 per cent of all results gathered by PCMark 10.

And in terms of playing games, this laptop duly delivers. Playing the graphics-intensive Cyberpunk 2077 game with ray tracing turned on at Ultra setting and QHD screen resolution, the laptop managed a commendable 45 frames per second (fps).

Playing Cyberpunk 2077 with Legion 5 Pro. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

When I down the screen resolution to full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels), the frame rate in Cyberpunk 2077 went up to an average of around 60 fps. But there is no perceivable lag even in the midst of battles, so I highly recommend playing at QHD resolution.

Not to mention, Cyberpunk 2077 was rendered beautifully in its full glory. It is just jaw-dropping to see the lighting effects as I explore Night City. I am starting to think if I should ditch my gaming rig (which is still on GTX 980) for the Legion 5 Pro.

BATTERY LIFE
On the downside, the battery life is pretty poor. In our usual video-loop battery test whereby we loop a video with the display on full brightness, we found it only lasted 3 hours 6 minutes.

In any case, gaming laptops are never known to have great battery life. You will probably plug it to a power point anyway when you are gaming.

But when the laptop is pushed to the limit like playing Cyberpunk 2077 at its maximum settings, I found the cooling fans getting quite noisy and the sides of the chassis – where the air vents are – heating up quite readily.

Thankfully, the keyboard and the wrist rest area do not feel as hot and thus will not cause any major discomfort during gaming.

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro might be an affordable way to get the RTX 30 series in a complete package. (Photo: Lenovo)

VERDICT
Apart from the poor battery life, noisy fans and hot chassis, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is the almost the perfect gaming laptop. Especially when it is quite reasonably priced at $2,899 (version reviewed).

Considering the prices of RTX 30 series graphics card are getting ridiculous at over $1,000, this might actually be the most affordable gaming gear that lets me (or you) enjoy Cyberpunk 2077 in its full glory.

RATING
FEATURES: 8/10
DESIGN: 8/10
PERFORMANCE: 9/10
BATTERY LIFE: 5/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 9/10
OVERALL: 8/10