If you’re shopping for a gaming laptop, you’ll find good specs lượt thích Intel’s powerful 10th ren six-core i7 H-series processor, a fast PCIe-based SSD, and a 120Hz refresh rate display in many of the costly, high-end models currently available. But you’ll also find all of that in Lenovo’s new IdeaPad Gaming 3, a machine that costs a bit less than $1,000 even at its most expensive configuration.

This budget-friendly máy tính is able lớn run most modern games at a playable frame rate, & if you’re looking for something that’s useful for getting work done on, it has a decent selection of ports, a responsive Windows Precision trackpad, & a full-size backlit keyboard with satisfying key travel. The IdeaPad Gaming 3’s design doesn’t stray too far from what you might expect for a budget gaming laptop. It’s a hulk of plastic that, for the money, actually looks presentable & low-profile.


So, what’s the catch? Unfortunately, this mã sản phẩm suffers in the graphics department, perhaps the most important aspect of a máy tính designed for gaming. I reviewed the top-end $989 configuration that features Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650 4GB graphics. This is a particularly disappointing oversight, partly because it’s the bottleneck of this experience when it comes khổng lồ gaming, & also because there are other gaming laptops at this price point that use the superior GTX 1660 Ti or RTX 2060 from Nvidia or the RX 5600M from AMD. It’s possible khổng lồ buy a $919 configuration built with the slightly better GTX 1650 Ti, though not without dropping down to the slightly worse Intel vi xử lý core i5 10300H processor. I’d probably go for that mã sản phẩm if I was intent on getting this laptop, though.

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Our review of Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3


Verge Score 6 out of 10
*
This laptop can run demanding games like Control at respectable frame rates, but you’ll need to make big compromises to visual fidelity — và you’ll need lớn be plugged in, or else the performance will tank, as it is in the photo. If you just want khổng lồ be able to lớn play Fortnite, or some games in your Steam backlog, but don’t care about running each title at its maximum settings, you won’t be disappointed here. But each time I ran into some slowdown in a game, it served as a moment lớn reflect on Lenovo’s strange decision lớn pair a very capable processor & fast PCIe-based storage with this weak GPU. What’s more, getting to lớn enjoy the glory of this laptop’s 120Hz refresh rate display was something I rarely got to vị — and only after I made big sacrifices to lớn visual features that I usually enjoy cranking to the max, lượt thích shadows, anti-aliasing, and post-processing. Plus, I’m not so confident about how it’ll hold up for games coming later this year, lượt thích Cyberpunk 2077 và PC versions of games made for the PS5 và Xbox Series X consoles launching later in 2020.


AGREE to lớn CONTINUE: Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3

Every smart device now requires you to lớn agree to a series of terms & conditions before you can use it — contracts that no one actually reads. It’s impossible for us to read and analyze every single one of these agreements. But we started counting exactly how many times you have to lớn hit “agree” khổng lồ use devices when we reviews them since these are agreements most people don’t read and definitely can’t negotiate.

To use the IdeaPad Gaming 3, you have khổng lồ agree to:

Request for your region và keyboard layoutWindows 10 License AgreementMicrosoft accountWindows Hello PIN

The following agreements are optional:

Connecting to Wi-FiActivity historySync an android phoneOneDrive backupMicrosoft 365Set up CortanaPrivacy settings, including online speech recognition, find my device, inking và typing, advertising ID, location, diagnostic data, and tailored experiencesSave your email address on your deviceAdd the device khổng lồ your Lenovo ID for support, updates, và more

Final tally: four mandatory agreements & 15 optional ones


The IdeaPad Gaming 3 didn’t raise much of a stutter while running my loadout of work applications, which includes running Spotify, Affinity Photo, Slack, and anywhere from 10-20 Google Chrome tabs in perpetuity. In terms of performance, the laptop started to lớn chug when I pushed its 8GB of RAM to lớn the limits with too many Chrome tabs & Affinity Photo projects. Lenovo confirmed to lớn me that both the RAM & M.2 SSD storage can be upgraded by unscrewing the bottom shell of the laptop, so at least you can remedy this issue yourself if you choose.


You’ll want to lớn dig into Lenovo’s included Vantage software lớn get the most out of this machine. It’s where you can toggle an option khổng lồ automatically switch to lớn performance mode when a trò chơi boots up (it puzzlingly is off by default, meaning gaming performance isn’t great without it switched on). Another option worth toggling is the Rapid Charge, which lets the battery charge lớn 80 percent in just an hour. Also, this is where you can update this laptop’s BIOS & other hardware that the Windows Update tool doesn’t target. Unfortunately, it’s pretty easy to lớn mistake this ứng dụng for bloatware, since it constantly hounds you about McAfee virut protection unless you either sign up or delete it from the hard drive.


*
I would have loved to have seen Thunderbolt 3 and an SD card reader in the I/O, but what’s here is enough to plug in a few accessories.
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This machine keeps relatively cool and quiet, though I wonder if Lenovo had room for a few more ports on the right side here.

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 specs

Screen: 15.6-inch FHD IPS panel with 120Hz refresh rate, 250 nitsProcessor: Intel chip core i7-10750H six-core 45W TDP processorRAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM (user-upgradeable)Storage: 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD (user-upgradeable)Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GBPorts: one USB-C 3.1 ren 1 port, two USB Type-A 3.1 gene 1 ports, one HDMI 2.0 port, Ethernet, a 3.5mm tai nghe jack, & a proprietary charging port, one Novo hole for restoring the machineCameras: 720p 1-megapixel webcam with privacy shutterWeight: 4.8 pounds (2.2kg)Dimensions: 14.13 x 9.83 x 0.98 inchesOperating system: Windows 10 Home


No matter what activity you’re doing, you’ll be looking at the 15.6-inch FHD IPS display. The one I tested has a 120Hz refresh rate, though the less expensive options have a 60Hz display. Neither are the brightest of displays, topping out at 250 nits, but the bezels surrounding it are minimal, và the colors và viewing angles look sharp. There’s also a 720p 1-megapixel webcam at the top of the screen, complete with a webcam cover if you want some privacy.

The relatively small 45Wh battery was able lớn last around four hours with my batch of work apps, though as expected, it didn’t hold up for too long while I played games. After playing Control and Tetris Effect for about an hour, it automatically switched to lớn battery-saver mode at the 30-percent level, which renders most games unplayable. When this máy vi tính is plugged in with the included 135W charger, it keeps cool & relatively quiet. Also, while connected khổng lồ power, you can hit the Fn + Q keys lớn flip between the performance profiles at any time, letting you manually amp up the graphics card and processor performance.


*
On one end, it’s great khổng lồ have such a complete keyboard here, but it gets crowded to lớn the point that I made mistakes while typing.
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It’s always nice khổng lồ have a privacy shutter. This isn’t a hardware shutter lượt thích some laptops have, but it’s serviceable in a pinch.
It’s easy khổng lồ dismiss the IdeaPad Gaming 3’s faults when you consider its price, but the reality is Lenovo could have done a better job here. It’s great that it includes a powerful processor và high refresh rate display, but without a better graphics card, those benefits go lớn waste. Just being able lớn run games isn’t quite enough khổng lồ recommend this as the gaming laptop to buy — even if it’s aimed at people on a strict budget. I’d either hold out for a khuyến mãi on a more expensive option or consider Dell’s new $880 G5 15 SE, which features AMD’s comparable 7nm Ryzen 5 4600H processor và superior RX 5600M graphic chip.

Photography by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge


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