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Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 16" - AMD Review
Review By @ 02:35pm 24/11/21

Product: Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
Type: Gaming Laptop
Price: $2,949.00
Availability: Now

In laptop space the 16:10 aspect ratio display is one that offers a little more verticality. When it comes to all things portable, a little bit of extra screen real-estate never goes astray. In fact the effect is akin to a piece of paper or tablet, a look and feel creators will feel at home with. It’s something gamers can appreciate too. For the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro the 16-inch display offers up a native 16:10 QHD resolution of 2560x1600 alongside excellent brightness, colour accuracy, and NVIDIA G-Sync support. Plus, an impressive 165 Hz refresh-rate.

As a gaming-focused laptop in the Lenovo Legion range, pairing this screen with a high-end AMD Ryzen CPU and NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPU certainly does the trick in bringing it all together. The GeForce RTX 3070 tested (Lenovo also offers a RTX 3060 model) paints a great picture for what is a wonderful bit of tech and a powerful gaming rig.

With most gaming laptops making their way to our test bench featuring Intel CPUs, the Ryzen part of the equation was another aspect of the Legion 5 Pro we were keen to test. If only because we’ve seen more of the former. Without buying one of the leads, AMD’s mobile Ryzen CPU is across the board impressive. Especially in the well-built Legion 5 Pro, where temperatures and noise are kept within reasonable limits.

Look and Feel

As we’ve seen across other Legion laptops the Legion 5 Pro continues the angular, stylish, and modular look of the brand -- albeit with an overall style that still falls into the ‘gamer’ bracket. But, the look isn’t overly gamer in a visually loud RGB way. There’s still a level of what you might call ‘professional minimalism’ across the Legion range. Having a productivity or creator quality to the look is always welcome.

As a gaming-focused laptop in the Lenovo Legion range, pairing this screen with a high-end AMD Ryzen CPU and NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPU certainly does the trick in bringing it all together.

As a 16-inch laptop, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro isn't ultra-thin by any stretch. And with its 2.5kg+ weight it isn’t what you’d call super-light either. That said, the build quality is great. Sturdy without feeling dense, and accented with enough flourishes like the illuminated logo on the back which compliments the great feel you get from the display and backlit keyboard. The mix of aluminium and a softer matte finish is a winner.

Here you’ve als got the tried and tested Legion TrueStrike Keyboard, but with only four-RGB zones as opposed to the per-key action of the higher-end Legion 7 models, it’s mostly function over form.

As a mid-range offering the Legion 5 Pro presents some of the best overall value we’ve seen -- especially when you factor in the performance results. Don’t let the mid-range tag fool you (especially with the cheaper RTX 3060 model), when setup the Legion 5 Pro is anything but chunky or unwieldy or undercooked. And this comes down to the overall Legion look, the size of the display, and the generous helping of high-end hardware and expansion options. Ports-wise you won’t run out of USB action -- even if you’re in the midst of benchmarking with multiple externals connected alongside a smartphone.

Under the Lid

When it comes to the beneath the hood stuff for laptops the CPU/GPU combo is the one that often gives the best indicator as to what to expect frame-rate-wise. For the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro the model we tested featured the powerful AMD Ryzen 7 5800H and the also-powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070.

With the arrival of the RTX 30 series and Ampere to the laptop space, and Ryzen processors to boot, you’ve got an impressive step up from what we’ve seen across previous generations. On the RTX 3070 front specifically you’ve got Max-Q features like Dynamic Boost, WhisperMode, and DLSS.
Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H
Display: 16.0" WQXGA (2560x1600) IPS 500nits Anti-glare, 165Hz, 100% sRGB, Dolby Vision, HDR 400, Free-Sync, G-Sync, DC dimmer
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6, Boost Clock 1560/1620MHz, TGP 140W
Memory: 16GB DDR4-3200
Storage: 1TB M.2 NVMe
OS: Windows 10/Windows 11
Interfaces: 4x USB-A 3.2 gen1, 2x USB-C 3.2 gen 2, HDMI 2.1, Audio, Ethernet

The good news is that the extra size of the overall unit does mean you’re getting more robust cooling, though on that front most of the credit goes to Lenovo’s Cold Front 3.0. Alongside being a pretty cool name for what is a system of heatpipes, fans, and liquid metals, it pairs well with NVIDIA’s own Max-Q suite for running efficiently with low-noise profiles and without sacrificing too much in the way of performance.

Naturally, for all benchmarks we went “full performance” in terms of power. The results of which, you can see below.

Gaming Performance

The Ryzen and RTX combo is certainly formidable, and more than up to the task of providing a fast and smooth gaming experience even at the native resolution of 2560x1600. With 8GB of VRAM all of the following games were set to their max visual fidelity settings -- making the results even more impressive.
To keep tests in-line with other AusGamers reviews we ran all tests at 1080p and 1440p.

With the NVIDIA GPU here rated at 140W what you’re getting is essentially the full grunt of what the GeForce RTX 3070 can do in the mobile space. What this means can be gleaned from simply taking a look at the difference between the 1080p and 1440p results. Outside of The Division 2 the performance drop off is relatively small, pointing to the RTX 3070 specifically as something of a 1440p powerhouse, even in portable laptop form.

The Ryzen and RTX combo is certainly formidable, and more than up to the task of providing a fast and smooth gaming experience even at the native resolution of 2560x1600.

With the recent release of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy being one of the most visually impressive games of 2021, having a laptop that can push detail and ray-tracing and still maintain 60+ fps performance at 1440p is quite the feat.

All of the above tests were carried out when plugged in, but the Legion 5 Pro is fairly decent when it comes to battery too -- especially if you’re focusing on productivity. Gaming on a battery will never really be a thing, but the 5 Pro here can survive for well over an hour under heavy load. In the end, the Legion 5 Pro is an impressive portable gaming rig that pairs a great display with excellent hardware, cooling, and build quality.
What we liked
AMD Ryzen and GeForce RTX combo
16:10 display is impresive
Able to run modern games even at high resolution
Great cooling
Sturdy build quality
Keyboard feel
What we didn't like
No quite ultra-thin
A bit large to carry with full-sized battery
We gave it:
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