Relatively thin and light
Budget price tag
Peppy productivity performance
300-degree hinge make touch use convenient
No Thunderbolt 3 limits expansion options
Lacks a discrete graphics option
Lenovo has been crafting a number of the lightest business laptops around. In its executive range, the business gets the light – ThinkPad T480 (3.6 pounds), lighter – Lenovo ThinkPad T480s (3 pounds), and lightest – ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2.4 pounds). The Lenovo Flex 14 (81SS0005US) continues the company’s tradition and efforts at moving beyond light laptops in to the convertibles space.
We review the hottest configuration that Lenovo is selling, built with an AMD Ryzen R5-3500U, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB sold-state drive (SSD), and a 14-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 or 157 PPI) display. For the purchase price, the Flex 14 2-in-1 is solidly in the midrange notebook territory.
The Lenovo Flex 14 AMD version includes a give attention to portability, and that carries to its 2-in-1 convertible. How does it fare against some excellent established competition?
Once you obtain the Lenovo Flex 14, the first ting you see is how light it really is. Unsurprising, though. That’s what we expected. At 3.5 pounds, this 2-in-1 isn’t as flashy as the company’s clamshell laptops just like the Carbon X1 that’s just 2.4 pounds with a 14-inch display.
It’s even so noticeably heavier compared to the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 (3.3 pounds) and the LG Gram (2.5 pounds). That counts most for a 2-in-1 that’s to be continued daily commute – you’re much more likely to utilize the Gram 14 than any other convertible around.
Unlike a few of Lenovo’s more costly products, that can come in colors such as for example Clementine Orange and Silver Gray, the budget Flex 14 can only just be had in black. This model has simple gray plastic, which only produces an underwhelming first impression.
That doesn’t make it unattractive, but there is nothing to visually distinguish this notebook computer from Lenovo’s other models, never mind competitors. This past year, we did a Lenovo Flex 6 14 review, little did we realize an upgraded version would drop early in the entire year with a straight better build.
Being truly a 2-in-1 convertible system, it has a couple of 300-degree hinges, letting you use the notebook computer in clamshell mode, tablet mode, or tent mode among. The couple of hinges feel reassuringly sturdy, and does an excellent job holding the display set up with minimum wobble.
Connectivity on the Lenovo Flex 14 2 in 1 is great, much better than most convertibles in the same cost range. On the left, there’s a USB-C port, an HDMI port, power adapter input and an audio tracks jack. On the contrary side, there’s a Novo button, a power button, a card reader and some USB 3.1 ports.
Unfortunately, there’s no Thunderbolt 3 support, meaning you won’t manage to plug an external GPU enclosure – but its something we didn’t have a much at this price.
On the Flex 81SS0005US, you get yourself a Full HD display that looks sharp and vivid, but loses its glitter when stacked against more costly, brighter screen. Its 224 nits are slightly below the class-standard of 250-nits for comfortable indoor viewing. Still, the screen is quite usable within an office setting, so don’t be surprised when you are squinting the screen with all the convertible outdoors.
On the plus side, viewing angles on the Lenovo Flex’s IPS-technology display are very good. Although the screen dims when viewed from extreme angles, it doesn’t show signs of inverse colors, as you’ll see on cheaper displays.
The Flex’s touch display responds well to taps and swipes, looked after boasts pen support. There’s an included Lenovo Active pen, that comes filled with 2,048 degrees of pressure sensitivity. Also you can snag a plastic USB pen holder for your Lenovo Flex 14 pen, something most business executives need.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Lenovo Flex’s backlit keyboard feels comfortable, with slight concave keys with tactile bump about 50 % method of each keystroke. It doesn’t add a number pad, but remains reasonably roomy, with hardly any signs of bending in the centre.
Under the keyboard’s bottom-right corner sits a fingerprint reader, used to unlock your Windows profile and open Windows Hello supported programs with an individual touch.
A midsize trackpad enables you to connect to the Flex, giving a smooth and responsive experience. It gives accurate swipes, but takes a fair amount of pressure before it could click. Compared to that, there’s a 720p webcam on the screen’s top bezel, that is a little grainy and nosy, but as usual manages to fully capture relatively clear and sharp video, pretty exquisite for Skype chatting.
For sound, there’s some bottom-firing Harman Kardon speakers, much better than most average notebook computer speakers.
AMD’s Ryzen R5 processors are incredibly good performers with a impressive balance between efficiency and pure speed. Our review unit includes the AMD Ryzen R5-3500U with four Zen+ cores (8 threads) clocked at between 2.2 – 3.8 GHz, a Radeon RX Vega 8 graphics card, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive.
This Picasso SoC uses the Zen+ microarchitecture that promises a rise as high as 3 percent over its predecessor. Furthermore, the 12nm process targets higher clock rates while maintaining power consumption at the minimal.
The processor used here’s AMD’s latest release for budget notebooks. Up to now, it creates short work of the most common productivity tasks and will even tackle some demanding tasks like video editing. For the business enterprise executive who must take notes on the run or edit a few spreadsheets on the flip, the Lenovo Flex gets the muscle to take care of that plus some more.
Compared: The The Lenovo Flex 6-14IKB has a 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U processor that gives better performance, but costs almost double the Flex 14. Again, the Lenovo Flex 6 14 i7 also gets an improved chip, but also for those on a budget, the AMD chip applied to our review unit keeps the purchase price affordable, but is well tuned for daily productivity.
Where in fact the Flex doesn’t excel more is in graphics. It runs on the Radeon RX Vega 8 graphics card that limits you to everyday gaming. If the needs you have include some everyday gaming, you’ll want to look at a 2-in-1 just like the Asus ZenBook 14 that sports a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU, that may handle a few demanding games.
Like the majority of modern notebooks, the Flex includes a non-removable battery that works for portability. The battery manages just over 8 hours 36 minutes of endurance on daily productivity. For a lightweight 2-in-1, this is an excellent feat thanks to a complete HD display and efficient CPU offering hopes for longevity. Sure, that is a laptop computer which will last you well in to the evening of an extended working day.