Lenovo’s gaming laptops tend to get overlooked in the sea of flashing lights, probably because Lenovo is so overwhelmingly associated with work and its flagship ThinkPad line. But some of them are surprisingly good, and the line gets refreshed on a regular basis — the last refresh was in May last year. This go-round, the Legion 5 series models get another boost with the 12th-gen Intel, Ryzen and Radeon 6000-series AMD and Nvidia CPUs and GPUs announced this week at CES 2022, among other tweaks.
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The 16-inch Legion 5i Pro and 5 Pro flagships add what Lenovo calls “the world’s first 16-inch laptop series with a WQHD+ up to 240Hz adaptive refresh rate” as a new option. (The “i” in the name indicates it’s Intel-based and the absence of one represents the AMD model, though the designs are as similar as you can get given the different capabilities of the two platforms.) Now, that’s a pretty specific first to claim, especially since the adaptive refresh (G-Sync) has until the end of July to start rolling out. Nevertheless, even as one of the first, that’s a very nice option to have, especially since it’s a pretty bright display with a bit better than basic HDR (DisplayHDR 400) and a peak brightness of 500 nits.
They don’t get the top-end processors — for instance the max Intel option is the i7-12700H and the best GPU is the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti — but they do drive them pretty hard; it boosts to 165 watts for the GPU. But they take advantage of the new GPU/CPU power-shuffling technologies introduced by the three chip manufacturers to eke out some more speed.
The overhauled cooling system let Lenovo slim down the laptops, and to compensate for possible increased noise the new chassis is insulated to muffle it and intake air through the keyboard rather than hot air venting out through it. It also has a new four-zone lighting system. And a white version.
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The step-down Legion 5 and 5i, also the same design, still use a traditional 15.6-inch screen up to a 1440p screen, but the laptops are thinner with an aluminum and magnesium alloy cover to make it feel less budgety. It supports up to the same levels of CPUs as the Pro models, but the GPUs max out at an RTX 3060. It also gains the new cooling system, the quieter TrueStrike keyboard trickles down from higher-end models, and it supports USB-C charging.
Lenovo’s Legion Arena command center software does lag everyone else’s, though; it’s just now getting a game-launch screen that aggregates the games installed on your system with centralized access.