Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i (15 inch, 2022) review

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i (15 inch, 2022) in Kenya
August 14, 2022 by
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i (15 inch, 2022) review
Nicholas Kimole

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i (15 inch, 2022)

Lenovo is the number one laptop brand when it comes to market share. The main contributor to the stats is definitely not the Carbon series, nor is it the Legion 7 notebooks. Instead, it is the budget-friendly offerings. One such device is the Ideapad Gaming 3, which aims to bring everything essential for entry-level gaming.

However, the latest graphics cards from NVIDIA have completely turned the gaming world on its head, as even the most affordable RTX 3000 options will let you play pretty much any AAA title even at High settings. Virtually, this means that the IdeaPad Gaming 3 should be thriving. Unfortunately, last year, the company shot itself in the foot by introducing an underpowered charger, which lead to the battery draining when playing in “Performance” mode.

Hopefully, this year will be different, as the IdeaPad Gaming 3i (15″, 2022) (or IdeaPad Gaming 3 15-IAH7) now sports Intel’s 12th Gen CPUs which can be crippled by small power adapters. In addition, the laptop now comes completely redesigned, which makes it appear closer to the Legion series (even though it still gives that affordable vibe).

There have been changes in the display option forefront, where the base choice is now a 120Hz 1080p panel, while the top-of-the-line offering now comes with a 1440p resolution and 165Hz refresh rate.

What’s in the box?

Inside the package, we found some paperwork and a 170W charger. Finally, your battery won’t discharge during gaming in Performance mode.

Design and construction

As we said, the laptop has been completely redesigned. It now has its back elongated so that the cooling elements are not bunched up in the middle of the keyboard. Interestingly, it is thinner – 21.8mm, but slightly heavier – 2.32 kg.

Of course, all of the panels are made out of plastic with the lid being matte, while the base is glossy. Generally, the lid is very flexy, while the base is the complete opposite.

Probably because of the different hinge placement, the lid can be opened with a single hand. However, once you open it, you will notice that the screen is really bouncy, which is courtesy of the weak hinges. On the other hand, the side bezels are pretty slim, while the top one houses an HD Web camera with a privacy shutter on top.

Then, there is the keyboard. Actually, it is probably the only component that has not been changed. And we are happy about that! The key caps are huge, there is a NumPad section, and the Arrow keys can be comfortably used even by the sausagest of fingers.

Furthermore, the key travel is decent, while the feedback is clicky. Not to mention the optional 4-zone RGB backlight. By the way, as you may see, the power button is separated from the rest of the keyboard. It has an LED light in its center, which indicates in which performance mode are you working – there are Blue (Stay quiet), White (Auto), and Red (Performance). You can toggle them by pressing “Function” and “Q” simultaneously.

Now, the touchpad may lack dedicated buttons, which is actually a common sight in 2022, due to its more pleasing aesthetic. Nevertheless, we find it pretty good, also because of the Mylar surface.

Turn the laptop upside down, and you will find the speaker cutouts, as well as the ventilation grill. Hot air is now exhausted through two vents on the back, and one on each side.


On the left side, you get a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and an audio jack. Then, on the right, you will find another USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port. Most of the I/O, however, is situated at the back. There, you can see an HDMI 2.0 connector, a LAN port, followed by a Thunderbolt 4 connector, and the power plug.

Display quality

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i (15″, 2022) in the configuration we tested has a Full HD 120Hz IPS panel with a model number LEN156FHD (LEN9059). Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution is 1920 х 1080 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 142 ppi, and a pitch of 0.18 х 0.18 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 60cm (24″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).

CPU options

This laptop comes with a choice of four processors – Core i5-12450H, Core i5-12500H, Core i7-12650H, or Core i7-12700H.

GPU options

In terms of graphics, you can pick between the RTX 3050 (85W), RTX 3050 Ti (85W), and RTX 3060 (105W).


Without a doubt, Lenovo has made a huge effort to make its Ideapad Gaming series more appealing to the broad user. The pressure is stepping up, because Acer hasn’t been a slouch either, with the Nitro 5 (AN515-58) also reaching its peak. Quite frankly, the IdeaPad Gaming 3i (15″, 2022) does not make it easy for us to recommend it.

Reason number one – battery life. We are not sure if there was an issue with our particular device, but since we bought it from a retail store, Lenovo has no headroom for an excuse. Anyways, we are talking about nearly 3 hours and 30 minutes of light use, which is around two hours less than last year. And that comes from the same 45Wh battery pack and a 120Hz 1080p IPS panel.

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i (15″, 2022)’s IPS panel has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, a good contrast ratio, and a non-flickering backlight. Unfortunately, it covers only 50% of the sRGB color gamut. Although the pixel response times are a bit slow, the 120Hz refresh rate is definitely better than the 60Hz base options from last year. Speaking of options, you can also choose from 1080p or 1440p panels with a 165Hz refresh rate.

Of course, the elephant in the house is the new design. It does look fresh and reminds us of the Legion 5 and 7 series. Interestingly, the disassembly process is similar to that of the Dell G15 5515, as you need to undo a couple of screws located on the back of the laptop.

Essentially, this leads to decent upgrade options with two SODIMM slots for memory expansion and two M.2 PCIe x4 slots for storage. Here, the smaller of the two supports Gen 4 drives.

Cooling-wise, the situation looks pretty good. Although the RTX 3050 wasn’t able to hit its 85W power budget, it ran pretty close to it, and at a very high frequency. Actually not only was the clock speed higher than last year, but the temperature was also lower by about 10°C in the long run.

It comes without a question that the keyboard is one of the best out there. But not only does it allow you to feel confident and comfortable when you play games, but it also gives you the option to toggle between different performance presets, thanks to the “Fn” + “Q” shortcut. Furthermore, the Lenovo Vantage app lets you overclock the graphics card, which is awesome.

Unfortunately, this is another year of no SD card slot. However, the USB Type-C port from last year is now upgraded to Thunderbolt 4 connector. It is clear that Lenovo has tried to make a difference. It even started shipping its base models with a 170W charger, instead of the problematic 135W unit on the previous generation product.

While we are really happy with the change, we just can’t help but miss the Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-58). It is a superior product in a lot of ways, especially when it comes to build quality. There, the hinges of the IdeaPad Gaming 3i (15″, 2022) completely ruin the experience, as they are quite floppy.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-ideapad-gaming-3i-15-2022/


  • Great price/performance ratio
  • Great keyboard with an optional RGB backlight
  • 2x SODIMM + 2x M.2 slots (one supports Gen 4 drives)
  • Decent cooling
  • No PWM (LEN156FHD (LEN9059))


  • Lacks an SD card reader
  • Only 50% sRGB coverage (LEN156FHD (LEN9059))
  • Flimsy hinges, resulting in a bouncy lid
  • Terrible battery life