Lenovo Legion 5 AMD review: A good gaming laptop that does not cost much
The differences between gaming desktops and gaming laptops are significant, but seldom, portability takes the dominance. That is the biggest reason why gaming laptops exist, and a large fraction of gamers love them. Lenovo’s family of Legion laptops is among the popular ones that PC gamers often consider. In the past, we have seen some amazing Legion machines, such as Legion 7i, that are a treat for gamers. The Lenovo Legion 5 is a variant of the Legion 5i that uses an Intel chipset. With Legion 5, Lenovo is also looking at the AMD-loving crowd. And it is also what I am reviewing today.
The Legion 5 rocks a six-core AMD Ryzen 5 4600H chipset with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti discrete graphics inside. That is the biggest change you will see in this version over the one with the 10th-generation Intel Core chipsets. Make no mistake, the Legion 5 AMD is not a high-end gaming machine. It is more of a mid-tier laptop with dedicated gaming features and, of course, the accompanying heft. But because the hardware on this laptop is still among the best in its price category, the Legion 5 doubles as a laptop suitable for work. The laptop was launched at Rs 79,990, but it is now selling for around Rs 75,000 on some online websites. Let us find out if it is worth your money.
Lenovo Legion 5 specifications
Display: 15.6-inch Full-HD IPS display with 120Hz refresh rate with HDR and Dolby Vision.
CPU: Hexa-core AMD Ryzen 5 4600H chipset at 3.0GHz clock speed with 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 1TB 5400 HDD, and 256GB PCIe SSD.
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650Ti with 4GB dedicated memory.
Weight: 2.5 kilograms
Extras: Backlit keyboard, Dolby Atmos for Gaming, Rapid Charge, Network Boost, Harman-tuned speakers.
Lenovo Legion 5 review: Design meant for gamers
If you have seen some recent Legion laptops, you will be quick to recognise the pattern here. The Legion 5 AMD has a huge base that extends beyond the hinge that refracts light. This hinge is full of connectivity ports that you can access from the backside of the laptop. You have a USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 port, three USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 ports, a USB-C 3.1 with DisplayPort, an HDMI 2.0 port, an RJ45 ethernet port, a microphone and a headphone combo, a Kensington lock slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Some of these ports are on the left and side edges of the laptop, but most of them are on the back. The USB-C port does not support Thunderbolt 3 and cannot be used for charging, but you have a separate AC power port on the back.
The Lenovo logo on the front side of the lid and on its opposite side is where you will see the Legion engraved on the surface. When light strikes this part, you can see rainbow colours. Although I am not a fan of such loud design choices, I can give it a pass because, as a gaming laptop, it is supposed to be over the top. Lenovo has used something called “durable anti-smudge polymer talcum-injected materials”, which is a geeky term for a matte finish on the laptop. And though it imparts great looks to the laptop, it leaves it prone to fingerprints and smudges. After one or two hours of using or carrying the laptop, you will see a dirty laptop—my advice: carry a surface cleaner and a soft cloth.
On the inside, you have the display with very thin bezels on three sides, but a larger one on the bottom that also has “Legion” written in the centre. You can see the broad hinges just below the lid. I think they go with the overall theme of a gaming laptop here. The keypad sits on a level below the surface of the bottom platform, which I found quite convenient. I will talk about how the keyboard is a bit later.
Although it is a laptop, it weighs a little more than conventional ones. At 2.5kg, it is not the lightest gaming laptop on the market, but it is not too unwieldy. It is a gaming laptop, and it is supposed to be a bit less portable. There is also a heavy charger that you will have to carry around in your bag along with the Legion 5, so pack wisely. I like this design, even though it has got a bit stale now. This is a gaming laptop, and the design screams that from all angles. The build quality of this laptop is good, and you will be surprised to know that it is all plastic.
Lenovo Legion 5 AMD review: Good display and hassle-free keyboard
Gaming laptops usually have the best specifications in all hardware categories. Perhaps, one of the important ones is the display. Lenovo’s Legion 5 gets its display specifications right — at least with regards to the price.
There is a 15.6-inch IPS display with 1920×1080 resolution, support for HDR, 100 per cent sRGB, and 300 nits of brightness. This is not the best display specification for a gaming laptop, but still good enough for most. The display shows sharp and vivid colours that you will admire when playing games. Of course, the 120Hz refresh rate has a major role in enhancing gaming. And besides that, everything else, such as scrolling through websites or swiping between Windows desktop profiles, looks super smooth. The brightness is good indoors, and in case you have a light falling right on display, the anti-glare layer becomes useful.
Right above the display is a 720p webcam on the top bezel. With the increased use of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, having a good webcam is a top priority for people buying laptops today. Lenovo’s Legion 5 does not meet those standards. The video from this webcam is of low quality. You may end up buying a separate webcam for video calls if quality matters to you the most.
Lenovo has packed its TrueStrike keyboard on the Legion 5 AMD, as well. It is one of the easiest keyboard designs that I have come across. The key-travel is only 1.5mm, which makes the keyboard good for typing. I have written many stories on this laptop without a fuss. This keyboard is backlit, but there is just a white light making the keys visible, unlike other gaming laptops that come with RGB lighting. Most Legion laptops have RGB backlit keyboards, so I am not sure why Lenovo thought of going with the white one for a gaming laptop. The touchpad below it is large enough to perform Windows 10 gestures and responds quickly.
Lenovo Legion 5 AMD review: Flair for good gaming
The primary reason why you would buy the Lenovo Legion 5 AMD is gaming. The hardware is top-notch, so it is a given I threw some of the heaviest and graphics-intensive games at the Legion 5.
I played Call of Duty Warzone, Forza Horizon 4, and Hitman 3 on Legion 5. Each game took some time to boot, but once opened, I could navigate with ease. Yes, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650Ti is an entry-level GPU, which is why I had to tone down the graphics settings on most games eventually. But this was after I realised the laptop was getting dangerously toasty with only a 15-minute session of Hitman 3 at maximum graphics. The refresh rate makes the experience better, but you will have to make a choice between going for the highest possible graphics and keeping the laptop cool.
What I want you to keep in mind is that Legion 5 is actually impressive when it comes to gaming, as long as you do not crank up that graphics quality bar.
With that kind of hardware, it is no doubt a good machine to do your daily job. Even with 15 Chrome tabs open, the laptop did not make a noise, and that tells it is good enough for a journalist’s work. For others, such as coders, the laptop will still serve you well. But creators, you guys will need to make an educated decision. It is not the fastest machine for your video rendering sessions, but it will still get the job done pretty fast.
The Lenovo Legion 5 AMD runs Windows 10 with all-new features, including exclusive ones from the company, such as Lenovo Vantage. The speakers, tuned by Harman, are pretty loud, making gaming and watching movies on the laptop enjoyable. There is support for Dolby Atmos with headphones, but I did not find myself using them much.
Lenovo Legion 5 AMD review: Average battery
If there is one thing I wish could have been better, then that is the battery. Lenovo claims the 80Wh battery on the Legion 5 AMD can deliver up to 8 hours of life. That is nearly double what I was getting with maxed-out settings. A fully-charged battery would last about 4-4.5 hours with a continuous Wi-Fi connection, the Chrome browser running with 6-10 tabs and around 45 minutes of playing Call of Duty Warzone. The 4-hour battery life is also what you mostly get on gaming laptops, but Lenovo could have done a bit better. There is Rapid Charge on the laptop that delivers power at 170W using the bundled (and hefty) charger.
Lenovo Legion 5 AMD review: Should you buy?
With Legion 5 AMD, Lenovo is trying to woo customers who are not mad about gaming but still want to indulge in some after a long working day. This is also the crowd that knows the nuances of advanced PC gaming but keeps it down in comparison with some avid gamers. For the price of around Rs 75,000, the Legion 5 AMD is one of the best laptops you can get for a casual yet fulfilling gaming experience while making the most of its productivity features. It is also more or less the same in terms of performance as the Legion 5i.
Lenovo Legion 5 AMD review
- Impressive performance
- Good display
- Good speakers