Updated: Aug 21, 2021
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is a really solid gaming laptop, capable of running games at a really high FPS rate at its highest possible settings. However, you might want to look for a way to cool the laptop down when using it on performance mode.
We’ll be frank: not a lot of laptop designs catch our eye. However, this laptop actually did just that. The Legion 5 Pro’s design is quite a breath of fresh air because it doesn’t have the bling and over-the-top aesthetic most gaming laptops have. The laptop’s design is refined and minimalistic – which is how Lenovo is approaching its designs for its new series of Legion laptops.
Lenovo seems to have modelled the Legion 5 Pro’s design after a sports car’s hood. The ports and vents behind the laptop’s screen appear to mimic exhaust pipes. It’s a really cool design and we love it.
The Legion 5 Pro’s display measures 16-inches long (which is a tad larger than your typical 15.5-inch display) and has a 16:10 aspect ratio, giving you slightly more vertical space. The display has an impressive array of features: it has a Quad HD (QHD) resolution of 2560×1600, an IPS panel, support for NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD Freesync, 100% sRGB colour accuracy as well as Dolby Vision support. The display will also run at 165Hz with a 3 millisecond response time.
We’ve been wanting QHD resolution to be added on laptops for a long time now, especially for 15.5-inch and 17.3-inch displays. QHD offers a nice bump in resolution over full HD, but not to the point that Windows Scaling becomes a real issue. It is also a better option for GPUs to flex their hardware muscle, but isn’t as demanding as a 4K resolution. Since the display is running at 165Hz, gaming on this laptop will be a pleasurable experience. In our opinion, QHD is the sweet spot now.
Specs-wise, the Legion 5 Pro that we reviewed has an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor, 16GB of RAM running at 3200MHz, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 GPU capable of drawing 140 watts of power and a 1TB PCIe SSD.
Lenovo has added three power profiles for the Legion 5 Pro which can be easily toggled using the Function + Q key combination. Each power profile is colour coded and the power button’s light will shine according to the colour of the power profile currently selected: blue for quiet, white for standard and red for performance.
In terms of processor performance, the Legion 5 Pro did better than the ROG Flow X13. The Legion 5 Pro clocked in a score of 542 at 4.2Ghz in single-thread, while it registered 4903 at 3.8 GHz on multi-thread in Cinebench R20. The ROG Flow X13 meanwhile got 4441 at 3.45Ghz on multi-thread and 568 at 3.7GHz on single-thread. When compared to a desktop outfitted with an AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT, the Legion 5 Pro’s single-thread score came ahead of the desktop’s, which had a single-thread score of 485 at 4.05GHz.
As for editing in DaVinci Resolve 16, the Legion 5 Pro in performance mode was able to render a 10-minute 1080p video in 6 minutes and 42 seconds while a 15-minute 4K video took 16 minutes and 38 seconds. This performance was due to the Legion 5 Pro’s processor and GPU. In comparison, the desktop previously mentioned was able to render the same type of videos at 4 minutes and 55 seconds and 11 minutes and 23 seconds respectively. You may notice that the Legion 5 Pro’s rendering time isn’t that far behind as the desktop’s, which is impressive, to say the least.
However, using the Legion 5 Pro’s performance mode too much could cause problems in the future temperature-wise. We found that the laptop would constantly heat up to 100-degrees Celsius the entire time it was rendering a video. Furthermore, the laptop’s processor did not power throttle or thermal throttle at all; it maintained 4GHz across the board with about 65W of power draw.
Although not as fast as its performance mode when it comes to rendering videos, the Legion 5 Pro’s standard mode can render a 10-minute 1080p video in 7 minutes and 3 seconds without heating much while a 15 minute 4K video in 17 minutes and 38 seconds. We noticed a 3.6Ghz clock-speed drop and a temperature hovering around the mid to high 80’s instead. In standard mode, the CPU averages around 50W of power draw.
There isn’t much difference between the laptop’s performance mode and standard mode, so we suggest not to use performance mode when doing creative tasks. It’s not worth the heat.
Gaming on the Legion 5 Pro is a pleasure due to its RTX 3070 GPU. We found that the laptop can run Counter Strike Global Offensive at 238 FPS while running Shadow of the Tomb Raider on the highest settings resulted in 90 FPS.
For RTX-enabled titles, frame rates are still freakishly good, with Metro Exodus running at 63 FPS and Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 54 FPS – pretty much a 60fps experience. You can expect to have a stable 60 FPS in most games when you drop the settings to medium or high.
Temperatures are also much better during gameplay compared to creative workloads as previously discussed. Even on performance mode, the CPU’s temperature hovers at around 90-degrees Celsius while the GPU settled at around 80-degrees Celsius. While 90-degrees Celsius is considered hot, it is nonetheless a reasonable temperature.
One thing we did notice about the laptop is that despite the laptop’s high temperatures, the keyboard deck did not heat up as much as we expected it to; it’s cool to the touch and you can barely feel the heat. We don’t know if this is good or bad, but the cooler-than-expected temperature did help with the laptop’s gaming experience.
Lenovo added some nifty features to the Legion 5 Pro such as an e-shutter for its 720p webcam – allowing you to detach the webcam from the laptop – and plenty of ports that are located at the back of the laptop for easier cable management. The laptop’s sound system, 2x2W Harman Speakers, is pretty amazing with support from Nahimic Audio.
The Legion 5 Pro gets just about everything right, including its price. For just S$2700, you’ll be getting a Legion 5 Pro with the same specifications of the unit that we reviewed.
Despite the high praise we have for the laptop, it isn’t without cons. We think that the trackpad was placed a bit too far to the left, which makes half of your palm inevitably rest on it when using the WASD cluster while gaming. Although accidental trackpad presses are infrequent, it doesn’t feel comfortable at all. The laptop’s thermals on performance mode could use some improvements, especially since using the laptop for creative workloads on performance mode isn’t exactly conducive for the laptop’s health and wellbeing.
The laptop’s battery life is another point of debate depending on how you use the laptop; we really wish that Lenovo added a bigger battery for the Legion 5 Pro because the one that’s included is just a four-cell battery.
However, these cons are pretty minor considering the entire package the Legion 5 Pro offers; it’s just a solid gaming laptop. A laptop that comes with an RTX 3070 for the price Lenovo is asking for is a really amazing deal.
Content by Soon Kai Hong