Friday, July 31, 2020

Lenovo Legion 5i Review - Great Value Gaming Laptop

Lenovo's new legion 5 series laptops are a slight refresh and rebrand of the y series and I think they did another great job with this one. It's still one of if not the least gaming type looking laptops on the market in fact now that they've replaced the backlit legion logo with this cool looking but still super muted iridescent logo in my opinion. It doesn't look gamery at all now on their y series laptop specifically the y540 they had this swirly texture on the lid but now it's totally smooth in phantom black. It'll still show fingerprints but not nearly as bad as other matte black laptops like the ones we get from razer for example those things are god damn nightmare to keep clean.

It is an all plastic build but it feels surprisingly solid I don't know if they're using different plastics maybe just thicker plastic or maybe it's just my imagination but it feels like a vault. My only stupid little gripe is the color of the hinge because it's got this subtle blue hue to it when the light hits it at certain angles not even sure if it'll show up on camera properly but I just found it kind of weird and out of place. The lid is a one-handed opener you just got to open it slowly otherwise the bottom will lift up a bit. The display is a 15-inch 1080p ips lcd with 144hz refresh rate and it looks great good color gamut coverage and good max brightness with my tests actually showing higher than what it was rated on the product page.

Content looks great games look great and there's a new privacy guard for the webcam that's been relocated to the top which is a sweet new addition there's four display options you can choose from if you wanted something different we've got 120 hertz option but its brightness max is out at only 250 nits there's a 60 hertz option with a max of 300 nits the 144hz option i have in the model i was sent and a 240 hertz option with a max of 500 nits personally i'd go for either the 144 or 240 hertz options we've got a full keyboard it's got a good layout good key size and the font looks normal the travel distance is still short but not nearly as short as a ton of other laptops I've reviewed and it is a little soft to type on but not too soft if that makes sense now the back lighting was a bit of a letdown to me because it's just a white back light with only two brightness steps.

There is a four zone rgb option you can pick but i mean i feel like these days it should have come standard the deck itself has this really unique feel to it it's not soft touch that's for sure but it's also not straight up plasticky feeling i actually really like it and it's easier to clean the clix cell track pad's pretty decent it's a good size not too big not too small it's got a plastic surface not glass but it's really smooth so finger glide's been okay not as good as glass surfaces but it's still good click travel is nice and short with a crisp actuation making it feel a little more high end and it's running everyone's favorite windows drivers in the Lenovo vantage app there's a whole bunch of settings for you to change but there's three thermal modes to choose from quiet balanced and performance that you can quick toggle between using the function and q keys which also changes the color of the power button led depending on the mode you're in which is pretty nifty here's the thing though as far as i can tell those modes aren't affecting the speeds of the fans they're affecting the cpu's clock speeds which in turn affects the speeds of the fans.

So in quiet mode it basically just throttles the hell out of the cpu and then I think the balance and performance modes are the exact same thing as windows own balance and high performance modes so there's a bunch of different configs for this guy depending on where you look uh the model i have is currently on sale at b h photo for 300 bucks and that's the funny thing about Lenovo's laptops they go on sale like a month after they launch sometimes it's on Lenovo's own website and sometimes it's through their retail partners but the point is when they do go on sale it's usually a stupid good value now what else is a good value rage shadow legends I'm just joking it's surf shark surf shark vpn browser ad blockers block ads but provides literally no other protection and that's where surf shark vpn comes in with surf shark you're totally protected from all those shady nerds trying to yink your banking credentials and social media accounts by encrypting all your back and forth data as well as blocking ads on your computer and phone but beyond that let's say you want to watch some content that's geo-restricted in a certain region yeah no worries no matter where you are in the world you can access your social media or different regions video content libraries like from Netflix or Hulu.

So if i wanted to watch the UK's Netflix library no problem and even if your partner back home is using surf shark to do whatever surf shark's the only vpn service that allows for an unlimited number of simultaneous connections across every major platform which is perfect for families give surf shark a try now by clicking the link in the description and use my promo code jared for 83 off your subscription and an extra month free anyways at idle even in quiet mode the fans always seem to be running they're super quiet but there is a bit of a subtle hum and when i dropped the system load hammer on this guy with the fans running at max they were actually quieter than i was expecting and way quieter than a lot of other gaming laptops and while sweating it out thermal seemed to be doing okay with a cpu keeping an average under 90 degrees celsius at 3.4 gigahertz although that's achieved by both thermal and power limit throttling so i'm not blown away with those results or anything gaming performance on the other hand was decent uh the intel i7 10750h and rtx 2060 non-max q variant which gives us a bit more power played really nice together in low settings it maintained triple digits in most games and again the temps were looking pretty good so i'm happy with those results.

Taking off the bottom panel we've got the two fans with some chunky heat pipes and it looks like it's all pretty easy to remove if you want to do some repasting there's a couple of easy access ram slots the ssd wi-fi card and a two and a half inch drive cage but if you look a little closer you'll notice an additional m.2 slot for another ssd you just got to pull that drive cage out of there first the battery is fairly small at only 60 watt hours it only lasted me just under three hours in balanced mode at 80 brightness bottom firing speakers are pretty small and so is the sound they produce they're pretty underwhelming i was really happy to see that most of the ports are still on the back we've got four usb a ports a single usbc hdmi network and an audio combo jack so plenty of holes for you to stick things in and pull things out of so there it is that's the legion 5i i'm really digging the new small but noticeable design changes and all the custom configuration options you get on the legion site it's a sweet laptop if you can find it on sale well especially if you can find it on sale.