And here another year has passed, the words of a famous song, and again we have a trial copy of the latest version of Lenovo Legion 5, i.e. the version brought to the standards of 2022. We have said it in the past, our client today is one of the best-selling gaming notebooks in the world, and it also represents, at least for me, a device that benefits from “at least” excellent value for money.
And yes, you may already be used to everything we “talk” about here in writing or in words, on our YouTube channel, about the latest gaming devices. But it’s rare that I come across a laptop that really leaves a lasting impression on me. That was the case last year with the Legion 5 Pro, and it’s the case again this year with the Legion 5, a gaming tool that scratches me exactly where it should be when it comes to such extracurricular activities.
One of the advantages of this laptop is definitely the design. From the quality of the finish, to the color on our test terminal, the Legion 5 aesthetically impresses, and you will feel it from the first time you take the product out of the box. The chassis made of a combination of aluminum and magnesium contributes to a very “sleek” look, and the fact that the most important ports are located at the back on this variant can only make me happy.
Since we’re not talking about an ultraportable or business laptop, the Legion 5 will most likely end up in your game most of the time. This means that, from a wire management point of view, it is a logical decision to have the main ports where they are placed in this case. Not only will this aspect contribute more to order on the table, but it will also provide additional ergonomics and practicality.
The Legion 5 is very pleasant to the touch and comes with a slightly more classic look, which I really like, avoiding the myriad of frills that we see in its competitors in this price segment. Maybe not everyone will agree with me here, and I realize that I’m very subjective, but I really like a more conservative design, but which gives off a “playful” spirit in places.
Keyboard and touchpad
Well, we had our first less pleasant surprise. Okay, I can call this a surprise, as this is not the first time we’ve seen this on Legion 5. I’ve said many times that when we talk about a gaming laptop, we shouldn’t talk about the numpad. Because yes, this device also has something like that. Of course, Lenovo probably thought about offering additional functionality for those who opt for this model and will use it for productivity, but this compromise will always take up the space provided for the keyboard and touchpad.
As for the touchpad, if I did touch on the subject, it’s a decent size, so you don’t struggle too much when using the Legion 5 without a mouse, of course in everyday tasks. It makes no sense to say that it can’t be played on the touchpad, because we all already know that, and its location a little to the left of the case, asymmetrical in relation to the keys, shows that the manufacturer thought exclusively about ergonomics and productivity here.
I, for one, have been claiming for some time that a 15-inch diagonal screen, or rather 15.6 inches in this case, is exactly what is needed for such an activity for a gaming laptop. We are getting rid of the limitations of notebook computers with a 13-inch screen, which is not enough for playing games, but we are not sliding towards the 17-inch segment either, which will have an important say in the dimensions, but also in the weight of the laptop. 15 is the “best of both worlds”, and Legion 5 is equipped with just that.
Here we also have the WQHD standard, which means that we will be able to enjoy a resolution of 2560 x 1440, which of course means playing games in 1440p, and this is actually a “game changer” (pun intended) when we talk about titles that are a little more visually demanding. Take Cyberpunk 2077 for example, which is recognized as a title that has a lot to offer in this segment. Any type of RPG will look great on such a panel, which is perfectly calibrated from the factory.
There’s also a 165Hz refresh rate, which is pretty much the new standard in terms of this screen feature, especially for those playing competitive titles like Apex Legends, CS:GO or the recently released Overwatch 2. Equation G-Sync capability, which will ensure that Nvidia’s video card gets the best out of the screen, and we have a winning combination.
Intel Core i7 12700H and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
As for the equipment level of the Legion 5, Lenovo chose to go with a “workhorse” that has repeatedly demonstrated its performance and capability, which is the Intel Core i7 12700H, the most used generation in 2022 (Alder Lake) in gaming laptops and beyond . It behaves well in combination with the cooling system that the manufacturer implemented on this model, and in practical tests, i.e. during the game, it shows no signs of fatigue or overload.
Not only does it generally stay at more than decent temperatures (somewhere between 65-75 degrees Celsius), I wasn’t able to break the 90 degree barrier during tests. This means no overheating in games and the CPU implementation that Lenovo has managed here is excellent.
And let’s move on to what interests everyone more. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 is the graphics “brain” of this mid-range gaming laptop, and the old expression “you don’t need more” is best used in this context. Not only can you play anything with medium to high detail, but esports titles will tickle any gamer’s ego. For example, in Cyberpunk 2077 I got good results on High with Ray-Tracing on, and somewhat decent on Ultra with RTX off. In the first case, we had about 60 frames per second, so it is playable at least at the level of next-gen consoles (PS5 or Xbox Series X), but if we decide to go a little higher, we really see some limitations of this configuration.
In CS:GO or Apex Legends, FPSs easily crossed thresholds that are no longer worth mentioning, just as I expected from the beginning. These are, of course, games that do not require so many resources, but a large number of frames per second, together with a high refresh rate will always give a competitive advantage. So for the mid-ranger, for those who mostly spend their time in such titles, the performance is right where it should be.
Storage, connectivity and battery
In terms of storage, the model on our test bench comes with a generous and fast 1TB SSD, which is (still) enough for gaming and office work. Together with 16 GB of DDR5 RAM memory, speed is ensured both in everyday tasks and in games. There’s no point in mentioning how older generation HDDs or even SSDs are completely outclassed by the demands of gaming these days, and it’s only natural that Legion 5 comes with a package to match.
In terms of connectivity, today’s client has almost everything you could want. We still have all the ports we need, but before we go over them I must mention the lack of a memory card reader. Perhaps for those who would choose this model for photo or video editing, with Nvidia Studio drivers, for example, this would be a minus. The Legion 5 has on the left two USB-C ports (one Thunderbolt 4 and one 3.2. Gen 2), on the right USB-A, a combined headphone/microphone jack and a button that activates the shutter of the front camera, and on the back a healthy selection of inputs , namely: 2x USB, one USB-C 3.2, HDMI, RJ-45 for Ethernet connection, but also an input port for battery power.
And if we still mentioned the battery, the Legion 5 comes equipped with a battery of up to 80 Wh, which offers good hours of use (5-6 hours), but in normal scenarios, such as streaming on Netflix or Dinsey+, or browsing on Google Chrome, with the screen set to maximum resolution, of course. But the thing changes when we move on to gaming, where the lifespan is significantly reduced, somewhere around an hour and a half, maximum two uses. All in all, this is normal and the performance was as we expected from the beginning, i.e. similar to models sold around the same price ceiling.
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