Review: Lenovo Legion 5i Gaming Laptop

Lenovo have come in strong in 2020 with a rebranding of their Legion gaming laptops, formerly known as the Legion Y-series. The broader design language, which brought us a 180-degree hinge, rear I/O ports, and a slightly displaced display, are fortunately still present. Lenovo’s new 5i laptop is it’s best 15″ device yet. With excellent performance and a more solid chassis than before.

Even with a plastic chassis the Legion i5 feels more durable than ever. It took an unusual amount of force for me to produce flex on the keyboard deck in the screen did not wobble while typing or gaming. Some may mistake this laptop as a standard non-gaming machine, but those looking closely will see inspirations from Lenovo’s past as a call back when gaming laptops were more obvious to spot. Lenovo put the majority of the I/O ports on the back of the device. This makes cable management much easier. You will still find USB ports on the left and right, including USB C and USB A. On the back, there is Ethernet, USB C, USB A (2x), HDMI, as well as your power input and a Kensington Lock.

The device I’m reviewing has an Intel 10th Gen i7 6-core processor and a Nvidia GTX 1660 TI. The performance is fantastic. For reference this GPU is slightly more powerful than the 2018 GTX 1070 Max Q in my Razer Blade Advanced laptop. At the time I paid $2,600 that laptop. This device retails for $1,450, but Lenovo is well known for running sales frequently. To put the Legion 5i through its paces, I tested the following games at 1080p and settings options set between high and very high:

 

  • Witcher 3: 75 – 85 FPS
  • Apex Legends: 80 – 100 FPS (after July NVIDIA driver update)
  • Minecraft Dungeons: 110+ FPS
  • Terminator Resistance: 65 – 80 FPS
In addition to gaming, I also tested the laptops battery by performing my daily office work routine that consists of the following: Microsoft Office, including Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. I also tested it using Microsoft Edge chromium browser with generally 5 to 7 tabs open at anytime. Finally, I watched video using YouTube on roughly one quarter of the screen while doing these other office routine intermittently. In this scenario, the battery lasted between 4.5 to 5 hours with multiple attempts and the screen set to half brightness. Your mileage will vary.

As far as user experience goes, the keyboard is exceptional. I love the way it feels and the layout is absolutely fine. This does support various lighting settings and those are managed within the Lenovo Vantage application. The application is easy to use but I’m quite boring and generally set my keyboards to static. The trackpad is offset to the left right below the space bar. The trackpad could be larger but it’s a huge imporvement over last year’s model. The trackpad functions well and most of the time I used a mouse. And again, cable management on this laptop is so easy to deal with I had no problem connecting my mouse while also managing my desk space. The display could be brighter, but it only bothered me while playing Terminator Resistance, which has many dark thematic settings. Colors were well represented while gaming and watching YouTube, but it’s slightly difficult for me to give an honest judgment at the moment as I’m reviewing the Razer Raptor 27 inch gaming monitor and that is absolutely stunning.

Overall the Legion 5i is a very easy laptop to recommend. It’s well priced, well built, and performs excellently for 1080p gaming which is still the most popular resolution for gamers according to steam’s user statistics. And importantly, Lenovo is an excellent company. Their customer service team is fairly easy to reach, and in all of my experiences working with them as a partner and as a customer they have taken very good care of me and my friends.

At the beginning of the month of July we gave away a Lenovo laptop to one of our insider members. This laptop was provided to us by Lenovo for the giveaway. If you’re interested in Lenovo products do you sign up as an Insider as we will be giving out more laptops in the future.

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