At just $850, this is the best budget RTX 4050 gaming laptop I've seen in a very long time

An image of a Lenovo LOQ 15APH9 gaming laptop against a teal background with a white border
(Image credit: Lenovo)
Lenovo LOQ 15AHP9 | RTX 4050 | Ryzen 5 8645HS | 15.6-inch | 1080p | 144 Hz | IPS | 16 GB DDR5-5600 | 512 GB SSD | $1,149.99 $849.99 at Lenovo (save $300)

Lenovo LOQ 15AHP9 | RTX 4050 | Ryzen 5 8645HS | 15.6-inch | 1080p | 144 Hz | IPS | 16 GB DDR5-5600 | 512 GB SSD | $1,149.99 $849.99 at Lenovo (save $300)
That Ryzen CPU and RTX 4050 GPU are the perfect combination for 1080p gaming. Together, they offer far more performance than the low price suggests it should have.

Price check: Amazon $899.99

This is a newer generation of the Lenovo LOQ 15APH8 we reviewed last November, a laptop that boasted some pretty decent gaming chops but was spoilt by only having 8 GB of RAM in a $1,000 laptop, amongst other things. But wait, what's this? A newer Ryzen processor, an RTX 4050 with a higher power limit, and 16 GB of DDR5-5600—all for less than $850? That's an absolute steal, no matter how you look at it.

Let's start with the AMD chip, the Ryzen 5 8645HS. It's an all-in-one APU, sporting six Zen 4 cores, 12 threads, and a boost clock of 5 GHz. Stuffed inside the die is 16 MB of L3 cache and a Radeon 760M integrated GPU with 512 RDNA 3 shaders.

The CPU side of things is fine for gaming, though less so for heavy content creation, and don't worry about the iGPU, as you'll be using the discrete RTX 4050 chip anyway. With a 105 W TGP limit, it'll run better than the 95 W version we tested in the 15APH8 model, and that gave lower-powered RTX 4060 chips a good run for the money—in fact, in most tests, it was faster.

Sure, you won't be able to engage ray tracing in every game or use maximum quality settings, but for normal 1080p gaming, this little RTX 4050 is an absolute trooper. Throw in some DLSS 3.5 AI-powered upscaling and frame generation, and you'll have all the performance you could possibly want in a laptop this cheap.

It wasn't that long ago when sub-$900 laptops only came with 8 GB of slow RAM, but here you're getting 16 GB worth of speedy DDR5-5600. However, there's still only one DIMM installed and Ryzen chips really need a dual-channel kit to properly shine. Fortunately, dual 8 GB kits are very cheap right now, so you'll be able to easily swap the single DIMM for two matched sticks.

Something else you'll probably want to do, sooner rather than later, is add in another SSD. That 512 GB drive will be okay for the operating system but it'll fill up in no time with games. The Lenovo LOQ 15APH9 has two M.2 2280 slots, though the one it comes with is 2242 in size. Add a fast 2 TB gaming SSD and you'll have oodles of storage.

The main area where you'll notice Lenovo's cuts to keep the price down is the screen. On paper, 15.6 inches of 1080p IPS running at 144 Hz sounds perfectly fine but if it's anything like the 15APH8 we tested, it'll be lifeless and dull. There's an HDMI 2.1 port at the rear of the laptop, so if the cheap panel gets frustrating, at least you can attach a decent gaming monitor.

At its full price, I wouldn't really recommend the Lenovo LOQ 15APH9, but at a cent shy of $850, it's a veritable bargain. The CPU and GPU combination are perfect for 1080p gaming, which is exactly what you'd want from a budget gaming laptop.

Nick Evanson
Hardware Writer

Nick, gaming, and computers all first met in 1981, with the love affair starting on a Sinclair ZX81 in kit form and a book on ZX Basic. He ended up becoming a physics and IT teacher, but by the late 1990s decided it was time to cut his teeth writing for a long defunct UK tech site. He went on to do the same at Madonion, helping to write the help files for 3DMark and PCMark. After a short stint working at, Nick joined Futuremark (MadOnion rebranded) full-time, as editor-in-chief for its gaming and hardware section, YouGamers. After the site shutdown, he became an engineering and computing lecturer for many years, but missed the writing bug. Cue four years at and over 100 long articles on anything and everything. He freely admits to being far too obsessed with GPUs and open world grindy RPGs, but who isn't these days?