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Cheap gaming laptops have come a long way in recent years. Previously prohibitively expensive portable devices have evolved into a variety of designs that are more cost-effective than their predecessors. Despite the fact that the sub-$1,000 market is small, hardware has evolved so much that significant concessions are not required.
The HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (available from HP) has the necessary hardware to keep up with the vast majority of the latest and greatest games, even if it cannot run them all. Lenovo’s IdeaPad Gaming 3i 15 is a low-cost gaming notebook from Lenovo’s sixth generation. Our review unit, which costs around $900, is comprised of a 90-watt GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card and an Intel Tiger Lake H35 processor.
In terms of gaming performance, Lenovo’s IdeaPad Gaming series is a basic gaming laptop with no frills. The IdeaPad Gaming 3i 15 is based on Intel’s Tiger Lake platform and includes an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card, 16 GB of RAM, and an internal storage drive with a capacity of up to 512 GB. It also has a full-HD 15-inch IPS display. At the moment, the United States does not have access to this model. Despite this, a $1,000 Intel Core i7-11370H-based device with 8 GB of RAM and an SSD is available.
Ideapad Gaming 3 Vs HP Pavilion Gaming: Comparison Table
|Ideapad Gaming 3
|HP Pavilion Gaming
|White, Black, Green
|Windows 10 64 Bit
|Windows 10 Home
|39.62 Full HD
|15.6’ FHD IPS
|Intel Core i7
|i5 9th gen
|Online Price Ranges
HP Pavilion Gaming vs Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3: Detailed Analysis
The thin side bezels are balanced by thicker top and bottom borders, which are highlighted by a row of diagonal cuts beneath the display. On the 15z-ec200, HP’s circular consumer logo replaces the stylized four slashes found on more expensive business and Spectre models. There is no fingerprint reader or facial recognition webcam on the keyboard, as with more expensive gaming machines, but it does have green backlighting instead of the millions of RGB colours found on other models.
In comparison, the IdeaPad Gaming 3 15- and 16-inch variants astounded me with their lightness and robustness despite their size. The weight of the 15-inch model was 4.85 pounds, while the weight of the 16-inch model was 5.29 pounds. Both models were small enough to be held in one hand. The dimensions of the 15-inch model are 14.16 by 10.49 by 0.86 inches, while the 16-inch model is 14.16 by 10.49 by 0.82 inches.
The IdeaPad Gaming 3 is an excellent choice for gamers, thanks to its simple design and subtle branding. Outside of the Lenovo tag at the bottom of the device, the opening has an IdeaPad Gaming tag.
There are no additional gaming-related accessories, such as macro keys and software to control things like cooling and power plans or at-a-glance performance metrics, unlike comparable systems from Acer and Dell. If you want to know how well your laptop performed while gaming, you can access the Xbox Game Bar by simultaneously pressing the Windows key and G. When gaming, it also did a good job of managing cooling on its own (other times, like during meetings or movie viewing, you might want more control).
It’s fantastic to see HP create a gaming laptop that’s not only thin but also well-balanced for use in the office and at school. If you want more gaming functionality, there are plenty of gaming laptops available for less than $1,000.
Despite the fact that the HP Pavilion Gaming has a 144Hz refresh rate rather than a 60Hz refresh rate, the screen appears to be a budget panel—it isn’t very bright, and the colours are bland rather than vibrant or popping. With wide viewing angles, fine features and letter edges are clear rather than pixelated, and the white backgrounds are dingy. Instead of HP’s standard inverted T, the cursor arrows are sandwiched between two full-sized left and right keys, making it difficult to hit the half-height up and down arrows. Although it lacks a quick numeric keypad, the keyboard is quiet and ergonomic. Touchpad with no buttons that glides and taps smoothly while clicking stiffly with each stroke.
In terms of display characteristics, the Lenovo IdeaPad differs slightly from the ThinkPad. Both laptops have 16-inch WQHD+ IPS displays with 16:10 aspect ratios and brightness ratings of 500 nits on the smaller model and 300 nits on the larger model. Both sizes share the display panels’ 165Hz refresh rate and 100 per cent RGB colour gamut. The wallpapers on the IdeaPad Gaming 3 models appear vibrant at first glance. Because the colours of the computers are so muted in comparison, the image has a lot of colour saturation. The colours held up just as well in the beginning as they did while I was using the gadgets. On YouTube, I saw a Fortnite video game trailer for the 16-inch model.
Low-Cost Gaming vs. Performance Testing
I compared the Pavilion 15z-ec200 to the Dell G3 15, MSI Bravo 15, and Acer Nitro 5 (our 2020 test unit; we haven’t seen the updated 2021 Nitro 5 models yet), and the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i. The information in the table below summarizes their most important characteristics.
Lenovo employs slightly different naming conventions for the two processor types to assist users in distinguishing between the two processors under consideration. It is powered by AMD RyzenTM 6000 processors, whereas the IdeaPad Gaming 3i is powered by Intel CoreTM i7 H-series processors. The parts are designed to work together as a whole.
Depending on whether it is made of four or three cells, this battery has a power rating of 60 Wh. These models also support Rapid Charge, which allows the battery to be charged by 40% in just 15 minutes.
Rapid Charge Pro is built into batteries for 16-inch devices, allowing for a 50 per cent charge in 30 minutes.
To improve cooling on the laptops, Lenovo has added quad rear vents to the system. These laptops have a 20% increase in airflow over their predecessors, with the rear vents working in tandem with front cooling from the keyboards, a feature borrowed from Lenovo’s premium line.
Ideapad Gaming 3 Vs HP Pavilion Gaming: Quick Result
|Ideapad Gaming 3
|HP Pavilion Gaming
|Which one is the best?
HP Pavilion Gaming vs Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3: Final Verdict
The great GPU scarcity of 2021 will hit laptops and desktops hard, but there are still some decent gaming notebooks under $1,000 on the market. The Pavilion 15z-ec200 would need more storage and graphics capabilities to win. If you’re looking for a low-cost gaming laptop that can deliver a vibrant 1080p gaming experience, the Acer Nitro 5 and MSI Bravo 15 are better options.
The Intel Core processor-powered 15-inch IdeaPad Gaming 3i will be available for $990 beginning in April 2022, and the 16-inch Intel Core processor-powered IdeaPad Gaming 3i will be available for $1,490 beginning in June 2022.