June 18, 2024
Lenovo Legion Slim 5i review: excellent performance without frills.

Lenovo Legion Slim 5i

Lenovo Legion Slim 5i is not the slimmest gaming notebook, but it works well and is reasonably priced.

Lenovo’s Legion series of gaming notebooks has consistently delivered in terms of performance and usefulness. Intel 13th-generation and AMD Ryzen 7000 series mobile CPUs are combined with Nvidia’s RTX 40-series mobile GPUs in the company’s 2023 portfolio.

The Legion 5i from last year has been relaunched as the Legion Slim 5i for 2023, and it slots between the budget-friendly IdeaPad Gaming line and the high-end Legion Pro series. Lenovo claims the Legion Slim 5i is one of the thinnest and lightest 16-inch gaming laptops available. Is it, however, a worthy gaming notebook? Let us discover…

Design

The Legion Slim 5i retains the same design DNA as the previous and current Legion lineups in terms of looks. It has a clean and modest dark grey appearance with an industrial design, which may come across as a little plain to some gamers, but I find it rather appealing.

Despite the fact that its name includes the word ‘Slim,’ the actual form factor may fall short of expectations. While the base model is slightly slimmer (21.9mm against 25.2mm at its thickest point), it falls short of becoming truly slim. The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16, for example, has a maximum thickness of 22.9mm and houses a far more powerful Intel Core i9-13900H processor and an RTX 4090 GPU.

The bottom panel was easy to remove. I was able to pry open the lid to gain access to the internals after removing ten Philips head screws. The laptop also includes dual-channel SODIMM memory, which may be swapped out or increased in the future. Aside from that, you may access the 80WHr battery, the Wi-Fi module, and the cooling system, which includes dual fans and four heat pipes.

Display

The lid can be opened to 180 degrees and features a 16-inch, 16:10 aspect ratio IPS display with a matte surface. I was particularly impressed with how sturdy the hinge felt, and opening the display with one hand was a breeze because of the elevated section in the center. It’s also quite bright, with Lenovo claiming 100 percent coverage of the sRGB color gamut and 350 nits of brightness. Dolby Vision, Nvidia G-Sync, hardware-reduced blue light, and X-Rite Pantone certification are also supported.

If you buy the laptop directly from Lenovo’s online store, you can choose from two additional screen sizes. A cheaper 1,920 x 1,600-pixel resolution with 144Hz variable refresh rate and 45 percent NTSC coverage is available. You may also choose the top-tier model, which has a 2,560 x 1,600-pixel resolution, a 240Hz refresh rate, 100 percent sRGB coverage, and 500 nits of peak brightness with VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification.

Trackpad and keyboard

Lenovo laptops have some of the nicest keyboards available, and the Legion Slim 5i is no exception. It’s full-sized, with a dedicated number pad on the right and a regular row of function keys at the top. With a 1.5mm travel distance, the keys have a pleasant tactile feel, and the overall typing experience is superb, with accurate keystrokes and activation.

The keys also include RGB backlighting, however, customization options are restricted. There are just two color options: entire white or blue, as well as a four-zone mode. There are two levels of brightness control, or you can turn off the illumination entirely.

Performance

The Legion Slim 5i is powered by Intel 13th-generation Raptor Lake processors, which come in either Core i5-13500H or Core i7-13700H configurations. The review machine I received was the Core i7 option, which has six performance or P-cores with a maximum clock speed of 5GHz and eight efficiency or E-cores with a maximum clock speed of 3.7GHz. The CPU is paired with 16GB of DDR5 5200MHz memory in dual-channel, expandable to 32GB. Storage options include a 512GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD as the base option or a 1TB option.

Durability of the battery

In terms of battery life, the 80WHr unit is enough for a gaming notebook. I was able to get around five hours of use out of it, which included a combination of office work, photo editing in Photoshop, and Twitch streaming. The laptop scored 6 hours and 35 minutes in the PC Mark 10 Modern Office battery benchmark test, which is not bad for an Intel H-series notebook.

Verdict

The Lenovo Legion Slim 5i is a powerful 16-inch gaming laptop. It provides good value while also delivering exceptional performance. I would recommend avoiding the RTX 4050 GPU configuration and instead opting for the RTX 4060 or 4070.

It’s a personal preference not to have a flashy, luxury design. There’s also very little RGB illumination, and the battery life is only slightly better than normal. If you can ignore or don’t care about these, the Legion Slim 5i is an excellent choice.

Editor’s rating: 8 out of 10

Pros

  • Outstanding performance
  • Thermals that are well-managed
  • Display that is quick and responsive
  • Aesthetics that are spotless

Cons

  • Full-load loud fans
  • Speakers with average ability
  • RGB illumination is limited.

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