Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15 (82K20015US) Review

7.6 Total Score
GOOD

The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15 (82K20015US) is a capable, solidly built, fully features budget gaming laptop, priced reasonably but with great graphics and productivity performance.

PROS
  • Strong performance and graphics
  • Decent battery life
  • Comfortable keyboard
CONS
  • Could use another USB Type-A port
  • Only 256GB SSD storage

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15 Specifications

Laptop ClassGaming
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 5600H
RAM8GB DDR4
Storage256GB SSD
Graphics processorNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
Native Display Resolution15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080)
Dimensions / Weight14.16 x 9.92 x 0.95 inches, 4.9 pounds

While Lenovo offers hardcore gamers the best experience with its Legion line, they are now flouting more affordable gaming laptops under the IdeaPad brand. The IdeaPad Gaming 3 15 (82K20015US) is a wallet-friendly rocking the latest parts from AMD and Nvidia. The 82K20015US model’s physical build is solid, has a comfortable keyboard, and its CPU and GPU are up to the task. At least for the price.

Comparable or lower-priced gaming rigs deliver a bit underwhelming performance, while some slightly pricier laptops deliver substantially higher frame rates. The ASUS TUF Dash 15 (2021) is a superior value for around the same price point, while the MSI Stealth 15M is our top pick at the top of budget pricing.

Simple, Sleek and Solid Build

The IdeaPad Gaming 3’s design isn’t something you’d call remarkable, just solid basics that are perfectly acceptable for an entry-level gaming laptop. The understated shadow black design is great, in fact, I prefer it to an over-designed one trying to compensate for an under-$1000 price with crazy flourishes. There are a few angled corners and lid line that add some style to the design – overall, it’s a restrained and inoffensive look.

Despite being fully plastic, the construction is sturdy, free of flex and weak points to speak of, a bonus at this price point. The whole package measures 0.95 by 14.1 by 9.9 inches (HWD) and weighs 4.9 pounds.  That’s pretty compact, acceptably portable, even if it doesn’t quite match the thinnest and more pricey gaming laptops, like the Razer Blade 15 (0.7-inch thick, 4.6 pounds) or the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (14-inch laptop that weighs just 3.52 pounds).

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15 (82K20015US) screen

For gamers, the full HD resolution and 120Hz refresh rate should be enough. Due to the Nvidia GTX 1650 GPU, you won’t be topping out most games at 120 frames per second (fps), but you can hit high frames on less demanding multiplayer games at lower settings (or at least exceed 60 fps). So, it’s a good inclusion after all. Again, full HD is a good fit for the system’s modest power, as it allows for better frame rates than 1440p or 4K.

Comfortable Typing and Lots of Ports

Just like the chassis build, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15 laptop gets a quality keyboard. Not surprising though, Lenovo has a thing with comfortable keyboards, and the Ideapad 3’s is no different.

We’re talking of nicely sculptured keys with enough travel, without the feel of being unstable or mushy. They’re also lit with different colors per zone, which gives off an appealing glow.

There’s less to say about the touchpad, but it’s stable and responsive, although it’s placed towards the left side of the chassis rather than in the center.

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15 (82K20015US) lid

Finally for the external design, we look at the ports. The left side of the chassis holds a USB 3.1 Type-A port, a USB-C port, an HDMI connection, and Ethernet port and a headphone jack. That’s pretty all, the right side has an additional USB 3.1 port.

Good Performance, for the Budget Price

Now, we look at the parts and performance. Our review unit, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15 (82K20015US) features an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H Processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD storage. The storage capacity is small, especially when Lenovo touts the IdeaPad Gaming 3 as a modern gaming laptop, but it’s not bad for a budget gaming laptop.

As such, you may have to pick and select which favorite games you’d want to install. Again, as you’ll see, the GPU is modestly capable, but it holds stacks up well against some entry-to-midrange alternatives.

A Budget Gamer, Still Good Enough

With Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, the 82K20015US stands out as a capable gaming laptop, that will let you play modern titles at 1080p and medium settings. The GTX 1650 graphics card is the low-end version of Nvidia’s 2019-released gaming GPUs, hitting the market with the Turing-based RTX 20-Series graphics cards. Unlike its high-end siblings (RTX 3070 & RTX 3080), the GTX 1650 doesn’t include any Raytracing or Tensor cores.

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15 (82K20015US) keyboard

Still, it delivers better performance over last year’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics cards. Played at high settings and 1080p resolution, Far Cry New Dawn yields at 55 frames per second, but the same game runs at 56 fps at medium settings. Of course, you suffer from pixel lose as you move to ultra-settings, topping out at 55 fps.

At the same settings, Hitman 3 at 1080p at a mix of medium and high settings, the IdeaPad 3 15 renders the game at 61 fps. That’s slightly better for an entry-level gaming laptop as it goes above the 37-fps average.

Terrific Battery Life for a Gaming System

One area where the IdeaPad 3 does excel is battery life, beating most comers. If you’ll be playing games off the charger, the battery life will deplete greatly, but for general use, it should last through most of the day. Lenovo also includes Rapid Charges, which juices up the laptop faster than average.

Should you buy the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15 Laptop?

The IdeaPad Gaming 3 starts strong with a sturdy and minimalist physical build, and it goes ahead to hold up as the best value on the graphics-performance basis. It’s not a bad laptop in any view, and is one that’s easy to recommend for budding gamers in a competitive field.

That said, at this price, the Asus TUF Dash 15 (2021) is our Editors’ Choice for a superior value, while the new Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-54-760S and the Lenovo Legion 5 15 are our top picks at the higher and lower ends of entry-level pricing, respectively.

OUR PICK

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15 15.6" Laptop, 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) Display, AMD Ryzen 5 5600H Processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Windows 10H, 82K20015US, Shadow Black

$699.99  in stock
10 new from $699.99
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 1, 2021 11:42 pm
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15 (82K20015US) Review
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15 (82K20015US) Review
$699.99
DigitalMag
Logo