If you're shopping for a gaming laptop, you'll find good specs such as Intel's powerful 10th Gen six-core i7 H-series processor, a fast PCIe-based SSD, and a 120Hz refresh rate display in several of the currently available premium, high-end models. But you'll also find all of that in Lenovo 's new IdeaPad Gaming 3, a machine that even at its most expensive configuration costs a bit less than $1,000.

This budget-friendly laptop can run most modern games at a playable frame rate, and if you're looking for something useful to get the work done on it has a decent port selection, a responsive Windows Precision trackpad, and a full-size backlit keyboard with satisfying key travel.

What is the catch, then? Unfortunately in the graphics department, this model suffers, perhaps the most important aspect of a gaming-designed laptop. I reviewed the $989 top-end setup featuring Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1650 4 GB graphics. This is a particularly disappointing oversight, partly because it's the bottleneck of this experience when it comes to gaming, and also because at this price point there are other gaming laptops that use the Nvidia superior GTX 1660 Ti or RTX 2060 or the AMD RX 5600M.

Despite this, as long as I'm willing to turn down the eye candy to keep 60fps at 1080p, it can run everything I want to play at a playable frame rate at now. That includes Persona 4 Golden, Risk of Rain 2, more demanding games like Control, Hunt: Showdown, and the Tetris Effect charged with particles.