When it comes to gaming laptops, Lenovo’s Legion series has always been one of my favorites. From great performance to solid build quality and everything else, Legion laptops essentially check all the boxes I look for on a dependable gaming machine. So when Lenovo announced the LOQ 15 budget gaming laptop that inherits a bunch of characters from its Legion sibling, I knew I had to review it.
Available in both Intel and AMD-flavored chips, this thing starts at just INR 74,000 in India or some USD 700 in the US. Whereas my specced-out unit with AMD’s Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU and RTX 4060 graphics fetches around INR 110,000, USD 1,000, or NPR 185,000 here in Nepal. And for that price, the LOQ 15 makes a lot of sense if you can live with a few compromises.
Lenovo LOQ 15 Review (2023): Specifications
- Dimensions: 14.16 (W) x 10.43 (D) x 0.87 – 0.99 (H) inches, 2.4 kg
- Build Quality: PC-ABS material (top, bottom)
- Color Options: Storm Grey
- Display: 15.6-inch anti-glare IPS panel, 144Hz refresh rate, 45% NTSC, G-SYNC, MUX Switch, AMD FreeSync, Advanced Optimus
- Resolution: FHD (1920× 1080 pixels) resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio
- Keyboard: Full-size backlit keyboard (white)
- Trackpad: Multi-touch trackpad, Windows Precision drivers
- Security: TPM 2.0 chip
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU (Phoenix)
- 8C/16T, 5.1 GHz Max Turbo frequency, 16MB L3 Cache
- TSMC 4nm process, 35 – 54W TDP
- RAM: 16GB DDR5-5600 in dual-channel mode (up to 16GB)
- Storage: 512GB M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 SSD (1x M.2 2242 and 1x M.2 2280 slot)
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 (115W)
- 8GB GDDR6 VRAM, 2.37 GHz boost clock
- Audio: 2x 2W speakers, Nahimic Gaming Audio
- Battery: 60 Watt-hours Li-Po battery
- Power Supply: 230W Smart AC power adapter
- Webcam: FHD (1080p) camera, E-shutter, Array microphones
- Connectivity: WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
- I/O Ports: 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C (DisplayPort 1.4 support), 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x RJ45 (LAN), 1x mic / headphone combo jack, 1x power connector
- Price in Nepal: NPR 185,000 (Ryzen 7 7840HS, RTX 4060, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD)
- What’s inside the box: Laptop, power adapter, quick start guide
Lenovo LOQ 15 Review (2023):
Design and Build
- 14.16 (W) x 10.43 (D) x 0.87 – 0.99 (H) inches, 2.4 kg
- PC-ABS material (top, bottom)
Okay, in order to meet that price point, Lenovo obviously had to cut some corners right? And one of the easiest ways laptop makers do this is in terms of the build quality… which is exactly what’s going on with the LOQ 15 as well.
This is an all-plastic gaming machine, although that might be okay with most people seeing how it’s fairly well-built and all.
It’s definitely gonna flex a little if you apply some serious pressure but that hasn’t really been a problem ever since I started daily driving this thing. If you care about a more premium build quality then Lenovo also sells the Legion Slim 5 (Gen 8) which has an aluminum lid — among other upgrades — but that thing is like 20% more expensive so this is a compromise I can get behind.
And how can I not talk about its lovely understated, minimalist design? The LOQ 15 is a gaming laptop alright, but it can easily pass as an everyday notebook to take to your school or workplace without turning any heads. Of course, it’s not as lightweight as a typical notebook but you get the idea. And except for a couple of brandings here and there, Lenovo has also mostly kept the LOQ 15 nice and clean. I love it!
A bit boring but I can get behind it
Then again, I wish it was also available in a few more colorways instead of just this (almost boring) grey finish. The aqua blue touch-up in the exhaust vent does add some much-needed personality to the laptop but that’s about it. And maybe Lenovo could’ve gone with a 180-degree hinge too. That would’ve been nice to see.
The port selection on the LOQ 15 is pretty decent though. I like how most of them are located around the back for a clean setup, which includes a couple of USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, a full-sized HDMI 2.1, and an RJ45 port next to the power connector.
Whereas on the left lies a 3.5mm headphone jack and a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port that also supports DisplayPort 1.4. And finally, the right side of the laptop features a rather slow USB 2.0 Type-A connection. I was expecting to see a USB4 port here too but that continues to be a no-show.
- 15.6″ anti-glare non-touch FHD IPS panel
- 144Hz refresh rate, 45% NTSC gamut
- G-SYNC, FreeSync, Advanced Optimus, MUX Switch
Just like the build quality, Lenovo has also saved a few bucks on the display side of things. There are a total of three screen options for the LOQ 15, out of which the most expensive one does look quite nice with a 100% sRGB color gamut, a 165Hz refresh rate, and a quad HD resolution.
But it seems that that configuration simply isn’t available in most markets. Instead, this 144Hz FHD model with 45% NTSC colors is what you’re gonna find in most regions.
And yes, this screen definitely isn’t the prettiest thing to look at. The colors don’t pop as much as I’d want to, and that same ol’ 16 by 9 aspect ratio with a chonky bottom bezel doesn’t exactly scream “modern” to me. So I think Lenovo should’ve just scrapped the 15-inch model and made the 16-inch version with a taller 16 by 10 aspect ratio the standard across the board. The LOQ 15’s viewing angle is just okay-ish as well, while I also noticed some backlight bleeding here.
Is it a dealbreaker though?
That being said, I’m sure none of this is an absolute dealbreaker to most folks.
I mean… yes, 100% sRGB gamut would’ve been nice to see instead but 65% isn’t the worst thing in the world either. And one of the main reasons why LOQ 15’s display isn’t a total lost cause is because of its standard 2.2 gamma response, which means things don’t look too bright or too dark here. It also gets plenty bright indoors, whereas its anti-glare coating means your gaming session isn’t gonna be bothered by the reflections from all the ambient light sources.
- Full-size keys with Numpad
- Single zone backlighting (white)
Moving on, Lenovo has pretty much nailed it with the keyboard on this thing. It’s quite similar to Lenovo’s “TrueStrike” keyboard found in the more premium Legion laptops with concave keys and whatnot. But its tactile feedback feels considerably softer than what I’m used to on my Legion 5. I can still maintain my usual typing speed on the LOQ 15 but that soft feedback definitely took some getting used to.
It’s also got n-key rollover so all your in-game shortcuts, macros will have no trouble registering. And hey, if a dedicated Numpad is something you need, there’s that too. The LOQ 15 is configurable with up to a 4-zone RGB backlit keyboard by the way, but I think this plain white backlighting complements the overall aesthetics of this laptop better.
- Plastic trackpad with integrated left/right keys
But unlike the keyboard, this plastic trackpad is nothing special. It’s not as spacious and because of its off-center placement, I also mistook the right key for the left one multiple times.
- 2x 2W speakers (downfiring)
- Nahimic Gaming Audio
And to no one’s surprise, this gaming laptop doesn’t impress with its audio quality either. It’s got the usual pair of downfiring speakers that sounds almost unnaturally mediocre. Although turning on Nahimic’s audio profile adds a lot of life to the overall sound somehow. I’m not sure if this is a reflection on Lenovo’s terrible tuning or Nahimic’s apparently godlike audio optimization, but I’m just glad it exists.
- FHD (1080p) camera
- Electronic privacy shutter
For video calls, you get a 1080p camera here whose quality is not that bad actually when you’re in favorable conditions. And even though it doesn’t have a physical shutter, there’s an electronic one that cuts off the connection to the camera with the flick of a switch.
- AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU (35 – 54W base power)
- NVIDIA RTX 4060 (115W, 8GB GDDR6 VRAM)
- 16GB DDR5 RAM, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Alright, let’s get into performance now. As I mentioned before, my unit of the Lenovo LOQ 15 has a Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU. Going to the Intel side of the fence gets you a Core i7-13620H processor but for the added cost, you won’t be getting much in return on the performance front since these two chips perform very similarly.
As for the GPU, the RTX 4060 inside the LOQ 15 gets 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM and 115W of TGP, while the overall system’s TDP is rated at 135W.
It’s not the most powerful 4060 mobile GPU you could find since there are ones rated up to 140W as well but that doesn’t really matter since (like we discussed in our Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 review) its performance doesn’t scale that well beyond 100W or so.
But while this gaming laptop doesn’t bring a soldered memory or anything, it can only accept up to 16GB of RAM. And you’re gonna have to upgrade to the Legion lineup if 16 gigs isn’t enough for what you do.
Slow Gen4 SSD somehow
For some reason, the 512GB PCIe Gen4 SSD is also performing wayyyyy slower than it should on my LOQ 15. Just look at these speed tests — which I ran multiple times — and you’ll see what I mean. I don’t know if this issue is isolated to my unit only but if you’re planning on buying this laptop, make sure to check the read/write speeds beforehand.
Okay, despite all this, I’m happy to report that this is a fantastic 1080p gaming machine. We recently updated our game library to include a couple of new, graphics-hungry AAA titles, and this guy delivered well-playable results in all of them.
Take Starfield for example. This massive — massive — open-world RPG is a bit difficult to benchmark since its performance can significantly vary depending on where you’re on in the game. So we aggregated bits of terrestrial and space-based gameplay to give you a rough idea of what you can expect from Starfield on this laptop.
And even at High settings, the LOQ 15 managed 46 fps on average with the 1% low sitting at a comfortable 30 fps. Impressive! And when bringing it down to Medium graphics, I was getting around 40% better results.
Heading to a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, the game was playable at High graphics with 57 fps on average when keeping ray tracing off. Or roughly 45 fps with RT on. But since it also supports DLSS 3 with frame generation, I tried turning it on as well and that effectively doubled average fps.
How about other titles?
Cyberpunk 2077 does take a toll on the LOQ 15 if you begin cranking up the settings, although this one also supports DLSS 3 so no problem there.
Whereas one of my favorite games, Control, ran at a smooth 56 fps average with both graphics and ray tracing set to High. Other than this, the Lenovo LOQ 15 didn’t break a sweat with titles like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, GTA V, Forza Horizon 5, and the good ol’ CS: GO at High to Ultra settings either.
What about thermals?
And for the most part, the LOQ 15’s thermals manage to keep up just fine too. It did climb up to 44°C in the middle of the keyboard deck after long gaming sessions — which is quite hot — but the WASD area mostly hovered around 40°C. I didn’t find the fan noise from its dual fans that unbearable even under full stress, but you’ll definitely want to put on a headphone if you want absolutely zero distraction when you’re gaming.
- 60 Watt-hour Li-Po battery
- 230W AC power adapter
The battery life on the Lenovo LOQ 15 is pretty much what you’d expect from a gaming laptop. With Advanced Optimus set to “Auto” and the power profile set to “Balanced”, its 60Wh battery lasted me like 3 – 4 hours under my regular office-y chores.
And to fill it up, you get a 230W power brick that can take this thing from 0 – 100% in roughly an hour and a half. Or if you have a compatible USB PD setup, its USB-C port can also accept up to 140W of power.
Lenovo LOQ 15 Review (2023): Conclusions
So wrapping up this Lenovo LOQ 15 review, it’s fair to say that it is one heck of a gaming laptop on a budget that gets a lot of things right. Especially since this combo of the latest Ryzen 7 7840HS and RTX 4060 processors — mixed with a smooth 144Hz G-SYNC ready display — is a great recipe for 1080p gaming. And seeing how most of the competition with a similar setup cost quite a bit more, the LOQ 15 stands out as a solid offering.
Having said that, there are a few turnoffs here that may or may not matter to you. Like its cheap plastic build, that so-so display, and a few other things. But I think these mild turnoffs are something you can live with just fine, considering everything the LOQ 15 offers for the price.
- Watch our video review of Lenovo LOQ 15 (2023)
Lenovo LOQ 15 Review (2023): Pros and Cons
- Great for 1080p gaming
- 144Hz display with G-SYNC
- Subtle design
- Nice keyboard with n-key rollover
- All-plastic build
- Display could’ve been better