• Thu. Sep 22nd, 2022

Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro (2022) review: Portability & Performance – Tech Advisor

ByWikafever

Sep 21, 2022

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The Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro is a good-looking, slim and light all-rounder with solid everyday performance and a great screen. Elsewhere it has decent battery life and solid connectivity. It’s not the fastest laptop around, though, so it’s easy to find more speed without spending any extra cash.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro proves that gaming and entertainment laptops don’t have to be expensive – this rig costs $1,149 in the US and £970 in the UK with cheaper models available.
You get a decent amount of machine for your money, too. This rig boasts a 16in, high-resolution screen, Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics and a decent AMD Ryzen processor.
Lenovo’s laptop isn’t the only affordable entertainment machine on the market, though. Laptops from Asus, MSI and Dell all offer comparable specifications at similar prices, and two of those occupy long-term positions on our best cheap gaming laptop chart – so the Lenovo IdeaPad has strong competition.
The IdeaPad is designed for everyday use alongside gaming, so its aesthetic is more restrained than many rivals – and for many buyers, that’s a good thing. The IdeaPad has a sleek gunmetal exterior with slim bezels and no RGB LEDs, so it’ll fit into any situation.
Build quality is consistently good, which isn’t always a given at this price. That’s all the more impressive when you consider the Lenovo’s modest 1.9kg weight and slim 18mm body.
Mike Jennings / Foundry
On the right-hand edge, you’ll find two USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 ports and an SD card reader, and the left-hand side deploys a Type-C connection with charging and an HDMI 1.4b output. There’s also a 720p webcam with Windows Hello for face log-in. On the inside, there’s dual-band Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, but no Gigabit Ethernet.
That’s good connectivity, although bear in mind that the Lenovo has no Thunderbolt support and no fingerprint reader.
Despite those omissions, the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro competes well against its rivals. It’s slimmer and sturdier than the MSI GF63, and that laptop has no card reader – but it does have wired internet and newer HDMI if those are important to you.
The Asus TUF Gaming A15 and Dell G5 15 Gaming are both larger than the Lenovo, and both have wired internet – but the former suffers with mediocre build quality, and the latter has slower USB ports.  
The keyboard is sensible rather than spectacular. The layout is good; it’s got a number pad, separated cursor buttons and large keys, which make up for the lack of RGB LEDs.
The buttons have reasonable speed, so they’re fine for gaming and typing, but they don’t have the crisp action that you’ll find on the best gaming laptops. If that’s of interest, the Asus and MSI rigs are both better.
Mike Jennings / Foundry
The trackpad, meanwhile, feels hollow and shallow, so it’s not satisfying but fine for everyday basic use but nothing more. And because the pad sits on the left-hand side of the wristrest, it’s too easy to trigger its surface during gameplay. A USB mouse will be far better for games and for efficient working.
The Lenovo’s display is more immersive than the screens of rivals – and not just because of its 16in size, either. This panel has a 16:10 aspect ratio for extra height, and its 2560 x 1600 resolution outstrips the competition, too.
The contrast ratio of 1,293:1 beats every rival and provides lashings of punch and depth, and the display’s delta E of 1.49 and sRGB coverage level of 97.7% are similarly impressive. They mean that every colour needed by games will be rendered accurately so games look excellent on the IdeaPad.
Mike Jennings / Foundry
The colour temperature of 7165K is slightly cool, which means the display misses a little vibrancy but it’s not a dealbreaker. And while the brightness level of 362 nits isn’t quite high enough for decent outdoor use, that’s not a big issue either.
The 120Hz refresh rate isn’t brilliant. It’s fine for single-player gaming, but lower than the rates on rivals and not high enough to satisfy anyone interested in eSports.
If refresh rate does concern you, then the Asus TUF Gaming A15 is your best alternative. Its 2560 x 1440 resolution is marginally lower than the Lenovo’s figure, but it has good quality and it runs at 165Hz.
The speakers underwhelm here; they combine tinny high-end noises with clunky, overbearing bass. A headset or external speakers are recommended to enjoy media and, of course, for a better gaming experience.
The IdeaPad 5 Pro pairs an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics core with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor. The GPU is a modest chip with 4GB of memory, while the processor is a reasonable octo-core part with a 4.4GHz top speed. Elsewhere there’s 16GB of dual-channel memory and a rapid 1TB SSD.
This mid-range specification delivered middling benchmark results. The AMD chip delivered a Geekbench multi-core score of 7,149. That’s easily ahead of the i5-11400H inside the MSI GF63, and it’s enough power to tackle everyday computing, loads of browser tabs and mainstream creative work like photo-editing.
Mike Jennings / Foundry
That’s great, but more processing power is easy to find: the TUF Gaming A15 includes AMD’s newer Ryzen 7 6800H and the Dell is now available with that AMD chip and Intel 12th-Gen silicon. They’re all much faster and better for creative workloads.
You might encounter some gaming issues on this laptop, too. In Cyberpunk 2077, for instance, it only achieved a just-playable framerate of 30fps at 2,560 x 1,600 when I used the game’s ‘Low’ graphics settings. At 1080p and ‘Medium’ settings, the game hit a reasonable 39fps pace, but you lose out on sharpness by dropping the resolution.
Happily, the situation was better in less-demanding titles. The laptop hit 36fps in Far Cry New Dawn’s Ultra settings at native resolution, and it played Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege at 93fps.
It’s a mixed bag when it comes to gaming. If you want to play mainstream titles and eSports games – and if you’re happy to reduce resolution and graphics settings – then you’ll be fine. But if you’d like a laptop that can tackle top titles at 60fps and without compromise then you’ll have to look elsewhere, like to the Asus and Dell machines with their RTX 3060 GPUs.
the IdeaPad 5 Pro was a bit inconsistent in thermal tests, too, although it is a pretty quiet notebook. No matter the task, the IdeaPad was quieter than most gaming laptops and in many situations you just won’t notice it.
Negatively, though, a good gaming session makes the metal above the keyboard incredibly hot and the underside isn’t far behind. That’s not a dealbreaker because this is the kind of laptop you’ll usually use at a desk, but it’s an unfortunate side-affect of a slim design.
Mike Jennings / Foundry
If there’s one area where the Lenovo impresses it’s battery life. During a work test, it lasted for five hours and seven minutes, and it ran for more than nine hours in a video test – so if you’re using this laptop for everyday work tasks you’ll easily see lunchtime. That’s a far better result than the MSI and Asus machines and on par with the Dell.
The IdeaPad only handled ninety minutes of gaming, but that’s no surprise and no worse than any other entertainment laptop.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro (16ACH6) costs $1,149 in the US, but for that price you get an RTX 3050 Ti graphics card with marginally better performance than the RTX 3050. The UK model with the RTX 3050 costs £970, and its price drops to £799 if you’re happy to settle for an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H processor.
In the US it’s available from Amazon, and in certain configurations from Microsoft and Newegg. It’s also available in the UK from Amazon, and it can also be found at Insight, Box, John Lewis and Currys.
That pricing isn’t always great value. The MSI GF63 might have a weak chassis, processor and display, but it only costs $1,003 in the US and £699 in the UK. Upgrade to an RTX 3050 Ti and it still only costs $899 and £799.
Mike Jennings / Foundry
The Asus, meanwhile, costs £1,399 in the US and £1,099 in the UK and it includes a much faster RTX 3060 GPU. And if you’re happy with the RTX 3050 Ti, the TUF Gaming A15 only costs $1,079 or £849, so you can get a little extra grunt at a comparable price to the Lenovo – albeit in a chunkier, flimsier design.
Dell’s rival, meanwhile, costs £1,129 for a laptop with the Ryzen 7 6800H processor and RTX 3060 graphics core, so it’s a significant performance upgrade for a relatively small price jump – although the Dell does suffer from a chunky chassis design and washed-out display. The US price of $1,049 remains tempting, although that model pairs the better GPU with the Ryzen 7 5800H processor.
Check out our chart of the best cheap gaming laptops to see all the top options.
It’s tricky to pick the best-value option: while some of Lenovo’s rivals serve up faster CPUs and the RTX 3060 graphics core at similar prices, they’re often heavier, thicker and weaker than the IdeaPad.
Indeed, the IdeaPad takes a different approach by delivering a chassis that’s slimmer, lighter and more mature than most of its contemporaries. It’s robust, it has decent connectivity, and its large display delivers superb quality. It’s quiet, too, and has decent battery life outside of games.
It’s not all good news, though. The processor offers mid-range pace, but nothing more, and the graphics core can’t run top games at top settings. The keyboard is soft and the speakers aren’t great.
Don’t write off the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro, though, it’s skills just lie in different areas than others and makes a better choice for those that want a more portable device that’s also nicely suited to work as well as play.

Mike has worked as a technology journalist for more than a decade. He has a deep understanding of laptops, tablets and PCs and the technologies that power them, as well as a particular enthusiasm for games.
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