14″ Legion Slim 5 Gen 8 AMD review: More than meets the eye

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Ah, gaming laptops. The pleasure of transporting a smaller gaming PC in your backpack or shoulder bag. Take it out whenever you want to pass the time while waiting for your vehicle’s oil to be changed or to create a few brief gaming clips from last night’s gaming session while having lunch at your favorite restaurant. Lenovo has given us the opportunity to review the recently released Legion Slim 5 Gen 8 gaming laptop with an AMD CPU.

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

It has a Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU, 16GB of 6400MHz LPDDR5X RAM, an impressive 1TB M.2, and an Nvidia RTX 4060 GPU. It has two GPUs rather than one. The other is an AMD Radeon 780M built within the Ryzen processor. Both cannot be utilized simultaneously, but the point is that you have two options when gaming.

How well does the new Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Gen 8 perform in terms of gaming and content creation? Read our complete review below to find out why it’s a Top Pick for 2023.

The Quick Take

The Legion Slim 5 Gen 8 from Lenovo features AMD’s newest 7 series processor, 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM, 1TB M.2 SSD storage, and an Nvidia RTX 4060 GPU. Those specs alone are pretty beefy and should suffice for most games on the market, solo or multiplayer. Do you require more frames per second? Turn on Performance Mode to get the most FPS out of your gaming experiences. Content makers will be relieved to know that the RTX 4060 is powerful enough to keep up with photo and video editing, especially when time is of the essence. Not to mention, all of this is available at a pretty reasonable price.

Specifications

The Lenovo Legion Slim 5 we reviewed has the following features and specifications (configurable when ordering):

ProcessorAMD Ryzen™ 7 7840HS Processor (3.80 GHz, up to 5.10 GHz Max Boost, 8 Cores, 16 Threads, 16 MB Cache)
GPUNVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4060 Laptop GPU 8GB GDDR6 (105W) 2370MHz Boost Clock / AMD Radeon 780M
Display14.5″ WQXGA+ (2880 × 1800) OLED; 16:10, 120 Hz VRR/ 400 nits / 100% DCI-P3 / VESA certified Display HDR TrueBlack 500 / Dolby Vision® HDR / TÜV Rheinland® Certified: Hardware Low Blue Light / X-Rite Pantone® Certified
Memory16GB LPDDR5X @ 6400MHz
Storage1TB SKHynix SSD
Battery4-cell, 73.6Whr
Supports Super Rapid Charge (10 min charge: 0-40% capacity; 30 min charge: 0-78% capacity; 80 min charge: 0-100% capacity)
Audio2 × 2W Speaker with Nahimic Audio
Camera1080p FHD with E-Shutter
ConnectivityLeft:
USB-C (USB 3.2 Gen 2 + DP 1.4 + 140W PD)
USB-C (USB 3.2 Gen 2 + DP 1.4)

Right:
4-in-1 SD card reader
E-Shutter button
Audio combo jack

Rear:
DC-in
USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 (Always on 5V2A)
USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
HDMI 2.1
WirelessWi-Fi 6E 802.11AX (2 × 2)
Bluetooth® 5.1
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Dimensions17.9-20.79 x 327.49 x 249.12mm (0.70-0.82 x 12.89 x 9.81″)
WeightStarting at < 1.75kg / 3.86lbs
ColorStorm Gray

What’s in the box

  • Legion Slim 5 Gen 8 (14” AMD)
  • 170W AC Adapter
  • Internal Battery
  • Quick Start Guide

Design

Gaming laptops typically have unusual designs to appear futuristic or flashy, this often indicates that they are indeed gaming laptops. Some PC makers, including Lenovo, make it clear that this is a gaming laptop more subtly. The design isn’t terrible, by any means. It’s stylish. It’s pleasing to the eyes. It just works.

Lenovo’s logo appears on the lid of the laptop, along with the Legion logo. Apart from those two logos, there’s nothing but blank space. Rubber strips beneath the laptop keep the laptop elevated off flat surfaces. There are also air vents on the underside for cooling.

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Top
Top of the laptop with Lenovo’s logo and Legion’s.

On the sides and rear of the laptop is where you’ll find a slew of ports. There are a total of eight ports. While this may not appear to be many, it is more than most typical laptops have. On the right side, there is a full-sized SD card reader, an E-shutter “button,” which is more of a switch to turn on or turn off the camera, and a mic/headphone combination port. There are two cooling vents towards the back behind those. Two USB-C ports are located on the left side. Both are USB 3.2 Gen 2 with DP 1.4, but only one supports 140W PD. Another cooling vent is located behind the two Type-C ports. Finally, there are more air vents on the back, as well as a full-sized HDMI 2.1 port, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, and a power-in port.

When you open the laptop, you’ll see the 14.5″ 2.8K OLED display with relatively thin bezels. As it has a 16:10 aspect ratio, you receive the most screen real estate imaginable. Above the screen is a 1080p webcam, and beneath the display is a Legion logo. Above the six-row keyboard and encircled by speaker grills is the power button/fingerprint scanner. The keyboard is backlit as well; however, there is no auto-option. You must manually select your preferred brightness setting. Below the keyboard is a good-sized trackpad with excellent palm rejection.

Display

When it comes to gaming, you want the greatest display and refresh rate possible, right? Of course, you do. The Legion Slim 5 has a 14.5″ 2.8K (2880×1800) OLED display with a 120Hz variable refresh rate. Unfortunately, Lenovo does not specify the milliseconds used for response times.

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Display
14.5″ 2.8K OLED display with vibrant and stunning colors.

All things considered, the OLED display produces brilliant and vibrant colors. Because it is a glossy screen, there will be no dull colors, as there would be on a matte display. Having said that, the black colors are as deep as any other OLED. Reds, greens, blues, and so on are as close to color as they can get without appearing too saturated. When viewing straight at it, the maximum brightness is 400 nits, which isn’t too bright. I didn’t always use maximum brightness, but I discovered that the sweet spot was around 80%.

Those who enjoy the opportunity to adjust the color profiles of their displays will be pleased to learn that the X-Rite Color Assistant app makes this possible. More on that later, but the short version is that you may select from default, Display P3, Rec. 709, and other options.

Software

The Legion Slim 5 laptop comes with Windows 11 preloaded, as is common these days. It’s the Home edition, which isn’t a dealbreaker as it is sufficient for most home users. You also receive Lenovo’s standard, albeit minor, bloatware installations that include McAfee, a Microsoft Office trial, and X-Rite Color Assistant. In terms of Lenovo software, Lenovo Vantage is standard on Lenovo systems, but this edition includes processor and GPU tune-up options. It’s a wonderful addition to the standard Vantage found on other Lenovo PCs. We can’t forget Legion Arena, which will act as a hub for all of your installed games. Lenovo Hotkeys allow you to create shortcuts that adjust the refresh rate and trigger specific functionalities.

Aside from that, AMD’s Adrenaline Edition for the Radeon 780M GPU is installed to ensure your graphics card is up-to-date and to allow you to adjust any options related to your gaming style. Finally, X-Rite Color Assistant lets you select from various established color profiles, including Adobe RGB, Display P3, Rec. 709, sRGB, and Default. Depending on what you’re doing, each has a distinct profile. This is especially true if you’re modifying photographs or movies. I left the color profile set to Adobe RGB because it was more appropriate for what I was doing on the laptop. Finally, Nahimic by Steel Series will improve your entire audio experience with some tweaking.

Performance

Lenovo has equipped this fantastic laptop with AMD’s most recent processor. The Ryzen 7 7840HS has a base clock speed of 3.80 GHz and a max boost speed of 5.10 GHz. It has eight cores and sixteen threads. Aside from the excellent CPU, you get a 1TB SK Hynix M.2 SSD and 16GB of LPDDR5X at 6400MHz. Unfortunately, the RAM is soldered onto the motherboard, so those who wish to upgrade the amount later will be unable to do so. Finally, there’s an NVIDIA RTX 4060 for the dedicated GPU.

With everything it has under the hood, the Legion Slim 5 works admirably. From basic web browsing and streaming music or videos to intense gaming sessions and video rendering. There were a few stutters here and there, which is to be expected. Remember that whether you use the laptop for content production or gaming, the fans will kick in after a few minutes to cool it down. The fans do crank up and become rather noisy depending on the load, and at times I could hear them while gaming with headphones on.

Here are the games I tested at the laptop’s native resolution of 2880×1600, as well as at 1920×1080. V-Sync is likewise disabled, and the frame rate is set to unlimited if applicable. I also tested each game on the laptop’s Balanced, Performance, and Quiet modes. Each had a minor impact on the frame rate, but not enough to make a significant difference in my perspective.

Game Title2880×1600 (2.8K)1920×1080 (FHD)
Apex LegendsAverage 94–100 fpsAverage 118–120 fps
Call of Duty MWIII (Multiplayer)Average 108–115 fpsAverage 117–120 fps
Fall GuysAverage 105–111 fpsAverage 115–120 fps
FortniteAverage 120–128 fpsAverage 150–154 fps
NBA 2K 23Average 90–98 fpsAverage 110-118 fps

A second GPU is also included with the Legion Slim 5 Gen 8. AMD’s Radeon 780M iGPU, which is already built inside the Ryzen 7 7840HS. I tested MWIII and Fortnite on just the Radeon 780M and got equal frame rates while gaming. So, while you have options on which GPU to utilize, I would recommend the RTX 4060.

Video editing on DaVinci Resolve works well and I didn’t encounter any issues when scrolling through media, editing said media and rendering.

Lenovo does provide an option called “Hybrid Mode” in its Vantage app. This functionality determines which GPU to use based on the work or game being performed. If you play a more intense game like Call of Duty or Apex Legends, the RTX 4060 will be used. However, if you play The Sims 4 or something with less demanding visuals, the Radeon 780M will be used. Alternatively, vice versa. These options will allow you to select which GPU to use for various tasks. When I was playing games, I observed no difference between the Hybrid Mode and the others.

Sound Quality

For some users, sound quality on laptops can make or break the experience. The Legion Slim 5 includes two 2W speakers, which are adequate. While not the best, they do the job. Speakers that fire upward provide slightly more sound than speakers that fire below or to the side. Speaking of bottom-firing speakers, sound can also be heard via the laptop’s vents.

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Speaker Power Button FP Scanner
2W speaker grill surrounding the power button that also acts as a fingerprint scanner.

As previously said, they are adequate speakers. The maximum volume has a tinny sound to it, but not enough to make you want to turn it down. It’s also quite loud. When I wasn’t wearing a headset, the sweet spot for me was 30% volume.

Camera

Lenovo, thank you for including a 1080p webcam on the Legion Slim 5, which should be the standard these days. Most computers nowadays feature a 720p webcam, which isn’t horrible, particularly if you intend to use it for Zoom or Meet calls. The FHD webcam will function similarly, but with a bit more clarity. There is still some noise, but that is to be expected with any picture or video. In any case, this webcam is sufficient and will do the job.

Battery Life

As with typical gaming laptops, the battery isn’t the strong suit. Depending on what you’re doing, you could get anywhere between three and five hours out of it before plugging the charger in. Unfortunately, the stereotype still stands with the Legion Slim 5.

Although the laptop comes with a 73.6 WHr battery, the battery life did vary as to which mode I used. I was able to get about two and a half hours to three hours on one full charge with Balanced Mode being used. This included browsing the web, watching videos, and some light gaming. With Performance Mode turned on, the battery life gave me just shy of two hours of gaming and Quiet Mode landed me roughly the same as Balanced Mode.

When charging the Legion Slim 5 backup, you will get up to 70% in about 30 minutes and 100% in 80 minutes. All that is thanks to Lenovo’s Super Rapid Charge technology and a 170W Slim AC adapter.

Price

The Lenovo Legion Slim 5 has a starting price of $1099.99 and is available for purchase from both Lenovo and Best Buy. As tested, the price comes in at $1449.99 with the RTX 4060 GPU. For a bit less, $1439.99 will get you the RTX 4050 variant (but for the extra $10 we’d recommend the 4060). While those are the only two differences between the two models, the price, any sales included, they’re pretty affordable. It’s not as expensive as other PC manufacturers, who offer either the same or similar components.

I wouldn’t pass this laptop up. Sure, it comes with an RTX 4050/60 GPU, but that’s plenty for gaming or content creation. If you’re looking for the highest framerates in games, then sure, spend an arm and a leg for a higher GPU. However, the Legion Slim 5 offers plenty of power for a price tag that is, once more, difficult to pass up.

Wrap Up

So, what did we think about Lenovo’s Legion Slim 5? It’s pretty good, and that’s why it’s a Top Pick of 2023. The laptop handled everything pretty well, even with some of the little nitpicks that I had about it — but nothing’s perfect. None of my issues are a dealbreaker, and for what you get in the laptop and the price, it’s worth picking up either from Lenovo or your local electronics store.

Legion Slim 5 Gen 8 (14” AMD)

$1099.99+

Design

10.0/10

Display

9.0/10

Software

10.0/10

Performance

10.0/10

Sound Quality

9.0/10

Camera

9.0/10

Battery Life

9.0/10

Price

10.0/10

Nailed it

  • Design
  • 2.8K OLED display
  • Excellent performance
  • 1080p webcam
  • Pricing

Needs work

  • Non-upgradeable RAM
  • Non-functional GPU modes
  • Lackluster GPU modes through software

Last Updated on December 28, 2023.

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