Last year I thought Lenovo’s Legion 5 was one of the best gaming laptops available, but is that still going to be the case in 2022? Let’s checkout Lenovo’s CES announcements and find out what’s on the way! There are a few different models to cover this year, but let’s get right into the Legion 5. Available in either cloud grey or storm grey colors, this year’s Legion 5 is apparently cooler, thinner and quieter than before. Last year’s 2021 Legion 5 uses their Legion Coldfront 3.0 cooling solution, now this year’s model has been upgraded to 4.0. Lenovo mentions that this includes a 40% more powerful fan with 45% larger exhaust fin area compared to last generation. The Intel based 5i model is available with up to 14 core 20 thread 12th gen core i7-12700H processor. At the time of recording, it’s not clear which Ryzen 6000 processors will be used in the AMD model, but I’m guessing it will be Ryzen 7 like last year, so the new 8 core 16 thread 6800H. Now technically this does mean that Intel has a higher thread count than AMD this generation, so purely based on that I am kind of expecting Intel to do better when it comes to multi threaded performance, but in terms of single threaded performance and perhaps gaming, it’s a bit more up for grabs. Hopefully I can get both an Intel and AMD Ryzen based Legion 5 so I can fairly compare them.
These new processors also mean that the Legion 5 now uses DDR5-4800 memory as well as PCIe Gen 4 storage. Last year only Intel models could use the faster storage, but now AMD’s latest CPUs have Gen 4 support too. The Legion 5 will be available with RTX 3060 graphics, which is a great sweet spot, but the top end 3070 option has been upgraded to Nvidia’s latest RTX 3070 Ti at up to 125 watts. The screen also gets an upgrade. Last year the Legion 5 came with a 1080p 165Hz screen, now it’s listed with up to 1440p 165Hz, so higher resolution and still with G-Sync. I’m guessing there will probably be a 1080p option too as I can’t imagine why they’d scrap that for the lower end options, but that wasn’t listed in the spec sheet I was provided. Wi-Fi also gets an upgrade from 6 to the newer 6E.
But wait, there’s more! In addition to having the latest CPU and GPU specs, the new Legion 5 is also 15% thinner than last gen, something that’s made possible with an improved aluminum and magnesium finish. The keyboard is still available with either white or 4 zone RGB backlighting, but apparently the WASD key caps are now swappable for a customized gamer look. Lenovo also says that the keys are 33% quieter when typing compared to last generation, but with the same 1.5mm of key travel. The touchpad is also a little larger, you can kind of see the gap between it and the keyboard is a little smaller on the provided render compared to last gen.
The ports are also a little different. On the left, the older 2021 model had one USB Type-C port and a 3.5mm audio combo jack, while this year’s newer design has two USB Type-C ports instead. The 3.5mm jack has moved to the right hand side this year, but otherwise we’ve still got the camera disconnect switch and one USB Type-A port on this side, just like last gen.
The rear I/O is a little different too. We’ve still got ethernet on the left, but now this year it’s facing the preferred way so you don’t have to lift the laptop up when unplugging. The rest is otherwise quite similar, however the newer 2022 Legion 5 has one less USB Type-A port. Probably not the end of the world though as it still has 3 in total, and I think the extra type-c is more important looking forward. The rear Type-C port also gets a bit of an update and can now support up to 135 watts of Type-C charging, more power than before. The rear I/O also appears to be indented a little, and the port icons above the ports appear to be lit up, at least in this render, something only the Legion 7 had last year. It sounds simple, but I did find this to make a big difference when plugging stuff in, so I hope the 5 actually gets it.
So some nice improvements with this year’s refreshed Legion 5. Of course if you’ve already got a Legion 5 from 2021 there’s absolutely no point in upgrading, but if you’ve been on the fence about picking the Legion 5 or you’ve just been waiting a little longer then it might have paid off because it sounds like it’s just an even better offering now. But even if you don’t care about all these changes you can probably still pick up a 2021 version for hopefully less money on sale.
Definitely make sure that you’re subscribed for when I get the new Legion 5 in for benchmarks and review, I’ll compare it against this older model and see what all the differences are myself. Alright let’s get into the higher tier Legion 5 Pro next. It’s basically like the 5, but professional… Why am I like this? The 5 Pro is also available in the same storm grey finish as the new Legion 5, but it’s also available in glacier white as well. A number of the updates to the non-pro also apply to the pro version too, including similar updates to the cooling, keyboard, and better Type-C charging.
The 5 Pro has also been updated to Intel 12th gen and AMD Ryzen 6000 processors. On the Intel side it goes up to the i9-12900H, and again unfortunately Lenovo haven’t specified exact AMD options just yet. This also means the 5 Pro makes use of newer DDR5-4800 memory, and the Nvidia graphics also go up to RTX 3070 Ti here, but the power limit in the 5 Pro goes up to 165 watts, compared to 125 watts in the non pro, though this could always change in an update.
Additionally the fan blades in the newer 5 Pro are 40% slimmer which helps reduce fan noise. In terms of ports, the new layout is different to the older 5 Pro, but it appears to match the new 5.
Like the non-pro, there’s an update to the screen here too. Last gen it was a 16:10 screen with a 2560 by 1600 resolution. That part hasn’t changed, but now it goes up to 240Hz rather than 165Hz, so faster refresh rate. It’s also noted that the screen will support dynamic variable refresh rates, which I think is where the refresh rate automatically changes based on what you’re doing, though that’s not expected until some time in the first half of 2022 with an update. Honestly it sounds like the regular Legion 5 gets more interesting updates compared to the 5 Pro. Sure they both get some updates, but it’s kind of getting to the point where the 5 and 5 Pro are getting closer together.
Like if the 5 keeps getting better why bother getting the 5 Pro? Right now it seems like the most obvious difference is for that 16:10 screen, and of course if you want to be professional. Now both the 5 and the 5 Pro are getting new RGB software called Spectrum, and that’s all the information that I’ve been provided with so far. New software for RGB management. Alright so what about the top end Legion 7? Now I did ask if the Legion 7 would get this new updated Spectrum RGB software instead of using the Corsair software that drains battery that I always complain about, but unfortunately they weren’t able to tell me.
It seems that at this time with the CES announcements they’re only talking about the Legion 5 and the Legion 5 Pro, and not the 7. Not sure why, but I guess it’s coming later, I can’t imagine why they would just scrap their top end option. Given they’ve gone to the effort to make this new RGB software I hope we do see it in the 7 and we don’t have these problems with the Corsair software that we’ve had for years now.
Make sure you’re subscribed for when I get these new Legion laptops in for benchmark and review, and of course I’ll definitely keep you updated as soon as I know more about a new Legion 7. Otherwise there are plenty more gaming laptops being announced for 2022 and you can check those out in my CES playlist over here, I’ll see you in one of those next.