In the world of gaming laptops, the Lenovo’s Legion devices have always been a solid option for gamers who want to get a lot of performance but do not want to spend too much money. The latest 2022 model of the Legion 5i is one such laptop, powered by Intel’s latest 12th gen Core processors and NVIDIA 30-series GPUs. Read on for our review of the laptop.
Design and build
The design language of Lenovo’s Legion laptops have evolved over the years. The result of that evolution is a well-designed laptop that looks great and is very functional at the same time. It is simple and clean with no extra frills. Like previous Legion laptops, behind the lid there is an extra lip that houses many of the laptop’s I/O along with vents for cooling.
Lenovo has labelled the rear-facing ports clearly, so plugging in stuff is a lot easier, too. The laptop’s external surfaces are mostly plain, except for a couple of “Lenovo” and “Legion” logos. The surfaces feel smooth to the touch, and they do a pretty good job of hiding fingerprints.
The chassis feels impressively solid, and the lid is made out of anodized aluminium. I wouldn’t necessarily describe the laptop as sleek, but it is not that thick either. Both the chassis flex and lid flex are minimal. The tension on the hinge is excellent and the fact that it can extend up to a 180° is neat. Overall, the construction is top-notch.
Display and Audio
Our model of the Legion 5i is equipped with a 15.6-inch WQHD IPS panel with a maximum refresh rate of 165Hz and a resolution of 2560 x 1440. The maximum brightness is 300 nits, which is good enough for indoor use, and it supports Dolby Vision. Viewing angles are good, which is in large part due to the IPS panel tech and the anti-glare coating. There is support for overdrive, which can bring down the response time to 3ms. To eliminate tearing, the panel also supports G-Sync technology.
Although it is matte display, the vibrancy, the black levels and the contrast look alright. The panel is rated to cover 100% of the sRGB colour space and I did like how the colours looked in games.
For audio, there are 2 x 2W speakers that perform decently. The maximum volume levels are average with no distortion and the bass is not too weak. I wouldn’t mind using it for casual content viewing, however for gaming and watching movies, I would recommend plugging in headphones. The Legion 5i also comes with their Nahimic 3D audio technology, which can simulate a surround sound experience in games and videos.
Performance and thermals
Performance is one of the best parts of the Lenovo Legion 5i. It is powered by Intel’s latest 12th gen Core processors paired with NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs. Our model is equipped with an Intel Core i7-12700H and an NVIDIA RTX 3060 Laptop GPU. Along with this, it has 32GB of DDR5 4800MHz RAM and a 1 TB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 SSD for storage. (Note: In India, the laptop can only be spec-ed to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, however it does not affect performance in games by a noticeable amount)
The Core i7-12700H is a 14 core processor with 6 high performance cores and 8 efficient cores. The CPU is based on Intel’s Alder Lake architecture and is built using the Intel 7 process node. This chip is great for both gaming and productivity applications, and is just a step below the Core i9-12900H. The RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, which is based on NVIDIA’s Ampere architecture is a great pair for the Core i7 CPU.
Here are some benchmarks of the Legion 5i:
As you can see, the Legion 5i is a strong performer in games and does pretty well in productivity applications too. I was also quite happy with the thermal design of the Legion 5i. Lenovo calls it their ColdFront 4.0 technology, and they claim it can cool systems up to 170W. During my testing, the laptop never throttled and stayed above base clock speeds during heavy workloads. It did get quite loud, however, so I would strongly suggest you get a good pair of headphones when gaming on this laptop.
Keyboard and trackpad
For the keyboard, the Legion 5i features Lenovo’s TrueStrike keyboards with 1.5mm of key travel and 100% anti-ghosting. Our model is equipped with 4-zone RGB lighting, and the keys have anti-abrasion finish to reduce wear and improve longevity. Regarding the feel of the keys, it feels like a classic Lenovo keyboard, which is a very good thing. The chiclet keys offer a nice actuation experience and the key presses feel satisfying. The layout is great, and having a full size numpad and full size arrow keys is perfect. The spacing between the keys was just right, too.
The trackpad feels very smooth to the touch, and it is easy to glide my fingers over it. The size could be bigger, but since the tracking was good, I did not mind it. The click mechanism was satisfying too.
Ports and Connectivity
Ports are an area where Lenovo’s Legion laptops pretty much always excels at. On the right side, you get a USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 port with Displayport 1.4 along with a Thunderbolt 4 port. On the left side, there is a USB Type-A, an audio combo jack and an electronic shutter for the webcam. On the rear, there are 2 USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports (one of which is always on), an HDMI 2.1 port, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port with DisplayPort 1.4 and USB-PD support, and an RJ45 port.
As you can see, there are a lot of ports on the Lenovo Legion 5i, especially for a laptop. I really like the idea of having rear-facing ports, and I hope other manufacturers implement a similar solution too.
Regarding connectivity, the Legion 5i is equipped with an Intel Wi-Fi 6E (2×2) card and supports Bluetooth 5.1. The Intel card is fast and reliable, and I faced no drops in connectivity either.
The battery on the Legion 5i is a 80Wh 4-cell unit that performs as expected for a gaming-focused machine. I was able to get about 4 hours of screen on time with light-to-medium usage, and with heavier loads, the battery would drain much faster. In PCMark’s Battery benchmark, I got a score of 4 hours and 28 mins.
The laptop does support fast charging, though. It can get up to 80% in under 30 minutes, and based on our testing, this is true. Having fast charging on a laptop is quite convenient.
The 2022 model of the Legion 5i has a lot going for it. Solid performance, good thermals, top-notch construction, great keyboard and plenty of I/O. The only real issues with the laptop are the slightly heavy and thicker design, the loud fans, and average battery life. The average battery life on its own wouldn’t be an issue. However, the size and weight of the power brick you need to carry needs to be considered. Overall, considering the price, I believe you are getting a product that offers a great value. If gaming is a priority for you, then I would definitely recommend looking into the Legion 5i.
Pricing and Availability
The Legion 5i starts at QAR 550 and is available from Lenovo.com, Lenovo Exclusive stores and other offline stores.