Last year, my favorite gaming laptop was the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 2021. Its keyboard, 16-inch QHD 16:10 aspect ratio display, and, of course, its powerful RTX 3070 GPU were all highlights for me. What I liked best was that Lenovo achieved what most competitors price close to $2K or more for on a $1,599.99 laptop.
The Legion 5 Pro 2022 edition offers more of the same, but at a price of $1,999, which is $500 higher than the AMD-based version we examined last year. It still has one of the nicest typing experiences I’ve had on a gaming laptop, and Lenovo upgraded the display by adding variable refresh rate support to keep games smooth.
It’s quicker, thanks to support for the latest 12th Generation Intel processors and AMD’s Ryzen 6000 H-series processors, as well as new and more powerful GPUs. Also, the edgier-looking top shell from last year appears to have been toned down now.
However, some flaws from the 2021 model have been carried over, like as the base model’s meager 512GB of storage. It only takes a few games to fill up a room, and they take up very little space. And, while I gave its speakers a pass last year, I’ve since tested a few competitive gaming laptops, such as the Asus Strix Scar 17 and Razer’s newest Blade, that demonstrate how much better they can sound if you’re prepared to pay more. Furthermore, several Lenovo preinstalled apps and bloatware, such as McAfee anti-virus software, display obnoxious pop-ups in the corner of the screen on a frequent basis.
There’s also the issue of supply. The 2021 Legion 5 Pro was only available at Walmart and was sold out for the majority of the year, albeit it is now available for $1,399.99. I’m not sure if the pandemic’s effects on chip shortages are to blame, if Walmart messed up, or if Lenovo underestimated the popularity of this model. In any case, I was disappointed that readers were unable to locate my favorite laptop in stock. We’ll have to wait and see if the problem improves for this year’s model.
Lenovo had almost no information about price for the various variants in the Legion 5 Pro portfolio, particularly the AMD-based models, at the time of publication. It was also lacking in actual information on the model I’m reviewing, such as an exact release date or a product page. Basic information for comparison, such as costs for each configuration and when they’ll be released, is useful for the purposes of a review. We’ll update this review as additional information becomes available from Lenovo.
LENOVO LEGION 5 PRO 2022 SPECS (AS TESTED)
- Model: 82RF000TUS
- Intel Core i7-12700H processor (up to 4.7GHz, 14 cores)
- 16GB DDR5 4800MHz (user-replaceable up to 32GB)
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM (1,485MHz boost clock speed, 150W maximum power)
- 512GB NVMe SSD (user-replaceable, one M.2 2242 slot, one M.2 2280 slot)
- 16-inch WQXGA 2560 x 1600 IPS display, 165Hz refresh rate, 500-nit, VRR
- 720p webcam
- 14.02 x 10.41 x 1.07 inches, 5.4 pounds
- 80Wh battery
- 300W power brick
- Three Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1, two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port with DisplayPort 1.4 (one supports PD charging up 135W), one Thunderbolt 4 USB-C USB 4 port, a headphone combo jack, one HDMI 2.1 (4K at 120Hz), ethernet, port for charger
- Four-zone RGB keyboard
- Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1
Lenovo is one of many companies that currently offers two versions of their gaming laptops, one with AMD processors and the other with Intel processors (Intel is marked by a I in the name, such as the Legion 5i Pro). The model it brought over for review is practically the highest-end Intel model it offers, with a Core i7-12700H processor (a Core i9-12900H model will also be available) and Nvidia’s RTX 3070 Ti graphics card with a massive 150W maximum graphics power. This Legion 5 Pro, like practically all high-end gaming laptops due in 2022, features 16GB DDR5 RAM clocked at 4,800MHz and expandable to 32GB. The setup I have has 512GB of storage.
It’s great to see Lenovo adopting new technologies, however the amount of storage included in the base model is woefully inadequate. Given how enormous game file sizes have become, 512GB of storage is insufficient. After installing Cyberpunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and a few more programs, I needed to free up some space. It’s not a nice look, therefore I’m advising any potential purchasers to open the laptop up and install M.2 SSDs. All Legion 5 Pro variants come with two M.2 slots of varying sizes (one M.2 2242 slot and one M.2 2280 slot), while the most expensive options come with at least 1TB of storage.
Lenovo also offers the Legion 5 Pro in a glacier white color option in addition to the basic storm grey. The old Legion logo on top of the display’s lid has been replaced with a newer one that just says “Legion.” This concludes my tour of the new design elements in Legion 5 Pro this year. In every other regard, it appears nearly identical. It’s still a slab of a laptop in terms of style, and it’s nothing near as eye-catching as the Razer Blade 15 or the Asus Zephyrus G14. However, some people, like myself, could consider that a benefit.
Despite the minor design changes, certain connectors have been repositioned to accommodate an additional USB-C port. One USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 connector and a Thunderbolt 4 USB-C port are located on the left side. The headphone jack has been relocated to the right side of the device, beside the electronic camera shutter switch and USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port. There’s a power jack, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, an HDMI 2.1 port, a USB-C PD port, and an Ethernet port on the back, which is largely the same as last year’s model. Last year’s model included an extra USB-A port, but I’m not too concerned about it being removed.
With roughly a dozen tabs open in Microsoft Edge with Slack and Spotify streaming in the background, I was able to get around five hours out of this gaming laptop on a single charge. The screen was set to around 40% brightness, while the Legion 5 Pro‘s cooling profile was set to its default settings. A 30-minute Zoom meeting was also held. So, the longevity here is neither extraordinarily low nor exceptionally high. But, happily, Lenovo provides a handful of charging options, a move that several other manufacturers have followed.
In this latest model, Lenovo increased the top charging speed of its rear USB-C connector to 135W, up from 65W last year. Charging through USB-C beats dragging around the laptop’s large 300W power brick, yet if you plan on gaming while just utilizing a USB-C charger, the laptop will empty quicker than it can charge. However, using the Super Rapid Charge feature, which claims to recharge a major percentage of the 80Wh battery in roughly 30 minutes, is a compelling incentive to bring that bulky charger along. To use the functionality, you must first download and install the Lenovo Vantage program. I tried it, and it filled more than half the battery’s capacity in that time (though the wrist rest gets a little toasty during the process).
The Legion 5 Pro is still a genuine joy to type on — and use in general. Many manufacturers (including Dell, Alienware, and others) have released modest keyboard redesigns this year, but Lenovo was correct to leave this one alone. It’s jam-packed with features, including a full number pad and large directional keys. On other keyboard layouts, I’ll mistakenly push the power button or press the right Shift when I want to press the forward slash button, but I didn’t have any such problems here. The trackpad has been marginally enlarged in size in this year’s model, according to Lenovo, although the difference is insignificant.
Lenovo did not update the Legion 5 Pro‘s audio, which I wish it had done. They’re not much worse than the ones in last year’s laptop, but in 2022, some manufacturers have made significant changes. Bad speakers, like the ones on the Legion 5 Pro, prompted video producer Dave2D to conduct extensive research to determine why Windows laptops have so poor audio in general, especially when compared to newer MacBooks. I understand that many gamers prefer to utilize gaming headsets and headphones, but these speakers may have benefited from some attention in 2022.
Even if you don’t notice them right away, the Legion 5 Pro‘s 16-inch matte IPS display has received some improvements. It boasts the same 165Hz QHD+ resolution panel as previous year. What’s new is that it now supports variable refresh rate (VRR), which allows the display’s refresh rate to bend in tandem with the hardware, resulting in fewer stutters during intense gaming.
Aside from screen specs, the Legion 5 Pro‘s display is just as beautiful as last year’s, with 100 percent coverage of the sRGB color spectrum. Lenovo claims that its maximum brightness is 500 nits. While I didn’t have the resources on hand to verify the correctness of that claim, the screen stayed bright and clear when exposed to natural light. The lower-end Legion 5 Pro models have a 1,920 x 1,200 resolution and a peak brightness of 300 nits.
Compare with similar items
|Legion 5 Pro(2022)||Legion 5||ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 (2022)||Lenovo Legion 5 Pro||ASUS ROG Strix G15 (2021)|
|Customer Rating||4.4 out of 5||4.6 out of 5||4.3 out of 5||4.2 out of 5||4.5 out of 5|
|Computer Memory Size||32.0 GB||16||16 GB||16 GB||16 GB|
|CPU Model||AMD Ryzen 7||Ryzen 7||Intel Core i9||Ryzen 7||Ryzen 9|
|CPU Model Manufacturer||AMD||AMD||Intel||AMD||AMD|
|CPU Speed||3.20 GHz||3.2||5 GHz||4.40 GHz||4.5 GHz|
|Display Resolution Maximum||2560×1600 pixels||1920 x 1080 pixels||1920 x 1080 pixels||2560×1600 pixels||1920 x 1080 pixels|
|Screen Size||16 inches||15.6||15.6 inches||16 inches||15.6 inches|
|Graphics Coprocessor||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070|
|Graphics Description||Dedicated||Dedicated||RTX 3070 Ti||Dedicated||GeForce RTX 3070|
|Hard Disk Description||SSD||SSD||—||SSD||—|
|Hard Disk Size||1 TB||512 GB||1 TB||1 TB||1 TB|
|Human Interface Input||Keyboard||Keyboard||Microphone, Keyboard||Touch Pad, Microphone, Keyboard, Numeric Keypad||Keyboard|
|Item Weight||5.40 lbs||5.29 lbs||5.07 lbs||5.40 lbs||5.07 lbs|
|Operating System||Windows 11 Home||Windows 10 Home||Windows 11 Home||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 Home|
|RAM Type||DDR4 SDRAM||DDR4 SDRAM||—||DDR4 SDRAM||DDR4 SDRAM|
|Wireless Communication Standard||Bluetooth, 802.11b||Bluetooth||802.11ax, Bluetooth||Bluetooth||Bluetooth, 802.11ax|
|Wireless Communication Technology||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi||Bluetooth||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi|
When it came to gaming, I witnessed a significant year-over-year improvement in practically every game I tried. For example, Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmarked at 82 frames per second at native resolution (with graphics settings and ray tracing set to ultra and Nvidia’s deep learning super sampling, or DLSS, set to balanced) – a 20-frame improvement over the previous-gen laptop. Without ray tracing (but with DLSS enabled), the frame rate increased to 110 frames per second.
Control was almost always running over 55 frames per second at native resolution with its graphics settings on ultra and the full suite of ray tracing options set to max (with DLSS on), with some environments hovering comfortably above 70 frames per second — another dramatic year-over-year improvement. Regardless of the scene, the 2021 model peaked out at roughly 45 frames per second.
Red Dead Redemption 2 was the only game I tested that didn’t show a significant performance gain, running at an average of 59 frames per second (the same as last year’s model) with graphics settings set to ultra. When I tested Red Dead Redemption 2 last year, DLSS wasn’t accessible, but it increased the average frame rate to 73 frames per second.
This model, like the Legion 5 Pro from last year, stays cool and quiet while running games. By holding the Function key and hitting the Q key, you can switch between performance profiles. The LED on the power button changes colors to show which profile has been selected (blue is silent mode, white is auto mode, and red is performance mode). To be transparent, I recorded gaming results in auto mode, although most games saw a tiny frame rate bump after performance mode was enabled. That mode is only active when the machine is plugged in, and it will instantly brighten the screen and prepare the machine to utilise its full power. The fans may spin at full speed in games and other demanding programs with that setting enabled, but it’s still not the loudest gaming laptop I’ve ever used.
After a few additional tests, we found that the Legion 5 Pro performed admirably in our Adobe Premiere Pro export, which examines how quickly a system can render a 4K file from our Verge video team. The five-minute, 33-second clip took only two minutes and 34 seconds to export. To summarize, I have no issues about this performance – it’s quick. I also ran Puget’s Premiere Pro benchmark, which gave the Legion 5 Pro an 835 overall score. You can see the detailed findings here.
I’m pleased with Lenovo’s internal spec upgrades to this year’s Legion 5 Pro, and anyone looking for a gaming laptop on a budget should consider this model. It’s a quick laptop that’s good for more than just gaming, and I still enjoy typing on it.
Despite Lenovo’s lack of pricing transparency, the best thing about this Intel-based version I tested is its price. In comparison to setups stacked with Intel’s 12th Gen CPUs, this $1,999 Legion is still reasonably priced. It costs $500 less than the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 I described previously, but it features a GPU that’s comparable. It’s less expensive than Asus’ ROG Zephyrus G15, but you’re giving up some power in return for portability with that model.
Lenovo didn’t have to do much to make the Legion 5 Pro a success in 2022. On the one hand, it increased the power and added certain conveniences, like as faster USB-C charging and a Thunderbolt 4 connector, to satisfy me. Even with its poor speaker system and limited default storage, the Legion 5 Pro is unique in that it is far less expensive than computers that perform some of those things better, such as Razer’s Blade 15, Asus ROG Zephyrus G15, or the aforementioned Strix Scar 17.
Of course, I wish Lenovo would step up and produce a truly exceptional device for those who aren’t willing to spend a fortune. But for this price, I’m willing to ignore its flaws. That is, assuming Lenovo can keep this laptop on the shelves.