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Laptop Review

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 16IAH7 Review – A Powerful Performer yet Affordable Gaming Laptop

With its IdeaPad Gaming series, Lenovo has very smartly filled an important but niche space after its ThinkPad (business professionals) and Legion (pro-gamer) series for an affordable performance laptop. Incorporating subtle gaming aesthetics and powerful specifications, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 16IAH7 definitely stands out from the rest in the budget gaming laptops category. With minimal bling things (no flashy LED strips or oversized backlit logos) and priced at about Rupees 1.15 lakhs, it fits the sweet spot for a professional seeking a laptop to be used at work as well as for gaming. Let’s delve into the details of the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 16IAH7 laptop to see if it’s an ideal purchase or not.

Specs That Matter

The review unit that we received was an Onyx Grey colored laptop powered by a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1200H processor coupled with a discrete NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and 1TB of NVMe SSD storage. The 12th Gen Intel Core i7-H series processor delivers up to 5GHz frequencies with its 14 cores (6-Performance cores and 8-Efficient cores), which makes this laptop a true performance gaming platform. This laptop comes pre-loaded with Windows 11 Home and has a 16” WQHD+ IPS narrow-bezel display with 350nits brightness and 165Hz refresh rate that delivers a crisp viewing experience with a jitter-free motion for gaming as well as for creative rendering applications. Though it feels well-built with its plastic and poly-carbonate body, but it is a distinctive cost compromise when compared to the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro that boasts a complete aluminum metal casing for robustness.

Toreto-BUDS-Air

Talking about Legion 5 Pro, the IdeaPad Gaming 3 laptop too features a protruding rear block that houses multiple connectivity ports along with wide cooling vents having subdued blue-color accents that complements the overall design. Being cognizant of GPU’s heat generation, the designers at Lenovo have leveraged thermal design featuring dual fans for more ventilation intake and outtake to keep the laptop cool and efficient. The laptop also has a keyboard intake ventilation feature that further improves airflow.

Being a gaming laptop, designers at Lenovo have addressed the need for accessory and display extension through the provision of ample connectivity ports. The HDMI, power adapter socket, Ethernet jack, and Thunderbolt 4 ports are placed at the rear to help you keep your desk space clutter-free from multiple cables. Each side however has a USB 3.2 Type-A port, and the left side also has an audio jack. It also supports Wi-Fi 6E, which ensures high-quality streaming. While the Thunderbolt 4 port supports transfer speeds up to 40Gbps, and you can connect another 4k display monitor or accessories to the laptop through this port.

Lenovo IdeaPad gaming 3 back lid keypadOnce you lift the display screen, seeing the full-sized brightly backlit keyboard with a number pad and the one-piece trackpad is a delight and a sort of relief – as you do not have to adapt to use the Home, End, Page Up, and Down keys in conjunction with the Fn key. The IdeaPad’s keypresses are firm, and the button-less touchpad too offers smooth glides and clicks. The laptop also came with IdeaPad Gaming M100 RGB Mouse having a high-precision sensor that adjusts from 800–3200 DPI on-the-fly. This mouse alleviates the gaming experience with 2-zone 7-color cycling LED backlights with a breathing effect. The webcam is standard 720p but has a sliding privacy shutter. The speakers offer good and loud sound output, but for an immersive experience, an additional investment into good quality gaming headsets/TWS would be ideal.

Performance

For a sports car, the real feel comes when the engine whirs up to action and speeds the car away. The same is with any gaming laptop having a discrete GPU. The performance beast NVIDIA RTX 3060 of IdeaPad gaming 3 laptop wakes up from idle as soon as you fire any graphics-intensive work, be it a game or a video render. The dual fans make low but distinct noise, which is only heard when GPU kicks in. The sound from fans can be fully controlled with Fn+Q keys or the Lenovo Vantage app, to switch between performance mode (high CPU voltage, high fan speeds) to quiet mode (lower CPU voltage, lower fan speed, better battery) and balance mode (day to day automatic management).

Though in regular usage, Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 16IAH7 delivered a flawless performance for office productivity, entertainment, and gaming. We played Call of Duty: Warzone on this laptop, and the game experience was seamless with no apparent frame drops. We also edited and rendered a video of 2k resolution, and with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 firing up the whole video was rendered in about 7 minutes. This is a far lesser time when compared to the laptop with integrated graphics. To further stress test the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 16IAH7 laptop, we ran the UL’s 3DMark Time Spy DirectX 12 benchmark which is specifically designed to test and simulate the performance of gaming PCs/laptops with discrete GPUs at 2560 × 1440 resolution. A score of 8100+ proves the performance capability of IdeaPad Gaming 3 with RTX 3060 GPU to be able to handle almost all modern games and deliver an impressive gaming and graphics rendering experience.

The IdeaPad Gaming 3 laptops come with an option of a 45 or 60-watt-hour battery with local video playback battery life of 5.4hr and 7.7hr respectively. However, based on the system’s battery report, our review unit was shipped with a 71Wh battery that effortlessly delivered a battery life of morning to evening for regular productivity work and some casual gaming. The laptop comes with Rapid Charge technology, which juices up the battery to achieve 2 hours of runtime after just a short 15-minute charge.

Verdict

With these features and a price of just around INR 1,15,000, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 16IAH7 offers an amazing price-performance ratio, and for sure is an ideal purchase. The question is who should go for this? For someone looking for an affordable gaming laptop, then definitely the IdeaPad Gaming 3 16IAH7 will be a bang-for-buck purchase. If you’re a professional in the creative field and are looking for a solid performance machine for creative work such as video editing, graphics, or engineering design rendering, then this laptop suits your needs, both in performance as well as for its pleasing aesthetics. Go for this mid-range category gaming laptop, and its performance and features will keep your investment future-proof for the years to come.

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