Lenovo was one of the first companies that tried to capitalize on the launch of Windows 8 convertible laptops capable of providing multiple working ways, Yoga is extending to other products like Android tablets. Following in the footsteps of Yoga family products, Ideapad Flex 15 is a convertible laptop that does not offer so much versatility, but instead is offered at a slightly more convenient price.
Construction and design
Inspired by the Yoga concept, Flex Ideapad 15, as well as its younger brother with a screen of 14", uses a simplified design. If Yoga models is using a hinge with an opening of 360 degrees, which allows the screen to fold down completely and turn the laptop into a tablet, Flex uses a hinge with a freedom of only 300 degrees. For this reason, Ideapad Flex 15 offers only two modes, ie laptop and multimedia.
The housing is manufactured for the most part of plastic. Upper and lower lids are made of fine-grained material, while the central part is made of a harder plastic material with different texture and color. This central part is divided between the base and the screen.
Lenovo Ideapad 15 does not provide any way to lock at the keyboard when used in standby mode, multimedia keys are protected by rubber feet supporting surface located on upper housing restpad and screen hinge. Because the keyboard is not accessible in this mode, Ideapad Flex 15 offers a Windows button for control of the Modern UI graphical environment.
Although it cannot compete with the bright Ultrabooks we've seen in recent years, Ideapad Flex 15 fails to be sufficiently attractive in terms of size. It has a thickness of 22 inches, good for a convertible laptop of 15" because it corresponds to even stricter standards of Ultrabook class, and comes with a weight of 2.3 kg. For this reason, Ideapad Flex 15 is not really ideal for travel, but it is light enough not to hang like a millstone in the travel bag.
Features and Specifications
As with other portable of the same class, its facilities are impressive, but sufficient. The laptop offers two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port and an HDMI output using an adapter cable sold separately, can also provide a VGA output.
Ideapad Flex 15 offers an Ethernet 10/100 adapter Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Gigabit Ethernet connectivity and lack of support for 802.11a and 802.11n in the 5 GHz band is overkill for a laptop of this class in the year of grace 2014.
- Screen: 15.6", 1366 x 768 pixel capacitive touch panel and glossy coating
- Chipset: Intel Haswell-ULT
- CPU: Intel Core i5-4200U, 1.6 GHz (2.3 GHz Turbo), dual-core, HyperThreading
- GPU: Intel HD Graphics 4400
- RAM: 1x8 GB DDR3-1600
- SSD: Samsung MZ7TD128HAFV, 128 GB
- OS: Windows 8.1
- Battery: 48 Wh
- Dimensions: 382x22x266mm
- Weight: 2.3 kg
Keyboard and touchpad
Lenovo has always been renowned for the quality of its laptops and Ideapad Flex 15 is no exception. The only concession made to obtain a lower cost of production is to eliminate the backlight, but the keyboard does not disappoint in any other chapter.
The touchpad has dimensions of 10.5 x 7 inches. Its surface has a sufficiently low friction and good sensitivity, the mechanism that lies beneath it is using a single button and a touch sensitive area on the right button. As in many other similar control systems seen in the last two years, software support for gestures is sometimes annoying, but disabling unwanted options from Synaptics control application allows taming this behavior.
Display and audio
Lenovo Ideapad Flex 15 provides a screen with a diagonal of 15.6" and a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, a typical combination for this price range. The screen uses a trivial TN panel, it has a modest color breeding and poor viewing angles, especially when viewed from above or below. Black levels and contrast are good, and the maximum brightness is more than satisfactory.
The screen panel is coated with a glossy rigid protective surface, and this affects visibility in strong daylight. The content displayed is sufficiently visible in direct sunlight only set at the maximum brightness.
Performance, autonomy and cooling
Intel Core i5-4200U is one already known and providing good performance for applications and games for mediocre performance. If working with desktop applications do not pose any problem, no matter how gourmet they may be, those who would like to play from time to time should not expect a good flow as long as it is confined to low details. How Ideapad Flex 15 is but an office laptop, this is neither surprising nor disturbing.
With screen brightness set to 66% percent off and Adaptive Brightness, Lenovo Ideapad Flex 15 offers 5 hours 55 minutes of video playback (with DXVA enabled) and about 4 hours and 30 minutes for use in an office procedure moderately, good performance considering the battery capacity.