Lenovo Legion 5 Review: Intro
Table of Contents
The Lenovo Legion 5 is the next generation of laptops in Lenovo’s line of gaming laptops. My previous review of Lenovo’s series of laptops featured the Y540, and I enjoyed my gaming experience. Turning your attention to the Legion 5 15IMH05 i7 8G 512G 10H, which happens to be a refresh of the Y540 series, I’m going to take you deep down into Lenovo Legion 5 Review.
Lenovo Legion 5 is aiming to be a budget-friendly gaming laptop, but trust me, it can do a lot more than gaming. A budget laptop with no bells and whistle will generally run you on average $600 Canadian without making anything too exciting. While the Lenovo Legion 5 is considered a budget-friendly laptop starting at $1,129.99 Canadian, the price tag is also bigger. Lenovo sent me their upgraded model, which offers a 512GB SSD and 120Mhz display.
Legion 5 SPECS
Lenovo Legion 5 Review: Pricing & Availability
As noted above, the series for Lenovo Legion 5 starts at $1,129.99 and can climb well over $2,000. You can purchase and customize the Legion 5 directly from Lenovo’s website. You can also purchase it from Best Buy Canada. The base model in the Legion 5 series starts with AMD Ryzen 7 4800H CPU with 8GB of RAM, a 1 TB 7200 RPM HDD + 512 GB PCIe SSD, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB of RAM, and a 15.6-inch, 1080P display with a 120Hz refresh rate.
The model I have is the following from Best Buy, which is pricey as it sold for $1,978.20 Canadian, and sports a 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-10750H GPU with 8GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with 6GB of VRAM, and a 15.6-inch, 1080p display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Quite the difference from the standard entry-level in this series.
Lenovo Legion 5 Review: Gaming Experience
Some of you might already be barking because it only comes with 8GB of memory, but trust me, it won’t stop you from enjoying your games. Take the laptop out of the box, plug it in, turn it on, and do the basic setup. Go ahead and install your gaming platforms such as Steam, Uplay, Epic Games etc.
Are you ready? Fire up whatever game you want to play as you’ll achieve at minimum 50FPS on average at Ultra or Very High settings depending on the game.
It’s time to take advantage of the 120Mhz refresh rate of the screen and that juicy 50FPS on average with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Pushing it into the Ultra High settings, Assasin’s Creed Odyssey delivered 44FPS with none stop entertainment. Making some slight changes with Very High settings instead yields about 48FPS. The difference in quality is very minimal.
Time to take a stroll into the world of Division 2. Division 2 has managed to capture my interest. I’m not a first-person shooter kind of player. I usually much rather play RPG’s or action RPGs. Pushing a consistent and steadfast avg of 58FPS is what kept me moving.
Further to just doing gaming on the laptop, you can easily conceive how well it can handle doing the daily mundane things such as browsing online, working on some papers all the while watching YouTube.
Below you can see the benchmarks that I did on the Lenovo Legion 5. You’ll see a good sample that is bound to give you a great insight into the laptop.
Lenovo Legion 5 Review: Benchmarks
Lenovo Legion 5 Review: Diving into VR
The laptop is quite capable of delivering VR content. The VR market hasn’t taken off as most would have liked. The Legion 5 is bound to keep you hooked if you do enjoy the VR aspect. Running some of the VR Benchmarks available to me, I was able to compare with other results online from other brands. This laptop crushed some of the leading competitors when it came to VR.
You can play VR games very decently.
Lenovo Legion 5 Review: Design
Most, if not all, of the gaming laptops on the market, tend to give out a futuristic vibe. The Legion 5 is no exception to that trend, sporting a dark gray finish, which the box says Phantom black.
Looking at the chassis, the Legion 5 has several air vents that allow for the heat to dissipate. At the back of the laptop, you have the power connector, HDMI, 2 USB-A, 1 USB-C, and an ethernet port. On the left side, you also have a USB-A and audio jack, while on the right side, you have a USB-A port.
The only USB-C on the Legion 5 doesn’t support power delivery or Thunderbolt 3. That leaves you with the ability to do data transfers and having display out.
Opening the cover of the laptop, you have a gorgeous RGB keyboard. You can customize the look and feel of the keyboard with the provided Lenovo software. You also have a webcam built-into the top chassis that offers 720HD.
The feeling on the keys under your fingertips is quite dull, nothing like you’d get from a mechanical gaming keyboard. The low-profile chicklet keys do guarantee that you have a remarkably small travel-time. I would have liked more feedback from the keys. I’m sure that Lenovo could make this an even better experience.
Lenovo Legion 5i sports a fine 15.6-inch display that delivers 1080P quality with a screen refresh rate of 120Mhz. The 120Mhz does make a difference in providing a smoother look to the content on the screen.
Lenovo Legion 5 Review: Gallery
Lenovo Legion 5 Review: Performance
Powering all of this is 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-10750H CPU, 8GB of RAM and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with 6GB of RAM. Take time to check out the Cinebench benchmarks you’ll see that the Legion 5 lands itself right in the middle of the rankings. The power that this processor can deliver is impressive, which means that you’ll be able to enjoy all your day to day tasks.
Putting the Legion 5 through PCMark 10 gave me a good idea.
The number of tabs we have opened, the apps, folders, communication tools, music, and even the latest YouTube video can all be powered without much fuss, making this an excellent companion to have.
Putting the Lenovo Legion 5 under loads gets the heat going. With a 72c sustained temperature over an hour, and maintaining its performance, this meant I was a happy gamer. While the device idles, the temperatures were as low as 36c.
Lenovo Legion 5 Review: Battery Life
Alright, folks, the battery life is all over the place, depending on what you’re going to be doing. There are a few things you might want to consider before jumping in. Consider being plugged in while you play games. It has for the effect of unlocking the full potential of the hardware.
The Lenovo Legion 5 does get drastically throttled when you don’t have the power plugged in. The CPU and GPU are put into an automatic mode, which isn’t a fun aspect while you game. Looking at the results from some of the tests I did, you can expect half of the performance while on battery. As low as 20FPS has been observed.
A mix of gaming, online browsing, shopping, YouTube or Netflix will lead you to 5 to 6 hours worth of usage, and likely more, if you make sure to change the brightness on the laptop.
Making use of the battery as my only source of power, I needed to adapt to this model. Imagine playing a 20FPS at the most while you have the graphic settings set to very high. I’m not even on ULTRA. The battery at this point, after 30 minutes, went from 100% to 46%.
To get the most out of the laptop, plug it in.
First time I’ve encountered a laptop that offers fast charging technology. Getting back to that 100% mark is easier than ever and in no time.
Final thoughts on my Lenovo Legion 5 Review
The Lenovo Legion 5 does great when pitted against other laptops in the same range. Achieving decent frames per second for a visually stunning display is key. The gaming experience is awesome when plugged in.
The performance of the laptop is greatly affected when you’re on the battery. The CPU and GPU are throttled to the point where it’s not fun to play games if you aren’t plugged in. The drain on the battery is severe if you attempt to do anything but browsing, YouTube, music and or work. If you happen to want to game, you’ll severely be constricted.
The price will play a significant role. The cost of the Legion 5 15IMH05H i7 8G 512G 10H is priced too high. I understand it’s a laptop, but when I can build a gaming desktop computer that’s more powerful for the same amount of money, it’s hard for me to be able to justify the cost.
I would do some hardware change on the laptop to bring the price down while keeping it in-line for the midrange gamer.
Check out the previous review on the gaming laptop: Lenovo Y540 Review