Lenovo launches LOQ affordable gaming laptops because we’re all broke right now

Lenovo LOQ gaming laptops
(Image credit: Lenovo)

Lenovo expands its suite of gaming laptops today with a new line to serve the budget and new-to-gaming markets, and to be honest, it's perfect timing.

The Lenovo LOQ – pronounced “lock” – gaming laptops join Lenovo's gaming lineup that's dominated by over-$1,000/£1,000 builds to cater to budget gamers who need something capable without burning an RTX 4090-sized hole in their pockets. 

“With the launch of the new Lenovo LOQ brand," says Jun Ouyang, Lenovo's VP and general manager of the Consumer Business Segment, "we’re building a lineage of gaming excellence and PC offerings that are not just for the gaming community’s top players, but for new and future gamers alike.”

The LOQ gaming laptops will be available in both 16-inch and 15-inch display sizes and powered by 13th Gen Intel Core or AMD Ryzen 7000 chips and Nvidia RTX 4060 graphics, the desktop model of which is rumored to hit the streets in April 2023. Configurations for both sizes will come with up to 16GB 5,600MHz DDR5 RAM, and it'll be future-proofed with support for up to 32GB storage and up to a 1TB PCIe SSD.

While they're not exactly super cheap – a bit of a tall order if you want a gaming laptop that won't give you a migraine and sore eyes, gamers are actually getting new affordable options in the budget gaming laptop market, which is seriously underserved. The base configurations for both Intel and AMD models of the Lenovo LOQ 15 will start at $899.99, while the AMD model of the Lenovo LOQ 16 will start at a higher $959.99.

Economizing fans of budget gaming PC builds aren't left behind, as Lenovo is also releasing a line of Lenovo LOQ Towers, which will be powered by up to 13th Gen Intel Core i7-13700 CPUs and the latest RTX 4000 GPUs. These will have a modest price of entry as well, starting at $979.99.

Cheap not low-class

The Lenovo LOQ gaming laptops may be more accessible, budget-wise, but that doesn't mean they're low in features. 

The 15-inch version sport up to a WQHD 165Hz VRR display and a 60Whr rapid-charging battery with up to 6 hours per charge. The 16-incher, on the other hand, comes with up to a WQXGA 165Hz VRR display and an 80Whr rapid-charging battery with up to 7 hours of juice. 

Both feature a MUX switch, which should help reduce gaming latency and optimize battery life; Nvidia G-sync support; the Lenovo LA AI Chip that dynamically tunes wattage and thermal performance; and Lenovo's full-sized gaming keyboard with a 1.5mm key travel and optional 4-zone RGB backlighting.

Not many details have been shared about the Lenovo LOQ Tower, but we're told that it'll come in a spacious 17L chassis with 2D and 3D striped accents in the front, expandable memory of up to 32GB DDR4 RAM as well as expandable storage. We should, however, get more information as we inch closer to its expected release date of Q3 2023.

If you're excited to get your hands on the LOQ laptops, the good news is Lenovo will start rolling them out in April, starting with the Intel-powered LOQ 15-inch and followed by the AMD-powered LOQ 15-inch and the Intel-powered 16-inch in May. The Lenovo LOQ 16 with AMD Ryzen processor won't hit the shelves until June 2023.

Slimming down for gaming on the go

If you're looking for something more mobile rather than money-saving, Lenovo's got you covered as well with its new Lenovo Legion Slim gaming laptops. The Lenovo Legion Slim 7 already exist, but this year, the brand isn't just updating it but also adding a new model to the line – the Lenovo Slim 5. Both promise to offer portability with very little compromise to performance in an effort to serve gamers who want to play while traveling as well as nomadic content creators.

These pricier options feature many of the Lenovo LOQ's features and then some, such as a faster or higher resolution display, Lenovo Legion’s ColdFront 5.0 advanced thermal system, an SD card reader, and most notably, the new Legion TrueStrike full-sized keyboard with Legion Spectrum RGB lighting. To stay true to their portable nature, they also have USB-C charging capability.

They'll be fitted with more powerful Intel or AMD internals of up to a 13th Gen Intel Core i7 (or i9 in the Slim 7) or AMD Ryzen 9 chips and up to an Nvidia RTX 4070 graphics. 

These Lenovo Legion Slim laptops will start rolling out in April 2023, starting with the Intel-powered Slim 7 and Slim 5. However, as with most thin and light gaming laptops, they won't come cheap. The cheapest of them, the AMD-powered Slim 5, starts at $1,1999.99.

Michelle Rae Uy

Michelle Rae Uy is the former Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.