Lenovo Legion 5 Laptop Review
As you may know if you’ve been listening to the podcast or following me on Twitter, 2021 has been the year that I have gotten back into PC gaming in a big way. I picked up a Razer Blade Stealth in the summer and have been having a blast picking up old games, trying out new stuff like Inscryption and just generally being back in the PC ecosystem again. So as you might imagine I was really excited when Lenovo reached out to send us a Legion 5 laptop for review. I’ve been using the Legion 5 for about a month now, so I thought it was high time I shared my thoughts with you.
One quick note – I’m primarily a console gamer and that’s how I apach games so almost everything here I played using a controller and I used both the built in screen and plugged the Legion 5 into a monitor and a TV. I’m not going to go deep into specs here, because I’m not really plugged in enough to talk about them and the differences between them, if you want that there’s a ton of reviews out there that cover those details.
First off let’s talk games. For this review I tried out Control, Destiny 2, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Batman Arkham Origins on the Legion 5 (and quite a few other games afterwards too). The first three because I was able to compare with console versions of those games I have played on a PS5 and Batman Arkham Origins because I listened to the Arkham Retrospective episode of the Back Page Podcast and just really wanted to see what it looked like at max settings. The Legion 5 easily matched and even exceeded the PS5 in some cases, though I did have a few crashes in Control that I didn’t experience in the PS5 version.
Pretty much any PS4/XBO generation game ran flawlessly, current gen games were usually very good but sometimes it would struggle and hitch in more challenging environments. I had the aforementioned crashes in Control and a few very short hitches in Valhalla and Destiny 2. I would describe the experience as almost as reliable as a current gen console. Also there were some occasions where games failed to launch or I had to do weird tech support to fix issues, though I wouldn’t mark the Legion 5 down for this as that’s just an unavoidable element of PC gaming. I remember when Gaming Fyx host Andre Cole could only run Forza Horizon 4 if he set his CPU priority to high, something I have no idea how to do.
Hardware wise I would say the Legion 5 is strong, but overall a mixed bag. I didn’t really love the design of it and coming from Apple and Razer laptops it felt a little plasticky for my taste. It’s really sturdily built and I wouldn’t expect to see any issues with durability from the hinge or any other parts. The keyboard is really excellent, an import from the ThinkPad line I expect as it feels very similar. I have typed bably hundreds of thousands of words in articles, reviews and freelance assignments on it and it is a truly excellent experience. bably the best laptop keyboard I have used in 2021.
The biggest downside to the Legion 5 is the size and weight of the laptop. It’s big, thick and heavy. If you want a desktop PC replacement that will occasionally come with you outside of the home then the Legion 5 is an excellent choice. One other thing that bothered me was fan noise, in most cases with the Legion 5 I had to use headphones when playing games to be able to hear music and dialogue, something I don’t always want to do.
Earlier I compared the design and build quality with Razer and Apple laptops and said it comes away unfavourably, but there’s a big difference here between the Legion 5 and the Razer Blade Stealth I use as my daily driver – cost. If you went out to buy a Razer laptop with similar spec to this Legion 5 you’d be paying almost £3,000. The Legion 5 is under £1,000. I think that tells you everything you need to know about whether you should buy a Legion 5 or a Razer laptop!
All in all as I said earlier the Legion 5 is an excellent laptop. While it doesn’t really fit my life as well as a small and portable laptop, I would imagine for most PC gamers who are already set up with a gaming desk and using a high quality headset you’d be hard pressed to find a better option for the money. But what about console gamers? Well that’s where this gets a bit murky. Should you buy the Legion 5 over a PS5? Unfortunately because of capitalism if you want to play Spider-Man: Miles Morales you need a PS5. But if you do a bit of travelling, or you are looking for more than just gaming or you want to play games older than the last generation then PC gaming with the Legion 5 might be a better option for you!
- Powerful enough to run most stuff as good as current consoles
- Great keyboard
- Fantastic price
- Very heavy
- Chunky design
- Loud fans