Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
Out of all the machines I've reviewed in the past, Lenovo's Legion series of gaming laptops has always been among my favourites to recommend to people. With sleek and sturdy builds, innovative port layouts, and powerful hardware that packs a punch - what's not to like?
This time, Lenovo sent me their AMD-based Legion 5 Pro laptop which boasts a 2560x1600 resolution and an unusual display ratio of 16:10 - unusual for gaming laptops anyway. Is it still as stellar a product as its predecessors? Let's take a look.
Exterior and first impressions
The unit I received comes in the Storm Grey colourway, which looks gorgeous. Its matte metal finish also staves off fingerprints effectively, while the angular edges give it a futuristic look and allows one to easily lift the lid with one hand. The hinges are as solid as ever - you can forcefully yank the lid open and the laptop won't even budge, thanks to its 2.45 kg heft, evenly distributed weight, and grippy rubber feet.
There's some space between the hinge and the back of the laptop, allowing Lenovo to place the majority of the ports here along with a generous amount of vents. The only illumination is on the classic Y-shaped logo on the lid, in a soft white colour.
On each side of the laptop are even more vents to aid in heat dissipation, which makes sense considering the amount of power packed into this one. You'll also find the 'e-shutter' for the webcam on the right side, where a simple toggle will cut off the power to the webcam completely, ensuring absolute privacy.
Overall, the styling is similar to Lenovo's previous gaming lineup - not exactly slim, but super solid with a sleek silhouette that complements the gaming aesthetic without looking ostentatious.
The display on this laptop is pretty interesting. The 2560x1600 resolution and 165 Hz make for an extremely beautiful and immersive gameplay experience, while the 16:10 ratio allows for a taller viewing area. Usually found on productivity-and content creation-based laptops, the 16:10 ratio provides more working area and scroll-able space for browsing and viewing documents. In any case, the result is a narrower 'chin' on the frame, and the impression that the screen is larger than its 16-inch size.
The IPS panel boasts 500 nits of brightness, which works well both indoors and outdoors, as long as it's not under direct sunlight. You can also decrease the screen response time to 3 ms by turning on Overdrive in the built-in Lenovo Vantage software.
The two 2 W speakers are located on the bottom of the laptop, pointed outwards towards each side. In terms of quality, it's just alright - the bass is rather shallow and the volume is just enough for medium-sized rooms. If you're going to be using it in a noisy environment, are picky about the quality of your music, or enjoy being fully immersed in a game, I'd suggest using a pair of headphones instead. Luckily, a headphone jack is among the wide selection of ports provided by Lenovo, so you'll have no problems hooking one up to the laptop.
Lenovo's TrueStrike keys are back with their signature soft landing. The keys themselves have a soft kind of tactility that is pleasant to type on, but if you're used to the 'crispier' kind of feedback, you might find these a little too mushy for your liking. The keys are back-lit with 2 levels of brightness; while this review unit only has white LEDs, you have the option to upgrade to a full RGB setup to blend in with the gamer crowd if that tickles your fancy.
There's a numpad and full-sized arrow keys for those who enjoy having them, as well as media controls keys integrated into the navigation cluster located on the top right. If you're not used to having a numpad on a laptop, you'll need some time to familiarise yourself with having the typing space skewed towards the left.
The power button is located above the keyboard, and has a handy built-in LED indicator to show which mode you're currently on: blue for quiet, white for balanced, and red for performance. One thing I miss that I remember having on previous Lenovo Legion laptops is having all available function shortcuts light up when you press the Fn key, so you can easily identify them.
You can assign macros to the numpad in the Lenovo Vantage software, as well as lock the touch pad when not in use. Speaking of the touch pad, it is also now 23% larger, which is always a bonus. The surface is smooth and responsive - overall I have no complaints about it.
One of my favourite things about this laptop are its back-facing ports - and boy, are there a lot of them. From left to right, you'll get an RJ-45 Ethernet port, a USB-C Power Delivery port that supports DisplayPort 1.4, two USB-A ports, one full-sized HDMI port, another USB-A port (always on), and a proprietary charging port.
Having the majority of ports on the back eases cable management greatly, and is perfect for semi-permanent or permanent setups where you can just plug the stuff you need in and forget about them as all the pesky cables are out of the way.
If you want to quickly plug in a thumb drive or mouse without reaching to the back of the laptop, there's one more USB-C port on the left, and one USB-A port on the right. The aforementioned headphone jack is on the left too, well away from your mouse hand.
Pretty much the only thing it doesn't have is a card reader (for those who need one), but with so many USB ports available, you'll have no problem finding space to plug in an external one.
The hardware under the hood is formidable, with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H paired with a 140 W RTX 3070 GPU. You'll also get 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of SSD storage.
As expected, the performance is nothing less than stellar, and you won't have any issues with triple-A titles; even at the maximum resolution and highest settings, you'll get an extremely playable FPS of roughly 60 and above. If you want to eke out even more frames per second, you can always scale it down to 1080p or turn the quality preset down a notch to maximise usage of the screen's buttery smooth 165 Hz refresh rate.
Here are some benchmarks done on Performance Mode at 2560x1600 resolution:
In terms of heat, it does get hot while under load, but nothing out of the ordinary for high-performance devices like this - though I would recommend using it in an air-conditioned environment if you don't fancy your room slowly heating up over time. Battery-wise, it will last around 4-6 hours on balanced mode for general productivity tasks; for gaming, you'll want to ensure it's always hooked up to AC power if you don't want your performance to suffer and your laptop to suffer from a sudden case of narcolepsy after an hour or so.
The 300 W power brick would make a great weapon if I had murderous tendencies - it's extremely large and heavy, so it isn't exactly ideal for casual trips to Starbucks (not that we can even leave our homes in this pandemic anyway).
Buy or no buy?
Apart from its average battery life and hefty weight, I have no gripes about the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro at all. The company has once again delivered a top-notch option for gamers who desire both power and thoughtful design choices in one package.
The design of the laptop is modern without being too gaudy, and the back-facing ports are a boon for those who enjoy good cable management. The Ryzen 7 5800H and RTX 3070 are no slouches when it comes to gaming, allowing users to squeeze the best performance out of even triple-A titles while barely breaking a sweat.
You can customise your desired specs on the Lenovo website as well - according to my 'build your own' configuration, this review unit would cost RM7,489, which is actually extremely well priced for what you'll be getting.
For more information, you may visit the official product page here.