Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (16ITH6) review: Larger WQXGA 165Hz display hampered by the GPU

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Techaeris Rated 8.8/10

Not only are gaming laptops becoming more powerful, but some companies are also offering up higher resolution displays. While most come with a 16:9 aspect ratio, 16:10 is starting to become more commonplace.

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Our Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (16ITH6) review looks at a gaming laptop with a 16:10, WQXGA, 165Hz display. Bigger is better — if you have the right specs… Read on for our full review!

Specifications

The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (16ITH6) gaming laptop we reviewed has the following features and specifications (configurable when ordering):

Processor11th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-11800H Processor (2.30 GHz up to 4.60 GHz) (11th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-11400H Processor (2.70 GHz up to 4.50 GHz) available)
GraphicsNVIDIA® GeForce® RTX™ 3050 Laptop GPU 4GB (NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX™ 3050 Ti 4GB, 3060 6GB, 3070 8GB available)
Memory16 GB DDR4 3200MHz (up to 32GB available)
Storage512GB PCIe SSD Gen 3 (up to 2TB available)
Display16.0″ WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS, anti-glare with Dolby Vision™, HDR 400, 500 nits, 165Hz
Camera720p HD camera with microphone with Webcam e-Shutter
Audio2x 2W Harman® Speaker with Nahimic Audio
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6 802.11AX (2 x 2) & Bluetooth® 5.1
Ports / Slots• 2x USB-C Thunderbolt™ 4
• 4x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
• HDMI 2.1
• RJ45
• Headphone/mic combo jack
• Power input
• Webcam E-shutter switch
KeyboardBacklit 4 Zone RGB LED (Backlit White LED also available)
Battery4 Cell Li-Polymer 80Wh (up to 7.3 hours)
Preloaded SoftwareLenovo Vantage, Lenovo HotKeys, Nahimic, McAfee LiveSafe™ Trial, Dolby Vision
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home (Windows 10 Pro available)
ColourStorm Grey (Stingray White also available)
Dimensions (W x D x H)21.7-26.85 x 356 x 264.2mm (0.86-1.1 x 14.01 x 10.4″)
WeightStarting at 2.45kg (5.4 lbs)

What’s in the box

  • Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (16ITH6) gaming laptop
  • 230W power adapter (up to 300W available)
  • Quick start guide

Design

The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro follows the company’s gaming laptop design. The lid has the familiar Lenovo Legion logo in the middle, which lights up when the lid is opened. The lid has two small hinges, one on each side. The lid doesn’t go all the way to the back, but for a good reason. The back section has labels for the rear ports on the laptop, more on that shortly. The Lenovo logo is on the left side of this back edge.

The top of the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro gaming laptop
The top of the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro gaming laptop.

Opening the lid, and you’re greeted with a typical laptop setup. A six-row backlit Legion TrueStrike Keyboard with a number pad is present. The bottom five rows are full-sized, while the top Fn key row features half-height keys. The number pad is full-height, but the keys are about two-thirds the standard width. While it works o.k., I did find my fingers expecting full-width keys here as well and sometimes misfired on my number key presses. The full-sized arrow keys are located below the shift and ? keys. The up arrow is in line with the spacebar row, but the other three are below this row on their own. Finally, a rather large 4 3/4″ x 2 7/8″ touchpad works well enough for basic computer navigation. As far as typing is concerned, I was able to average my usual 100+ wpm.

The main screen is noticeably larger, with its 16:10 aspect ratio, versus the usual 16:9 we’ve become accustomed to seeing on PC laptops. The top and side bezels are pretty narrow, just under 1/4-inch each. Centred along the top is the 720p HD webcam. The bottom bezel is quite a bit thicker at 3/4-inch in width. The bottom 1/3rd is the same primary colour as the rest of the laptop, and the top 2/3rds is black. The Legion logo is stamped in gloss black in the middle of the black portion.

As for ports, the Legion 5 Pro comes with plenty of them. A 3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack and a USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 port are on the left side. On the right side is a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port and the Webcam e-Shutter switch. Toggling this switch will turn the webcam on or off. While there is no indication on the camera, the switch displays an orange colour when it is off. The rest of the ports are along the back. These included the RJ45 Ethernet port, a second USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 port, three USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports with an HDMI 2.1 port between two of them, and the proprietary rectangular power port.

As far as ventilation goes, there are ventilation grilles on the back of the left and right side, on either edge of the back of the laptop, and the back third of the bottom of the laptop. Speaking of the base, there is a single long rubber-like foot across the back and two smaller ones towards the front. There are also two downward-firing speakers near the front, angled slightly along the edge.

Our review unit came in the Storm Grey colour, but you can also get Stingray White if you wish. As far as looks are concerned, the Legion 5 Pro is a pretty nice-looking laptop, not too bulky but not as thin as some other offerings.

Display

This gaming laptop has a 16-inch, 16:10 WQXGA (2560×1600) IPS display with a 165Hz refresh rate. Lenovo does market it as a QHD display, but it has a slightly higher resolution. It’s bright, at 500 nits, and features Dolby Vision and VESA DisplayHDR 400 support. It also has 100% sRGB coverage which not only makes it great for gaming but also creatives. With the higher resolution, text and images are nice and crisp, and even though it doesn’t seem like much, the extra height adds that much additional real estate, giving you more room to work with. As mentioned, it is also an IPS display that typically has faster response times and solid colour and contrast.

The 16:10 WQXGA 165Hz display on the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
The 16:10 WQXGA 165Hz display on the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro.

The extra pixels, brightness, resolution, and panel type make this display a treat to use for day-to-day use, media consumption, and gaming (with the right graphics card, which I’ll explain in the performance section). Because this is a gaming laptop, and we reviewed it as such, the display score was docked slightly due to the RTX 3050 performance on the higher resolution.

Software

The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro ships with Windows 10. As we’ve mentioned plenty before in our other laptop and gaming laptop reviews, Windows 10 works just fine for gaming on laptops. As far as additional applications, the laptop also came with Lenovo Vantage, Lenovo HotKeys, Nahimic, McAfee LiveSafe™ Trial, Dolby Vision. Lenovo Vantage allows you to monitor and update your system. Nahimic lets you adjust your audio settings, while Dolby Vision lets you change the display settings. McAfee is about the only one here that I’d complain about, but every laptop these days seems to ship with either that or Norton.

During our review time, we did get prompted to update to Windows 11. That being said, after checking in with Lenovo, we didn’t upgrade. Our contact mentioned that the Legion isn’t officially supported yet and was unsure why I was being prompted to upgrade.

Performance

To test the performance of the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro gaming laptop, I ran through several games in both WQXGA (2560×1600) and WUXGA (1920×1200) resolutions on their highest settings. Some have built-in benchmarks, while others I toggled the FPS counter and eyeballed an average FPS. NOTE: Wolfenstein: Youngblood crashes on the higher resolutions under WQXGA and WUXGA settings. The FPS numbers below for that game are for the High (middle) setting instead.

WQXGAWUXGA
Forza Horizon 464 fps75 fps
Call of Duty: Warzone54 fps85 fps
Heroes of the Storm125 fps 160 fps
Wolfenstein: Youngblood (Riverside)66 fps86 fps
Wolfenstein: Youngblood (Lab X)68 fps76 fps
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War48 fps74 fps

As you can see, while gaming on the native resolution was o.k., it was just barely in some games. Aside from Heroes of the Storm in 1920×1200 resolution, I wasn’t even able to get close to the native 165Hz refresh rate with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 3050 Laptop GPU in our review unit. In the case of Wolfenstein: Youngblood, I couldn’t even get above the high setting in either resolution. While the performance was somewhat lacking given the higher resolution and the RTX 3050 graphics card for gaming, you can get up to an RTX 3070, which I’d HIGHLY suggest if you were investing in this laptop for gaming. There’s no point in having a higher resolution display if the graphics card can’t keep up and forces you to use a lower resolution to get decent framerates.

Gaming aside, the laptop performed just fine for day-to-day tasks, including apps like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. I encountered no freezing or slow ups with the 11th Generation Intel Core i7-11800H Processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and NVIDIA RTX 3050 Laptop GPU when web browsing, streaming music, watching a video, or photo editing. In addition, with Wi-Fi 6 support, wireless speeds are fantastic if you have a Wi-Fi 6 router and don’t have a wired connection.

The rear ports on the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro gaming laptop
The rear ports on the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro gaming laptop.

As mentioned above, because this is a gaming laptop, and we reviewed it as such, the performance score was also docked slightly due to the RTX 3050 performance on the higher resolution.

Sound Quality

The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is equipped with two 2W Harman speakers with Nahimic Audio. While laptop audio is getting better, it’s still more or less suitable in a pinch. The speakers are down/side-firing and do get plenty loud, but there isn’t much bass. The Nahimic Audio does have different mode settings, but I didn’t notice any difference when toggling between them.

Camera

The front-facing 720p HD webcam works well enough, but it’d be nice to see 1080p cameras become the norm in this day and age.

Battery Life

The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro comes with an internal 4 Cell Li-Polymer 80Wh battery. Lenovo states you can get up to 7.3 hours on a single charge. When used on the Better Performance mode while doing basic computing tasks like web browsing or streaming, I was able to get just over 3 hours. When on Better Battery mode, that made it to just over 4 hours. Gaming? I barely got an hour while playing Call of Duty: Warzone, but you’re also running on Better/Best Performance modes for that.

Price/Value

The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro starts at US$1399.99, with a few customizable options on the Lenovo website that will increase the cost. Our review unit, as configured, costs $1654.99, which is pretty reasonable given the specifications. If you choose to upgrade to the RTX 3070 (which you’ll want to do), you’re looking at around the $2000 and up mark.

Unlike in the past, there are currently no deals on the Legion 5 Pro gaming laptops. Given the current chip situation, it’s unlikely we’ll see many big sales on computer systems for the foreseeable future.

Wrap-up

Don’t get me wrong. Overall, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is a great laptop… for the most part. While it performs great for basic day-to-day tasks, you’ll get the best gaming performance by reducing the 2560×1600 resolution to 1920×1200 with the base offered GTX 3050 video card. I’d recommend getting at least the RTX 3060 or 3070 graphic card to fully enjoy higher resolution gaming if you have the extra money.

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Last Updated on October 31, 2021.

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (16ITH6)

US$1399.99+

Design

9.5/10

Display

9.0/10

Software

9.5/10

Performance

9.0/10

Sound Quality

8.5/10

Camera

8.0/10

Battery Life

7.5/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Decent build quality
  • Plenty of ports, including two USB-C Thunderbolt 4
  • Nice 165Hz WQXGA IPS display
  • Great performance for most tasks
  • Wi-Fi 6

Needs work

  • Subpar gaming with RTX 3050 at WQXGA resolution
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro gaming laptop
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