Saturday, December 4, 2021

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook (2021) Review

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Laptop computer ClassChromebook, Convertible 2-in-1
ProcessorIntel Core i3-1115G4
Processor PaceThree GHz
RAM (as Examined)Eight GB
Boot Drive KindSSD
Boot Drive Capability (as Examined)128 GB
Display screen Dimension13. Three inches
Native Show Decision1920 by 1080
Contact Display screenSure
Panel ExpertiseIPS
Variable Refresh AssistNone
Display screen Refresh Price60 Hz
Graphics ProcessorIntel UHD Graphics
Wi-fi NetworkingBluetooth, 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)
Dimensions (HWD)0.67 by 12.2 by 8. four inches
Weight2.97 lbs
Working SystemGoogle Chrome OS
Examined Battery Life (Hours: Minutes)9:15

It is beautiful what a distinction a—nicely, an entire overhaul of all the pieces beneath the hood makes. On at this writing, a configuration of the IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook is $337.49 with a tragic Intel Celeron CPU, sadder 4GB of reminiscence, and saddest 32GB of eMMC flash storage. At Costco, our test unit is $549.99 with an 11th Technology Core i3 chip, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB NVMe solid-state drive, and it is one of many nicest Chromebooks we have encountered. (It was even more excellent when Costco took $100 off as we began this evaluation, however sadly, the sale has ended.) Solely a ho-hum show panel retains it from a Editors’ Alternative advice; you continue to would possibly wish to leverage that price-club membership if that sale drops once more.

Déjà Vu in Abyss Blue 

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook (2021) Review

The Flex 5 is a convertible laptop computer with a 13.3-inch contact display. We reviewed a mannequin with a 10th Technology Core i3, half the RAM, and eMMC storage in July 2020. Whereas one’s aluminum lid and ABS plastic backside have been Graphite Grey, the brand new unit is a beautiful darkish shade known as Abyss Blue. The display bezels are medium-thin; there’s only a little bit of flex when you grasp their corners or mash the keyboard deck.

This shopper convertible measures 0.67 by 12.2 by 8. four inches and weighs 2.97 kilos, a sliver thicker however lighter than Lenovo’s 13.3-inch enterprise 2-in-1, the ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook (3. Three kilos). Just a few Chromebooks are more lightweight nonetheless because of magnesium alloy development. (The Google Pixelbook Go clamshell weighs 2. Three kilos and the 14-inch Asus Chromebook Flip C436 is 2.6.)

A tiny sliding shutter blocks the webcam when you’re involved in online snoops. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth are customary, as is the same old Chromebook perk of a 12-month Google One membership with 100GB of cloud storage plus SoundCloud Go and Stadia trials. The keyboard is backlit, although there isn’t any fingerprint reader to skip typing passwords.

On the laptop computer’s left facet are USB 3.2 Kind-A and Kind-C ports (the latter accommodating the AC adapter), in addition to an audio jack and a microSD card slot…

There is a second USB-C port at proper, together with an influence button, a quantity rocker, and a security-cable lockdown notch…

With no HDMI port on the chassis, you will want a USB-C DisplayPort dongle to attach an exterior monitor.

The Show: A Few Extra Nits Would Be Neat 

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook (2021) Review

The complete HD (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) show is rated at a modest 250 nits of brightness, leaving me tapping the Brightness Up key in hopes of a more incredible view. White backgrounds do not pop, and colors, although wealthy sufficient, look tender. The distinction is sweet, although reflections from the contact panel block substantial viewing angles. 

Like different Chromebooks, the Flex 5 affords quite a lot of “appears like” or fake resolutions when you suppose the native 1080p makes display components too small. The default is 1,536 by 864. A spec sheet on Lenovo’s website mentions an OLED display possibility; however, I could not discover a system with it on the market at this writing.

Maxx Audio audio system flanking the keyboard produces surprisingly good sound—vocals appear a little muted; however, the audio is not harsh or tinny even at prime quantity. The bass is not very punchy; however, you may distinguish overlapping tracks. The 720p webcam captures comparatively sharp, barely dim photographs with good color and minimal static. 

Following the usual Chromebook structure with top-row browser and system shortcuts and a search/menu key rather than Caps Lock, the keyboard has a handy guide a rough, tappy typing feel. The buttonless Mylar touchpad glides and faucets quickly; however, it has a stiff, shallow click on.

Testing the Flex 5 Chromebook: The Core i3 Struts Its Stuff. 

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook (2021) Review

For our benchmark charts, I, in contrast, the IdeaPad Flex 5 to 4 different Chromebooks. Two are smaller and more significant convertibles than the Lenovo, respectively: the Intel Celeron-powered Acer Chromebook Spin 311 and the Core i3-based HP Chromebook x360 14c. Two are clamshells: the 13.3-inch Google Pixelbook Go, a low-power, eighth Technology Intel Core i5 CPU, and the 14-inch, business-focused Asus Chromebook CX9. You may see their primary specs within the desk.

Test System Configurations

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook (2021)Intel Core i3-1115G4 (3.0GHz)Intel UHD Graphics8GB RAM128GB SSD
Acer Chromebook Spin 311Intel Celeron N4000 (1.1GHz)Intel UHD Graphics 6004GB RAM32GB eMMC
Asus Chromebook CX9Intel Core i5-1135G7 (2.4GHz)Intel Iris Xe Graphics16GB RAM256GB SSD
Google Pixelbook GoIntel Core i5-8200Y (1.3GHz)Intel UHD Graphics 6158GB RAM256GB SSD
HP Chromebook x360 14cIntel Core i3-10110U (2.1GHz)Intel UHD Graphics8GB RAM64GB eMMC

We test Chromebooks with three total efficiency benchmark suites: one Chrome OS, one Android, and one online. The primary, Principled Applied sciences’ CrXPRT 2, measures how rapidly a system performs duties in six workloads akin to using picture results, graphing an inventory portfolio, analyzing DNA sequences, and producing 3D shapes utilizing WebGL. The second, UL’s PCMark for Android Work 3.0, performs various productiveness operations in a smartphone-style window. Lastly, Basemark Internet 3. Zero runs in a browser tab to mix low-level JavaScript calculations with CSS and WebGL content material. All three yield numeric scores; increased numbers are higher. 

Lenovo’s Core i3-1115G4 processor has solely two cores as an alternative of 4 or extra; however, it proved pretty perky. Opening several tabs and taking part in movies did not faze it. It was second solely to the 11th Gen Core i5 Asus in CrXPRT 2 and PCMark for Android. It took the gold medal in Basemark Internet (although all of the contenders, besides the lowly, Celeron-based Spin 311, acquitted themselves ably).

Two different Android benchmarks give attention to the CPU and GPU, respectively. Primate Labs’ Geekbench uses all out there cores and threads to simulate real-world functions starting from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine studying, whereas GFXBench 5. Zero stress-tests each low-level routine like texturing and high-level, game-like picture rendering that workouts graphics and compute shaders. Geekbench delivers a numeric rating, whereas GFXBench counts frames per second (fps).

Lastly, to test a Chromebook’s battery life, we loop a 720p video file with display brightness set at 50%, audio quantity at 100%, and Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting disabled till the system quits. If there is insufficient inside storage to carry the video, we play it from an external SSD plugged right into a USB port.

The IdeaPad was carried out nimbly in our CPU test and downright shocked us in GFXBench, exhibiting suitability for casual gaming regardless of counting on Intel’s historically unimpressive UHD built-in graphics. (We anticipated the Asus CX9 to win; however, it balked on the benchmark.) It confirmed sufficient battery stamina to get by way of a full day of labor or college, although 9 and 1 / 4 hours is not a top-tier result by at this time’s requirements—11 or 12 hours would have been preferable.

Verdict: A Successful Mixture 

It does not include a stylus as some convertibles do; however, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook is an exciting touch-screen 2-in-1, with above-average efficiency and a comfy keyboard.

A brighter show and an HDMI port would make it an Editors’ Alternative award winner. At the same time as is, although, it deserves a spot in your listing of Chromebooks price trying out—and if Costco ever repeats its $449.99 sale, snap it up.


  • Peppy efficiency
  • Good-looking design sneaks beneath Three kilos
  • Responsive keyboard


  • No HDMI port
  • Barely dim show


Chromebooks with poky processors and cramped flash storage dominate the market; however, Lenovo’s fair-priced IdeaPad Flex 5 reveals how a Chromebook can profit from an Intel Core CPU and a “true” onboard SSD.

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