Lenovo has introduced its first 14-inch Legion gaming laptop, the Legion Slim 5. This new addition to the Legion lineup is quite different from the larger 16-inch model reviewed a few weeks ago. The most notable feature of the 14-inch model is its OLED screen, and it truly lives up to its "slim" name.
Design and Build
The Legion Slim 5 sports Lenovo's signature Storm Grey finish, with a metal aluminum anodized lid and bottom panel, giving it a premium look. However, the interior feels like plastic. Despite this, the build quality is commendable, similar to the higher-tier Slim 7. There's minimal keyboard or lid flex, providing a sturdy feel. Some initial wobbling on a flat surface was noticed, but this might be attributed to early production units.
The laptop's design includes a front lid that protrudes slightly, making it easy to open with just one finger. The hinge is smooth and sturdy, even when opened quickly. Weighing in at 3.2 pounds (1.7 kilograms) on its own and 5.1 pounds (2.3 kilograms) with the included 170-watt charger, the Slim 5 is slightly heavier compared to the G14 and Stealth 14 but lighter than Razer's Blade 14.
While it's a bit larger in all dimensions compared to some of its competitors, the Slim 5 still feels highly portable, especially if you're accustomed to thicker 15-inch and larger gaming laptops.
Power and Specs
The reviewed model comes equipped with AMD's Ryzen 7 7840HS processor, Nvidia RTX 4060 graphics, 32GB of RAM, and a 14.5-inch 120Hz OLED screen. However, configurations can vary, allowing you to choose different specs based on your preferences.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard features single-zone white backlighting, and all keys and secondary functions light up. There are two levels of brightness available, adjustable with a spacebar shortcut. Unlike some gaming laptops, the Legion Slim 5 opts for a more subdued design, with no RGB lighting. The keyboard retains the familiar Legion feel with a subtle clicky feedback.
The glass touchpad is smooth, responsive, and of a suitable size.
Ports and Connectivity
The laptop's port selection includes two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports on the left, while the right side offers an SD card slot, a camera disconnect switch, and a 3.5mm audio combo jack. The remaining ports are located at the back: HDMI 2.1, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, and the power input on the right. Rear port icons help with cable management, although they do not light up like those on the higher-tier Slim 7. It's worth noting that while the rear placement is convenient for cable management, it would have been nice to have a USB Type-A port on one of the sides for easier access.
One standout feature of the Legion Slim 5 is its OLED screen. While it boasts vibrant colors and excellent contrast, the glossy finish can make it prone to distracting reflections. The advertised brightness is 400 nits, but individual units may vary. Nevertheless, it still offers a bright and visually pleasing experience.
The OLED panel also excels in response time, with an average grey-to-grey response time of under a millisecond, making it ideal for gaming and content creation tasks.
The laptop features a 4-Cell 73.6Wh battery and offers options for adaptive refresh rate and conservation mode through the Vantage software. These features help improve battery life by automatically adjusting screen refresh rates and limiting maximum charge levels. In testing, it lasted an impressive 8 hours and 46 minutes in a YouTube video playback test, outperforming the larger 16-inch model.
Performance and Thermals
The Legion Slim 5's performance is a highlight, especially considering its size. It manages to keep up with its larger 16-inch sibling, thanks to its AMD Ryzen processor and Nvidia RTX 4060 graphics. However, the laptop's soldered RAM and limited upgrade options may disappoint some users.
Thermally, the laptop maintains acceptable temperatures during gaming and stress tests. It offers several performance modes through the Vantage software, allowing users to fine-tune settings. Custom mode, with maximum fan speed and power delivery, offers the best performance, but at the cost of increased fan noise. The laptop's fans can get quite loud at maximum speed, but it's not necessary to run them at full throttle in most cases.
When it comes to gaming, the Legion Slim 5 holds its own. It performs admirably in titles like Cyberpunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Control, closely matching or slightly trailing the larger 16-inch model. The laptop's ability to deliver similar gaming performance in a smaller form factor is impressive.
Pricing and Availability
Pricing and availability for the Legion Slim 5 may vary by region. In Australia, the RTX 4060 model is priced around $2950 AUD, with potential discounts for students. Unfortunately, specific US pricing details are not available at the moment, so potential buyers are encouraged to check Lenovo's official website for the latest information.
In conclusion, the Lenovo Legion Slim 5 is a notable addition to the Legion gaming laptop lineup, offering a balance of portability and performance. Its OLED display stands out for its excellent color accuracy and contrast, while the laptop's performance competes with larger gaming laptops. However, potential buyers should consider the trade-offs, such as soldered RAM and limited upgradeability, when making their purchasing decisions. Ultimately, the Legion Slim 5 is a compelling choice for gamers and content creators seeking a powerful laptop in a more compact form factor.