Lenovo Legion 5i Review

Lenovo’s Legion line of gaming laptops has released a lot of products this year, so many I have already lost count. What I do remember is an upgrade of the Legion Y540, a value-for-money gaming laptop released last year. Lenovo sent us a Legion 5i review unit and it got me excited as I wanted to know what this mainstream gaming laptop can offer for gamers and content creators like myself.

LENOVO LEGION 5I SPECS:

CPU10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H
RAM16GB 2933MHz DDR4
GPUNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
Storage1TB PCIe SSD
Display15.6" Full HD (1920x1080) 120Hz IPS, 100% sRGB
Ports4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ; 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C DisplayPort; 1x HDMI 2.0; RJ45 Ethernet; 1x 3.5mm headphone jack; 1x Kensington lock
ConnectivityWiFi 6 802.11ax; Bluetooth 5.0
Webcam720p
Operating SystemWindows 10
SRPP78,995

THE UNBOXING

The Legion 5i is housed in a big brown box with the large Legion branding on it.

Inside the packaging are the Legion 5i review unit, Legion M300 RGB Gaming Mouse, power brick, charging cable and user manuals.

THE LOOKS AND FEEL

This is the second time I reviewed a Legion-branded gaming laptop so I’m kinda familiar with its looks. It still retains the previous design of the Legion Y540 but I have noticed some improvements with this new laptop. It is still made of plastic but its soft-touch texture on its surface makes it feel like a premium laptop. Usually, laptops in this price range can easily attract fingerprint smudges. This soft-touch texture Lenovo applied on the Legion 5i is not only soothing for me to touch, but it is also somehow prevents smudges from my oily fingers.

The Legion 5i has a thickness of 23.57mm when open and 26.13mm when closed. Definitely not a slim gaming laptop but its unique design somehow makes it appealing for me. Found on this side are the USB 3.1 port and a headphone/microphone combo jack. There is also another USB 3.1 port on the other side. The placements of each USB port is genius! Users can easily attach USB accessories like flash drives or external drives when they need to transfer files right away.

Aside from the slanted design of the laptop, the Legion 5i has an extended back which goes beyond the hinges. This also makes the Legion series unique as they are the only laptop to have a “butt.” It’s a butt you’re going to like because it houses a lot of ports: an RJ45 port, USB Type-C, two more USB 3.1 type-A, HDMI and the power jack.

When I reviewed the Legion Y740 last year, I fell in love with its keyboard. It’s so comfortable to type on even for hours. Since this is quite a large laptop, it was also able to accommodate a numpad on the right. The trackpad seems to be larger now and the two buttons were already removed. Trackpad is also responsive though I still prefer using a gaming mouse whenever I work or play.

While I mentioned that the Legion 5i is mostly made of plastic, I definitely have no issues with its build quality. Nowadays, I prefer smaller laptops but the Legion 5i is still very much portable. I’m able to bring it to the office, studio and the occasional coffee shop trips. It doesn’t look like a gaming laptop at all. In fact, it looks more like an enterprise laptop which should fool visitors into thinking that people using the 5i are working when they are actually playing.

THE DISPLAY

The Legion 5i has different variants with and the unit we received comes with a 15.6″ Full HD resolution display with 144Hz refresh rate. If you need something faster, there’s also a 240Hz refresh rate available. The Legion 5i is using IPS display which is brighter and has better color reproduction. The 144Hz refresh rate does its job whenever I play fast-paced FPS games on the 5i.

Despite the slim bezels, Lenovo still managed to cram a 720p webcam on top of the screen. I’m glad they moved it back to the top because the previous placement at the bottom of the display isn’t really ideal for users, especially nowadays people use the webcam for video conference calls. When I reviewed the previous Legion laptop and turned on the webcam, the first thing I saw on the screen were my nostrils. Also, because Lenovo values the security of its users, the webcam has a slider so nobody can remotely snoop on you.

THE PERFORMANCE

The Legion 5i is equipped with the latest Intel 10th Gen Core i7-10750H processor and is supported by an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU. This is my ideal configuration for a gaming laptop so I went ahead and did some benchmark tests. Here are the results:

I have only reviewed a couple of gaming laptops this year with similar specs, but I could say that the 10th Gen i7 processor fared better in PCMark 10 compared to the 9th Gen i7 processor of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502G several months ago. The Graphics benchmarks show that the Legion 5i’s RTX 2060 is better than the ROG Zephyrus G14‘s RTX 2060 with Max-Q design which again proves that the traditional Pascal-powered laptop has better performance.

I have mentioned earlier that nowadays I prefer smaller laptops but this Legion 5i review unit somehow made me love big 15-inch gaming laptops again. The screen is big and bright and the bezels are very slim they aren’t annoying to look at. The keyboard really works great in gaming and it doesn’t get hot even during hours of gameplay. Speakers, thanks to the Harman Kardon speaker system is loud enough so I don’t have to use my gaming headphones whenever I play.

Framerates are pretty good with the Legion 5i. I averaged 112 fps on Epic settings and an average of 127 fps on VALORANT. Basically, it’s very much capable to handle all the latest AAA games in the market. And since it has RTX GeForce 2060 as its GPU, you can enjoy playing games on the 5i with real time ray tracing.

Another thing I loved about the Legion 5i is its thermals. Lenovo is proud of its Coldfront 2.0 thermals so I made sure to check if the laptop would stay cool during gameplays. True enough, it stayed cool and would register 75 degrees Celsius as the highest. On my current gaming laptop as well as other gaming laptops I reviewed, I would average 80 degrees Celsius. The Legion 5i stayed cool even on performance mode though I noticed the fans to be louder, which is not really an issue for me.

THE BATTERY LIFE

As always, I do not expect to have a decent battery life in a gaming laptop, but I need it for those times when I need to do some work in a remote area that doesn’t have a power outlet. The Legion 5i unexpectedly gave me 5 hours of uptime unplugged. Not bad if you ask me. The power brick is kinda bulky and it’s a chore to bring whenever I needed to bring my gear elsewhere.

DR’S CONCLUSION

While I have my eyes set on another smaller gaming laptop, this Legion 5i review might make me change my mind. Its build quality, processor and GPU performance, thermal performance and quite decent battery life meet my needs. This variant I’m reviewing has an SRP of P78,995 – much, much less than what I wanted to buy. The other variants with lower specs would definitely cost cheaper!

Having said this, I am including the Legion 5i as my potential next laptop. Not my ideal size, but it provides everything I mostly need in a work/gaming laptop.

PROS:

  • Good build quality.
  • Soft-Touch texture gives a premium feel
  • Excellent cooling system
  • Quite Decent Battery Life
  • Competitive Price

CONS:

  • Quite thick
  • Power brick is too large

More information about the Lenovo Legion 5i can be found HERE.

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