Lenovo's new AMD-powered Legions could be the ultimate budget gaming laptops

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Lenovo is rolling out a pair of new gaming laptops today that use the well-liked AMD Ryzen 4000-series processors and aim to deliver high-end gaming performance at affordable prices. 

First up is the Lenovo Legion 5. If that sounds familiar, it's because the 15.6-inch model launched this spring, but for larger laptop fans, this one features a 17.3-inch display and up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU paired with an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor.

And for those who are looking to spend well under $1,000 on a gaming laptop, the IdeaPad Gaming 3 should be an interesting option with its 15.6-inch display and up to an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650Ti GPU along with up to the same AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Lenovo Legion 5

The 17.3-inch Lenovo Legion 5 features a 144Hz refresh rate on its 1080p display, which should deliver a solid gaming experience. We recently reviewed the Intel-powered Lenovo Legion 5i (15-inch), and while our reviewer noted crisp visuals, the screen was a bit dim and lacking in vibrancy, so we'll have to see if this refreshed model fares better in our testing.

The design mostly mirrors its smaller sibling with a minimalist black chassis accented with an iridescent "Legion" logo on the top-left corner of the laptop's lid. While the pronounced fans and extended back of the laptop give some hints as to its gaming prowess, it is otherwise a very subtle look. 

Most of the ports on the Legion 5 are found on the back of the laptop, including an RJ45 Ethernet port, USB Type-C, two USB Type-A, HDMI 2.0, a power jack, and a Kensington security slot. You have two additional ports on the left side of the laptop, another USB Type-A and the combination headphone/mic jack.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Turning to the internals of the Legion 5, you have up to the aforementioned AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU. While we would love to see an RTX 2080 paired with one of these AMD processors, that just isn't the market Lenovo is going for. Rounding out the internal specs are up to 16GB of 3200 MHz DDR4 RAM and up to a 1TB PCIe SSD.

The Lenovo Legion TrueStrike keyboard is the same as the one that we reviewed on the Lenovo Legion 5i and our reviewer found the 1.5mm key travel made it comfortable and quick to type on. The keyboard offers white backlighting, but no RGB option, again this laptop doesn't look to scream that you are a gamer. 

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Lenovo claims up to 7.5 hours of battery life, the Lenovo Legion 5i managed a solid 7 hours and 13 minutes in our testing, so with the more battery-friendly AMD processor, it's plausible that Lenovo is on the mark with that estimate. The laptop supports Rapid Charge Pro, which will get you from zero to a 50% charge in just 30 minutes or a full charge in two hours.

The Lenovo Legion 5 (17-inch) will start shipping in September starting at $1,089.99.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3

If over $1,000 is too pricy for your gaming needs, then you are going to want to take a look at the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3, which starts below $700 and features a 15.6-inch 1080p display with up to a 120Hz refresh rate and a slim bezel design. As with the Lenovo Legion 5, we recently reviewed the Intel version of this laptop, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i, so take a look at that full review for an idea of what to expect.

The IdeaPad Gaming 3 has an even more minimalist look than the Legion 5, with nothing to give it away as a gaming laptop, but slightly more eye-catching color options like "iridescent Chameleon Blue or reflective Onyx Black." The slightly angled lid and corners of the laptop give some visual interest to an otherwise very standard look. 

(Image credit: Lenovo)

The ports on the IdeaPad Gaming 3 dominate the left side of the laptop and include a power jack, an RJ45 Ethernet port, HDMI 2.0, one USB Type-A, one USB Type-C and a combination headphone/mic jack. Around the right side is a single additional USB Type-A port. 

While the GPU options on the IdeaPad Gaming 3 don't hold up to the Legion 5, the GeForce GTX 1650Ti is going to be plenty to run most modern games at respectable framerates. And on the CPU side, it features the same top option of the fantastic AMD Ryzen 7 4800H. RAM options are actually more expansive on the IdeaPad Gaming 3, allowing you to push up to 32GB of 3200 MHz DDR4 and the storage tops out at the same 1TB PCIe SSD.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

The keyboard features the same solid 1.5mm key travel as its pricier sibling and should deliver a similar typing experience. 

Lenovo states that the IdeaPad Gaming 3 will deliver up to 7 hours of battery life and it also supports Rapid Charge, which will get you up to an 80 percent charge in an hour with the 135w AC adapter (sold separately).

The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 is shipping this month starting at just $659.99.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.