Review of Lenovo Ideapad Flex 14

I recently bought my wife a Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 to replace her ancient Asus P50IJ. Needless to say it’s a big upgrade. The most noticeable differences are that the Lenovo is two pounds lighter and boasts a 4th-gen Core i5 over the Asus’ dual-core Pentium T4400.

I recorded the requisite tech blog unboxing video, so take a look and then we’ll get to the full review!

After letting the Flex run through its setup I took a quick video to comment on the build quality and the pros and cons I saw in the first few hours of use.

Build

As I said in the video, apart from the bottom edge of the screen bezel feeling rather flimsy, the build quality is plasticky but excellent.

One of early complaints I had with the Flex is that it’s a fingerprint magnet, particularly on that brushed metal palm rest. In the first few days we found ourselves wiping it down regularly, but by this point all the fingerprints have blended together into a nice sheen, so it’s not as noticeable.

The hinges feel very solid, and have not loosened much, if at all, in the month we have had it. While no one would qualify this as as “ultralight” machine, 4 lbs is perfectly fine for our use, and the increased weight was a deliberate sacrifice we made in order to have the 14″ display.

Performance

The 4th-gen (Haswell) Intel Core i5-4200U is as fast as it needs to be, and the battery life is good – roughly 7 hours at full brightness. The most processing-intensive task we’ve given the laptop so far is video chatting, and it handled that just fine.

Display

The touchscreen is fairly responsive, though I have noticed a few missed taps and swipes here and there. It could be a driver issue that gets resolved with a later update, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for that.

Sadly, the display is so dim that you basically need to keep it at full brightness in order to view it comfortably, which degrades battery life considerably. Other than that, the display has great clarity and color reproduction.

Verdict

After about a month of ownership, the Flex is used daily, mainly in laptop mode. My wife occasionally wishes it would lay flat in tablet mode like the Lenovo Yoga, but that’s my own fault for being miserly.

Still, the mid-range price of the Flex paired with the responsive multi-touch display and solid internals make this an excellent buy. If you do a lot of outdoor computing, beware of the dim screen, and if you like to poke touchscreens particularly forcefully, you should be careful around that bottom bezel.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll be happy to answer questions in the comments!

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