Lenovo LOQ 15 Review

Lenovo LOQ 15 Review: Blah Budget Gaming Laptop With Reasonable Speed

Although Lenovo’s entry-level model isn’t very fancy, it performs well and is among the least expensive RTX 4050 versions (when it’s on sale, anyhow).

The Lenovo LOQ 15, although it seems like an over-sized business laptop, is a good low-cost gaming model that costs $1,100, but you can usually get it at Best Buy for hundreds less. It could be possible to serve as a business laptop during the day and a gaming laptop at night if it were a little bit lighter. But weighing in at almost five pounds, it’s too heavy for everyday commuting and about a full pound heavier than the MSI Cyborg 15, a comparable low-cost gaming laptop.

For the money, the LOQ 15 offers competitive performance, therefore it still deserves a modest recommendation. Regarding that price, the LOQ 15’s biggest feature may be that it’s one of the least expensive RTX 4050 laptops available anywhere, with sales starting at only $700.

Lenovo LOQ 15APH8

Price as reviewed$1,100
Display size/resolution 15.6-inch 1,920×1,080 144Hz
CPU      AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS
Memory             8GB 5600MHz DDR5
Graphics             Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU @ 95 watts
Storage512GB SSD
Ports    USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 (x2), USB-A 2.0, HDMI 2.1, Ethernet, combo audio
Networking       Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1
Operating system               Windows 11 Home

We have a fixed configuration of our LOQ 15APH8 test system (model 82XT001NUS) available at Best Buy and directly from Lenovo (the latter is only available for pickup at a local Best Buy). At $1,100 on the list, it comes with a 512GB SSD, an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU, 8GB of RAM, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 graphics. A 16:9 aspect ratio, 144 Hz refresh rate, and 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution are provided by the 15.6-inch display. Originally priced at $950, a comparable setup with an RTX 3050 GPU from the previous generation was on sale for $690 at the time of publication. Lenovo also offers a fixed configuration that increases the RAM to 16GB and the SSD to 1TB for $1,280 (discounted to $930 at the time of this review).

Starting at £840 in the UK and AU$1,939 in Australia is the Lenovo LOQ 15.

The LOQ 15 performed comparably in tests to the other inexpensive gaming laptops with RTX 4050 chips that we have previously examined. Plus, it offers great value at only $700 when it’s on sale, which is cheaper than any of the other options. In most tests, its performance is in the center of the RTX 4050 pack, and when we tested it in 3D gaming at 1080p with high-quality settings, it yielded playable frame rates.

Its Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU, which is a step up from the midrange Ryzen 5 and Intel Core i5 CPUs available on other low-cost gaming models, is the highlight of its component list, but its modest 8GB of RAM limits its performance.

With its RTX 4050 GPU clocked at 95 watts, the LOQ 15 falls between the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 and Acer Nitro 16’s 140-watt maximum RTX 4050 GPU and the MSI Cyborg 15’s 45-watt RTX 4050 GPU.

Gaming laptop or corporate machine?

The LOQ 15 appears more like something you would receive from your company’s IT department than something you would purchase for entertainment purposes. This laptop has a dark gray top panel, bottom panel, and keyboard deck with dark gray keys. The only color variation is a splash of blue on the back vents. Multizone RGB keyboard backlighting is typically included, even on entry-level gaming laptops with somber designs, to add some flair and personalization to the overall appearance. This isn’t the case with the LOQ 15, which only offers simple white illumination.

Lenovo LOQ 15 Gaming laptop or corporate machine

The display is a standard 15.6-inch 16:9 screen that, although marginally smaller (by 0.8 inches vertically and the same width horizontally), appears tiny and antiquated in comparison to more contemporary 16-inch 16:10 screens.

With a weight of 5.4 pounds, the LOQ 15 is about one full pound more than the MSI Cyborg 15, which weighs 4.5 pounds. The 16-inch, 16:10 screens of the Acer Nitro 16 and Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 weigh 5.7 pounds apiece. For the bigger screen, I would gladly take on a couple more ounces of carrying weight.

Although I still wish the keys provided a more tactile feel when mash-typing while gaming, the keyboard has 1.5mm of key travel, snappy feedback, and responsiveness. Rather than forcing me to make do with half-height arrow keys, Lenovo wisely made use of the spacious chassis by including four full-size arrow keys.

The touchpad’s size is restricted as it is pushed down somewhat on the wristrest by the four arrow buttons. But it’s large enough to work its way around the 15.6-inch screen, and it has a matte texture that makes it glide smoothly and has a solid click reaction.

A 15.6-inch IPS panel with a respectable refresh rate of 144 Hz and a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 serves as the foundation for the LOQ 15. That’s also what the MSI Cyborg 15 offers, but the screen on the LOQ 15 is noticeably brighter and has more vivid colors. The MSI barely reached 266 nits, but the peak brightness registered 343 nits, perfectly by its 350-nit rating.

However, the LOQ 15’s measurement of just 68% of the sRGB color gamut is rather inadequate, particularly for gaming. In general, the more recent 16-inch displays are superior. For instance, the Predator Helios Neo 16 at 442 nits and the Nitro 16 at 424 nits, Acer’s two low-cost gaming options, are 100% sRGB gamut compliant and brighter.

(We use the hardware and software of a SpyderX Elite colorimeter to evaluate displays on common laptops.)

The LOQ 15 does come with a 1080p webcam, which takes better pictures than the 720p webcams that are still present on some competitors’ devices. On the other hand, the speakers are just economical. The two-watt stereo speakers emitted a weak, tinny sound with no bass.

There are no high-speed USB ports. The single USB Type-C port is limited to USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 with a 10Gbps transmission rate. That is a small portion of the 40Gbps that USB 4 or Thunderbolt 4 would provide. The majority of the connectors are found on the rear panel, which also has an Ethernet port, an HDMI 2.1 connection, and two USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports.

There is a headphone jack and a USB-A 2.0 connector on the right side for connecting a mouse. To safeguard your privacy when the webcam is not in use, there is also a shutter switch.

The Lenovo LOQ 15, one of the least expensive options for an RTX 4050 gaming laptop, makes sense when its price drops to $700 thanks to its unimaginative design and competitive performance. Nevertheless, the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 or Nitro 16 provide more responsive designs, bigger screens, and better performance; also, you can usually find both models at a discount. When it’s discounted to less than $1,000, any Acer is a better deal.

You may find a more thorough explanation of each benchmark and its application on our How We Test Computers page.

Geekbench 6 (multicore)

HP Victus Gaming Laptop 1613,501
Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 PHN16-7113,312
MSI Cyborg 15 A13VE11,871
Acer Nitro 16 AN16-41-R3ZV10,642
Lenovo LOQ 15APH88,212

PCMark 10 Pro Edition

Acer Nitro 16 AN16-41-R3ZV7,660
Lenovo LOQ 15APH87,441
HP Victus Gaming Laptop 167,038
Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 PHN16-716,600
MSI Cyborg 15 A13VE6,541

Cinebench R23 (multicore)

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 PHN16-7118,853
HP Victus Gaming Laptop 1618,697
Lenovo LOQ 15APH815,146
MSI Cyborg 15 A13VE13,673
Acer Nitro 16 AN16-41-R3ZV12,863

3DMark Wild Life Extreme Unlimited

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 PHN16-7116,855
Acer Nitro 16 AN16-41-R3ZV16,275
HP Victus Gaming Laptop 1615,836
Lenovo LOQ 15APH814,506
MSI Cyborg 15 A13VE11,815

3DMark Fire Strike Ultra

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 PHN16-714,802
Acer Nitro 16 AN16-41-R3ZV4,541
Lenovo LOQ 15APH84,534
HP Victus Gaming Laptop 164,268
MSI Cyborg 15 A13VE3,687

Guardians of the Galaxy (High @ 1920 x 1080)

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 PHN16-71165
HP Victus Gaming Laptop 16141
Acer Nitro 16 AN16-41-R3ZV128
MSI Cyborg 15 A13VE100
Lenovo LOQ 15APH890

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Highest @ 1920 x 1080)

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 PHN16-71136
Acer Nitro 16 AN16-41-R3ZV126
Lenovo LOQ 15APH8116
HP Victus Gaming Laptop 16107
MSI Cyborg 15 A13VE75

The Riftbreaker GPU (1920 x 1080)

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 PHN16-71218
HP Victus Gaming Laptop 16198
Lenovo LOQ 15APH8195
Acer Nitro 16 AN16-41-R3ZV194
MSI Cyborg 15 A13VE144

Online streaming battery drain test

Acer Nitro 16 AN16-41-R3ZV598
HP Victus Gaming Laptop 16577
Lenovo LOQ 15APH8485
Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 PHN16-71391
MSI Cyborg 15 A13VE310

System configurations

Lenovo LOQ 15APH8      Windows 11 Home; AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS; 8GB DDR5 5,600MHz RAM; Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 graphics @ 95W; 512GB SSD
HP Victus 16-r0097nr     Windows 11 Home; Intel Core i7-13700H; 16GB DDR5 5,200MHz RAM; Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 graphics @ 120W; 1TB SSD
Acer Nitro 16 AN16-41-R3ZV               Windows 11 Home; AMD Ryzen 5 7640HS; 16GB DDR5 5,600MHz RAM; Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 graphics @ 140W; 512GB SSD
Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 PHN16-71           Windows 11 Home; Intel Core i5-13500HX; 16GB DDR5 4,800MHz RAM; Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 graphics @ 140W; 512GB SSD
MSI Cyborg 15 A13VE    Windows 11 Home; Intel Core i7-13620H; 16GB DDR5 5,200MHz RAM; Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 graphics @ 45W; 512GB SSD

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