Lenovo impressed us in 2021 with its Legion 5 Pro, a 16-inch QHD+ laptop that delivered excellent gaming performance at a price that undercut many of its key competitors, like Razer and Asus. It also got bonus points for being powerful without being too thick or heavy.
Like many companies during CES 2022, Lenovo is upgrading the specs of its Legion 5 Pro for this year, and despite my never-dying thirst for new chassis design, it seems like Lenovo may have another hit on its hands without having to change all that much (here’s to hoping Lenovo stocks it at more retailers than just Walmart). Though, according to the company, the chassis is thinner than the previous generation.
The new Legion 5 Pro will be available in the standard storm grey colorway with four-zone RGB key backlighting. New for 2022 is a glacier white colorway with blue backlighting, which looks lovely. Lenovo hasn’t shared the pricing for this model yet.
Getting into the specs, the Legion 5 Pro for 2022 will once again support the latest AMD Ryzen processors, up to the Ryzen 9 6900HX. It’s actually making an Intel-based version, too, called the Legion 5i Pro (the “i” is for Intel). That model will support up to Intel’s 12th-Gen Core i9-12900H.
In the graphics department, Lenovo says both laptops will support up to the Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti graphics chip that can draw a total graphics power of 150W (Lenovo told The Verge this is subject to change per additional testing ahead of its release) at a boosted clock speed of 1485MHz, which should push it well beyond what last generation’s model is capable of in terms of graphical fidelity at QHD+ resolution.
Last year’s Legion 5 Pro was one of the first gaming laptops to ship with a 16-inch IPS screen that had a 16:10 aspect ratio. Now it claims that the 2022 Legion 5 Pro and 5i Pro are the first gaming laptops to offer variable refresh rate displays, supporting up to a 240Hz refresh rate at that QHD+ resolution. Other notable display specs include a 3ms response time, DisplayHDR 400 with up to 500 nits of brightness, and 100 percent coverage of the sRGB color space. I can’t wait to see games running on this laptop.
Like many gaming laptops being announced at CES 2022, the Legion 5 Pro and 5i Pro support up to 32GB of fast DDR5 RAM clocked at a lightning-fast 4,800MHz and can be configured with up to a 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD. Other laptop makers support up to 2TB or, in some cases, up to 4TB of total storage, so it’s disappointing to see Lenovo falling behind here.
One other feature I’m unsure about with the Legion 5 Pro is battery life. Compared to other Ryzen Zen 3-packed laptops, I thought that the 2021 laptop delivered middling battery life. Once again, the 2022 model has an 80Wh battery, though Lenovo more than doubled the wattage for charging it via USB-C, from 65W to 135W. So, at least quickly topping it up won’t be an issue, and you won’t need to lug around its 230W adapter to do so (unless you plan to do some serious gaming).
In terms of ports, both configurations have two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports with DP 1.4 video support on the left side (on the 5i Pro, one of those parts is Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4), while an extra USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port on the rear supports DP 1.4 and PD charging up to 135W. Also on the rear are two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, an HDMI 2.1 port, an RJ45 ethernet port, and a power plug. Over on the right, there’s one USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, alongside a headphone jack and an electronic kill switch for the 720p webcam.
There are a lot of gaming laptops that we’ll be testing in early 2022, and I’m particularly excited to see if Lenovo’s new version of the Legion 5 Pro is as good as the last.