Lenovo Flex 5 Convertible Laptop Review

     
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A convertible laptop can give you the best of the both worlds: an ultrabook laptop for productive work, and portable and powerful tablet for on-the-go and entertainment. Lenovo, in their latest Flex 5 convertible laptop series, tries to unite these two devices in a seamless functionality – and reading some early user reports the company seems to do their job quite well. In this review, I’ll tell you my views about this new 2-in-1 laptop; whether it could really benefit you or not.

A 360-Degree Rotating Display with Full HD resolution

This is a 14-inches laptop, a tad smaller in physical size than a 15.6 incher, the size I consider average. Most of the models support a 1920×1080 resolution, although there seem to be HD (1366×768) versions for sale too. If you value image quality over all, the Full HD resolution will be your choice – be advised it might be a tad more expensive anyway. All these screens have anti-glare coating, which at least in theory makes them good candidates for outdoor use. The Full HD screen sports IPS panel, often associated with wide viewing angles and colorful picture.

Naturally, these are touch screens, so you can swipe and push your way through Windows settings if you want. The screen works with digital and active pen, although keep in mind that none is included. They also have the rotating hinge, so you can easily change the laptop and tablet modes as you please.

A few words about the graphics section. This computer, at least on the models I checked, will have integrated graphics only. This won’t become an issue for non-gaming use; but some games are notoriously greedy for heavy graphics performance. So in real life, you are good to try many games, but don’t run them on too high resolution and settings. Being careful, you should get at least ~30 frames per second on many heavier games, including Grand Theft Auto 5.

Heavy-Duty Components Propel the Laptop’s Performance

The processor of your Lenovo Flex 5 depends on the model. There are at least three different versions being sold: 80XA0001US, 80XA000EUS and 80XA000DUS. The 80XA0001US and 80XA000EUS models have Intel Core i5-7200U and 80XA000DUS has Intel Core i7-7500U. They all are capable, 2017 (and beyond) ready processors from the Intel’s 7th generation Kaby Lake line. The i5-7200U has 2.5GHz clock speed and 3.1GHz turbo boost, while the i7-7500U has 2.7GHz and 3.5GHz, respectively. The difference is not that big in real life, so you will enjoy a fast computer no matter which processor you choose.

Once again, the storage drive configuration will depend on the model. The 80XA0001US has 128GB solid-state drive, 80XA000EUS a 1TB 5400RPM hard drive and 80XA000DUS has two: a 1TB hard drive plus 512GB solid-state drive. It’s a good idea to give user this option since some people can do with smaller storage, although many will prefer to have a lot of space – in the case of 80XA000DUS, that will be a whopping 1.5 terabytes!

The maximum RAM on these units is 16 gigabytes (DDR4 2133MHz), which is already installed in 80XA000EUS and 80XA000DUS. The 80XA0001US has 8GB which is nothing to scoff at; it’s a very power user proof amount anyway. Lenovo says that hard drive, RAM or battery can not be upgraded at all by the user; which in reality means that you’ll need to tear down the notebook if you want to do it by yourself. Lenovo technician has the skills and tools for upgrade, but it will cost you some extra.

Hands-on Video

Ports and Interfaces Made the Modern Way

The ports department of Lenovo Flex 5 consists of two USB 3.0 and one USB Type-C port. This is not a big amount, but for hooking up a couple of USB devices simultaneously all you need. The USB-C might come handy as well – it supports many technologies with the right cable or adapter. In addition, the laptop sports a dedicated HDMI-output even though the USB-C can do that job as well. Audio jack is available for headphones and microphone.

The WiFi adapter on this notebook is the famous Intel Wireless-AC 8265, with dual-band signal, 802.11ac standard and Bluetooth 4.1. The machines don’t have RJ-45 port for Ethernet cable; this is a common decision for ultrabooks. However, RJ-45 to USB cables are available to alleviate the problem.

Unsurprisingly, these models do not have optical drive. The golden era of discs is long gone, nowadays it’s all about downloading everything off Internet. But there exists external DVD drives which can be plugged in with a simple USB cable. Also another means of transferring data locally is the SD card reader, this laptop has one, supporting SD and other type of cards.

Miscellaneous Things for You to Ponder

The battery life (3-cell 52.5Wh unit) is advertised by Lenovo as up to eight hours. Reading user reports, I can see everything between five and eight hours. It will, naturally, depend on your use: lazy web browsing will use much less than watching videos. This chart gives you some idea how other ultrabooks are doing. Do not forget that Lenovo considers the battery integrated, so you’ll need to remove the entire laptop bottom to get access to the battery (for upgrade etc).

All of the models, regardless of the CPU/RAM/hard drive setup have a single-color backlit keyboard.

Pros:
A lot of storage space - If you choose the model with hard and solid state drive, you get the most storage space a hybrid laptop offers.

Fast processor brings performance - No matter which model you pick, you'll get a quick processor from Intel i5 or i7 series to run your programs.

Lightweight for a laptop - Yep, it weighs just 3.7 pounds.

Cons:
Nothing major I can think of - The laptop seems to be well-rounded.

The new Lenovo Flex 5 is a Full HD ready laptop/tablet hybrid, where performance (and huge storage drive) meets the portability of a tablet. The screen rotates freely on its hinge, and will seamlessly turn into different modes with the push of a finger. But even though the unit is thin, light and portable, it still possesses the performance required to run, say, photo editing software or do multitasking. In addition, battery will run for a full day, at maximum. All in all, this is an impressive laptop which will likely benefit those who want ultrabook with tablet capabilities.

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