Attempting to get a good gaming laptop computer for underneath £1,000 has by no means been a straightforward factor to do. Take a fast look on Amazon and also you appear to have a wide selection to select from however, when you’ve ignored the machines fitted with the Nvidia RTX 3050 and 3050 Ti GPUs the record begins to look a lot shorter.
Personally, I believe calling something constructed round Nvidia’s puniest GPU a gaming laptop computer is stretching the which means of the phrase as a result of 4GB of vRAM (essentially the most the RTX 3050 helps) is simply too little for right this moment’s AAA video games.
For first rate gaming, you want at the least both the Nvidia RTX 3060 or the AMD RX 6600M GPU and 8GB of vRAM. Machines with the latter have gotten extra widespread and the most recent all-AMD gamer to return our method is Lenovo’s Legion 5 AMD Benefit Version.
Lenovo Legion 5 Benefit Version evaluate: What you’ll want to know
Assume discrete laptop computer GPU and also you sometimes suppose Nvidia however AMD additionally has a good vary of GPUs in its newest RX-series. The newest addition to the lineup is essentially the most inexpensive, the Radeon RX 6600M, a mid-range GPU designed to deliver dependable 1080p gaming to laptops that don’t value an arm and a leg. We’ve already examined the RX 6600M within the HP Omen 16 however it didn’t really feel completely at house there – a GPU designed for 1080p gaming in a laptop computer with a 1440p panel. Right here, it’s way more snug.
It’s not simply concerning the GPU, nevertheless. This specific laptop computer additionally contains an AMD CPU – the Ryzen 7 5800H within the case of the evaluate mannequin or a Ryzen 5 5600H mannequin – and the laptop computer is being marketed underneath the AMD’s “Superior Version” banner (you possibly can see precisely what this entails right here). In a nutshell, it is a raft of system optimisations designed to get the very best from laptops utilizing AMD’s CPUs, GPUs and accompanying methods like FideltyFX Tremendous Decision expertise and FreeSync.
None of that is going to revolutionize how properly your sub-£1,000 gaming laptop computer performs however the principle is that it ensures a dependable and uniform baseline efficiency.
Lenovo Legion 5 Benefit Version evaluate: Value and competitors
Proper now, you possibly can decide up the Ryzen 7 Lenovo Legion 5 AMD Benefit Version for £999 and the Ryzen 5 mannequin for £799. Apart from the CPU, these each share the identical specification, making the Ryzen 5 mannequin higher worth.
The plain competitors comes from HP’s Omen 16 which makes use of the identical Ryzen 7 CPU and RX 6600M GPU as in our evaluate laptop computer. The Omen has a somewhat high-quality 16.1in, 2,560 x 1,440 show, though that GPU isn’t fairly as much as the duty of gaming at native decision. On the time of writing HP is promoting the Omen 16 for £1,200.
MSI’s Katana GF66 is a machine I’ve a mushy spot for as a result of I personal one. On the draw back the followers are loud, the display a bit uninteresting and battery life poor however at a worth of £899 you get an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU, an Intel Core i7 11800H CPU, 16GB of RAM and this delivers a good degree of efficiency. I’ve had mine for getting on for six months and don’t remorse the selection one iota.
Lastly, Acer’s Nitro 5 gives a extra overtly gamey look and, proper now, you may get the Ryzen 5 RTX 3060 mannequin from Amazon for £1,132. For uncooked efficiency, it leads the finances subject however the Full HD show is uninteresting and drab, the physique is plasticky and cheap-feeling, the sound system is under par and the battery is just too small. It’s, nevertheless one of many few gaming laptops with the ability to put in a 2.5in HDD, which is able to attraction to some.
Lenovo Legion 5 Benefit Version evaluate: Design and construct high quality
By way of their appears to be like, Lenovo’s Legion laptops have sometimes resided on the extra understated finish of the gaming laptop computer spectrum and this machine is not any completely different. It’s all clad in pretty plain black and there isn’t even the slightest try at an RGB gentle present.
Appears to be like apart, although, it’s a strong and well-made machine and fairly compact. At 2.4kg it’s a contact weighty however, if you would like lighter, you’ll need to pay extra. Lenovo’s behavior of grouping many of the ports and connectors across the again is one I proceed to love, extra so since I’ve taken to utilizing a vertical stand for my laptops when linked to a monitor.
And the choice offered there may be beneficiant, too, with three 5Gbits/sec USB-A ports and a single 10Gbits/sec USB-C (supporting DisplayPort 1.4 and USB Energy Supply), one HDMI 2.1 output, Gigabit Ethernet and the DC energy enter. On the left edge is a 3.5mm audio jack and one other Kind-C port (though you possibly can’t cost by way of this port), whereas on the appropriate is a fourth Kind-A port and a swap to disable the webcam.
Whip the rear panel off and you may uncover three detachable steel plates. One covers a spare 2280 M.2 SSD slot, one other the wi-fi card and the pre-installed 2240 SSD, whereas the final protects the 2 8GB SODIMM RAM modules. Upgrading shouldn’t be going to be an issue.
Wi-fi communications are dealt with by a Realtek MT7921 Wi-Fi 6 card, whereas the 512GB SSD is a Samsung mannequin which managed strong if unspectacular sequential learn and write speeds of two,723MB/sec and 1,651MB/sec respectively.
Lenovo Legion 5 Benefit Version evaluate: Keyboard, touchpad and webcam
The membrane keyboard is strong and properly laid out and even features a numeric keypad, which is not a typical function, even on 15.6in laptops. The keyboard backlight is an easy all-white two-stage affair, which some players might imagine is just a little fundamental, and at 1.5mm, the important thing journey is just a little shallow. That mentioned, three strong hours of Metro Exodus did not go away me cursing it and I appreciated the cursor keys being set just a little aside from the remainder of the keyboard.
The plastic 105 x 70mm touchpad is offset to the left by 40mm to make room for the arrow keys however is in any other case onerous to fault. It’s a one-piece affair, is nice to the contact and has a clear and sharp click-action on the backside.
The 720p webcam shouldn’t be fairly as unhealthy as I anticipated, both, being much less noisy and somewhat extra vibrant than some I’ve encountered. Video might be recorded at a most of 30fps whereas the best decision nonetheless pictures you possibly can seize are 1,280 x 720.
Lenovo Legion 5 Benefit Version evaluate: Show and audio
There’s nothing distinctive concerning the Legion 5’s show. It has a 1,920 x 1,080 decision, 144Hz refresh charge and, properly, that’s it. A better-resolution show can be past the GPU’s capability to completely utilise.
At 370cd/m2, it’s a brighter panel than you normally discover on finances gaming notebooks, although, and it’s vibrant with 96.5% sRGB protection and 100.7% complete sRGB quantity. The common Delta E Color accuracy is simply the improper aspect of two at 2.24 however, once more, I’ve seen numbers twice that prime on Acer Nitro laptops so we have to maintain issues in perspective.
What units this Legion 5 aside from just about each different finances gaming laptop computer I’ve tried is that it has a multiplexer or MUX swap. What this little piece of brilliance does is join the RX 6600M GPU on to the show with out involving the built-in (on this case Radeon) graphics chip in proceedings. The advantages are increased body charges and higher picture sync however the downsides are elevated energy demand and the need to reboot once you wish to swap again into hybrid mode.
The identical goes for the sound system is superb certainly. I measured the common quantity from a pink noise supply at 1m at 73dB whereas a music supply peaked at 85dB which is on a par with way more costly gaming laptops just like the Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 and 17 machines that we examined not too long ago. The sound is properly balanced with an inexpensive quantity of bass and there’s no distortion even at most quantity ranges. It lacks the physique to do full justice to music playback however, at this worth, I’ve heard a lot worse.
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Lenovo Legion 5 Benefit Version evaluate: Efficiency and battery life
The discharge of Intel’s new Alder Lake chips has swung the CPU efficiency benefit again from AMD to Intel however that’s to not say that AMD’s octa-core Ryzen 7 chips needs to be ignored.
The Ryzen 7 5800H processor in our evaluate machine has a base clock of three.2GHz however can hit 4.4GHz with its trainers on. This Legion 5 additionally comes fitted with 16GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM as normal whereas the RX 6600M GPU has 8GB of GDDR6 vRAM. That’s a recipe for some fairly strong efficiency.
As you’ll anticipate, given the an identical CPU and GPU, the Ryzen 7 Legion 5 performs very equally to the HP Omen 16. In our bespoke multimedia benchmark take a look at, the Legion 5 scored 315 to the Omen’s 322 which is throughout the margin of error. The identical is true of graphically-intense productiveness checks. The Legion 5 5 managed 65.4fps within the SPECviewperf 3dsmax 3D rendering take a look at to the Omen’s 66fps, each checks working at 1080p.
In terms of gaming, nevertheless, the Legion has a small benefit because of that multiplexer swap which hyperlinks the GPU on to the show with out the Radeon graphics chip sticking its nostril into proceedings.
Operating the Metro Exodus benchmark at Excessive, Extremely and Excessive returned body charges of 25.3fps, 43.1fps and 56.7fps respectively however you possibly can all the time tweak the video settings to extend the body charge: knocking the video element all the way down to Medium and ray-tracing high quality to Regular noticed the body charge leap to 90fs. For the report, that’s virtually twice as quick as an RTX 3050 machine (for instance, the in any other case spectacular Dell Inspiron 16 Plus).
At its highest particulars settings, with ray tracing set to medium, the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark ran at 77fps. The Wolfenstein: YoungBlood Riverside benchmark, with the best Mein Leben preset enabled however no ray tracing enabled (as a result of it makes use of Nvidia’s API somewhat than Microsoft’s DXR), ran at 159fps. Lastly, the Hitman 2 benchmark scored 45.6fps with SuperSampling at 2 and 97.2fps with it set to 1. These checks have been run at 1080p.
All these scores, except for Hitman 2, are round 10-15% increased than the outcomes from the Omen 16, which doesn’t have a MUX swap. And, as with all the opposite Legion machines I’ve examined, I used to be impressed by how cool and quiet the laptop computer remained, even after extended and intensive gaming periods.
Nevertheless, just like the Omen 16, the Lenovo Legion doesn’t get a lot change from its giant battery, lasting 7hrs 38minutes from an 80Wh (5,210mAh) battery in our video rundown take a look at.
Lenovo Legion 5 Benefit Version evaluate: Verdict
It’s all concerning the worth with machines just like the Lenovo Legion 5 AMD Benefit Version. At £999, the Ryzen 7 mannequin we’ve examined right here is nice worth, whereas the Ryzen 5 machine at £799 is an absolute steal. With the identical GPU and vRAM, gaming efficiency will probably be very, very related. Each these costs are listed as “£200 off” however even with that added again on each fashions are nonetheless good worth.
If I needed to sum up these AMD Benefit laptops in a single phrase it might be ‘balanced’. They ship dependable 1080p gaming even with demanding titles and haven’t any vital weak spots. Most significantly, they trounce the RTX 3050-equipped competitors and that alone makes them our finances gaming laptop computer Finest Purchase award winners.