Gaming

Lenovo Legion 5 review: all-AMD gaming laptop keeps it simple


To not rattling with faint reward, however the Lenovo Legion 5 is kinda okay. A bit alright. Fairly cheap. It’s a gaming laptop computer with specs, worth and efficiency which can be so straight down the center of the street that they may as nicely be studded with cat’s eyes. Apologies upfront if this isn’t essentially the most action-packed {hardware} assessment you’ve ever learn.


Truly, there may be one uncommon factor in regards to the Legion 5. It’s certainly one of a number of so-called “AMD Benefit” laptops, alongside the latest HP Omen 16 and Asus ROG Strix G15 fashions, branded as such for his or her mixed use of the most recent AMD Radeon GPUs and Ryzen CPUs/APUs. On this case it’s the Radeon RX 6600M and the octa-core Ryzen 7 5800H (which can be new for 2022 regardless of the higher-end Ryzen 6000 chips having launched as nicely). The concept is that matching AMD components will unlock unique, performance-enhancing options like Good Entry Reminiscence (SAM), serving to to shut the hole with Nvidia and Intel – who’ve each been busy making many of the finest graphics playing cards and finest gaming CPUs respectively.


Does it work? With out assistance from DLSS, I wouldn’t name the Legion 5’s gaming efficiency a lot roughly spectacular than a comparably specced RTX 3060 laptop computer, however there’s undoubtedly sufficient energy right here for the 1080p decision. Along with good total show efficiency and an agreeable worth, and the Legion 5 may nicely should be your subsequent gaming laptop computer – even when it’s nothing to get too enthusiastic about.


This restrained strategy has knowledgeable the design as a lot as something. The mature styling will certainly enchantment to anybody who by no means developed a style for RGB, although it’s disappointing that the keyboard merely has no backlighting in anyway. There are lighter gaming laptops too, with the Legion 5 weighing 2.4kg, and its “Coldfront” twin blower system evidently isn’t refined sufficient to stop fan noise reaching a headset-necessitating 47db.


Nonetheless, not less than it really works nicely sufficient to cease the keyboard getting too toasty. Extra typically, typing on these mechanical keys feels crisp and comfy, even with a quantity pad having been squished in, and Lenovo have been sensible in lining up many of the ports on the rear. These embrace the ability, HDMI and Ethernet jacks, in addition to three of the 4 full-size USB ports and one of many two USB-C ports – all of which can be tucked misplaced and out of sight as you play, versus infringing in your mouse motion house. This additionally leaves room on the extra immediately accessible proper edge for a webcam killswitch: useful from a privateness perspective, and a welcome {hardware} additional. Albeit a dinky one.

The display on the Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop.


There may be some flex to the display screen, which loses the Legion 5 some factors on construct high quality, however the show itself is the laptop computer’s brightest flash of greatness. It’s a 15.6in, 1920×1080 IPS panel with added gaming chops coming in two methods: a speedy 165Hz refresh price, and AMD FreeSync help throughout the 60-165Hz vary. Apart from having this built-in resistance to ripping, there’s nearly no seen ghosting on the Legion 5’s show in anyway, making certain that it’s at all times lookin’ easy.


It additionally provides all of the vibrancy and viewing angle advantages of IPS with out affected by its frequent weak point: low distinction. I measured the Legion 5’s distinction ratio at a superbly wholesome 1102:1, whereas peak brightness got here in at a beaming 330cd/m2. As for colors, it will possibly cowl 98.6% of the SRGB gamut – I’ve seen £4000-plus gaming laptops do worse – with a mean delta-E of 1.89, that means the hues it reveals are pretty correct, not too boring or overly saturated.

The Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop, partially closed and viewed from the rear.


I do know 1440p is extra of a candy spot for contemporary video games, and a 15.6in display screen dimension pushes the restrict of the place a 1920x1080p decision can look “sharp”, however 1080p helps the GPU preserve its tempo up. The Radeon RX 6600M has 8GB of VRAM to play with and, not like the RX 6800S seen within the newest Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, is the full-power model of itself: not a GPU that’s been toned down to suit slimline laptops. As such, it’s bought sufficient greater than sufficient punch for AAA work. on its Highest setting with SMAAT 2x anti-aliasing, Shadow of the Tomb Raider averaged 102fps, and with Extremely-quality ray tracing tossed in it may preserve as much as 79fps.


Not each sport will swimsuit its most settings, as Metro Exodus demonstrated. Utilizing the Extremely preset, its benchmark device averaged 51fps: slick sufficient to play, however not sufficient to hit the 60fps threshold the place FreeSync kicks in. The addition of Extremely-quality ray tracing results noticed it barely preserve its head above water, with 31fps. It took a drop right down to Top quality, with out RT results, to common 64fps.

The right-side USB port, webcam killswitch and air vent on the Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop.


The Legion 5 additionally simply made it over the 60fps line in Complete Battle: Three Kingdoms, its Battle benchmark producing 61fps on Extremely high quality. Remaining Fantasy XV was higher, flitting across the 65-80fps vary on its Highest preset, whereas Murderer’s Creed Valhalla averaged 63fps on Extremely Excessive and 72fps on Excessive. Valhalla has kind for extracting essentially the most FPS worth out of AMD’s SAM tech, and it seems like that’s the case right here as nicely: these outcomes are solely simply behind these of the RTX 3070-equipped Asus TUF Sprint 15.


The Legion 5 additionally has higher CPU-only efficiency than the TUF Sprint 15 (or at least the mannequin Katharine examined). That mentioned, the Ryzen 7 5800H’s Cinebench R20 scores have been merely okayish: 555 within the single core check and 4757 within the multi-core check. Whereas these are match for objective, it’s onerous not to have a look at the scores of older chips and surprise if these new Ryzen 5000 laptop computer chips weren’t an afterthought in comparison with the 6000 sequence. Even the standard Gigabyte G5, with its Intel Core i5-11400H, scored ten factors larger within the single core check. Earlier-gen Intel Core i9 and AMD Ryzen 9 CPUs additionally persistently beat it on multi-core efficiency, so the Ryzen 7 5800H isn’t a generational leap.

The keyboard and trackpad on the Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop.


Then once more, possibly it doesn’t have to be. For £999 / $1255, the Legion 5 feels as if it performs because it ought to, each in video games and in wider desktop duties. Perhaps not rather more than that, however by no means any much less.

You may say the identical of it is 512GB SSD as nicely, as its sequential learn and write speeds – 2642MB/s and 1552MB/s, in keeping with AS SSD – are ample even when they don’t seem to be the most effective of the most effective. Random 4K outcomes are a little bit higher by comparability, averaging 44MB/s for reads and 120MB/s for writes.


The Legion 5’s solely outright failure is battery life. Sadly that is the second AMD-based laptop computer in a row (after the ROG Zephyrus G14) that did not final a single hour when working Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Right here, the Legion 5 emptied a full cost in simply 52 minutes. Its main use, then, must be a sort of all-in-one desktop various, moderately than a really moveable system. For really ambulatory functions, you’re most likely higher off with a Steam Deck at this level; gaming laptops that may final for hours at a time appear to be an endangered breed, if not but a dying one.

The Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop, closed and sat on a desk.


I nonetheless suppose the show and GPU do sufficient preserve the Legion 5 in favour, with or with out anything that would have made it a tad extra – let’s be trustworthy right here – fascinating. That 60-100fps efficiency vary is okay for the cash and can benefit from the upper refresh price, the latter additionally being only one high quality of many possessed by the show. Quieter cooling, a extra formidable CPU and/or higher endurance would have elevated it, however the dedication to simplicity has additionally left the Legion 5 with a properly smart design and no pointless, price-inflating tassles. So, yeah. Kinda okay.



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