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Lenovo LOQ Gen 9 (Intel Graphics)

This gaming laptop is ideal for those either on a budget or looking to get their foot in the door of PC gaming.

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I've voiced my criticisms with the PC gaming space many times before. While it is undoubtedly the best platform to play on with the widest, most varied array of content and ways to experience gameplay, it's also the most challenging to get into in a financial sense, by a considerable margin. Even the latest consoles are a fraction of the price of a decent PC unit, and when you add various other costs such as mice, keyboards, even additional factors like headsets and monitors, PC gaming can become a very pricey hobby. But there are some ways to get your foot in the door.

One such method comes in the form of gaming laptops with accessible components built-in. The Lenovo LOQ Gen 9 is one such example of this, as this is a relatively accessibly-priced device that can do all the typical things you require of a laptop, while even featuring a Intel Arc A530M graphics card that enables basic gaming. And basic is a key word to pay attention to here, because this isn't a monster of a laptop running the latest variant of an RTX 4090, meaning you won't get 2K/4K graphics running at a smooth frame rate here, especially for the latest and most demanding games, but that doesn't mean it doesn't do its job as a gaming system.

Lenovo LOQ Gen 9 (Intel Graphics)

On top of that graphics card, this laptop features a 12th Gen Intel i5-12450HX CPU clocked at 2400MHz, as well as 8GB of DDR5 RAM clocked at 4800MHz. For regular laptop activities, such as word processing, browsing the internet, streaming movies, all the usual stuff, these components allow the LOQ to work like a charm. You won't have any complaints with the speed or the responsiveness of the device while working away on it, and thanks to the 144Hz FHD display, you also get good visuals to help you on your way.

The main point of criticism is the weight of this laptop. It's heavy and quite big and you notice this the second you first pick it up. For a gadget with such a basic array of components, you would hope that its size and scale would be more balanced but that's not the case here. You might think that the weight comes from an enormous battery, but it only tops out at 60Wh, which is fine but nothing particularly special.

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This laptop also faces a few of the typical trappings that we see from more reasonably priced systems. The bezel around the display is enormous and it feels like there's a large amount of wasted space around the screen. While the keyboard and trackpad don't have the same issue and properly fill the chassis, the range of ports feel a bit dated, with three USB-A ports, one USB-C, one HDMI, and one audio jack.

The main area where this laptop looks to stand out is how it has used artificial intelligence to manage tasks more efficiently. Lenovo's AI Engine+ is present and using the LA1 AI chip found within, you can use AI systems to adjust how resources are spent. For example, you can have more power distributed to the GPU to tackle demanding games, or instead to the CPU if you're bogged down with programmes and software for work. You can adjust this spread of resources yourself or let the computer do it instead, and it's definitely a great idea that is probably a couple of years out from being a complete necessity in all laptops regardless of price.

Lenovo LOQ Gen 9 (Intel Graphics)Lenovo LOQ Gen 9 (Intel Graphics)

It should also be noted that while this laptop does feature Nahimic 3D Audio, it's only really noticed when you're using the device for less demanding tasks, else otherwise the fan noise as the laptop battles to stay cool will overpower any audio you have pumping out of the built-in speakers. Still, for movies and TV shows as an example, the speakers are fantastic.

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It's usually around now that I drop a bunch of data relating to how this laptop performs in use, but I'm going to skip that this time due to the fact that this laptop isn't a powerhouse like we've tested in the past. If you're playing games in 1080p, you'll see gameplay and frames-per-second values anywhere between 25 to above 60 depending on the game you choose. I found certain games, usually less strenuous ones like Dave the Diver or Cuphead to run quite well and smoothly, but more demanding games such as Ghostrunner II or Remnant II were near unplayable at times with abysmal frame rates, even at the lowest of graphical settings. And Ray-Tracing just makes matters much, much worse.

But this is the thing, you can't expect this device to manage the latest and most demanding games in the same way that a £4000 laptop would. The Lenovo LOQ Gen 9 comes in at around £830, and while that's still expensive, compared to other gaming laptops it's a very accessible price. Considering this is a system that can do all the things a regular laptop can do and then also seamlessly adjust and tackle gaming too, it's a very good choice as an entry level system. But if you have more money to play around with, there are much better, pricier options from Lenovo and its competitors.

06 Gamereactor UK
6 / 10
overall score
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