Lenovo has been in the business of bringing some great products to the market, especially the company’s IdeaPad lineup, which offers a range of laptops that go from the top-shelf options to more affordable Flex devices. The Lenovo Flex 14IWL is a great convertible laptop that comes with both Intel and AMD hardware options, and more importantly, can be yours for a reasonable price. If you are in the market for a convertible laptop that fits your pocket and has plenty of features, then the Flex is a no-brainer.
Otherwise, read on and take a closer look at the Lenovo Flex 14 in this detailed review.
Let’s start with the appearance in this review. The Flex 14 boasts of a sleek and sophisticated design. For a 2-in-1, the Flex 14 is lightweight and compact. This means you can easily see yourself using it in a business or classroom setting. Lenovo has always paid special attention to the look and appearance of their laptops, but this time around, they seemed to have gone with the less is more approach in the design department.
That being said, this option does come with a premium quality lid that’s made of soft-touch plastic and is a lot similar to what you’d find in the company’s ThinkPad lineup of laptops. While that does give it a premium look and feel, similar to Lenovo’s ThinkPad line, you can expect smudges and fingerprints to appear almost instantaneously on the lid upon further review. You can also twist the lid, but be careful to do so gently and only with intentional force.
The 2-in-1, 14-inch keyboard and bottom panel are also well made and feature premium quality plastic that’s been designed to adjust when under direct pressure. While one would expect a 2-in-1 to be more flexible, the laptop exhibits far lesser flex as compared to other similar laptops of the same price point.
If you’ve been around other slim convertibles, you’ll also notice that they tend to have screens that are heavier as compared to the keyboard deck. It has a similar design, which can take some time getting used to, especially when you’re using it in tablet or presentation mode. That said, the sturdy hinges are well designed and have been strategically placed to hold the screen in place without resulting in any wobble while you type.
Another standout feature is the touchpad, which is slightly larger than what we’re used to in convertibles, and far better than the one in the Lenovo Flex 6. The extra-large touchpad sits in the middle, which makes it a prominent feature of the Lenovo Flex 14. The premium build of the touchpad makes tracking responsive and executes gestures accurately. Also, the textured plastic means that it feels great for a plastic touchpad.
The speakers are another high point of the Flex 14. Mids and highs are decent, while the bass is average, but then again, that’s what you would expect in a budget option. Overall, the speaker performance remains nicely balanced, with zero distortion or rattling of the chassis. While the Flex 14 is not going to be recognized for having awesome speakers, it does, however, enable you to enjoy your favorite music without having to deal with a super sharp or muffled sound.
When it comes to size, it shares a similar footprint with other 14-inch convertibles that are available in the market. But, the 14-inch option does offer some advantages that make it an attractive choice for anyone looking for a reasonably priced convertible.
It also features a svelte design and is lightweight, which makes it a great choice for those who are looking for one that they can travel with. The slim, 3.65 pound convertible easily slides into a bag and be carried around with ease without doing a number on your back or shoulders.
As you will see in this review, one of the advantages of investing is that it offers many of the features that one would expect to see only in Lenovo’s premium ThinkPad lineup. The first thing you notice right out the box is the noticeably thin bezels on both sides, which easily gives it a more premium appearance. In comparison, the top and bottom bezels are thick, which sets it apart from other modern convertibles. This design also serves a functional purpose since it makes it easy to carry while in tablet mode.
The keyboard in the 14 inch Flex 14 Lenovo is nicely placed, and the large keys make it easier and more comfortable to type on. The layout of the keys follow the same “smile” key shape that’s become ubiquitous with Lenovo’s products and adds a nice touch to the overall design of the Flex 14. The keyboard also has a white backlight that comes with two-stage brightness settings.
The overall feedback of the keyboard is firm and connects well, despite having key travel that feels relatively short. Because of the lack of key travel, the keyboard on this machine could seem stunted to some users, but it is not something we haven’t seen before in 2-in-1 convertibles. Overall, the keyboard is quiet and comfortable.
When it comes to the display, it is important to remember that this 14 inch, 2-in-1 machine is a budget laptop. That said, like most budget products, some areas are going to take a hit. With the Flex 14, it’s the display. It features a display that produces colors that could have been better. Also, because of the glossy finish, working in a bright room or outdoors is going to be a real challenge. On the plus side, the Flex 14 does feature a thin bezel that gives it a stylish and modern look.
You also have the option of adding a pen to the equation for Windows Ink (included with some models). But, more importantly, the touch function of the display works well, which is great news since it is, after all, the main selling point. Also, the FHD resolution (1920×1080) is a major step forward from the HD models, which is something that those who are not on a tight budget are definitely going to appreciate, despite not having the core i7. The 14 inch display makes it worth the investment.
The low PWM (pulse-width modulation) frequency of 352 Hz for this display means that those who are sensitive to a flickering screen will find it difficult to work on for long hours. The brightness levels of the display also leave much to be desired since it is way lower than what you would find in your average convertible. Again, the glossy finish that’s been integrated to the design does not do any favors for the brightness. While the low brightness level does not make the Lenovo Flex 14 unusable, it could be a hassle when working in brightly lit environments.
The 14 inch 2-in-1 option features AMD’s Ryzen R5 processors, which come highly rated when it comes to providing balance and efficiency. The Flex 14 comes with an AMD Ryzen R5-3500U processor with four Zen+ cores that clock at 3.8GHz, not bad for a budget laptop. That’s nicely complemented with a Radeon RX Vega 8 graphics card, 8 GB RAM, and a 256GB solid-state drive. The Picasso SoC is powered by Zen+ micro-architecture, which bumps up the speed by 3% over the last iteration.
It should be noted here that the processor is one of AMD’s finest for budget notebooks, which means carrying out normal tasks on the Flex 14 is a breeze. Where this system lacks is in the graphics. It is limited by the Radeon RX Vega 8 graphics card, which means you can only enjoy casual gaming and no processor-heavy games. That said, the Flex 14 is still faster than many other budget laptops.
This option boasts of 4 GB of DDR3L SDRAM, which nicely complements the fast processor and graphics card of this gaming laptop. It also means you get a rated memory speed of 1600 MHz, which is more than enough for you to enjoy your favorite games.
One area where Lenovo has excelled in designing the Flex 14 is the storage space. The 256 GB PCIe NVMe means that it’s lightning-fast compared to the SATA SSDs that are commonly found in other similar budget laptops. The write speed is between 1200 and 1500 MB/s, and read speed is around 1000 MB/s, which are both pretty decent considering this is a budget option.
Ports and Connectivity
This option offers many connectivity options. You get 1 USB 3.1, 2 USB 3.1 (one always on), an HDMI 4-in-1 card reader, and an audio combo jack.
In case you haven’t guessed it already, it comes with a non-removable battery, which is a common feature in many modern laptops. The battery life of the Flex 14 is 8 hours and 30 minutes, which is pretty impressive for a budget machine. The highly efficient battery life is possible because of a fast processor and Full HD display, which makes the battery last longer in the 2-in-1 Lenovo Flex 14 than many of its counterparts. The lengthy battery life means that you can get things done around the office with ease.
The fans have responded positively to the Lenovo IdeaPad by giving it great reviews online. The IdeaPad is the ultimate convertible laptop that comes with all the bells and whistles that makes this option by Lenovo sing. You also get a fingerprint reader, which is a nice addition along with the c port. But, apart from the fingerprint reader, there are plenty of other features that have made fans of Lenovo very happy.
What is the picture display quality in this laptop?
This laptop boasts of an FHD resolution (1920×1080), which delivers crisp and clear picture quality.
What is the RAM in this laptop?
4 GB of DDR3L SDRAM
How much storage capacity does it offer?
256GB solid-state drive
What processor powers the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14?
AMD Ryzen R5-3500U processor with four Zen+ cores that clock at 3.8GHz. So, you won’t be getting the Intel core or Core i5 with this option.
If the Lenovo Flex 14 isn’t for you, then try these
Here are a few alternatives if the Lenovo Flex 14 isn’t for you.
The Acer Aspire 5 A515-44G-R83X is the ultimate laptop for those who either want to get the job done or enjoy playing their favorite games on a laptop. With the Acer Aspire 5, you get a full HD 15-inch screen, and an AMD Ryzen 5 Hexa-Core mobile processor along with 8GB DDR4 and 256GB memory, providing you with everything you need to enjoy working on this premium laptop.
The HP Pavilion is a large 15.6-inch gaming laptop that is powered by a core i5 processor and features a full HD IPS anti-glare WLED backlit display. You also get 1 TB of HDD storage space and 8 GB RAM, which gives you more than enough speed to run heavy-duty games smoothly and without any hiccups.
The Lenovo Flex 14 offers plenty of features along with a decent design, making it a worthwhile investment if you are looking for a 2-in-1 convertible laptop on a budget.
The sleek design gives the Flex 14 a nice modern touch, while the comfortable keyboard makes it a joy to type on whether you’re working at the office or doing homework.
You also get a longer battery life, an SD card option thanks to the card reader, which evens out the fact that you won’t get the Intel core experience, such as the core i7 or Intel core i5. But, the large 14-inch display makes up for all of it.
More importantly, the Lenovo Flex 14, despite being a budget option, does not come with that hollow, plastic-like feel that you’d expect to find in laptops available at the same price point. While the display and the graphics card won’t wow the diehard gamer, for the average user looking for a budget option that gets the job done, the Lenovo Flex 14 is a smart option.