Lenovo's new budget laptops are affordable options for lightweight gaming

It looks like Lenovo is getting a jump on the back-to-school shopping season with a handful of new models that students and budget buyers in general might find attractive. None of the new laptops are particularly potent from a gaming standpoint, but they're relatively cheap, and come with discrete graphics options.

The new models are broken down into Lenovo's refreshed IdeaPad 330, 330S, and 530S product families, all of which come in different size options. Pricing starts at just $250, albeit for a rather tame configuration with an Intel Celeron N400 dual-core processor with integrated graphics. That's not going to deliver much gaming performance, though higher end configurations sport up to an Intel 8th generation Core i7-8750H alongside an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU.

Here's how the starting prices shake out for each new model:

  • Lenovo IdeaPad 330 14-inch: $350
  • Lenovo IdeaPad 330 15.6-inch: $250
  • Lenovo IdeaPad 330 17.3-inch: $500
  • Lenovo IdeaPad 330S 14-inch: $500
  • Lenovo IdeaPad 330S 15.6-inch: $450
  • Lenovo IdeaPad 530S 14-inch: $800
  • Lenovo IdeaPad 530S 15.6-inch: $850

Screen resolutions vary by model. The IdeaPad 330, for example, checks in at 1366x768 for the 14-inch model, 1600x900 for the 15.6-inch option, and 1920x1080 for the 17.3-inch SKUs. On the IdeaPad 530S, Lenovo kicks things up a notch with a 2560x1440 screen res option.

Celeron, Pentium, and Core processor options are available on the IdeaPad 330 as well. Buyers can also opt for up to 16GB of memory, a 16GB Intel Optane Memory stick, up to a 256GB SSD, and up to a 2TB HDD. For graphics, the 14-inch model comes with integrated and GeForce MX130 GPU options, whereas the 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch models up the ante with GeForcxe MX150 and GeForce GTX 1050 discrete GPUs.

The two available IdeaPad 330S models offer similar specs, but with a few less configuration options. Both have 1080p displays powered by a 7th or 8th generation Core i7 CPU, or a Pentium Silver processor, and up to a GeForce GTX 1050. It can also be outfitted with up to 12GB of RAM, Intel Optane Memory, and up to a 256GB SSD (SATA or PCIe) and 2TB HDD.

Finally, the IdeaPad 530S available in 14-inch and 15.6-inch sizes is the only one with a 2560x1440 display (optional upgrade over 1920x1080). Unfortunately, it doesn't appear users can configure one with a GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, with Lenovo only offering GeForce MX130 and MX150 GPUs on the 530s.

All of the new models will be available next month. In the meantime, some of them are available to preorder on B&H Photo.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).