There’s nothing special or noteworthy about the exterior of the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, and on paper, its specifications look like it’ll be a good gaming laptop, with the potential to be great. As it turns out, I should learn to stop judging a laptop by its housing. The Legion 5 Pro is a workhorse. Plain and simple.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro – Photos
Here are the specifications of the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro I’ve been testing:
- Model: Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (16lAH7H)
- Display: 16-inch WQXGA 165Hz (2560×1600)
- Processor: Intel Core i7–12700H 3.5GHz (24M cache, 4.7GHz Max Turbo)
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU, 8GB GDDR6
- Memory: 16GB DDR5 4,800Mhz
- OS: Windows 11 Home
- Storage: 512GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD
- Webcam: 720p with e-Shutter
- Ports: 1 x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C, DisplayPort 1.4), 2 x USB-C (USB 3.2 Gen 2, DisplayPort 1.4), 3 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x e-Shutter switch, 1 x 3.5mm headphone/mic combo, 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ45
- Connectivity: WiFi 6E 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1
- Dimensions: 14.17 x 10.4 x 1.05-inches (WxDxH)
- Weight: 5.49 pounds
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro – Design
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro looks like a cross between your Dad’s work laptop and a gaming laptop. The 5 Pro comes in a storm gray color that’s close to Apple’s space gray color offering. On the outside of the lid is the Legion logo, and that’s it. There isn’t any sort of fancy decal or design that’s become common on most gaming laptops.
Upon opening the lid, you’ll find a 16-inch display with thin bezels on the vertical sides of the screen and a slightly thicker bezel going across the top, housing a 720p webcam.
On the deck of the laptop, just above the keyboard is the power button with an indicator light in the middle of it. It turns white when the laptop is running on battery power, and red while charging.
There’s a full-size keyboard with a number pad on the right-hand side, with chiclet-style keys that have flat edges on three sides and a rounded bottom. There are four different RGB lighting zones behind the keyboard that you can customize to fit your mood, with a total of three different profiles available to switch between in the Lenovo Vantage app.
The trackpad is centered with the keyboard, or off-center on the left side of the 5 Pro’s housing. It’s smooth and easy to use, save for the imaginary line on the trackpad where it registers any interaction as a right-click instead of a standard click. I’ve had to consciously remind myself, several times during testing, to go higher and over to the left more on the touchpad in order to use it without errant right clicks.
The 5 Pro has a long list of ports, most of which are on the back of the laptop’s housing. There are a few sprinkled on either side and a unique switch on the right that puzzled me at first. Let’s start with that switch – it’s an e-Shutter switch that turns the webcam on or off. There’s a small icon that shows up on the 5 Pro’s display when you switch modes, letting you know the camera’s current status.
When the camera is turned off, the switch is red to let you easily see the camera’s status. Next to the switch is the 3.5mm combination microphone and headphone jack. Finally, there’s a standard USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port on the right side.
Flanking the left side of the housing is a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 with DisplayPort 1.4 support near the front, and a USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port behind it. There’s a Thunderbolt icon next to the rear port letting you know that’s what you’ll want to use for faster transfer speeds, if your external hard drive supports it.
On the rear of the laptop’s housing is an Ethernet (RJ45) port, another USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 Port with DisplayPort 1.4 support and power delivery of up to 135W for charging the laptop. Next to the USB-C port is an HDMI port, followed by two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports. Finally, there’s the charging port that uses Lenovo’s power-in adapter. This is the charging port you’ll want to use during gaming or resource-intensive tasks as it provides 300W of power when paired with the included power supply.
My favorite aspect of the port arrangement on the 5 Pro is that you’ll find labels just above the ports on the rear of the laptop, making it possible to see which port is where when you’re looking down on the laptop’s housing.
As I said earlier, there’s nothing fancy or extraordinary about the Legion 5 Pro’s design. It’s a gray laptop with a logo on the lid and ports on three sides. It looks fine.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro – Performance and gaming
Inside the Legion 5 Pro is an Intel Core i7–12700H with 14 cores and 20 threads, an Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti with 8GB of GDDR6 memory, a 512GB NVMe SSD for storage and 16GB of DDR5 4,800Mhz memory. That’s a respectable component list for any gaming PC, let alone for a laptop. Other than the 512GB of storage, that is. I filled up the 512GB of storage after installing a handful of games and benchmarking apps, which meant rejiggering which apps and games were installed during my testing. Ideally, 1TB of storage is where all gaming setups should start.
What surprised me, however, was just how much performance was packed into the 5 Pro, especially when I compared its benchmark scores to more expensive high-end systems with objectively better specs. When you compare the scores to systems like the MSI Raider GE76 with an i9–12900HK and an RTX 3080 Ti, or the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 with an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX and an RTX 3080 Ti, it’s clear that the Legion 5 Pro is keeping up with, and oftentimes outperforming, both systems.
For example, when you compare the 5 Pro’s Borderlands 3 score of 101, you see that it nearly kept up with the GE76’s score of 108 and outpaced the Duo 16’s score of 93. 3DMark’s Time Spy benchmark test showed the 5 Pro’s real potential with a score of 11,916, outscoring both comparison laptops. The GE76 was close at 11,742 and the Duo 16 behind that at 10,768.
Gaming on the Legion 5 Pro has been fun. The speakers provide plenty of output to overpower the fans without making you feel like you’re making way too much noise. For my first few matches of Fortnite, I let the 5 Pro’s AI software decide if it should run in performance mode, based on what app or game is open. With all of the settings cranked to high – excuse me, epic – in Fortnite and the resolution set to 1920×1200, the 5 Pro averaged 123 frames per second.
When I manually switched the 5 Pro over to performance mode with the same settings, it averaged 113 FPS. Odd, right? I think the AI may be doing more than just turning performance mode on and off, seemingly also optimizing the system to get all of the performance it can out of it.
Finally, I tested with the full 2560×1600 resolution, which dropped the average frames per second down to 84.
Outside of gaming, the Legion 5 Pro handled whatever task I threw at it. Between using Edge with way too many tabs open, and alternating between a Twitch stream or one of my Spotify daily playlists, it never slowed down. I did some light photo editing with GIMP, as well, and have nothing bad to say about how the 5 Pro handled it.
One gripe I have is with the overall brightness of the display. Unless the brightness level is nearly maxed out, say 90% or above, it’s far too dark for my eyes. At the 50% threshold, which we use to run all benchmark and battery tests, I’ve had a horrible time seeing what’s on the screen. Don’t get me wrong, the concept is visible – just dark. Too dark. I had hoped the display’s HDR support would translate into a bright and vivid picture at all times, but that’s not the case.
What about when brightness is cranked up? Well, it looks good. Color saturation is on point and the clarity of images and video is clear and crisp.
I’m not the biggest fan of the keyboard’s keys, only because I found myself getting lost on them while gaming far more often than I usually do.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro – Battery life
Lenovo’s spec sheet lists an estimated five hours of battery life for the 5 Pro. That’s a respectable and honest estimate.
In day-to-day use, the battery life of the Legion 5 Pro was good enough for casual work for several hours before needing to be plugged in.
Running the PCMark 10’s Modern Office battery benchmark, however, the battery ran from 100% to empty in 2 hours and 39 minutes. That’s a decent amount of time, but it falls short of Lenovo’s estimate as well as the performance we’ve seen from the GE76 and Duo 16.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro – Software
There isn’t a whole lot of preinstalled software on the 5 Pro. There’s Lenovo Vantage, which I found useful to set lighting profiles, check for updates or adjust system settings like turning off the Hybrid GPU mode that switches between the integrated and dedicated GPU based on which app you’re using.
There’s also an option in Vantage to overclock your GPU with a couple of clicks. There is, of course, a warning when you first enable the feature, but once you skip past that you’re able to adjust the GPU Clock and VRAM Clock. Once you get it tuned to your liking, you can enable overclocking with the flip of a switch.
McAfee LiveSafe is preinstalled and after setting up the computer I was immediately met with a warning that my free trial of coverage had expired.
In addition to the unnecessary bloatware of McAfee, the Vantage app had a few ads at the bottom of the main page. There was an ad for “seamless gaming,” a 10% discount offer for Lenovo support, and a reminder to register the laptop.