Lenovo Legion 5 review: all-AMD gaming laptop keeps it simple

Lenovo Legion 5 review: all-AMD gaming laptop keeps it simple

A minimalist notebook with decent gaming power

Non to damn with faint praise, simply the Lenovo Legion 5 is kinda okay. A bit alright. Reasonably reasonable. Information technology’south a gaming laptop with specs, price and performance that are and so straight downwards the middle of the road that they might too exist studded with cat’s optics. Apologies in advance if this is not the most action-packed hardware review yous’ve always read.

Actually, there is i unusual affair about the Legion 5. It’s one of several so-called “AMD Reward” laptops, alongside the near recent HP Omen sixteen and Asus ROG Strix G15 models, branded as such for their combined utilise of the latest AMD Radeon GPUs and Ryzen CPUs/APUs. In this case it’due south the Radeon RX 6600M and the octa-cadre Ryzen vii 5800H (which is besides new for 2022 despite the higher-end Ryzen 6000 fries having launched as well). The idea is that matching AMD parts will unlock exclusive, operation-enhancing features similar Smart Access Memory (SAM), helping to close the gap with Nvidia and Intel – who’ve both been busy making most of the best graphics cards and best gaming CPUs respectively.

Does it work? Without the help of DLSS, I wouldn’t telephone call the Legion v’s gaming operation much more than or less impressive than a comparably specced RTX 3060 laptop, but in that location’s definitely enough power hither for the 1080p resolution. Together with adept overall brandish operation and an agreeable price, and the Legion 5 might well deserve to be your next gaming laptop – even if it’s nothing to become too excited about.

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This restrained approach has informed the design every bit much equally annihilation. The mature styling will surely entreatment to anyone who never developed a taste for RGB, though there are lighter gaming laptops, with the Legion 5 weighing ii.4kg, and its “Coldfront” dual blower system evidently isn’t sophisticated enough to prevent fan racket reaching a headset-necessitating 47db.

Yet, at least it works well enough to stop the keyboard getting too toasty. More by and large, typing on these backlit mechanical keys feels well-baked and comfortable, even with a number pad having been squished in, and Lenovo have been wise in lining up most of the ports at the rear. These include the power, HDMI and Ethernet jacks, equally well equally three of the four full-size USB ports and ane of the two USB-C ports – all of which will be tucked out of place and out of sight as you play, as opposed to infringing on your mouse movement space. This besides leaves room on the more instantly accessible right edge for a webcam killswitch: handy from a privacy perspective, and a welcome hardware extra. Admitting a dinky one.

The display on the Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop.

At that place is some flex to the screen, which loses the Legion 5 some points on build quality, but the display itself is the laptop’southward brightest flash of greatness. Information technology’s a 15.6in, 1920×1080 IPS console with added gaming chops coming in two means: a speedy 165Hz refresh rate, and AMD FreeSync support within the threescore-165Hz range. Besides having this built-in resistance to trigger-happy, there’s well-nigh no visible ghosting on the Legion 5’s display whatsoever, ensuring that it’s ever lookin’ shine.

It also offers all the vibrancy and viewing angle benefits of IPS without suffering from its mutual weakness: depression contrast. I measured the Legion 5’s contrast ratio at a perfectly healthy 1102:1, while peak brightness came in at a effulgent 330cd/m2. As for colours, it tin can cover 98.half-dozen% of the SRGB gamut – I’ve seen £4000-plus gaming laptops do worse – with an average delta-E of 1.89, meaning the hues it shows are fairly authentic, not too dull or overly saturated.

The Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop, partially closed and viewed from the rear.

I know 1440p is more of a sweet spot for modernistic games, and a xv.6in screen size pushes the limit of where a 1920x1080p resolution can look “sharp”, but 1080p helps the GPU keep its stride upwards. The Radeon RX 6600M has 8GB of VRAM to play with and, unlike the RX 6800S seen in the latest Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, is the full-power version of itself: not a GPU that’s been toned downward to fit slimline laptops. As such, information technology’s got enough more than plenty punch for AAA work. on its Highest setting with SMAAT 2x anti-aliasing, Shadow of the Tomb Raider averaged 102fps, and with Ultra-quality ray tracing tossed in it could proceed up to 79fps.

Non every game will adapt its maximum settings, as Metro Exodus demonstrated. Using the Ultra preset, its benchmark tool averaged 51fps: slick plenty to play, but not plenty to hitting the 60fps threshold where FreeSync kicks in. The addition of Ultra-quality ray tracing furnishings saw it barely go on its head in a higher place water, with 31fps. Information technology took a drop downwards to High quality, without RT furnishings, to average 64fps.

The right-side USB port, webcam killswitch and air vent on the Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop.

The Legion 5 also
made information technology over the 60fps line in Total State of war: Three Kingdoms, its Boxing benchmark producing 61fps on Ultra quality. Concluding Fantasy XV was amend, flitting effectually the 65-80fps range on its Highest preset, while Assassin’s Creed Valhalla averaged 63fps on Ultra Loftier and 72fps on High. Valhalla has class for extracting the most FPS value out of AMD’s SAM tech, and information technology looks similar that’south the case hither also: those results are just only behind those of the RTX 3070-equipped Asus TUF Dash 15.

The Legion 5 also has improve CPU-simply performance than the TUF Nuance 15 (or at the least the model Katharine tested). That said, the Ryzen 7 5800H’s Cinebench R20 scores were merely okayish: 555 in the unmarried core test and 4757 in the multi-core exam. While these are fit for purpose, it’s difficult not to look at the scores of older chips and wonder if these new Ryzen 5000 laptop chips weren’t an afterthought compared to the 6000 series. Even the humble Gigabyte G5, with its Intel Core i5-11400H, scored ten points higher in the unmarried core exam. Previous-gen Intel Cadre i9 and AMD Ryzen 9 CPUs besides consistently beat information technology on multi-core performance, so the Ryzen 7 5800H isn’t a generational spring.

The keyboard and trackpad on the Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop.

Then again, perchance information technology doesn’t need to be. For £999 / $1255, the Legion 5 feels as though it performs every bit it should, both in games and in wider desktop duties. Maybe not much more than that, but never whatever less.

Yous could say the aforementioned of information technology’s 512GB SSD besides, as its sequential read and write speeds – 2642MB/s and 1552MB/due south, co-ordinate to AS SSD – are adequate even if they’re not the best of the all-time. Random 4K results are a little better by comparison, averaging 44MB/southward for reads and 120MB/due south for writes.

The Legion 5’due south only outright failure is battery life. Sadly this is the second AMD-based laptop in a row (after the ROG Zephyrus G14) that failed to last a unmarried hr when running Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Here, the Legion 5 emptied a total charge in just 52 minutes. Its master use, then, should exist a kind of all-in-i desktop alternative, rather than a truly portable system. For actually ambulatory purposes, yous’re probably amend off with a Steam Deck at this betoken; gaming laptops that can concluding for hours at a time seem to be an endangered breed, if non however a dying one.

The Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop, closed and sat on a desk.

I however think the display and GPU do plenty go on the Legion 5 in favour, with or without annihilation else that could have fabricated it a tad more – allow’s be honest hither – interesting. That 60-100fps performance range is fine for the money and will take advantage of the higher refresh rate, the latter also existence simply one quality of many possessed by the display. Quieter cooling, a more than ambitious CPU and/or improve endurance would accept elevated it, but the dedication to simplicity has also left the Legion five with a nicely sensible design and no unnecessary, price-inflating tassles. Then, yeah. Kinda okay.