Referring to Lenovo, most likely you’ll immediately think of “serious” laptops like the legendary ThinkPad or ThinkBook, Yoga, but Lenovo also has a product line for gamers called the Legion. So from the Legion series today, we will see a Lenovo Legion 5i review here in this article.
Since the launch of the first product, which is now the 7th generation (Gen 7), Lenovo has continuously improved and worked on the Legion line to be able to compete fairly with experienced players in the industry such as Asus and MSI.
Our Lenovo Legion 5i review unit is the latest model for 2022 that owns an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card with the latest 12th generation Intel Core i7-12700H chip, 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and 1TB NVMe SSD. Lenovo offers users a lot of configuration options to consider to suit their needs, for example, you can upgrade the graphics card to GeForce RTX 3070Ti, and of course, the price will change depending on your preference.
You definitely wouldn’t know that the Lenovo Legion 5i 2022 is a gaming notebook if you look at it. With a thickness of less than 26mm and a weight of 2.4kg, the Legion 5i 2022 has the desirable body for a 15.6-inch gaming notebook and has a separate graphics card. A minimalist top with square edges and only the Legion brand name on the side of the device, the Legion 5i 2022 isn’t that different from any business ultrabooks. The only “pitiful” feature of the laptop is the heat sink, which is carefully hidden by Lenovo at the back and left edge of the chassis.
Finished with aluminum and magnesium alloy, the Legion 5i 2022 feels solid in the hand and everyday use. The rough surface helps limit sweat and fingerprints very well. As a person who sweats a lot, we have experienced many laptops, but Legion 5i 2022 is one of the products that make us most satisfied in this aspect.
The laptop’s hinge is pushed in quite deep like the previous generation, creating space for connection ports, signal lights as well as heat sink slots. This Lenovo approach will help expand the space on the sides of the device, avoiding affecting the gaming process and daily use in general. The special design also helps Legion 5i 2022 to open the screen at a 180-degree angle, and you can fully open the lid with just one hand.
As a gaming laptop, the number of ports of the Lenovo Legion 5i 2022 is rich. Behind the device is the main connection area, including one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports (one Always On port), Slim Tip charging port, HDMI, and Ethernet RJ45. Meanwhile, the left side of the laptop contains a Thunderbolt 4 port and an additional USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port that can both charge Power Delivery, transmit data, and output DisplayPort 1.4 images, and the right side is a 3.5mm combo headphone jack. + microphone, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, and a webcam toggle to protect privacy.
Below is a cooling system that Lenovo calls Coldfront 4.0. According to the manufacturer, Coldfront 4.0 owns a cooling fan system with 40% thinner blades, 4 heat pipes, and a copper CPU heatsink block. Combined with the Lenovo Legion AI Engine, which adjusts gaming performance through fan performance prediction, as well as balances out GPU and CPU resources in real-time for each game being played. We will talk about it later in this Lenovo Legion 5i review in the performance segment in detail below!
Overall, we appreciate the design of the Lenovo Legion 5i 2022. The device offers a youthful, modern look but still has the necessary gaming features. With a compact body, you can confidently use the device in many different environments, something that few high-end gaming laptops can do.
Our Lenovo Legion 5i review unit comes with a 15.6-inch screen, a QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) IPS panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio, 165Hz refresh rate, and 300 nits brightness. Some Legion versions will have a wider 16:10 aspect ratio screen in the vertical direction, but we think with mainstream gaming needs, the traditional 16:9 ratio will still be better, especially if you’re a fan of older games. The laptop’s remaining three screen edges are thin, only a few mm, providing a feeling of open and spacious viewing, except for a slightly thicker lower border to balance the chassis with a full-size keyboard.
In practical experience, the Legion 5i 2022 offers decent display quality compared to the usual field of gaming laptops, vivid colors, and high contrast, with 300 nits brightness being more than enough for all uses (most of the time, we’re at just 60-70% brightness). With 100% sRGB color coverage, the Legion 5i 2022 can also handle tasks like photo and video editing when needed.
If playing on a bigger screen is needed, Lenovo now has a Legion line of gaming monitors. For example, the Legion Y25g-30 (approx. $640 on Newegg) with a 24.5-inch IPS LCD panel supports a refresh rate of up to 360Hz, a super-fast response time of just 1ms, and NVIDIA G-Sync technology with NVIDIA Reflex analyzer for a smooth visual experience. The design of this gaming monitor allows for height adjustment, 90-degree rotation, or right and left tilt very flexibly. Just connect the Legion 5i 2022 to this monitor via Thunderbolt 4, and the entire gaming experience completely changes on the big screen thanks to data transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps.
Sound & webcam
In terms of sound, the Legion 5i 2022 has 2 x 2W speakers placed at the bottom of the chassis. Maybe partly due to speaker placement, the Legion 5i 2022’s speaker quality fell short of our expectations. The Nahimic Audio app that improved the sound quality didn’t help much. Hence, we think you should invest in a headset or external speakers for the best gaming experience.
The Legion 5i 2022’s webcam has Full HD resolution, an upgrade over the 720p webcams typically found on many gaming laptops. You can adjust the brightness and contrast of the webcam in the Lenovo Vantage software already installed on the device. The quality of the webcam frame rate was nice.
Keyboard & touchpad
With a 15.6-inch screen size, the Legion 5i 2022 has enough room for a full-size keyboard, and Lenovo has done the same. Called Lenovo Legion TrueStrike, the keyboard offers a smooth typing experience. While this isn’t a mechanical key, you can feel the tactile “pick up” quite clearly, the key travel is deep, and typing is smooth, without making much noise. The size of the keys is balanced, the layout is easy to use, and the keyboard doesn’t flex when pressed, indicating high-quality finishing.
As a gaming laptop, it’s clear that RGB LEDs are indispensable for keyboards. With the Legion 5i 2022, Lenovo is equipped with a 4-zone LED system, which can be customized via the Lenovo Vantage software. High brightness LED lights to come with adjustable brightness to suit games in evening and night.
Speaking of Lenovo Vantage, this is pre-installed software that acts as a portal as well as a control center for Lenovo laptop features. Here, you can monitor the laptop’s status like CPU clock, GPU, warranty status, customize performance modes, etc.
The Legion 5i 2022’s touchpad has a large size, which seems a bit big as we often end up buying a separate mouse when using a gaming laptop and aren’t too concerned with the touchpad. The touchpad also worked well with a smooth swiping feeling and full Windows Precision driver support for swiping gestures.
Lenovo Legion 5i 2022 specifications
- Operating System: Windows 11 Home (64-Bit)
- Processor: Intel Core i7-12700H (12th Gen) 2.3 to 4.6 GHz 14-Core, 24 MB L3 Cache
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 (140 W TGP) with 6 GB GDDR6 VRAM
- Memory: 32GB 4800 MHz DDR5
- Total Installed Memory: 16 GB
- Memory Configuration: 2 x 8 GB (User-Replaceable)
- Memory Slot Type: 262-Pin SO-DIMM
- Display: 15.6-inch IPS panel, Anti-Glare
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Resolution: 2560 x 1440 (QHD)
- Brightness: 300 cd/m2
- Color Gamut: 100% sRGB
- Refresh Rate: 165 Hz
- Viewing Angle (H x V): 178 x 178°
- Storage: 1 x M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe
- Ports: 3 x USB Type-A (USB 3.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 1), USB Type-C 1 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x USB 3.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Supports DisplayPort), 1 x USB 3.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Supports 135 W Power Delivery), 1 x HDMI 2.1 Output, 1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm Headphone/Microphone Input/Output
- Sound: 2 x 2 W speakers, 2 x microphones
- Connectivity: 1 x RJ45 (Gigabit), Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax), 2 x 2 MU-MIMO Support, Bluetooth, Webcam
- Keyboard & Mouse: Backlight / TouchPad
- Battery: Lithium-Ion Polymer (LiPo) 4-Cell: 80 Wh
- Power Supply: 300 W with Barrel/Proprietary
- Dimensions: 358.9 x 262.38 x 24.13 mm
- Weight: 5.28 lb / 2.39 kg
With an Intel Core i7-12700H SoC, discrete RTX 3060 graphics card, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD, we can expect the Lenovo Legion 5i 2022 to play most games well at the moment. The 12th generation of Intel Core chips, with a completely new core design, delivers up to 40% faster performance than the previous generation.
The new kernel architecture is a combination of a P-core core geared for strong performance (such as game applications) and an E-core more capable of efficiency in general and other software running in the background. Provide optimized performance thanks to the Intel Threat Director feature to assign applications to the most suitable processor core, ensuring smooth and optimal gaming performance. In addition, the new Lenovo Legion laptop is equipped with super-fast Wi-Fi 6 11ax wireless connection, 3 times faster than Wi-Fi 5, and 75% lower latency.
However, at 2K resolution, Ultra graphics settings can be too demanding with the RTX 3060, especially with AAA games that require terrible configuration. With relatively light games like League of Legends, it’s easy to reach 165 fps to match the Legion 5i 2022’s 165Hz refresh rate. But don’t worry if your favorite game doesn’t reach that FPS, as the laptop supports Nvidia G-Sync Anti-Tear technology, so playing at an FPS lower than the refresh rate won’t result in bursts.
In benchmark tests, the Legion 5i 2022 delivered impressive scores, just as we expected in such a configuration. The “normal” tasks we do every day like as browsing dozens of Chrome tabs, opening Photoshop and Lightroom in parallel to edit photos, and the League of Legends tab to play a Truth Arena chess game are also impossible. The laptop only had to work hard when performing heavy benchmarks like 3D Mark Time Spy or Game Far Cry: New Dawn.
Here are the Lenovo Legion 5i 2022 results via benchmarks:
In terms of gaming performance, we use available benchmarks for games including Far Cry: New Dawn, Final Fantasy XV, and Guardians of the Galaxy. The games are all configured at high graphics settings, and 2K screen resolution and the results show that Legion 5i 2022 can play these games perfectly at over 100 fps.
Responsible for data storage for the Legion 5i 2022 is the Samsung PM9A1 PCIe 4.0 SSD, with the manufacturer’s declared speeds (sequential read/write) of 7000 MB/s and 5100 MB/s, respectively. These are all very fast numbers compared to the preceding PCIe 3.0 SSD. Benchmarks with the Crystal Disk Mark tool yield results that are close to what the manufacturer announced, and tasks such as starting Windows, opening and closing applications, and compressing and copying data can be performed by the Legion 5i 2022 in almost no time.
Most of the time, the laptop works quietly, and the cooling fan doesn’t make annoying noises. Only when benchmarking with Time Spy Extreme, one of 3DMark’s heaviest benchmarks, will the Legion 5i 2022 go all out completely. The Core i7-12700H chip’s high-performance core (P-Core) has a maximum temperature of 97 °C, while the energy-saving core (E-Core) is 81 °C. Meanwhile, the discrete GPU RTX 3060 recorded a maximum temperature of just 73.6 degrees Celsius in the hot spot, indicating that the Legion 5i 2022’s Coldfront 4.0 cooling system is working effectively. The device’s temperature also dropped sharply soon after turning off the benchmark.
With a max 140W RTX 3060 TGP GPU and the same chip as the Core i7-12700H, surely the Legion 5i 2022 will need a powerful enough charging system to meet the power needs. Therefore, inside the product box is a slim tip charger with a maximum capacity of up to 300W, the size is no different than a brick, which can be a bit tricky, for example, if you want to take it outside to play games. With fast charging enabled in the Lenovo Vantage, the Legion 5i 2022’s battery is charged up to 80% with just 30 minutes of charging.
The Lenovo Legion 5i 2022’s 80 Whr battery is enough to use, about 4 hours with regular usage. If you play AAA games, the usage time will be reduced to just 1.5 – 2 hours, so if you intend to play games, then it is better to plug in a charger to ensure better performance.
Lenovo keeps getting better and better with its Legion product line. It is not a matter of debate. With a compact design like that of an ultrabook, but still, with high-end gaming performance, the Legion 5i 2022 also impresses with its display, processor, and battery that caters to various needs and fast charging. Other gaming laptop brands should be careful, as the Legion 5i 2022 is poised for fair competition in the high-end segment!
Lenovo Legion 5i 2022 price and availability
Legion 5i 2022 has a starting price of $1,729.99 for the version with i7-12700H (12th Gen), 16GB DDR5 RAM, 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD, and GeForce RTX 3060 (6GB GDDR6). Of course, a better configuration will cost more. It can be pre-ordered on the Bhphotovideo.com online store and will be available from August 16, 2022.