Lenovo isn’t just devoting its energy to high-end laptops at Mobile World Congress 2022. The company has revamped its IdeaPad Gaming lineup with systems aimed at relative newcomers to portable PC gameplay. The AMD-powered IdeaPad Gaming 3 and Intel-based IdeaPad Gaming 3i both sport 15- and 16-inch screens (including a 1600p 165Hz display option on 16-inch models) and a “cleaner” overall design with better port access and improved cooling to keep them quiet. You can also expect the latest CPU options, including Ryzen 6000 H-series chips in the Gaming 3 and up to 12th-gen Core for the Gaming 3i.
Your video choices vary depending on your processor. IdeaPad Gaming 3 buyers will have to make do with up to GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics, while Gaming 3i buyers can max out their laptops with either an RTX 3060 or Intel’s Arc. You do get to use speedier DDR5 memory in the AMD-based machines where you ‘settle’ for DDR4 in the Intel variants, however. Both PC families are otherwise very similar, with support for up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. You’ll have to be content with one USB-C 3.2 port, but there are two USB-A 3.2 ports as well as HDMI 2.0 and Ethernet.
The 15-inch models debut first, with the IdeaPad Gaming 3i arriving in April with a $990 starting price. The similarly-sized Gaming 3 surfaces in May for $930. Wait until June and you can buy the 16-inch versions of either computer, beginning at $1,140 for the Gaming 3 and $1,490 for the Gaming 3i. Regardless of the PC you own, there’s a $100 Legion M600s Qi mouse (shown at middle) due in September that promises a 19,000DPI sensor, “lossless” Bluetooth and USB connections, RGB lighting and its namesake Qi wireless charging.
And yes, there are some comparatively ordinary IdeaPads for those less interested in gaming than creativity. The IdeaPad Flex 5 and Flex 5i (below) convertible laptops respectively use AMD Ryzen 5000 U-series and Intel 12th-gen Core U-series processors while coming in 14- and 16-inch variants. They’re thinner and lighter than their predecessors with weight starting at 3.3lbs. You can only splurge for an 1800p OLED screen with the 14-inch Flex 5i, but everyone has the option of upgrading to 1400p (14-inch models) or 1600p (16-inch) LCDs if the default 1200p display isn’t enough.
Both updated 2-in-1 laptops are decidedly more affordable than their gaming-oriented siblings. The Flex 5i is the most affordable of the two, and will arrive in May starting at $620 for a 14-inch version and $900 for the 16-inch edition. Opt for the Flex 5 and you’ll find a higher $690 starting price when it ships in May, but a low $750 entry point for its 16-inch counterpart.