Since the first generation, Lenovo’s Legion series of game laptops has been a surprisingly good deal, and the company has continued to improve the line of cheap to high-end mid-range laptops with each new generation. The Lenovo Legion Pro 5i (Gen 8) has some of the newest and best tech from Intel and NVIDIA, as well as a huge 16-inch screen and a price that’s easy on the wallet. The Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8 is a high-end game laptop that is very strong and can do a lot. As with other game laptops, you have to give up some things to get a good one.
Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8: Description
It’s big, the battery life isn’t great, and it would have been nice to have more RAM as well. Still, the laptop is great at what it’s supposed to do and can handle almost anything you throw at it. Lenovo doesn’t make its game laptops stand out too much. Sure, there’s a shiny chrome Legion logo on the lid and a rainbow of RGB backlighting on the keyboard, but compared to systems that cram extra bling everywhere they can adding RGB to the front of the palm rest, the back of the chassis, even across the lid or the touchpad the understated look is a nice change.
It makes the dark gray laptop something you could bring into an office or classroom and open to take notes without it lighting up like a slot machine. The Legion 5i Pro can destroy current games, is built to a high standard, and fixes one of the main problems we had with the Legion Pro 7i: the high price that comes with being one of the best Lenovo laptops on the market. Is the Legion 5i Pro a better buy all the way around? Let’s look at what’s so great about the laptop and, in the end, decide if it’s worth the money.
Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8: Pricing
The Intel Core i7-13700HX CPU model costs $1,449.99 which has 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU with 8GB of VRAM, and a 16-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel, 16:10 aspect ratio display with a 165Hz frame rate. The base model of the Legion Pro 5i costs $1,219.99 and has a Core i5-13500HX processor, an RTX 4050 GPU with 6GB of VRAM, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. For $1,599.99, you get the same Intel Core i7 CPU and 16GB of RAM, but you can update to the Nvidia RTX 4070 with 8GB of VRAM and 1TB of SSD storage.
The Legion line from Lenovo is one of the best-known game laptop brands. So the Legion Pro 5i Gen 8, which just came out, has a lot to live up to. Its features look amazing, but you really need to use one to find out if they work in real life. I did the same thing here.
|Display||16-inch, 2560 x 1600, 16:10, G-Sync, 165 Hz|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-13700HX|
|RAM||16GB DDR5-4800 (2x 8GB)|
|Storage||512GB PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Networking||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1|
|Ports||Four USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1), two USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2), HDMI, Ethernet, 3.5mm audio|
|Camera||1080p webcam with e-shutter|
|Power Adapter||300 W|
|Operating System||Windows 11 Home|
Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8: Design
The Legion Pro 5i is, without a doubt, a game laptop, but Lenovo didn’t give it a design that screams “look at me!” Instead, the laptop looks like a business suit because the chassis is onyx grey and the paint has a bit of shimmer. The top cover, which has a simple Legion logo, is made of metal, while the rest of the chassis is made of high-quality plastic. The only clear signs that this 16-inch beast is a game laptop are the large exhaust vents on each side and the RGB keyboard.
On the right side of the frame, there is a 3.5 mm headphone jack, a USB 3.2 Type-A port, and a slider for the electronic shutter. (The second one turns on an electric shutter that basically turns off the webcam to protect your privacy.) Lenovo said it went this way because the thin bezels around the screen don’t allow for a real privacy shutter. On the left side, you’ll find a USB 3.2 Type-C port and another USB 3.2 Type-A port.
Most of the ports, like two more USB 3.2 Type-A ports, a USB 3.2 Type-C port, HDMI 2.1, ethernet, and a unique power port, are on the back panel. The Legion Pro 5i (Gen 8) is almost the same size as the Legion Pro 5i (Gen 7). It is 14.3 by 10.25 by 0.88 inches. But with the same settings, the Gen 8 is also about 0.1 pounds heavier than the Gen 7.
Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8: Display
The Lenovo Legion Pro 5i (Gen 8) is a 16-inch beast of a laptop, so it has a lot of screen space. Lenovo chose a 16:10 aspect ratio, which makes the display feel much roomier (even though there may be black bars above and below the screen when watching some videos or playing some games). There are also pretty thin edges around the screen and a helpful lip at the top that holds the front-facing camera and makes it easier to open the laptop.
The screen itself is QHD and runs at 165Hz. I was surprised by how good it looks. Our display tests show that it’s not the most accurate in terms of colors, but it’s surprisingly bright (nearly 400 nits, well above the 300 nits Lenovo claimed), has great viewing angles and good contrast for a mid-range IPS display, and feels very responsive. It’s even anti-glare, which looks great and does what it says it will. I also didn’t see any backlight bleeding, which is a typical problem with IPS panels, especially the bigger ones.
Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8: Keyboard and trackpad
The keys are a little soft to press, but I can get used to it fast. It’s nice in a way because it makes using the computer even quieter, which I liked about the last model too. The keys still have a little dip in them, which makes them easier to hit. Because of this and the 1.5mm key movement, I can type just as fast and with fewer mistakes as I can on my regular keyboard. The full layout with a Numpad is another trait that is not very common these days.
The only problem is that the keys on the numeric pad are a bit smaller than the rest. This is the right thing to do because it will keep the whole keyboard from getting crowded. But because of the Numpad, this layout has all the keys, including big arrow keys and a lot of multimedia features along the F row. If you like getting to video stuff quickly like I do, you can also use the Fn-lock.
The RGB is the last thing to talk about with the keyboard. If this is your thing, don’t get too excited because it’s about as simple as it gets. It only has one zone, and the way light spreads and colors are shown reminds me of RGB computers from ten years ago. On the other hand, the trackpad. I think it has been changed because I think it works a lot better than the last model I saw. At first, I thought it was glass, but the way it looks makes me think it’s just a very smooth piece of plastic.
Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8: Cooling
I’ve always liked how Lenovo’s Legion computers handle power and keep cool with the ColdFront system, and this one is no different. The laptop has two big fans and thick heat pipes that cover most of the performance hardware. A huge intake vent takes up half of the bottom panel. The laptop doesn’t seem to have any trouble letting air in through the bottom or out through the sides and back.
When the Intel CPU’s Turbo boost is on, about 55 decibels, the fans are at their strongest. If you’re not in Turbo and your PC is playing a game, you can expect it to make about 45 decibels or less. You shouldn’t expect a laptop that is as quiet as a whisper, but you also won’t have to deal with one that screams every time you start a game. I also heard a bit of a whine from a piece of the laptop’s hardware when the fans were off, which is hard to tell when you’re just playing games.
Lenovo has come up with a way to manage power that includes an AI engine that constantly balances the amount of power used, how hot it gets, and how well it works. You can stress test this laptop all day without it slowing down because of heat, because the system is always making changes in the background. Through the Vantage app, you can also fine-tune how the AI engine works. This is still a laptop with the usual size restrictions, and it’s amazing that you can run a 13th Gen Intel Core HX-series CPU at 55W and an RTX 4060 laptop GPU at 140W without breaking down.
Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8: Performance
The Lenovo Legion Pro 5i has more than enough gaming speed and should quench your gaming thirst with an excellent user experience. But it can also meet your work needs with an Intel Core i7-13700HX CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. I used Google Chrome to open 45 tabs. Some were watching movies on YouTube, and one was watching “Avengers: Endgame” on Disney Plus. There was no delay, and there wasn’t much noise from the fans.
During the Handbrake video-editing test, the laptop had to convert a 4K movie to 1080p, which took 3 minutes and 39 seconds. This was faster than the average mainstream gaming laptop, which took 4 minutes and 35 seconds. The Katana came in second with a time of 4:35, and the Stealth came in third with a time of 4:41.
During our file transfer test, the Legion Pro 5i copied 25GB of mixed-media files at an average rate of 1,792.63 megabytes per second. This is just above the average of 1,268.88 megabytes per second for a mainstream game laptop. The Origin (3TB SSD) had the fastest transfer rate of the group at 1,818 megabytes per second, just beating our Lenovo. The MSI Stealth 14 Studio (1TB SSD) comes in third with 1,208MBps, and the Katana 15 (1TB SSD) comes in second with 783.72MBps.
Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8: Gaming Performance
The Nvidia RTX GeForce 4060 GPU and 8GB of VRAM are in the Legion Pro 5i. Most games will run smoothly on the 4060, and I ransacked, pillaged, and destroyed towns in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (1080p) while getting an average of 103 frames per second. There was never any laggy behavior or stuttering. I just fought my way across the huge world of ACV with my bow and battle ax, destroying and killing my enemies along the way.
During the Red Dead Redemption 2 benchmark in 1080p, our Legion unit hit 70 frames per second, surpassing the mainstream game laptop average of 63 fps. With an average of 75 frames per second, the Origin easily beat its reference group. The Katana got 72 frames per second, while the Stealth only got 58. During the Borderlands 3 (FHD 1080p) benchmark, the Pro 5i did well, getting 90 fps and beating the category average of 81 fps. But the Origin burned it to a crisp with an average of 102 fps, followed by the Katana at 99 fps and the 14 Studio at 80 fps.
Last, we ran the GTA V benchmark (1920 x 1080p, Very High). Our unit scored 97 fps, which was better than the average of 92 fps for the group. The Origin scored 97 fps, which was the same as our 5i. The MSI Katana 15 was right behind them, averaging 96 fps, with the Stealth 14 Studio chugging along at 83 fps.
Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8: Battery Life
This Legion Pro 5i has an 80Wh battery, which is pretty much the same as the batteries in the models that came before it. Gaming computers aren’t known for having long battery lives, and the Legion Pro 5i (Gen 8) is no different. But the Gen 8’s battery life was much shorter than that of the Gen 7.
In our battery test, we used the Legion Pro 5i (Gen 8) to browse the web, run graphics tests, and watch video over Wi-Fi at a brightness of 150 nits for four hours and 54 minutes. The Gen 7 ran seven and a half hours on a single charge. Keep in mind, though, that the Core i7-12700H in the Gen 7 is a 45W processor and the Core i7-13700H in the Gen 8 is a 55W processor. The Gen 8’s performance put it in last place, behind the Gigabyte Aorus 15X, which lasted five hours and twenty minutes.
Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8: Pros and Cons
That being said, the Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8 is a great laptop for gaming in general. It strikes a good balance between price, performance, and features. Gamers who want a cheap laptop that can handle even the most demanding games should get this one.
- Excellent performance
- Handsome, low-key design without garish gamer RGB
- Tall 16:10 display is great for gaming and work alike
- Plenty of RGB
- Battery life is below average
- Less RAM than some competitors
If you pay the full price, the Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8 costs $1,158.99. At that price, I think it’s well worth the money because it has a high-end CPU and GPU. If you ever need more RAM, it’s easy to add it to a laptop, and the SSD can also be added to. If you’re looking for a gaming laptop, none of the problems should stop you from buying it.