Lenovo has been in the laptop game for quite some time. The company has its ThinkPad series for business and students. However, it also has its Legion series for gamers. Gaming laptops are generally more demanding than regular commercial laptops. Many laptop makers are more interested in marketing gimmicks and the fight to the finish line for the first to use a new technology or chip. However, Lenovo is not interested in any of these. The company’s Legion series has been very strong over the past two years. With the arrival of the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, it appears that the company will continue to keep its legacy
Lenovo recently released the Legion 5 Pro and thankfully, we already have a unit for review. After the pandemic in 2020, there have not been many gaming laptops this year.
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro comes with a “beastly” combination that none of the Ryzen gaming laptops has been able to achieve. This gaming laptop combines the latest AMD Ryzen 75800H processor (Zen3) with NVIDIA’s latest GPU series (RTX 30XX series). Furthermore, this device uses a newly designed motherboard circuit which ensures that the laptop comes with an independent display direct connection.
Unfortunately, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro has an SSD of only 512GB model. Considering how large many gaming installs can be, 1TB would have been better. However, this device costs just under $1700 which is another plus to the device. An increase in the SSD capacity will most certainly drive the price up. The good news is that an SSD can always be upgraded.
|16″ QHD (2560 x 1600) IPS, 16:10, 500+ nits, 165Hz / 3ms response time, 100% sRGB,
|AMD Ryzen 7 5800H 8-core/16-thread 3.2-4.4GHz
|Intel AX200 WFi6 wireless network card Bluetooth 5.0
|NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3060 Laptop GPU 6GB GDDR6, Listed Boost Clock 1425MHz, Achieved Boost Clock 1702MHz, Maximum Graphics Power 130W
|16GB dual-channel DDR4 3200MHz
|512GB NVMe TLC SSD
|720p HD with webcam privacy shutter
|4x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 2 x USB-C, RJ45, 3.5 mm audio port, 1 x HDMI 2.1
|Windows 10 Home Edition / Office Home and Student Edition
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro adopts AMD’s latest Ryzen 75800H processor with 8 cores and 16 threads. It also uses the latest Ampere architecture GeForce RTX 3060 discrete graphics.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro display
The laptop comes with a 16-inch QHD IPS display and for the first time Lenovo uses a 2K 165Hz screen with a 16:10 ratio. This is the first time that Lenovo will not be using a 16:9 display ratio on its gaming laptop. This display has a resolution of 2560 × 1600 and the pixel density (PPI) hits 189, an increase of 33%. As of now, there is no gaming laptop that boasts of the native 1600p resolution. This is another plus for the Legion 5 Pro. The display is very bright and colourful as its brightness level exceeds 500 nits. The measured maximum brightness of this screen hit 535nits. This is the highest brightness of a gaming laptop in recent years. The contrast ratio is 1292:1, which is at a normal level.
The colour output of this device is simply amazing. While gaming, there is a friendly colour output that reduces eye fatigue. Due to the change in the screen ratio, the display area has increased by about 11%. The company also significantly reduces the bottom bezel which also increases the screen-to-body ratio to 91.7%. Furthermore, this display supports HDR400, and added support for G-SYNC Compatible and FreeSync.
The measured sRGB color gamut covers 98%, and sRGB with a color gamut volume of 104.2% performs well. Also, Lenovo added XRite color correction to the Legion 5 Pro, providing a switch between Rec.709 and sRGB profiles. After the sRGB mode is turned on, the maximum color shift DeltaE is only 0.77, and the color accuracy is very good.
In terms of design, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro basically uses metal material. The LCD back cover and bottom case are made of metal. On the LCD back cover, there is a huge “Y” figure that lights up when the device is in use. This is more like the Apple symbol on Apple laptops. To switch on / off the white light on the “Y” logo, you can use the Fn+L shortcut key.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Keyboard
For me, one of the most interesting parts of this gaming laptop is the keyboard. The keyboard and keycap design maintains the consistently high standard of the Legion series. From the feel, it is currently one of the most comfortable gaming keyboards.
The keyboard backlight is white and supports two levels of brightness adjustment. The keystroke of the key is 1.5mm, and it has a slight arc keycap that fits the curvature of the finger. To make the usage more appealing, Lenovo ensured that the key feedback is moderate. The round keycaps as well as the pretty large 4.7 x 3-inch touchpad make this keyboard more appealing.
This gaming laptop comes with the “Legion TrueStrike Keyboard”. The strokes are deep and it incorporated soft-landing switches which ensure that no matter how hard you strike the key, its response remains the same. This significantly improves the precision and trigger speeds. It also offers satisfying keystrokes.
Legion 5 Pro Ports
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro comes with ten (10) ports and six (6) of them are located at the rear of the fuselage. The ports on the rear (from left to right) include RJ45 network port, USB Type-C port (supports 100W PD charging; USB 3.2 Gen 2, DisplayPort™ 1.4, power delivery), two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, HDMI 2.1 port, USB 3.2 Gen 1 (always on) and a Power adapter port.
In addition to a USB Type-A (USB 3.2 Gen 1) port on the right side of the fuselage, there is also a very special design E-Shutter button switch for the camera. This switch can be disabled when the camera is turned off to protect user privacy.
On the left side of the fuselage, we have a USB Type-C (USB 3.2 Gen 2, DisplayPort™ 1.4) port and a 3.5 mm audio port which also works as a mic port. It is worth noting that all USB-A ports are 3.2 Gen 1 standard (5Gbps), and both USB Type-C ports are 10Gbps full-rate USB 3.2 Gen 2.
On both sides of the six ports on the rear are two huge vents for proper heat dissipation of the laptop. We also have vents on both sides of this laptop as well as on the bottom. You can rest assured that heat dissipation will not be a problem.
Lenovo also equips this laoptp with a feature it calls “Legion Coldfront 3.0”. This feature significantly improves the thermal performance of this laptop and when active, users can play games at “max clock speeds for hours of gaming with zero throttling”. This feature activates a smart intake system which optimizes the thermal vents under the keyboard. This laptop also comes with a turbo-charged dual fan design as well as a quad channel exhaust system all to ensure an excellent heat dissipation.
For highly demanding eSports titles, the heat sink will be optimized with a new smart AI mode so that there will be no frame rate drops or stutters at QHD resolution. Interestingly, gamers can manually control the fan speed and voltage with Q Control 4.0. This will be necessary to extend the battery life as well as to get a seamless flow at full-throttle.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Interior
As a gaming laptop, one of the emphases of this device will be heat dissipation. The internal design of the Legion 5 Pro is as pleasing as ever. The heat dissipation module design is very considerable and adequate. In addition to the large-diameter heat pipe covering the CPU and GPU cores, a separate heat pipe is also prepared for the video memory. A large area of metal heat conducting sheet also wraps around the heat pipe which also reduces the temperature of the heat pipe.
The metal shield not only closed the memory and SSD as usual but also did not let go of the wireless network card. On the one hand, it can obtain better electromagnetic shielding performance, and on the other hand, it further enhances internal regularity. The shielding cover also takes into account the function of the SSD heat sink, and there is a thermally conductive silicone pad at the corresponding position.
This laptop uses a dual-channel memory which comprises two 8GB Samsung DDR4 3200. The measured performance on AIDA64 Cache and memory benchmark are shown below. The measured read, write, and copy bandwidths were 47188MB/s, 44767MB/s, 42285MB/s, and the latency was 83.8 ns.
The wireless network card is the regular Intel AX200 which supports WiFi 6 protocol and 2×2 MU-MIMO.
The main SSD is a Western Digital SN730 with a capacity of 512GB, PCIe 3.0×4 protocol, and 3D TLC particles. Depending on the batch there will be other products of the same class.
An additional M.2 2280 slot is reserved on the other side for SSD expansion, and a 2242 specification hole position is reserved.
Many thanks to the large 16-inch body of this laptop, there is enough space for the battery capacity to reach 80Wh. Please note that it is best not to use the battery to play games, high-power discharge will cause serious battery loss in a short period of time.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro CPU and GPU Performance
The following tests were conducted using Fn+Q to switch to “Beast Mode” which has the highest performance and cooling (heat dissipation) capacity.
The Legion 5 Pro uses one of AMD’s latest Ryzen 7 5800H processors with the latest Zen3 architecture, which can reach a maximum boost frequency of 4.4GHz and a significant IPC increase compared to its predecessor.
Using AIDA64’s built-in stability testing tool to single select the FPU mode with the highest load on the CPU, the CPU power continues to stabilize at around 76W, and the processor frequency stabilizes at 3.8 – 3.9GHz. It is the Ryzen 7 5800H notebook with the strongest performance release.
The Legion 5 Pro 76W Ryzen 7 5800H processor has a slight improvement in multi-threading performance compared to its predecessor. However, the single-threaded performance that has a greater impact on gaming performance improved significantly.
This laptop uses the latest RTX 3060 mobile graphics card which uses the Ampere architecture with 3840 CUDA cores.
Lenovo has a built-in GPU core and video memory overclocking function in the BIOS. After turning it on, the boost frequency can reach up to 1525MHz, and the video memory equivalent frequency is 14.4GHz. Lenovo also provides a direct connection to the graphics card to avoid the performance loss caused by the output of the integrated graphics.
In the Furmark test, the graphics card can reach 130W at 1492MHz. This is basically the upper limit of the mobile version of the RTX 3060.
In the 3DMark Fire Strike DX11 test, the graphics score improved by 30%, the DX11 TimeSpy mode improved by 41%. It is worth noting that the RTX 3060 can also pull off the residual 86W power for non-directly connected RTX 3060 by 30%. It can be seen that this generation of graphics products is more sensitive to power and graphics cards depending on whether they are directly connected or not.
In the heat dissipation/temperature test, the CPU power consumption is stable at about 50W, and the graphics card power fluctuates at about 115 – 125W.
On the whole, this level of performance is very strong, continuing the consistent style of the Legion, and currently, there is no rival on the market.
Taking the heat dissipation/temperature test for half an hour, using thermal imaging to photograph the keyboard area, you can see that the maximum temperature is only 42.5 ℃, warm to the touch, and the area of this temperature is very small. Most of the keyboard area is only 30 ℃+, at this temperature, you will probably not feel any obvious warming. The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro surface temperature control is excellent.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Game Test
In the gaming test, we directly see if some of the biggest games can run smoothly. We set the display directly to the screen’s physical resolution of 2560 x 1600, point to point for the best viewing experience.
“Far Cry: New Dawn” under the extremely high quality, the average frame rate can reach 80FPS, the lowest is 65FPS, easy and smooth.
“Forza Motorsport: Horizon 4” records the highest quality. The average frame rate is as high as 124FPS, and the game runs smoothly.
“Tomb Raider: Shadow” has the best image quality on the Legion 5 Pro. The average frame rate can reach 64FPS, which is basically smooth.
“Assassin’s Creed: Hall of Valor”, which is a high-demand game, can get an average frame rate of 63FPS when running in very high quality, and it can basically run smoothly.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds gets a good image quality, 100% rendering ratio, and the average frame rate can reach about 108FPS.
|2560 x 1600
|Far Cry: New Dawn
|80 fps avg, 65 fps low
|Forza Motorsport: Horizon 4
|124 fps avg
|Tomb Raider: Shadow
|64 fps avg
|Assassin’s Creed: Hall of Valor
|63 fps avg
|108 fps avg
With less stress, “Overwatch” can get a high frame rate of 150FPS under the highest quality 100% rendering. Like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, an excellent gaming experience can be obtained with the support of G-SYNC and a 165Hz high refresh.
With a screen that has a resolution of up to 2560 × 1600, gamers can clearly feel the picture quality details that are significantly better than the 15.6-inch 1080P resolution model. The 2K resolution high-resolution screen on the notebook is a huge plus.
After a round of testing, you will find that the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is almost a well-balanced and tough hexagonal “warrior”. Whether we are talking about the screen, performance or cooling, you will hardly find many substantial shortcomings (except for the supply). In every sense this is a benchmark model of the “Rex 5000+RTX 30” generation. Coupled with the debut price tag of less than $1700, Lenovo is offering this laptop at a price that many gamers will consider as an “absolute steal”.
Of course, like every other “perfect” thing, there is imperfection. If there is any shortcoming with the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, it will be its speakers and microphone. The combination is underwhelming and we have much better in the market. If you are a lover of bass, then you better get your headset ready because the internal speakers does not offer any bass. Furthermore, the microphone did not live up to expectation. When on a call with the microphone, the other end will barely hear what you are saying because you will be sounding distant.
In addition, Lenovo could have done better with the webcam. The 720p webcam is nothing short of mediocre and its way behind many other laptops in 2021. However, fitting such a webcam in such a thin top bezel is something to appreciate the company for.