If you have a passion for technology, then you’re likely familiar with the term “flagship killer.” Typically, it refers to products with top-of-the-line hardware that are offered at more accessible prices. This phenomenon is commonly observed in the smartphone industry, but we have discovered a gaming laptop that fits this description: we are presenting the Lenovo LOQ 15IRH8 review.
Lenovo has introduced the LOQ brand to cater to novice gamers who seek affordable yet high-quality products. Positioned beneath the Legion line, LOQ laptops offer excellent value for money.
The Lenovo LOQ 15IRH8 features an Intel Core i7-13700H chip and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 graphics card and has a reference price of around $1,099 in the US market. Our Lenovo LOQ 15IRH8 review unit, on the other hand, comes with an Intel Core i7-13620H chip, an RTX 4060, a 512GB SSD, and 8GB of RAM. Additionally, lower configuration options are available, including the 13th generation Intel Core i5 chip and RTX 3050/4050 GPU.
Lenovo LOQ 15IRH8 Review
Upon examining the design of the Lenovo LOQ 15IRH8, our initial impression is that it resembles a “lite” version of the Legion 5i 2022. This similarity is apparent in the silver-gray tone, square design, logo position and font, heatsink slot design, connection port placement, and more. Even the weight of the 2.4kg gaming laptop, not including the charger, is the same as that of the Legion 5i 2022 (REVIEW).
Of course, being a more budget-friendly option, the Lenovo LOQ 15IRH8 had to make certain compromises. The entire case is made of plastic instead of aluminum-magnesium alloy like the Legion 5i. Nonetheless, we consider the finishing quality of the Lenovo LOQ 15IRH8 to be of high caliber – sturdy and not creaky. The LOQ 15IRH8 also meets the US military’s MIL-STD 810H durability standard.
The laptop hinge is deeply recessed, providing ample space for connection ports, signal lights, and heat sinks. Consequently, the LOQ 15IRH8 is wider than most laptops with 15-inch screen size, but it provides a more spacious and convenient user experience.
Unlike other gaming laptops that are adorned with RGB lighting, the LOQ 15IRH8 opts for a more minimalist aesthetic. The only colorful highlight is the blue rear radiator, which draws inspiration from supercar tails.
Wired connection ports, such as input source, HDMI 2.1, and Ethernet, are situated at the back to prevent entanglement while gaming. Furthermore, there are two additional 10Gbps USB-A ports to accommodate more peripherals if necessary.
On the left side, you’ll find a 3.5mm jack that serves as both a headphone and microphone input, along with a 10Gbps USB-C port that supports DisplayPort 1.4 image output if you need to use a separate monitor for work. The laptop also comes with a 140W Power Delivery charger for those who find the standard charger too bulky. Meanwhile, on the right side, there’s a 5Gbps USB-A port for a mouse and a quick toggle for the webcam to ensure privacy when required.
Our Lenovo LOQ 15IRH8 review unit has a Full HD 1080p IPS screen, 144Hz refresh rate, 350 nit brightness, and traditional 16:9 ratio (16:10 ratio only for the 16-inch version). Although this is the basic screen option for the LOQ 15IRH8, an upgrade to a QHD screen with a refresh rate of 165Hz is available if your budget allows it.
The viewing experience of the LOQ 15IRH8’s screen is what you would expect from a “budget gaming laptop”: the IPS panel provides vivid colors and wide viewing angles, the 144Hz refresh rate provides a significant improvement in smoothness compared to a 60Hz monitor, and the 16:9 aspect ratio is better suited for older games. Furthermore, the Full HD resolution reduces the GPU’s burden, allowing for higher graphics settings while gaming.
For graphics work, it is recommended to invest in a discrete monitor like Lenovo’s ThinkVision M14 or upgrade to a QHD panel. This is because the Full HD panel version of the LOQ 15IRH8 only covers 45% of the NTSC color space and approximately 63% of the sRGB, while the QHD panel version covers 100% of the sRGB color space.
The 2x2W down-firing speaker system of the LOQ 15IRH8 is not much different from the Legion 5i or IdeaPad Gaming 3i, and while the Nahimic Audio app can enhance the sound quality, it’s not a significant improvement. Thus, it’s advisable to use headphones or external speakers.
Keyboard and touchpad
Upon using the Legion 5i, we were thoroughly impressed with its keyboard. Lenovo has never failed to deliver a top-notch typing experience, so it’s great news that the LOQ 15IRH8 comes equipped with the same keyboard.
To start, the LOQ 15IRH8 features a full-sized keyboard with a dedicated numpad and arrow keys that are separate and distinct. Additionally, it boasts deep key travel up to 1.5mm, providing a firm typing feel with clear feedback. The keyboard also features a 4-zone RGB LED system that can be customized via Lenovo Vantage.
Lenovo Vantage is an application acting as the control center on Lenovo laptops, and with the LOQ 15IRH8’s Legion Edge-enabled device, you can make deep hardware-related settings changes like overclocking, adjusting the GPU’s working mode, locking the touchpad to avoid accidental touches during gameplay, and monitoring system health, firmware updates, and much more.
In addition to the keyboard, the touchpad and palm rest of the LOQ 15IRH8 have been spaciously designed to provide an optimized gaming experience.
This is a mid-range gaming laptop that provides impressive performance options. It boasts an Intel Core i7-13700H processor, Nvidia RTX 4060 graphics card, 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and 1TB of NVMe SSD, making it a powerhouse for its price range. Our Lenovo LOQ 15IRH8 review unit, on the other hand, comes with an Intel Core i7-13620H chip, an RTX 4060, a 512GB SSD, and 8GB of RAM.
The Core i7-13620H processor belongs to Intel’s Core i7 Raptor Lake-H family designed for laptops. It features 10 cores and 16 threads, with a single-core clock speed of up to 4.9GHz. Therefore, this configuration delivers powerful processing power and can handle almost any game at “High” or higher graphics settings at Full HD resolution, provided you upgrade the RAM.
As games become more resource-intensive, 8GB of RAM is no longer sufficient. Even blockbusters from the PS5 platform like The Last Of Us or Returnal require a minimum of 16GB RAM when played on a PC. Even if you don’t play the latest AAA games, having 16GB of RAM can significantly improve overall multitasking performance.
The LOQ 15IRH8’s performance scores on popular benchmark applications are provided below:
The LOQ 15IRH8’s Core i7-13620H chip achieved 1,816 points for single-core and 14,587 points for multi-core on Cinebench R23. Compared to the Core i7-12700H on the IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 (REVIEW), the LOQ 15IRH8’s chip has about 5% better single-core performance but around 10% lower multi-core performance due to having 4 fewer E-cores.
PCMark 10 is a benchmark that simulates everyday multitasking tasks. The LOQ 15IRH8 scored an average of 7,258 on this benchmark.
The Core i7-13620H CPU performance on GeekBench 6 was also impressive.
The LOQ 15IRH8’s RTX 4060 GPU performance on GeekBench 6 OpenCL was also noteworthy.
The LOQ 15IRH8 is equipped with Advanced Optimus, which can intelligently switch between the integrated GPU and the discrete graphics card based on usage. Additionally, the MUX Switch feature enables direct output of images from the graphics card to the monitor, resulting in improved performance and reduced latency.
Moreover, the LOQ 15IRH8 boasts an integrated LA1 chip, which Lenovo has dubbed “the world’s first AI chip for gaming laptops.” This chip leverages Lenovo’s AI Engine+ algorithm software to monitor game frame rates and resource allocation, optimizing system performance for the ultimate gaming experience. However, evaluating the actual performance of this chip can be challenging. We will attempt to compare the LOQ 15IRH8’s performance with another gaming laptop of the same configuration in a forthcoming article.
Benchmarking results show that the LOQ 15IRH8 can smoothly run Final Fantasy XV at the Very High setting.
Moreover, in Far Cry: New Dawn, the LOQ 15IRH8 delivered an average FPS of 120 on the “High” graphic quality setting.
While in Guardians of the Galaxy, it scored an average FPS of 106 on the same setting.
The LOQ 15IRH8 features a mid-range Micron 2450 512GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD for storage. In a quick Crystal Disk Mark test, the SSD yielded sequential read/write speeds of approximately 3200 MB/s. While a Gen 5 SSD may be too expensive for this price segment, the speed of the Gen 4 SSD is still more than adequate for both gaming and daily use.
In addition to storage, high performance and heat dissipation are crucial factors to consider in a gaming laptop. Despite being a popular choice in the gaming laptop market, the LOQ 15IRH8 is outfitted with an impressive cooling system consisting of four heat pipes and dual 85mm 12V cooling fans. According to Lenovo, the laptop is capable of drawing in 28.6% more air input and has a heatsink that is 24% larger.
When benchmarked with 3DMark Time Spy in Performance Mode, the Core i7-13620H CPU in the LOQ 15IRH8 reached a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius, while the RTX 4060 GPU maintained a temperature of 82 degrees Celsius for over 40 seconds before the clock rate was lowered to prevent overheating.
The LOQ 15IRH8 comes equipped with a 60 Whr battery that can last for approximately 4-5 hours under normal use conditions, although the duration may vary depending on the brightness level. Naturally, for optimal gaming performance, the laptop needs to be plugged into the charger.
Featuring Super Rapid Charge technology that can be enabled or disabled in Lenovo Vantage, the LOQ 15IRH8 can charge up to 30% of the battery in just 10 minutes and can be fully charged in 80 minutes with the included 170W slim charger. However, the maximum charging capacity via Type-C is 140W, so it may take longer to fully charge the battery if using a third-party charger.
The LOQ 15IRH8 boasts impressive performance, making it a standout gaming laptop in its price range thanks to its exceptional hardware configuration and efficient heat dissipation system.
Despite the price reductions, the main objective of the Lenovo LOQ 15IRH8 remains unchanged, which is to offer the best gaming experience for novice gamers. We believe that this laptop will serve as a worthy replacement for the IdeaPad Gaming 3 and will become one of Lenovo’s top-selling gaming laptops.
Price and availability
Online e-shops such as Amazon.com, Newegg.com, and Bhphotovideo.com offer the Lenovo LOQ gaming notebook series for purchase, with pricing starting at $989.99.