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Lenovo Makes Big Battery Life Claims for Its New Budget Gaming Laptops

IdeaPad Gaming 3
IdeaPad Gaming 3
Photo: Lenovo

This morning Lenovo announced a hefty overhaul to its gaming lineup. Which isn’t surprising. Everyone is refreshing their gaming laptops after new CPUs and GPUs were announced recently by Intel and Nvidia respectively. However, with a starting price of $730 Lenovo seems to be offering some of the most affordable laptops for gaming available right now, and even better—Intel is claiming up to 8 hours of battery life for gaming laptops.

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Lenovo says has increased battery life up to 8 hours across most of its gaming laptop lineup. That’s really long for any gaming machine where we typically find them lasting about half that long due to energy-hungry CPUs and discrete GPUS. As an owner of an older Lenovo Legion Y520 owner, the battery life I typically get is four, non-gaming hours at best, so if Lenovo managed to stretch the battery life on its laptops to eight, that would be impressive. But without having tested them (yet) we can’t confirm.

The cheapest of the new supposedly longer lived laptops is the IdeaPad Gaming 3. It’s a mashup of the work productivity-build the series is known for plus some budget-friendly gaming components. It will feature up to a 10th-gen Intel i7 H-series processor and up to a GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, which is just one step higher than Nvidia’s base 16-series card, the 1650. While the GTX 16-series cards do not offer ray tracing, a 1650 Ti combined with an Intel i7 will make for a potent, dual work and gaming machine.

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The IdeaPad Gaming 3 will also include other features that the more advanced Legion series laptops will offer, like Dolby Audio and a 15-inch IPS panel with a refresh rate up to 120Hz. It will come in two colors, Onyx Black and Chamelon Blue. Pricing will start at $730 and Lenovo expects to have these available for purchase in May 2020.

Higher up the chain are the new, mid-tier Legion 5 and 5i, or the Y540 series as they were formally known. (Lenovo recently said it changed the naming scheme on its Legion models.) The difference between the Legion 5 and 5i is that the 5 model comes with an AMD processor while the 5i comes with an Intel processor, hence the ‘i.’ It’s Lenovo’s only gaming laptop to offer either processor brand, AMD Ryzen 4000-series or up an Intel Core 10th-gen H-series.

The 5 and 5i also have different specs when it comes to the display. The 5i’s 15-inch display has up to 500 nits with an optional 240Hz refresh rate and VESA DisplayHDR 400 with Dolby Vision. There is also a 17-inch display option available with up to a 144Hz refresh rate. The Legion 5 only comes with a 15-inch, 144Hz display. Both the 5 and 5i will offer up to an RTX 2060 graphics card, though.

Legion 7
Legion 7
Photo: Lenovo
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The 15-inch Legion 5i will start at $830, and the 17-inch at $1,300. The Legion 5 will start at $760, and all Legion 5-variants will be available starting May 2020. Compared to the IdeaPad Gaming 3, the 15-inch Legion 5i seems like the better value proposition for just $100 more, and the Legion 5 could be an even better deal with AMD’s well-received Ryzen 4000 CPU inside, but we’ll have to test both before we can say for sure.

Last but definitely not least is Lenovo’s top-tier Legion 7, formerly the Y740. (Not to be confused with the Legion Y740S.) This model comes fully stacked with up to an Intel Core 10th-gen i9 H-series, RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, 1TB of SSD storage, and 32GB memory, along with up to a 15-inch, 240Hz VESA DisplayHDR 400, and optional G-Sync. If you’re looking for something slimmer and with a 4K display, the new Legion Y740S is your best best.

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The Legion 7 will start at $1,600, and the Legion Y740S at $1,200. Both will be available May 2020.

Update: Lenovo has since changed the AMD-powered Legion 5 price from $850 to $760, and this article was updated to reflect the new pricing.

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Staff Reporter, Reviews at Gizmodo. Formerly PC Gamer, Maximum PC.

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DISCUSSION

I have some of their other budget gear. A tablet and a Chromebook and both have amazing batteries.