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Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) Laptop Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Nov 01, 2021 at 01:58 pm
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) Picture
7.6
School
5.9
Gaming
7.2
Multimedia
7.0
Workstation
7.3
Business
Size
14"
Operating System
Windows 10

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) is a 2-in-1 touchscreen convertible laptop. It has a thin and light design and enough battery to last through a typical workday. The keyboard feels great to type on, and the plastic touchpad is decently sized, with reasonable performance. Although the speakers don't get very loud, they sound good overall. Unfortunately, the screen doesn't get bright enough for very well-lit environments, the color gamut is narrow, and the colors themselves are fairly inaccurate, making content look washed out. You can't get it with any high-performance dedicated graphics cards, which isn't ideal for those who need to perform critical tasks requiring lots of computation.

We tested the model with a 14 inch 1080p IPS display, an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB NVMe SSD. You can get it with various Intel and AMD mobile CPUs, 4GB to 16GB of memory, and 128GB to 1TB of fast NVMe SSD storage. The lowest-end models are more than adequate to run a few web apps or watch videos. On the other hand, the higher-end Intel models have dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX330 graphics, providing more power for light computational tasks but not for AAA gaming.

Our Verdict

7.6 School

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is a good laptop for school use. It's impressively lightweight and portable, and the build quality is decent. The battery lasts a full day of typical work, and the model with the Ryzen 5 4500U CPU we tested performs well for multitasking and light productivity. The keyboard feels great to type on, and the touchpad feels okay to use. However, the screen doesn't get very bright and isn't ideal for use in very bright environments. Also, the webcam and microphone are mediocre.

Pros
  • All-plastic design with decent build quality.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Battery lasts an entire school day.
  • Great, well-sized keyboard.
Cons
  • Low-quality webcam image.
  • Static in microphone recordings.
  • Screen isn't ideal for use in very bright environments.
5.9 Gaming

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is disappointing for gaming. Our model with integrated graphics performs poorly in most games, even in some older titles. There are higher-end variants with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX330 graphics card, but we don't expect them to run AAA titles smoothly on high settings. There's no VRR support, and you can only get it with a 1080p 60Hz IPS panel. It tends to get quite hot around the top left of the keyboard under load, but on the bright side, the fans aren't too noisy. Also, there's a good selection of ports, and the keyboard feels great.

Pros
  • Performance doesn't degrade over extended load periods.
Cons
  • Poor overall gaming performance.
  • Keyboard gets quite hot under load.
  • RAM isn't expandable.
7.2 Multimedia

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is decent for media viewing. It's very portable, and you can flip the touch-capable screen all the way around to use it as a tablet. The battery lasts long enough to get you through a few feature-length films. Although the speakers don't get very loud, they sound good overall. However, the screen looks washed out because of its narrow color gamut, and it's hard to watch content in very well-lit environments because it doesn't get very bright.

Pros
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Excellent battery life.
  • Can be used as a touchscreen tablet.
  • Fan is quiet even under load.
Cons
  • Screen isn't ideal for use in very bright environments.
  • Poor color gamut.
  • Blacks look grayish in the dark.
  • Speakers don't get very loud.
7.0 Workstation

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is satisfactory as a workstation. Our model with the Ryzen 5 4500U CPU and 16GB of memory is good for multitasking and can run most applications smoothly. Also, it doesn't lose performance over extended periods under load. The NVMe SSD is amazingly fast, so large files transfer very quickly. There's a good selection of ports, including HDMI and USB, for an external monitor and peripherals. Unfortunately, even the highest-end models with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX330 GPU aren't suited for large-scale or time-sensitive creative work.

Pros
  • Responsive performance thanks to Ryzen 5 4500U and NVMe SSD.
  • Performance doesn't degrade over extended load periods.
  • Fan is quiet even under load.
Cons
  • Poor 3D rendering performance.
  • Keyboard gets quite hot under load.
  • RAM isn't expandable.
7.3 Business

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is decent for business use. The laptop's build quality feels satisfactory, with a lightweight and portable frame, and the battery lasts a full workday. The keyboard feels great to type on even over long periods, while the plastic touchpad is reasonably sized. While the CPUs in the lower-end models are powerful enough to make web browsing and word processing smooth and responsive, they aren't suited for heavier multitasking. Unfortunately, the built-in webcam and microphone are mediocre for video calls.

Pros
  • All-plastic design with decent build quality.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Battery lasts a full workday with typical workloads.
  • Great, well-sized keyboard.
Cons
  • Low-quality webcam image.
  • Static in microphone recordings.
  • Screen isn't ideal for use in very bright environments.
  • RAM isn't expandable.
  • 7.6 School
  • 5.9 Gaming
  • 7.2 Multimedia
  • 7.0 Workstation
  • 7.3 Business
  1. Updated Feb 02, 2022: We changed the GPU's VRAM to N/A because the integrated GPU uses the system memory.
  2. Updated Nov 01, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated Nov 01, 2021: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) with a 1080p IPS display, an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U CPU with Radeon Vega 6 integrated graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB NVMe SSD. Since this is a 2020 model, it's no longer listed for sale on Lenovo's website, but there are updated versions with newer-generation processors. There are also 15 inch models available. It's also closely related to the 14 inch IdeaPad Flex 5G with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and wireless 5G connectivity, and the 13.3 inch Chromebook Flex 5 with either a Celeron or Intel Core i3 processor. Below is a table of the configurations available for our model year.

  Variants Notes
Screen
  • 14.0" IPS 1920 x 1080 60Hz, touchscreen
 
CPU
  • AMD Ryzen 3 4300U (4 cores/4 threads, 2.7GHz to 3.7GHz)
  • AMD Ryzen 5 4500U (6 cores/6 threads, 2.3GHz to 4.0GHz) 
  • AMD Ryzen 7 4700U (8 cores/8 threads, 2.0GHz to 4.1GHz)
  • Intel Core i3-1005G1 (2 cores/4 threads, 1.2GHz to 3.4GHz)
  • Intel Core i5-1035G1 (4 cores/8 threads, 1.0GHz to 3.6GHz)
  • Intel Core i7-1065G7 (4 cores/8 threads, 1.3GHz to 3.9GHz)
  • No fingerprint scanner on the 
    AMD Ryzen 3 4300U and
    Intel Core i3-1005G1 models.
GPU
  • AMD Radeon Vega 5 (Ryzen 3 4300U integrated)
  • AMD Radeon Vega 6 (Ryzen 5 4500U integrated)
  • AMD Radeon Vega 7 (Ryzen 7 4700U integrated)
  • Intel UHD Graphics (Intel i3 and i5 integrated)
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics (Intel i7 integrated)
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX330 2GB
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX330 2GB
    available only on Intel Core i7
    models.
RAM
  • 4GB DDR4 3200MHz
  • 8GB DDR4 3200MHz
  • 16GB DDR4 3200MHz
  • 4GB available only on
    AMD Ryzen 3 4300U and
    Intel Core i3-1005G1 models.
Storage
  • 128GB NVMe SSD
  • 256GB NVMe SSD
  • 512GB NVMe SSD
  • 1TB NVMe SSD
 
Color
  • Graphite Gray
  • Platinum Gray
 
Other  
  • Touch pen only available in
    some bundles.

Our display and performance results are only valid for the configuration that we tested. If you come across a different configuration option not listed above, or you have a similar IdeaPad Flex 5 that doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update it. Some tests, like black uniformity and color accuracy, may vary between individual units.

You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Laptops

HP Pavilion x360 14 (2021)

The HP Pavilion x360 14 (2021) and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) are both 2-in-1 laptops with 360-degree hinges, but the Lenovo is a better laptop overall. The Lenovo's keyboard feels better to type on, its battery lasts significantly longer, and it throttles much less under load. Additionally, you can get it with a variety of Intel and AMD CPUs, as well as a dedicated, entry-level NVIDIA GPU. On the other hand, the HP has a much better-quality webcam, its USB-C port can output to an external display, it has an HDMI 2.0 port, and it doesn't get as hot under load.

HP ENVY x360 13 (2020)

The HP ENVY x360 13 (2020) and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) are very similar 2-in-1 convertible laptops, as they both have a 360-degree hinge that lets you flip the screen around into tablet mode. The quality of the keyboard and touchpad is similar on both devices, but the ENVY x360 has a better port selection, including Thunderbolt 4 support on the Intel variants. Performance-wise, the ENVY x360 comes out ahead for the most part because it's available with a newer generation of CPUs. That said, the ENVY x360 throttles under load, whereas the IdeaPad Flex 5 doesn't suffer from any performance loss. If you work in a very well-lit or sunny environment, the ENVY x360 has a much brighter display option to combat glare.

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 (2020)

The ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 (2020) and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) are Windows 2-in-1 convertible laptops. The Lenovo is better for the most part because its keyboard provides a better typing experience, its touchpad is more responsive, and its webcam has better video quality. It also has a better port selection and longer battery life. The Lenovo is available with much more powerful CPUs and more memory, meaning it can handle significantly heavier workloads than the ASUS. Our VivoBook Flip 14 has an inferior 720P TN display, but you can get it with a 1080p IPS screen instead, which we expect will perform similarly to the Lenovo's.

Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 (2021)

The Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 (2021) and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 15 14 (2020) are both 2-in-1 convertible laptops with a 14 inch screen. The Yoga 7i is a more premium device with a sturdier aluminum chassis, and it provides a better user experience, like a more colorful display, better-sounding speakers, and a more responsive touchpad. The Yoga 7i also has much longer battery life, lasting 4 hours more in light productivity workloads, and it doesn't get as hot or loud under load. On the other hand, the IdeaPad Flex 5 has better performance over time as its CPU doesn't throttle under load.

Acer Swift 3 14 (2020)

The Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) are both 14 inch Windows laptops. However, the IdeaPad Flex 5 is a 2-in-1 convertible that you can also use as a tablet, while the Swift 3 is a more traditional clamshell laptop. The Swift 3 has a more colorful screen with full sRGB coverage, while the IdeaPad Flex 5's looks a bit washed out. Additionally, the Swift 3 has longer battery life, a better port selection that includes a USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 support, and it doesn't get as hot under load. The IdeaPad Flex 5 has a better webcam, and its keyboard is more comfortable to type on because it doesn't feel as cramped.

Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020)

The Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) are both Windows devices available in a wide variety of Intel and AMD CPUs, but the Lenovo is a convertible 2-in-1 with a touchscreen whereas the Acer is a traditional clamshell laptop. The Lenovo is better for school use, as it's much more portable, has a significantly longer battery life, and has a nicer-feeling keyboard. It also has a better port selection and better-sounding speakers, and you can get it with an HDR 400–certified IPS display. On the other hand, the Acer's larger screen is better for multitasking, it has more serviceable parts, and you can get it with more powerful dedicated GPUs. Also, its webcam, microphone, and touchpad are better.

ASUS VivoBook 15 OLED K513 (2021)

The ASUS VivoBook 15 OLED K513 (2021) and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) are both ultraportable Windows laptops. However, the Lenovo has a 360-degree hinge that lets you use it as a tablet, which you can't do on the ASUS. The Lenovo laptop's keyboard feels more comfortable to type on, but the ASUS laptop's touchpad is smoother and more responsive. The ASUS also has a much better display as it uses an OLED panel that can produce deeper blacks and gets brighter. The ASUS' Intel 11th Gen processors perform better than the Lenovo laptop's AMD Ryzen 4000-series and Intel 10th Gen CPUs in single- and multi-threaded workloads. However, the Lenovo has much longer battery life, lasting almost twice as long as the ASUS.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020)

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) is much better than the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020) for most uses. The IdeaPad Flex has a backlit keyboard that's more comfortable to type on, a better port selection, and much longer battery life. Also, the IdeaPad Flex can be used as a tablet because it has a 360-degree hinge, whereas the Inspiron is limited to clamshell mode. The Inspiron 15 is more serviceable, though, making it easier to upgrade after purchase. The Inspiron 15 is only available with Intel processors, but you can get the IdeaPad Flex with an Intel or AMD CPU.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021)

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) is a convertible with a 360-degree hinge, while the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021) is a tablet with a detachable keyboard. The Surface is better for most uses, with a high refresh rate 120Hz display that's sharper, brighter, and more color accurate, a much better touchpad, and a far superior webcam and microphone that are better for video conferences. Additionally, it's much more portable since it's lighter and more compact. On the other hand, the Lenovo has a more flexible port selection, its battery lasts much longer, and you can get it with a dedicated NVIDIA MX330 GPU.

Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020)

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) is a 2-in-1 touchscreen convertible laptop, whereas the Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020) is a portable, premium-feeling laptop running macOS. The MacBook is better for business use and multimedia viewing, with a significantly better-performing CPU and GPU and a much better and brighter display. Also, it has a much better touchpad, speakers, webcam, and microphone. On the other hand, the Lenovo's hinge can flip a full 360 degrees for use in tablet mode, its keyboard feels better to type on, and it has a much better port selection.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 (2019)

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 (2019) and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) are thin and light productivity-focused laptops. However, the IdeaPad Flex 5 is a 2-in-1 convertible, whereas the Surface Laptop 3 is a traditional clamshell laptop. For the most part, the Surface Laptop 3 provides a better user experience because it has a larger, brighter, and more color-accurate display, a better touchpad, and a significantly better webcam. On the other hand, the IdeaPad Flex 5's battery can last much longer, and unlike the Surface Laptop 3, it doesn't throttle under load.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021)

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021) and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) are very different. Although they're both 2-in-1 convertibles, the Duet 5 is a Chrome OS tablet with a kickstand and detachable keyboard, while the Flex 5 is a Windows clamshell laptop with a 360-degree hinge. The Flex 5 is better for productivity as its CPU can handle heavier workloads, and it provides a better user experience, like a better keyboard, touchpad, and port selection. However, the Duet 5 is better for media consumption because it has an OLED panel with superior image quality.

ASUS X515 (2020)

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) is much better than the ASUS X515 for most uses. Although the IdeaPad Flex has a slightly smaller display, it has a 360-degree hinge that lets you use the laptop as a tablet, while you can only use the X515 in clamshell mode. The IdeaPad Flex's keyboard provides a better typing experience, its touchpad has better tracking, and its webcam captures more details due to its higher resolution. The IdeaPad Flex also has longer battery life, and it can be configured with Intel or AMD CPUs, while the X515 is only available with Intel processors.

Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (2021)

The Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (2021) and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) are both 2-in-1 convertible laptops with a 360-degree hinge and a 14 inch screen. The Yoga 9i is a more premium device that provides a better user experience with a brighter and more colorful display, including a 4k panel option, as well as better-sounding speakers and Thunderbolt 4 support. The Yoga 9i's Intel 11th Gen processors are faster than the IdeaPad Flex 5's AMD Ryzen 4000 and Intel 10th Gen CPUs; however, the Yoga 9i throttles significantly under load, whereas the IdeaPad Flex 5 can maintain its full performance in long and demanding workloads. The IdeaPad Flex 5 also has longer battery life, especially for video playback.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020)

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) and the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020) are both convertible 2-in-1 laptops with touchscreens, but the Acer can only run Play Store and Linux apps, whereas the Lenovo can run x86 applications like the full Adobe Suite. The Acer is much better for multimedia use, with a brighter, more color-accurate display. Also, it has a better webcam, and it runs much cooler and quieter under load. On the other hand, the Lenovo performs better at games and as a workstation since you can equip it with a dedicated GPU, and it doesn't lose performance over time. You can equip both laptops with fast SSDs, but the CPUs available on the Lenovo perform much better.

Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020)

The Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020) and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) are Windows laptops. However, the Lenovo is a productivity-focused laptop only available with a U-series processor designed for ultraportables. The Acer is a gaming laptop with a much more powerful H-series processor and dedicated graphics. If you only perform light productivity tasks, the Lenovo is likely a better choice because it's more portable, and it has a significantly better keyboard and longer battery life. The Lenovo is also a 2-in-1, meaning you can use it as a tablet. That said, the Acer may be a better choice if you need more graphical horsepower for demanding tasks like video editing or 3D modeling.

Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2019)

The Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2019) is a premium-feeling laptop that runs macOS, whereas the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) is a 360-degree 2-in-1 with a touchscreen. The MacBook is particularly better for workstation and business use, with a better-performing CPU and GPU and a significantly better and brighter display. Also, it has a much better touchpad, speakers, webcam, and microphone. You can use the Lenovo in tablet mode, and it has a much longer battery life, a significantly better keyboard, and a more flexible selection of ports. There are variants of the Lenovo with a better CPU and an entry-level dedicated GPU, but we expect the battery life to be much worse.

Acer Chromebook 315 (2020)

The Acer Chromebook 315 (2020) is a 15 inch Chromebook available with power-efficient Intel Celeron CPUs, while the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) is a 2-in-1 Windows laptop that comes in a variety of performant Intel and AMD processors. The Lenovo is particularly better for gaming and business tasks, with variants that have significantly more powerful CPUs, the option of a dedicated GPU, and a far superior SSD. Also, the speakers sound better, the keyboard feels nicer, and it supports x86 applications like Photoshop. On the other hand, the Acer has a larger screen, its battery lasts longer overall, and it stays completely silent and doesn't get too warm.

HP Chromebook x360 12 (2021)

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) and the HP Chromebook x360 12 (2021) are convertible touchscreen 2-in-1 laptops. However, the HP runs Chrome OS and is limited to Linux and Play Store apps, whereas the Lenovo is a Windows device that can run x86 and DirectX applications. This makes the Lenovo a better productivity, gaming, and workstation laptop, with a choice of much more powerful AMD and Intel CPUs, an entry-level dedicated GPU, and much faster SSDs. Also, the Lenovo has a better-feeling keyboard, a better-tracking touchpad, a much better port selection, and a much longer-lasting battery. On the other hand, the HP's speakers sound significantly better, its webcam looks better, and it stays completely silent even under load.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 (2020)

The Dell Alienware m15 R3 (2020) is a bulky gaming laptop, whereas the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) is a 2-in-1 convertible laptop with a touchscreen. The Alienware is significantly better for gaming and workstation use, with a far better-performing CPU and GPU, up to a 300Hz refresh rate, a 4k OLED variant, and a significantly wider color gamut. Its keyboard, touchpad, speakers, webcam, and microphone are superior, it has two extra serviceable storage slots, and it has a much wider selection of ports. On the other hand, the Lenovo is significantly more portable, with far better battery life, and you can use it in tablet mode for more comfortable multimedia viewing.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Form Factor
2 in 1

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is a 2-in-1 laptop with a clean, unassuming look that doesn't look out of place in a professional or business setting. The bezels are thin, and the screen opens a full 360 degrees so you can use it as a tablet. The exhausts are on the rear, while the upward-facing speakers sit on either side of the keyboard.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 2-in-1 feels decently well-built. It's made entirely of plastic, but it doesn't feel cheap, and there's very little give if you push on the keyboard deck. The top of the display flexes when you twist it, and the corners of the outer bezels pop out slightly, but there shouldn't be any risk of long-term damage if this happens. If you want a Chromebook with better build quality, check out the Google Pixelbook Go (2019).

8.9
Design
Hinge
Range
360°
Stability
Decent
One Finger Lift
Yes

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5's hinge is excellent. You can bring the screen all the way around to use the laptop in tablet mode if you prefer. There's a bit of play to it, but there's very little wobble when typing. The screen is easy to lift with one finger, but the keyboard begins to lift once you push it past 120 degrees.

8.2
Design
Portability
Size
14"
Thickness
0.9" (2.3 cm)
Width
12.7" (32.3 cm)
Depth
8.5" (21.5 cm)
Volume
96.2 in³ (1,576.4 cm³)
Weight
3.3 lbs (1.5 kg)
Charger Size
10.4 in³ (169.7 cm³)
Charger Weight
0.7 lbs (0.3 kg)

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 2-in-1 laptop has great portability. It's lightweight, and its charger is small and easy to bring around.

6.5
Design
Serviceability
Ease Of Access
8.0
RAM Slots
0
Storage Slots
1
Replaceable Battery
Yes
Replaceable Wireless Adapter
Yes

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5's serviceability is okay overall. Although we had some very minor difficulties opening it, accessing the internals is easy. You need to remove the screws from the panel on the underside, then use a prying tool to open up the edges. Opening the laptop and making changes to the hardware may void the manufacturer's warranty.

If you want a similarly portable laptop with room for a 2.5 inch storage drive, as well as an accessible RAM slot, check out the Acer Aspire 5 (2020).

Design
In The Box

  • Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 inch laptop
  • Lenovo Pen
  • USB-A Lenovo Pen holder
  • 65W USB-C power adapter
  • Manual

Display
Display
Screen Specs
Resolution
1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Pixel Density
157 PPI
Panel Type
IPS
Touch Screen
Yes
Screen-To-Body Ratio
79%

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14's screen is on the smaller side, but it's still fine for multitasking with multiple windows or watching content. The side bezels are thin, helping maximize screen space while keeping the laptop compact. If you're looking for a 2-in-1 laptop for business use but want a taller 3:2 aspect ratio, check out the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020).

5.9
Display
Refresh Rate
Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5's screen only comes in a 60Hz configuration with no variable refresh rate technology. This is typical of most productivity-focused laptops. As you can tell by the amount of ghosting in the motion blur photo, the response time is slow, so fast-moving content may not look very good.

6.9
Display
Contrast
Native Contrast
1,070 : 1

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5's contrast ratio is alright, typical of most IPS panels. As a result, blacks look grayish in the dark. The contrast ratio may vary between individual units.

6.5
Display
Brightness
Maximum Brightness
258 cd/m²
Minimum Brightness
7 cd/m²

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14's screen brightness is reasonable. It's fine for indoor use but is too dim to use in sunny environments. It gets very dim at the lowest setting, which is great for viewing media in a dark room. If you want a laptop with a brighter screen, the HP ENVY x360 (2020) has a 1000 cd/m² display option.

6.0
Display
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
6.158%
Indirect Reflections
0.476%
Calculated Direct Reflections
5.68%

The screen on the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 has passable reflection handling. Direct reflections are visible even with the screen at full brightness and can be very distracting when viewing dark scenes.

6.0
Display
Black Uniformity
Uniformity (Std. Dev.)
1.966%

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 has mediocre black uniformity, with a heavy presence of backlight bleed and a little IPS glow. Black uniformity may vary between units.

6.7
Display
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
23°
Color Washout From Right
26°
Color Shift From Left
50°
Color Shift From Right
51°
Brightness Loss From Left
26°
Brightness Loss From Right
29°
Black Level Raise From Left
60°
Black Level Raise From Right
60°
Gamma Shift From Left
25°
Gamma Shift From Right
28°

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 has adequate horizontal viewing angles. Image and color accuracy drop off quickly when viewing the screen at an angle, which isn't ideal for sharing content with people around you.

6.5
Display
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
26°
Color Washout From Above
26°
Color Shift From Below
41°
Color Shift From Above
29°
Brightness Loss From Below
27°
Brightness Loss From Above
25°
Black Level Raise From Below
45°
Black Level Raise From Above
45°
Gamma Shift From Below
29°
Gamma Shift From Above
30°

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5's vertical viewing angles are okay. Colors quickly become washed out if you're looking even slightly from above or below, so you have to look at the screen almost straight on to get the most accurate image.

6.7
Display
Out-Of-The-Box Color Accuracy
Avg. White Balance dE
2
Avg. Gamma
2.03
Avg. Color dE
5.37
Avg. Color Temperature
6,486 K

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 displays reasonably accurate colors. Most inaccuracies are due mainly to the narrow color gamut, which isn't an issue for productivity use but may be a problem for media consumption and creative professionals, as content will look washed out. The gamma is quite bad, with most scenes being too bright. However, the color temperature is practically at the 6500K target, which gives scenes a neutral tone. Color accuracy may vary between units. If you want a laptop with better color accuracy out of the box, check out the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 (2019).

4.0
Display
Color Gamut
sRGB xy
64.9%
sRGB uv
53.14%
Adobe RGB xy
49.12%
Adobe RGB uv
45.96%
DCI P3 xy
48.84%
DCI P3 uv
42.74%
Rec. 2020 xy
35.04%
Rec. 2020 uv
31.12%

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 has a poor color gamut. Its sRGB coverage is poor, meaning it can't display many of the colors used in standard web content. This isn't an issue for casual, everyday use, but because it's only capable of displaying a narrow range of colors, it isn't ideal for any content creation, including for those working in Adobe RGB. As a result, it isn't suitable for viewing HDR content as its DCI P3 coverage is bad, and its Rec. 2020 coverage is even worse. If you want a Chromebook with a better color gamut, check out the Lenovo Chromebook Duet (2020).

10
Display
Flicker
Flicker-Free
Yes
Flicker Frequency
No Flicker
Flicker Active Below
0%

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 uses a completely flicker-free backlight, which can help reduce eye strain if you're sensitive to it.

Interface
8.2
Interface
Keyboard
Typing Quality
8.0
Numpad
No
Backlighting
Adjustable
Operating Force
67 gf
Actuation Force
36 gf
Pre-Travel
1.04 mm
Total Travel
1.7 mm

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14's keyboard feels great to type on. The size is good, and there's decent spacing between the keys, so it doesn't feel cramped. There are two backlight levels for better use in darker environments. The key travel is relatively short, but you need to apply a fair amount of force to actuate the keys, which might cause some strain if typing for very long periods. If you need a keyboard with a numpad, check out the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020).

6.9
Interface
Touchpad
Tracking Quality
7.0
Size
11.3 in² (73.2 cm²)
Material
Plastic
Dedicated Buttons
No

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14's touchpad is okay. It's adequately sized, but since it isn't as smooth as a glass touchpad, your fingers might occasionally get stuck when dragging and dropping. Although palm rejection is good overall, it occasionally registers unwanted touches if you're near the top corners. Like most other touchpads, it's hard to click near the top third.

7.5
Interface
Speakers
Max Volume
72 dB SPL
Standard Error @ Normal Vol. (65 dB)
4.3 dB
Slope @ Normal Vol. (65 dB)
0.3
Bass Extension (Low-Frequency Ext.)
293 Hz
Treble Extension (High-Frequency Ext.)
20 kHz
Dynamic Range Compression @ Max Vol.
1.2 dB

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5's speakers are good. There's almost no bass whatsoever, but this is typical of most laptop speakers. There's minimal compression at maximum volume, so content still sounds rich. That said, they don't get very loud.

6.2
Interface
Webcam & Microphone
Video Quality
5.5
Resolution
720p
Position
Top Center
Privacy Cover
Yes
Face Unlock
No

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5's webcam and microphone are mediocre. Colors are washed out, and it's hard to make out most of the writing in the video. The microphone is loud and clear, but there's a lot of static, and voices sound hollow. If you want a similar 2-in-1 convertible laptop with a better webcam, check out the Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 (2021).

Connectivity
7.5
Connectivity
Ports
USB-A Ports
2
USB-C Ports
1
Thunderbolt
No
USB-C Charging
Yes
USB-C Display Out
No
HDMI
1.4
DisplayPort
No
3.5mm Jack
Combo mic/headphone
Card Reader
SD UHS 1
Ethernet
No
Proprietary Port
No
Security Lock
No

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 has a good selection of ports. All the USB ports support USB 3.2 Gen 1 with a maximum data transfer rate of 5Gbps. Unfortunately, the HDMI port only supports up to 4k video at 30fps, and you can't use the USB-C port to output to an external display. If you need a laptop with Thunderbolt support, check out the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020).

Connectivity
Wireless Communication
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
Bluetooth
5.0

The wireless adapter is a Realtek 8822CE.

Configuration
Configuration
CPU
Brand
AMD
Model
Ryzen 5 4500U
Core Count
6
Thread Count
6

Our Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 model has a 6-core AMD Ryzen 4500U. There's also the quad-core Ryzen 3 4300U and the 8-core Ryzen 7 4700U. The IdeaPad Flex 5i variants have Intel processors, including a dual-core i3-1005G1, a quad-core i5-1035G1, and a quad-core i7-1065G7. Only the Intel CPUs have multithreading technology, which enables multiple processes to run on the same core. Having more physical cores provides better performance than multithreading since each core can work exclusively on a single process.

If you only need to browse the web or perform light productivity tasks, the Ryzen 3 and i3 models will be more than adequate. If you tend to have more windows open and want the system to run more smoothly, you'll be better off with the Ryzen 5 and i5 models. The Ryzen 7 and i7 models can handle heavier workloads like light 3D rendering or video editing and provide a smoother experience during heavy multitasking.

Configuration
GPU
Brand
AMD
Model
Radeon Graphics 384SP
Dedicated/Integrated
Integrated
VRAM Size
N/A

Update 02/02/2022: We set the VRAM to 0.5GB by mistake. The Radeon Graphics 384SP doesn't have any dedicated VRAM; it uses the system memory.

Our Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 unit has integrated Radeon Vega 6 Graphics. On the other hand, the Ryzen 3 4300U model uses integrated Radeon Vega 5 graphics, while the Ryzen 7 4700U model has integrated Radeon Vega 7 graphics. We expect all of these to perform similarly to one another for all practical purposes. The Intel i7-1065G7 uses integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics, which is reasonably faster than the Intel i3-1005G1 and i5-1035G1 models that have integrated Intel UHD graphics.

You can also get the Intel i7–equipped IdeaPad Flex 5i with dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX330 2GB graphics. It'll perform much better than integrated graphics for computationally intensive tasks.

Configuration
RAM
Capacity
16 GB
Modules
2 (Soldered)
Type
DDR4
Speed
3,200 MHz

You can get the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 with 4, 8, or 16GB of DDR4 memory running at 3200MHz. Only the AMD Ryzen 3 4300U and Intel Core i3-1005G1 models can be configured with 4GB of RAM, while you can configure the other models with 8GB or 16GB. If you want a smooth experience, we recommend getting at least 8GB. However, if you're someone who does a lot of multitasking or tends to have a lot of browser tabs open at once, you should opt for 16GB.

Configuration
Storage
Advertised Capacity
256 GB
Usable Capacity
208 GB
Drive 1
SK Hynix_HFM256GDHTNI-87A0B
Drive 1 Type SSD
Drive 2
No 2nd Drive
Drive 2 Type No 2nd Drive

Every Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 model uses an NVMe SSD, which makes booting and launching applications very fast. There's a variant with 128GB, which should be fine if you plan to mainly use cloud storage, but you can upgrade to 512GB if you need to store large media files locally.

Performance
7.1
Performance
Geekbench 5 (Synthetics)
CPU Single-Thread
1,114 points
CPU Multi-Thread
4,457 points
GPU Compute
10,429 points

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 with a 6-core, 6-thread Ryzen 5 4500U performs excellently in the single-thread synthetics benchmark, which makes it good for tasks like photo editing or light video editing. While performance for multi-thread workloads is decent, we don't expect it to score as well as CPUs with a similar core count that have multithreading technology enabled, such as the newer 6-core, 12-thread Ryzen 5 5500U. Our model scores poorly in the GPU compute scenario, which is typical of integrated graphics.

If you want the highest performance, we expect the 8-core, 8-thread Ryzen 7 4700U to perform better than the quad-core, 8-thread Intel Core i7-1065G7. The Ryzen 7 also performs a lot better than the Ryzen 5 4500U in multitasking and CPU-intensive programs, as it has two more cores and threads and a slightly faster boost clock.

8.1
Performance
Cinebench R23 (CPU Rendering)
Single-Thread
1,152 points
Multi-Thread
5,595 points

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 with a Ryzen 5 4500U performs very well in CPU rendering tasks for creative workloads. If you want to reduce render times, you should opt for the Ryzen 7 4700U or Intel Core i7-1065G7 models, which have better multi-thread performance since they have more cores and threads.

4.8
Performance
Blender (3D Rendering)
CPU Render Time
7.0 min
GPU Render Time
12.4 min
GPU Render Time (Optix)
N/A

Our model of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 with a Ryzen 5 4500U takes a while to render 3D scenes. It's much faster with the CPU compared to its integrated Radeon Vega 6 graphics. We expect the NVIDIA GeForce MX330 in the highest-end IdeaPad Flex 5i models with i7 processors to render scenes about as quickly, if not a little faster, than the paired CPU; although there won't be a drastic benefit to render time, you can use the GPU to lighten the workload on the CPU which can help when multitasking. If you need a laptop with a discrete GPU for faster render times, check out the Acer Nitro 5 (2020).

3.9
Performance
Basemark GPU (Game Scene)
Overall Score
9,699

The Radeon Vega 6 integrated graphics in our model of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 scores badly in the game scene benchmark, which is typical of an integrated graphics chip. We expect all the Intel and AMD options with integrated graphics to perform similarly to our unit, but the i7-1065G7 variant with integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics should perform a bit better overall. Additionally, the Intel i7-1065G7 models with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX330 2GB graphics card will perform better as it's a dedicated card, but we can't confirm by exactly how much. If you want a laptop with better GPU performance, check out the Dell Alienware m15 R3 (2020).

8.8
Performance
Storage Drive Performance
Sequential Write Speed
718.2 MB/s
Sequential Read Speed
1,496.1 MB/s
Random Write Speed
64.9 MB/s
Random Read Speed
43.1 MB/s

Our Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14's SSD performs excellently, with fast read/write speeds that help make the system feel quick and light overall. The SSD's speed may vary depending on the size, as larger SSDs tend to perform better.

8.7
Performance
Battery
Capacity
53 Wh
Battery Life (Web Browsing)
11.4 hrs
Battery Life (Video Playback)
9.0 hrs
Battery Life (Gaming)
1.5 hrs
Charge Time
2.5 hrs

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 laptop's battery lasts almost as long as Lenovo's 10-hour claim in our video playback test and almost an hour and a half longer when surfing the web. It's more than enough to get you through a full workday of light or medium productivity on a full charge. There's also plenty of screen-on time for people who frequently watch media while on the go. However, your battery will run out much faster if you run CPU-intensive tasks like photo or video editing or 3D rendering. If you want a Chromebook with even longer battery life, check out the HP Chromebook 14 (Intel Celeron N4000, 2021).

1.6
Performance
Borderlands 3
Avg. FPS
10 fps
1% Low
7 fps
0.1% Low
4 fps
1% Low Delta
49 ms
0.1% Low Delta
141 ms
Avg. FPS On Very Low
27 fps

Our model of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 runs Borderlands 3 terribly. On the "High" preset, it can't sustain a playable framerate, and even on the lowest graphical settings, it's barely playable. Because of the demanding nature of the game, we don't expect even the highest-end Intel Core i7 model with dedicated NVIDIA MX330 graphics to provide significantly improved performance.

4.2
Performance
Civilization VI
Avg. FPS
21 fps
1% Low
14 fps
0.1% Low
13 fps
1% Low Delta
23 ms
0.1% Low Delta
31 ms
Avg. FPS On Minimum
72 fps
Avg. Turn Time
8.7 s

Civilization VI runs poorly overall on our configuration of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5. The FPS drops noticeably when panning around the game world. However, the turn time is reasonable thanks to the CPU's decent multi-thread performance. You can get a much smoother playing experience by turning the graphical settings to the minimum.

5.2
Performance
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Avg. FPS
56 fps
1% Low
23 fps
0.1% Low
19 fps
1% Low Delta
26 ms
0.1% Low Delta
35 ms
Avg. FPS On Low
121 fps

CS:GO has disappointing performance on our model of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14, even though it's an older title. On high settings, it barely pushes out frames as quickly as the refresh rate of the screen, and there are a lot of stutters. However, you can get a significantly smoother experience by playing on the lowest settings. The highest-end IdeaPad Flex 5i model, with an i7 and dedicated NVIDIA MX330 graphics, won't stutter nearly as much.

2.6
Performance
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
Avg. FPS
15 fps
1% Low
11 fps
0.1% Low
7 fps
1% Low Delta
26 ms
0.1% Low Delta
85 ms
Avg. FPS On Lowest
27 fps

Shadow of the Tomb Raider runs terribly on our configuration of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5. The sections on the graph with noticeably shorter frame times (higher FPS) correspond to intervals with mostly static scenery. The game runs much better on the lowest settings, but it isn't smooth enough to provide a great experience.

6.8
Performance
Thermals And Noise
Keyboard Temp While Idle
32 °C (90 °F)
Keyboard Temp Under Load
51 °C (124 °F)
Fan Noise While Idle
25.0 dBA
Fan Noise Under Load
43.0 dBA
Power & Fan Control App
No

When idle, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 makes a mid-pitched whirring noise that doesn't sound bad at all. Under load, the noise is identical but louder, although it still isn't too bad. On the other hand, the keyboard already feels warm to the touch while the laptop is idle, and under load, the upper-left side gets very hot. If you want a laptop that doesn't get as hot under load, check out the ASUS X515 (2020).

10
Performance
Performance Over Time
CPU Temp (Cinebench)
87 °C
CPU Perf. Loss (Cinebench)
0% loss
GPU Temp (Heaven)
60 °C
GPU Perf. Loss (Heaven)
0% loss

The integrated Radeon Vega 6 graphics on the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 don't suffer from any measurable performance loss over time. The AMD Ryzen 5 4500U CPU on our unit experiences only a slight loss after thirty minutes running at full load, but it isn't even noticeable.

Additional Features And Software
Additional Features And Software
Software
Operating System
Windows 10
Additional Software
Yes

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 comes with a few pieces of pre-installed software:

  • Lenovo Pen Settings: Adjusts settings for the included pen.
  • Lenovo Vantage: Checks for driver and BIOS updates, and keeps track of the system status and your warranty.
  • Lenovo Utility: Related to technical support for the laptop, like when hardware and software information needs to be logged. It didn't seem to do very much during our testing.
  • McAfee LiveSafe: Commonly pre-installed anti-virus software.

If you're looking for a similar-looking laptop with a 360-degree hinge but prefer to use Chrome OS, check out the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 (2020).

Additional Features And Software
Extra Features
RGB Illumination
No
Touch Pen
Yes
Secondary Display
No
Biometrics
Fingerprint Sensor

You can get the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 with a touch pen using WAES (Wacom Active Electrostatic) technology. It has a built-in battery and can be attached to the laptop using the USB pen holder. Some models have a fingerprint sensor at the bottom right corner of the keyboard, below the arrow keys, which you can use to log in quickly.

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