Review: Lenovo Unleashes 12th Gen Mobile Gaming with the Legion 5i Pro

In 2021 Lenovo launched the first Legion 5 Pro, the first gaming machine to use the
‘Pro’ designation, and that was quite a gaming machine, but with Intel finally launching a 7nm processor (as a comparison Apple’s M1 processor is a chip using a 4nm manufacturing process) the internal architecture of the latest notebooks(and desktops) has changed, and you can expect improvements across the board with 12th generation ‘ Alder Lake’ machines.

The specs of the new Legion 5i Pro Gen 7 unit we’re reviewing is simply impressive, with an Intel Core i7-12700H mobile processor matched to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU (with up to 150W TGP). The display is a 16-inch WQXGA (2,560 x 1600) IPS panel with 165Hz refresh rate with VESA DisplayHDR 400 and Dolby Vision, while full connectivity includes WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1. About the only features we consider ‘marginal’ for current AAA gaming is the 16GB DDR5 RAM and 1TB PCI 4 SSD, though you can (and should) get the 32GB RAM and 2TB options.

Compared to the 2021 edition, which I reviewed in May last year, the new 16-inch Legion 5i Pro is almost exactly the same physical size, though noticeably lighter, and the revised design includes a new metallic logo and some styling cues, while the trackpad has been enlarged. Internally Lenovo have added a revamped Coldfront 4.0 thermal system, which does work to reduce heat emitting upwards onto the TrueStrike RGB keyboard near the Function keys, a gripe I had about last year’s model. Ports include two USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports, one with DisplayPort 1.4, and the second with DP 1.4 and Power Delivery, a single Thunderbolt 4 port, three USB Type-A 3.2 ports and HDMI 2.1 so you can connect the Legion 5i Pro to a modern TV to enjoy a large screen PC gaming experience in 4K@120Hz.

Apart from Nahimic 3D Audio for gaming, Lenovo’S Vantage for Gaming software lets you easily configure your system without having to open multiple apps – overclocking, for example, requires just one click. Benchmarking results were excellent – easily clearing 3DMark’s Time Spy with a 98% pass that included 400.4fps for Mesh Shader, while PC Mark 10 recorded 7,388, with 9,934 Essentials, 9,347 Productivity, and 11786 for Digital Content Creation, which isn’t unexpected. At high performance load there’s a little bit of fan noise, but nothing you’d hear over surround sound speakers or a good gaming headset.

Technical Specifications

Operating System Windows 11 Home
Display 16-inch WQXGA (12560 x 1600 resolution), 165Hz, 100% sRGB, VESA Display HDR 400, Dolby Vision, 16:10 aspect ratio
Processor Intel Core i7-12700H
Memory 16GB DDR5
Storage 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 4 SDD
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 TI 8GB GDDR6 150W
Connectivity 2x Type-C USB 3.2 with DP 1.4 (one with PD), 1x Thunderbolt 4, 3x USB- 3.2, HDMI 2.1, 1x RJ-45 ethernet port, headphone jack, WiFi 6E & Bluetooth 5.1
Battery 80 Whr, up to 7 hrs (MobileMark)
Dimensions 19.9-26.6mm x 359.9mm x 264.4mm
Weight 2.49kg

We say:
Lenovo’s latest Pro gamer laptop is perfect for play and content creating productivity.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars