The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15 (82K200UTUS) is a capable, solidly built, fully features budget gaming laptop, priced reasonably but with great graphics and productivity performance.
- Strong performance and graphics
- Decent battery life
- Comfortable keyboard
- Could use another USB Type-A port
Like the Lenovo IdeaPad IdeaPad 3 (82K20015US, Windows 10 model) we reviewed last year, the new IdeaPad 3 (82K200UTUS) packs Microsoft’s latest Windows 11 operating system out-of-the-box, but retains all the charm we loved about its predecessor. It’s still a fantastic gaming laptop that delivers astounding performance for most enthusiast gamers. If you’ve saved up enough and want to upgrade your gaming setup to one of the best out there, this is a machine you’ll seriously want to consider.
Of course, you’ll be spending under a grand, but you’re getting some good performance and features that easily rival more expensive gaming laptops. We particularly like the slick casing that looks stylish without the usual gamer-LEDs, giving it a more professional look if you need a device for both work and play.
The GTX 1650 GPU and AMD Ryzen 5 5600H powering the model we’re reviewing allow the IdeaPad Gaming 3 (82K200UTUS) to achieve impressive frame rates in most modern titles played at 1080p resolution, beating out most devices on our best budget gaming laptops list.
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15 Specs
- Processor AMD Ryzen 5 5600H
- RAM 8GB DDR4
- Storage 256GB SSD
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
- Resolution: 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080)
- Weight: 4.9 pounds
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 excellent. I prefer it to an over-designed one trying to compensate for an under-$1000 price with crazy flourishes. A few angled corners and lid lines add 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).
The full HD resolution and 120Hz refresh rate should be enough for gamers. 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
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.
Finally, for the exterior 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, an Ethernet port, and a headphone jack. That’s pretty all; the right side has an additional USB 3.1 port.
Good Performance for the Price
Now, we look at the parts and performance. Our review unit, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 (82K200UTUS), 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.
With Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, the 82K200UTUS 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.
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 loss 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.
One area where the IdeaPad 3 does excel is battery life, beating most comers. If you are playing games off the charger, the battery life will deplete significantly, but it should last through most of the day for general use. Lenovo also includes Rapid Charges, which juices up the laptop faster than average.
Should you buy the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 Laptop?
The new Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 (82K200UTUS) is yet another great option in this increasingly contested section of the laptop market. It’s capable of better gaming performance than both the Acer Nitro 5 and Asus TUF Dash F15, and it also comes within striking distance of the far pricier Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, as well.
Well, it’s not just about gaming, though; the IdeaPad Gaming 3 both looks and feels like a more upmarket device than both the Acer Nitro and the Asus Dash, although granted the former is slightly cheaper, and the Asus has superior sound and longer-lasting battery life.
However, if it were my money, I’d say the Lenovo just about edges both competitors. I mostly use headphones while gaming anyway and usually have my laptop plugged into the wall no matter what I’m doing. And besides, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3’s excellent gaming credentials massively outweigh any of its minor drawbacks.
That said, if peak performance in the sub-$1000 gaming category is your calling card, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 stands as one of the fastest rides you can buy.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) Display, AMD Ryzen 5 5600H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Windows 11 Home, 82K200UTUS, Shadow Black
$650.13 in stock
1 used from $613.70