Legion 5 Pro Legion 5 Pro

Gaming

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review: A professional’s gaming laptop

Less flash and color, but certainly brings the thunder

Published

on

It’s very rare that a gaming device is given some level of “professional” treatment in its design. As I’ve observed, a lot of gaming devices tend to have something flashy about it from the design itself. Whether it’s an RGB logo or a matrix of LEDs, these often either bring out more features, or simply provide creative options. However, it’s pretty rare to find a gaming laptop that doesn’t get in your face about it.

When such devices exist, it’s often quite bland even on the hardware side. Apart from simple yet subtle designs, some devices don’t have quite the power and performance as a flashy, RGB-laden gaming machine. However, with Lenovo’s latest offering, they’re trying to break that notion that “professional” can be powerful.

I got the chance to take a look at the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, a gaming device that promises to bring gaming power in a non-flashy design. With the “Pro” title attached, you would think it’s an upgraded version of the Legion 5 from a few months back. However, this laptop makes its case to be a subtle version, but a more powerful one to boot.

To start, here’s what the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro offers:

It has a 165Hz refresh rate display, with a 16:10 aspect ratio

The big LED Legion logo is placed in the middle of the lid

Most of the media, connectivity, and the charging ports are placed at the back

It comes in a subtle, Space Gray-esque color

Design without flash, in a good way

Out of the box, I was genuinely surprised that the unit came in a Space Gray-like colorway with no indication of any RGB in it. I thought that, as a gaming laptop, it’s a “standard” to have some amount of RGB within the device. Apparently, for the whole build, I can’t find a single trace of RGB on it. However, there are units with an RGB keyboard, so keep that in mind.

Also, they’ve decided to plaster the LED Legion logo as the centerpiece of the lid cover. In previous Legion devices, it’s usually just sitting within the Legion letters to the side. Honestly, I’m a big fan of them doing this considering that it’s the only design piece on the lid with any lights on before.

It’s a subtle way of introducing a brand new gaming laptop. From all angles, it doesn’t show anything remotely flashy, giving it a “Pro” feel and look. It’s so subtle, it might even pass as a thick ultrabook that most young professionals use for their own daily grind. Underneath it, however, is an entirely different story.

Competitive gaming power fitting for the best

Inside this subtle machine are gaming-ready hardware oozing with power for the competitive gamer. This includes an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H and an NVIDIA RTX 3070, which on paper brings the thunder when it comes to competitive gaming. Also, with an AMD chip powering the system, you could expect some power-efficient performance, as well.

Title Avg. FPS (highest possible settings, no DLSS)
Fortnite Battle Royale 87-93 FPS
Cyberpunk 2077 57-62 FPS
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 79 FPS
VALORANT 194-201 FPS
Counter Strike: Global Offensive 240-250 FPS
Rocket League 258-266 FPS
Madden NFL 21 117-120 FPS
Apex Legends 75-79 FPS
Battlefield V 88-93 FPS

For this part, let’s get the obvious out of the way: this device provides stellar gaming performance. With all the games I ran through it, it was absolutely no sweat at all while playing at their highest settings. However, I didn’t particularly think it was perfect enough to maintain the same quality of gameplay all throughout.

Ray-tracing on an RTX 3070 was just… okay

Title Avg. FPS (w/ RTX DLSS + ray-tracing on)
Fortnite Battle Royale 37-43 FPS
Cyberpunk 2077 42-44 FPS
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 64 FPS

See, the moment I cranked up the ray-tracing in supported games, it made these games barely playable. Now, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Battlefield V were the exceptions, but in Battlefield’s case, the setting could not be toggled at all. I don’t particularly know why that happened, but this was one of the first games to introduce ray-tracing.

Fortnite and Cyberpunk 2077 hovered around the 40 FPS area, when cranked to a high ray-tracing setting. Even though I could see the reflections and the lighting effects in their full glory, it tanked my gameplay for Fortnite to an extent. In Cyberpunk’s case, it wasn’t a huge bother since I could take everything in quite nicely.

Potential for the creator in you

Apart from the obvious gaming capabilities, you can do so much more with this device thanks to its hardware. Depending on the content you wish to create, the Legion 5 Pro handles those tasks quite well. Of course, most of the credit will go to the RTX 3070 inside the machine doing all the graphical work in the process.

Creating photo and video content

In terms of photo and video editing, my experience was seamless, to say the least. A huge factor was the fact that the display of the device comes in a 16:10 aspect ratio. In essence, there’s a lot of workspace real estate to maximize your application windows on. Plus, it’s an anti-glare display with a 100 percent sRGB color gamut for more accurate colors while editing.

When it came to rendering videos, the RTX 3070 proved its worth in that department. Even for an 8GB VRAM GPU, it holds up when you run heavy-duty renders on it. In rendering my attempts of getting good at VALORANT caught on video, it took about 5-6 minutes on average to render 8-9 minutes with color effects and transitions. Meanwhile, renders on Blender took about 15-16 minutes on average, right around where i expected it to be.

Legion 5 Pro

Streaming and video conferencing

If you plan to pick up a laptop for streaming purposes, this is one sound recommendation in my book. Obviously, you will be running both your games and either OBS or Streamlabs in the background. Honestly, I didn’t feel any sort of hiccups when managing the workload, and I could still pop off in some games.

Although, there is just one slight thing I don’t recommend you doing: using the webcam to stream. See, it’s a 720p camera that, upon initial previews, isn’t the best in terms of image quality. When taking pictures and videos with it, the content produced lacks a good amount of detail that doesn’t complement the high quality gameplay.

If you want to go on video calls with your buddies, it gets a pass from me. Even with the dip in quality, it still shows your face in a way that’s not overly grainy. If you don’t plan to use the camera, there’s a physical switch at the right side to turn it off. It’s a nifty touch to have it on the side instead of being above the lens.

Lasts for as long as you’d expect

Factoring in all of the workload I subjected it to, the Legion 5 Pro lasted as long as I expected it to. On average, I got about 6-7 hours using it for productivity, video editing, and light gaming at 60 FPS. Even with an AMD chip inside, I could only squeeze out that much as compared to other gaming laptops with AMD chips inside.

Solely using this device to game at a high frame rate limited the battery life to just two hours. I tried limiting the frame rate to 60FPS while on battery, and I only got an additional 40 minutes on average. It’s not that surprising considering the GPU this device comes with, so make sure the charger is just nearby when you’re knee-deep into a game.

Speaking of that charger, it gives the device roughly two hours before being fully charged. The Legion 5 Pro brought a 300W charging brick to its full package, which is literally massive. When I turned on Rapid Charge on Vantage, it cut the full charge time by 20-25 minutes, so it brings you back in the game.

Stayed a little cooler for the most part

For such a subtle, professional-looking device, it actually heats up quite significantly. Now, Lenovo designed its Coldfront 3.0 to focus on improving heat management for the power-hungry components. It doesn’t mean the device won’t heat up under heavy workload, but it’s ideally supposed to alleviate some of that heat better.

My response to that is, well, it somewhat did that but with some things to call out. First off, it heated up when I was playing for longer hours, but not to an uncomfortable state. Usually, the keyboard is the first component hit by any severe warmth due to heavy workload. I was genuinely surprised that, at least on that aspect, they managed to fix that problem.

Legion 5 Pro

Second, when under heavy workload and hot air pumping out of the vents, you’re better off using a table. As much as I like to emphasize that this is a laptop, it grew a little too warm for my liking when I placed it on my lap. If it’s any consolation, I tried playing games with the laptop on my lap so that’s an “mb” on my end.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Starting at PhP 84,995, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro gives you a well-rounded gaming machine to work with. It comes with the gaming-ready hardware that will surely help bring out the best in you, in a form factor that isn’t flashy. Plus, it offers some content-creating capabilities that will give you more reasons to continue using the device for the whole day.

Legion 5 Pro

With a massive charger to boot, it gets you right back into your work or gameplay when you take a break. Also, the device addressed some of the cooling issues from the past that made the experience a little bit better. It’s not a huge step-up, but it’s one I’m honestly happy they took.

Overall, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro shows you that you don’t really need all that RGB in a hardcore gaming machine. Sometimes, it’s better to just be subtle and let the hardware shine through. If you plan to take this device to the workplace, don’t make it obvious that you’re getting them one-taps.

Gaming

Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 will power Switch competitors

Razer is already working on a device

Published

on

Just a day ago, a leak revealed an upcoming handheld gaming device from Razer. The unannounced Switch competitor also touted an unannounced Snapdragon platform built specifically for handheld gaming. Now, the curtain has been raised. Qualcomm has unveiled the new Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 platform for gaming.

Designed for Android and cloud gaming, the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 can put out elite performance for on-the-go gamers. First, the Adreno GPU can run games at 144 frames per second and 10-bit HDR. For cloud gaming, the platform offers Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 with Wi-Fi 6 and 6E connectivity, plus 5G mmWave and sub-6 compatibility.

Besides those, Qualcomm does not offer much else. Instead, the company is partnering with Razer for the said device leaked before. The upcoming ecosystem will feature a device with a 6.65-inch OLED display with Full HD+ resolution, 10-bit HDR, and 120Hz refresh rate. It will also feature a 5-megapixel camera with 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second.

Qualcomm and Razer also released a photo depicting the device. As what you might imagine, the device looks like a controller with an expanded screen in the middle. It does look decent enough for a handheld gaming device, but it might also look different when the final product launches in the future.

SEE ALSO: Qualcomm Snapdragon is getting a rebranding

Continue Reading

Gaming

Razer reportedly working on its own gaming console

Leaked!

Published

on

It took a while, but the gaming world has finally warmed up to portable gaming machines again. After years of dominance from the Nintendo Switch, other companies are already working on their own variants. Steam has announced the Steam Deck, a portable device allowing users to take their Steam games on the go. Apparently, Razer is joining the fight.

Leaked by VideoCardz, Razer is working on a handheld console with a Snapdragon chipset. The depicted console looks like the Steam Deck’s design: a controller shape with an elongated screen in the middle. The screen reportedly has a buttery 120Hz OLED display, a 1080p camera, and a massive 6000mAh battery. For connectivity, the console is compatible with 5G, Wi-Fi 6, and USB-C connectivity.

More important, the console will reportedly feature an unannounced system from Snapdragon. The mysterious Snapdragon G3x is apparently designed for a “handheld gaming console.” Of course, because the system isn’t official yet (if that is indeed its name), we don’t know how impressive the console will be in the performance department.

Snapdragon does have some weighty shoes to fill given how much the gaming industry has improved over the past year. If it’s any indication, Snapdragon recently released the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, an impressive flagship series that touts enormous improvements over its predecessor.

Unfortunately, the report also does not disclose when the console will launch or how much it will cost.

SEE ALSO: Razer officially launches its Zephyr facemask

Continue Reading

Gaming

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16: Big power in a compact form factor

Exceptional specs, solidly built body

Published

on

ROG Zephyrus m16

Whenever I see any device with the ROG branding, I automatically get the impression of how good the device may be even without actually knowing what its features are. I guess it’s true with others too as sending my friends a photo of the hefty ROG box containing this device, garnered excited reactions.

That’s because ROG devices actually live up to its reputation of being amazing gaming devices. A proof of that is in my recent visit to a PC store in Makati where I asked the salesperson which among their gaming laptops is their current best offering in their store and the response I got is a confident, ROG Zephyrus.

Get ready to be blown away as we take a closer look at the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16.

What comes in the box

ROG Zephyrus m16

The whole package came in a large ROG box containing three main items.

First, we get the ROG Zephyrus backpack. Then, there’s a black box which contains the ROG Delta gaming headphones. Lastly, there’s the white Zephyrus box which contains the star of the show — the Zephyrus M16 along with the ROG Chakram Core gaming mouse, the 240W charger and the 100W USB-C charger.

Tough build with a small footprint

Going straight for the laptop, just as I laid my hands on the actual unit, I could already tell how solidly built this device is. The outer shell is made of aluminum with machine cut holes that looks elegant with just a slight hint of being a gaming laptop with its branding.

Some people might prefer laptops with a bit more flare, but I’m personally inclined towards this more serious look. This could easily pass n a corporate setting without getting too much attention for being a gaming laptop.

On their website, ASUS markets the Zephyrus M16 as a laptop with a 16-inch display fitted in a 15-inch chassis. And it’s true. It’s relatively compact with its length measuring only 13.98 inches. This would actually fit laptop bags designed for 15-inchers and placing it beside my old 15-inch Dell G3 made the latter look jurasically huge.

ROG Zephyrus m16

For the bottom half, you might want to get your cleaning cloths ready as the soft matte finish is an easy smudge magnet. While this design decision adds to the premium feel of the unit, it does require a bit of maintenance to keep it from looking like a nasty mess.

Good port selection but placement could do better

ROG Zephyrus m16

A vast amount of ports are also present here on the Zephyrus M16. On its right we can find the charging port, HDMI, RJ45, USB-A, two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports which doubles as a charging port and a 3.5mm combo audio jack. On the left is a microSD card reader and another USB-A port.

I do, however, have mixed feelings with the placement of these ports

None of the ports are placed at the rear portion of each side. The location of the charging port in the middle of the left side sets the wire of the charger to partially cover the exhaust vents of the device when plugged in.

If you then decide to use the 100W charger, you’ll have to bear with having to plug it on the USB-C port near the front of the device.

The USB-A port on the right would have also been nice if it were placed around the back as its current placement feels a bit intrusive when plugging an external mouse.

I understand that the designers might have had to give some room for ventilation or make use of that space around the rear part of the chassis, but the positioning could have been better for at least the essential ports for an obstruction-free experience.

Big, bright and vibrant display

ROG Zephyrus m16

The display is actually the first thing that wowed me on the M16. It’s a 16-inch 2560 X 1600 IPS panel with a 165Hz refresh rate and an aspect ratio of 16:10. It’s vibrant and punchy because it’s an IPS and while not as fast as a TN panel, it’s still relatively fast at 165Hz. 

Plus, this being a WQXGA panel, we’re adding more screen real estate vertically and when we combine that with the 100% DCI-P3 color gamut and the Pantone validation, we’re seriously getting ourselves a productivity beast.

ROG Zephyrus m16

This also gets close to being bezel-less with this display as it’s bezels are really thin but still manages to house a 720p webcam.

Let’s also take time to appreciate the Ergo Lift hinge on the M16 that seamlessly hides the chin of the display panel as the bottom half of the device is raised upon opening the lid. Very clever.

A good keyboard, a massive trackpad and an external mouse

ROG Zephyrus m16

For its keyboard, we have an RGB lit keyboard which has a nice tactile feedback and it feels phenomenal. It doesn’t feel mushy, the key travel is a bit more pronounced than others and the typing angle brought by the Ergo Lift hinge makes it comfortable and satisfying to use.

We’re also getting a massive trackpad on the M16. I could say it does perform great as I never found myself reaching for the external mouse for tracking and touch gestures are easily executed without much errors.

However, I don’t know if this is caused by the size of the trackpad or just poor palm rejection but this is the first time I’ve ever experienced a trackpad that gets in the way of my typing. Because my palms often touch the trackpad when typing, this often results in accidental key presses.

We do get a toggle to disable the trackpad in one of the function keys so I guess that could also be a solution.

As an alternative, we have the bundled ROG Chakram Core which is a right-handed wired gaming mouse that features a programmable thumb joystick.

It’s a full sized mouse that fits comfortably in my medium sized hand. I think this would fit best for palm grip users but from the perspective of a claw grip user, I didn’t have any issues with this as well.

Unquestionable performance

ROG Zephyrus m16

Onto the most exciting part, the Zephyrus M16 packs an 11th gen Intel Core i9 11900H processor paired with the RTX 3070 with 32GB of DDR4 RAM and 2TB SSD internal storage. 

This is so far the beefiest specced laptop I’ve experienced.

As expected, games like Valorant won’t be a problem running on these specs and that’s exactly what we experienced. Very fluid movement and zero lags even without boosting the Armoury Crate to performance mode.

For a more challenging and graphically demanding game like Control though, the game ran well on its default settings, but maxing out everything including ray tracing and other effects at 1440p did show some stutter. So for this one, we’re still gonna hold back a bit on the settings and resolution for the smoothest experience.

Do note that Control is a very heavy game and most of its additional graphic settings don’t give much difference visually anyway, so keeping some settings on medium or high is still looks stunning on the M16.

On my Shadow of the Tomb Raider test, I ran the benchmark maxing out every setting and got a 64 FPS average at 1440p resolution which are pretty amazing results for a laptop. This would go even higher if we’re playing on 1080p so if more FPS is your thing, you can opt to go for that.

We also experienced pretty decent temperatures on this unit as according to the ROG Armoury Crate, we’re getting around 69 to 73 degrees Celcius in game and would only occasionally hit the 80 degree mark during intense scenes. That’s very respectable for an Intel Core i9 in a compact laptop but it did come at the expense of being noticeably loud.

Speakers and the ROG Delta Headphones

ROG Zephyrus m16

According to ROG, the Zephyrus M16 actually has a six speaker setup. I didn’t really hear the benefits of this but it does sound pretty decent and clean but that’s about it. It won’t be able to fill up a room as its volume just isn’t very loud.

It had to turn on subtitles for games I’m playing as I was having a hard time hearing the dialog audibly. So for a more immersive experience, the ROG Delta headphones is what you’ll want to use for your long gaming sessions.

It’s a USB-C powered pair of headphones that are stylish and solidly built. It sports an ROG logo with breathing RGB lighting, a digital volume rocker and a switch for the RGB light.

ROG Zephyrus m16

Sound-wise, I do believe this sounds close to neutral and does seem balanced which isn’t what I usually experience on a pair of gaming headphones but it’s actually what I prefer.

I was expecting it to be boosted on the bass as gaming headphones often have this characteristic but that isn’t the case on this one. In fact, I did feel that it was rolled off a bit on the low end which gives us more clarity and less rumble.

All in all, this pair does give a pleasurable experience for gaming as the closed back and its noise cancellation forces you to focus on tackling your adventure.

Battery life and charging

It’s pretty common for gaming laptops not to have very good battery life as we do have a lot of power hungry components running. With the Zephyrus M16, we’ve experienced pretty similar results with other gaming laptops at around six hours of normal use.

Gaming on battery only got us about 45 minutes on Shadow of the Tomb Raider before everything became unplayably laggy just as power saving mode kicked in at 20 percent of battery remaining.

As for its charging, considering that this is a 240W charger, the results aren’t very fast getting us from empty to full in 1 hour and 45 minutes. With the 100W charger, it took us from ten percent to full in 2 hours and 8 minutes which is acceptable especially if we consider its pocket friendly size.

Is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 your GadgetMatch?

Despite some minor inconveniences, there’s nothing in particular that I could say we would really hate with the Zephyrus M16.

It’s definitely a laptop designed for gaming enthusiasts who’d really want to get the best experience in a compact package and I don’t think they would be disappointed with gaming on this one.

The price tag of PhP 159,995 may sound too steep for many of us but the exceptional specs, solidly built body, a beautiful 16-inch 16:10 display, great keyboard, huge trackpad and a superb bundle of accessories, are a mouthful to say but these in itself says we’re not getting ripped off.

But if you’re not willing to shell out that much, a slightly less powerful variant with an RTX 3060, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD is also available for PhP 139,990 while a variant with a Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD and an RTX 3060 is available for PhP 129,990.

ROG Zephyrus m16

So to sum it all up, at the level where it competes, the Zephyrus M16 is definitely a beast of a gaming laptop in a compact form factor that easily stands out as a great contender.

Continue Reading

Trending