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Lenovo Legion 5i Gaming Laptop Review: An All-Round Performer
Blending a high-performance CPU, GPU, and a high refresh rate display has become the winning formula for making a modern gaming laptop. On paper, it might look like an easy process; however, optimizing all these parts to get the best possible performance without overheating and offering a sustained peak performance is pretty challenging.
- Excellent build quality
- Stays cool even with continues gaming
- Physical camera shutter
- No biometric authentication option
- Lower video memory
Lenovo is a brand we usually associate with thin-and-light laptops and office laptops like the ThinkPad. Besides, the company has been making high-end gaming laptops for the past few years under the Legion branding.
The Legion line of laptops competes with the likes of the Acer Predator, Alienware, and Asus ROG series of gaming laptops. I have been testing one of the recently launched Legion laptops -- the Lenovo Legion 5i, powered by the Intel Core i7 10750H and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card, and here is the full review.
Lenovo Legion 5i Specifications
- CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H(12M Cache)
- BIOS: EFCN33WW
- Display: 15.6-inch IPS FHD 1920x1080, 120Hz
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650Ti, 4GB GDDR6
- Memory: 16GB DDR4-2933
- Storage: WDC PC SN730, SDBPNTY-512G
- Battery: 60 Whr
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit
Comes In Multiple Configurations
You can get a Lenovo Legion 5i with multiple configurations. The base model with the 10th Gen Intel Core i5 and NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti costs Rs. 73,990. We are reviewing the fully-loaded model with the 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H, which has been used on most of the high-end gaming laptops of 2020 with GTX 1650 Ti GPU along with 16GB RAM and a dual-drive storage solution, which retails for Rs. 102,990.
Considering the pricing, the Lenovo Legion 5i can be considered as a mid-range gaming laptop, capable of handling most games at 1080p resolution. On top of that, Lenovo India also allows you to configure the Legion 5i, and one can make a gaming laptop that specifically works for them.
Lenovo Legion 5i Design: Best-In-Class
Lenovo Legion 5i is easily one of the best-built gaming laptops in its class. The laptop has a top metal lid, and the rest of the machine is made using a good quality plastic with a matte finish, which feels soft to the touch.
I have seen other gaming laptops with the plastic build quality, and none of them even comes close to the Legion 5i. The overall design of the laptop is in such a way that, unlike some of the gaming laptops, it is not too flash, which is a great thing. I am not a huge fan of RGB lighting, and I am just grateful that the Legion 5i doesn't have any.
The I/O implementation on the Legion 5i is one of the best in any gaming laptop. Just like some of the high-end Alienware laptops, the Legion 5i also has a single USB-A port on either side and the rest of the ports are located at the back of the laptop.
Hence, no matter how many ports you use, the laptop will have a cleaner look. The side USB-A ports are also important to use an external mouse or any other USB peripherals. I also liked the minimalist Lenovo and the gaming-centric Legion branding on this device.
When it comes to size, the Legion 5i is definitely not the lightest and thinnest gaming laptop. However, it does feel sturdy and gives a premium feel while using this machine. This is definitely a testament that a gaming laptop with a plastic build can also look premium.
Lenovo Legion 5i Display: High Refresh Rate With Low Brightness
The Lenovo Legion like most gaming laptops has a 15.6-inch IPS LCD screen with 1920 x 1080p resolution. It has a glossy finish, which reduces light reflection. This is a 120Hz refresh rate panel. However, there is no option to tone down the refresh rate to 60Hz, which is strange.
One of the caveats of this panel is that the peak brightness is limited to 250nits. This won't be an issue if you are working in a room with a closed environment. However, if you carry this outdoors, the lack of higher brightness levels will make the display look.
In terms of color reproduction, the display does look vibrant, and gamers should not have any issues. However, if you are into watching movies and tv shows, then, this might not be the right choice, as there are gaming laptops like the Dell G5 5500 that offer both a higher refresh rate and higher brightness level and cost as much as the Legion 5i.
Including a lower brightness panel seems like a cost-cutting decision. Just like every mid-range gaming laptop, Legion 5i cuts a few corners to meet the specified budget. Overall, the higher refresh rate display is great for those, who are into FPS and battle royale titles, and this machine can actually offer a 120fps frame rate on select titles.
Lenovo Legion 5i: Keyboard And Trackpad
The keyboard on the Legion 5i is similar to the keyboards found on the ThinkBook lineup laptops. This is a tried-and-test keyboard that offers good travel and key feedback. On top of that, this is also an excellent laptop, for those writers like me, who spend hours on laptops writing news and reviews.
The keyboard also has a dedicated numpad, and it is backlit, although, unlike some of the laptops, it just has monochrome backlighting with variable brightness levels. The same goes for the trackpad as well, the trackpad on the Legion 5i is as good as any of the gaming laptops, and it works great for normal tasks, and one definitely needs an external mouse for gaming.
Lenovo Legion 5i Web Camera
Legion 5i has a 720p web camera at the front, with an LED indicator. There is also a physical shutter, which is great for privacy-conscious users. Though it works well for video conference, I would have liked to see a 1080p camera for improved visual clarity. The camera can also be used for game streaming without any issue.
Lenovo Legion 5i CPU Performance
The Lenovo Legion 5i is powered by the 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H with 45W TDP. This is one of the first mobile CPUs that can reach up to 5.0GHz and has six CPU cores and 12 CPU threads and is based on 14nm fabrication, which is not as efficient as the Ryzen 4800H based on 7nm fabrication.
On Geekbench 5, the laptop scored 1207 points on single-core CPU performance and 5274 points on multi-core CPU performance. On CPU-Z, the laptop posted 448.1 points on single-core and 3123.8 points on multi-core CPU performance.
On Cinebench R23, the CPU scored 1146 points on single-core and 6240 points on multi-core CPU performance with a multi-core performance ratio of 5.41x.
According to the Lenovo Vantage app, the CPU offered an average clock speed of 4.25GHz while running a single-core benchmark, and the average clock speed was 3.1GHz while running the benchmark in the multi-core mode.
These benchmarks indicate that the Intel Core i7-10750H is an excellent CPU when it comes to both single-core and multi-core performance. In fact, both the single-core and multi-core performance of the Core i7-10750H is slightly better than the Ryzen 7 4800H powering the Asus TUF A15. However, it is not as efficient as Ryzen 7 mobile CPU.
Lenovo Legion 5i GPU Performance
The Legion 5i comes with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU with 4GB GDDR6 video memory. This graphics card can easily handle 1080p gaming without any issue, especially when combined with the Intel Core i7-10750H.
We ran the Final Fantasy XV gaming benchmark tool at 1080p resolution with medium and highest graphics settings. When the graphics quality is set to medium, the laptop was able to offer 60fps. While running the benchmark with the highest graphics settings, the laptop offered an average fps of 40.
We got slightly better results with the GTA: V, where the average FPS was around 70, and the game did look smooth while playing without any frame drop. These two results indicate that the Legion 5i is a laptop, capable of handling 1080p gaming, and can easily offer 60fps gameplay when the graphics quality is set to medium.
According to the MSI Afterburner app, while running the Final Fantasy XV game, the CPU usage was around 55 percent, while the GPU usage was around 98 percent at all the time. On top of that, the CPU temperature was hovering around 85 to 92 degrees, and I could hear the fans spin.
These points indicate that the Intel Core i7 10750H is a more than capable CPU to handle gaming. However, the GPU, especially with just 4GB video is the bottleneck, when it comes to performance.
The Legion 5i with the 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor and the GTX 1650 or the GTX 1650 Ti should offer similar gaming performance at a much lower price tag. When it comes to tasks like video editing, the extra CPU performance will make this a better machine.
Lenovo Legion 5i Battery Life
Unlike thin-and-light notebooks, gaming laptops do not claim all-day battery life. In fact, even if you use the Legion 5i in quiet mode, it can only last over 3 hours. On top of that, the laptop has to be connected to the power adapter to get the best possible CPU and GPU performance.
The laptop comes with a 170W power adapter with a proprietary connector with support for fast charging. Besides, the laptop can also be used to charge smartphones and accessories via the USB Type-C or the USB-A port.
The Lenovo Legion 5i is a good gaming laptop for those who want a machine to play games and work on CPU-intensive tasks like video editing. It has an excellent CPU; however, the GPU does bottleneck the performance of this machine due to the limited video memory.
Even while running CPU/GPU intensive benchmarks and games, the laptop was cool to the touch, especially the top portion. Though I could hear the fans spinning, this is definitely one of the quietest laptops even in the performance mode.
If you are looking for a well-built laptop with a great keyboard, display, and extensive I/O options, the Legion 5i with the Intel Core i7 10750H is an excellent choice. If you want a laptop for gaming and casual usage, I would suggest the Legion 5i with the 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, which is at least Rs. 15,000 cheaper than this, and can offer similar gaming performance.