We do a lot of work with Lenovo over here at YourTechExplained and one of the things I’ve noticed from the company — even before I worked here — was that they make quality products and stick to what they know. Lenovo generally makes computers that you can see a corporate worker using in the office, and then the same machine at home. Starting with their Yoga series, Lenovo had definitely put a lot of time into transformative computers. All of this is easily seen in one of their latest products, the Ideapad Flex 5.
Before we get started: I first want to preface this review by saying I’m an extensive macOS user. I’ve barely touched Windows computers since the early Windows 8 Beta days of 2012(?) and haven’t wanted to go back since I got my first MacBook. Be sure to remember that when reading this information as my opinion will be biased but I will also keep this review factual.
Lenovo makes several different stock variants of this computer and you can even somewhat customize one before buying. The version I received for review was the 1570 model, which has the following specs:
- Type: Convertible
- Weight (In Pounds): 4.4
- Operating System: Windows 10
- Processor Name: Intel Core i7-7500U
- Processor Speed: 2.7 GHz
- RAM: 8 GB
- Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 940MX
- Storage Capacity (as Tested): 256 GB
- Screen Size: 15.6 inches
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080
- Storage Type: SSD, SSD
These specs present a robust 2-in-1 computer, although it’s definitely not the most powerful laptop if you look at options without the tablet ability. Also, 4.4 lbs to carry as a tablet is nowhere near the lightest that you’ll hold. I’ll go into the differences of desktop and tablet mode more in depth later on, but just remember that these specs say one thing for a laptop and another for a tablet.
A couple of other things to note here is that the Nvidia 940MX is a dedicated graphics card instead of integrated. You can get a Lenovo stylus to help with use in tablet mode but that isn’t included and costs an additional $40 for any model. Lastly, these specs that I tested are actually more middle of the road that what you can top out this computer to be with 4k displays, 16GB of RAM, and more.
Even though the specs aren’t anywhere near mind-blowing, the performance didn’t take any huge unnecessary hits. I performed a couple of benchmark test on the computer (notably from PCMark, 3DMark, and Heaven) and the Flex 5 returned with adequate results. Again, from a laptop standpoint this is a upper middle class computer. The battery life will get you around 10 hours on a single charge with multiple ways to charge it, which should easily get you through a workday and more.
Let me stress this fact though, the Flex 5 is not a serious gaming laptop. Don’t let the dedicated graphics fool you. While I was able to play a few games here and there, even a few big name titles, they only ran just ok. Luckily for me I’m not a serious PC gamer or I would’ve been severely disappointed. Also, lucky for Lenovo that they don’t advertise the Flex 5 to be a sort of gaming workhorse.
Build and Design
One of the things that the hybrid Flex 5 has going for it is its build and design. While it is a little on the thicker side, it looks premium and is hefty. Wrapped in all black exterior with a dark grey bottom interior, makes it a perfect office computer without the flair and visual distraction that other computers have.
When you fold the computer back into tablet mode, you’re presented with the 15” screen, which the iPad Pro has tried to make somewhat normal, but this computer is still a little big for that. Using the Flex 5 in tablet mode isn’t all bad though, as the display is crisp and clear with slim bezels, plus it’s big enough to prominently display media and other content. You could also do the reverse clamshell position (screen on outside, keyboard touching table/desk) to have a seamless view of video content or presentations without worrying about the bottom half of the computer.
Going back to whether this is a computer that has an optional but inadequate tablet mode or if it’s an equally made hybrid machine, it’s definitely the former. For one reason only, the size. At 15.6 inches with it’s display, 4.4lbs, and almost an inch thick, it’s is simply too clunky to carry around in tablet mode. You can use tablet mode on a desk to help with artistry or any other touch-screen enabled task, but I couldn’t walk around comfortably with the Flex 5. The hybrid functionality seems to be just a trademark move by Lenovo at this point.
Before I begin to wrap up I do want to talk about some small extras concerning the Lenovo Ideapad. First off, the Dolby speakers that rest near the front side of the device are pretty great and definitely loud — watching a movie on this thing will be a great experience for that mobile viewing. There’s a biometric scanner right below the bottom of the computer…. for some purpose. You get all your regular ports (HDMI, USB 3.0, Audio jack, etc.) plus a USB-C port for faster transfers and more capabilities. All of this plus a metallic, tactile keyboard that doesn’t have an attached numerical keypad, if people still care about those.
For all of what you get in this computer, you might be thinking that the price is astronomical, if not only for the hybrid novelty. Yet, the Flex 5 has a starting configuration price of a very modest $580. This puts the Lenovo computer well below its main competition, such as HP’s Spectre and Dell’s Inspiron. The unit I reviewed is valued at $850, and you can top it out at $1300 if you need all the bells and whistles.
All in all, the Ideapad Flex 5 is a capable office/productivity style hybrid device. While it may be a little on the big side to fully recommend using tablet mode, the computer is still of utmost quality. If you’re looking to grab a hybrid computer and you don’t game often, then I would add this to your list. What do you think of the Flex 5? Comment below!Buy from LenovoBuy on Amazon
Thanks to Lenovo for letting us review this product!