Lenovo Legion 5i 15 vs. Dell Gaming G5 15: Which gaming laptop should you buy?

Lenovo Legion 5i 15
Lenovo Legion 5i 15 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Lenovo Legion 5i 15 vs. Dell Gaming G5 15 tech specs

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Header Cell - Column 0 Lenovo Legion 5i 15Dell Gaming G5 15
Processor10th Gen IntelCore i5-10300HCore i7-10750H10th Gen IntelCore i5-10300HCore i7-10750H
RAM8GB, 16GB DDR4-2933MHz8GB, 16GB DDR4-2933MHz
StorageUp to 1TB M.2 PCIe SSDUp to 1TB 2.5-inch SATA SSDDual drives availableUp to 1TB M.2 PCIe SSDDual drives available
Display15.6 inches1920x1080 (FHD)60Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz, 240HzIPS, anti-glare15.6 inches1920x1080 (FHD)60Hz, 144Hz, 240HzIPS, WVA, anti-glare
PortsFour USB-A 3.1USB-C 3.1 (DP 1.2)HDMI 2.0Ethernet3.5mm audioTwo USB-A 2.0USB-A 3.2HDMI 2.0EthernetSD card readerUSB-C DP Alt (GTX 1650 Ti)Thunderbolt 3 (GTX 1660 Ti or better)Mini DisplayPort (GTX 1660 Ti or better)
WirelessIntel Wi-Fi 6 AX201Bluetooth 5.0Wi-Fi 5Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650Bluetooth 5.1
KeyboardWhite backlightFour-zone RGBWhite backlightFour-zone RGB
SecurityKensington lock slotWebcam shutterWedge lock slot
Battery60Wh, 80Wh51Wh, 68Wh
Dimensions14.3 x 10.22 x 0.93 - 1.03 inches(363.06mm x 259.61mm x 23.57 - 26.1mm)14.4 x 10 x 0.96 inches (0.85 inches for GTX 1650 Ti)(365.5mm x 254mm x 24.5mm (21.6mm))
WeightFrom 5.42 pounds (2.46kg)From 5.18 pounds (2.34kg)

Design and features

Source: Dell (Image credit: Source: Dell)

These two gaming laptops have some definite gaming style, though the Legion — which makes our list of the best gaming laptops —is a bit more understated. If you're looking for a laptop that can double as a productivity machine, it's probably the better pick. The Legion has a logo stamped on the lid with iridescent color (and otherwise a Phantom Black color), while the Gaming G5 has an Interstellar Dark finish that makes it look more like a starry sky. It is iridescent and stands out a lot more for anyone who likes to make a statement.

Along the rear edge of the Legion 5i 15 is a hub for ports that makes cable management a breeze. You still get USB-A ports on either side and a 3.5mm audio jack on the right for each connecting, but otherwise, your video, adapter, and accessory ports are out of the way. Dell's Gaming G5 goes with a more standard approach, with ports along either side. If you need Thunderbolt 3 and an SD card reader, you'll definitely want to opt for Dell's laptop with a GTX 1660 Ti graphics card (GPU) or better.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Both laptops have a full keyboard with number pad, and both should provide a comfortable typing experience. If you're less interested in a lot of gaming flair, you can go with a simple white backlight, though both are also available with four-zone RGB lighting for deeper customization. Both employ a sizable Precision touchpad without physical buttons. You'll no doubt want to invest in one of our picks for best PC gaming mice for serious gaming.

One thing Dell does better than the Legion (at least on models with a GTX 1660 Ti GPU or better) is 12-zone customizable RGB lighting on the chassis. You can have your laptop glowing, unlike the Legion model with RGB contained in the keyboard. For some added security, both laptops have a lock slot, while the Legion laptop steps things up with a webcam shutter for its 720p front-facing camera. Wi-Fi 6 is available in both laptops, though the low-end Dell models come with Wi-Fi 5.

Display and graphics

No matter how impressive the performance hardware, a good gaming laptop must have a display that can keep up. In terms of the 5i 15 and G5 15, there are a few 1080p options to choose from.

Baseline Legion models have a rather measly 250 nits brightness with 120Hz refresh rate and middling color, and a step-up provides 300 nits brightness with 100% sRGB color but just a 60Hz refresh rate. The option most people should go for is the one with 300 nits brightness, 144Hz refresh rate, 5ms response time, and 100% sRGB color. A top-end option has 500 nits brightness, Dolby Vision, and a 240Hz refresh rate. These are IPS panels.

Since the Legion is available with up to an NVIDIA RTX 2060 GPU, that 240Hz refresh rate might be wasted (depending on the games you enjoy), though the extra brightness would be great for working and playing outdoors.

Source: Dell (Image credit: Source: Dell)

Dell offers both WVA and IPS 1080p display options, starting with the former as a baseline option. It has a 60Hz refresh rate and 300 nits brightness. Stepping up, you can get a WVA display with 300 nits brightness and 144Hz refresh rate. Finally, if you'd like to stick with IPS for better viewing angles and color, you can get a 240Hz refresh rate. And thanks to the Gaming G5 15 coming with up to an NVIDIA RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU, you'll be better equipped to push framerates to that extent.

Other GPU options for the G5 15 include an NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti, 1660 Ti, and RTX 2060. For the Legion, GPU options (other than the aforementioned RTX 2060) include an NVIDIA GTX 1650, GTX 1650 Ti, and GTX 1660 Ti.

Performance and battery

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

To keep everything cool, both laptops have a dual-fan system with ample exhaust and intake vents. Testing the Legion 5i 15, we saw no thermal throttling thanks to Lenovo's Dual Burn setup, which effectively allows both the CPU and GPU to run together without overheating. Fans are relatively loud, but the laptop remains cool under full load.

On the other hand, the Dell Gaming G5 15 seems to have a bit harder time keeping cool. You're still going to see strong performance from the 10th Gen Intel chips and up to an RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU, but it's not likely going to run as efficiently.

Source: Dell (Image credit: Source: Dell)

Both laptops have dual RAM slots that can be upgraded, and the G5 15 has dual M.2 SSD slots that can also be upgraded. If you're more partial to a 2.5-inch SATA SSD, the Legion has room for an upgrade besides its stock M.2 PCIe SSD. And, if you'd rather have dual M.2 SSDs, there's also room; you just have to choose between M.2 or 2.5-inch SATA.

As for battery life, the Legion 5i 15 has a larger 60Wh and 80Wh options compared to Dell's 51Wh and 68Wh batteries. No matter what, neither laptop is going to wow you with battery life. Expect somewhere between one and two hours from a charge while gaming, dipping even lower if the game is particularly hard on the hardware.

Go with the Legion 5i 15 for cool gaming performance

The Legion 5i 15 doesn't have Thunderbolt 3, an SD card reader, or as good of GPU options, but it does have a rear port hub, webcam shutter, and impressive cooling that results in no thermal throttling. If you like a less flashy design and strong mid-range performance, it should please.

Dell's Gaming G5 15 brings extra features, flashy design

With Thunderbolt 3, an SD card reader, customizable RGB chassis lighting, and a far more flashy exterior, the Dell Gaming G5 15 is undeniably attractive. It might not run as cool as the Legion 5i 15, but it does come with up to an RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU for more power. Deep customization and a cheaper starting price means you should find it easier to get precisely what you want.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.