Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Review 2021

The 15.6 inch Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 wants to convince customers with excellent quality, a nice touchscreen, and Intel 10th Gen. The test shows whether this works.

A 15.6 ″ touchscreen and an Intel Core i3 processor didn’t really make me want to test it at first. “Little power, a big screen, and definitely not a good battery life” haunted my head. However, during the test, it became clear to me which users the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15 is intended for.

Specifications: Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Review 2021

Display39.62 cm (15.6 “) touch IPS display with LED backlight in 16: 9 format, 250 nits maximum brightness
resolution1920x1080px (Full-HD), pixel density of approx. 141 PPI
processorIntel® Core ™ i3 (10th Generation) 1005G1 Processor  Processor with 2x 1.20 GHz
Turbo Boost up to 3.40 GHz
4 MB cache
graphicIntel UHD Graphics (integrated)
random access memory8 GB DDR4 3200 MHz (not expandable)
hard disk256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe 3.0)
networkBluetooth 4.2
WiFi 6
Wireless LAN 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac / ax
connectionsUSB 3.1 Gen 1
USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Always On)
USB-C (Power Delivery 3.0)
HDMI
headphone / microphone combination jack
4-in-1 (SD card, MultiMediaCard, SDHC card, SDXC card)
battery packLi-Ion battery with 52.5 Wh
Input devicesbacklit keyboard
trackpad
touchscreen
SoundStereo speakers, dual array microphone, high definition audio, Dolby Atmos
camera720p with physical shutter
securityDevice for Kensington lock
operating systemWindows 10 Home in S mode
Dimensions35.76 cm x 23.79 cm x 2.09 cm
Weight1.8 kilos
Pros
  • processing
  • Display
  • connections
Cons
  • Color representation of the display

Scope of delivery: minimalist

As with practically all modern notebooks, the scope of delivery of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is also limited to a minimum. In the simple brown packaging, there is some paperwork next to the laptop and the charging cable. Everything for a quick start is included, and unnecessary waste has been avoided – I think it’s good.

Design and workmanship: It’s a Lenovo

Lenovo is the largest manufacturer of notebooks on the planet for a reason. Regardless of the price, a laptop from Lenovo, for example, is almost always well made, and this also applies to the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5. The display lid is made of aluminum and the lower part of the plastic.

Material transitions are soft, and there are no sharp edges anywhere. Of course, nothing rattles or can be indented excessively. The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is processed absolutely flawlessly. The display lid cannot be opened with one hand, but that is absolutely acceptable for notebooks under 1000 $.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Review

Connections: left & right and everything important is there

On the left side, buyers of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 will find the proprietary charging socket, a 3.5mm jack, an HDMI output, and a USB Type-C port. This is based on the USB 3.2 Gen1 standard and can thus handle a variety of different accessories. There is one big plus point from me because the notebook can also be charged via the Type-C connection. So it’s not the end of the world when you’ve rolled your office chair over the original charging cable.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5

On the right side of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5, there are two fast USB-A ports (also USB 3.2 Gen1) and a full-fledged SD card reader. The latter is especially popular and is sorely missed in many other notebooks. The on/off switch is also located on the right side of the device. Because it is positioned about halfway up the keyboard, it cannot be accidentally pressed if you want to correct the notebook’s position by a few millimeters.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5

Display: good for home, less for work

The 15.6-inch display of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 convinces with large viewing angles, at first glance with good colors and a responsive touchscreen. Lenovo itself specifies the maximum brightness with 250nits. Our measurements even showed up to 280nits. The maximum deviation is 12%, which ensures subjectively even illumination.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 display

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 cannot convince with the correct display of colors. With only 63% in the sRGB color space and 48% in the extended AdobeRGB color space, it is not suitable for color-critical work, except via an external monitor.

Lenovo IdeaPad

Software: S mode

In case you skipped over it in the table with the technical data – with the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5, “Windows 10 Home in S mode” is used. You will be forgiven if this is not directly familiar to you. This version of Windows 10 is intended to increase platform security by only installing programs from the Microsoft Store. As is well known, the biggest security hole is almost always in front of the screen.

This version of Windows 10 is rarely used and is primarily intended to provide less experienced users with easier access to a computer. For example, it is useful for young children or older people who do not understand how quickly malware from the Internet can land on computers. If desired, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 can also be easily updated to a full-fledged Windows. The right tool can be found – where else – in the Microsoft Store. The change from S mode to normal Windows 10 is final and cannot be reversed.

Otherwise, Lenovo installs the typical Microsoft apps (including Xing and Xbox) on the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 and throws three programs into the ring: Lenovo pen settings, Lenovo Vantage and LenovoUtility. While the first app doesn’t need any explanation, you can use Vantage to check your system and see how high the CPU usage is and whether there are any software updates.

The preinstalled software on the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 concludes with Spotify, McAfee, and Meerkat. While I can still understand Spotify, I’ve developed a great dislike for McAfee’s scare tactics over the years. Meerkat offers “real-time monitoring” and warns if there are “data and privacy violations.” All three can be completely uninstalled – nothing more is said about it.

Performance: Intel i3 10th Gen

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 does well in everyday use. From surfing the Internet to using the Microsoft Office suite, everything runs smoothly. The Intel Core i3 needs a little more time to calculate for demanding tasks. Accordingly, users shouldn’t expect miracles in terms of performance.

However, repeated runs of Cinebench R15 and R20 also show that the Intel Core i3-1005G1 in the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 can maintain its processor clock for a longer period of time without throttling. For all fans of hard numbers, we have the usual graphics here.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 graph 1
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 graph 2

Battery life: was to be expected

Of course, the battery life always depends on the use and how bright you have set the display. Also, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 relies on a touchscreen, and they consume more and more energy than simple devices with matt screens. With around 200nits of brightness and light office work, the battery consumption was around 15% per hour. Overall, one battery charge was enough for almost 6.5 hours without a heavy load.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 charger

If the system is challenged more, it also uses more battery. Many experts in various Adobe products caused the battery life to tend towards five hours. The battery of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is not enough for a whole day without a charger, but it is suitable for an evening of Netflix on the couch or a few hours in a meeting.

Emissions: Quiet in everyday life, but screams under stress

How annoyingly loud fans or warm cases are is judged differently by everyone. Personally, I wouldn’t say I like loud fans and cases that are too warm. None of this was a problem with the normal use of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5.

The middle area above the keyboard gets about lukewarm under heavy load, which doesn’t affect the usage any further. The fans of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5, on the other hand, are very noticeable under sustained heavy load. You crank up audibly, and a slight beep will also sound.

Lenovo IdeaPad

Upgrade: a little

Between the inner workings of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 and you are nine Torx T5 screws in two lengths. With a spudger or an old plastic card, the clipped underbody can then be removed.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5

However, not much can be upgraded or expanded. The 8 GB RAM of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 are firmly soldered and thus set in stone. The SSD can be found quickly and can be replaced just as quickly. But there is no slot for a second SSD.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Review 2021

The battery is held in place by a total of four small screws (one under a Lenovo sticker) and is not glued. So if the battery in the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 naturally wears out in two or three years, it can be quickly replaced with a new unit.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Review 2021

Sound: It’s okay

A 2-in-1 convertible always invites you to watch YouTube or Netflix. Fold the keyboard over and start a sequence of “Dark” in “tent mode.” In addition to the visual effects, the sound is also important for immersion. And this is exactly where the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is the absolute standard.

lenovo keypad

Conclusion: Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Review 2021

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is a good 2-in-1 device and convinces with a modern processor, excellent quality, and a great, large touchscreen. Also, there are no real weaknesses. The deductions in the B grade are due to conscious decisions when positioning the convertible notebook. They are of little importance for the intended purpose.

But who is the 15-inch Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 intended for? The answer is in the Windows version. Windows 10 Home in S mode is like training wheels on a bicycle. Users who are not used to working with a computer are taken by the hand here.

Lenovo IdeaPad tablet

Nowadays, children have their first interactions with their parents’ smartphones or tablets. They often find it irritating when they see a screen that doesn’t respond when you touch it. Older users are also used to the touchscreen and can transfer their experience from smartphones to laptops. Both groups also benefit from the robustness of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5.

Exactly these users often do not need a lot of power for their daily tasks on the computer. Once you have gotten used to using the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5, the software support wheels can be removed. I think the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is fairly priced at $750. I would buy it for my uncle or a nephew without thinking about it. Anyway, I’m their technical support.

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