Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 6 Stingray review

Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 6 Stingray review

The interwebs are full of Lenovo Legion fanboys on all the big forums. But the language is starting to become uncritical and zealot-like. We’ve already had some experience with previous Legion models but does this Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 6 Stingray live up to the hype?

Key specs of the Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 6 Stingray

15.6-inch, matte, 165Hz, 1920 x 1080 LCD display; 2.5-4.6GHz Intel Core i7-11600H CPU; 16GB RAM; 512GB NVMe HDD; Nvidia RTX 3060; 60Wh battery; 2.4KG. SKU: 82JH0034AU, Full specs here.

This Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 6 Stingray has a white livery with blue-backlit keyboard. It doesn’t have all the RGB flourishes of all other Legions but still looks very smart with its silver branding on the lid. It would look good at a LAN and is just about sober enough to fit in an office boardroom… just.

Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 6 Stingray front
The Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 6 Stingray will blend into a LAN or a stuffy office.

The screen has a thick black bezel all round it but is bright, well-lit and has a 165Hz refresh rate for smooth gaming performance. Colours are vibrant, motion is smooth and contrast is decent but, as with so many fast gaming screens, there is some stepping in chromatic and monochromatic gradients.

Lenovo is famous for its keyboards but we’re not totally convinced by this lozenge-shaped arrangement. The large keys are rather stiff and we regularly found that some keystrokes, especially combinations, didn’t register when typing. Still, it was more accurate for gaming and didn’t feel like a liability. There’s also a number pad and full-sized arrow keys (yay!) The trackpad is smooth and accurate.

Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 6 Stingray keyboard
The blue-backlit keyboard looks funky in low light and is accurate and responsive for gaming. But it’s a bit stiff and not great for prolonged typing.

There’s an HD webcam in the lid and it has an ‘Eshutter’ privacy slide. This doesn’t provide the assurance of a manual, sliding shutter though so you still have to trust that the webcam is disabled when the technology tells you it is. The ‘Eshutter’ is activated by a small switch on the right-hand side.

The twin, 2W speakers are relatively good and well-rounded for a laptop this size.

All in all the Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 6 Stingray feels solid and is comfortable to use but extended periods of typing might get a bit wearisome.

Performance

The Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 6 Stingray has a hexa-core, 2.5-4.6GHz Intel Core i7-11600H processor which is flanked by 16GB of PC3200 RAM and 512GB PCIe 4.0 hard drive. In PCMark 10 these combined to score 7000 which is impressive for any, current high performance laptop. It went on to score 1640 in Cinebench r15 and 10,081 in r23. All in all it’s 2D performance is well above average.

Performance modes.
Performance modes.

The Stingray has an Nvidia RTX 3060 which scored 8639 in 3DMark Time Spy (an average of 55fps). It also scored 8636 in 3DMark’s Fire Strike Extreme test (average 55fps) and 5170 in the Port Royal ray-tracing test (average 23.9fps). We also ran our new Far Cry 6 benchark. It averaged 111fps (average) in the regular, Full HD, Ultra-settings test. Ultimately, there are very few games that won’t work well on the fast screen but if you’re using an external 4K monitor (or a version of the Stingray with a UHD screen) you’ll struggle to hit smooth gameplay at 4K resolutions with all settings at max.

Ports

On the right
On the right is a USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 port (plus the Eshutter switch for the webcam).
Lenovo left
On the left is a USB-C port which supports Thunderbolt 4, plus a 3.5mm audio jack.
At the rear of the Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 6 Stingray
At the rear there’s Gigabit Ethernet, another USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port, three USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports an HDMI 2.1 connector plus Lenovo’s rectangular power port.

Inside there’s Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.

Portability of the Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 6 Stingray

Tipping the scales at 2.4KG is pretty normal for a 15.6-inch laptop. Note, though, that the PSU is a bit bulky and adds another 930g to this weight. We were a bit annoyed that our review unit had a bit of a Frankenstein spec. There are two main SKUs of the Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 6 Stingray – one has the fast, Full HD screen while the other has a UHD variant. The former typically comes with a 60Whr battery while the UHD unit comes with an 80W unit. However, our Full HD version had an 80Whr battery and you can’t buy a unit with this combination (at least not in Australia). As such, while it ran PCMark 10’s Modern Office test for an impressive 6hrs 29mins, expect the actual result to be one-third less than that.

Underside of the Lenovo Stingray
The round air vents are a nice design touch but they also assist with cooling. Under load, noise keeps to a relatively minor, high-pitched swoosh: it’s not distracting.

In terms of build quality, the Stingray is very solid and well built. We expect it to easily manage life on the road.

Should I buy the Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 6 Stingray?

At $2546 the Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 6 Stingray is decent-value gaming laptop with above average performance. While more-powerful models are easy to find (both for 2D and 3D performance) the main alternatives in terms of value vs performance are the Acer Predator Helios 300 (11th gen) and MSI Pulse GL76. All perform similar and while our scores place the Stingray ahead of the others, that’s with the knowledge that our review spec (with it’s big battery) isn’t actually available. Nonetheless, if you like what you’ve been hearing about Lenovo gaming laptops and don’t plan on doing a great deal of typing on a laptop, this is a very good, mid-range choice.

Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 6 Stingray Results
  • 2D Performance
  • 3D Performance
  • Ergonomics
  • Stability
  • Portability
  • Value
4.2

Summary

A good-value, mid-range gaming laptop. Just note the stiff keyboard and battery size issues.

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