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Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Review: Gaming Bargain with Long Battery Life

The Legion Slim 5 delivers robust performance, and boasts an enduring battery life, and all this comes at an unbeatable price point.

Sporting a Ryzen 9 7940HS processor and an RTX 4060 GPU under its hood, the Legion Slim Pro presents an enviable fusion of performance, durability, and value.

Advantages:

  • Affordable starting price
  • Excellent battery life
  • Solid performance across all benchmarks

Downsides:

  • The display could be brighter
  • Mediocre speakers

In the realm of contemporary gaming laptops, an astounding truth prevails: the era of lamentable choices is nearly extinct. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have truly upped their game in recent times, ushering in an era where laptops not only deliver higher frame rates but also boast extended battery life and superior displays that were once the stuff of dreams. Most importantly, gamers no longer need to break the bank to secure commendable performance.

This narrative rings true for the Lenovo Legion Slim 5, a 16-inch gaming powerhouse bedecked with a QHD+ display. Beneath its sleek exterior, it harbors an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS processor, a substantial 16GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU. While the laptop carries a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $1,529.99, it often graces the market at a more accessible price point of $1,149.99 during sales, solidifying its standing as an exceptional bargain among the top-tier gaming laptops.

Design of the Lenovo Legion Slim 5

When it comes to design, the Legion Slim 5 follows the footsteps of its Lenovo gaming siblings, particularly the Legion Pro 5i. In essence, it boasts a plastic chassis adorned in a sleek onyx grey finish, exuding an understated and versatile aesthetic. While it unmistakably bears the identity of a gaming machine, it possesses an aura that wouldn’t seem out of place gracing a desk in a professional office environment.

Design of the Lenovo Legion Slim 5

The display of the Legion Slim 5 is framed by slender bezels, although at the center of the top bezel, there’s a slightly more pronounced section that accommodates the 1080p webcam. Unlike some of its gaming laptop counterparts, this webcam doesn’t boast a physical privacy shutter. Instead, a convenient physical switch, situated on the right side of the chassis, allows you to deactivate the webcam when it’s not in use.

Moving over to the right side, the lone inhabitant is the full-size memory card reader. Shifting our focus to the left flank, you’ll encounter two USB-C ports and a 3.5 mm headphone jack for your connectivity needs. Meanwhile, the rear panel plays host to two USB 3.2 (Type-A) ports, a gigabit Ethernet port, and a unique proprietary jack designed for the power adapter.

Design of the Lenovo Legion Slim 5

In terms of dimensions, the Legion Slim 5 stands at 14.16 x 10.25 x 0.99 inches, a footprint akin to that of its sibling, the Legion Pro 5i. However, it distinguishes itself by being marginally lighter at 5.29 pounds compared to the latter’s 5.6 pounds. In the same size and weight league, we find the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16, tipping the scales at 5.79 pounds.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Razer Blade 14 deviates from the norm with its smaller footprint, owing to its 14-inch display. Remarkably, it also sheds over a pound in weight when compared to the other three laptops, coming in at a svelte 4.05 pounds.

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Gaming Performance

Inside the Legion Slim 5 resides an AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS, an impressive 8-core/16-thread processor. It operates at a base clock of 3.8 GHz, with the ability to surge to a maximum boost clock of 5.1 GHz. The processor is harmoniously paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 graphics card and a commendable 16GB of DDR5-5600 memory, configured as 2 x 8GB modules.

In the arena of competition, closely matched rivals step forth, with the exception of the Razer Blade 14, which, despite its smaller display, wields a mightier GPU in the form of the RTX 4070. On the other hand, the Lenovo Legion Pro 5i and the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 present a more equitable contest, boasting similar configurations featuring an i7-13700HX processor, RTX 4060 graphics, and a 1600p display.

When put to the test with Cyberpunk 2077, the Legion Slim 5 showcased its mettle. Running the game on high settings with ray tracing engaged and employing DLSS Balanced, along with DLSS frame generation enabled, it maintained an impressive average of 94 frames per second (fps) at 1200p resolution. Upping the ante with a resolution of 1600p, the performance dipped but remained respectable at around 62 fps.

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Gaming Performance

We kick-start our gaming benchmark journey with a deep dive into Shadow of the Tomb Raider, cranking up the settings to the highest echelon. The Legion Slim 5 impressively clocked in at 96 frames per second (fps) while operating at 1080p. When we pushed the envelope further to 1600p, the frame rate gracefully settled at 55 fps. It’s worth noting that this performance, while just a hair behind the Predator Helios Neo 16 by 1-2 fps, did lag behind the similarly-equipped Legion Pro 5i.

Steering into the realm of Grand Theft Auto V, with the settings elevated to ‘very high,’ the Legion Slim 5 secured the second position. It adeptly managed 91 fps at 1080p and held its ground with 52 fps at 1600p. However, the competition remained neck-and-neck, with all laptops delivering closely-matched rankings at both resolutions. A notable exception was the Legion Pro 5i, which surged ahead at 1080p, boasting an impressive 97 fps.

The battleground shifted to Far Cry 6, this time under the ‘ultra’ settings banner. At 1080p, the Legion Slim 5 technically landed in the last spot with 83 fps. However, we’d hesitate to label it as a lackluster performance, given that it was merely 2 fps shy of the Blade 14’s 85 fps and a mere 5 fps behind the Predator Helio Neo 16’s 88 fps. Moreover, when we upped the ante to 1600p, the Legion Slim 5 remained commendable, delivering a respectable 62 fps.

Moving onward to the challenging terrain of Red Dead Redemption 2, with settings dialed to ‘medium,’ the Legion Slim 5 found itself in a tie with the Predator Helio Neo 16, securing the third spot. At 1080p, they both attained 65 fps, and at 1600p, they matched strides at 39 fps. However, the Blade 14 surged to the forefront, leading the pack with 73 fps at 1080p and 45 fps at 1600p.

Borderlands 3 continued to emphasize the remarkable parity between the Legion Slim 5 and the Predator Helio Neo 16. Both held steady at approximately 80 fps at 1080p and just over 50 fps at 1600p. In a show of dominance, the Blade 14 once again flexed its muscles, delivering an impressive 98 fps at 1080p and 64 fps at 1600p.

Concluding our testing odyssey with the Metro Exodus Benchmark under ‘RTX settings,’ the Legion Slim 5 traversed through 15 iterations at the demanding 1600p resolution. Impressively, it averaged 49.96 fps across these runs. During this feat, the Ryzen 9 7940HS held an average clock speed of 3.93 GHz at a temperature of 70.67 degrees Celsius (159.2 degrees Fahrenheit). Simultaneously, the GeForce RTX 4070 GPU showcased its mettle, maintaining an average clock speed of 2.12 GHz while operating at a temperature of 70.53 degrees Celsius (158.95 degrees Fahrenheit).

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Productivity Performance

Inside the Legion Slim 5’s sleek chassis, you’ll find an AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS processor, backed by a solid 16GB of DDR5-5600 memory and a capacious 512GB SSD.

When subjecting the Legion Slim 5 to the rigorous examination of the Geekbench 5 synthetic CPU benchmark, it proved its mettle in single-core performance, achieving an impressive score of 1,893. This performance placed it neck and neck with its Raptor Lake-based competitors, falling just slightly behind the Blade 14, which shares the same Ryzen 9 7940HS processor. However, when the spotlight shifted to multi-core performance, the Legion Slim 5, along with the Blade 14, found themselves outclassed. They achieved a score of 11,046, while the leading Legion Pro 5i triumphed with a commanding score of 14,967.

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Productivity Performance

Shifting focus to the file transfer trial, involving the swift movement of 25GB of data, the Legion Slim 5 exhibited a commendable performance, clocking in at 1,733.97 MBps. While this feat positioned it just a hair’s breadth away from the top-ranking Legion Pro 5i, it showcased the laptop’s robust file-handling capabilities.

In the realm of the Handbrake test, where a challenging 4K video is deftly transcoded into 1080p, the Legion Slim 5 executed the task in a commendable 4 minutes and 34 seconds. This achievement placed it slightly ahead of the Blade 14 by a margin of 11 seconds. However, neither could match the remarkable speed of the Legion Pro 5i, which effortlessly completed the same task in a mere 3 minutes and 39 seconds.

Display on the Lenovo Legion Slim 5

The Legion Slim 5 arrives with a standard 16-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS display as the default configuration. However, our review unit boasted an upgraded QHD+ (2560 x 1600) IPS panel, elevating the visual experience with a brisk 165 Hz refresh rate.

During extensive gaming sessions, particularly in titles like Overwatch 2 and Cyberpunk 2077, the IPS panel’s performance was notable. It offered excellent viewing angles, ensuring that visuals remained clear and vivid even when observed from oblique perspectives. While the colors exhibited reasonable vibrancy, it’s worth noting that the display didn’t quite reach the pinnacle of OLED levels of color richness. In Cyberpunk 2077, darker regions exhibited a shade closer to dark grey, partly due to the LED backlight’s influence.

Shifting the spotlight onto video performance, I directed my attention to the recently-released Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, available on Disney Plus. Much like my theatrical viewing experience, the movie’s poignant moments, particularly those unveiling Rocket’s origin story, tugged at the heartstrings, occasionally prompting a fight against tears.

Beyond the emotional journey, this cinematic voyage allowed me to delve into the Legion Slim 5’s commendable color performance. This became particularly evident when the Guardians graced the screen donned in their vibrant spacesuits, adorned in hues of yellow, red, orange, blue, and green, as they embarked on their mission at Orgocorp headquarters. While it’s important to note that there was a discernible contrast from the Mini-LED display on my daily driver laptop, the performance here, especially considering the laptop’s sub-$1,500 price point, was truly commendable.

In our rigorous tests, the Legion Slim 5, while an impressive performer, found itself trailing its Legion Pro 5i counterpart in all aspects. According to our colorimeter, it achieved 78.1 percent coverage of the DCI-P3 color space and an impressive 110 percent of the sRGB color space. However, in terms of brightness, it lagged behind, registering at 318 nits, compared to the Legion Pro 5i’s 349 nits and the Predator Helios Neo 16’s formidable 499 nits.

Keyboard and Touchpad on the Lenovo Legion Slim 5

The keyboard on the Legion Slim 5 held a sense of instant familiarity for me, and with good reason—it’s essentially the same unit as the one featured in the Legion Pro 5i that I had the opportunity to review earlier this year. All the keys are meticulously arranged in their familiar positions, the convenient number pad retains its place, and even the centrally-placed power button, positioned right above the F9 and F10 keys, remains unaltered.

Keyboard and Touchpad on the Lenovo Legion Slim 5

As is my habit, I made a pit stop at keyhero.com to put my typing speed to the test, yielding a result of 85 words per minute with an impressive 95 percent accuracy rate. This performance was essentially in line with my previous endeavors on the Legion Pro 5i, and I couldn’t help but chuckle at the predictability.

The Legion Slim 5’s keyboard boasts the added flair of four-zone RGB lighting, a feature managed through the Lenovo Vantage software. For customization, you can explore the settings under Lenovo Spectrum, offering an array of effects to choose from. It also grants you control over the speed and brightness of the RGB illumination. However, it’s worth noting that per-key controls are not a feature of the Legion Slim 5’s keyboard.

The touchpad, though not a colossal expanse like some of the mammoth control surfaces found in the laptop world, proved to be user-friendly and delivered a satisfying “click” sensation. That said, my personal preference leaned towards a Razer Atheris mouse, which I opted to use wirelessly via Bluetooth for most of my laptop interactions.

Audio on the Lenovo Legion Slim 5

The audio setup of the Legion Slim 5 incorporates a pair of 2-watt speakers, enhanced by Nahimic audio technology. This sophisticated audio software offers a range of settings to fine-tune the soundscape to your personal preferences. However, despite some experimentation with the presets, I found that the alterations didn’t yield a significant enough difference to sway my opinion about the audio quality.

During my adventures in Cyberpunk 2077, I couldn’t help but notice that voices sounded somewhat muffled. This was a tad disappointing, especially considering the game’s dialogue-heavy nature. On a brighter note, the audio experience improved when it came to elements like gunfire, explosions, and vehicle engines. Nevertheless, for immersive gaming, I’d still recommend turning to a good pair of headphones.

For my musical interlude, I turned to “Stranger” by Hooverphonic, an evocative track from their album “The President of the LSD Golf Club.” However, the Legion Slim 5’s speakers left me somewhat underwhelmed. Geike Amaert’s haunting vocals and the resonating bass guitar both fell somewhat flat, failing to capture the essence of the song. In this auditory journey, the keyboard was the sole element that emerged unscathed, a solitary beacon in an otherwise underwhelming soundscape.

Upgradeability on the Lenovo Legion Slim 5

Keeping with the tradition upheld by most Lenovo laptops, achieving access to the internals of the Legion Slim 5 is a straightforward affair. Ten Philips head screws are the sole sentinels guarding the gateway to the laptop’s upgradable components. Once inside, it becomes apparent that the battery is readily replaceable, and there exist two SO-DIMM slots, primed for future memory upgrades. It’s worth noting, however, that both slots are currently occupied in this configuration, boasting a robust 16GB DDR5-5600 memory setup.

Upgradeability on the Lenovo Legion Slim 5

The Legion Slim 5 makes no secret of its user-friendly approach to internal components. The Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo card stands readily accessible, as do the two M.2 slots designed to accommodate SSDs. Notably, one of these M.2 slots is already occupied by the 512GB SK hynix SSD, leaving the other available for those seeking additional storage space.

Battery Life on the Lenovo Legion Slim 5

When it comes to endurance, the Legion Slim 5 certainly doesn’t lag behind. Similar to our findings with the Blade 14, the AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS proves itself as a remarkably efficient processor. In our rigorous testing regimen, encompassing activities such as web browsing, light graphics tasks, and video streaming over Wi-Fi, all under the soft glow of a display set to 150 nits brightness, the Legion Slim 5’s battery demonstrated its resilience. It soldiered on for an impressive 7 hours and 21 minutes.

Admittedly, it fell just short of matching the Blade 14’s stellar performance, which managed a robust 8 hours and 34 minutes. However, when compared to its Raptor Lake-powered competitors, the Legion Slim 5 left them trailing in the dust, showcasing its formidable battery life.

Battery Life on the Lenovo Legion Slim 5

Just as our gaming benchmarks revealed, the Legion Pro 5i, armed with its Core i7-13700HX, seized the lead in several performance metrics. However, it’s essential to underscore the Legion Slim 5’s distinct advantage when it comes to battery life.

Heat on the Lenovo Legion Slim 5

During our demanding Metro Exodus stress test, the dual fans within the system predictably kicked into high gear, a typical occurrence for gaming laptops. However, the rush of air generated by these fans remained surprisingly unobtrusive during gameplay. Although a constant presence in the background, it tactfully refrained from intruding upon my gaming immersion once I adjusted the volume to around 40 percent. It becomes a non-issue when you’re equipped with a pair of top-tier gaming headsets.

In terms of thermal performance, we recorded a temperature of 22.22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit) on the touchpad and 39.88 degrees Celsius (103.8 degrees Fahrenheit) between the G and H keys, all while the Metro Exodus stress test was in full swing. The hottest point on the underside of the chassis, situated near the far-left corner, registered at 50.11 degrees Celsius (122.2 degrees Fahrenheit).

Webcam on the Lenovo Legion Slim 5

Keeping in step with the trends seen in modern laptops, the Legion Slim 5 comes equipped with a 1080p webcam, marking a significant upgrade from the long-standing standard of 720p webcams.

Webcam on the Lenovo Legion Slim 5

When it comes to image quality, the Legion Slim 5 effortlessly holds its own within its class. It exhibits a level of performance that translates to realistic skin tones, commendable detail, and minimal noise in your visual interactions. Whether you’re engaged in work calls via Google Meet or catching up with family over Skype, this camera is more than up to the task.

As a noteworthy detail, it’s worth mentioning that, unlike some laptops, the Legion Slim 5 lacks a physical shutter to obscure the webcam when not in use. Instead, a nifty switch, thoughtfully located on the right side of the chassis near the SDXC slot, provides quick and convenient control for enabling or disabling the camera as needed.

Software and Warranty on the Lenovo Legion Slim 5

Fresh out of the box, the Legion Slim 5 comes pre-loaded with four branded apps, each serving a specific purpose. First, Legion Arena serves as a hub for accessing your games across a range of platforms, including Battle.net, Epic Games, Steam, Xbox, and Ubisoft services. Secondly, Lenovo Hotkeys provides an informative catalog of function shortcuts available on the system, ensuring you’re well-versed in its capabilities. Thirdly, Lenovo Voice offers controls for the microphone and text-to-speech functionality.

However, the crown jewel among these apps is undoubtedly Lenovo Vantage. Serving as Lenovo’s command center, it places the reins for controlling and monitoring most facets of the Legion Slim 5’s hardware squarely in your hands. You can keep a watchful eye on system vitals for the GPU, CPU, and SSD, tweak power profiles, and even indulge in GPU overclocking, among other capabilities. Furthermore, this app grants access to RGB settings for the keyboard and facilitates seamless system updates, including drivers, software, and BIOS updates.

Additionally, the Legion Slim 5 comes adorned with other pre-installed apps, including Nahimic for audio control, X-Rite Color Assistant for managing display color profiles, Dolby Vision for enhanced visual experiences, and a Lenovo-sponsored Dropbox promo. Naturally, you’ll also encounter Microsoft’s customary selection of pre-installed shortcuts to various apps like Netflix and TikTok conveniently located in the Start menu.

To add an extra layer of assurance, the Legion Slim 5 is supported by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Configurations

As I scoured the options available for the Legion Slim 5, I encountered only two distinct configurations, one of which is accessible directly from Lenovo. This foundational system is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 7640HS processor, 16GB of DDR6-5600 memory, a 512GB SSD, a GeForce RTX 4050, and a 16-inch 1920 x 1200 display. Priced at $1,019.99, it represents a wallet-friendly choice. However, it’s worth noting that this same configuration is priced at $1,349.99 at Best Buy, making it clear that direct purchase from Lenovo offers significant savings.

Moving on to our review unit, it is exclusively available at Best Buy with an MSRP of $1,529.99. This configuration boasts a robust Ryzen 9 7940HS processor, 16GB of DDR5-5600 memory, a 512GB SSD, a GeForce RTX 4060, and an impressive 2560 x 1600 display. At present, the laptop is available at a sale price of $1,149.99 at Best Buy, marking a substantial $380 discount. This presents an incredible value proposition, delivering an abundance of features and capabilities for less than $1,200. However, it’s worth considering that if the laptop were priced closer to its original $1,529.99 MSRP, the Legion Pro 5i might emerge as the more compelling choice.

Bottom Line

The Lenovo Legion Slim 5 may not have swept our gaming benchmark suite, but it consistently held its ground, frequently landing in the middle of the pack or within striking distance in all the tests. What it truly excelled at were productivity tasks, delivering commendable performance, particularly in the realm of storage speed. Nevertheless, where this laptop truly shone was in the endurance department, demonstrating remarkable stamina by lasting over seven hours on a single charge in our tests – a feat that outshone its sibling, the Legion Pro 5i, by nearly two and a half hours.

If there’s one aspect that could have been improved, it would be the screen’s brightness, which, while not a deal-breaker, left room for enhancement. As for the speakers, they may not be top-tier, but this becomes less of a concern if you plan to game with headphones. For those seeking a significantly brighter display and slightly superior audio, the Acer Predator Helio Neo 16 presents itself as a viable alternative worth considering.

However, the most compelling aspect of this laptop is undoubtedly its pricing. While the original MSRP of $1,529.99 might give pause, especially when compared to the generally superior performance of the Legion Pro 5i, the current sale price of $1,149.99 positions the Legion Slim 5 as an irresistible bargain that demands attention and recognition.

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