Lenovo Legion 5 15 (82JW0012US) Review
The Lenovo Legion 5 15 (82JW0012US model) is hands down one of the best midrange gaming laptops right now, that can absolutely go toe-to-toe with its better-known gaming peers. Where it falls short of the absolute best, it outperforms the rest in its category and taken overall, its reasonable price makes it hard to find better value.
- Incredible gaming performance
- Fantastic keyboard & display
- Excellent hardware controls
- Great value for the price
- On the heavy side
- Fairly generic design
The Lenovo Legion 5 15 Gaming Laptop is the latest hit in the midrange AM gaming laptop world, rocking a 45W Ryzen 7 5800H CPU and a mobile Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti. To mark the new entry into the gaming niche, Lenovo has given the Legion 5 15 a facelift over past models, fine-tuned the keyboard and a screen that will impress.
While it doesn’t have the gaming DNA as true desktop replacements running desktop-class hardware like the Gigabyte Aorus 17x, it easily outperforms other gaming laptops in its class like the Asus TUF Gaming 17 and the Razer Blade 15 .
When it comes to gaming performance from a laptop, two main factors to consider. There’s performance, and here is where the Legion 5 82JW0012US shines over its competitors. It has a capable mobile RTX 3050 Ti, and the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H can handle pretty anything you can throw at it, even though it falls a bit short of the Zephyrus G15’s Ryzen 9 5900HS, it doesn’t do so by a whole lot.
Lenovo Legion 5 15 Specs
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H
- GRAPHICS: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti
- RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM
- SCREEN :15.6 -inch, 1920 x 1080 Pixels
- STORAGE: 512GB NVMe SSD
- CONNECTIVITY: WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
- WEIGHT: 5.28 pounds
- SIZE: (W x D x H) 14.27 x 10.26 x 0.89 inches
The Lenovo Legion 5 looks in many ways identical to past Lenovo Legion models, with the key difference here being thinner bezels around the screen and a Y-shaped LED logo on the lid. Still, you have Lenovo and Legion logos in plenty, from the keyboard deck to the hinge to the bottom screen bezel. The back of the hinge extends far past the screen, with labeled I/O adorning the middle section. There are also large vents that sit along the laptop’s sides, back, and underside.
On the new Legion 5, the usual Legion line grayish-black color scheme is maintained, which is very good at hiding fingerprints. Also helping with fingerprints and smudges is the Legion 5 15’s glittery matte texture.
Even with thinner bezels, this is a big laptop. At 14.02 x 10.41 x 1.07 inches, it’s much thicker than even RTX 3060 and RTX 3070 laptops we’ve reviewed. The Acer Predator Helios 300 is 14.31 x 10.04 x 0.9 inches and the MSI GL66 is 0.94 x 14.13 x 10.2 inches. The Lenovo Legion 5 15 is also a heavy laptop, weighing 5.28 pounds. It’s not alone here, though.
Lenovo Legion 5 15 Display
The Lenovo Legion 5 keeps the full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate. Watching a trailer of Planet Earth II, the screen fires up impressive deep blacks and somewhat vivid colors with excellent viewing angles. The screen’s great viewing angles and lack of glare can be attributed to the display’s high brightness (300 nits), which is way above the 277 nits midrange laptop average.
Color is more evenly distributed across competitors, with the Legion 5 achieving an 81% DCI-P3 rating. The Alienware M15 Ryzen Edition R5 is slightly more colorful with an 87.3% DCI-P3 rating, while the Razer Blade 15 averages 83.9% rating, roughly at par with the Legion’s.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Awesome. That’s the only way to describe the Lenovo Legion 5 15’s “TrueStrike Gaming Keyboard,” which features 100% anti-ghosting, 4-zone RGB, and a full ten-key. Lenovo promises excellent key travel, and from the previous Legion 5 gaming line’s impressive scores, we can easily relate.
The TrueStrike keyboard is equivalent to using one of Lenovo’s ThinkPad keyboards in real-world gaming. That’s to say; the keyboard is exceedingly comfortable and responsive. Like the ThinkPads, the Lenovo 5’s keycaps are curved at the bottom and concave in the center, making typing by touch itself a breeze.
Below the keyboard is a precision touchpad, a generous 4.7 x 3 inches large. Its smooth surface makes cursor movement and inputting two- and three-finger multi-touch gestures like scrolling and switching a breeze. Its position is slightly off-center, although its palm rejection is effective enough that you can even play WASD shooters while your palm touches the touchpad without affecting the mouse input.
You can toggle touchpad input on and off both in the Lenovo Vantage and with an Fn row keyboard shortcut.
Lenovo 82JW0012US Performance
When it comes to gaming performance, the Lenovo Legion 5 is about as good as you’re going to find in an RTX 3050 Ti gaming laptop. Still, it doesn’t match the level of performance you get on the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, with the same CPU but maxes out with an RTX 3070 graphics card.
In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, played at 1080p (high settings), the Lenovo Legion 5 averages 82 fps. That’s below the Acer Predator Helios 300’s 94 fps (RTX 3060 GPU) but slightly above the Razer Blade 15 Base’s 80 fps (RTX 2070 Max-Q).
The Legion 5 Pro performs well in Far Cry: New Dawn running at 1080p with ultra settings. Here, its 72 fps fell well behind the Helios 300’s 98 fps. Even the Blade 15 beats the Legion with 80 fps.
Grand Theft Auto V’s tests running on high settings at 1080p saw the Legion 5’s performance jump back up. The Legion 5 runs at 129 fps while the Helios 300 averages 142 fps, and the Razer Blade 15 runs at 114 fps.
In the end, though, this is a great gaming laptop, and so one those terms it stacks well with more expensive laptops – namely, the Acer Predator Helios 300 and the Razer Blade 15 Base, in all fairness, those machines should be compared to the RTX 3070-powered Lenovo Legion 5 Pro – review dropping soon.
What’s more, the Legion 5 15 is a good bit cheaper than both the Helios 300 and the Blade 14, making it a better value if what you’re going for is strictly gaming performance and some productivity performance.
Whether it’s due to the large size that gives room for a bigger battery or just greater efficiency in the general design, the Lenovo 82JW0012US has long battery life for a gaming laptop. Lasting 6 hours and 14 minutes over continuous video streams and web browsing, that’s as good as it can get. That’s a little longer than the Razer Blade Pro 17’s 5:53 but almost double the Alienware M15’s 3:28.
When it comes to performance as a rating factor, the Lenovo Legion 5 is right up there with most competitors – some costing much more – but it sells itself with a robust keyboard and display combo. This laptop is affordable, at least for midrange gaming laptops. Still, that money buys you an exceptionally comfortable ThinkPad style keyboard and a bright screen with a 1080p resolution.
So, if all you want is high performance and you can spend more on it, you might do better with competitors like the MSI GL66 11UGK-001 or the Alienware m15 R4, which almost mirrors the Legion 5 but with a better Nvidia RTX 3070 GPU.
But if all you want is a laptop that feels premium all around, the Lenovo Legion 5 15 (82JW0012US model) earns its price tag while still coming in cheaper than high-end options. It’s about as good as it gets.
Lenovo Legion 5 15 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) Display, AMD Ryzen 7 5800H Processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti, Windows 10H, 82JW0012US, Phantom Blue
$1,125.88 in stock
7 used from $889.99