The 2-in-1 convertible laptop is no longer automatically considered to be high-end hardware. Similar to budget-friendly original clamshells, you can purchase inexpensive ones.
Let’s look at the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i: Its lightweight 3.31-pound design enables switching between touch-tablet and standard laptop modes quick and simple. With 14 inches being a more and more popular screen size for convertibles, the light weight is paired with new, more durable hinges and a snappy touch screen.
The panel brightness and battery life in particular could use improvement, but for $799 in our test unit (models start at $669), this is a good, if not outstanding, choice among widely available 2-in-1s.
The connectivity of ports
The power port, an HDMI 1.4b port, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2/Thunderbolt 4 port, and a headphone/microphone combo jack are all located along the left side of the notebook (3.5mm). Two USB 3.2 Type-A Gen 1 ports, an SD card reader, and one that is “always on” for charging devices are located on the right side of the device. The card should be removed before carrying the unit as this reader makes it stick out past halfway.
With optional 160MHz channels capable of 1,680Mbps Wi-Fi speeds—twice as fast as the 840Mbps on normal 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 80MHz—the Flex 5i supports Intel Wi-Fi 6 (2×2/160) Gig+.
The laptop also features LE Power Control (LEPC), which enables the transmitter to modify transmission power on its own or in response to requests from peer devices, Bluetooth 5.2, which supports wireless headphones, game controllers, and smart home devices within 800 feet at speeds up to 50Mbps.
The Guarantee and the Software Provided
This Flex 5i can be serviced by either Lenovo or the reseller because it is a retail unit. For a full year, Lenovo provides labor, parts, and system repair coverage for any manufacturing defects or frequent problems. Phone customer support is also included. There are also options for a three-year extended warranty and three years of accidental damage insurance.
The 30-day trial versions of Microsoft Office 365 and McAfee antivirus software are preinstalled on the IdeaPad Flex 5i. Lenovo Vantage, which is essentially an interface that let you to customize audio and display settings, update drivers, and request remote support, is also included with the Flex 5i.
Gadgets for Input — Larger Clickpad
The backlit keyboard keys on the 2022 model offer crisper feedback than those on the Asus Vivobook Flip 14, but with generally shallower travel than those on the more costly HP Envy or ThinkPad series. This is similar to what we found with the 2021 model.
Those who may be used to desktop keyboards or high-end business-focused laptops may find the feedback on the Space key in particular to seem overly feeble. As Lenovo hasn’t significantly changed its keyboards in years, if you’ve ever typed on an IdeaPad notebook, you’ll know what to anticipate here.
For roomier cursor control and multi-touch inputs, the clickpad is larger than the one on the 2021 model (12 x 7.5 cm vs. 10.5 x 7 cm). However, despite the sharp aural sound, clicking on the clickpad hasn’t improved much because the feedback is rather shallow and feeble, leaving an unpleasant experience.
The performance of simple operations like drag-and-drop or double-clicking becomes frustrating. Where possible, we advise using a real mouse or a touchscreen.
Restricted Color Display
Despite the fact that our more recent model makes use of a different underlying screen, the majority of display characteristics are the same as on the 2021 IdeaPad Flex 5 14ALC05. Particularly, color space and response times are still subpar or at best average, which is regrettably standard for low-cost 14-inch convertibles.
If users want to prioritize deeper and brighter colors, they should switch to the Lenovo Yoga, Dell XPS, HP Spectre, Asus Zenbook, or MSI Summit series.
Larger and Quieter Fan Reduces Emissions
With low to low-medium loads, the system is virtually always silent, which is comparable to what we saw on the Yoga 9 14IAP7. When playing games, it can go as loud as 38 dB(A), which is still less than on many other Ultrabooks, where >40 dB(A) is typical under comparable circumstances.
Given that most Ultrabooks have smaller 50 mm internal fans in comparison, the larger-than-normal 70 mm internal fan is at least largely to blame for the lower fan noise ceiling.
Since the CPU and SSD are both located on the left side of the motherboard, the left half of the laptop has warmer surface temperatures than the right.
When running high loads, such as games, hot places can approach 40 C on the top and bottom, but the right side of the laptop would stay much cooler. It can be slightly painful if your left palm and fingers are warmer than your right ones.
Even for a convertible laptop in the budget bracket, the 2022 IdeaPad Flex 5i 14 has a lot going for it. First of all, Lenovo has improved the quality of the hinges by redesigning them to be more durable than those on the model from last year.
Second, it’s one of the few budget convertibles with Thunderbolt 4 support, which enables a larger range of docking stations and desk arrangements that are compatible.
Last but not least, when compared to competing laptops with the same chip, the Core i5-1235U CPU and integrated GPU perform far faster than anticipated. Performance is almost on par with the more expensive Core i7-1255U option in the Dell Inspiron 14 7420 2-in-1.