Best Lenovo gaming laptops in 2023
What’s the best Lenovo gaming laptop? It’s a tricky question and depends on your budget, the specs you’re after, and how you’ll use your laptop. We’ve tested the best Lenovo laptops for gamers to give you a steer on where best to spend your hard-earned cash.
Since Lenovo acquired IBM’s laptop division in 2005, it’s carved out an enviable reputation as a gaming laptop brand, picking up IBM’s tired ThinkPad range and transforming its offering into a versatile selection of portable workhorses, creative devices, and gaming machines. Legion – Lenovo’s flagship gaming brand was launched in 2017, and its more LOQ brand of budget gaming laptops followed in 2023. These two brands combine to make the best Lenovo laptops for gaming.
Lenovo isn’t known for not being overly showy, preferring to channel its efforts into creating powerful, functional performance laptops with fewer bells and whistles than its rivals. You get quality components that work together to create cutting-edge gaming powerhouses.
If you prefer to shy away from gaudy RGB lighting, then Lenovo has plenty of options. But which of the latest budget and performance laptops do we recommend? We’ve put together a list of the best Lenovo gaming laptops currently on the market to help you decide.
These are the best Lenovo gaming laptops in 2023:
1. Lenovo Legion Slim 7i 16
The best Lenovo gaming laptop for portability
Lenovo Legion Slim 7i 16 specs:
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070
|Intel Core i9-13900H
|3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
USB-C Thunderbolt 4
4-in-1 SD reader
|16″ WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS
|14.05 x 9.74 x 0.69in (356.81 x 247.42 x 17.4mm)
- Slim and lightweight
- Great display
- Solid battery life
- Can run hot
- Touchpad is a little small
Lenovo’s Legion range puts it slap bang at the heart of laptop PC gaming. The company’s no stranger to power-packed gaming laptops, with its Legion brand having been in service since 2017, and it’s within this line-up that you’ll find the best Lenovo gaming laptops.
As the moniker suggests, the Slim 7i is no portly portable, measuring just 0.69in thick. Despite its diminutive form factor, it still manages to pack in a good helping of power thanks to an Intel Core i9-13900H processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card. Storage comes in the form of a 1TB SSD.
The Legion Slim 7i is available in two colors – stone gray and glacier White – and is, unusually for a gaming laptop, a lesson in design restraint, with none of the RGB frippery of many gaming laptops on the market. The Slim 7i could easily pass for a run-of-the-mill laptop workhorse, but it’s what’s under the hood that sets it apart.
The 7i’s 16″ WQXGA screen delivers visually, with smooth, tear-free gameplay and a nippy 240Hz refresh rate with 3ms response time. G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync support is included.
In port terms, you get two USB-C slots, two USB-A versions, a combo audio mic jack, an SD reader, and an HDMI 2.1 port for big-screen gaming action. Bluetooth 5.2 is included, and the dual 2w Harman speakers, optimized for Dolby Atmos are capable of pleasing sonics, although those looking for thunderous audio effects would do well to invest in a larger 2.1 or 5.1 audio system.
2. Lenovo LOQ 15
The best budget Lenovo gaming laptop
Lenovo Legion LOQ 15 specs:
|Graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050
|CPU Intel Core i5-13420H
|2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (DisplayPort 1.4)
|15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS
|14.16 x 10.43 x 0.87in (359.6mm x 264.8 x 22.1mm)
- Strong performance
- Great keyboard and touchpad
- Some build quality compromises
- Not the lightest
- Solid – not spectacular – display
Released in early 2023, Lenovo’s LOQ gaming laptop range brings gaming chops to the budget end of the laptop market. Despite the price tag, the LOQ range is anything but dull and uninspiring. In fact, it looks every inch the understated gaming laptop sleeper. Look a little closer, and you’ll find more plastics than evident in the Legion range, and, at 5.29 lbs, this isn’t as notable as many higher-end, higher-priced gaming laptops. However, that’s the price you pay for having less of a price to pay.
Specs are respectable if not earth-shattering; the Intel Core i5 13420H is a powerful enough processor, and, teamed with Nvidia’s RTX 4050, it makes a great budget combo. Just 8GB of RAM is a touch on the skimpy side, and you get a fairly standard 512GB of SSD storage space, although external SSDs are relatively inexpensive these days should you need more space in a pinch.
The 15.6-inch Full HD screen brings visuals to life, albeit not at the eye-popping level of its more expensive Lenovo contemporaries. In the ports department, you get a brace of USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 slots, a single Gen 1 variant, and a single USB-C compatible with DisplayPort 1.4.
The keyboard and trackpad take their design cues from the Legion range and are all the better for it. The keyboard is responsive, and there’s plenty of trackpad real estate to play with.
Ardent gamers may turn their noses up at laptops in this price bracket, but there are plenty of options out there, which means the LOQ 15 is up against some stiff competition. However, if you’re looking for a budget-conscious, eminently capable gaming laptop, you could do far worse than consider the LOQ 15.
3. Lenovo Legion Pro 5 Gen 8
The best-specced Lenovo gaming laptop
Lenovo Legion Pro 5 Gen 8 specs:
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070
|AMD Ryzen 7 7745HX
|4x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
2x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (1x DisplayPort 1.4)
|16″ WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS
|14.3 x 10.25 x 1.05in (363.22 x 260.35 x 26.67mm)
- Cutting-edge performance
- Brilliant keyboard
- Plenty of ports
- Bulky and heavy
- Weedy built-in speakers
- Average battery life
The Legion Pro 5 Gen 8 is a high-end Lenovo gaming laptop that sits just below the flagship Pro 7 and features slightly lower CPU and GPU specs. What that means in practical terms is a slight drop in performance for an arguably larger drop in price.
From the off, the Pro 5 impresses with stunning build quality. The lid is aluminum, but unlike the Pro 7, the Pro 5 features a plastic chassis, albeit one made from exceptionally durable polycarbonate.
AMD’s Ryzen 7 7745HX pairs with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4070 to provide a potent processing team that allows the 16-inch WQXGA, 165Hz display to stretch its legs and make mincemeat of fast-action gaming with zero tearing.
With a respectable 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, the Pro 5 has plenty of potential, although both RAM and SSD can be specced up to 32GB and 1TB respectively should you yearn for more.
Cooling vents take up a big chunk of the laptop’s rear, but despite that, there’s still a plethora of ports, with four USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 and two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports alongside an HDMI 2.1 socket, an RJ45 port, and a headphone/mic combo jack.
As always, Lenovo’s keyboard design is near-faultless. Corners have clearly been cut with four-zone keyboard lighting instead of per key, but that is the only criticism you can level at this brilliantly laid-out machine’s physical interface.
4. Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4
The most flexible Lenovo gaming laptop
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 specs:
|NVIDIA RTX A2000
|Intel Core i7-13700H
|2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4
SD card reader
|16″ WQUXGA (3840 x 2400) IPS
|14.1 x 9.9 x 0.6in (359.5 x 253.8 x 17.7mm)
- Stunning display
- Superb build quality
- Hugely flexible
- Not 100% gaming focused
- Raw power saps battery life
While not a dedicated gaming laptop, the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 still has gaming credentials aplenty. Primarily designed as a content creator’s workhorse, the P1 is more than capable of rendering fast-paced, high-resolution video or complex animation, which means it can handle even the most processor-intensive AAA games.
Sporting an Intel Core i7 13700H processor and Nvidia’s RTX A2000 graphics chip, the P1 has the potential to be one of the most useful models in Lenovo’s gaming laptop arsenal. Factor in 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD drive, and you can see why the P1 has a berth in this company. Yes, you can buy more gaming performance for your money, but you’re unlikely to find the flexibility offered by the ThinkPad P1 in a dedicated gaming machine. The 16-inch screen is a 3840×2400-pixel, WQUXGA, IPS number, able to deliver lush, vibrant colors with no hint of screen tearing.
As you’d expect from Lenovo, build quality is top-notch, with an aluminum casing and a carbon fiber weave cover. The P1 was made for life on the road, able to withstand shock, vibration, and extreme temperatures to the US Department of Defense’s stringent MIL-STD-810H testing standard. This is a well-built machine, but at just 3.97 lbs, it’s far from the weightiest we’ve come across.
So, is the P1 worthy of your consideration? Well, you’re not going to get the all-out performance of a gaming-focused machine, but this is one laptop that has all of its bases covered to a very, very high standard.
How we chose the best Lenovo gaming laptops
- Price: While it’s not the first concern for many when choosing a gaming laptop. Budget options are a welcome addition to any range. For those with serious spending power, we made sure we had options aplenty.
- Power: The best Lenovo gaming laptops live and die by their specs, but it’s the combination of high-quality components that delivers big performance. We looked for expertly packaged systems that could wring every ounce of performance from their constituent parts.
- Style: Even Lenovo’s best gaming laptops aren’t known for swathes of RGB lighting and exuberant design flourishes, but you still want your laptop to look the part.
- Connectivity: The added flexibility that comes with an array of ports and sockets allows you to add plenty of peripherals to augment even the mightiest setup.
Find out more about how we test laptops and PC gaming hardware.
Lenovo LOQ vs Lenovo Legion
Both Lenovo’s LOQ and Legion gaming laptop ranges offer gaming-focused machines, but they are distinct offerings.
The LOQ range is firmly in budget gaming laptop territory, with keener price points, primarily due to lower specs and material compromises.
By contrast, the Legion range offers the very best Lenovo gaming laptops the company has to offer. High-end components and construction make these machines the cream of the Lenovo gaming crop.