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Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review

Powerful and fairly priced, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro has a lot going for it

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Our Verdict

The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro provides solid build quality and an understated design for a fair price. With an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU, it can play any game out there.

For

  • Plenty of power
  • Understated aesthetic
  • Big 16-inch display with 165Hz refresh rate
  • Excellent build quality

Against

  • Bulky, with huge 300W charger
  • Keyboard feels mushy
  • Weak speakers
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro: Specs

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600H, Ryzen 7 5800H
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3050, RTX 3050 Ti, RTX 3060, RTX 3070
RAM: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB
Display: 16-inch IPS LCD, WXQGA (2560 x 1600), 165Hz
Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Dimensions: 14 x 10.4 x 0.86-1.1 inches
Weight: 5.4 pounds

Gaming laptops are a dime a dozen these days, but the product category has come a long way in the last five years or so. Thanks to major advancements in CPU and GPU technology, the Legion 5 Pro is one of the strongest gaming machines Lenovo currently produces.

You get a choice between one of two AMD Ryzen CPUs as well as several tiers of Nvidia GeForce RTX GPUs. Regardless of which variant you want (Lenovo lets you configure your own machine), you get a solid-yet-bulky chassis, a 16-inch QHD IPS LCD with a 165Hz refresh rate, and an almost-professional design. In fact, the whole machine doesn’t scream “gamer” with its aesthetic choices.

In this Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review, I’ll break down just what this mobile gaming machine has to offer. 

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review: Price and configurations

There are several options for the Legion 5 Pro, including two preconfigured variants, as well as a custom builder. The base model runs for $1,300, with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a plain backlit keyboard. 

The other prebuilt option jumps to $1,700 for an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and the same backlit keyboard.

The unit I received for review is not buildable in Lenovo’s configurator at time of writing. This laptop comes equipped with a Ryzen 7 5800H, a GeForce RTX 3070, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and a four-zone backlit RGB keyboard. A similar configuration to this runs for $2,270, but that has two 1TB SSDs (since Lenovo forces you to add a second 1TB SSD if you opt for the initial 1TB one).

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review: Design

The Legion 5 Pro reminds me of older gaming laptops, with its bulky design and hinge placement. At more than an inch thick, this is no svelte gaming machine. It’s also quite heavy at nearly 5.5 pounds. 

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Legion 5 Pro is stacked to the gills with ports, most of which are on the back. There, you’ll find an Ethernet jack, three USB-A ports, a USB-C power delivery port and an HDMI port, plus Lenovo’s familiar rectangular power input. The left side of the laptop houses another USB-C port and the headphone jack, while the right side is home to a fourth USB-A port and a camera kill switch toggle.

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Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review

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Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review

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Vents take up a fair bit of the laptop’s body, with one on the bottom, one on either side, and one on the back. Considering the hardware inside this thing, that’s no surprise. Even so, as with basically every gaming laptop, I recommend a cooling pad so that the fans don’t drown out your gameplay (because they will). 

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

For audio, the bottom-firing speakers are fine. To get the most out of your games, I recommend getting one of the best gaming headsets. The speakers themselves have weak treble and muddy bass, although they can get quite loud. But the Legion 5 Pro's speakers are ultimately underwhelming, especially on a laptop that can easily exceed $2,000.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

This laptop comes equipped with a backlit full keyboard and a number pad. Unfortunately, this makes it extremely uncomfortable to type on, since the main keyboard is off-center and the number pad is only marginally useful. Beyond the layout, the keyboard isn’t all that great. The key travel is fairly short, which is common on a lot of laptops, but the keys themselves also feel mushy. The Legion 5 Pro did not facilitate a pleasant typing experience.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Legion 5 Pro’s touchpad is merely serviceable. Lenovo probably figured you’d hook up a mouse. The touchpad is on the small side. My fingers didn’t slide over it very well, either, and it’s a far cry from something like the touchpads on a MacBook Pro. I don’t think this one is too bad, but it’s not great, either.

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review: Display

Lenovo claims that the Legion 5 Pro is the first gaming laptop with a 16-inch QHD 16:10 display. It’s quite a looker, with slim bezels surrounding it. Most gaming laptops have 16:9 aspect ratios. The Legion 5 Pro’s 16:10 display works great for games, while offering a little extra vertical space while web browsing or working in documents. I think 16:9 is inherently limiting on laptops, so I liked seeing this machine’s aspect ratio.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

In addition to the 2560 x 1600 resolution, the Legion 5 Pro’s display also goes up to 165Hz and supports G-Sync. You’ll have smooth gameplay at up to 165 frames per second, with minimal screen tearing. Playing games like Destiny 2 at high framerates was an excellent experience overall.

Legion 5 ProRazer Blade 15 Advanced (11th gen)Alienware m15 R4
Brightness (nits)472313460
sRGB color gamut (%)116109211
Delta-E0.30.240.32

We just reviewed the Razer Blade 15 Advanced (11th gen), so I compared the Legion 5 Pro’s display benchmark results to that laptop and the Alienware m15 R4. The Legion has the best brightness out of all three machines at 472 nits. That’s really bright, though it’s still limited in direct sunlight.

The Delta-E color accuracy score was also quite good at 0.3. (0 is perfect.) And with 116% of the sRGB color spectrum, the Legion 5 Pro has a balanced color profile. That translates well to games, which look rich and vibrant. You’ll also have more color-accurate photos and videos if you choose to edit them on this laptop.

The display is the Legion 5 Pro’s greatest strength, other than its powerful hardware. I loved how crisp images were, and every game I played looked awesome. 

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review: Performance

The Legion 5 Pro has two options for the CPU: an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H or Ryzen 7 5800H. You also have a choice of GPUs from an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 all the way up to an RTX 3070. My review unit had the Ryzen 7 5800H and RTX 3070.

For the following benchmarks, I once again compared the Legion 5 Pro to the Razer Blade 15 Advanced (11th gen) and Alienware m15 R4. The Razer we reviewed has an RTX 3080 and a 1080p display while the Alienware unit we tested has a 3070 like the Legion, but with a 4K display.

We gathered framerate benchmarks for the following games with Ultra settings in 1080p and at the Legion’s max resolution (2560 x 1600).

Legion 5 Pro (1080p / QHD)Razer Blade 15 Advanced (11th gen)Alienware m15 R4 (1080p / 4K)
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla71 / 566670 / 35
Grand Theft Auto V111 / 67106108 / 35
Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition43 / 3036Not tested
Red Dead Redemption 273 / 486168 / 27
Shadow of the Tomb Raider94 / 618277 / 33

The Legion 5 Pro is pretty much in line with the Razer Blade 15 Advanced, oddly enough. Otherwise, the Legion won across the board, besting the Alienware in 1080p (as long as the laptop was set in Best Performance mode).

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

In my own gaming experience, the Legion 5 Pro was an excellent machine. Destiny 2 was as smooth as butter at max settings and resolution, hovering at 80 fps in intense combat and 100-110 fps in calmer situations. Cyberpunk 2077 at max settings with ray tracing enabled (DLSS off, to stress the GPU) was OK, sitting between 50-70 fps depending on what was going on. Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition’s Extreme setting really brought the Legion 5 Pro to its knees, though, barely managing 30 fps at 1080p.

Of course, there’s more to this laptop than just its gaming performance. The Ryzen 7 5800H and 16GB of RAM (3200MHz) are great for other productivity applications, too. We ran some artificial benchmarks, the results of which you can see below.

Legion 5 ProRazer Blade 15 Advanced (11th gen)Alienware m15 R4
Geekbench 5.47,5276,924Not tested
25GB file copy (MB/s)8461,7961,147
Handbrake (Mins:Secs)7:048:467:07

In a raw sense, the Legion 5 Pro holds its own against its competition, notably the Razer Blade 15 Advanced with its Intel i7-11800H and 32GB of RAM. I think the Legion’s lower transfer rate in the 25GB file copy test comes down to its capacity. In a lot of NVMe SSD cases, the 1TB or higher capacities have faster read/write speeds, leaving the 512GB and lower options slower. The Legion is equipped with a 512GB SSD, while the Razer and Alienware both have 1TB apiece.

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review: Battery life and heat

Two major concerns with any gaming laptop are its battery life and heat. The Legion 5 Pro has a respectable 80 Whr battery that can last for 6 hours and 15 minutes, based on our web surfing test. In gaming, that number falls drastically, to just 1 hour and 53 minutes. You can see how the Legion compares to the Razer Blade 15 Advanced (11th gen) and Alienware m15 R4 below.

Legion 5 ProRazer Blade 15 Advanced (11th gen)Alienware m15 R4
Battery life - Productivity (Hrs:Mins)6:155:224:01
Battery life - Gaming (Hrs:Mins)1:531:351:14
Heat - Productivity (°F)10382109
Heat - Gaming (°F)140123133

The Legion 5 Pro outperformed both the Razer and Alienware in our battery life tests, though it was noticeably hotter in the productivity and gaming tests than the Razer Blade 15 Advanced. I found that a lot of the heat on the Legion was concentrated around the upper middle portion of the keyboard, and the hottest point we measured in testing was between the G and H keys.

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review: Verdict 

All told, the Legion 5 Pro is an excellent laptop. It looks nice, it’s built well, and it’s fairly priced, considering the options you have available. You’ll easily pay more for a Razer Blade 15 Advanced and about the same for the Alienware m15 R4. While the latter includes a 4K display, you hit diminishing returns over QHD resolutions on a laptop screen.

Lenovo’s Legion brand name doesn’t hit as hard as, say, Razer, Alienware, or Asus ROG, but this laptop proves that Lenovo means business. If gaming laptops are your thing, the Legion 5 Pro is worth keeping in mind.

Jordan Palmer

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. It's hard to nail down one thing that Jordan is passionate about, since his attention span for a single given topic or activity doesn't last long. Jordan tends to lurk on social media, but you can best reach him on Twitter.