What you need to know
- CES 2023 is here, and it's kicking off the next generation of Windows PCs for gaming, productivity, creation, and everything else.
- Lenovo is one of the busier companies at CES, and announced a sweeping upgrade for its entire Legion and LOQ gaming lines.
- Lenovo Legion 5i and 7i are returning for Gen 9 with an attractive redesigned chassis and 14th Gen Intel internals.
- The rest of the Legion family is getting a spec bump to the latest Intel and AMD hardware, and LOQ laptops and desktops are getting refreshed.
The Consumer Electronics Show is back for another year in Las Vegas, congregating all the biggest names in tech in one place to reveal the next generation of mobile computing and gaming hardware. Lenovo always makes a big showing at CES, and that's no different this year. During the show, Lenovo revealed sweeping updates to its entire lineup of PC gaming hardware, including the return of two fan-favorite models and some sweet design refreshes.
For many, the Lenovo Legion updates will undoubtedly be the most exciting. Most of Lenovo's Gen 9 features minor spec bumps to Intel 14th Gen or AMD Ryzen 8000 CPUs, but two models mysteriously missing from the Gen 8 lineup are making a return. The more affordable Lenovo LOQ family is enjoying more major changes with a redesign across the board. Finally, Lenovo's pre-built gaming desktops are getting the same spec bumps as the laptops, ensuring Lenovo is at the forefront of powerful pre-built hardware.
Here's a rundown of everything you need to know.
Lenovo Legion laptops — Some redesigned, some bumped up
First up, we have Lenovo's mid-range and premium gaming laptops. To begin, the regular non-Pro Lenovo Legion 5i and Lenovo Legion 7i are officially back for Gen 9. The duo failed to make an appearance during Legion Gen 8 to make room for the new Pro variants, but Lenovo has redesigned the laptops with a new, slim and modern chassis available in multiple colors and the same roomy 16:10, 16-inch displays.
They're powered by Intel 14th Gen (up to a Core i9-14900HX) and NVIDIA GeForce (up to an RTX 4070), and aim to offer a more portable and affordable alternative to the Pro models, which are sticking around and being updated with the latest Intel hardware inside the same chassis design as before. I actually love the look of the new Legion 5i and Legion 7i, with the latter especially appearing quite svelte with simple flat edges and Lenovo's iconic protruding rear slimmed down significantly. You also still get Lenovo's custom AI chips, too (the LA3 in the 7i and the LA1 in the 5i, respectively), which may become increasingly important as Windows integrates new AI features over time.
Both the new Legion laptops will hopefully be improved by Lenovo's new Legion Coldfront: Hyper thermal management system, although it remains to be seen if this will actually translate to superior performance, less heat, and/or quieter fans.
Altogether, these laptops may hit a sweet spot for a lot of gamers. Lenovo needs to nail the battery life with these laptops, however, as Lenovo is marketing these laptops as multipurpose workhorses rather than for purely gaming. The more affordable Legion 5i will be available in Apr. 2024 starting at just $1,399, while the more premium Legion 7i will arrive in Mar. 2024 starting at $2,099.
The Lenovo Legion Slim 5 is also getting updated, but this time it's just a spec bump. The design is identical to the previous generation, but the internals are getting updated to AMD's Ryzen 8040 series of CPUs. There will also be two variants — a main variant with an RTX 4060 or RTX 4070 that will be 19.7-25.2mm in thickness, and a thinner (19.7-21.9mm) variant limited to an RTX 4050 GPU. For those who prefer AMD in their laptop, this may be an excellent mid-range option. Expect the Legion Slim 5 to be available sometime in Apr. 2024 with a starting price of $1,499.
Next up we have the Lenovo Legion Pro 5i and 7i, which are also mostly getting internal spec bumps to Intel 14th Gen (up to a Core i9-14900HX). The Legion Pro 7i continues to be a more premium version of the Legion Pro 5i with options for more powerful internals, better ports, speakers, and Wi-Fi connectivity, a more capable AI chip, and more granular RGB lighting. This time around, the Legion Pro 7i also comes in black, which looks very slick, but I'm concerned how it may attract fingerprints and smudges. One interesting change for the Legion Pro 7i is the addition of a dedicated key for Windows Copilot on the keyboard, a trend I expect we'll see grow in Windows laptops.
The Legion Pro 5i is just around the corner with an expected release window of Jan. 2024, and will carry a starting price of $1,499. The Legion Pro 7i is a little farther out with a release window of Mar. 2024, with a starting price of $2,699.
Finally, we have the incredibly premium Lenovo Legion 9i, which is already getting its first refresh. As expected, its design is largely remaining the same. The biggest differences here are the bump to Intel 14th Gen (up to the i9-14900HX) and an upgraded Lenovo LA3-P AI chip with expanded functionality. When it arrives in Jan. 2024, it'll have a starting price of $4,399, so this is definitely not a casual purchase — it's for those that desire the absolute best, with ultimate build quality and performance, and one of the best displays on the market.
Lenovo Legion Tower — The best gets more power
Matters are a little less exciting when it comes to the world of Lenovo Legion Towers. These capable pre-built gaming desktops are remaining largely the same, but there are some interesting changes here. The premium and powerful Legion Tower 7i is making the leap to Intel 14th Gen, but the more affordable Legion Tower 5i is staying in the 13th Gen — albeit with a new higher-end option for the Intel Core i9-13900F. The Legion Tower 5i is finally nabbing NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40-series GPUs (up to an RTX 4080) for a much-appreciated boost in graphical prowess.
You'll be able to grab the Legion Tower 5i starting at just $1,249 when it drops sometime in Apr. 2024, while the upgraded Legion Tower 7i is landing in the same month with a starting price of $2,699, highlighting the sizeable difference in base power and features between the two desktops.
Lenovo LOQ — More options for the budget conscious
Strangely enough, the new LOQ family may make the biggest waves for Lenovo here. These are value-driven gaming PCs, and the entire laptop lineup is getting refreshed with a new 15.6-inch chassis that looks quite nice for the low price point. Lenovo will have a multitude of options for every budget, including laptops still using Intel 12th Gen CPUs and higher-end alternatives with Intel 14th Gen or AMD Ryzen 8040 series chipsets. Most of the lineup will rely on up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40-series GPUs for graphical duty, but one model in the lineup will utilize Intel's mobile Arc discrete graphics, specifically the Intel Arc A530M.
The updated Lenovo LOQ laptops powered by Intel will be available in Apr. 2024 with a starting price of $749, but the AMD-powered LOQ laptop isn't coming to North America. Instead, you can expect it in other regions sometime in Mar. 2024 at around 1049€ with VAT included.
All these Lenovo LOQ towers are benefiting from new thermal management systems and Lenovo's older LA1 AI chips for some improved functions and features. The Lenovo LOQ Tower is getting a spec bump of its own, as well as a slightly updated front panel design. Intel 14th Gen is here with up to a Core i7-14700, and it's being paired with up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Ti, up from the 30-series GPUs the desktop used before. The starting price is staying low at just $899, with the new LOQ Tower expected to release in Apr. 2024.
Becoming a household name in PC gaming
This isn't the most exciting lineup refresh for Lenovo. After all, Intel 14th Gen simply isn't as exciting for gaming PCs as Intel Core Ultra is for ultrabooks and convertibles, but these improvements will still continue Lenovo's indomitable march into the inner circle of PC gaming's biggest manufacturers. Lenovo Legion products offer consistent quality, while Lenovo LOQ is steadily growing into a reputable brand for those who want a gaming PC for as little as possible.
For me, though, the new baseline Lenovo Legion 7i and Legion 5i may be the most important products in Lenovo's new lineup of gaming hardware. Powerful and capable laptops with slim, attractive designs and a focus on being able to work and play will undoubtedly appeal to a lot of people — as long as Lenovo has improved the lackluster battery life we've come to expect from its Legion devices. This is especially true for the Legion 5i, which is starting at a pretty reasonable price point.
Overall, though, Lenovo will offer buyers in 2024 all the power they need to play the best PC games, and may maintain its place among the best gaming laptops you can buy today. At the very least, every Lenovo Legion and LOQ device releasing this year will come with 3-months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, helping you get started with a huge library of great PC games. We'll have to wait to get our hands on these devices to see what they're truly made of, though.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.