The 14-inch gaming laptop to beat – Smart Fone Video Blog

Lenovo has been on an absolute tear lately with its Legion gaming lineup, and its 8th-gen models for 2023 have a wide selection of hardware to suit many different needs. There’s the top-tier Lenovo Legion 9i we recently reviewed, which Senior Editor João Carrasqueira called “the best gaming laptop on the market right now,” for those with deep pockets. Then there’s the Legion Pro lineup for a mix of outright power and functionality, with a wide range of available hardware and displays at varying price points.

But for those who want to remain as mobile as possible without sacrificing too much power, the Legion Slim lineup is key. I tested the 16-inch Legion Slim 5 (Gen 8) earlier this year and came away very impressed with the overall package, and I now have the smaller 14-inch Legion Slim 5 (Gen 8) sibling in for review. It’s delightfully compact, it’s built to a high standard, and it can bring high-end performance without overheating. Let’s find out if it’s the right laptop for you.

About this review: Lenovo provided XDA with a review unit of its Legion Slim 5 (Gen 8) for 2023. It had no input on the contents of this article.

Source: Lenovo

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 (Gen 8)

Mobile but powerful

Absolutely delightful

$1205 $1440 Save $235

The Legion Slim 5 14 (2023) brings the right balance of price to performance to be the best 14-inch gaming laptop on the market for most people. The 2.8K OLED display is also tuned to also meet the needs of creators who need perfect DCI-P3 color reproduction, and it’s mobile enough that you won’t mind carrying it with you.

Operating System
Windows 11

AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS

Nvidia RTX 4060 Laptop GPU (105W)

16GB LPDDR5x-6400

1TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD


Display (Size, Resolution)
14.5 inches, 2880×1800 (2.8K), OLED, 16:10 aspect ratio, 120Hz, Glossy, VESA DisplayHDR True Black 500, Dolby Vision, TÜV Low Blue Light

Dual 2W speakers

Storm Grey

Two USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2), two USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2), HDMI 2.1, SD card reader, 3.5mm audio combo

Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1

12.89 x 9.87 x 0.7-0.84 inches (327.49mm x 250.62mm x 17.9-21.29mm)

Less than 3.86 pounds (1.75kg)

Front-facing 1080p, privacy shutter


  • Outstanding 14-inch OLED display with 2.8K resolution
  • SD card reader, HDMI 2.1
  • Strong gaming performance goes unthrottled
  • Comfortable keyboard, clear 1080p webcam
  • Lovely design that keeps its mobility

  • No Thunderbolt 4 or USB4
  • No G-Sync, very glossy display finish
  • Touchpad could be better
  • RAM is soldered

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 (2023): Pricing and availability

Lenovo sent us a Legion Slim 5 14 (Gen 8) model with AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS processor (CPU), 16GB of soldered LPDDR5x-6400MHz RAM (split up into four 4GB modules), 1TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe solid-state drive (SSD), and Nvidia RTX 4060 Laptop graphics card (GPU) running at a 105W TGP. This configuration, along with the lone 14.5-inch 2.8K OLED display option, currently costs about $1,315 at Lenovo, discounted from the usual $1,635 price. Lenovo’s pricing fluctuates greatly depending on the promotion, but you’ll almost never see the full “estimated value” on the official website. Best Buy also has this configuration for sale at about $1,480 full price. At the time of writing it’s down to $1,280.

Extra customization options available at Lenovo include up to an AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS CPU, up to 32GB of RAM (only for the Ryzen 7 model), and an RTX 4050 Laptop GPU that’s about $50 less than the 4060. The cheapest introductory model with the RTX 4050 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD costs about $1,205 at Lenovo at the time of writing.

Lenovo also offers AMD- and Intel-based 16-inch Legion Slim 5/i models for those who need a larger display, full keyboard, RGB lighting, and more cooling potential. I reviewed the Legion Slim 5 16 (2023) with AMD CPU favorably, noting that it doesn’t skimp on display and performance quality compared to its Legion Pro siblings.

Design, ports, and features

All aluminum with beveled edges and rounded corners

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 half open on a desk

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 (Gen 8) for 2023

Unlike the larger Legion Slim 5 16 (Gen 8) sibling and its mix of aluminum cover with ABS plastic base, the smaller Slim 5 14 (Gen 8) that I’m now reviewing is all aluminum. Lenovo no doubt had more weight allowance due to the overall smaller size, and the result is a more premium feel throughout.

Whereas the 16-inch model weighs in at less than 5.29 pounds (2.4kg), the 14-inch model weighs less than 3.86 pounds (1.75kg). That’s a big difference, and it should be quite attractive to those who want to travel with a powerful laptop capable of gaming and creative work. The Slim 5 14 measures 0.84 inches (21.29mm) at its thickest point, narrowing down to 0.7 inches (12.89mm) at the front thanks to the wedge shape. The corners are rounded, the edges have a slight bevel, and everything comes together clean to add to the premium look while also making it more comfortable to use.

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 left side view

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 (Gen 8) for 2023

The bottom panel has a large intake to feed the two fans, with narrow exhaust ports on either side as well as a slightly larger exhaust along the back edge. The Slim 5 14 follows the same design cue we’ve been seeing from Legion laptops for a few years now, with the display’s hinges set forward on the base with the ability to sit back at a full 180 degrees. This leaves an edge behind the display that houses your more permanent hookups; in this case there’s HDMI 2.1, two USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2), and the proprietary rectangular Lenovo charging port.

The right edge of the laptop is home to a 3.5mm audio combo jack for headsets, an SD card reader, and a slider for the webcam’s privacy shutter. The left edge is where you’ll find the two USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2) ports. It’s sort of expected now that AMD laptops won’t ship with Thunderbolt 4, but it’s a shame that Lenovo didn’t settle on at least USB4 for better compatibility with high-end docking stations.

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 right side view

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 (Gen 8) for 2023

The laptop’s lid is slightly smaller than the rest of the base, evident when the device is sitting closed. I don’t mind this two-tiered look at all, and to make the lid easier to open there’s a reverse notch along the front edge. This also gives the webcam a bit of extra space. Its 1080p resolution provides a clear and crisp picture, and I’d have no issues using it for video conferencing or even casual game streaming.

The Legion Slim 5 14 (Gen 8) feels more like an everyday laptop than a gaming machine thanks to its smaller size and styling.

Dual 2W speakers are built into the underside of the laptop. They rest flat, which means sound is muffled if you’re using the PC on your lap. On a desk, the front feet raise the system enough that sound can still escape. There’s more than enough volume without distortion for gaming, music sounds full, and you’ll easily be able to hear your colleagues if you’re using it for online meetings.

Between the keyboard and display is a wide pinhole grate, split by the illuminated power button. The button ties in with Lenovo’s Q control, which allows you to quickly swap between performance modes by using the Fn + Q shortcut. It’s blue for quiet mode, white for automatic, and red for performance.

Keyboard and touchpad

1.5mm key travel, white backlight

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 open all the way on a desk

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 (Gen 8) for 2023

Lenovo’s TrueStrike keyboard is included here, this time with a TKL design that excludes the number pad. That might irk some who want to use this laptop for productivity purposes, but on the other hand the touchpad is more centered for a more natural feel. The nav cluster is relocated with Home, End, and Pg keys surrounding the arrows, with the rest along the top with their own keys. Whereas the 16-inch model has four-zone RGB lighting, Lenovo offers only a standard white backlight for these keys.

Typing on the Legion Slim 5 14 is extremely comfortable. The keycaps are slightly cupped to better grab your fingertips, and the deep 1.5mm key travel reduces stress even during long days of gaming or working. Tight actuation makes for snappy responsiveness even in frenetic games, and the 100% anti-ghosting means you won’t miss out on any keystrokes even if you’re pressing multiple keys at once. There’s a bit of a lip around the touchpad, but it’s not enough to irritate the palm of your hand when using the WASD keys.

Lenovo’s TrueStrike keyboard is geared for frenetic gaming, but its comfortable design makes it suitable for extended stints of typing.

The touchpad makes good use of the available space below the keys, and as mentioned it’s more centered than on the 16-inch model. The click is firm, but there is a bit of a rattle on the release. If you’re using the laptop only for gaming you’ll likely disable the touchpad in lieu of a proper gaming mouse, but those splitting time with productivity work on the go might find it’s not quite up to the same standard as some of Lenovo’s best laptops.


2.8K OLED at 120Hz is phenomenal

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 screen

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 (Gen 8) for 2023

There’s just one display option available for the Legion Slim 5 14, but it’s an absolute delight in every way. Lenovo landed on a compromise between FHD and UHD, with the 14.5-inch screen hitting a 2880×1800 (2.8K) resolution to match the taller 16:10 aspect ratio.

The OLED panel offers a deep 100000:1 contrast ratio, and its VESA DisplayHDR True Black 500 and Dolby Vision additions make supported content look incredible. Whereas most 14-inch OLED panels top out at a refresh rate less than 100Hz, Lenovo bumped this one up to 120Hz with adaptive capabilities for smoother gaming and less eye strain. It pairs well with the RTX 4060 GPU’s capabilities, and it even comes with X-Rite Pantone factory calibration for specialized tasks.

The Legion Slim 5 14 (Gen 8) has one of the nicest 14-inch displays I’ve ever seen.

I tested the display’s color accuracy with a SpyderX Pro colorimeter, getting back 100% sRGB, 97% AdobeRGB, and 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction. It also managed 394 nits brightness without HDR enabled, dropping to just 4.9 nits at its lowest. These are stellar results, and you shouldn’t have an issue using the laptop for creative and editing tasks where precise coverage of color gamuts is required. There’s no backlight bleed thanks to the OLED tech, and there are some options in the Lenovo Vantage app to help prevent burn-in.

The only real downsides are a lack of Nvidia G-Sync and a glossy display finish. Anti-reflective would have gone a long way here, as using the laptop in a bright room causes noticeable glare.

Performance and battery

Impressive results in all tests

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 logo

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 (Gen 8) for 2023

In my Lenovo Legion Slim 5 16 (Gen 8) review, I called it “a real performer, hitting high frame rates in modern games without suffering from overheating.” The 16-inch chassis had plenty of space for the mid-range performance hardware, and part of me was expecting a more significant drop-off in the smaller model. However, Lenovo was able to deliver essentially the exact same level of performance in the 14-inch Slim 5.

We can see in the following synthetic benchmarks that the Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU in the Slim 5 14 matches or bests the same chip in the Slim 5 16. The differences are small enough that you won’t notice them in everyday work and play.


Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 (Gen 8), AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS, RTX 4060

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 16 (Gen 8), AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS, RTX 4060

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i (Gen 8), Core i7-13700HX, RTX 4060

HP Victus 16 (2023), Core i7-13700H, RTX 4050

PCMark 10





Cinebench R23 (single / multi)

1,775 / 16,946

1,740 / 16,313

1,888 / 19,468

1,894 / 18,348

Cinebench 2024 (single / multi)

102 / 940




Geekbench 5 (single / multi)

1,875 / 11,498

1,800 / 10,669

1,832 / 14,990

1,836 / 14,229

Geekbench 6 (single / multi)

2,491 / 12,180

2,432 / 11,554

2,480 / 13,524

2,614 / 14,063

3DMark Time Spy





3DMark Time Spy Extreme





I also ran 3DMark’s Fire Strike and Fire Strike Extreme tests, hitting respective 28,585 and 12,388 scores. As for the solid-state drive, the SK hynix hardware in my review unit was able to hit 7,163MB/s read and 6,445MB/s write speeds for outstanding performance.

What’s most impressive is a complete lack of thermal throttling thanks to Lenovo’s AI engine that automatically balances power to all components. I ran a 20-minute stress test with the system set to Windows 11’s Best Performance profile and Lenovo’s Performance mode. There was zero thermal throttling detected, with the CPU hitting 100 degrees Celsius before settling back to about 69 degrees Celsius. The CPU and GPU working together under load pulled about 125W combined, with the graphics card at 80W and the processor at 45W. That’s not quite the full 105W potential of the GPU, but the CPU could come down (it can range from 35W to 54W) to provide more power to the GPU as required.

The aluminum case does a great job of dissipating heat, and it seemed more prone to a wide surface temperature instead of a specific hotspot. I was able to keep the PC on my lap at the end of the stress test, though prolonged gaming will likely start to get uncomfortable. It’s largely the norm for gaming laptops. The fans under full load never got louder than 56dBA, and they otherwise remained whisper quiet when going about non-intensive tasks. That’s no louder than I tested with the 16-inch Slim 5.

Everyday battery life is one of the Legion Slim 5 14’s strong points, making it a viable option for anyone who needs a laptop for work and for play.

The 14-inch Legion Slim 5 has a smaller 73.6Wh battery compared to the 16-inch model’s 80Wh battery, but that doesn’t seem to make a big difference. The smaller battery lasted 45 minutes instead of 47 minutes in the PCMark 10 Gaming rundown test with Windows 11 Best Performance and Lenovo Automatic (Performance mode isn’t available on DC power) profiles. You’re going to want to keep your AC adapter nearby when gaming, but that’s really no different than any other gaming laptop on the market.

I also tested the Slim 5 14 with the display turned down to a 60Hz refresh rate with Windows 11 Balanced and Lenovo Automatic profiles. This time I ran the PCMark 10 Modern Office test and saw seven hours and 53 minutes of runtime. That’s very impressive for a gaming laptop, and this was without touching the MUX switch that’s available in the Vantage app.

As usual, I ran some in-game benchmarks to test real-world gaming performance. I compared these results to the Slim 5 16 and the Pro 5i with similar hardware.


Graphics setting

Legion Slim 5 14 (Gen 8), Ryzen 7 7840HS, RTX 4060, Average frame rate (2.8K)

Legion Slim 5 16 (Gen 8), Ryzen 7 7840HS, RTX 4060, Average frame rate (QHD+)

Legion Pro 5i (Gen 8), Core i7-13700HX, RTX 4060, Average frame rate (QHD+)

Red Dead Redemption 2

Ultra (favor quality) / No DLSS

51 FPS

58 FPS

58 FPS

Red Dead Redemption 2

Ultra (favor quality) / DLSS Performance

72 FPS

79 FPS

82 FPS

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Highest / No DLSS

79 FPS

83 FPS

96 FPS

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Highest / DLSS Performance

125 FPS

131 FPS

146 FPS

Far Cry 5

Ultra / No DLSS

80 FPS

92 FPS

93 FPS

Note that the Slim 5 14 is working with a higher 2.8K native resolution compared to the QHD+ resolution in the Slim 5 16 and the Pro 5i. You can tweak in-game settings as required to bump up the FPS in demanding games, and those playing competitive games shouldn’t have a problem maxing out the display’s 120Hz refresh rate.

Should you buy the Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 (2023)?

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 on a desk

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 (Gen 8) for 2023

You should buy the Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 (2023) if:

  • You need a laptop that’s easy to carry around
  • You need a color-accurate OLED display
  • You need a laptop that can handle gaming and productivity work (especially creative tasks)

You should not buy the Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 (2023) if:

  • You want the most performance possible
  • You need a display larger than 14 inches

Gaming laptops are common, but 14-inch gaming laptops are not. The Razer Blade 14 and Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 — which is one of the best mini-LED laptops on the market — come to mind as direct competition for the Slim 5 14 (Gen 8), and indeed they have some unique specs with which Lenovo doesn’t compete.

However, if we consider the elevated price of these models compared to the Legion Slim 5 14, Lenovo has a distinct advantage. Blade 14 models start at a discounted $1,800 at the time of writing, while the Zephyrus G14 sits at about $1,600 for a model with Ryzen 9 CPU, RTX 4060 Laptop GPU, and QHD+ display. Adding a mini-LED display bumps the price up considerably. With a starting price of about $1,205 at the time of writing, the Legion Slim 5 14 (Gen 8) for 2023 should be the 14-inch gaming laptop to beat for most people.

Due to how close the 14- and 16-inch Slim 5 models come in terms of performance, I’d take the more compact laptop every time. Not only is it easier to carry around despite an all-metal build, its streamlined design is more appealing, and it has that gorgeous 2.8K OLED display. This is one of the best laptops that I’ve tested this year, and it should be given a strong consideration if you’d like to keep your gaming laptop well within the limits of portable.


Source: Lenovo

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 14 (Gen 8)

Best 14-inch gaming laptop

$1205 $1440 Save $235

Lenovo’s Legion Slim 5 14 (Gen 8) for 2023 is a stacked PC that can handle gaming and creative work. It has a beautiful 2.8K OLED display, its performance is steady, and it can keep its cool despite the thin and light design.

** (Disclaimer: This video content is intended for educational and informational purposes only) **

By smartphonejunkie