Battle of the budget laptops: Lenovo vs HP

Lenovo vs HP: Design

When it comes to looks, this could go either way. Are you looking for a laptop that cuts a unique figure when you open it? Then the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 might be worth a look, with its vents tucked away on the outcrop at the back.

It certainly gives it the look of a gaming laptop, with the white lighting on the keys a nice touch – although many have complained that the keyboard itself feels a little on the cheap side.

On the other hand, we quite like the Omen’s more subtle design. It’s a sleek-looking machine (although we could do without the branding on the inside), and the RGB is understated and smart.

With that said, it does have a sizeable lower bezel that makes the 16-inch display somehow feel a little smaller than it should.

Winner: Tie

Lenovo vs HP: Display

As we’ve mentioned on a few of these versus articles, we’d always advise looking for as high a resolution as possible. That’s made comparing 1080p panels to 2.5K and 4.5K ones nice and easy, but here we have two with a Full HD resolution and there’s little to tell them apart.

Sadly, both are a little on the dark side, so you may struggle with outdoor usage, but the HP does offer a 144Hz refresh rate compared to the 120Hz offered by the Lenovo.

That’s enough to give it the win, particularly when paired with the slightly larger display area, but we’d definitely recommend the QHD version with a resolution of 2560x1440. Even if you don’t need it now, it allows you to futureproof the laptop for years to come.

Winner: HP Omen 16-n0007na

Lenovo vs HP: Audio

The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 isn’t a bad laptop for audio, but it does fall into the usual trap of offering plenty of mid but lacking the soundstage to offer anything higher or lower, leading to washed-out treble and bass.

If you’re wearing headphones, that’s no big deal, but the HP comes packed with Bang and Olufsen speakers that offer a much wide range of audio, whether you’re listening for footsteps in a game or enjoying the deep “boom” of an action scene in a superhero movie.

For the much more nuanced audio output, this round goes to the HP Omen.

Winner: HP Omen 16-n0007na

Lenovo vs HP: Performance

It’s a close one here, but Lenovo’s RTX 3050 is a slither more powerful than the RTX 3050 TI found in the HP Omen, but the latter closes the gap with double the RAM.

That means for multitasking, the HP could be the way to go, but the Lenovo has a little more power across gaming and creative tasks.

As we’ve alluded to multiple times, though, we’d still go for the HP but with the AMD Radeon 6650M. It’s still a mid-range card but it’s considerably newer and faster – although not as power efficient.

Since it’s not a standard option, though, we’ll call this one a tie.

Winner: Tie

Lenovo vs HP: Value

With both machines at similar price points, it’s tough to say which offers the best bang for your buck because the design choices are subjective and the performance (at the base level) is very similar aside from the additional RAM.

For better speakers, we’d argue that the HP tips the scales in its favour, but it really is a difficult one. We’d look for discounts on either, or on the HP version with the more powerful GPU and 1440p display.

Winner: Tie

Lenovo vs HP: Verdict

With comparable specs from the GPU to the display, to just about everything else, this is certainly a tough “versus” to pick a winner from.

In the end, we’ve gone with the HP Omen, but with a catch – we’d recommend spending the extra for the AMD Radeon 6650 for any gaming, and would recommend considering the QHD screen version to go with it.

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’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.