Are you a young person who loves to play games? Are you looking for an affordable laptop with excellent features from a leading brand? Lenovo’s newly launched 2022 series IdeaPad is worth considering or not? Let’s see in this Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 review below.
With powerful upgrades from Intel, Nvidia, and AMD, playing AAA games at high graphics settings is no longer “exclusive” to high-end gaming laptops. The IdeaPad Gaming 3 Series now has enough power to achieve that goal, but there are still necessary adjustments to be made to keep the price within reach of gamers.
In this Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 review (version using Intel CPU, as opposed to the IdeaPad Gaming 3 based on AMD CPUs), we would like to share our experience. The product has a starting price of about $895. 3 Years warranty with Lenovo Premium Care Service, the price may change depending on the configuration you choose.
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 Review
Lenovo has brought a fresher design philosophy this year with the Legion line, so gaming laptops don’t need to look aggressive. And that philosophy spills over into the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7, as the machine “makeovers” with a more youthful and elegant appearance, appealing not just to gamers but those looking for a laptop to meet their work needs. You also will feel attracted.
With two color options, Onyx Grey and Glacier White, the entire case of the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 is made of plastic, covered with matte on one side and glossy on the other. The IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen7’s grip is still quite strong, though not as good as the Legion 5 (which has a metal A-side), with the lid and keyboard having a slight flex phenomenon, which is unavoidable with the material. It weighs around 2.3kg (excluding charger) and is a full-size gaming laptop equipped with a discrete GPU, an impressive number in the segment.
And like this year’s Legion series, the rear heat dissipation system of the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 is also large and extends outward like the exhaust design of supercars. With heatsinks on the sides and bottom, the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 promises better heat dissipation performance and the temperature does not accumulate under the keyboard when used, which does not cause discomfort.
The IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7’s connection ports are also intelligently arranged, with most auxiliary connections such as HDMI, Ethernet, power, or USB-C moved to the rear, while the USB-A port and jack 3.5mm audio is located on the left side, and there is only 1 USB-A port on the right side. That way, you’ll be able to hover more comfortably without worrying about other peripherals.
With the new hinge design, the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 is also one of the rare gaming laptops that can be opened with one hand. While this may not sound like a big deal, it is a sign that a brand cares about the product and has thought about the everyday user experience.
Popular gaming laptops in particular often cut down on display quality to save costs. It could be the panel type, resolution or refresh rate, or color coverage, but IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 decided to say “NO” to this shortcoming.
In contrast, our Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 review unit comes equipped with a screen with enough parameters to make many more high-end gaming laptops the envy. Notably, it uses a 15.6-inch IPS panel, WQHD+ resolution (2560 x 1600 pixels), trendy 16:10 aspect ratio, 350 nit brightness with 165Hz refresh rate. It’s the most expensive option, but if you want to save money, even the basic model on the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 has a Full HD IPS panel with a 120Hz refresh rate.
For practical use, the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 offers good display quality, vivid colors, and sharp details thanks to the high PPI. The 165Hz refresh rate smoothes transitions and scrolling effects, as well as limits ghosting when playing fast-paced games. 100% sRGB color coverage may not be enough for professional graphics folks, but it’s not the main objective of a budget gaming laptop like the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7.
The IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7’s 2Wx2 speakers aren’t prominent and are as regular as many other gaming laptops, but because it includes a gaming headset, we don’t care too much for external speakers anymore. It also comes pre-installed with the Nahimic 3D Audio application, so you can fine-tune the sound to your liking as well as reproduce surround sound with Easy Surround.
Keyboard and touchpad
The keyboard on the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 is the same as on the previous generation. We still have a full-size keyboard with a full Numpad and functions keys, 1.5mm deep key travel with good feedback, and 4-zone RGB LED with two brightness levels is enough to enhance the aesthetics and play games in the dark room.
The IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7’s touchpad is large, set on the left side, so there’s not much room to rest the left hand when in use. We primarily used an external mouse for most of our experience. Gamers usually don’t care too much about the touchpad, so there’s no need for such a large area, so we think this is a point that Lenovo can identify and address in the next generation.
As a popular gaming laptop, it’s hard to expect biometric unlocking features like facial recognition or a fingerprint sensor on the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7.
One of the perks of Lenovo laptops is the Lenovo Vantage application, an added Legion Edge with gaming laptops. It is a hub for monitoring your device’s health status, and warranty period as well as turning up advanced features like GPU Overclocking, Rapid Charge, Hybrid Mode, etc.
Our Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 review unit is the most advanced configuration version, which includes a Core i7-12700H CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB NVMe SSD. This configuration is almost identical to the recently reviewed Lenovo Legion 5i 2022, except that the Legion 5i has 32GB of RAM. Thus, except for multitasking, it wouldn’t be surprising if the performance between these two laptops is nearly identical, which is evident in the scores in benchmark applications.
Opening dozens of Chrome tabs, and editing photos and videos with Lightroom and Premiere shouldn’t be a problem with the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7. Playing AAA games at high graphics settings at WQHD+ resolution, the RTX 3060 is fully usable, but if you want to make the most of the 165Hz screen smoothness, so a lite eSport game like League of Legends or CS: GO would be a more suitable choice.
Below are the results of the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 in popular benchmark tests. We always use Performance mode to evaluate device performance, you can switch to Quiet or Balanced profile via Fn + Q shortcut:
Below are the results of the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 in popular benchmark tests. We always use Performance mode to evaluate the performance of the device, you can change to the Quiet or Balanced profile via the Fn + Q shortcut.
Cinebench R23 measures CPU performance for rendering tasks, single-core, and multi-core. IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7’s Core i7-12700H reached 1,728 single-core and 15,936 multi-core points.
IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 reached 1,685 single-core and 10,201 multi-core points on GeekBench 5.
Meanwhile, the RTX 3060 scored 100,667 in the GeekBench 5 OpenCL test.
PCMark 10 simulates everyday multitasking tasks. IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 reached 7,118 points.
3DMark Time Spy emulator 2K resolution gaming, DX12 graphics library. IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 reached 8,150 points.
3DMark FireStrike Extreme gaming emulator 2K resolution, DX11 graphics library. The score this time for IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 is 9,779.
To evaluate gaming performance, we use benchmarks available in today’s top configuration-demanding games, including Final Fantasy XV, Guardians of the Galaxy, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The results show that the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 can play these games perfectly at WQHD+ resolution, with an average FPS above 60.
The IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 has a Micron 2450 SSD with a 1TB capacity, which is a proper PCIe 3.0 protocol to save costs, instead of running under PCIe 4.0, which doesn’t have many practical implications.
This SSD clocked read/write speeds of 3,361.80 MB/s and 3,225.78 MB/s, respectively, as measured by the Crystal Disk Mark tool, which means starting up windows, copying data, or opening heavy applications are handled quickly.
The Core i7-12700H has a maximum temperature of 98 degrees Celsius after 10 minutes of benchmarking.
Meanwhile, the RTX 3060 GPU recorded a maximum temperature of 82.5°C on the hotspot after the Time Spy benchmark.
With a large number of heatsink slots, the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 does well in most daily use tasks. Only when benchmarking performance or playing heavy games, will the temperature of components such as the CPU and GPU be raised, with the maximum pulse retention time reduced to approximately 30 seconds before being lowered.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 packs a 65 Whr battery. Of course, as a true gamer, no one plays games on a laptop without plugging it into a charger, we all know that the new machine is at maximum performance. However, with office tasks, the laptop can be used for around 3.5 hours with a full recharge. If the brightness is reduced and the configuration is lower, it can last a few more hours.
Drawing from the experience of its predecessor, the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 comes with a 230W charger, so no more battery percentage loss when gaming in Performance mode. And with support for Rapid Charge Boost technology, you’ll get 2 hours of usage from just 15 minutes of charging.
Keeping in mind the values of IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7, as well as the policy that Lenovo is implementing with the Legion 5 series, it is clear that the brand wants the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 to be the new line of gaming laptops.
With robust configuration, and reasonable cuts, this approach is akin to the “flagship killer” in the gaming world, and of course, we gamers will benefit the most if Lenovo is determined enough to follow.
Priced at $844.99 on Newegg.com for a basic version, you could get a competent gaming laptop, or a much lighter ultraportable. Any potential buyer will have to consider whether they want the very specific combination of features and performance that the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 offers.