The Lenovo LOQ 16 has a lot to offer the casual gamer. The build quality is rock-solid and the screen is both fast and comfortable to use. That said, it’s not without its flaws.
Price When Reviewed
Best Prices Today: Lenovo LOQ 16APH8
LOQ is a new brand from Lenovo, which was introduced in the spring. LOQ, pronounced “lock”, is primarily intended as a cheaper alternative for gaming than Lenovo’s Legion computers, in the same way that, for example, the Asus TUF series of products stands as an affordable alternative to Asus ROG.
Are they a good buy and do you get the right gaming features and other good laptop qualities for the money? To find out, I took one of them in for testing. This 16-inch laptop combines a fresh AMD Ryzen 5 processor with Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 graphics and a fast screen in a solid build. While it offers good performance, it’s a heavy machine with noisy fans and moderate battery life. Read on to learn more.
Looking for more options? Check out PCWorld’s roundup of the best laptops available right now.
Note: Prior to translation, this review originally called out the Lenovo LOQ’s high price tag. However, for our US-based readers, we found a more affordable configuration ($1,014.99) with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU, an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU, and 1TB of SSD storage.
Lenovo LOQ 16: Design, keyboard
The Lenovo LOQ is a solidly built laptop with an outer shell in dark grey or black plastic. It is anything but thin and light, 2.6 cm thick and weighing 2.6 kg. Its angular design can make it uncomfortable to carry around too much, but put it on a desk and you’ll have a comfortable and practical laptop to work and play on. The screen surface is raised by a couple of centimeters, which is always appreciated, even if it increases the overall size of the computer.
Some surfaces are smooth like the screen lid and the inside around the keyboard and others are rougher like the underside, the frame around the screen, and a protruding back cover. LOQ laptops also feature turquoise accent color in large, rough heatsinks facing straight backwards. A slightly quirky design choice, but one I don’t hate. There are no LEDs in the chassis and the only RGB light in the computer is in the keyboard, which has four zones that can be individually color controlled.
The keyboard is superbly well-built and provides instant click response unless you prefer a higher keystroke height, which is quite a slim profile. The mouse pad underneath is highly conventional and small, but with a comfortable touch and good precision. You’ll probably connect a regular mouse anyway if you play games.
In the center at the back, you’ll find most of the computer’s external connections: dual USB-A, HDMI, network port, and a proprietary power adapter port. You can also charge the battery via a USB-C port on the side, but you’ll have to buy an adapter for that. Finally, there’s an extra USB-A on the opposite side. It’s an approved set-up, but I would have liked to see an extra USB-C. I connected wirelessly with Wi-Fi 6 with excellent reception and bandwidth.
Lenovo LOQ 16: Mixing AMD and Nvidia
The processor in the Lenovo LOQ is an AMD Ryzen 5 7640HS. With six high-clocked cores and Zen4 architecture, this computer provides lively performance for everything from gaming to creative work and heavy productivity. However, it’s only six cores, a little underpowered these days in a performance processor. Doing several demanding things at the same time like playing a challenging game, recording your gameplay as video, and running a live stream and chat on a separate screen can be a challenge. But like I said, LOQ is supposed to be for beginner gamers, so they may be content to watch others stream or just play games.
For that, you also get a separate graphics card, but not an AMD Radeon, as you might think with an AMD Ryzen computer, but an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060. The Ryzen processor has no problem interacting with it and the result is certainly not bad. As long as you don’t challenge the computer with ultra settings and brutal ray tracing in the heaviest game titles, you’ll get good fluidity and a nice picture in most situations.
At least as good as the screen allows. This is an IPS panel with a 1920×1200 pixel resolution and a pleasantly matt surface that eliminates most reflections. But colors are noticeably mediocre, coming in at about half the srgb standard, which means a lot of saturation and intensity in colors are lost. With brightness at a middling 350 cd/m2 and no HDR support, it’s neither colorful nor dynamic.
Lenovo LOQ 16: More fast than pretty
The Lenovo LOQ’s display has high contrast, at least for an IPS. You get fast response times and the screen can run at up to 144 Hz frequency. G-sync support is also one of its advantages. It’s simply a good screen for fast-paced games, but not as successful for fancy ones. By default, the computer is set to 144Hz, but there’s also a 72Hz mode you can select to save power or one that automatically switches between 72Hz and 144Hz. I run almost exclusively in that mode with no problems whatsoever.
The computer’s built-in speakers deliver powerful, detailed, high-quality sound, thanks in part to Nahimic’s audio software. At moderate levels, I get a good balance of bass, midrange, and treble, but if I push the volume up, the treble can get annoyingly sharp.
A 1080p webcam sits above the screen and produces images that are sharp, but also very pale in color, with some noise in dark areas. If you’re keen to look good in a video meeting, it might be worth plugging in an external camera. You also get a good built-in microphone that captures your voice without problems.
Lenovo LOQ 16: From quiet to heavy cooling
The Lenovo LOQ’d fans run from time to time during normal everyday surfing. There’s a mild hiss in the background, but it doesn’t take a big processing load for them to warm up considerably. There may be some noise that needs to be filtered out by the microphone or drowned out by the speakers. But for the most part, they can handle it.
A beefy laptop with a powerful processor and graphics usually doesn’t have good battery life, and I wouldn’t call it good in LOQ 16, either. If you work on less demanding stuff, dim the screen brightness, and run the frame rate at 72 Hz or in dynamic mode, you can work and surf on it for six to seven hours. I was hoping for a better result.
Bringing the laptop with the heavy power adapter to the office is a bit of a chore, too. There are similar computers that have done a better job.
Lenovo LOQ 16: No bloatware, but lots of other stuff
You get a small collection of extra programs pre-installed on your computer. Besides control software for GeForce, AMD, and Nahimic, there are three programs in particular that you need to keep an eye on. Firstly, Lenovo Vantage, which collects some extra settings that are not in the Windows settings menu. Things like fan modes, temperature monitoring, keyboard macros, network prioritization, and support and maintenance features. An annoying detail here is that it has some premium maintenance and security features that the program wants you to buy for between $350 and $550 per year.
Secondly, Legion Arena, a menu that brings together installed games from different digital stores in a central and convenient menu. But that’s all the program does. Finally, McAfee LiveSafe comes with a 30-day trial, so remember to either uninstall it or get a full subscription.
Lenovo LOQ 16: Is it worth it?
The Lenovo LOQ 16 is a good option for most gamers. It’s well-built and the processor, graphics, and screen work well together for a good gaming experience as well as a good overall experience in between gaming sessions. That said, fan noise is loud under heavier loads and battery life is sub-par, but that’s not surprising as gaming laptops aren’t known for having great battery life. If you can live with those compromises, then this is a good option for casual gamers.
Lenovo LOQ 16: Specifications
Product name: Lenovo LOQ 16APH8 (82XU004VMX) Tested: December 2023 Manufacturer: Lenovo Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 7640HS, 6 cores up to 5 GHz Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060, 8 GB Memory: 16GB ddr5 Storage: 512GB SSD Displays: 16 inch matte IPS, 1920×1200 pixels, 144 Hz Webcam: 1080p Connections: Usb 3 gen 2 type c with DisplayPort, 2 pcs USB 3 gen 2 type a, USB-a 2.0, gigabit ethernet lan, hdmi, headset Wireless: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 Operating system: Windows 11 Home Other: RGB keyboard Noise level: 0 – 41 dBa Battery life: 1 hour 35 minutes (high load, full brightness), approx. 7 hours 20 minutes (low load, low brightness) Size: 36 x 27.8 x 2.6 cm Weight: 5.73 pounds Recommended price: $1,014.99
Lenovo LOQ 16: Performance
Cinebench R23, CPU: 13,232 points CinebenchR23, CPU single core: 1,725 points Geekbench 6, CPU multi-core: 10,544 points Geekbench 6, CPU single core: 2,508 points Geekbench 6, GPU: 94,569 points 3dmark Fire Strike (DirectX 11): 23,884 points 3dmark Time Spy (DirectX 12): 10,258 points 3dmark Port Royal (Ray Tracing): 5,944 points Disc, read: up to 4,331.29 MB/s Disc, write: up to 1,834.95 MB/s
This article was translated from Swedish to English and originally appeared on pcforalla.se.