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Lenovo Legion 5i Pro (2022) Review

Verdict

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The Lenovo Legion 5i Pro is fast in games and applications, it’s very sturdy, and it has an impressive display – it’s a great option if you need a mainstream gaming laptop. That said, it’s heavier and thicker than rivals and battery life could be better, so this isn’t the rig for you if you want something portable and long-lasting.

Pros

  • Ample power for mainstream gaming and processing tasks
  • A large, crisp display with good contrast and colours
  • The exterior is smart and packed with ports
  • A crisp, satisfying keyboards

Cons

  • Beefier GPUs required for top-tier games
  • The Lenovo’s biggest rival is slimmer, lighter and has a better display
  • Underwhelming battery life during gameplay
  • An annoying, soft trackpad

Availability

  • UKRRP: £1899
  • USARRP: $1599
  • EuropeRRP: €2073

Key Features

  • A rock-solid mid-range gaming specificationThe Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 will play any mainstream game, the Core i7-12700H is a powerful and versatile CPU, and lightning-fast storage means you get rapid boot and installation times.
  • A tall, crisp and impressive displayThe panel’s 16:10 aspect ratio adds height and its 2560 x 1600 resolution means that games look crisp. Quality levels are good, too, with accurate colours and impressive contrast.
  • A robust, mature exteriorThe Lenovo looks smarter than many rivals, its build quality is excellent, and its keyboard is crisp and satisfying – even if this machine is a bit heavier than the competition.

Introduction

The Lenovo Legion 5i Pro is the business firm’s latest salvo into the world of gaming laptops, and don’t fret if the name sounds familiar – we’ve seen the Legion 5 Pro before.

The little “i” on the end of the Legion’s name hints at the biggest difference between the two: the 5i Pro includes an Intel processor, while the standard Legion 5 Pro relies on AMD silicon.

The Intel chip inside the 5i Pro is one of the latest Core i7 parts, and graphical power comes from the reliable Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060. As with the AMD machine, the 5i Pro deploys a 16-inch display with a heightened aspect ratio, and you’ll have to pay £1899 / $1599 / €2073 for this Intel-powered portable – although if you shop around those UK and European prices will likely be lower when you head to the checkout. If you’d like the AMD-based Lenovo instead, it’s been discontinued, presumably to update the design with newer AMD processors.

If you’re weighing up the 5i Pro, though, you’d do well to consider the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16. That’s another 16-inch rig with an impressive design, and its RTX 3060 version costs £1899 / $1649 / €1999, so it competes well with the Lenovo. And, if you want to look beyond these 16in machines, head to our best gaming laptop chart.

Design and Keyboard

  • A robust, mature chassis with plenty of connectivity
  • The keyboard is crisp and satisfying – ideal for all-day gaming sessions
  • The trackpad isn’t particularly good, so get a USB mouse instead

Unsurprisingly, for a Lenovo laptop, this gaming rig shares plenty of DNA with its business stablemates – and that’s no bad thing. The aluminium body is finished in a shade that Lenovo calls Storm Grey, and it contrasts well with the chrome-effect logo on the lid and the keyboard’s RGB LEDs.

The Lenovo Legion 5i Pro is a great choice if you’d prefer your gaming powerhouse to look more subtle. It’s more subdued than the Asus Zephyrus, which had loads of lighting and a hidden rainbow pattern in its dotted lid.

View of the keyboard and trackpad
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Lenovo’s laptop pedigree can be seen through the Legion’s great build quality, too, although the 5i does weigh 2.49kg and it’s 27mm thick – so it’s significantly larger than the lithe Asus. Still, it’s not so big that you can’t sling it into a bag.

The Legion’s left-hand edge has a Thunderbolt 4 port and USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 connection, both of which tackle DisplayPort and power delivery. The right-hand side has the audio jack and a full-size USB port – always an irritation when most people are right-handed and will use a mouse. Pleasingly, most of the ports are at the rear, where you’ll find another USB-C port that adds power delivery alongside two more USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, one of which is always on.

There’s a future-proofed HDMI 2.1 port, too, although the RTX 3060 GPU won’t keep up with its potential bandwidth in many games.

On the inside, the Lenovo has Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, and the rest of the machine’s features are unsurprising. The 720p webcam doesn’t have Windows Hello login but it does have a privacy shutter, and the speakers are fine for media and gaming, although they’re a bit muddy.

Pleasingly, most of the ports are at the rear, where you’ll find another USB-C port that adds power delivery alongside two more USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The keyboard includes a numberpad alongside full-size Return and cursor keys, so I’ve got no layout concerns. Quality levels are good, too: the keyboard’s base is sturdy and the buttons have decent travel and speed, so it’s easy to hammer through games. The Legion’s keys are just as satisfying as those on the Asus, and the Lenovo includes four-zone RGB LED backlighting – an upgrade on the single-zone Zephyrus.

As with the AMD-based Legion machine, the trackpad is spongy and positioned on the left of the machine, so it can be irritating during gameplay. If you’re serious about enjoying your games, buy a USB mouse instead.

Nevertheless, the Legion’s feature set competes well with the slimmer Asus. That laptop did have a Windows Hello webcam and a card reader, but the Lenovo fights back with that better keyboard, more USB connectivity and HDMI 2.1.

Screen

  • The 16:10 aspect ratio means you get big-screen gaming
  • Good contrast and colours, and the screen is extremely bright
  • Cannot handle that wider colour gamut

The Lenovo Legion 5i Pro 16-inch screen uses a 16:10 aspect ratio, which means you get more vertical space for games and web browsers, while the 2560 x 1600 resolution delivers a crisper experience than conventional HD panels. Both of those attributes match the specification inside the Asus.

The 165Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time are identical to the Zephyrus. Those figures are great for single-player gaming and everyday eSports, but not high enough for top-tier competitive players.

The Legion’s 16-inch screen uses a 16:10 aspect ratio
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The Lenovo’s brightness level of 476 nits is huge and high enough for indoor and outdoor use, and the contrast ratio of 1190:1 is good – it provides solid depth and vibrancy, even if darker areas could be a little deeper. The delta E of 2.11 ensures accurate colours, and the screen rendered 94.9% of the sRGB colour gamut. That’s just about enough for mainstream games.

Those figures make mainstream games look superb, but the Asus has a slightly better screen – its contrast and sRGB coverage figures are a bit better, so games will look punchier and more colourful.

Lenovo also boasts that this screen adheres to the VESA DisplayHDR 400 gamut, but that’s an entry-level protocol that won’t have a big impact – and the screen’s DCI-P3 coverage level of 70.7% isn’t high enough for professional-grade content creation.

Performance

  • Plenty of mainstream gaming power
  • Isn’t too loud or hot
  • Option of RTX 3070 Ti GPU instead

The RTX 3060 is a mid-range graphics core with a moderate 3,840 Nvidia Ampere cores alongside 6GB of memory, and in this laptop the RTX 3060 has 115W of maximum power at its disposal – which, to be fair to Lenovo, is as much as this GPU can manage.

The Core i7-12700H has six Hyper-Threaded P-cores for top-end tasks alongside eight efficient E-Cores, and the CPU peaks at 4.7GHz. It’s not a shock to see this versatile chip inside a mid-range gaming laptop, and the inclusion of 16GB of dual-channel DDR5 is similarly ordinary.

Lenovo has built the Legion’s 2TB boot drive from two PCI-E 4 SSDs in a RAID 0 arrangement.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

More surprising is the storage: Lenovo has built the Legion’s 2TB boot drive from two PCI-E 4 SSDs in a RAID 0 arrangement. The SSDs combine for incredible read and write speeds of 11,621MB/s and 10,132MB/s, so expect lightning-fast game installations and boot times – but be aware that RAID 0 means that neither SSD includes any data redundancy, so be careful about backups.

The RTX 3060 is a decent GPU. It played Horizon Zero Dawn at 2560 x 1600 and Ultimate settings with an average of 65fps and it scored 46fps in Borderlands 3, so you can be confident that this laptop will play big-name games at smooth framerates. Don’t worry if you’re an eSports fan, either: the Lenovo had no issue delivering a 186fps average in Rainbow Six Siege at its native resolution.

Lenovo Legion 5i Pro Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 Asus ROG Strix Scar 15
CPUIntel Core i7-12700H Intel Core i9-12900H Intel Core i9-12900H
PCMark107152 7960 7705
Geekbench 5 Single / Multi1628 / 11,265 1822 / 11,591 1658 / 9680
GPUNvidia RTX 3060 Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti
3DMark Time Spy8448 9291 10,389

You’ll only have to compromise on resolution or graphics settings if you want to run high-end titles on this laptop, like games with demanding ray tracing. And if you’re willing to handle a bit of extra fan noise, the Lenovo’s overclocked mode saw the rig’s 3D Mark Time Spy score increase from 8448 to 9654, so you’ll get some extra pace in games.

If you do want more graphical grunt, you’ll only have to spend £1999 / $2039 / €2328 to get the Lenovo with the RTX 3070 Ti, and that GPU is far more powerful – it scores more than 11500 points in Time Spy at its peak power level of 125W, and it uses that specification in Lenovo’s upgraded rig. That GPU upgrade will deliver better gaming performance right now alongside plenty of extra headroom for the future.

The ports on the side of the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Still, the Legion’s relatively modest RTX 3060 does mean that this laptop has no serious thermal issues. Fan noise is present while gaming but it’s never loud or distracting, even in overclocked mode – the speakers or a headset will drown the noise out. The rig’s underside does become hot, but that’s not an issue when this laptop is likely to stay rooted to your desk rather than your lap. 

The processor impresses, too. Its Geekbench single- and multi-core results of 1628 and 11265 are entirely normal for the Core i7-12700H, which means there are no serious throttling issues, and the results aren’t far behind the Core i9-12900H that you’ll find in pricier laptops. The Lenovo will get the job done if you want a laptop that can manage multi-tasking, loads of browser tabs and some content creation alongside gaming.

Impressively, those scores also beat the AMD Ryzen 7 6800H that is likely to appear in any updated version of the Legion 5 Pro, and the Core i7 even outpaces the Ryzen 9 6900HS that is available in even pricier notebooks.

Battery

  • Enough longevity to handle half a day of work
  • Don’t expect more than an hour for games

The Lenovo Legion 5i Pro’s 80Wh power pack offers no surprises. In a video benchmark with the display at 150 nits the Lenovo lasted for nearly seven hours, which is a decent figure for a gaming laptop – but the Asus Zephyrus lasted ninety minutes more.

The rear of the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

When tasked with an everyday work test the Lenovo lasted for 3hrs 51mins, which is a reasonable result and not far behind the Asus. But, when gaming, the Legion could only deliver 59mins of playable action. That’s entirely normal for this class of gaming laptop, and means you should stay plugged in if you want to enjoy games on this notebook.

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Should you buy it?

You want a mature, versatile laptop with a big screen

The 16:10, 16in screen is immersive, the Lenovo has ample power for mainstream games and content creation tasks, while it looks smart too.

You’d like your next gaming laptop to be slim, bold and long-lasting

The Lenovo doesn’t have the bold looks or slim bodies you’ll find on other gaming notebooks, and it doesn’t deliver more than an hour of battery life while gaming.

Final Thoughts

The Lenovo Legion 5i has lashings of mainstream gaming and work ability alongside a big, impressive display and a robust body – it’s ideal if you want a versatile, mid-range gaming laptop. That said, if you want something slim, light or covered with RGB LEDs, look elsewhere.

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How we test

Every gaming laptop we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, performance, screen quality and battery life. 

These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real world checks, such as how well it runs when running a AAA game. 

We used as our main laptop for at least a week.

Tested the performance via both benchmark tests and real-world use.

We tested the screen with a colorimeter and real-world use.

We tested the battery with a benchmark test and real-world use.

FAQs

What warranty does this laptop have?

As with all other Lenovo gaming notebooks, the Legion 5i Pro has a one-year warranty

Trusted Reviews test data

PCMark 10
Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
3DMark Time Spy
CrystalDiskMark Read speed
CrystalMarkDisk Write Speed
Brightness
Black level
Contrast
White Visual Colour Temperature
sRGB
Adobe RGB
DCI-P3
PCMark Battery (office)
PCMark Battery (gaming)
Battery Life
Battery recharge time
Borderlands 3 frame rate (Quad HD)
Borderlands 3 frame rate (Full HD)
Horizon Zero Dawn frame rate (Quad HD)
Horizon Zero Dawn frame rate (Full HD)
Dirt Rally (Quad HD)
Dirt Rally (Full HD)

Full specs

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CPU
Manufacturer
Quiet Mark Accredited
Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Front Camera
Battery
Battery Hours
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Model Number
Resolution
HDR
Refresh Rate
Ports
Audio (Power output)
GPU
RAM
Connectivity
Colours
Display Technology
Screen Technology
Touch Screen
Convertible?

Jargon buster

Refresh Rate

The number of times the screen refreshes itself per second.

GPU

The graphics processing unit is designed to render graphics, which is particularly important for gaming, creating 3D models and editing video.

DLSS

Deep learning super sampling is Nvidia’s image upscaling technology which can improve a game’s framerate without reducing the quality of the  visuals.

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