Lenovo's 2022 Laptops Give AMD A Rare Gaming Win

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Less than one week after Lenovo announced the 2022 lineup for its new Lenovo Slim 9i laptops on May 5, 2022, the computer manufacturer has come up with yet another wave of announcements, this time placing gamers directly in the crosshairs. As of May 10, 2022, Lenovo has spilled the beans on the 2022 editions of its Lenovo Legion 7, Legion 7i, Legion Slim 7, and Legion Slim 7i laptops. Granted, this year's improvements are iterative, keeping the same relative price ranges and bumping tech specs up a notch from the 2021 models — which only makes Lenovo Legion laptops better at high-end PC gaming in 2022, and that's not a bad thing.

There is a notable price difference this year, however, and it's most likely due to the ongoing electronics chip shortages happening worldwide. In a twist, the Slim versions of Lenovo's new Legion 7 and 7i are more expensive than the 2021 models by a margin of around $300, moving the starting price point up to around $1,500 from $1,200. It's unlikely you'll find a 2022 Lenovo Legion model below the aforementioned $1,500 MSRP. In stark contrast to the Slim models, the regular Legion 7 models begin at $2,059 and the Legion 7i models open at $2,449. According to Lenovo, both 7i models should become available to purchase in May, and both regular 7 models will become available in June. Those looking for a less expensive gaming laptop might instead find more traction with Lenovo's Legion 5 series.

Lenovo Legion 7 and 7i improvements for 2022

At first glance, Lenovo isn't reinventing the wheel, but it is introducing a few meaningful bumps to performance and cooling. In a press release from May 10, 2022, Lenovo claims that the new thermal system is 29% larger, featuring liquid crystal polymer fans that can now spin 100rpm faster. These things might not seem like that big of a deal, but two of the biggest problems faced by laptop gamers are inefficient cooling and decreased power output, both of which render expensive components less useful than their desktop counterparts.

Hand-in-hand with improvements to chassis cooling, Lenovo promises a 99.99Whr battery, which it calls the "world's largest battery." Each of the new laptops have a modern Intel or AMD CPU; the 7i models can be equipped with powerful 12th-gen Intel i7 or i9 processors, whereas the regular 7 models come loaded with 6th-gen Ryzen 6000 processors that are powered by Zen3+. For the price-to-performance granted by Lenovo's improvements to thermodynamics, the latter could be a sweet spot for laptop gaming. Graphics have also received a relative boost, and this year's Legion 7i models can be equipped with an NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU with up to 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM. It's worth noting that regular 7 and 7 Slim models (not 7i) use equivalent AMD Radeon GPUs instead of NVIDIA RTX, but those are still quite powerful. Each laptop in the 2022 Legion 7 lineup uses a 2560x1600 display, hanging slightly above 2K resolution.