The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is one of my favorite gaming laptops of 2021. It’s been a couple of years since I last worked on a Legion gaming laptop as I’ve always come across Lenovo with its ThinkPads for work or school Purposes, much like those of Dell back the day. Hence, I never saw it as a contender in the gaming laptop scene. But boy was I wrong.
processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H
graphic: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 (140W) 8GB GDDR6
memory: 16 GB, 8 GB x 2, DDR4 3200 MHz
display: 16-inch QHD IPS, 16:10, 500 nits, 165 Hz / 3 ms response time
resolution: 2560 x 1600
warehouse: 512 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
battery: 6 cells 86 Wh
Connectivity: USB Type-C (USB 3.2 Gen 2, DisplayPort 1.4), headphone / microphone combination, USB 3.2 Gen 1, 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, USB Type-C (USB 3.2 Gen 2, DisplayPort 1.4, power supply), HDMI 2.1
YOU: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Dimensions: 1.1 x 14.01 x 10.4 in
Weight: 5.4 pounds
warranty: Limited to one year
Price: $ 1,649.99
The Legion 5 Pro configuration that arrived for review was pretty stacked for just $ 1,650. The SSD is only a 512GB model, however, which is a bit small given the ever-growing game installations. It’s a tough decision when it comes to disk size versus total cost, but at least an SSD can always be upgraded.
The 16-inch QHD IPS display deserves an early mention as it is an incredibly bright and colorful 500 nits IPS panel, a work and play dream. I oddly used it to see the NY Mets hold their first place all week because I like the way the colors popped on the uniforms and the fact that the Mets come first is objectively fantastic. The reds in Fights in Tight Spaces or the cyberpunk neon lights in Necromunda Hired Gun look great even as I watch my war dog tear over gangster scraps.
One of the most underrated features of the Legion 5 Pro is that it puts an entire number pad on the keyboard. At first I was concerned that the full keyboard would feel too crowded, but even though the Enter key was pressed a little, it didn’t hinder my typing skills during my time with it.
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People have always raved about how good Lenovo keyboards are; I’ve always ignored them because I don’t trust people who love keyboards. But I admit I think I got it. The rounded bottom keycaps feel comfortable. Add that with the large 4.7 x 3 inch touchpad and you have a nice work laptop that plays games well. I wish other laptop manufacturers would take the extra space left by 17-inch gaming laptops and use it to make our lives easier.
The additional screen space provided by the new 16:10 aspect ratio and 2560 x 1600 resolution fits the screen better, making surfing the Internet and doing work much more effortless.
For gaming, the 2560 x 1600 resolution takes a bit of getting used to, but it can mean that you can see more of what is going on around you. No other gaming laptops we’ve looked at lately currently have a native 1600p resolution, so we decided to run our gaming benchmarks at 1080p for comparison purposes.
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If you’re curious, playing at 1600p hits mostly delivers over 60fps, with the primary exception Metro Exodus, which performs in the 50-55fps range. If 1600p just isn’t for you, you can always switch to 1440p. For example, I got a constant 100 + fps in the medieval multiplayer dismember simulation Chivalry 2. I mean, if you want to skillfully cut off the head of an enemy archer, you have to do it at a high frame rate.
As expected, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 and the AMD Ryzen 75800H laptop were in the midfield for both the CPU and the GPU. It at least outperforms the Core i7 10870H / RTX 3070 configuration of the Gigabyte Aorus 15G. On the flip side, it just supplants the new Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5, which shares the identical Ryzen 7 5800H CPU but only includes one RTX 3060, a card seemingly happy to keep up with its bigger 3070 cousins .
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If something knocks against the Legion 5 Pro, it has to be its rather disappointing speaker-microphone combination. Anything with a hint of bass tends to suffer, which is a shame. The microphone was another surprising disappointment. My voice, I was told, sounded distant and quiet on business calls, which when combined with a mediocre 720p webcam doesn’t make for the best laptop experience for 2021. I will, however, commend the Legion for putting a webcam on a screen with such a small top bezel – A for trouble.
The Lenovo Legion Pro 5 made me believe Legion laptops deserve a place at the top as it’s one of the more impressive AMD-based laptops we’ve got our hands on this year. From a bright, colorful screen to a great full-size keyboard, The Legion Pro 5 has everything you could want in a gaming laptop for less than $ 2,000.