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Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review: AMD and Nvidia in harmony

Lenovo's Legion 5 Pro gaming laptop delivers massive performance at a reasonable price

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Laptop Mag)

Our Verdict

Lenovo's Legion 5 Pro is a great gaming laptop with a bright 16-inch QHD display, a fantastic keyboard, and speedy performance by way of an unlikely AMD and Nvidia pairing.

For

  • Bright 16-inch, QHD 165Hz display
  • Fantastic keyboard with numpad
  • Excellent productivity and gaming performance
  • Solid battery life
  • Comprehensive port selection

Against

  • Bland and heavy chassis
  • Only four-zone RGB
  • Runs warm
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro specs

Price: $1,529
CPU: Ryzen 7 5800H CPU
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 16-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel
Battery: 6:16
Size: 14 x 10.4 x 1.1 inches
Weight: 5.4 pounds

Wouldn't the world be great if we could all just work together? Enemies could be allies, foes could be friends. Lenovo's Legion 5 Pro proves what's possible when two opposing forces come together for the greater good. Those forces are AMD and Nvidia, and the greater good is the gaming community. Armed with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800 CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics, the Legion 5 Pro gives gamers the power they need to run the latest AAA titles at Ultra graphics settings. 

Stellar performance doesn't tell the full tale. Seemingly inspired by its business-focused ThinkPad relatives, the Legion 5 Pro flaunts one of the best keyboards I've ever used. Paired with a comfortable typing experience is a bright and vivid 16-inch display, a generous selection of ports and decent battery life. Best of all, the Legion 5 Pro is priced aggressively at $1,529. The laptop's bland and thick chassis means it won't satisfy mobile gamers, but for everyone else, the Legion 5 Pro is among the best gaming laptops available today. 

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro price and configuration options 

Pricing varies depending on the retailer. For $1,529 (at Walmart), our review unit comes with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU with 8GB of vRAM. 

Lenovo's website has some odd pricing schemes. For $1,699, you can get the Legion 5 Pro with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, 16GB of RAM, a "1TB SSD + 1TB SSD" and an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU with 6GB of vRAM. There is also a $1,959 edition with the same specs but an RTX 3070 GPU. Lastly, there is a 32GB of RAM model with an RTX 3070, but the price is not set. 

If you're looking for something less expensive, see our best cheap gaming laptops rankings. 

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro design 

Simple and straightforward, the Legion 5 Pro strips the chassis down to the essentials and lets you focus on what matters. 

The Legion 5 Pro isn't an attractive laptop, but what it trades in beauty is gained in utility. The generic chassis has a bland gray color and the only regalia is an illuminated Y-shaped Legion logo centered on the aluminum lid. An RGB glow on the four-zone keyboard gives a pleasing light show, but this isn't the same fireworks display you get from per-key RGB lighting. Centered on the deck is an LED-illuminated power button and Lenovo's customary T-shirt-tag branding hides discreetly on the palm rest and rear spine.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Practical, if not pretty, the Legion 5 Pro flaunts thin display bezels that keep your eyes focused on gameplay, and boasts a large keyboard and trackpad to ensure you bring down your enemies before they get the better of you. Everyday conveniences include a lip on the front edge for easily opening the lid with one finger and a webcam kill switch to ensure your privacy. 

Flip the laptop over and you'll spot large rubber bumpers providing plenty of clearance so air can flow freely once pushed outward by the quad vents. Those giant fans flank the I/O on each end of the Legion 5 Pro's spine, making the rear of the laptop reminiscent of a DeLorean.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The Legion 5 Pro feels robust — and its hefty weight is only partially to blame. The dual hinges are stiff and there is certain rigidity to the construction. Oh, about the weight. At 5.4 pounds and 14 x 10.4 x 1.1 inches, the Legion 5 Pro is heavier than the Razer Blade 15 Base Edition (4.6 pounds, 14 x 9.3 x 0.8 inches), but weighs less than the Acer Predator Helios 300 (5.5 pounds, 14.3 x 10 x 0.9 inches) and the Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition (6.6 pounds, 13.9 x 10.2  x 1 inches). 

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro ports 

Left, right and center, various ports lining the Legion 5 Pro let you connect peripherals and enjoy the fastest internet speeds.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

On the left side is a USB 3.2 Type-C input for power delivery and data transfer alongside a headphone/mic jack. Move to the right side and you'll find a convenient USB 3.2 Type-A port for connecting wired peripherals.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Most ports reside on the spine. There, you can access an RJ-45 Ethernet jack, another USB 3.2 Type-C port (with Power Delivery), three additional USB 3.2 Type-A inputs, an HDMI 2.1 and Lenovo's proprietary power input. 

This being an AMD-powered notebook, the Legion 5 Pro lacks Thunderbolt 4 support for the quickest transfer speeds and connections to multiple 4K monitors. If you need more ports, see our best USB Type-C hubs and best laptop docking stations pages. 

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro display 

It turns out 16 is the new 15 — I don't mean age, I'm talking about display sizes. The adoption of thin display bezels across the industry is disrupting norms; now 16-inch panels fit in 15.6-inch frames, giving users a larger, more engrossing canvas for watching movies. Or, in the case of the Legion 5 Pro, sniping an enemy across the map when playing an FPS.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Digging into the specs, the Legion 5 Pro has a 16-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel IPS display with a 165Hz refresh rate and 16:10 aspect ratio. The panel sounds great on paper and passed the eye test when I watched a trailer for Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Watching the clip on the Legion got me excited for this action movie; colors were vibrant and the bright matte panel effectively squashed reflections. The screen was detailed enough for me to see individual threads in the ninja-yoroi (ninja outfit) as well as water droplets hovering in the air of a dojo. Colors didn't pop off the screen in part because of the matte finish, but hues looked natural and vivid enough. 

The vibrant panel made my elven outfit in Middle-earth: Shadow of War appear as if it were constructed of precious stone and rare fabric. My golden chest plate glistened as the rain gave way to sunlight and the teal accents in my tunic popped against the olive green base layer. I'm not usually one for gore, but there was something satisfying about seeing bright red pools left behind after a merciless battle against the slave-owning Uruk-hai. 

According to our colorimeter, the Legion 5 Pro's display covers 82% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, making it more vivid than those on the Predator Helios 300 (74%), the ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition (77%) and the category average (67%). Only the Blade 15 Base Model (87%) has a more impressive panel in this price range. 

Capable of reaching 472 nits of brightness, the Legion 5 Pro outshone its competitors, including the Predator Helios 300 (283 nits), ROG Strix G15 (280 nits), Blade 15 Base (271 nits) and the category average (287 nits). 

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro keyboard and touchpad 

Close your eyes and you might guess this keyboard belongs to a ThinkPad. It has that oh-so-satisfying tactile bump that rewards your digits for completing a full keypress. Lenovo calls this the TrueStrike keyboard and it gives gamers deep key travel with 100% anti-ghosting support. The excellent actuation was achieved by increasing the aperture of each key in the baseplate for a larger area of shock absorption.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

There are a few other highlights with this keyboard, though they feel somewhat half-baked. The first is optional RGB lighting that is limited to four zones; per-key illumination would have provided the spectacle that's lacking from the Legion 5 Pro design. The other feature is a full numpad crammed into the right side of the keyboard. It's a useful perk for quickly typing numbers, but the keys are so small that I only had room for one-finger typing instead of putting three fingers on the 4, 5 and 6 keys.

I typed at 116 words per minute with a 94% accuracy on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, outpacing my usual 109-wpm with a 5% error rate.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The 4.7 x 3-inch touchpad is large and responsive. My fingers glided across the smooth surface as I scrolled through web pages while a subtle texture gave my fingertips slight feedback. Executing Windows 10 gestures was a cinch; two-finger swipes to zoom in and out and three-finger movements to change programs were instant. 

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro audio 

Dual speakers flanking the Legion 5 Pro's deck produce balanced sound, but lack presence. Listening to Poolside's "Can't Stop Your Lovin'," the vocals were recessed, revealing the drawbacks of the speaker's bottom-firing orientation. It's a shame because the drivers get loud enough to fill a large room, and never showed signs of distorting, even at the loudest volume. Better yet, the fun bass thud the Legion 5 Pro output made my heel instinctively tap the floor with every drum hit.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The speakers adequately captured the sounds of J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy universe when I played Middle-earth: Shadow of War. My sword made a satisfying slicing "chink" when I buried into the shoulder of a foe, and there was enough detail for me to hear my bowstring tightening as I locked on to a nasty orc. Most importantly, turning the volume to 80% drowned out the loud fan hiss.

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro gaming, graphics and VR 

Equipped with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM, the Legion 5 Pro has no problems playing the latest games at high frame rates even when set to Ultra graphics settings. In fact, I played Middle-earth: Shadow of War at a steady 80 frames per second. It never dropped below 70 fps even during an action-packed fight against two dozen Orcs. 

In our benchmarks, the Legion 5 Pro played Assassin's Creed Odyssey (1080p) at 64 fps, topping the ROG Strix G15 (49 fps) and matching the Razer Blade 15 Base Edition (64 fps). Only the Predator Helios 300 (68 fps) beat the Lenovo, which also surpassed the 51-fps average.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Action-adventure fans will appreciate the 80 fps the Legion 5 Pro hit on the Shadow of the Tomb Raider (1080p) benchmark. It falls below what the Predator Helios (86 fps) and ROG Strix G15 (88 fps) achieved, but ran smoother than the Blade 15 (78 fps) and the average (62 fps). 

The Legion 5 Pro stumbled on the Grand Theft Auto V (1080p, Very high) benchmark, playing the game at 84 fps, several frames below the Predator Helios 300 (103 fps), ROG Strix G15 (98 fps) and the Blade 15 Base Model (96 fps). It did breach the 72-fps average. 

You can saddle up in Red Dead Redemption 2 because the Legion 5 Pro played the critically acclaimed western at 66 fps, a notch below the Predator Helios 300 (69 fps) and ROG Strix (70 fps) but ahead of the Blade 15 (64 fps) and the average (50 fps). 

And finally, in anticipation of Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, the Legion 5 Pro ran Borderlands 3 at 80 fps. This time, it took the first place prize ahead of the Predator Helios 300 (77 fps), ROG Strix G15 (79 fps), Blade 15 Base (67 fps) and the average (57 fps).

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro performance 

Armed with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU and 16GB of RAM, the Legion 5 Pro demonstrates the mouthwatering potential of AMD's new 5000-series chips. 

I did all I could to find the upper limits of the Legion 5 Pro's performance, but every task I ran was chewed up and spat right back out. I loaded 32 Microsoft Edge tabs, four of which played 1080p YouTube videos and a pair were streaming Twitch. With those going in the background, the Legion 5 Pro instantly loaded my favorite websites. I then streamed the Denmark vs. Belgium Euro 2020 match as my last trick, but the Legion stifled even that attempt to slow it down.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Continuing the trend set by other AMD-powered laptops, the Legion 5 Pro aced our performance benchmarks. Starting with the Geekbench 5.4 overall performance test, the Legion 5 Pro scored a 7,342, taking down the Predator Helios 300 (6,257, Intel Core i7-10750H), Blade 15 (Intel Core i7-10750H, 5,564) and the mainstream gaming laptop average (5,263). It took the ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition with a Ryzen 9 5900HX (7,746) to stop it in its tracks. 

We saw similar results in our video transcoding test. The Legion 5 Pro converted a 4K video to 1080p resolution using the Handbrake app in just 7 minutes and 6 seconds. Its Intel-powered rivals, the Predator Helios 300 (9:18) and Blade 15 (10:57), needed more time. Again, the ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition (6:57) got the better of the Lenovo. 

Tired of being second best, the Legion 5 Pro, with its 512GB PCIe SSD, sped past the others in our storage test by duplicating 25GB of multimedia files in 32 seconds for an 832.7 megabytes per second transfer rate. The Predator Helios 300 (544 MBps), ROG Strix G15 (340.7 MBps, 1TB NVMe SSD), and Blade 15 (602 MBps, 512GB SSD) lagged behind. 

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro battery life 

It may not break any records, but the Legion 5 Pro enduring for 6 hours and 16 minutes on the Laptop Mag battery life deserves subdued applause and finger snaps — just not a roaring cheer.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

In comparison, the ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition flexed the efficiency of its AMD CPU better by lasting for 10 hours and 14 minutes on a charge. The Legion 5 Pro did, at least, top the Predator Helios 300 (4:40) and Razer Blade 15 (4:36). A slightly larger battery and it might have reached the 6:29 average.

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro webcam 

"It's a good thing I have a microfiber cloth on hand because this webcam is smudgy," I foolishly thought as I stared at the blurry photo I'd just snapped on the Legion 5 Pro. Wait a second. Why isn't the image quality improving as I wipe the lens? The answer is not one you want to hear — it's because the 720p webcam just isn't good. My face looked like an impressionist painting, my smeared skin appearing smoother than any expensive cream could ever get it to look. Also, my dark green shirt was an unpleasant olive — as if it were the first shirt issued to me after joining the Army. 

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Want to gain Twitch subscribers or impress your boss on the next video call? Check out our best webcams page. 

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro heat 

Uh oh, the Legion 5 Pro has a toasty rear-end despite flaunting quad exhaust vents. Even in our non-gaming test (playing a 15-minute 1080p video), the underside hit 103 degrees Fahrenheit, above our 95-degree comfort threshold. When we gamed on the notebook for 15 minutes, that same location reached a concerning temperature of 132 degrees. 

Thankfully, your fingers will be mercifully spared from the excess heat as the touchpad and keyboard maintained 79 degrees and 94 degrees, respectively, on the video test. When gaming, the touchpad was even cooler at 74 degrees but the keyboard jumped to 102 degrees.

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro software and warranty 

Lenovo Vantage is the go-to software for tinkering with performance, cooling and optimizing apps. It's a beautiful program with large graphics and an easy-to-use interface. You're immediately shown CPU, GPU and vRAM performance along with remaining storage space. From there, you can adjust thermal modes or enable Network Boost, Auto Close, or Hybrid Mode (use both integrated and discrete graphics), among other settings.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

You can also use Vantage to perform a hardware scan and within the app are tools for system updates, key macros, lighting profiles, power management. Also installed on the Legion 5 Pro are Radeon graphics software and two Nahimic apps for altering the sound. Lastly, an X-Rite Color Assistant for switching between display profiles.

Lenovo shops the Legion 5 Pro with a one-year warranty. See how Lenovo fared on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands special reports. 

Bottom line 

From ThinkPads to Yogas, Lenovo has earned a reputation for making quality laptops. It's why the company sells more notebooks than any other brand. However, gaming is one segment where Lenovo lags behind some of its rivals. The Legion 5 Pro has convinced me that it could change that. Yes, the design is bland, but Lenovo's other wildly popular products are successful because they address function before form — much like the Legion 5 Pro. 

What it lacks in flashy aesthetics, it makes up for with a gorgeous 16-inch QHD display, an exceptional keyboard and touchpad, plenty of ports, and outstanding performance from the one-two punch of an AMD CPU and Nvidia GPU. And despite harnessing so much power, the Legion 5 Pro delivers respectable battery life. 

The Legion does get a yellow card caution for some warm temps under a heavy load and it's a hefty rig compared to sleeker rivals. If you're looking for something more travel-friendly, consider the 4.2-pound Asus ROG Zephyrus G15. Otherwise, the Legion 5 Pro is an excellent option for gamers who want the best performance for the price.