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This Lenovo Legion laptop with an RTX 3060 graphics card was selling for £950 at the start of the year, but now you can pick up for £800 after a sizeable discount at Amazon. That’s a fair price for a laptop with good mid-level specs, including an 11th-gen Core i5 11400H processor (6C/12T), 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512GB NVMe SSD and a 15-in 1080p 144Hz screen.
Lenovo make some of the best gaming laptops in the business, where their clean design, solid build quality and reliability have set them apart from other brands that tend to be a little plasticky at the sub-£1000 price points where most laptops are sold.
We’ve not tested this particular spec ourselves – although I’ve personally trialled one of its predecessors – so it’s worth having a look at some reviews. Thankfully, the Legion 5i with RTX 3060 has attracted quite a few positive write-ups, with folks praising its performance, port selection and overall value. The main downsides seem to be its 720p webcam – a shame in this era of Zoom meetings – and its noise while gaming. Note that there’s also an AMD Ryzen version of this laptop, as well as a 17-inch model, so if you look for reviews be sure to double-check which model it’s for. Overall though, this spec Legion 5i looks to be a solid option.
The RTX 3060 is probably the key point of the laptop, and from what I can dig up it looks like you’re getting a full-fat model with a 115W power budget with the Legion 5i. That’s good, because the difference in performance between two parts both called ‘RTX 3060’ can be substantial, if one GPU is limited to 60W and the other gets nearly double that.
The RTX 3060 is also notable because it’s the new entry point to two key technologies: RTX and DLSS. RTX, as you’re likely aware, refers to the specialised hardware needed to run real-time ray-traced reflections, shadows and lighting, amongst other things, and can totally transform a game’s visuals – at a hefty performance penalty. DLSS, on the other hand, uses AI processing hardware to cheaply upscale game graphics from a low resolution to a higher one, thus increasing frame-rates substantially at a minimal cost to visuals. So: it’s great to have both options available to you, as it can make a huge difference to the number of games you can play at high graphical settings in the long term.
Is there anything worth waiting for when it comes to gaming laptops? In a word, yes – but it’ll probably take some time before current and next-gen laptops are available at this sort of a discount; you’d probably struggle to find a significantly better deal before Black Friday hits in seven month’s time. The things on the horizon are AMD’s Ryzen 6000 laptop processors, which don’t appear to have seen a full launch in gaming machines as of this half of the year, and Intel’s 12th-gen CPUs and Arc discrete graphics cards which are also due to appear in greater numbers over the following months. Both of these could offer better performance than this 11th-gen Intel plus Nvidia combo, but with no proper reviews out in the field we’re going to have to wait a little longer to find out if they’re a game-changer or just an iterative upgrade over what’s available right now.
So, I’ve probably rambled on long enough. To summarise, good gaming laptop, very low price, some key features and technologies onboard. There are better laptops in the pipeline, but this is almost always true and we don’t know how good they’ll be just yet – so if you’re in the market, this sub-£800 Lenovo Legion 5i looks like a solid bet.