Lenovo Legion 5 Review: Great power delivery and good battery life

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Case – Lenovo uses black plastic

The case of the Legion is entirely made of black plastic (Phantom Black), with a rubberized surface on the top of the base unit. The most noticeable aspect of the device is the way the lid is connected to the base unit, as the hinges have been shifted towards the front by 25 mm (~0.98 in). The battery is firmly built in and there is no maintenance hatch. The notebook will look familiar to users who know the Lenovo gaming series – although there are some differences to the predecessor Legion Y540-15IRH.

The workmanship of the notebook is good. The gap dimensions are regular and we did not notice any overhanging material. Unfortunately, the device is not quite as sturdy as we would have hoped. The base unit can only be warped slightly, but it can be compressed on the right and left side of the keyboard without a lot of pressure. The lid can be warped considerably, which we are rather disappointed by. Pressure on the back of the display causes the image to change in a few areas. The hinges are tight and keep the lid in position while still enabling users to open the device with one hand.

 

Connectivity – No Thunderbolt 3 for this Lenovo

The Lenovo offers no surprises in terms of port selection. The device has four USB ports (3x Type A, 1x Type C), which all support the USB 3.2 Gen 1 standard. In addition, the Type C port supports the DisplayPort via USB-C function (although users will have to buy a separate adapter to make use of it). We would have appreciated a Thunderbolt 3 port and also noticed that the Legion doesn’t offer an SD card reader.

The ports are spread across three sides. The ports on the left and right are positioned in the middle, which leaves sufficient free space around the wrist rests.

Input Devices – crisp keyboard with backlighting

Keyboard

The Legion is equipped with a backlit chicklet keyboard. Its concave keys have short travel and a clear pressure point. We were also pleased with the crisp actuation. The keyboard hardly gives way while typing and this certainly wasn’t an issue. The backlighting (two brightness levels) can be controlled via a function key. Overall, this is a good keyboard suitable for everyday use.

Touchpad

The multi-touch ClickPad takes up around 10.6 x 7 cm (~4.17 x 2.75 in). It therefore offers sufficient space for gesture control. The smooth surface of the pad makes it easy for fingers to glide over. It responds to inputs nicely – even in the corners – has short travel and a clear (and audible) pressure point.

Display – 120-Hz IPS

The 15.6-inch panel in the Legion has a native resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. While it has a good contrast ratio (1158:1), its maximum brightness is too low at 277.3 cd/m². We usually consider values above 300 cd/m² and 1000:1 as good. The response rate is fine for a 120-Hz panel. We were pleased to see no PWM on this screen.

Performance – The Legion 5 makes full use of its hardware

Lenovo has created a 15.6-inch gaming notebook that can display every current game smoothly while also doing a good job in other areas of application. some unit is available for around $1250. There are other configurations available as well.

Processor

Lenovo has equipped the Legion with a quad-core Core-i5-10300H processor (Comet Lake). The CPU clocks at a base rate of 2.5 GHz. The clock rate can be boosted to 4.2 GHz (four cores) and up to 4.5 GHz (one core). Hyperthreading (working two threads per core) is supported.

The multi-thread tests of the Cinebench benchmarks are processed at 4.2 GHz (on mains) and 2.5 GHz (on battery). The single thread tests are worked at 4.2 – 4.5 GHz (mains) and 3.5 – 4.2 GHz (battery)

To find out whether the CPU turbo is available for a prolonged period on mains, we run the multi thread Cinebench R15 benchmark in a loop for at least 30 minutes. The results remain constant throughout the test, which means that the turbo continues to be used to the maximum.

The temperature modes that can be set within Lenovo Vantage have a strong influence on performance. The CB15 loop in balanced or calm mode results in 530 and 540 points in the first two rounds, but the results subsequently drop significantly in calm mode. The balanced results are more or less on par with those recorded in performance mode.

The modes influence single thread performance as well with the single thread test of the CB15 benchmark resulting in 131 points (balanced mode) and 108 points (calm mode).

System Performance

The combination of a quad-core processor, RAM running in dual channel mode and an NVMe SSD results in a fast, smooth-running system. The very good PCMark results confirm that the Lenovo notebook is also suitable for applications beyond gaming.

GPU Performance

The GeForce RTX-2060 (some configs come with 1660Ti) (Turing) is a top-range GPU that supports DirectX 12 and clocks at a base rate of 960 MHz, which can be increased to up to 1200 MHz via the turbo boost. Provided the GPU does not reach a certain temperature or energy limit, it can reach even higher speeds. We actually measured a maximum clock rate of 1931 MHz. The Witcher 3 test was completed with an average speed of 1511 MHz. The GPU can make use of fast GDDR6 storage (6144 MB).

The results of the various 3DMark benchmarks are as expected for this GPU. The integrated Intel GPU UHD-Graphics-G1 is active and the notebook uses Nvidia Optimus to switch between the two. As mentioned earlier, the iGPU can be deactivated in the BIOS or using Lenovo Vantage.

The temperature modes of the Lenovo Vantage software have an influence on the graphics performance. While the 3DMark results in performance and balanced mode are very similar, the graphics performance drops significantly when calm mode is active.

Gaming Performance

The CPU/GPU combination of the Legion 5 displays all games smoothly at Full-HD resolution and high to maximum quality settings. The GPU even manages some resolutions above Full-HD (this would require a suitable external monitor), although you would have to lower the quality settings slightly to get there.

Temperature

The Lenovo Legion does not heat up particularly. While the temperatures above 40 °C (104 °F) in some areas during a stress test, the temperatures were a little lower during a Witcher 3 test and perfectly normal during everyday use.

Verdict

The Lenovo Legion 5 15IMH05H (81Y60043GE)
The Lenovo Legion 5 15IMH05H (81Y60043GE)

The Lenovo Legion 5 with its combination of a Core-i5-10300H processor with a GeForce-RTX-2060 graphics chip display all current computer games smoothly onto its 120-Hz display. Most games can be played in Full-HD resolution and high to maximum quality settings. The CPU and GPU also manage to keep up their high clock rates over a long time.

The Legion 5 allows users to activate and deactivate the integrated GPU.

The integrated UHD Graphics 630 can be activated and deactivated with the click of a button. Battery life is very good when the iGPU is activated, but doesn’t last quite as long if the demanding GeForce RTX 2060 is at work.

Should the storage in the 512-GB SSD run out, users can expand the device either with a 2.5-inch drive or a second NVMe SSD (M.2 2280). Inserting the storage device requires opening the device, which doesn’t have a maintenance hatch.

The Full-HD IPS display offers stable viewing angles, a matte surface, acceptable response times, a good contrast ratio and decent colors. The maximum brightness and color space coverage are too low, however. We expect more from a $1250 notebook.

The port selection is good for the most part, although we do miss a Thunderbolt 3 port. This would enable users to connect external GPUs, for example. The Legion only has one Type C USB 3.2 Gen 1 port which supports DisplayPort via USB C.

Click here to check its price on Walmart

Click here to check its price on Amazon(the 3050Ti config)

Click here to check its price on Amazon(2060)

Kindly note that this article was outsourced and the information within was collected from various online trusted sources. We don’t own, or performed any mentioned tests personally.

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