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[Review] Lenovo Flex 5 (81X20005US): Yes! Yes! Yes!


Pros
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard
  • Impressive 6 core processor + 16 GB of RAM
  • Full HD display
  • Quick charge technology
  • Premium Design
Cons
  • No dedicated graphics card

Let's bee real for a second: when it comes down to convertible 2-in-1 laptops there are not that many options to choose from if you're looking for high performance at a low price point. It just doesn't happen. That's why when Lenovo announced the Lenovo Flex 5, specifically the model 81X20005US at a very very low price point we were beyond ecstatic and couldn't wait to do an in-depth review.

So? Is it worth it? Should you buy the Lenovo Flex 5 81X20005US? Will it deliver a good performance on demanding tasks? All of this and more is what we set out to answer for you today. Wanna tag along?

Index
  1. A Design that just works
  2. What's the performance like?
  3. Who's it for?
  4. Battery life and Connectivity
  5. Final Thoughts 


A design that just works

You can't have a top-selling convertible that packs all the punches and neglect to deliver on the design, that's just bad business. Fortunately for us, Lenovo agrees and while the design of the Lenovo Flex 5 (81X20005US) is far from revolutionary, it hits the spot just right.

Sure enough, the convertible is not made out of metal, but at its mid-range price point, we wouldn't really expect otherwise. That said, the build quality is pretty solid, as we've come to expect from Lenovo laptops. 

The hinge, however, is made out of metal and you can tell, with a slick mechanism that allows us to open the laptop with one hand, something that's surprisingly uncommon these days.

The screen in this case is good but not really impressive. Color accuracy is alright for the most part but photographers who are looking to use this convertible as a one-stop-shop should maybe keep browsing if color accuracy is critical to their profession. 

Going into more detail, we've got a 14-inch diagonal with a pretty standard Full HD resolution (1920 by 1080) and 10 points of responsiveness (same as the iPad, for example). 

Brightness is alright but we wouldn't recommend this model if you're going to be constantly using it outside as it doesn't have an anti-reflective coating. Finally, being an IPS display, you've also got quite a wide viewing angle, 178 degrees to be precise.

The keyboard is comfortable -as many reviewers have already attested - with big enough keys that you don't miss your 15" laptop and enough travel distance that you don't feel like you're typing on a screen. It's also backlit, with two intensities to make sure one can get some work done late at night.

Finally, as expected on a convertible, it's a pretty portable device overall, weighing just above 3.6 pounds and measuring 0.8 inches thick, quite "backpack-ready" if you ask us.

Overall performance

Performance on the Lenovo Flex 5 81X20005US reviewed today has been a major selling point for this convertible. Unlike most convertibles which tend to be beautiful paperweights where you can basically limit your activity to browsing through chrome and editing a few documents, Lenovo's latest bet offers a much more powerful set of internals, aimed at the busy professional.

In a quick recap we see that we've got a powerful hexa-core AMD Ryzen 5 4500U that clocks in at an impressive 2.3 GHz base speed and can reach a maximum of 4.1 GHz when pressed by the most demanding of users. However, truth be told, you probably won't hit the 4.1GHz unless you're a major power-user.

Accompanying the impressive processor we've got an equally impressive dual-channel 16 GB of DDR4 RAM which clocks in at a surprising 3200 MHz, quite a high speed considering most laptops pack a RAM that boasts a speed of 2666 MHz at best

This is especially important if you're like me and you don't want to be coddling your laptop but rather have a gazillion tabs and software open at the same time without having to worry about lags due to an overloaded RAM.

Finally, in case a combination of these two wasn't enough to convince you that this convertible is your new best friend, we've also got a massive 256 GB SSD unit. On the pretty likely chance that you come from a laptop with an HDD -a pretty safe bet if you haven't renewed in over three-four years - you should know that once you try out a laptop with an SSD there's no going back.

You've been warned, you'll never be able to look at a hard drive computer again -they're going extinct anyway -, the thought of having to wait over 10 seconds to do even the most demanding of tasks will seem daunting and inconceivable. 

You simply won't understand why you "tolerated" your previous laptop's "attitude" when turning on, turning off, or just about anything else it did that took forever. Basically, you'll forget what the "thinking icon" even looked like and when you see it again, someday, some time, you'll be happy to greet your old friend but not happy enough to want it to stay.

So, who's it for?

With this set of key specs you can pretty much expect a 2-in-1 that's down for everything. Browsing the web? Done. Streaming movies? No problem. Editing documents? Duh! Working with CPU-Demanding software (IE: Virtual machines, compiling and rendering code, photoshop) Done, done, and done. 

Basically, the only thing you shouldn't expect in terms of performance would be for the Flex 5 81X20005US to perform well when it comes to AAA games. This is not a gaming laptop, light gaming could work but nothing too graphically intensive since it lacks a dedicated graphics card and you'll have to play at very low settings.

 If that's what you're after you'd be far better off with the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-54-5812 reviewed a few weeks back.

What's the deal with battery life? How's the connectivity?

As many customers have already reported in the customer reviews, Lenovo has been pretty spot on in terms of advertising a relatively accurate battery life. In that regard, while the company claims the laptop to deliver up to 10 hours of battery life, expecting roughly 7 hours of mixed usage is a pretty safe bet in my experience, more so if you like to use the laptop at full brightness. 

What's more, we've also got quick charge technology with this device being able to charge up to 80% in just an hour.

When it comes to connectivity 2-in-1's don't really get the best reputation, with many of them opting to call it a day after implementing a single USB type C port. Fortunately for us, the Flex 5 is a bit more generous with a couple of USB type-A ports (your standard USB port), a standalone USB Type C port and an HDMI output (not a mini HDMI like other convertibles). There's also your run of the mill audio jack to connect your wired headphones.

As expected, we've also got a dual-band WiFi connectivity (2.4 and 5 GHz) as well as Bluetooth support. There's also a webcam which is quite decent, though our favorite feature about it is that it has a mechanical cover so you can easily cover your webcam without having to resort to putting duck tape on top of it.

Wrapping it up

As we wrap up this review on the Lenovo Flex 5 81X20005US it's clear that Lenovo has earned its spot amongst the list of top-selling laptops. This particular model has just about everything we could've asked from a laptop. 

Starting off with a pretty and functional design, it's got killer specs for great performance and to top it all off an extensive battery life that you can quickly recharge when needed. All in all, considering its tight price point, this laptop is just about the best convertible of 2020 and you'd be hard-pressed to find another convertible that offers such a complete device without going above the 4 digits. 

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