Lenovo IdeaPad 3 review: getting a lot of performance on a budget

lenovo ideapad 3

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is an affordable laptop. It’s great for continually performing basic tasks, however, it’s typically not as powerful as a high-end model. What you should take away from this Lenovo IdeaPad 3 review is that it’s one of the best laptops on the market right now, but it is not because of its great features or its powerful performance – it’s because it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Lenovo has recently come out with a lot of new and powerful laptops. If you’re looking for the cheapest laptop possible, or are just using it for school and basic browsing, then the IdeaPad 3 might be worth looking into. We break down all our benchmarks in our full Lenovo IdeaPad 3 review.


  • + Robust, durable build
  • + Comfortable typing experience
  • + Affordable price


  • – Screen could be brighter
  • – Average battery life
  • – Low-powered components

Design and Build

The IdeaPad 3 includes a 14-inch display running at 1920×1080 pixels, and it is an impressive screen with the brightness and sharpness we’ve come to expect from Lenovo. The viewable display is on average, and there is no maximum brightness available like with some more expensive laptops. The thick bezels around this laptop make it cheaper though, so that makes up for the lack of features that you may not find important.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 has great display technology. If you’re working on your computer, watching movies from your favorite video streaming platform, or writing up an essay, this is the laptop for you. It doesn’t have touchscreen capability, but it was only $99. It has a 16:9 aspect ratio, which isn’t as good for documents and webpages as 16:10 would be, but it works well for video content, as we found from binge-watching YouTube videos.

Lenovo is an established laptop brand that holds a strong legacy of quality. The build quality and reassuring feel of the IdeaPad 3 reflects this. The outer casing is made of durable plastic, which could give the impression that this is a durable laptop. The screen hinge feels strong and you get the sense that it’s not going to snap in half even if your children manage to get their hands on it.

Keyboard and Trackpad

It’s important to note the typing experience on the Lenovo IdeaPad 3. It doesn’t have a full-size keyboard and number pad, but otherwise, it’s very good: The key presses are soft but feel substantial, there is ample space between keys and you can access shortcuts using the function keys at the top (volume, brightness) and so on. Most people will be fine without keyboard backlighting. The trackpad isn’t large, but it feels good and is responsive.

lenovo ideapad

The laptop comes with 3 USB-A ports, an HDMI-out port for an external monitor, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and an SD card slot to allow users to use all types of attachments from peripherals to flash drives and other devices. In terms of its aesthetic and build, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 looks like what it is: a budget laptop. But in reality, the computer weighs only 1.6 kilos (that’s 3.5 pounds), making it easy to carry everywhere.

This laptop is surrounded by lots of features without compromising its mobility. It has enough screens to keep you entertained, but it’s more affordable than the more advanced laptops that people tend to overlook.


The privacy shield on the camera just above the monitor gives you a little extra peace of mind during video chatting, once your work for the day is over. The modesty shield on the webcam is a nice feature. We think it really helps with that feeling of privacy and peace of mind once you are done with your video call.


This IdeaPad 3 came with a 10th-gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor, which was enough for doing some everyday tasks. The integrated Intel UHD Graphics G1 setup provides everything you need to do while on the go. Whether you are gaming or editing videos and photos, it can handle it all.

Windows 10 demands a high-performance processing unit with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of memory, but you can survive on lower hardware if you’re willing to compromise. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 has a fair amount of processing power for browsing the internet, emailing, and even playing media.

If you try to overload it with a lot of browser tabs or open applications, you might run into problems, however. Lenovo’s IdeaPad 3 computers are quiet laptops with active fans. They spin up when put under pressure, but they don’t sound too loud while they’re running.

Some computer comes with Windows 10 S Mode. You can switch to Windows 10 proper for free in a minute, but you do lose some benefits because of the performance and security features of Windows 10 S Mode.

The IdeaPad 3 ran applications and websites smoothly and well. The integrated Dolby audio system isn’t going to win any awards anytime soon, but it’s better than you might expect for a laptop at this price and it’s more than adequate for some quick bursts of music or for the dialog and audio accompanying movies and TV shows. As a media player, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 was nothing short of perfect.

With standard, undemanding use, the battery is typically able to last from 3-4 hours. The screen can have its brightness turned up full blast for more time before needing a charge. This laptop is a great buy considering how many hours of battery life you get out of it. You can use it on your daily commute or go on long video calls with friends, but if you’re looking for more power, there are other laptops that will cost more.

The battery capacity of this computer is around 8 hours. Video playback depletes the battery capacity, so if you want to use an uninterrupted 2 hours of video with the screen on maximum brightness, it will last 8 hours. It’s great to have a diverse range of videos so that you never have to be bored.

Final Thoughts

Lenovo’s IdeaPad 3 is underwhelming when compared to other laptops of the same price range, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good buy.

Lenovo’s Lenovo IdeaPad 3 laptop is a great machine. It scored highly in terms of overall usability, the typing experience, the connectivity options you get, and the Intel Core processor fitted inside. But it has to be taken into account that it doesn’t have a powerful display and is not quite as speedy as its competitors.

If you are looking for a laptop for under £500 then this is worth considering.

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