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Lenovo Legion 5i Gaming Laptop Review: Solid & Practical Performer

Lenovo Legion 5i

The Lenovo Legion 5 series has always been a staple of mid-range gaming experience, offering bang for the buck products for value-oriented gamers. Now in their 7th Generation, the Lenovo Legion 5i now comes equipped with Intel 12th Generation processors and Nvidia RTX3000 series graphics, along with a few tweaks in the design to accommodate the higher performance hardware.

The Lenovo Legion 5i starts at RM5,744, however for today’s review, our unit has the more sensible configuration with the Intel Core i7-12700H processor and RTX3060 graphics, which costs RM6,294.

Lenovo Legion 5i – Specifications

Lenovo Legion intel
ProcessorIntel® Core™ i7-12700H, 14 Cores (6P + 8E cores) / 20 Threads
P-core 2.3 GHz / 4.7 GHz (Boost)
E-core 1.7 GHz / 3.5 GHz (Boost)
24MB cache
GraphicsNVIDIA® GeForce® RTX™ 3060 6GB GDDR6
Boost Clock: 1702MHz
RAM2x 8GB SO-DIMM DDR5-4800 (Up to 32GB DDR5-4800)
Storage512GB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe® 4.0×4 NVMe
Storage SupportUp to two drives, 2x M.2 SSD
• M.2 2242 SSD up to 512GB
• M.2 2280 SSD up to 1TB
Display15.6″ WQHD (2560×1440) IPS 300nits Anti-glare, 165Hz, 100%
sRGB, Dolby® Vision™, G-Sync, DC dimmer
ConnectivityEthernet
100/1000M
WLAN + Bluetooth
Wi-Fi® 6 11ax, 2×2 + BT5.1
Standard Ports
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (Always On)
1 x USB-C® 3.2 Gen 2 (support data transfer and
DisplayPort™ 1.4)
1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (support data transfer, Power Delivery
135W and DisplayPort 1.4)
1 x Thunderbolt™ 4 / USB4® 40Gbps (support data transfer
and DisplayPort 1.4)
1 x HDMI®, up to 8K/60Hz
1 x Ethernet (RJ-45)
1 x Headphone / microphone combo jack (3.5mm)
1 x Power connector
Webcam1080p with E-camera Shutter
AudioStereo speakers, 2W x2, Nahimic Audio
Microphone2X Microphone Array
BatteryIntegrated 80Wh

What’s In The Box?

Out of the box, the Lenovo Legion 5i comes included with the essentials and nothing more:

  • Lenovo Legion 5i laptop
  • Warranty instructions
  • Setup guide
  • Power adapter and cable

Design

Lenovo Legion 5i

At first glance, the Lenovo Legion 5i looks more reminiscent of the Legion 7, minus the ARGB lighting surrounding the chassis. The Legion 5i’s top lid is made of anodised aluminium, while the keyboard deck and bottom case is made of plastic. The Legion 5i does sacrifice build quality somewhat to hit the more affordable price point, as the Legion 7 has a full metal casing. There is some noticeable flex when adjusting the screen or typing hard, but it is acceptable normal use.

The laptop is not the most compact, standing at 26.4cm (L) x 35.9cm (W) x 2.5cm (H), however Lenovo manages to squeeze a lot of features and hardware in this machine. We will get back to this later.

On top of the screen lies a notch, where I could easily open and close the laptop even with only one finger. The amount of tilt you can get from the Legion 5i is ridiculously good, as it can fold all the way 90 degrees backwards. If you have a laptop stand or vertical dock, you do not have to worry about screen tilt adjustments.

Lenovo Legion 5i Rear Vent

Exhaust vents can be found on the left, right and the rear of the laptop to provide cooling for both the CPU and GPU.

Overall, the design is more subtle than other gaming-oriented laptops, with its clean and sleek design that won’t look out of place in a business setting nor on a gaming desk.

Display

Lenovo Legion 5i Display

Our review unit came with the 15.6″ 1440p 165Hz screen specification, which has a decent colour gamut of 100% sRGB for a gaming laptop. As we start seeing tablet screens going beyond 1080p, I appreciate the additional details and sharpness from 1440 laptop screens. If you need to do professional creative work however, you will be left wanting for more. An external display fit for purpose is recommended.

As this is a gaming laptop first and foremost, the screen works incredibly well for gaming. Visuals feel smooth with overdrive turned on, and overshoots are minimal.

Colours are vivid and beautifully represented too, albeit the brightness leaves a bit to be desired. At peak 300 nits brightness, it is sufficient for daily use indoors, but it will be too dim for outdoor use.

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Lenovo Legion 5i Gaming Laptop Review: Solid & Practical Performer 13

Connectivity Ports

Lenovo Legion 5i Ports

The Legion 5i comes with a plethora of I/O, with most of it neatly tucked at the back. On the left are two USB-C ports, with one being a Thunderbolt port. At the right side, you will find a USB Type A port and a headphone/mic combo jack. At the rear is where the fun begins, with Ethernet, additional USB Type A and Type C ports, HDMI 2.1, and the power connector, all neatly arranged in an array.

My only nitpick for the Legion 5i is the lack of biometrics and a card reader, but the latter is an easy RM30 purchase.

Keyboard + Trackpad

Lenovo Legion 5i Keyboard

The keyboard and trackpad layout are similar across all Legion models, and that is a good thing. We get a full sized keyboard that has proper spacing between each key, and a numpad which is slightly narrower. Some may feel cramped with an off-center keyboard layout, but since I usually use the left side of the keyboard most of the time anyways, that is not an issue for me. Having an extra numpad helps too if you want a hybrid laptop for work and gaming.

Typing on the keyboard feels decent. It feels firm and responsive although it is not mechanical and does have some apparent deck flex due to a plastic chassis. It is RGB backlit with 4 zone adjustment, so that is a plus if you want to personalise it.

Lenovo Legion trackpad

The trackpad however, is fine. It is fairly large but is off center to the left so it feels a bit awkward to use it with my right hands. It feels responsive enough but I would not game with it. A gaming mouse is recommended for this use case.

Webcam

The Legion 5i has a built-in 1080p camera with E-camera shutter. It is nothing to shout about and gets the job done for video calls. The microphone captures sound well at less than 1m distance, but the result sounds tinny and slightly boxy.

User Experience

Lenovo Legion 5i front

The previous generation Lenovo Legion 5i was a practical mid-range gaming laptop and this is no exception. The laptop has three performance modes: Quiet, Balanced (with or without Legion Ai), and Performance. Performance mode is only available while plugging in to the wall however. Balanced mode with Legion Ai turned on allows for lower CPU clocks and better temperatures during light tasks, and switch to Performance mode during heavy loads such as gaming.

The laptop implements an MUX switch, of which we just set it to Hybrid mode and let Advanced Optimus take care of the switching between iGPU and dGPU in the background. Forcing it to run on dGPU does not yield any improvements whatsoever for gaming loads, but decreases battery life slightly while doing day to day tasks.

Lenovo Legion Genshin

It easily runs most games past 60 fps at high to ultra settings. For eSports titles, it makes use of the high refresh rate screen and I can easily get above 140fps most of the time.

Loading times are minimal too, thanks to the fast PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD combined with DDR5 RAM, and I also get an extra slot for future NVMe upgrades.

Thermals

On idle loads, the CPU and GPU runs pretty cool, with fan noises being minimal. However, it ramps up significantly during gaming and the whistling noise is audible. The GPU gets a bit toasty too, hitting the high 80s C in Performance mode. Lifting the rear of the laptop using a book or a laptop stand improves the thermals to the low 80s.

Audio

A pair of speakers are placed at the bottom of the chassis, and they sound… not great. It sounds tinny and boxy, and the down firing orientation does not help with volume either.

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Lenovo Legion 5i Gaming Laptop Review: Solid & Practical Performer 13

Battery Life

Lenovo Legion 5i

The Lenovo Legion 5i comes equipped with a 80Wh battery, and the battery life is pretty good for the hardware it packs. Granted you need to do some tweaks to maximise your battery life. For example, it is best to switch to 60Hz mode while on battery mode, as running the screen at 165Hz significant drains your battery life.

While playing Cities Skylines with the 60Hz mode on, I was able to get about 2 hours 30 minutes of battery life before needing to charge. On lighter loads such as YouTube and web browsing, the battery easily lasts for more than 5 hours.

The Legion 5i includes a huge 300W power adapter that itself weights about 1.2kg, so Performance mode is really more intended for desk use.

Conclusion

Lenovo Legion 5i

The Lenovo Legion 5i is a well spec-ed mid-range gaming laptop that ticks most of the boxes. It is practical and a well-balanced performer, although the looks can look a bit understated. It will be difficult to find better value elsewhere for what you are getting.

So that wraps up our review of the Lenovo Legion 5i. To learn more, do check out Lenovo’s official site here.

Written By

Part-time gamer, writer, & full time weird coffee person.

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