Some big changes to Lenovo’s sixth generation of Legion gaming laptops have us excited to dig in.
Lenovo refreshed its Legion gaming lineup in 2018 with a more mature look that I loved and continue to appreciate. The ports on the back, the aluminum chassis, and the fairly straightforward stylings all carried forward for the next few years, but now Lenovo has changed things up again with the Legion 5 Pro. It’s a new AMD-powered option with taller 16-inch display, better cooling, boosted audio, improved AI performance tuning, and more. There’s a lot to open up here, and I’ve been using the Legion 5 Pro for a couple of weeks to see what it’s all about and, ultimately, whether it can compete with the best AMD Ryzen laptops.
Bottom line: The Legion 5 Pro is one of the best gaming laptops Lenovo has ever released. The taller 16-inch display with 165Hz refresh rate and blazing but stable performance on AC power are a grand combination. Just don’t expect to fully enjoy the system on battery power.
- Beautiful 16-inch QHD display with 165Hz refresh rate
- It will easily crush all modern games
- Smart layout for lots of ports
- Keyboard and touchpad have been improved
- Stable performance
- Runs really hot under load
- Performance on battery leaves a lot to be desired
- No fingerprint reader or IR camera
- Short battery life
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro: Price, availability, and specs
Lenovo supplied Windows Central with a review unit of the Legion 5 Pro. This is considered the sixth generation of the Legion laptops, though the Pro moniker is new. Our review unit has an updated 16-inch display with a taller 16:10 aspect ratio, 2560×1600 resolution, and a bunch of other goodies that appeal to gamers. For performance hardware, it has an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor (CPU), 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe solid-state drive (SSD), and NVIDIA RTX 3070 Laptop graphics card (GPU). This exact model costs about 1,995 at Lenovo, though you can find models starting at about 1,300.
The Legion 5 Pro has a familiar design from previous years, with display hinges set forward on the bottom chassis to leave room for a rear exhaust and port array. The aluminum chassis looks great with just a bit of angled styling on the lid, and it’s plenty rigid. There’s no RGB save the Legion Y logo that lights up white when the laptop is closed and charging or open and on. The Storm Grey color does well to hide fingerprints and smudges, and you can also get it in a white Stingray finish for a bit more pop.
With a weight of about 5.4 pounds (2.45kg) and thickness of about 1.07 inches (27mm) at its chunkiest point, the Legion 5 Pro isn’t exactly trim. But it is in line with a lot of the best gaming laptops, especially at this price range. Also to be considered is the extra inch of space you get in the display compared to the more popular 15-inch machines.
The majority of ports are along the back edge, which makes for easy cable management. There you get a proprietary Lenovo charging port, RJ45 Ethernet, HDMI 2.1 (great for modern displays), USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2), and three USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1). The left side has a 3.5mm headset jack and USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2), and the right side has USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1) and a camera E-shutter switch. This is a great mix of I/O and you should be able to get everything connected without much issue. Thunderbolt 4 would be nice, but the lack is a tradeoff for the AMD system.
Lenovo’s TrueStrike keyboard makes a return here, complete with customizable four-zone RGB lighting, 1.5mm key travel, number pad, and full-size arrow keys. For the most part it feels good under hand while gaming, if a bit on the mushy side. If you’re a seriously competitive gamer you will want to stick with a mechanical keyboard, but otherwise this one will get the job done. The Precision touchpad is also quite large, though you’re no doubt going to disable it and plug in one of the best gaming mice as soon as you load up a game.
A 2W speaker lives on either side of the bottom wedge of the laptop for some decent down-firing audio. They’re nothing special on their own, but there’s a ton of tuning available through the Nahimic Audio app. You can set them for music, movies, chatting, or gaming; there is a noticeable difference between all presets, and you can make many further changes to each one. You’re still going to want to invest in one of the best PC gaming headsets for competitive play.
The front-facing 720p camera is actually quite good. There’s hardly any grain and it deals well with exposure. There’s an E-shutter switch built into the side of the laptop that kills the feed for a bit of extra privacy. That’s basically the only bit of security on this laptop save firmware TPM 2.0 in the chipset; yes, you should be able to upgrade to Windows 11 without much issue. Rounding things out is Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 wireless connectivity.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro: Display
One of the biggest changes to the Legion stable is the new 16-inch IPS display with 16:10 aspect ratio and 2560×1600 resolution. It’s tall enough that it basically removed the chin below the screen, and the rest of the bezel is very thin for a modern look. There’s still the lip at the top of the display that houses the webcam and makes the lid just a bit easier to open.
There’s just the one display option available for all the Legion 5 Pro models, but it’s tuned for gaming. The 165Hz refresh rate can keep up with the performance hardware inside, and you can set it to run at a 3ms response time by toggling the Over drive feature in the Vantage app. It’s a G-Sync display that, along with the RTX GPU, cuts down on screen tearing, plus it has Dolby Vision and VESA DisplayHDR 400 for compatible content.
The anti-glare finish does a great job, and the screen actually surpasses the claimed 500 nits brightness. Testing with my SpyderX Pro colorimeter, I saw 541 nits at peak and 5 nits at the lowest. As for color, Lenovo nailed it again. The screen comes with X-Rite Pantone color calibration so it looks great as soon as you open the lid. Testing again with my colorimeter, I got back 100% sRGB, 79% AdobeRGB, and 81% DCI-P3 color reproduction. These are all great results and as long as you don’t want to go for 4K you should be happy.
A tale of two power sources
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro: Gaming
Lenovo has put a FOCUS on its AI performance engine with enhanced tuning to ensure you get optimized performance no matter the task at hand. It works along with the Q Control tuning — something I first saw in 2020’s Legion 5i 15 — which allows you to quickly swap between Performance, Balance, and Quiet modes. You can toggle automatic optimization for Balance mode, which in theory means you can leave it there and let the laptop do its thing.
This is all handled in the Lenovo Vantage app, repurposed for a FOCUS on gaming. Here you can also toggle network boost to prioritize games, over drive to reduce screen response time, touchpad lock, hybrid mode to disable the integrated GPU, and a whole lot more. It’s fairly plentiful for standard users, but if you really want to dig down into the system’s settings or mess with over or underclocking you will need to check out the BIOS or some third-party software.
Raw performance when on battery power is about a third of what you’ll see when running on AC power. It’s clear that the FOCUS here is on lengthening battery life rather than maximizing mobile performance, to the extent that the Performance power option is disabled without AC. Most gamers understand that a gaming laptop isn’t meant to be enjoyed on battery power, as the CPU and discrete GPU require way too much juice to ever run full out without AC power.
I tried tinkering with some power state controls in Windows settings, and I also tried forcing the laptop to stick with the stock Balanced performance plan from Windows with a bit of tweaking. However, going back over the same benchmarks again on battery made no difference. This isn’t a huge issue since all gaming laptops suffer on battery power, and as we will see in the next section, the Legion 5 Pro isn’t plagued by some of the other AMD system throttling issues when it’s on battery power.
Let’s get into the good stuff. The Legion 5 Pro really shines once we move on to AC performance. This is really what most people are going to experience, and Lenovo has outdone itself in this aspect. The Ryzen 7 5800H CPU and RTX 3070 Laptop GPU are a potent combination that will crush your favorite modern games, and the QHD display is up to the task of displaying their potential. Here’s how the Legion 5 Pro compares to a bunch of other laptops we’ve tested.
A beautiful display compliments powerful performance.
Tom’s Hardware Verdict
The Lenovo Legion Pro 5 performs just as well as other 45W AMD peers, but adds on to the experience with a screen that’s a delight to view and a keyboard that’s comfortable and easy to use.
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The Legion 5 Pro is Lenovo’s latest contender in the high-end AMD gaming laptop world, sporting a 45W Ryzen 7 5800H CPU and a mobile Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070. To mark that occasion, Lenovo’s given the Legion 5 Pro a bit of a redesign over past models, fine-tuning the keyboard and display to help impress. This includes a new 16:10 aspect ratio and 2560 x 1600 resolution, which does move this laptop toward the expensive end of things (1,899 as configured). That said, this is a device that feels premium and fun to use throughout, so you can argue that it earns that high price.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Specifications
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Design
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro looks in many ways identical to past Lenovo Legion models, with the key difference here being thinner bezels around the screen and a Y-shaped LED logo on the lid. Lenovo and Legion logos are still plentiful, from the keyboard deck to the hinge to the bottom screen bezel. The back of the hinge still extends far past the screen, with labeled I/O adorning the middle section. Large vents also sit along the laptop’s sides, back and underside.
The Legion 5 Pro also sticks with the Legion line’s usual grayish black color scheme, which works well to hide fingerprints. Also helping with fingerprints is the Legion 5 Pro’s glittery matte texture.
Despite having thinner bezels, this is a big laptop. At 14.02 x 10.41 x 1.07 inches, it’s much thicker than other RTX 3060 and RTX 3070 laptops we’ve tested. The Alienware M15 Ryzen Edition R5 is 14.02 x 10.73 x 0.9 inches, for instance. The Razer Blade Pro 17 is 15.6 x 10.2 x 0.8 inches, while the MSI Stealth 15M lives up to its name by almost halving the Legion 5 Pro’s thickness at 14.10 x 9.76 x 0.63 inches.
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is also a heavy laptop, weighing in at 5.4 pounds. It’s not alone here, though. The Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 is 5.34 pounds, while the Razer Blade Pro 17 is even heavier than the Legion at 6.06 pounds. The MSI Stealth 15M once again lives up to its name here, though, weighing just 3.73 pounds.
With this heft comes plenty of space for ports, although most are relegated to the back of the laptop’s hinge. The Legion 5 Pro has a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port on its left side, plus a 3.5mm combination headphone/microphone jack. The laptop’s right side has a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port and a hardware toggle that can turn power for the webcam on and off. The back of the laptop’s hinge, meanwhile, is where you’ll find the charging port, plus three additional USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports and a single additional USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port. That Type-C port also supports power delivery, though you’ll want to use the power brick when gaming. There’s an HDMI 2.1 connection and an RJ-45 ethernet port here, as well.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Gaming Performance
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro has a AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU and an RTX 3070 laptop GPU with 8GB of GDDR6 memory and a 140W TGP. With its 16GB of DDR4-3200 memory, that puts it roughly on par with the Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5, which has the same CPU but has an RTX 3060 GPU. The Razer Blade Pro 17 is also a strong competitor here, thanks to its 10th gen, 45W Intel Core i7 CPU and RTX 3070 GPU. The MSI Stealth 15M is a capable thin competitor here, despite having a 35W 11th gen Intel Core i7, thanks to its RTX 3060.
Generally, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro tended to sit between second and third place in our gaming tests, usually behind the Razer Blade Pro 17 and alternating placements with the Alienware M15 Ryzen Edition R5.
In Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s built-in benchmark running on its highest settings at 1080p, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro hit an average of 80 fps. That’s slightly below the Razer’s 86 fps but slightly above the Alienware’s 73 fps. The MSI lagged well behind at 64 fps.
The Legion 5 Pro didn’t perform as well in Far Cry: New Dawn’s benchmark running at 1080p with ultra settings. Here, its 71 fps fell well behind the Alienware’s 79 fps, and even further behind the Razer’s 89 fps. Even the MSI beat the Legion, with an fps of 77.
Grand Theft Auto V’s benchmark running on very high settings at 1080p saw the Legion 5 Pro’s performance jump back up. The Legion 5 Pro ran at 84 fps here, above the Alienware’s 82 fps and the MSI’s 78 fps. The Razer was far more impressive, though, achieving 102 fps.
Finally, Red Dead Redemption 2’s 1080p benchmark running at medium settings saw the Legion running at 66 fps, the Alienware hitting 53 fps, the Razer achieving 70 fps and the MSI bringing up the rear with 56 fps.
We also ran the Legion 5 Pro through our usual gaming stress test, to check how well it would perform in an extended heavy gaming session. Here, we ran the Metro: Exodus 1080p benchmark 15 times in a row using its RTX preset. The Legion averaged 65 fps throughout this run. Its CPU ran at an average 3.83 GHz, while its GPU hit an average 1.61 GHz. The CPU averaged a temperature of 83.48 degrees Celsius (182.26 degrees Fahrenheit) during this test, while the GPU was cooler, at 75.21 degrees Celsius (167.38 degrees Fahrenheit) average temperature.
I also played Control for a half-hour on the Legion 5 Pro, to get a personal feel for gaming on it. The Legion 5 Pro has a 2560 x 1600 screen, which makes anecdotal testing especially important as all of our benchmarks are run in FHD. On 2560 x 1600 on the high preset, the game generally ran between 75. 85 fps. Dropping the resolution to FHD pushed that range up to 100. 110 fps. When I turned ray tracing on and set it to its high preset, each resolution’s frame rate range dropped by around 20 frames.
The Legion 5 Pro was never hot to the touch while I played, although it was moderately loud.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Productivity Performance
While the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is a pretty big laptop to lug around for productivity work, its 45W AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU does make it a powerful work machine as well.
In Geekbench 5, which is a synthetic benchmark that tests general PC performance, the Legion 5 Pro generally outperformed its competition. It scored 1,456 on single-core tests and 7,342 on multi-core tests. That’s above the Alienware M15 Ryzen Edition R5’s 1,247/7,288 scores, which is impressive as that laptop shares the Legion’s CPU. It’s also above the Razer Blade Pro 17’s 1,288/6,144 scores, which makes sense as that laptop’s CPU is a generation behind (10th gen Intel), though it is 45W. The MSI Stealth 15M, which has a 35W 11th Gen Intel CPU, predictably performed much weaker than the Legion (at least on the multi-core test) with scores of 1,577/5,363.
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro and the Alienware M15 Ryzen Edition R5 both had similar scores in our file transfer test, where we track how quickly a machine can move 25GB of files. The former did so with an 832.66 MBps speed, while the latter was slightly faster with an 874.14 MBps speed. The MSI Stealth 15M was the next fastest, with a speed of 651.85 MBps, and the Razer Blade Pro 17 was the slowest laptop we tested, with a speed of 547.2 MBps.
The Legion 5 Pro and the Alienware M15 Ryzen Edition R5 had near-identical scores in our Handbrake video transcoding test, where we time machines to see how quickly they transcode a video down from 4K to FHD. The Legion finished transcoding in 7:06, while the Alienware was literally just a second faster (7:05). The Razer Blade Pro 17 was the next fastest with a 10:10 time, and the MSI Stealth 15M was the slowest of the bunch with a time of 11:03.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Display
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro joins in on the 16:10 trend with a 2560 x 1600 IPS monitor that has a 165Hz refresh rate. I used this monitor to watch the final trailer for A Quiet Place II, which had impressively deep blacks and somewhat vivid colors. Even with my curtains up and my lights on, viewing angles were essentially perfect, and glare was almost a non-issue. Lowering my curtains and turning my lights off eliminated glare entirely.
Those impressive viewing angles and the lack of glare can probably be attributed to the display’s high brightness. In our testing, we found that it hit an average of 472 nits, which far exceeds the Alienware M15 Ryzen Edition R5’s 328 nits. The Razer Blade Pro 17 and MSI Stealth 15M were even dimmer at 277 and 255 nits, respectively.
Color was more evenly distributed across competitors, with the Legion 5 Pro achieving an 82% DCI-P3 rating. The Alienware was slightly more colorful with an 87.3 DCI-P3 rating, while the Razer’s 83.9% rating was roughly on par with the Legion’s. The MSI Stealth 15M was much less colorful, with only a 45.3% DCI-P3 rating.
Since the Legion 5 Pro has a 16:10 screen, I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention web browsing on it. I really appreciated the extra screen space when typing emails and reading articles, which worked especially well with the higher-than-1080p resolution. Plus, the laptop’s large trackpad made navigating that extra screen space easy.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Keyboard and Touchpad
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro has a “TrueStrike Gaming Keyboard,” which features 100% anti-ghosting, 4-zone RGB and a full tenkey (though the latter is a bit squished). Lenovo also promises “excellent key travel,” although it hasn’t provided numbers to us.
In my experience, using the TrueStrike keyboard was equivalent to using one of Lenovo’s ThinkPad keyboards, which is to say that it was exceedingly comfortable and responsive. Like ThinkPads, the Lenovo 5 Pro’s keycaps are curved at the bottom and concave in the center, which makes typing by touch alone a breeze. I felt like I had plenty of tactile feedback and the key travel did seem generous, so I was easily able to hit the upper end of my 75. 80 words per minute average on 10fastfingers.com’s typing tests.
The Legion 5 Pro’s precision touchpad is a generous 4.7 x 3 inches large. Its smooth surface made both moving my cursor and inputting two- and three-finger multi-touch gestures like scrolling and switching apps a breeze. It does sit slightly off-center, although I found that its palm rejection was effective enough that I was able to play WASD shooters while my palm touched the touchpad without it affecting mouse input. You can also toggle touchpad input on and off both in Lenovo Vantage and with an Fn row keyboard shortcut.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Audio
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro has two bottom-firing speakers, one on either side, that get effectively loud but can run on the tinny side. I tested these speakers out by listening to “Astronaut in the Ocean” on them, which might not have been the best choice for this laptop. That’s because I pretty quickly reached the floor for how much bass this laptop could put out, which cut off much of the song’s impact.
That said, the Legion 5 Pro’s speakers do well with small details. The lo-fi, radio-like pops and buzzes at the start of the song came across well on the Legion, and the bass guitar-like string quality that some of the bass line has also wasn’t lost here.
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro also comes with Nahimic audio software that uses an equalizer to fine-tune your audio. I tested the speakers using the music preset, but there’s also a movie preset that prioritizes both vocals and sound effects, as well as a communications preset that focuses purely on talking and a gaming preset that caters mostly to sound effects. Naturally, I found the song was at its best using the music preset.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Review
There’s nothing special or noteworthy about the exterior of the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, and on paper, its specifications look like it’ll be a good gaming laptop, with the potential to be great. As it turns out, I should learn to stop judging a laptop by its housing. The Legion 5 Pro is a workhorse. Plain and simple.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro – Photos
Here are the specifications of the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro I’ve been testing:
- Model: Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (16lAH7H)
- Display: 16-inch WQXGA 165Hz (2560×1600)
- Processor: Intel Core i7–12700H 3.5GHz (24M cache, 4.7GHz Max Turbo)
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU, 8GB GDDR6
- Memory: 16GB DDR5 4,800Mhz
- OS: Windows 11 Home
- Storage: 512GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD
- Webcam: 720p with e-Shutter
- Ports: 1 x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C, DisplayPort 1.4), 2 x USB-C (USB 3.2 Gen 2, DisplayPort 1.4), 3 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x e-Shutter switch, 1 x 3.5mm headphone/mic combo, 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ45
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1
- Dimensions: 14.17 x 10.4 x 1.05-inches (WxDxH)
- Weight: 5.49-pounds
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro – Design
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro looks like a cross between your Dad’s work laptop and a gaming laptop. The 5 Pro comes in a storm grey color that’s close to Apple’s space grey color offering. On the outside of the lid is the Legion logo, and that’s it. There isn’t any sort of fancy decal or design that’s become common on most gaming laptops.
Upon opening the lid, you’ll find a 16-inch display with thin bezels on the vertical sides of the screen and a slightly thicker bezel going across the top, housing a 720p webcam.
On the deck of the laptop, just above the keyboard is the power button with an indicator light in the middle of it. It turns white when the laptop is running on battery power, and red while charging.
There’s a full-size keyboard with a number pad on the right-hand side, with chiclet-style keys that have flat edges on three sides and a rounded bottom. There are four different RGB lighting zones behind the keyboard that you can customize to fit your mood, with a total of three different profiles available to switch between in the Lenovo Vantage app.
The trackpad is centered with the keyboard, or off-center on the left side of the 5 Pro’s housing. It’s smooth and easy to use, save for the imaginary line on the trackpad where it registers any interaction as a right-click instead of a standard click. I’ve had to consciously remind myself, several times during testing, to go higher and over to the left more on the touchpad in order to use it without errant right clicks.
The 5 Pro has a long list of ports, most of which are on the back of the laptop’s housing. There are a few sprinkled on either side and a unique switch on the right that puzzled me at first. Let’s start with that switch – it’s an e-Shutter switch that turns the webcam on or off. There’s a small icon that shows up on the 5 Pro’s display when you switch modes, letting you know the camera’s current status.
When the camera is turned off, the switch is red to let you easily see the camera’s status. Next to the switch is the 3.5mm combination microphone and headphone jack. Finally, there’s a standard USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port on the right side.
Flanking the left side of the housing is a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 with DisplayPort 1.4 support near the front, and a USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port behind it. There’s a Thunderbolt icon next to the rear port letting you know that’s what you’ll want to use for faster transfer speeds, if your external hard drive supports it.
On the rear of the laptop’s housing is an Ethernet (RJ45) port, another USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 Port with DisplayPort 1.4 support and power delivery of up to 135W for charging the laptop. Next to the USB-C port is an HDMI port, followed by two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports. Finally, there’s the charging port that uses Lenovo’s power-in adapter. This is the charging port you’ll want to use during gaming or resource-intensive tasks as it provides 300W of power when paired with the included power supply.
My favorite aspect of the port arrangement on the 5 Pro is that you’ll find labels just above the ports on the rear of the laptop, making it possible to see which port is where when you’re looking down on the laptop’s housing.
As I said earlier, there’s nothing fancy or extraordinary about the Legion 5 Pro’s design. It’s a grey laptop with a logo on the lid and ports on three sides. It looks fine.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro – Performance and gaming
Inside the Legion 5 Pro is an Intel Core i7–12700H with 14 cores and 20 threads, an Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti with 8GB of GDDR6 memory, a 512GB NVMe SSD for storage and 16GB of DDR5 4,800Mhz memory. That’s a respectable component list for any gaming PC, let alone for a laptop. Other than the 512GB of storage, that is. I filled up the 512GB of storage after installing a handful of games and benchmarking apps, which meant rejiggering which apps and games were installed during my testing. Ideally, 1TB of storage is where all gaming setups should start.
What surprised me, however, was just how much performance was packed into the 5 Pro, especially when I compared its benchmark scores to more expensive high-end systems with objectively better specs. When you compare the scores to systems like the MSI Raider GE76 with an i9–12900HK and an RTX 3080 Ti, or the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 with an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX and an RTX 3080 Ti, it’s clear that the Legion 5 Pro is keeping up with, and oftentimes outperforming, both systems.
For example, when you compare the 5 Pro’s Borderlands 3 score of 101, you see that it nearly kept up with the GE76’s score of 108 and outpaced the Duo 16’s score of 93. 3DMark’s Time Spy benchmark test showed the 5 Pro’s real potential with a score of 11,916, outscoring both comparison laptops. The GE76 was close at 11,742 and the Duo 16 behind that at 10,768.
Gaming on the Legion 5 Pro has been fun. The speakers provide plenty of output to overpower the fans without making you feel like you’re making way too much noise. For my first few matches of Fortnite, I let the 5 Pro’s AI software decide if it should run in performance mode, based on what app or game is open. With all of the settings cranked to high – excuse me, epic – in Fortnite and the resolution set to 1920×1200, the 5 Pro averaged 123 frames per second.
When I manually switched the 5 Pro over to performance mode with the same settings, it averaged 113 FPS. Odd, right? I think the AI may be doing more than just turning performance mode on and off, seemingly also optimizing the system to get all of the performance it can out of it.
Finally, I tested with the full 2560×1600 resolution, which dropped the average frames per second down to 84.
Outside of gaming, the Legion 5 Pro handled whatever task I threw at it. Between using Edge with way too many tabs open, and alternating between a Twitch stream or one of my Spotify daily playlists, it never slowed down. I did some light photo editing with GIMP, as well, and have nothing bad to say about how the 5 Pro handled it.
One gripe I have is with the overall brightness of the display. Unless the brightness level is nearly maxed out, say 90% or above, it’s far too dark for my eyes. At the 50% threshold, which we use to run all benchmark and battery tests, I’ve had a horrible time seeing what’s on the screen. Don’t get me wrong, the concept is visible – just dark. Too dark. I had hoped the display’s HDR support would translate into a bright and vivid picture at all times, but that’s not the case.
What about when brightness is cranked up? Well, it looks good. Color saturation is on point and the clarity of images and video is clear and crisp.
I’m not the biggest fan of the keyboard’s keys, only because I found myself getting lost on them while gaming far more often than I usually do.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro – Battery life
Lenovo’s spec sheet lists an estimated five hours of battery life for the 5 Pro. That’s a respectable and honest estimate.
In day-to-day use, the battery life of the Legion 5 Pro was good enough for casual work for several hours before needing to be plugged in.
Running the PCMark 10’s Modern Office battery benchmark, however, the battery ran from 100% to empty in 2 hours and 39 minutes. That’s a decent amount of time, but it falls short of Lenovo’s estimate as well as the performance we’ve seen from the GE76 and Duo 16.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro – Software
There isn’t a whole lot of preinstalled software on the 5 Pro. There’s Lenovo Vantage, which I found useful to set lighting profiles, check for updates or adjust system settings like turning off the Hybrid GPU mode that switches between the integrated and dedicated GPU based on which app you’re using.
There’s also an option in Vantage to overclock your GPU with a couple of clicks. There is, of course, a warning when you first enable the feature, but once you skip past that you’re able to adjust the GPU Clock and VRAM Clock. Once you get it tuned to your liking, you can enable overclocking with the flip of a switch.
McAfee LiveSafe is preinstalled and after setting up the computer I was immediately met with a warning that my free trial of coverage had expired.
In addition to the unnecessary bloatware of McAfee, the Vantage app had a few ads at the bottom of the main page. There was an ad for “seamless gaming,” a 10% discount offer for Lenovo support, and a reminder to register the laptop.
There are a couple of stock builds of the 5 Pro with Intel processors, with ranging from 1,399 to 2,599. The entry-level model comes with an RTX 3050 Ti, while the high-end model has an RTX 3070 Ti. However, neither build matches the test unit I’ve been using, which Lenovo tells me will be available at Walmart for 1,999, but the listing isn’t live yet. The closest current listing is the 2,599 model, which matches the CPU and GPU but has double the RAM and four times the storage than the unit I tested.
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro isn’t going to win any design awards, but what it lacks in the looks department it makes up for in performance. The build I tested did great, save for a pitiful amount of storage. My advice? Shop around for a build with 1TB of storage, or plan on adding some of your own down the road.
Lenovo’s first Legion gaming phone is here, includes a side pop-up camera
Lenovo has unveiled its first-ever Legion gaming phone, and it’s every bit as over-the-top as you’d expect. The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel includes the high-end specs you’d anticipate, including a Snapdragon 865 Plus and 5G wireless data, but it also boasts a design and camera layout that revolves almost exclusively around gaming — to the point where you’re making compromises if you use it like an ordinary smartphone.
A design focused on games
You’ve probably seen gaming phones before, but Lenovo is promising to treat the Legion Phone Duel as a “mobile gaming console” that just happens to take calls. This is a device meant to stay in landscape mode, and much of the hardware has been tweaked accordingly.
There’s no escaping the most obvious change: the camera layout. Lenovo has placed the 20MP selfie cam in a pop-up on the side, helping it both avoid notches or cutouts on the 6.6-inch, 1080p, 144Hz AMOLED screen and ensuring your face is front-and-center when livestreaming games. Even the 64MP main camera and 16MP ultra-wide cam are placed towards the middle of the back so you don’t cover them while in landscape view.
Lenovo also put one of the two USB-C charging ports on the side to help you charge while you play, and it’s using dual battery cells (5,000mAh total) to deliver 90W fast charging that should bring you to full capacity in 30 minutes. The dual-cell approach also keeps your hands cooler by moving them away from hot-running chips. This capacity won’t be as large as the 6,000mAh for Asus’ upcoming ROG Phone 3, but Lenovo’s device might also charge faster (The ROG Phone is expected to stick with 30W charging).
You can also expect two ultrasonic trigger buttons, dual vibration motors, programmable RGB lighting, and enhanced gyroscope features like a virtual joystick.
Software is key
The software may play as much of a role in the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel’s gaming abilities as its hardware.
To start, Lenovo’s camera software is optimized for gaming. Activate the selfie cam and you can both overlay and record yourself using “popular streaming apps” like Twitch and YouTube, including background removal and AI-guided touch-ups. When you’re done playing a game, you can preview all your highlights and merge them together. You can even use the right ultrasonic trigger to revisit a moment and record it for posterity.
Legion Realm software lets you fine-tune performance, download apps, and choose a low-lag network. Legion Assistant, meanwhile, can enable the virtual joystick as well as fine-tune hardware performance, switch wireless networks, and find games. The phone will also turn audio signals into vibration cues to help you get directional feedback, such as a rumble if you hit a car on your right side.
It won’t surprise you to hear the Legion Phone Duel is well-equipped beyond its display, processing power, and 5G.
The handset comes with either 12GB or 16GB of RAM, and you’ll get either 256GB or 512GB of built-in UFS 3.1 storage. The sound should be powerful, too, thanks to Dirac Audio-tuned stereo speakers and a quad-microphone system to cut out background noise when you broadcast gameplay. The two nano-SIM slots both support 5G and LTE, so you won’t have to sacrifice speed when switching providers.
Curiously, video recording performance isn’t as strong as you’d expect given the hardware. Even with the rear cameras, you’re still stuck recording 4K video at 30 frames per second — you’ll want a device like the Galaxy S20 if you expect to capture 8K or 60fps clips.
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel price and availability
The Legion Phone Duel will launch in China later in July as the Legion Phone Pro, and should come to “select” parts of Asia Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. Unfortunately, North America appears left out. The Motorola Edge Plus is as close as you’ll get to a Lenovo gaming phone in that region.
are also poised to vary based on country, although Lenovo makes clear there will be a split between versions with 12GB and 16GB of RAM. Given the all-out hardware design, we’d expect this inaugural Legion phone to carry a significant premium.
There’s a looming question, though: will this be worthwhile compared to the ROG Phone 3? That’s a tougher call. Both the Lenovo and Asus devices should have similar processing, memory, fast-refresh displays, extra gaming controls and even 64MP main cameras. It could primarily come down to nuances like Lenovo’s streaming-friendly selfie camera or the a third rear cam on the Asus phone. Either way, it’s a good time to be a mobile gamer.