Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (16″) review – thin profile and 45W AMD CPUs

We already have reviewed an Ideapad Creator device and that is the Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (15) which at first sight advanced version of the Ideapad Gaming 3 (15). For this review, we got the 16-inch version that looks much more premium and can’t be mistaken for a budget gaming laptop.

The Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (16″) has a premium-looking build and unlike its 15″ cousin that relies on Intel Comet Lake-H CPUs, this one can be configured with the more efficient 45W AMD Zen 3 processors. In addition, these CPUs can definitely bring more performance to the table alongside lower power consumption and (perhaps) greater battery life.

On the GPU side, this laptop can be configured with up to NVIDIA RTX 3050 (55W) which is a decent budget solution and you can even play games with it. The main event of the series is the 16″ display that has a 16:10 aspect ratio, 2560×1600 resolution, and it comes in two versions – one has a 60Hz refresh rate while the other variant is a 120Hz unit.

At first glance his machine looks like a good option for content creators that don’t have an infinite budget – it has powerful 45W AMD Zen 3 CPUs under the bonnet as well as a hi-res 16:10 panel that is great for both working and gaming and the top video card option is a decent solution for this kind of machine. Moreover, it has some goodies like WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, Dolby Atmos speakers, IR camera, SD card reader, and USB Type-C port that should be welcomed by most people.

Let’s test this one and see how worthy it is.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-ideapad-creator-5-16/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (16″) review – thin profile and 45W AMD CPUs - Specs

  • LEN160WQXGA (LEN9150)
  • Color accuracy  6.0  1.7
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 1000GB SSD
  • M.2 Slot
  • 1x 2280 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot  See photo
  • RAM
  • up to 32GB
  • OS
  • No OS, Windows 10 Home
  • Battery
  • 75Wh
  • Body material
  • Aluminum
  • Dimensions
  • 356 x 251 x 16.9 ~ 18.4 mm (14.02" x 9.88" x 0.67")
  • Weight
  • 1.90 kg (4.2 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 2x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort
  • HDMI
  • 1.4b
  • Card reader
  • MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.1
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5mm Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera
  • HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone
  • Dual Array Microphone
  • Speakers
  • 2x 2W, Dolby Atmos
  • Optical drive

All Lenovo IdeaPad Creator 5 (16″) configurations

#CommissionsEarned

What’s in the box?

The box contains only the essentials – the laptop itself, a 135W power adapter, and the usual manuals.


Design and construction

As we said at beginning of the article, this is a premium-looking device thanks to its build – the lid and body are made of aluminum. This leads to a thin device with a profile of 16.9 ~ 18.4 mm and a weight of 1.9 kilos.

The lid can be smoothly opened with a single hand because of the perfectly stiffed hinges. As you can see from the image below, the bezels around the display are thin and the laptop looks modern. There is a notch for the IR Web camera which also helps for easier lid opening.

Let’s have a look at the base. First of all, this notebook lacks a fingerprint reader, and that doesn’t sound good for a machine that is meant for creativity purposes. On the bright side, the backlit keyboard has large Arrow keys and a NumPad. The key travel isn’t the best but the feedback is clicky enough.

The large touchpad has a Mylar surface that contributes to great gliding accuracy.

The bottom plate houses a big ventilation grille, two speaker cutouts that are sidely placed, and rubber feet. Now, the hot air has pushed through two vents positioned in between the lid and the base of the device. That’s not a great idea because this additionally heats up the panel.


Ports

The left side offers a power plug, an HDMI 1.4b connector, a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) port (that supports Power Delivery 3.0 and has DisplayPort 1.4 capabilities), and an audio jack. On the right, you can find two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports and an SD card reader.


Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

Opening the laptop isn’t rocket science. After the removal of 9 Torx-head screws, you can lift the bottom plate with a plastic pry tool.

The battery has a capacity of 75Wh.

Sadly, here we have soldered memory to the motherboard. The device can be picked with 8, 16, or 32GB of DDR4-3200MHz memory so pick your configuration carefully because, in terms of RAM, future upgrades are a no-go. For storage, we got just one M.2 PCIe x4 slot.

The cooling solution looks decent. It has two heat pipes that are shared for both CPU and GPU cooling. Additionally, we can see two fans and two cooling plates.


Display quality

Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (16″) in the configuration we tested has a 60Hz WQXGA panel – LEN160WQXGA (LEN9150). Its diagonal is 16-inch (40.6 cm), and the resolution is 2560 х 1600 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:10, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 189 ppi, and a pitch of 0.13 х 0.13 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 46cm (18″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).

Viewing angles are great. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.

We measured a maximum brightness of 367 nits in the middle of the screen and 361 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 9%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6700K – slightly colder than the optimal for the sRGB standard of 6500K.
In the illustration below you can see how the main display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.

Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work. The contrast ratio is good – 1470:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (16″)’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 89% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro (16″) with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.


Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 25 ms.

After that, we test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “Gray-to-Gray” method from 50% White to 80% White and vice versa between 10% and 90% of the amplitude.


PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (16″)’s display doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness at any point. This means it is comfortable for long gaming sessions without harming your eyes in this aspect.


Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (16″) configurations with 16″ WQXGA IPS LEN160WQXGA (LEN9150).

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (16″)’s speakers produce a sound of good quality and they support Dolby Atmos. The low, mid, and high frequencies are all clear of deviations.


Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/bg/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/5-series/ideapad-creator-5-16ach6/downloads/automatic-driver-update

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. The 75Wh battery is enough for 11 hours of Web browsing or 10 hours of video playback.


CPU options

The possible CPU variants are the following – Ryzen 5 5600H, Ryzen 7 5800H, and Ryzen 9 5900HX.


GPU options

Depending on the market, you can get this machine with GeForce GTX 1650, GTX 1650 Ti, or RTX 3050 (55W).


Gaming tests (internal display)


Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Full HD, Low (Check settings) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
Average FPS 58 fps 48 fps 83 fps

Metro Exodus Full HD, Low (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Extreme (Check settings)
Average FPS 74 fps 31 fps 14 fps

Gears 5 Full HD, Low (Check settings) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
Average FPS 99 fps 65 fps 53 fps 41 fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

AMD Ryzen 7 5600H (45W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Lenovo IdeaPad Creator 5 (16″) 3.61 GHz (B+3%) @ 99°C 3.41 GHz (B+4%) @ 100°C 3.34 GHz (B+1%) @ 100°C
Dell G15 5515 3.29 GHz (B+3%) @ 74°C 3.14 GHz @ 74°C 3.21 GHz (B+0%) @ 82°C
Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 2 3.68 GHz (B+12%) @ 86°C 3.67 GHz (B+11%) @ 93°C 3.53 GHz (B+7%) @ 100°C
ASUS Vivobook Pro 15 OLED (M3500) 3.52 GHz (B+7%) @ 78°C 3.58 GHz (B+8%) @ 94°C 3.40 GHz (B+3%) @ 90°C
Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-45) 3.57 GHz (B+8%) @ 69°C 3.47 GHz (B+5%) @ 69°C 3.56 GHz (B+8%) @ 82°C
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 Pro (14) 3.43 GHz (B+4%) @ 78°C 3.35 GHz (B+2%) @ 88°C 3.06 GHz @ 93°C
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (16″) 3.77 GHz (B+14%) @ 84°C 3.79 GHz (B+15%) @ 89°C 3.76 GHz (B+14%) @ 97°C

Well, a thin body and a 45W AMD 3 Zen 3 CPU lead to ~100 °C no matter the load. As you can see, the other sibling of the machine, the Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 2 hits the same temperature in long loads. However, you can experience this kind of thermals only when you test the device with some heavy synthetic tests such as Prime 95. At least the CPU isn’t dropping down its frequency under the base clock.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)
Lenovo IdeaPad Creator 5 (16″) 1740 MHz @ 70°C @ 54W 1740 MHz @ 69°C @ 54W
Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44) 1711 MHz @ 57°C 1698 MHz @ 60°C
Acer Aspire 7 (A715-42G) 1725 MHz @ 61°C 1715 MHz @ 65°C
Lenovo Legion 5 (15) 1659 MHz @ 58°C 1671 MHz @ 56°C
Acer Nitro 5 (AN517-52) 1746 MHz @ 65°C 1723 MHz @ 71°C
Dell Inspiron 15 7590 1395 MHz @ 80°C 1395 MHz @ 84°C
Acer Aspire 7 (A715-74G) 1552 MHz @ 70°C 1532 MHz @ 76°C
Dell G3 15 3590 1605 MHz @ 67°C 1566 MHz @ 74°C
ASUS ROG G531 1461 MHz @ 65°C 1408 MHz @ 71°C
ASUS TUF FX705 1566 MHz @ 74°C 1568 MHz @ 74°C
Acer Nitro 7 (AN715-51) 1633 MHz @ 61°C 1599 MHz @ 67°C

Thankfully, when it comes to GPU cooling, things are much better. No matter the load, the GPU clock is glued to the 1740 MHz mark – probably that’s some specific BIOS optimization. And yes – the GeForce GTX 1650 that is fitted inside of this Lenovo machine boosts higher than any other laptop with the same GPU that we have tested so far.

Weirdly, this is the cut-down version of the GTX 1650 with 896 CUDA cores but its TGP goes beyond the 50W limit. Maybe Lenovo has decided to sacrifice CUDA cores for a super-high GPU core boost under load?


Gaming comfort

Luckily, despite the hot CPU, the laptop is moderately loud even when you pound it some serious stress. The palm rest area and the WASD section aren’t too hot so gaming comfort seems unharmed.

Verdict

Overall, the Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (16″) is a good offer. It comes with fast AMD Zen 3 CPU options which sounds amazing given the fact how thin the device is. The display is a great unit – this 16-inch panel is awesome for everything – daily tasks, work, content creating, and gaming as well.

The viewing angles are comfortable, the contrast ratio is good, and the 1600p resolution plus the 16:10 aspect ratio are making the display superb for Web browsing, document editing, or doing some art.

Performance-wise, the machine is fast no matter the scenario. Daily tasks are a piece of cake for this machine because this device is meant for heavier tasks like photo and video editing or content creation.

Aside from that, the laptop is just okay even for gaming. The GeForce GTX 1650 is still a decent GPU and if you need more power you can configure the notebook with the 55W version of the RTX 3050.

And while we are still talking about the GTX 1650 – it’s really interesting that no matter what kind of GPU load you’re applying, the GPU core clock is fixed at 1740 MHz, and yes, it’s not “moving” at all. That’s a nice optimization by Lenovo that should boost the overall graphics performance.

Another curious fact around this particular GTX 1650 is the TGP – it’s staying in the 54-55W range which is typical for a GTX 1650 Ti but it’s a pleasant surprise that this one has a bit higher TGP than usual which again should probably positively affect the performance. But in real-life, the GPU is slightly underperforming compared to other GTX 1650-based machines.

Our machine has some strange issues with some games and GPU benchmarks. No matter the fact that the preferred graphics processor was set via the driver to the dedicated GPU, in some games the GPU clock was below 1100 MHz which is really unusual. We had to manually select every game exe file and force the dGPU usage for it – that was the only solution that fixed the weird core clock drops.

Now, it’s time to focus on clocks and thermals and in this section, this device is a bit of a mixed bag. First of all, the CPU isn’t throttling its frequency under the base clock even in longer loads which is good and at the same time, the machine isn’t too loud. The downside here is the CPU temperature which is always within the 99°C – 100°C range. On the positive side, the WASD area and the palm rest section and moderately warm ergo, comfortable for gaming.

The keyboard has a backlight, NumPad section, large Arrow keys, and clicky feedback. Its only con is the not-so-great key travel. The touchpad is superb – it has a big surface, and it’s butter-smooth for usage. The build quality of the laptop is good – the lid and body are made of aluminum, the profile is thin, and the weight is decent.

In addition, the machine is loaded with extras like Bluetooth 5.1, WiFi 6, Dolby Atmos speakers, an IR camera, and a decent amount of ports. Speaking of the I/O, it’s not the greatest that we have seen but it’s okay for this price range. On the other hand, battery life is good – 11 hours of Web browsing or 10 hours of videos is a nice score.

The Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (16″) has its drawback but they aren’t many – the hot processor temperature under load isn’t affecting the CPU performance, and the device isn’t loud. We found a fix for the lower GPU clock in some tests as well. Aside from that, the machine comes with fast and efficient AMD Zen 3 CPUs, decent GPU options, great display variants, good battery life, and an aluminum build.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-ideapad-creator-5-16/

Pros

  • Thin and compact body
  • Strong aluminum chassis
  • Covers 89% of the sRGB color gamut and has accurate color representation with our Gaming and Web design profile
  • High resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio
  • SD card slot
  • Decent performance for its class
  • IR face recognition


Cons

  • Hot CPU no matter the load
  • The GPU is slightly underperforming in some tests
  • Soldered memory

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