Home » Lenovo Legion 5 review: all-AMD gaming laptop keeps it simpl

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

Not to rattling with faint reward, however the Lenovo Legion 5 is kinda okay. A bit alright. Reasonably affordable. It’s a gaming laptop computer with specs, value and efficiency which can be so straight down the center of the highway that they may as properly be studded with cat’s eyes. Apologies upfront if this isn’t essentially the most action-packed {hardware} evaluate you’ve ever learn.

Actually, there’s one uncommon factor concerning the Legion 5. It’s one in every of a number of so-called “AMD Advantage” 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. In this case it’s the Radeon RX 6600M and the octa-core Ryzen 7 5800H (which can also be new for 2022 regardless of the higher-end Ryzen 6000 chips having launched as properly). The thought is that matching AMD elements will unlock unique, performance-enhancing options like Smart Access Memory (SAM), serving to to shut the hole with Nvidia and Intel – who’ve each been busy making a lot of the greatest graphics playing cards and greatest gaming CPUs respectively.

Does it work? Without assistance from DLSS, I wouldn’t name the Legion 5’s gaming efficiency a lot kind of spectacular than a comparably specced RTX 3060 laptop computer, however there’s undoubtedly sufficient energy right here for the 1080p decision. Together with good total show efficiency and an agreeable value, and the Legion 5 may properly should be your subsequent gaming laptop computer – even when it’s nothing to get too enthusiastic about.

This restrained method 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 subtle sufficient to forestall fan noise reaching a headset-necessitating 47db.

Still, at the least it really works properly sufficient to cease the keyboard getting too toasty. More usually, 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 a lot of the ports on the rear. These embody 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 shall 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.

There is a few 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 charge, and AMD FreeSync assist inside the 60-165Hz vary. Besides having this built-in resistance to ripping, there’s nearly no seen ghosting on the Legion 5’s show in anyway, guaranteeing that it’s at all times lookin’ clean.

It additionally presents 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 wonderfully wholesome 1102:1, whereas peak brightness got here in at a beaming 330cd/m2. As for colors, it could cowl 98.6% of the SRGB gamut – I’ve seen £4000-plus gaming laptops do worse – with a median delta-E of 1.89, which means the hues it reveals are pretty correct, not too uninteresting 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 maintain its tempo up. The Radeon RX 6600M has 8GB of VRAM to play with and, in contrast to 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 obtained 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 Ultra-quality ray tracing tossed in it might maintain as much as 79fps.

Not each sport will swimsuit its most settings, as Metro Exodus demonstrated. Using the Ultra preset, its benchmark software averaged 51fps: slick sufficient to play, however not sufficient to hit the 60fps threshold the place FreeSync kicks in. The addition of Ultra-quality ray tracing results noticed it barely maintain its head above water, with 31fps. It took a drop all the way down to High high 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 Total War: Three Kingdoms, its Battle benchmark producing 61fps on Ultra high quality. Final Fantasy XV was higher, flitting across the 65-80fps vary on its Highest preset, whereas Assassin’s Creed Valhalla averaged 63fps on Ultra High and 72fps on High. Valhalla has type for extracting essentially the most FPS worth out of AMD’s SAM tech, and it appears like that’s the case right here as properly: these outcomes are solely simply behind these of the RTX 3070-equipped Asus TUF Dash 15.

The Legion 5 additionally has higher CPU-only efficiency than the TUF Dash 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 take a look at and 4757 within the multi-core take a look at. While these are match for objective, it’s laborious not to take a look at the scores of older chips and marvel 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 take a look at. Previous-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, perhaps it doesn’t should 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. Maybe not rather more than that, however by no means any much less.

You might say the identical of it is 512GB SSD as properly, as its sequential learn and write speeds – 2642MB/s and 1552MB/s, in response to AS SSD – are ample even when they are not the very best of the very best. Random 4K outcomes are a 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 didn’t final a single hour when operating Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Here, the Legion 5 emptied a full cost in simply 52 minutes. Its main use, then, needs to be a form of all-in-one desktop different, relatively 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 maintain the Legion 5 in favour, with or with out the rest that would have made it a tad extra – let’s be sincere right here – fascinating. That 60-100fps efficiency vary is okay for the cash and can make the most of the upper refresh charge, the latter additionally being only one high quality of many possessed by the show. Quieter cooling, a extra bold CPU and/or higher endurance would have elevated it, however the dedication to simplicity has additionally left the Legion 5 with a properly wise design and no pointless, price-inflating tassles. So, yeah. Kinda okay.