Lenovo vs Asus: Which gaming laptop is best?

Lenovo and Asus may not be the first brands you think of when you think of computing, but both have been in business for years and thrive through varied options between functional workstations and powerful gaming devices.

Both manufacturers offer a huge number of devices, though, making a true “one-to-one” comparison difficult. Still, we’ve gone via pricing to pit the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 laptop against the ASUS Vivobook Pro 14.

So, why these machines? Both come in at around £800-£900, and have plenty of differences that make a comparison worthwhile while also having plenty of common ground. They’re ideal for both work and play, with reasonably impressive specs, but there’s a clear winner, too.

For other comparisons, be sure to check out our look at the iMac vs the Dell Inspiron 27, or Alienware vs Asus.

Lenovo vs Asus: Design

A laptop can only ever change up a few things before it feels too unfamiliar for mass consumption, but the IdeaPad Gaming’s outcrop at the rear (which houses a series of vents for cooling the machine) certainly sets it apart from other similar machines. It’s not the most stunning-looking laptop, but it certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s more eye-catching – particularly in the white version.

On the other hand, the ASUS Vivobook Pro 14 is, well, a laptop – and a fairly sleek one at that. The two-tone finish between the gray of the keyboard and surroundings and then the black bezel around the screen is nice, and it certainly looks a little more premium – even if the plasticky materials in some areas say otherwise.

We’ve given this one to the Lenovo just for taking a little more of a creative risk, but it’s naturally entirely subjective based on whether you want your laptop to stand out or not.

Winner: Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3

Lenovo vs Asus: Display

Ok, we’ll admit, this one is a little on the subjective side, too. That’s because your preference for display on a laptop, between these two options, will come down to resolution vs display size.

The Vivobook Pro may have a smaller 14-inch display, but it’s got a 2.8K resolution that makes for a much sharper image than you’ll find on the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3.

It’s also an OLED screen, meaning it’s much brighter and with much deeper blacks. On the other hand, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 has an IPS panel that can often be too dark in certain lighting conditions.

The Lenovo does have a higher refresh rate, but for our money, we’d opt for the ASUS here.

Winner: ASUS Vivobook Pro 14

Lenovo vs Asus: Audio

Laptop speakers are never traditionally more than passable, at least until you get to high-end, MacBook Pro audio output, but this is another category where the ASUS Vivobook Pro 14 prevails.

That’s because it has harmon/kardon speakers that offer impressive bass in such a small form-factor. On the other hand, the Lenovo speakers aren’t mad, but they’re just not great at isolating treble or bass, so everything feels like it meshes together in the mids.

Naturally, if you’re looking to wear headphones anyway, this is a dead heat.

Winner: ASUS Vivobook Pro 14

Lenovo vs Asus: Performance

Here’s where things get a little better for the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3, because by default, the Lenovo packs an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 which handily trumps the ASUS Vivobook Pro’s integrated Iris Xe graphics as shown in the base model.

However, for around the same price, you can get an NVIDIA GTX 1650 installed instead which does improve things considerably.

Still, if you’re looking to play games, we’d go for the Lenovo here. Even with the 1650, there’s a 74% increase in 3D speed with the RTX 3050. While the 1650 will serve you fine for creative work, we’d suggest the more powerful GPU for gamers.

Winner: Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3

Lenovo vs Asus: Value

Given the wins in almost every category here other than performance and design (and even that one is subjective), it’s hard to look past the ASUS Vivobook Pro 15. It’s just a more rounded machine, with a better display, and better audio – and it costs around the same.

Naturally, if you’re insistent on picking up a laptop with a larger display, it’s a harder sell, and therefore the 15.6-inch display of the Lenovo may be your best bet. For us, though, you gain so much more with the ASUS that it’s an easy win.

Winner: ASUS Vivobook Pro 14

Lenovo vs Asus: Verdict

As you can probably tell, the ASUS Vivobook Pro 14 is our winner here, handily besting the Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3 for every use case except gaming.

While Lenovo’s laptop has a unique design, it’s darker display, weaker speakers, and cheap-feeling keyboard can’t make moving to the 15.6-inch display feel worthy.

Lloyd Coombes
Customer Advisor, Computing

Lloyd Coombes is Top Ten Reviews' Computing Customer Advisor, and a freelance writer with a specialism in tech, gaming, and fitness. Since starting out as a blogger, he’s written for sites like IGN, TechRadar, and more.

An expert on all things Apple ever since he got a second-hand iMac, Lloyd can regularly be found testing software on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac — when he’s not testing the platforms themselves, that is. He’s also Dexerto.com’s Games Editor, and a podcaster.

When he’s not writing, you can probably find him running after his son, playing Destiny 2, or at the gym.