Lenovo’s IdeaPad Gaming series has filled an important space for an affordable but powerful laptop. The series’s top model, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7, combines power and affordability, at least for now. Don’t let the minimalistic design fool you; this laptop is great for next-gen games at a reasonable price. In this review, we will examine all aspects of the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 (16 Intel) and see if it’s worth the price.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i is powered by a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H processor. In terms of storage, it also has 16GB of DDR4 RAM (dual channel) and 1TB of NVMe SSD storage. As the laptop is one of the top Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming series models, it features a discrete NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU instead of RTX 3050/3060 Ti.
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 (16 Intel) Specs
- Processor: 12th Generation Intel Core i7-12700H Processor (E-cores up to 3.50 GHz P-cores up to 4.70 GHz)
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU 6GB GDDR6
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4-3200MHz (SODIMM) + 8 GB DDR4-3200MHz (SODIMM)
- Display: 16.00 inch 16:10, 2560 x 1600 resolution, 500 nits, 165 Hz
- Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe TLC M.2 SSD Gen 4
- Battery: 71W 4-cell battery and 230W AC adapter
- Weight: 2.6 kg
- Price: ₹119,690
The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 has a very simplistic design with a dark onyx-grey finish. The laptop is made of plastic and polycarbonate material, but it still has good build quality. It’s a good thing that the company has used a material that does not attract fingerprints easily. However, due to the dark finish, users might notice fine dust particles all over the laptop.
I found the screen to be one of the most interesting things about the laptop, as Lenovo went for the 16:10 aspect ratio instead of a 16:9 display screen. It may take one or two sessions to get used to this aspect ratio, but it is worth it if you plan on using this laptop for work too. Even though the main chassis of the device is rock solid, the screen is slightly wobbly, which is expected from a 16:10 display.
The screen is a 16-inch WQHD+ IPS narrow-bezel display with 500nits peak brightness and 165Hz refresh rate. The 2560 x 1600 resolution is also an upgrade from the old 1920 x 1200 resolution. The 2K display provides an excellent render resolution for most video games, providing a middle ground between performance and high-end graphics.
Despite being a budget-friendly series, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 laptop does share a similarity with the Legion series. The laptop features a rear block that holds connectivity ports such as HDMI, power adapter socket, Ethernet jack, and USB-C ports. It also has two USB 3.2 Type-A ports on each side with an audio jack on the left.
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7: Keyboard and Speakers
The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 also features a membrane-based chiclet keyboard, but it still feels great and satisfying to use. However, we can’t say how great the keyboard will perform in the long run. The RBG backlight is also fully customizable if one wishes to do so.
As for the audio, the laptop comes with two 2-watt speakers tuned by SteelSeries’ Nahimic. The volume range of these speakers is relatively high but lacks some base which is a common trend in budget gaming laptops, so it’s not a big deal. On the other hand, the 1080p FHD-integrated webcam is a great addition, which is rare for a laptop in this price range.
Heating and Charging
During our testing across multiple games, we noticed the maximum temperature reached around 70-80 degrees Celsius. However, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 never crossed that limit or stayed at that temperature too long.
Unfortunately, the 3060 variant does not have Thunderbolt support like the 3050Ti GPUs. An SD card slot is also missing, which is more or less expected in a laptop at this price range. Users can also expect the battery to drain quickly due to power-hungry specs and the 2K display. However, the charging is relatively quick, thanks to its 230W adapter. On a single charge, the laptop can last up to 4-5 hours depending on what you are doing.
As for thermal regulation, the laptop features a dual-fan design with vents on the left and right sides. There are four vents in total that maintain the ventilation intake and outtake to keep the laptop cool and efficient. However, the fan noise can be a bit loud sometimes, but users can control it using Lenovo’s Vantage application. We still recommend using a tilted stand for the laptop as it can get very hot due to the heat from the RTX 3060.
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Review: Productivity Tests
|Cinebench R23 (single core test)||1,703 points|
|Cinebench R23 (multi core test)||15,288 points|
|3DMark Time Spy (CPU score)||9,455 points|
|3DMark Time Spy (GPU score)||7,956 points|
|3DMark Time Spy (overall score)||8,151 points|
The productivity tests also showed promising results for the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7. Due to its hybrid architecture, the 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H processor does well on all synthetic benchmarks. In the 3DMark Timespy test, the laptop scored 8,151 points, which is a good place between performance and efficiency. The laptop scored 1,703 and 15,288 points in Cinebench R23’s single-core and multi-core tests.
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7: Performance As A Gaming Laptop
The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 is a fairly decent gaming laptop in the mid-price range. The RTX 3070 and 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H processor can efficiently run any modern game at 2K 60 FPS with DLSS. The display is also a plus, as it can run esports titles with up to 165 frames per second.
The upgrade to the GPU is quite substantial, as the RTX 3060 offers 62% faster effective speed than the 3050 Ti. Even the 12th Gen Intel Core i7-H series processor can be overclocked beyond 4.7 GHz (not that you would ever need it). The processor comes with 14 cores (6-Performance cores and 8-Efficient cores), making the laptop a gaming powerhouse.
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i: Graphics & FPS Test
|Games Tested||High Preset (2K Resolution)||Medium Preset (2K Resolution)|
|God of War (2019)||63-51||70-65|
|Witcher 3: Wild Hunt||61-56||50-45|
However, we faced some issues when playing these games with ray tracing turned on. Although, that’s true for most gaming laptops in this price range. Fortunately, users can squeeze more power out of the laptop by turning on performance mode, overclocking GPU, and tweaking a few settings in Lenovo’s Vantage app.
With DLSS set to Ultra Performance mode, there’s no game where you won’t get a decent 60 FPS. Users can even turn off antialiasing or lower the in-game settings for more stable performance. All in all, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i is one of the best gaming laptops in this price range.
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 Review
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 (16, Intel)
The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 is a great gaming laptop for the mid-laptop with great specs that are more than enough for next-gen games. However, in terms of price, the top model still competes with Lenovo’s own Legion series, which offers a better chassis, DDR5 memory, and more customizability. Although if you ever see the laptop on a sale or discount, it is a must-buy for every gamer that wants to enjoy the latest games in 2K 60 FPS.