Lenovo Legion 5 review (2021 model, Ryzen 7 5800H, RTX 3050Ti)

54 Comments

  1. Adam

    July 28, 2021 at 7:07 am

    In my country Legion 5 and 5 Pro are priced similarly. How temperatures and fan noise compare between this two laptops? Is 5 Pro noticeably louder in daily use light tasks? Are quiet and balanced mode TDPs lower in 5 vs 5 Pro?

    • Derek Sullivan

      July 28, 2021 at 12:41 pm

      TDP is probably similar between units but I missed making a table for the 5 pro like I did for the 5. If you compare cinebench benchmarks though, they are very similar.

      Actual use in gaming is going to vary from model to model based on the hardware configuration. The 5 pro for example has much louder fans, but it's also pushing 140w to a much more powerful GPU. The heat sinks and fans are practically identical so wattage supplied is probably going to be the main difference in how loud they get.

      To answer your question though, during normal use, I'd say they are both the same in terms of noise. If you're using the exact same GPU and CPU between units, the noise levels are probably similar, but if you're using the 3050ti like I had, the 5 is much quieter than the 3070 legion 5 pro I tested.

  2. Aren

    July 28, 2021 at 7:43 am

    It would be nice if your future reviews contained a sample recording of laptop microphone. During the video meetings I don't really care about video quality. But if I have to talk to other people for 2 hours I really care about built in mic sound quality. There is nothing more annoying than clipping, distorting, not loud enough laptop mic.

    • Derek Sullivan

      July 28, 2021 at 12:41 pm

      That's a good idea. I'll discuss it with Andrei and maybe we can come up with something. If I add something to the article, I'll let you know.

      • Adam

        July 28, 2021 at 3:12 pm

        Thank you for answering questions.

        On the subject of video reviews. I have noticed that some Youtube reviewers when presenting the fan noise recording also talk at the same time. From what I get it seems to be to give listeners an idea how much louder or quieter fans are in comparison to normally speaking person.
        That is interesting idea.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 28, 2021 at 2:06 pm

      Hi, thanks for the suggestion, but unfortunately that's not something that we can include at this point in a written review, for a couple of reasons. It would make perfect sense in a video, and we'll keep that in mind for our future video reviews.

  3. Vic Hardy

    July 28, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    Good review and timely for me. I ordered a Pro 5 direct from Lenovo last month and liked everything about it except that the keys were flashing constantly different colors and there was no way to turn them off or at least set to one color. This has been an issue with some customers for a year and Lenovo has apparently still not fixed it.

    So, can I assume that the one you bought does not have this issue? Like you, I want a faster and more modern CPU and I like the AMD processors with the lower line widths and power dissipation. My 8 year old ASUS 17' was good in its day but the aging GTX770M GPU can't even run Black Mesa and it'd be good to play the occasional modern game.

    The price point is good for sure. Since I sent pack the 5 Pro I replaced my SUV so I'm trying to find something that would fit the bill for less than $2K.

    • Derek Sullivan

      July 28, 2021 at 6:18 pm

      Like all the keys?? That's weird.

      By default, this legion 5 did that from the start. But after I updated vantage and then a reboot, the color options appear at the bottom of the Vantage software. You absolutely have to use vantage to do this too – there's no other way.

      • Vic Hardy

        July 28, 2021 at 6:22 pm

        Sadly, updating vantage (and rebooting, many times) did not allow the lighting option to appear, but good to hear something worked on this model.

  4. mind12

    July 30, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    That Realtek Wifi card is garbage. My L5P arrived with it, tried to tweak it, get a newer driver but it just drops the connection without any reason randomly.
    The AX200 is not available anywhere so I bought an Intel 9260NGW instead.

    • Derek Sullivan

      July 30, 2021 at 12:54 pm

      Interesting – we still haven't had any problems with ours yet. I wonder if the metal lid on the L5P made the difference. The L5P I reviewed had an AX200 so perhaps you could ask Lenovo to source you one.

      • mind12

        July 30, 2021 at 1:14 pm

        It shouldnt be the metal lid because the AX200 is fine, discord and reddit is full of problems with the Realtek only.
        May I ask what's yours exact driver version?

      • Derek Sullivan

        July 30, 2021 at 1:31 pm

        I had 6001.0.10.327 for the review. I did an OS migration from my wife's old system though so I just reinstalled that driver, so we'll see how it goes.

        Anything in particular that can cause a drop or is it just random? I can try to recreate it.

    • Derek Sullivan

      August 9, 2021 at 6:04 pm

      Looks like you were right. The Wifi module crapped out on us a few days ago. I replaced it with an AX210 and it's perfectly fine now. I updated the article accordingly. Thx for the heads up.

      • Vic Hardy

        August 9, 2021 at 6:14 pm

        Hey Derek. So are you talking about replacing hardware on the laptop? How do you do that? I'd have thought the wifi is integrated into the motherboard.

        FWIW, I have a L5P and it also has the realtek hardware and seems to run fine at both the 2G and 5GHz bands. I dual boot to Ubuntu so have spent most of my time there, although in my experience drivers for Windows tend to be better. One thing I've done in the past when I see drops is to turn off power saving in the wifi settings and that sometimes works…

      • Vic Hardy

        August 9, 2021 at 6:18 pm

        Never mind, I looked it up. I actually never knew there's a standard for laptop wifi cards – pretty cool. Even an old retired EE can learn new tricks :)

      • Derek Sullivan

        August 9, 2021 at 6:26 pm

        Haha, yup! Most thicker laptops still use the module like that. The two-in-one devices and others that are so thin and portable usually opt for soldering it on the main board.

  5. mind12

    July 30, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    I'm using .326.
    Just found out that updates are coming through windows update and there is a .328 version. I give it a try before replacing the module.

    The drop is just random, can happen anytime, even if it's locked and idle.

  6. Koaldminer

    July 31, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    I've yet to try gaming, but am looking to replace an aging laptop with the clearest screen for my aging eyes, enough speed to not try my limited patience, as well as stave off obsolescence, and reliable build quality to last until technology makes it worth replacing. Ergonomics are very important for me and I appreciate the thoroughness of your review.

  7. Renato

    August 5, 2021 at 7:00 am

    Hello,

    I am a 15 year old student that is currently looking for a laptop that can last long enough for school aswell as it being able to keep up with newer games. Let's say a typical school day were to last 5 to 6 hours (not including breaks), would this laptop last long enough? Or should I upgrade its battery. I'm a rookie at this sorry. Also, if I were to bring a charger for this laptop, would it still be as quiet?

    Thank you.

    • Derek Sullivan

      August 5, 2021 at 2:07 pm

      It depends on what you're doing in school. If it's light internet and word processing, it should be ok. But only if you're getting that larger battery. The 60whr one is going to be more like 4 hours.

      If you use a charger it might be louder if it's in balanced or performance mode because you're using the full TDP. Just shift it to quiet mode in that case.

      Another option is a USB GaN charger. With those you can charge your laptop but it won't allow for the CPU to use it's "plugged in TDP" so it'll stay as quiet as on battery.

      Last option is a PD battery pack through the same USB in the back. Serves the same purpose only not to a wall.

      • Tony

        August 22, 2021 at 3:38 am

        Hi I was wondering which battery on ebay you bought to upgrade the laptop. Mine came with the 60 wtt version and I want to buy an 80 wtt one. Could you provide a link.

      • Derek Sullivan

        August 22, 2021 at 4:35 am

        The listing I bought was titled "L20C4PC1 NEW 5B11B48829 15.36V 5200mAh 80Wh Battery For Lenovo Legion 5"

        The description stated it was for a Legion 5 Pro. From what I've seen, the Legion 5, Legion 5 Pro and Legion 7 all use the same exact batteries. Pretty good chances they are all interchangeable.

  8. Alberto

    August 9, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    The "shiny paint" of the hinge is just a plastic film that you can peel off.
    Also my unit came with an Intel AX200 WiFi chip so it probably can vary from unit to unit.

    • Derek Sullivan

      August 10, 2021 at 1:00 am

      Wow, hahaha, you're right it peeled right off! That looks so much better. I can't believe I didn't notice that.

      Good to know that it's different from unit to unit. Thx

      • Andrew

        August 14, 2021 at 9:37 pm

        Hello Dereck. Excellent reviewed, very detailed in all aspects, especially in the battery life time, since there are not many reviews that detail the time of this.

        I am very seriously thinking about buying this laptop, and I wish you could help me with the following:

        -How much maximum capacity of ram and ssd memory can I upgrade?

        -When you upgraded your ram memory, and in the case the SSD memory (M.2), was it necessary to disconnect the battery from the laptop?

        -Once you have updated the SSD and ram memories, is it necessary to configure the BIOS?

        I am very new to laptops and even computers, maybe many of these questions are very obvious but I need your help so that I can not make a mistake and damage the laptop

        Thank you so much for everything!

      • Derek Sullivan

        August 14, 2021 at 11:12 pm

        Nothing in the bios needs configuration and you don't need to disconnect the battery provided you are properly grounded. I hardly ever ground myself but you risk static shock of components if you don't.

        The ssds must be Pcie on this model and there are only two bays. So whatever model you choose, you can just put it in the empty bay.

        I'm not positive on the ram. I know it can support 32gb. It's possible it supports 64gb considering many other laptops with two slots do. But I have no current way of testing this.

  9. Faisal

    August 15, 2021 at 9:04 am

    Hi sir thanks for this article and efforts.
    I want to ask you what should i buy from one of these, nitro 5 5600h rtx 3050ti vs legion 5 5800h rtx 3050ti / gtx 1650?

  10. Greg

    August 15, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    What is the weight of the power brick? Thanks.

  11. Mark

    August 16, 2021 at 7:54 am

    Hi Dereck. Very good reviewed from you friend.

    I have some doubts and I hope I can help me solve it, please.

    -The screen can be configured so that the refresh rate drops to the permanent 60Hz? In turn, could this be detrimental to the screen in the long run? It is that, really, I would like to always use it in 60Hz

    -Could the screen resolution be lowered to 1280x720p? Is it advisable to do this? As it is not a native resolution, will you have long-term problems? I'm not really interested in high resolutions like 1920x1080p

    -If so, these changes in the cup of soda (Hz) and screen resolution that I want, from where it would be best to configure them: settings Windows or panel control nvdia

    I hope you can help me, please

    • Derek Sullivan

      August 16, 2021 at 2:55 pm

      Disregard my previous comment. I forgot this was Ryzen and not Intel. I'm actually not sure how to switch to 60hz on Radeon software. I know you can switch to Nvidia and make a custom resolution but that only works with the dgpu enabled.

  12. David Huang

    August 17, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    The WiFi adapter it came with (Realtek RTL8852AE Wifi 6) seems to of been working fine for me, but I only just got this laptop 2 weeks ago. I'm planning on using this laptop for school, so I'm just wondering how hard was it for you to replace yours, and do you recommend any specific wifi adapters?

    I've personally replaced parts on a laptop like the screen adapter, and the screen itself, but never went near things in the motherboard.

    • David Huang

      August 17, 2021 at 6:04 pm

      And by the way, I've seen some slight problems with the connection during like my gaming sessions, like the ping would spike up for like a second or two before going down.

      • Derek Sullivan

        August 17, 2021 at 10:50 pm

        That might be a bad sign. For us, it was fine for a couple weeks but then Wifi would be completely unavailable for minutes at a time. It's almost like it was overheating or something.

    • Derek Sullivan

      August 17, 2021 at 10:49 pm

      Here's the adapter i used: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08MJLPZPL/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B08MJLPZPL&linkCode=as2&tag=ultrarevie0a-20&linkId=87f3755a82c22ac88b269a8c84f65e50. Changing out the adapter is pretty simple but getting the back cover off the laptop can be a little difficult. Once you remove all the screws, you should use a plastic opening tool or guitar pick to pry the clips loose. Follow this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib0taHWcyf to do so. Skip ahead to 3:00 to see him take off the Wifi adapter. This is an older model but the concept is the exact same.

      The trickiest part is reconnecting the wifi wires to the module. They are super tiny so you need to have a little dexterity and patience to get them back on correctly. I've heard using tweezers helps, but I found it best to just go by feel, align the wire correctly, and press down with your nail until you feel it snap in. It's a subtle feeling, which is why it's tricky. If you don't have issues with your adapter though, don't bother changing it – I could have just had a dud. Good luck!

  13. Henrique

    September 14, 2021 at 7:44 am

    Hello, Derek/Andrei,
    what a wonderful review! Very honest and thorough. Thanks and congratulations.

    Coincidentally, I think I have kind of similar necessities as your wife (except maybe a stronger need to work unplugged for longer periods).

    I have very few options of "gaming" (not really – video editing mostly) laptops around my region here in Brazil. The vast majority comes with a somewhat dated i7-10750H CPU.

    I could find two options that did interest me though:
    1) this exact same Legion 5 (R7 5800H and RTX 3050 Ti) for US$1330
    2) a 2020 Razer Blade 15 Base model (i7 10750H and GTX 1660 Ti) for US$1260

    I hated the part about the Legion WiFi card, because I definitely won't be able to buy one here in Brazil (not for a reasonable price). The same goes for the battery (wich is quite important to me).

    Comparing both models I think I can see that:

    I may be trading a quite strong and long lasting (very important with my small salary) build quality of the Razer for a much more capable CPU on the Legion (around 50% to 60% improvement in video encoding? Is this right?).

    I also don't know if the RTX 3050 Ti will be significantly better on Adobe Premiere, compared to the GTX 1660 Ti Graphics (I figure that both would deliver around the same performance, but I might be wrong).

    Is there something in comparing both these that I missed?

    Would it be OK if I maybe asked you for a recommendation?

    Many thanks! :-)

    • Derek Sullivan

      September 14, 2021 at 7:07 pm

      The Legion 5 definitely has more CPU horsepower and about 10-20% more GPU, so specs alone make me lean more towards the Lenovo. But you're right to be concerned if you don't have access to replace the Wifi module. It's hit or miss though, because many users have said the module works fine for them. Just not me…

      For the Legion 5 model you listed, are you sure the battery is 60whr? Some come with the 80 and if you order on Lenovo.com you have the option to upgrade.

      To answer your question, I think in your situation you probably want the increased CPU power. If your order allows for returns, I would try the Legion out and see if the wifi works. I think the battery life will end up being nearly the same as the Blade 15, even with the smaller battery anyways.

      • Henrique

        September 16, 2021 at 6:56 am

        Thank you so much for your reply. It gave me the confidence to go for the LeNovo Notebook. I confess I was not so much keen on the brand, and I was a bit worried about the build quality.

        About the 80whr battery, I may try to import it in the distant future (as it is a complicated, expensive and lengthy process – and may or may not work, as some products are not allowed).

        Unfortunately, the seller of both those notebooks only give 3 months warranty and no returns allowed. LeNovo don't sell current models in Brazil, mostly outdated ones (there is still a few notebooks with 8th generation Intel chips on their site); and even those are out of stock (the best, most powerful options).

        I'm quite positive I will absolutely love either of those notebooks in the beginning, and only time will tell if they will last me as long as I need them to (at least 6 to 8 years).

        Again, thank you so much for your input, it indeed helped me a lot (to consolidate my thoughts around those options). :-)

  14. Fry

    September 29, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    I’ve been living with this model for about a month now. Disappointed I didn’t get it for $999, but I was able to snag it when it went down to $1030.
    So far everything is great. I had a monster headache the first week, but I’ll chop that up to “Windows being Windows.”
    It’s my first gaming computer, and no complaints. Supports VR, and I finally get to play a few PC games I’ve never experienced.

    It’s a shame that the ability to connect a 2.5” HD was left out, even though the space (and circuitry presumably) is present.

    Question on adding an M.2 HDD.
    Do I (should I) add a thermal pad in between the drive and the included shield? I already installed it, but can’t remember if a pad was present, and if one would be necessary regardless.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Derek Sullivan

      September 30, 2021 at 1:04 am

      I usually don't add one. They help but unless you're doing a lot of read/writing of files for extended periods, there's little benefit to using one. Can't hurt though. If you get some, use the thinnest kind and just stack them. That way you don't have a bulge where the plate won't screw down.

      • Fry

        October 1, 2021 at 7:32 am

        So just fyi, I decided to order some thermal pads. It turns out there is pink thermal padding already in place, under both shields.
        Coincidentally, I noticed that this particular model requires a m.2 screw for the second drive. The included screw pushes the drive too far, and looks like it’s meant to act more as a spacer.
        I ended up having order a screw, since I wasn’t too keen on my m.2 drive being pressured further downward than it should. Hopefully that makes sense.

  15. Dustin Fickert

    October 14, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    Great review.

    I have some quick questions if you do not mind, I currently have a MSI GS66 Stealth with the 2070 super max-q. I have to return this PC to my employer but am looking for a good replacement laptop for personal use.

    I really really liked the build quality and form factor of the GS66, but frankly I do not want to spend more than $1400.

    I am in-between a few laptops, and could really use any comments you have.

    Requirements "Preferences"

    – RTX 3050ti or 3060
    – AMD 5800H or similar
    – 16gb ram or more
    – 15"ish display
    – The thinner the better
    – Prefer build quality similar to GS66 (Aluminum, solid, etc)

    Laptops I have narrowed down to:

    Lenovo Legion 5 (exact model as reviewed)

    MSI 15M with Intel i7 11375H and RTX 3060 (love the chassis, but they say the screen and battery isn't that great)

    Acer Nitro 5 AN515 AMD Ryzen 5800h and RTX 3060

    Any others?

    Any of your personal input would be greatly appreciated! :)

    • Derek Sullivan

      October 14, 2021 at 11:41 pm

      Those are good options. I don't think you're going to find something as thin at that price point tbh. If you liked the gs66 build quality though, I think you'll be fine with the Legion 5. It's a little thicker but it's less delicate feeling than the gs66(i owned a gs65 for a year which is extremely similar). If you can afford it, I'd lean towards the 3060 model as it'll be more future proof and is better performance for the dollar. Unless you play few games than the 3050ti is probably fine. Good luck to you.

  16. AlexS

    October 19, 2021 at 10:42 am

    Nice review and agree this a quite balanced laptop.
    I got mine 17.3" version with RTX 3060 in Europe for 1100 euro.
    I got better score in Cinebench R23 reach 1441 and 13200 points. Maybe the bigger chassis benefits thermals. This the only 5800H laptop that i saw reach these levels.

    Some important points to make:
    1- You have MUX in this laptop. So when you put in full performance the RTX card bypass the AMD GPU in the board.
    2- RTX 3060 is full power to 130w TDP, not one of the capped ones in many other laptops.

    In the Vantage software there is a setting that you can make the battery remain at 60% charge to make it more durable. If you don't need the battery much or have mostly it connected it might be useful.

    • Derek Sullivan

      October 19, 2021 at 12:44 pm

      Cool, I'm also reviewing the 3070 17" model. Should be done with it next week. Very similar to the 15" model in many ways.

  17. Ayon Tarafdar

    October 20, 2021 at 6:12 am

    Hey, thanks for the excellent review! Very helpful. I was wondering if you could help me with a related recommendation:

    If I play games only rarely and casually and mostly plan to use Davinci Resolve on my machine for 1080p editing with Fusion effects, should I go for this Legion 5 model (R7-5800H + 3050ti) or the Asus ROG Zephyrus M15 (2020, i7-10750H + 1660ti)? The Asus laptop is a gen older with a weaker processor but contains higher VRAM on the GPU. The Legion model however sports a newer and quite better processor and a GPU with higher CUDA cores count, but kinda limited on the GPU VRAM. So considering my use case and to buy a laptop for the next few years, which one should be better?

    For me, both laptops are available with a very minor price difference.

    Thank you!

    • Derek Sullivan

      October 20, 2021 at 12:30 pm

      Good question. That's tough to answer. The better CPU seems like the obvious choice in most cases, but the lack of vram could be a deal breaker depending on how you're using Resolve. I think the safer bet is the 1660ti, mainly because there's a reasonable amount of successful users out there. The 3050ti is too new, so there's no chatter in the forums about using Resolve with it yet. I'd hate to recommended the legion and see you get out of memory errors.

      Is the 3060 legion out of price range inn your area?

      • Ayon Tarafdar

        October 20, 2021 at 4:47 pm

        Hi, thanks for the response!

        Yes, I searched for relevant comparisons on forums and what I found was nothing specific. However, I understood that the number of CUDA cores determines the speed of processing, whereas the VRAM would determine playback smoothness and rendering of textures. But I can't determine if I really need all this.

        Also, the 3060 in our region is available on the Legion 5 Pro, but it's way beyond my budget.

    • AlexS

      October 20, 2021 at 6:35 pm

      An idea maybe getting advice from video forums.

  18. AlexS

    October 20, 2021 at 6:19 am

    Great, wish 3070 was available in my country. Looking forward to it, even if to commiserate with myself :-)

  19. Andrew

    November 2, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    Hello, thank you for writing this review, it was quite insightful, especially because my previous laptop recently decided to break, and I was looking for a new one. Many people advised me to look at this, and it looks extremely solid for the price. Does this review still hold up today? If so, if you don't mind me asking, where did you find the 80whr version? I’d like a longer battery life, if possible, and it seems like that is the right choice. However, I can't seem to find it anywhere, not on lenovo.com or on Amazon. If you still happen to have a link to where you purchased yours, I'd be extremely grateful.

    • Derek Sullivan

      November 2, 2021 at 8:32 pm

      My wife uses her laptop daily for multiple hours a day. It's been solid!

      I got the battery on eBay. Legion 5, legion 5 pro and legion 7 all use the same battery. There were a lot of sellers last time I checked.

  20. Daniel Zelpher

    November 28, 2021 at 1:44 am

    Hey I just bought a 2021 Legion 5 a few weeks ago after reading your great in depth review. I'm super happy with it and everything you said was spot on. Mine came with 8gb of ram so I upgraded to two 8gb sticks and took out the stock stick. I also ordered a second ssd since the one it comes with is too small.

    I was leery of trying a Lenovo at first but I'm glad I did. It seems much better built than my last two Asus gaming laptops. Thanks again for taking the time to make this review.

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