Lenovo Legion 5Pi
~ $2,249.00 AUD
Earlier this year we reviewed the Lenovo Legion Y540
, which paired impressive performance with excellent build quality and a great look. A gaming laptop that also ticked the all-important ‘affordable’ box. The revamped but somewhat similar design of the Lenovo Legion 5Pi
pushes the price up a bit, but this premium revision of the Legion 5i
(and the Y540 before it) sees a level-up in everything from the display to the underlying hardware to even the inclusion of fancy new tech like NVIDIA Optimus
Which seamlessly switches back and forth between integrated graphics and the impressive NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
depending on the task.
That was one of the few sticking points we had with the Legion Y540, as the disabled integrated graphics affected overall battery life – until we went full sys-admin to re-enable it. In fact, the Lenovo Legion 5Pi just about feels like the engineers at Lenovo
spent an evening or two going through all the reviews and seeing the feedback on forums and Reddit and deciding, yeah, let’s fix all of that. In the RTX 2060 model we tested, the Legion 5Pi also came packed with a sizable 80Wh battery to offer up hours of plug-free use.
An impressive gaming laptop to be sure… so let’s lift the lid on the Lenovo Legion 5Pi.
Look and Feel
Quite literally, by taking a moment to discuss the sleek Legion design that we’ve seen crop up in recent years, refined and a little slicker in the Lenovo Legion 5Pi. In this premium version of the Legion 5 series, Lenovo has opted for a smoother lid, a dark grey finish, and a somewhat bright (when lit up) logo that sits in the middle. Now, we’re not sure if we love the logo, but its inclusion makes sense and gives an immediate ‘Premium’ touch to what is still the more affordable Legion.
The Lenovo Legion 5Pi just about feels like the engineers at Lenovo spent an evening or two going through all the reviews and seeing the feedback on forums and Reddit and deciding, yeah, let’s fix all of that.
Weighing in at the same 2.3 kg of the 5 series the maximum height of 23.57mm is fine when it comes to portability (due to the current climate, we tested this by putting it in a carry bag and moving it to another room) but it still feels a tad, well, thick. That might be the final digital nut to crack for the Lenovo team, getting their affordable range thinner and lighter. But, the trade-off is noticeable in that the cooling and exhaust design is all well thought out and placed, with the overall noise for everyday use being minimal. In that the Legion 5Pi is not the sort of gaming laptop that will constantly spin up its fans.
In terms of other design changes the TrueStrike keyboard continues to impress with some minor adjustments made to the layout -- the arrow keys are now more centralised. But it retains the same great tactile feel that gives the entire Legion range some of the best keyboards in the mobile gaming space.
Under the Lid
Processor: Intel Core i7-10750H
Display: 15.6" FHD (1920x1080) IPS (144Hz / <3 ms response time / 100% sRGB / 300 nits / Dolby Vision Enabled)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6
Memory: 16GB DDR4-2933
Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2
OS: Windows 10
Interfaces: 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (1 x always-on 5V), 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x ethernet (RJ-45), 1 x combo audio/mic jack
When it comes to hardware the 10th generation Intel Core i7 and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 are both great for gaming and in terms of memory and storage the speed of the Legion 5Pi is impressive – it builds on what has come before. It’s a gaming laptop configuration you’ll find no matter where you look these days, but in terms of what you get there are a couple of corners cut –the lack of Thunderbolt 3 and no webcam. The USB-C port though, is more than welcome, but those omissions feel like they were chosen to keep the overall cost down.
In terms of memory and storage the speed of the Legion 5Pi is impressive – it builds on what has come before.
What immediately feels like a major step-up though is the new 300nit 144-Hz IPS display, which presents a vibrant and accurate image that is not only bright enough for gaming but features like Dolby Vision add Hollywood-style calibration options suited for media. For those looking to spend a bit more, a 240Hz HDR display is also available though the increased refresh rate doesn’t make a lot of sense for the RTX 2060.
When paired with the impressive and bright 1080p display of the Legion 5Pi, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 truly shines. Of course this is where the cooling comes into play and the overall noise associated with that, but keeping an eye on temps we were surprised to find the 5Pi performing noticeably better than other gaming laptops we’ve seen.
After a few hours of extensive benchmarking and tests though, that high-speed fan noise we’ve all come to associate with gaming laptops made its presence known. When it comes to gaming, the Legion 5Pi reinforces the fact that the RTX 2060 is a great 1080p option that can handle all current AAA titles with ease. Plus, the RTX addition means being able to run Remedy’s Control with ray-tracing and DLSS enabled.
The only game that didn’t manage to hit 60-fps in our tests (with all settings dialled up to max) was Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Now, that’s something we’ve seen for a while – the Creed games may as well be the new Crysis when it comes to solid 60-fps performance. Odds are Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will present the same results when it drops in November, Ubisoft love having their ‘Ultra’ settings be just that. Compare that to DOOM Eternal, which hits and maintains triple-digits thanks to it being one of the best optimised games out there, it’s more of an exception than the rule.
When paired with the impressive and bright 1080p display of the Legion 5Pi, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 truly shines.
In the end the only real downsides for the Legion 5Pi are what you can’t see on the spec sheet – the webcam, a Thunderbolt 3 capable port. No Zoom without a peripheral may be a deal breaker for some. That said, the overall package is an impressive one with a sleek build that features one of the best keyboards you’ll find on a gaming laptop in addition to all of the RTX 2060 goodness that you get in terms of performance. Paired with the bright and vibrant high refresh-rate display and the Legion 5Pi presents many things you’d expect to find a more premium model. Except this time, affordable.