a robust, serious and very convincing gaming PC

Despite a significant price increase, this Legion 5 Pro in Intel version still deserves its place among the best gaming laptops on the market.

Lenovo continues its foray into the gaming segment with a new Legion 5i Pro. How is this version with a 12th Gen Intel Core worth it? Here is our opinion.

Design & construction

Without being a real brick like some other models in this segment, this Legion is quite imposing. With 2.45kg on the scale and 2.8cm at the hinge, it’s not the most svelte and elegant model in its class. But what is immediately striking upon opening the box is the virtually flawless construction quality of the machine.

Its anodized aluminum frame, very well finished, exudes premium while the tray does not show the slightest flex. The hinge, particularly stable and robust, opens with one hand without the slightest noise or resistance. Very nice work!

Screen

Our model was equipped with a slab 16-inch IPS WQHD+ (2560 х 1600) 165 Hzall in the format 16:10 and with a good quality anti-reflective coating. The colorimetric performance, without being impressive, remains very correct with 100% coverage of the sRGB gamut. On the other hand, it stops at 77% for the DCI-P3 and Adobe RGB gamuts.

A bit meager for an image professional, especially since the contrast isn’t exceptional. But that’s not the Legion’s raison d’être anyway. For all uses relating to entertainment, on the other hand, it is a well-balanced panel that will allow you to enjoy your films, series or streams in good conditions. In addition, Lenovo also had the good taste to provide a calibration wizard to smooth things over.

On the game side, the most frenzied competitive players may regret the absence of a very high refresh rate option as found on the most expensive machines. But overall, this slab is a excellent compromise which makes it possible to savor visually sumptuous games like Elden Ring or Red Dead Redemption 2 without suffering in competitive titles such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive or Rocket League.

Audio

Audio is a point on which many laptop manufacturers tend to ignore… and it is not this Legion 5i Pro that will make us change our minds on this level. The built-in speakers will fail to pay homage to the beautiful soundtracks of some games or movies, and we’re not even talking about the music. On our side, we very quickly switched to helmets – no good surprise on that side.

Keyboard and trackpad

On the keyboard side, this Legion is doing quite well. We find the classic layout of this range, still as pleasant with its numeric keypad, its slightly offset directional keys and its well-balanced lateral space.

In use, it’s overall a good keyboard. It is quite similar to that of the Carbon that we tested recently, with its very short-stroke keys, as is often the case with this type of model. On the other hand, it is much better stabilized, sounds less hollow and seems more robust than that of the ultrabook. The relative softness of typing even becomes an advantage during long writing sessions; the key word here is comfort.

The tactile feedback is quite good for a membrane keyboard, without being exceptional. Each keystroke is correctly defined, which allows you not to lose your bearings during the game or in the middle of a paragraph.

The touchpad, for its part, does its job very well. The friction associated with the anodized aluminum coating may be a little too much for those accustomed to ultra-smooth glass trackpads, but it is still large, precise and responsive enough to be comfortable in use.

RGB enthusiasts may be disappointed to learn that this model doesn’t have individual RGB lighting for each key; it is necessary to be satisfied with 4 distinct zones.

Hardware and performance

On the hardware side, this machine does not aim for the ultimate in portable performance. Users looking for a machine will therefore have to go to other models, such as the Rog Strix. But by betting on a more balanced configuration than some competitors, Lenovo offers a machine that will be much more relevant for the vast majority of the public.

The good news is that this Legion remains very competent and significantly more efficient than its predecessor. The manufacturer has set its sights on one of the best CPUs of the moment: the excellent Intel core i7-12700H (6 P-Cores, 8 E-Cores, 4.7 GHz turbo). A formidable chip which, despite a significant restriction (portable format requires), can deliver considerable computing power.

Add to that a dedicated graphics card (RTX 3070 Ti for the most expensive version), and you get a machine that can handle the majority of AAA titles without breaking a sweat. Certainly, it will be necessary to make some concessions on the most greedy games; we have for example encountered some drops on Red Dead Redemption 2 Where Cyberpunk 2077 at 1440p (graphics settings at Ultra).

But we were still able to enjoy the game in good conditions by limiting the graphic quality a little. Furthermore, Elden Ring, which is not really well optimized on PC, still shot at 60 frames per second in the best possible quality. This Legion has all the same under the hood.

Obviously, this Legion 5i Pro will make short work of all less demanding titles. For example, the in-game experience is optimal at all levels on Counter Strike: Global Offensiveexcept for the rare fanatics who absolutely want to break records in terms of refresh rate.

It’s more anecdotal knowing that it is really a machine designed for the game, but on the creation side, this computer has also shown itself to be rather capable. Thanks to its very fast 1 TB PCIe 4 SSD and its 16 GB of DDR5 RAM (not soldered, so you can install 32 GB), we were able to do some reasonably tough 3D modeling and video editing work once Nvidia Studio drivers installed. Better color performance and a little extra RAM wouldn’t have been too much in this context, but again, that’s not the point of this model.

Cooling and ventilation

It is also worth highlighting the very good cooling system performance. As always on portable models, this Legion 5i Pro tends to heat up when put under pressure; but the rise in temperature is well managed, which allows the i7-12700H to avoid spending most of its time in a thermal throttling situation. Heat is also channeled pretty well through the chassis, keeping the palm rests relatively cool.

This ventilation system is almost forgotten in Silent mode or at low speeds, but it is far from being the most discreet on the market; the fans still start to roar when the machine is pressurized. On the other hand, it is a new occasion to appreciate the quality of construction of this model; none of the fans emit that characteristic shrill noise found on many portable computers. Even at full speed, the noise of the ventilation therefore remains more or less tolerable.

Connectors

This model is generally doing very well in terms of connectivity. On the left, there is a Thunderbolt and DisplayPort compatible USB 4 port as well as a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 which is also Display Port compatible. The right edge has a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port and a jack. At the rear, there are two additional USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a new USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 port supporting DP and power supply, a full-size HDMI port and an RJ45 Ethernet port.

On the wireless side, this Legion supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1. Everything you need, in short.

Price and availability

This new Legion 5 Pro in Intel version is already available on the Lenovo site. It is more expensive than its predecessor; on the Lenovo site, the less expensive version is offered at 2063 €versus 2499 € for the tested model. Despite the significant improvement in hardware, the price-power ratio is therefore a little less interesting than on the previous version. But overall, this price remains interesting for this very serious machine. If you’re looking for a powerful, versatile and not too exuberant PC, you can hardly go wrong with this Legion 5i Pro.

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