Over the years, we’ve already been spoiled with a plethora of various gaming laptops that often don’t deliver on their promise – which is to provide a decent gaming experience akin to a desktop but, of course, without the weight and the bulk.
Lenovo’s Legion series of gaming notebooks have provided a lot of options to consumers with regards to what kind of gaming they want, and the Legion 5 hits just the right spot thanks to its incredible performance offered by its top-notch hardware specifications.
This year, the Legion 5 gets a midrange boost in hardware, starting with a 12th Gen Core i7-12700H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, and 16GB of RAM. There’s also a smooth 15.6-inch, 165Hz, 1440p display.
Design-wise it mainly retains the look of the original Legion 5 with more rounded corners and prominent grills for cooling. As it was pointed out here at T3 Towers, it somehow resembles the ThinkBook series, giving it a more professional look than what you’d expect a gaming notebook to look like.
The I/O ports are scattered on the left and right side as well as at the back, all offering substantial inputs that include Gigabit Ethernet, USB-C 3.2 Gen, HDMI 2.1, USB-A 3.1 Gen 1, Thunderbolt 4, 3.5 mm headphone jack and a kill switch for the built-in camera. The Legion 5 also supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.
As expected on all Lenovo laptops, there is the typical island-style keyboard with RGB support that’s comfortable to type on. The large clickpad is smooth and decent, but it is still recommended to use an external mouse when playing.
The Legion 5 runs on Windows 11, and the Lenovo Vantage software allows you to set performance modes on how the notebook should operate. It is also the place where you will get essential hardware updates along with other settings.
We initially used the Legion 5 as a work laptop that included the usual email and conference calls, along with some basic image and video editing, but of course, that’s not what we’re here for. We’re glad that the Legion 5 performed incredibly well on all our gaming tests.
Cyberpunk 2077 got a healthy 115 fps on a medium preset set at 1080p. It dipped to around 85 fps when we changed it to a high graphics preset, while it came down further to about 55 fps when we changed the resolution to 1440p. Moving on to The Witcher 3, it averages around 270 fps on medium settings and dips to a still very playable 90 fps when ultra graphics are applied.
What we noticed with the Legion 5 is that while the fans started spinning when we started the game, it wasn’t as audible as we had expected. The fan noise wasn’t loud enough to be distracting, and the chassis was just comfortably warm under heavy loads.
The Legion 5 does require a lot of power, and the larger-than-the-usual power brick that comes with it is proof of it. It isn’t the most portable power brick, but make sure you have space in your bag to carry this heavyweight when you bring the laptop. Supporting a proprietary charging connector and USB-C (just on the rear port), the notebook features Rapid Charge for faster charging. On regular usage, you’d get around 4-5 hours of casual surfing and browsing but on heavy loads like playing games, expect to get approximately 1-1.5 hours.
Given its feature set, you’d expect the Lenovo Legion 5 to have a somewhat midrange performance, but it is evidently more than that. Despite its weight and size, it is one of the more capable gaming notebooks out there that should fit well within the budget of any gamer.
+ Better-than-expected performance
+ Great 165 Hz display
+ Comfortable keyboard
+ Fast charging support
We Didn’t Like:
– Large and bulky
– Heavy power brick
Final Rating: 4/5