- The Legion Slim 5i is the latest in Lenovo’s Legion series of gaming notebooks.
- The Legion Slim 5i, as its name indicates, focuses on delivering a high-end gaming experience to users inside a form factor that is relatively compact for a gaming notebook.
- It has an elegant design and a power-packed spec sheet (which you can customize), but is the Legion Slim 5i notebook the one you need?
In a largely predictable and obsessed with slimness notebook world, gaming notebooks are a flash of unpredictability, often daring to be unashamedly big, bulky, and blingy. The Lenovo Legion Slim 5i is a slightly different kettle of gaming fish in that regard. It has all the muscle you would expect in a gaming notebook. But it manages to pack into a form factor that manages to be relatively slim and stays stylish without getting outlandish. But does it deliver enough to appeal to the gaming on-the-move crowd?
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Lenovo Legion Slim 5i specs and design: Think Thor in a James Bond suit!
Mention the word “gaming notebook,” and it is a fair chance that most people will think that you are referring to a hefty notebook that almost seems like a desktop in portable desktop, complete with fancy blinking lights and a very edgy design. They would be right, most of the time. But not in the case of the Lenovo Legion Slim 5i.
A quick clarification: the Legion Slim 5i is a gaming notebook first. The ‘Slim’ is in the context of gaming notebooks, so do not expect a MacBook Air here. The Legion Slim 5i is indeed slim but by gaming notebook standards. Indeed, it is an impressive 21.9 mm thin, and at 2.54 kg is light for a gaming notebook with a proper keyboard and a 16-inch display panel. It is very portable by gaming notebook standards if you consider what it has packed inside.
In terms of appearance, the Legion Slim 5i is relatively restrained and elegantly understated. The notebook’s cover is aluminum, while the rest is reassuring strong PCB and ABS (basically, a very special kind of plastic). The lower part of the notebook extends slightly beyond the cover, giving the notebook a slightly two-layered look, which we thought looked smart. The Legion Slim 5i has a silver-gray top, and were it not for the word ‘Legion’ embossed vertically on it, you could mistake it for an elegant executive notebook. When it opens, it looks as slim as its name indicates, and the lid rests on very solid hinges.
Related Read: Lenovo Legion 5i Pro Review
Even if you ignore the Legion branding, opening the notebook will drive away any illusions of this being anything but a gaming device. The RGB lights are on show on the keyboard, and you will notice not just a complete six-row keyboard but also a (slightly cramped) number pad next to it and a large-ish touchpad a little to the left side. Right in front of the keyboard is a large, bright 16-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, 165 Hz refresh rate, and 300 nits of brightness. There is a truckload of ports on the sides and back of the notebook. The back houses two USB Type C 3.2 ports, an HDMI port, an ethernet port, and a power connector. On the left side are two more type C ports and a 3.5 mm jack, while on the right is a 4-in-1 card reader and a slider (what Lenovo calls the E-shutter) to switch the webcam on and off.
The frame of the Legion Slim 5i might be understated, but what lies inside is anything but. Our notebook was powered by the 13th generation Intel Core i7-13700H chip and came with 16 GB DDR5-5200 RAM (comprising two 8 GB SO-DIMM) and 512 GB SSD storage. On the graphics front, it came with the very powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 with 6GB GDDR6 memory. One can also opt for customized configurations of the notebook from Lenovo’s website, changing components like the processor, RAM, and storage.
The notebook comes with Nahimic stereo speakers, and Lenovo’s Legion Coldfront cooling system helps keep it cool. You get Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity as well. The notebook runs Windows 11 Home Edition, which makes sense as this is a system designed for heavy-duty multimedia. Two of the USB Type C ports support Display Ports, and one of them also supports 140W power delivery. Some might complain about the absence of a fingerprint scanner and the web camera being only FHD resolution, but we do not consider them to be deal breakers in a gaming notebook, though their presence would have been welcome.
All in all, the Lenovo Legion Slim 5i is one of those rare gaming notebooks that combine very hefty hardware in a remarkably solid yet classy frame. It would be naive to call it ultra-portable, but it is surprisingly light for what it contains. Think of Thor in a James Bond suit, and you will get the idea.
Lenovo Legion Slim 5i gaming performance: More Thor than Bond here!
With all that hardware on board, it is hardly surprising that the Legion Slim 5i is a performance beast. If you are looking at some heavy-duty gaming at high settings, this is one of the best options you can get out there. The 16-inch display is excellent for viewing content and is remarkably bright. The 16-inch display is the perfect size for anyone wanting to play games on the move – it is not too small nor overwhelmingly big and bulky.
We got the notebook around the time of the launch of Diablo IV, and needless to say, we played the heck out of the game on it. To say that it passed with flying colors passed is an understatement. With brisk loading times, the game ran on the maxed-out resolution without any problems. The fact that it is outstanding in terms of performance only made things better.
Colors were brilliant, and graphics looked outstanding with an amazing level of detail – you could actually clearly see the thin strands in the spells being cast by the Sorcerer and Necromancer. While it is routine to see bright displays excel in handling colorful scenarios, the Legion Slim 5i’s display was one of the few that was able to handle the ‘darkness’ of the game, which sometimes made it very difficult to view in well-lit conditions on other notebooks.
While Diablo IV had pride of place on the Legion Slim 5i, we also played a fair bit of Halo: Infinite and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, as well as the FIFA series, and the experience was always excellent. The speakers are a bit on the low side in terms of volume but deliver a lot of detail. We would suggest switching over to headphones for a more immersive experience, though. Audio quality is very impressive on headphones – you hear footsteps, creaking doors, swords being drawn, as well as big explosions and whispered dialogues. Lenovo’s cooling system never lets the notebook get too warm, although the fans can get a little noisy.
Lenovo Legion Slim 5i general performance: Power packed, as expected
One of the highlights of any Lenovo notebook (gaming or otherwise) is the keyboard. And the Legion Slim 5i comes with a spacious one, which is great for typing. It is well lit too, and you can turn on the RGB lighting too if you like it (we prefer to focus on the game itself). We would have preferred a slightly larger number pad, but that’s just us complaining. The touchpad is very responsive and spacious, and although we did switch to a mouse for gaming, it is excellent for ‘normal’ usage. On the subject of normal usage, the Legion Slim 5i can comfortably handle the likes of PhotoShop and video editing. That keyboard makes working on documents, and text files a pleasure, although we are reasonably sure almost no one will buy the notebook mainly for this purpose.
Battery life is typical of gaming notebooks. You can get about six hours of relatively regular use, and this decreases if you are getting into heavy-duty gaming – we got about three hours while playing Diablo IV with brightness at middling levels. The notebook comes with a hefty charging brick and support for 170W charging which gets it charged in slightly more than an hour and up to 70 percent in a bit more than half an hour. If you want to dodge carrying that brick, you can use some of the adapters you get with super fast-charging mobile phones, too – one of the USB Type C ports supports up 1o 140W of fast charging. Just be ready for charging to be a little sluggish.
Lenovo Legion Slim 5i Review Verdict: Should you buy it?
Our review unit of the Legion Slim 5i was priced at Rs 1,73,901. That might strike a regular notebook user as expensive, but for someone looking for a notebook that can channel the desktop gaming experience into a relatively slim and light form factor, this is a very good option. Others can mimic the hardware, but that keyboard, display, and design take the Lenovo Legion Slim 5i to the top of our recommendations for anyone looking for a close to high-end gaming experience on a notebook without going crazy on the expenditure front.
- Elegant design
- Excellent hardware
- Very good display
- Good keyboard
- Speakers, not the loudest
- Fans can be noisy
- No fingerprint scanner
It has an elegant design and a power-packed spec sheet (which you can customize), but is the Legion Slim 5i notebook the one you need?