Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 hands-on: play on the cheap

Lenovo sprinkles its entry-level gaming systems with design and features typically reserved for its high-end Legion-branded laptops. The IdeaPad Gaming 3 and 3i laptops will be available in AMD and Intel Core processor configurations and 15-inch and 16-inch display options, respectively, but they’ll get a real taste of Lenovo’s high-end gaming features for the first time. .

The biggest upgrades of the IdeaPad Gaming 3 are the main ports installed on the rear of the system. This is a direct feature of the Legion brand design to entry-level laptops. These models also include USB ports on each side for functions such as mouse peripherals or thumb drives, which users can quickly plug in. By comparison, the previous generation IdeaPad Gaming 3 featured all of its ports on its sides.

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Specifications

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3
Dimensions 14.16 x 10.49 x 0.82 inches
Weight 5.29 pounds
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 6800H
Graphic Nvidia RTX 3050Ti
RAM Up to 32GB DDR5 4800MHz memory
To display 16 inches, 165Hz
Storage room SSD up to 1TB
To touch No
Ports 2 USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, HDMI 2.0, Ethernet, 3.5mm audio jack
Wireless Up to Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
webcam 1080p with privacy shutter
Operating system Windows 11
Battery 71 watt hour
Price, availability $1,140, ​​June 2022

Design

The white 15-inch IdeaPad Gaming 3 is seen overhead.
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I had a chance to handle the IdeaPad Gaming 3 15-inch and 16-inch models and what first struck me was how light they are for their size yet still sturdy. Both models were easy to handle with one hand, with the 15-inch design weighing 4.85 pounds and the 16-inch model at 5.29 pounds. The dimensions of the laptops are 14.16 x 10.49 x 0.86 inches for the 15-inch model and 14.16 x 10.49 x 0.82 inches for the 16-inch model.

The IdeaPad Gaming 3 has a minimalist design with very subtle branding placement. Apart from the Lenovo label on the base, there is an IdeaPad Gaming label on the opening.

15-inch models will be available in Glacier White and Onyx Gray color options and 16-inch models in Onyx Gray only. The white models look more plastic, probably due to the contrast of its dark bezels with its keyboard. Meanwhile, the darker models come away with a much sleeker and more premium appearance as they have the same tone all around.

Once again, having adopted the design features of Lenovo’s high-end laptops, the IdeaPad Gaming 3 includes blue accents on the rear to complement its cooling and ventilation updates, in addition to adding a gamer-like aesthetic.

To display

Laptop models have slight differences in specifications in terms of display. The smaller variant has a 15.6-inch FHD IPS display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 300 nits brightness, while the larger version has a 16-inch WQHD+ IPS display with an aspect ratio of 16:10 and a brightness of 500 nits. Display panels on both size options feature a 165Hz refresh rate and 100% sRGB color gamut.

A video game trailer being played on the black 16-inch IdeaPad Gaming 3 while hands are typing on the keyboard.

At first glance, the wallpapers used on the IdeaPad Gaming 3 models appear to be bursting with color. There’s a lot of color saturation, especially in contrast to the colors of the laptops themselves. Once I started fiddling with the devices, the colors seemed to hold just as well. In particular, I saw a fortnite video game trailer on YouTube on the 16-inch model.

They may not be the brightest screens on the market, but they can also depend on the level of lighting in your area.

Keyboard and touchpad

The 15-inch white IdeaPad Gaming 3 keyboard.
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IdeaPad Gaming 3 includes a full-size keyboard and a large trackpad, which also recalls the high-end design of the Legion brand. Additionally, it has air vents in the keyboard, similar to the higher-end models, to further help keep the device cool. There is also blue backlighting under the keys, which further adds to the gamer aesthetic. The keys themselves are elastic and easy to handle.

Meanwhile, the open space left by the large touchpad could make handling difficult. Lenovo may be trying to compensate after complaints that the previous-gen keyboard was too cluttered. This might be something to study in a long-term review.

Ports and Connectivity

One of the main complaints about the previous generation IdeaPad Gaming 3i was that it didn’t have enough ports, especially USB-A ports. Lenovo has remedied this by placing a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port on all IdeaPad Gaming 3 and IdeaPad Gaming 3i models.

The 16-inch and 15-inch IdeaPad Gaming 3 models both feature a USB-A port on their left side, in addition to a 3.5mm audio jack and a USB-A port on their right side. The rear port configured for both models includes a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (which supports Thunderbolt 4, DisplayPort 1.4, and Power Delivery 3.0), HDMI 2.0, RJ 45, and DC-in.

The back of the black 16-inch IdeaPad Gaming 3 showing its I/O ports, vents, and blue decals.
Fionna Agomuoh/Digital Trends

The IdeaPad Gaming 3’s connectivity goes up to Wi-Fi 6 and starts at Bluetooth 5.0. I was able to connect a device to Wi-Fi at the last minute to test it and had no problems loading pages or videos while watching trailers on YouTube.

Performance and battery life

The back of the black 16-inch IdeaPad Gaming 3 opens to the right next to the previous generation IdeaPad Gaming 3 opens to the left.
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Lenovo uses slightly different naming conventions to differentiate the two processor models. The IdeaPad Gaming 3 is powered by AMD RyzenTM 6000 series processors and the IdeaPad Gaming 3i is powered by 12th Gen Intel CoreTM i7 H-series processors. Overall, the components are intended to function similarly.

The 15-inch models are equipped with 60 watts per hour or 45 watts per hour batteries, depending on whether they are four- or three-cell components. These models also support 15-minute quick charging to add a 40% charge to the battery.

The 16-inch models have a 71-watt-per-hour battery, which supports Rapid Charge Pro at 30 minutes to add a 50% charge to the battery.

To optimize laptop cooling, Lenovo added four rear vents to the system. Again, a feature that’s been carried over from the brand’s premium range, Lenovo claims these laptops have 20 per cent better ventilation than the previous generation, with the rear vents working in tandem with the front cooling of the keyboards.

Price and availability

The black 16-inch IdeaPad Gaming 3 is open on the left next to the white 15-inch IdeaPad Gaming 3 open on the right.
Fionna Agomuoh/Digital Trends

The 15-inch IdeaPad Gaming 3 with an AMD processor will be available from May 2022 with a starting price of $930, while the 16-inch IdeaPad Gaming 3 with an AMD processor will be available from June 2022 with a starting price of $930. starting price of $1,140. .

The 15-inch IdeaPad Gaming 3i with an Intel Core processor will be available from April 2022 with a starting price of $990, while the 16-inch IdeaPad Gaming 3i with an Intel Core processor will be available from June 2022 with a starting price of $1,490.

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