Lenovo is known to make great gaming laptops under its Legion branding and it redefined the premiumness last year with the launch of the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro. Powered by the 11th Gen Tiger Lake-H processors, these are really powerful options as the GPU, here the RTX 3060, can utilize up to 130W TGP.
So, even though having a beautiful design and still being very portable Lenovo has managed to pour in such hardware that makes it a beast during gaming. With a beautiful 16-inch WQXGA gaming display in a 16:10 aspect ratio, this is one heck of a gaming laptop that looks and feels fantastic.
Though the 12th Gen powered models haven’t yet arrived in India, these 11th Gen powered SKUs have already started receiving good discounts. So, if you have been tempted to buy one for yourself and have been confused about whether to go for it or not, Lenovo sent us the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro for review and give you an opinion on whether you should go for it in 2022 or not.
Specifications of Lenovo Legion 5i Pro
- Display: 16″ QHD (2560×1600) Dolby Vision | Wide Quad with 16:10 Aspect Ratio| IPS Technology | 165 Hz Refresh Rate | 500Nits Brightness | 100% sRGB
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 Dedicated Graphics with max TGP 130W | Boost Clock 1425/1702MHz | Free-Sync and G-Sync
- Processor: 11th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-11800H Processor (8 Cores / 16 Threads, 2.30 GHz, up to 4.60 GHz with Turbo Boost, 24 MB Cache)
- Memory and Storage: 32GB RAM DDR4 3200 | 1TB SSD
- AI Engine : Upto 15% more FPS and Best performance with Auto Detect Mode (Top 16 AAA Titles) and Auto Optimisation Mode | Q Control 4.0 to select between Quiet (Blue), Intelligent (White) and Performance (Red) Modes
- Cooling: Legion Coldfront 3.0 with Quad Channel Exhaust System with Copper Fins
- OS and Pre-Installed Softare: Pre-Loaded Windows 11 Home with Lifetime Validity | MS Office Home and Student 2021 | Xbox GamePass Ultimate 3-month subscription
- Audio: 2x2W HD Stereo Speakers| Nahimic Audio with Surround Sound, Sound Tracker, Night Mode, Sound Sharing & Content Profiles Camera: HD 720p with E-camera Shutter :Physical kill switch for 100% privacy protection| Integrated Dual Array Microphone
- Keyboard: Full-size 4-Zone RGB LED Backlit Legion TrueStrike Keyboard with 100% Anti-Ghosting, Anti-Abrasion and Soft-Landing switches | 1.5 mm Key Travel | Large Arrow Keys | Large one piece Track Pad
- Battery Life: 80Wh | upto 6 hrs | Rapid Charge Pro (Up to 60% in 30 Minutes) | NVIDIA Advanced Optimus
- Connectivity : Wifi 6 11ax (2×2), Bluetooth 5.1
- Ports: Rear End : 4 USB 3.2 Gen 1 (1 port -Always On), 2 Thunderbolt 4/USB4 (Supports DisplayPort 1.4, 1 supports power delivery), Headphone/Mic combo jack (3.5mm), HDMI 2.1, Ethernet
Design & Build Quality
This Lenovo Legion 5i Pro, here the white color variant, looks awesome and has a nice gamery design to it. The brand has tried to keep it as clean as it possibly could while still retaining a solid build quality even with high-grade plastic.
I also like the fact that there is no flex on the keyboard or on the hinge, which to say is quite sturdy and can be opened with a single hand. Also, the Legion Y logo at the back of this white variant of the laptop glows during gaming when connected with the charger and it looks damn amazing.
Overall, in terms of looks as well as build quality, Lenovo has made a good product that looks cool and is durable also.
One of the key ingredients of this Legion 5i Pro is its beautiful 16:10 16-inch QHD IPS display which covers 100% sRGB color gamut, is equipped with 165Hz refresh rate and goes up to 500 nits in terms of peak brightness. So, undoubtedly on paper, it’s a great display for both gaming, productivity and entertainment.
As I use a QHD gaming monitor from Lenovo for my daily use, I knew the display of this gaming laptop will be a great one. With a high 2560×1600 resolution and support for Dolby Vision, any high-resolution content including games looks superb on this display.
Even watching web series or movies at night was an amazing experience as the quality of the display is fantastic and with enough brightness, this is a serious option for those who love good displays on a gaming laptop.
To check the exact color accuracy and other important parameters of the display, we tested out the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro with our SpyderX Pro and here are the results:
As you see the color accuracy, grey ramp, contrast and tone response looks quite good, especially for a gaming laptop. So, if you need a good display on your next gaming laptop, the Legion 5i Pro is a serious contender here.
Coming to the performance of this Lenovo Legion 5i Pro, you probably know this is using the previous generation hardware, however, the Intel Core i7-11800H is a very capable 45W drawing 8-core chip that boosts up to 4.60 GHz. So, the single-core performance should be good enough and the multi-core performance is on par with most gaming laptops out there in the market.
As we know the 12th Gen SKUs using gaming options will carry a higher price tag on launch, so this Legion 5i Pro on discounts could be a steal deal. Now, talking about performance, the GPU here is the same GeForce RTX 3060 which you see on a lot of gaming laptops but the catch over here is the use of 130W TGP.
As you see from the benchmarks this Legion 5i Pro performs very similarly to the Legion 5i with the same Core i7-11800H we tested earlier. However, sometimes due to the aggressive cooling this laptop falls behind weirdly than its brother. Still, it performs very well in most applications and during gaming or work, you will have no issues getting the job done.
Here are some of the 3DMark benchmarks for your reference:
In all of these 3DMark benchmarks, you see the gaming laptop perform as expected, totally sucking the increased TGP of the RTX 3060 and shining with good scores.
Also, talking about the storage performance, the 1TB SSD used here is a PCIe Gen 4 SSD which shows off in the speeds, rocking up to 6474MB/s read and up to 2517MB/s write speeds. Overall, apart from the write speeds, the SSD speed is quite good and is useful for high-end gaming to lower the loading speeds.
In gaming too, this Lenovo Legion 5i Pro acts as a pro giving you good frame rates be it any game that too at QHD thanks to the powerful combo of Intel Core i7-11800H and RTX 3060 you get good numbers across a wide range of modern-day game titles.
Thanks to the 130W TGP of this GPU, you do end up getting high frame rates in all games, pair the DLSS with it, and you will have no issues playing games at QHD max settings. Here are a wide number of benchmarks in modern games:
As you see in gaming both at 1080p and 1440p you will see a very good and similar performance at both resolutions. Be it any game you can expect handsome frame rates with this Legion 5i Pro thanks to its high-end hardware but obviously having a 12th Gen CPU would have helped to gain extra frame rates but would surely come in costly.
Keyboard & Trackpad
Much expectedly, the keyboard experience on any Lenovo laptop is very good and that remains the same on this Legion 5i Pro. The full-size keyboard comes with one of the most comfortable keys to type on and being a white variant you have light-blue backlighting to help you type during the night.
This Legion TrueStrike Keyboard, according to Lenovo, features innovative soft-landing switches that deliver deeper strokes with equal force on every strike. I truly had a great experience both typing my work and gaming with this Lenovo Legion 5i Pro’s keyboard. Talking about the trackpad, it’s also a large one and smooth to use, pretty accurate and easy to use.
I/O & Connectivity
This Lenovo laptop is very carefully designed to tackle the needs of having the ports and you do see a lot of them scattered across different sides of the laptop. You have a Thunderbolt 4 port and the headphone jack on the left-hand side along with a USB-A port on the right.
At the backside of the Legion 5i Pro, you have the maximum number of ports like the RJ-45, a Thunderbolt 4 port, 2 USB Type-A ports, an HDMI 2.1 port, and one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Always on and power delivery. Having two Thunderbolt 4 ports does help especially if you have to hook up multiple displays or do file transfers quite often.
In terms of connectivity, you get both the latest Wi-Fi 6 11ax (2×2) and Bluetooth 5.1 to help you get through your work and gaming. I never faced any connectivity issues or frame drops due to Wi-Fi and I was getting good speeds as expected, also the Bluetooth connection worked very well, making multiple device connections possible.
Thermals & Upgradability
A lot of gaming laptops struggle in this segment but here Lenovo has done the thermal management very well. Because you have thermal outlets at every end of the laptop even during gaming you won’t hear much fan noise and also will not feel any gushing hot air on the right side so that you can comfortably play with your mouse.
I also like the Lenovo Legion AI Engine which has this Auto-Optimization mode that intelligently identifies your game launches and optimizes system performances with dynamic CPU/GPU power distribution. In terms of cooling, the Legion 5i Pro’s Legion Coldfront 3.0 works phenomenally well as your two fans spinning to cool the CPU+GPU.
You can easily control the fan speed and voltage with Q Control 4.0 for that full-throttle flow or to extend battery life, just tap Fn+Q and there will be various modes to help you out. In terms of upgradability, you can extend the usage of the laptop with upgradeable RAM and storage options.
Audio & Webcam
The Lenovo Legion 5i Pro has one of the best audios on a gaming laptop, thanks to the 2x2W HD Stereo Speakers, I enjoyed playing games even without using headphones. Also, you can watch and enjoy movies, and web series even with the laptop’s audio.
The webcam like any other laptop is very similar because you have the same HD 720p webcam with E-camera Shutter, which comes with a Physical kill switch for 100% privacy protection. However, in future, I would like Lenovo to upgrade the webcam to 1080p for better quality output.
Here, using an Intel chip takes a hit as it draws more power during normal work than the efficient AMD chips but if you can bear with it then there’s no problem. However, Lenovo’s optimizations are done quite well to extend battery life as much as 4 hours on average.
So, as you see I used the Legion 5i Pro mostly plugging into the charger but when used for normal work on battery, I was getting around 4-5 hours of battery life. This is a decent amount of battery life if you are considering to work or travel with this gaming beast.
The Lenovo Legion 5i Pro has been made keeping gamers in perspective because Lenovo has focussed on what gamers actually need on a modern gaming laptop. A robust build quality paired with a unique design, high-performance hardware paired with a strong cooling solution along with modern connectivity features is what a gamer demands.
Of course, who will forget the beautiful display Lenovo has put into this gaming laptop, one of the best in the industry right now, not equivalent to those launching this year but still holding its value right away. If you are getting this gaming laptop on a deal, then the Legion 5i Pro still holds good value and has got the basics right to make it recommendable to everyone out there.
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