Lenovo’s upgraded IdeaPad Gaming 3i with 12th Gen Intel processors are promising
For decades now we have seen the evolution of gaming laptops and in India, when half the people are still transitioning to technology and its benefits, gamers have a huge potential to grow in the digital era we live in. We grow from a budget laptop user to a mid-range and finally gain enough capital for a high-end desktop for professional gaming.
Thanks to the performance improvements each year, even budget gaming laptops have become better and Lenovo has a big role in making them more affordable. Now, in 2022, Lenovo has upgraded its already popular IdeaPad Gaming 3 gaming laptop with the latest 12th Gen Intel processors and NVIDIA graphics for the best performance.
While the entry-level IdeaPad Gaming 3 laptops are still there, Lenovo is offering upgraded models with the latest Intel chips at mid-range prices to target all the gamers who want a solid gaming laptop without having to break their banks for the same. So, we got to test out this Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 with 12th Gen Core i7 processor and RTX 3060 that retails in India for only ₹1,04,990 for a few weeks now and here is a complete review of it:
Specifications of the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3
- Processor: 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H | Speed: 14 Cores (6xP-core 2.3/4.7GHz, 8xE-core 1.7/3.5GHz) | 20 Threads | 24MB Cache
- Display: 16″ WUXGA (1920×1200) | IPS | 165 Hz Refresh Rate | 350Nits Brightness | Anti-glare | 100% sRGB || Memory: 16GB RAM DDR4-3200 || Storage: 512GB SSD
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 Dedicated Graphics | Boost Clock 1425MHz | TGP 105W || Cooling: 100%imporved ventilation rate | 21% larger thermal Area | 35% higher TDP
- Military Grade : MIL-STD-810G Qualified Design| Qualified for various Military Specification Tests like Low & High Temp (-25 to 63°C for 4 hrs)| Temp Shock (-25 to 63°C one way temp Shock)| Shock (122cm+ Drop Test)| Vibration (4-32Hz over 2 hrs)
- OS and Pre-Installed Software: Pre-Loaded Windows 11 Home with Lifetime Validity | MS Office Home and Student 2021 | Xbox GamePass Ultimate 3-month subscription*
- Audio: 2x 2W HD Stereo Speakers| Nahimic Audio with Surround Sound, Sound Tracker, Night Mode, Sound Sharing & Content Profiles || Camera: FHD 1080p with Privacy Shutter: Physical kill switch for 100% privacy protection| Integrated Dual Array Mic
- Keyboard: Full-size 4-Zone white Backlit legendary TrueStrike Keyboard with 100% Anti-Ghosting, Anti-Abrasion & Soft-Landing switches| 1.5 mm Key Travel| Large Arrow Keys| 1 piece TrackPad
- Battery Life: 71Wh upto 6 Hours | Rapid Charge (get 2 hours of runtime with a 15-min charge) || Connectivity: Wifi 6 11ax (2×2), Bluetooth 5.2 || Ports: 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 | 1x Headphone/microphone combo jack (3.5mm) | 1x HDMI | 1x Ethernet (RJ-45)
Design & Build Quality
The overall chassis of this Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3i has been upgraded to make it look stronger and bold, so the weight goes up to 2.315 kg. However, the muscular look actually suits it and looks much more premium than ever, the hinge of the display can be opened with a single hand and even though the build is of plastic its solid, there’s no flex of any sort.
Even though it’s slightly heavy, it gets heavier with the huge adapter brick, so anyone who does not like to carry heavy machines can avoid this. Still, I would say in terms of design, the new edges across the laptop, color & finish alongside the rear vents with a blue accent design, gives a true gaming vibe.
For a laptop which costs around Rs.1lakh, the Ideapad Gaming 3 is very practical and should suit pretty well for most gamers out there.
Thanks to a huge upgrade in display quality this time and boasting a modern 16:10 aspect ratio, the IdeaPad Gaming 3i looks premium. Now, with a 165Hz QHD display option, and a resolution of 2560*1600, you get more screen real estate which makes it easier while gaming, not only this, Lenovo has made the display colour accurate as well.
So, anyone who had never thought of getting a good QHD gaming display at the Rs.1lakh price can actually consider this laptop as a serious option. From doing everyday work to editing photos or videos, even professionals can use the display, which is quite generous for an average user.
In terms of media consumption, this Ideapad Gaming 3i display is decent enough for binge-watching or YouTube and even long Netflix movie marathons. It goes really bright and even for outdoor usage, it’s decent, overall I am very satisfied with the display quality at this pricing.
Let’s see this 15.6-inch QHD display’s metrics in our DataColor SypderX Pro tests and does it live up to Lenovo’s claims:
In the display tests, the QHD display of this Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i gaming laptop you see the claims from Lenovo is quite true, covering up to 98% sRGB color gamut. The display also covers 74% AdobeRGB, 75% DCI-P3 and 70% NTSC color gamut, decent enough, better than the budget gaming laptops but certainly not the most premium which isn’t really expected at this pricing.
The gamma tone response, gray ramp and contrast are decent while surprisingly, the peak brightness is above expectations of the 400 nits peak brightness claim. Overall, this display is way better than the budget gaming laptops and Lenovo’s upgrade is justifiable at the pricing.
Lenovo made a huge upgrade in terms of performance to the old chassis and made it Legion 5 quality this time. With a completely new design and hardware, Lenovo has targeted gamers who need a good gaming laptop but don’t want to cross that Rs.1 lakh price bracket.
Here we have the best variant of this Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i, sporting the Intel Core i7-12700H processor with 14 cores and 20 threads to give you incredible single and multi-core performance. Paired with up to an RTX 3060 graphics, it is mostly on sale for ₹1,04,990 via Amazon India, which makes it a very compelling offer for most gamers.
The NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3060 graphics with 105W TGP, can also be overclocked to unlock next-level performance which even a restricted RTX 3070 cannot give you.
Both for gaming and productivity, this IdeaPad Gaming 3i is great, especially, if you do not want to cross that Rs.1lakh price bracket. As it comes with 16GB RAM and PCIe Gen 4 storage, the gaming laptop performs very smoothly for everyday usage, now having used this for weeks now, I can confidently say this is both powerful and capable for any type of usage.
To prove it’s a good performer, here are some benchmarks for your reference:
In the synthetic benchmarks you see the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i with Core i7-12700H rips apart all the laptops we have in the chart both in single-core and multi-core benchmarks. For an average to moderate users, this 14-core processor should be more than enough for both gaming and productivity.
In the SSD speed tests, we find the PCIe Gen 4 storage to be decently fast, not the fastest but good enough at this price segment. Here are some more 3DMark benchmarks for your reference:
As you see even in productivity benchmarks, the Core i7-12700H with the RTX 3060 did perform really good and those who want a gaming machine with good horsepower for work can seriously go for this IdeaPad Gaming 3i. Overall, the gaming laptop at its price doesn’t fail to give you great performance and you can upgrade RAM down the line for further performance enhancements.
In gaming, as expected, the laptop really performs very well thanks to the formidable Intel + NVIDIA combo, in all of the games we see including triple-A and Battle Royal titles, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i gives comfortable 60FPS+ even at QHD which is a big deal for a gaming laptop like this.
Even without using DLSS, the rasterization performance is quite impressive and the laptop remains stable during prolonged gaming sessions as well. Obviously, at QHD Ultra or High settings in extreme games like Cyberpunk 2077 or Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the RTX 3060 struggles a bit but you have DLSS to take care of it in almost all modern games.
Here is a wide range of games we have tested with this Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i with both Core i7-12700H and RTX 3060:
As you see in a number of gaming benchmarks, the gaming laptop from Lenovo is enough to handle 1440p gaming and gives good frame rates even without DLSS. At 1080p too the high-end games look playable and those which have DLSS enabled can give you extra boost in FPS without affecting image quality much.
Even with prolonged gameplay, the IdeaPad Gaming 3i remained consistent unless it gets heated up too much due to lack of airflow but for most of the times be it any game, this laptop easily handles it. You get hundreds of FPS in Battle Royal titles even at QHD and being a 165Hz refresh rate display you can easily enjoy these games without any hiccups.
I/O & Connectivity
Coming to the I/O, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i has got all the ports you could ask for, one USB 3.2 Gen 1 port on the right and another on the left-hand side where you also have the headphone jack. At the rear end, there you will see a host of connectivity options like HDMI® 2.0, Ethernet (RJ-45), the power connector and finally a Thunderbolt™ 4 port.
For connectivity, you get both the latest Wi-Fi® 6 11ax 2×2 and Bluetooth 5.2 combo which is good enough for most of the times I faced no issues while downloading games or playing them. As I connect multiple Bluetooth devices generally while working, for this IdeaPad Gaming 3i too I had no issues.
Thermals & Upgradability
Lenovo has also taken care in terms of thermals this time and upgraded the cooling system so that it can handle the load of a Core i7 processor and RTX 3060. The minimal design language meets effective thermal management to deliver a seamless gameplay experience.
At first, I had doubts whether the Ideapad Gaming 3i would be able to handle modern games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare II at full stretch for hours, but, to my surprise, it did so. However, it generates a lot of heat much like any other gaming laptop but has consistent frame rates if it stays cool, and most of the time it does.
On the upgradability front, the 16GB DDR4 RAM is also upgradable to 32GB and the storage is also upgradable but most users won’t need to. There is an extra RAM slot that supports another 16GB DDR4 RAM and another NVMe SSD slot supporting up to 1TB storage.
Keyboard & Trackpad
Lenovo has always used high quality keyboards on its laptops and continuing that tradition, Lenovo has upgraded the quality of keyboards on the budget Ideapad Gaming 3i. This time, the gaming laptop sports a full-size 4-Zone RGB Backlit legendary TrueStrike Keyboard with 100% Anti-Ghosting.
With 1.5 mm key travel, the keys are really smooth to type on every day and play games as well, with customizable backlighting you cannot ask for more. The trackpad is smaller in size, not the best I would say but okay if you don’t have a mouse and just want to use it casually.
Audio & Webcam
On the audio front, you have 2W x 2 stereo speakers along with a 2x array microphone, which to be fair does the job quite well. The speakers are not the loudest but don’t feel cheaper out because I played music on it most of the time and it felt quite comfortable to hear, a good one for daily usage.
Now, for the webcam, I am glad that Lenovo has used an FHD 1080p webcam with Privacy Shutter and hasn’t cheaper out on the quality. It’s quite good if you are a rising steamer and don’t want to spend on a dedicated webcam, kudos to Lenovo on the upgrade.
While I didn’t really expect much from Lenovo in terms of battery life because this is a mid-range gaming laptop anyways but the 71Wh battery which is officially rated to last up to 6 hours in silent mode, does a decent job I would say. It gave me about 4-5 hours of battery life in mixed usage and that’s good if you have an emergency or just don’t have to carry that big adapter with you.
With Rapid charging, it gets charged up pretty fast and there will be various modes to save or use battery life accordingly. For the best battery life turn on iGPU mode only or if you are switching between various work profiles, you can keep it at Standard.
So, what do I make of this new Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i gaming laptop? To be very honest the laptop exceeded my expectations and gave me a Legion experience despite being an Ideapad Gaming laptop. The wide range of upgrades that Lenovo made this time is evident all across the Ideapad Gaming 3i, from the design, display, thermals and even the performance.
While still coming at that Rs.1lakh price bracket, you should not miss the deals running on Amazon or Lenovo’s official website always. This gaming laptop does the basics pretty well and is highly recommended for those who need a premium gaming experience without burning their pockets.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i is well worth its price and is very much a value-for-money offering in every regard. It’s not perfect and no gaming laptop can be, despite that this Core i7-12700H + RTX 3060 combo is a must for those who need performance & premiumness else most gamers can go for the Core i5 variant with RTX 3050.