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Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Review (16″): Large Convertible With Lots Of Features | Tech Review

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Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Review (16″): Large Convertible With Lots Of Features | Tech Review



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Flexibility is key in our fast-moving society. It’s no wonder that more and more manufacturers are releasing 2-in-1 laptops in all sizes. One of the price-performance recommendations to date has always been Lenovo’s IdeaPad Flex 5 series, which we have already tested in smaller form factors.

Pros & Cons

  • Form factor
  • Performance
  • Input devices
  • Variety of connections
  • Battery life
  • Displays in everyday life
  • Display for image/video editing

With the new model, there should now be a large, foldable 16-inch display in the popular 16:10 MacBook format. In addition, a lot of performance thanks to the Intel Core i7 and a large variety of connections for just over 1000 euros*. In the test, we took a close look at whether the Flex 5 can also prove to be a budget tip in 16 inches.

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With the new model, there should now be a large, foldable 16-inch display in the popular 16:10 MacBook format. In addition, a lot of performance thanks to the Intel Core i7 and a large variety of connections for just over 1000 euros*. In the test, we took a close look at whether the Flex 5 can also prove to be a budget tip in 16 inches.

Display 16 inch (40cm), non-reflective, IPS display, 1920 x 1200 pixels (WUXGA), 16:10
300 nits, 62% sRGB
Processor Intel® Core™ i7-1255U, 10 Core, 12 Threads
(2 Performance Core, 8 Efficiency Core)
Chart Intel Iris Graphics (integrated)
RAM 16GB LPDDR4 4266MHz,
no expansion possible
Hard Disk 512GB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0×4 NVMe
Network Wireless LAN 6 (802.11ax)
Bluetooth 5.2
Connections 2 x USB 3.2 Type-A
1 x USB 3.2 Type-C1
power connector
1x 3.5mm headphone and microphone jack
1x SD card reader
Battery pack 52.5 Wh
up to 11.50 hours runtime
Input devices Standard keyboard with DE layout and white backlight
Full HD webcam
Fingerprint reader
Sound Audio system with two speakers
Dimensions 35.78 x 25.39 x 1.87 cm (B x T x H)
Weight 2.1 kg
1029 Euro*

Large display and still portable

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 does not reinvent the wheel visually, but impresses with a modern and attractive design. Weighing in at 2.1 kg, it remains light enough for easy portability.

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Due to the narrow display bezels, Lenovo has also managed to pack a large 16:10 format into a more compact form factor. In terms of footprint, it is more comparable to 15-inch devices.

The good feel of the aluminum lid and the solid metal hinges, which convey a high-quality feeling when touched, should also be emphasized. The upper side of the Flex is only slightly susceptible to fingerprints. However, the latter can be quickly removed with a microfiber cloth.

I would have liked to have been able to open the hinge with one hand. But it also keeps the screen in place when you perform touch gestures or use an optional stylus.

Input devices for frequent typists

What Lenovo has been doing really well lately: input devices. With the full-size keyboard, even longer texts can be written comfortably. The key drop is high enough and thanks to the even lighting, you can still see something in the dark.

The touchpad has been shifted slightly to the left, which is particularly good for right-handers. It reacts quickly to your inputs, but the haptic is minimal due to its plastic surface. Glass would have been nice here.

The bottom of the device is also not quite up to par. Plastic predominates here, which is torsion-resistant, but a bit disappointing compared to the aluminum lid.
Overall, however, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 16 inch offers many positive aspects in terms of design and form factor.

Limited upgradability

Also good: The base plate is only held in place by a few screws and can be easily removed. Inside, you can then only replace the SSD or one day replace the battery.Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 back side


The RAM is therefore soldered and cannot be expanded. However, this applies to almost all convertibles. With 16GB RAM, the Flex 5 is already well equipped.

Use in (office) everyday life: A lot of power ensures fast (touch) operation

Speaking of equipment: With an Intel Core i7-1255U and the aforementioned 16 GB of RAM, I was never able to bring the Flex 5 to its knees during my two-week test phase. It was used for all sorts of tasks in everyday (work) life.

It looked like this: It starts with booting, which is damn fast thanks to the very fast SSD with the latest standard (PCIe 4.0).

The login through the fingerprint reader was also relaxed and quick every time.

At a high level, one can only criticize the fact that face recognition via infrared is not possible – the IdeaPad 5 Pro already offered this, for example.
During work, countless open windows and browser tabs ran across the screen every day. The photo editing in Adobe programs could be done without any problems, even with many effects and full RAM.

The responsive touch display also contributed to the good user experience. You can quickly zoom in by hand in Photoshop or edit even finer details with an optional pen.
Even video editing in DaVinci Resolve was possible. The time to render (calculate) the finished video was only slightly longer. The Flex 5 does not have a dedicated graphics unit (GPU).

The integrated Iris Xe iGPU sits on top of the processor and can be used for simple gaming. CS:GO is therefore in full HD resolution even on high settings, but Shadow of the Tomb Raider degenerates into a stuttering orgy. The latter applies to most current titles. Still, not a bad result, as most recently a 2-in-1 laptop wasn’t even suitable for basic gaming.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Intel

Finally, a sensor with a higher Full HD resolution serves as a webcam. The Flex 5 leaves most of its competitors behind. In addition to the good resolution, which was noticeable in many Microsoft Teams calls, I also found the physical shutter extremely practical. This means that annoying masking is no longer necessary, you simply use the slider. Nice and well thought out by the manufacturer.

Lenovo can’t do magic in poor light conditions either. So make sure you have a frontal or side light source if you plan to do a lot of video calls.

When the work is done, you put the Flex 5 on the table in tent mode to watch a series or a film.

The built-in speakers don’t live up to cinematic standards. However, it is sufficient for occasional media consumption on the go or in bed.

Connections? Lots.

The large number of connections that Lenovo has accommodated in the Flex 5 also contributed to the positive overall impression when working. The narrower and slimmer a notebook is, the fewer ports it usually has.

In the Flex 5 you can expect two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 with DisplayPort function, one HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm jack and – drum roll – a full SD card reader. I used it to transfer photo and video files from my cameras to the Flex 5 quickly and easily. Adapters were therefore not necessary in everyday office life. Simultaneous image transfer and charging via USB-C is also possible. This is easy on the nerves and ensures a clean desk.

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runs long..

I was also surprised by the good battery life during my application scenario. When I wasn’t running benchmarks, the combination of Intel processor and 52Wh battery was sufficient for a workday of eight to nine hours.

When Photoshop and Lightroom were on, however, the duration dropped to about five to six hours. That’s still okay for a large portable laptop. If the battery should be empty, you can fill it up within 15 minutes with two hours of running time thanks to the quick charge function.

..and stay calm

Also very pleasing: The IdeaPad Flex 5 remains extremely quiet, no matter what you do with it. Even in the benchmark, you couldn’t hear more than a slight noise from the fan.

And this refinement does not come at the expense of heat development either. Instead, the CPU reached a maximum of a very good 78 degrees in our stress test. For comparison: Many competitors scratch three-digit degrees.

Lenovo deserves kudos for the cooling system here. The built-in Intel Core i7-1255U also plays a role. With an economical 20 watts on average, it is very frugal despite its high performance.

Glossy display with good viewing angles – has one weakness

The operating speed and the form factor of the touch screen are really good. But what about the other properties of the IPS display? First subjective impression when working: the colors mostly match, although some more saturated tones appear a bit pale. On the other hand, the viewing angles are wide and the reflective display is sufficiently bright. However, you should not set up a home office in the blazing sun.

Relevant for night owls: an extremely low minimum brightness. This is how you protect your eyes in the dark season or when you have to work overtime again.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 16 Brightness Contrast WP Spyder X Elite
Everything sunshine? Jain, because as cerebral as we are, we naturally subject the display to a few more objective tests. The measurements confirm the positive first impressions

With 62% sRGB you should not edit photos on it that are then to be printed or otherwise published.

The colors could come out wrong. In return, the color fidelity of the displayed colors is okay and the white point and gamma are close to the target.

For series, films and Co. That is more than sufficient. However, anyone with image processing needs should connect an external monitor via USB-C/DisplayPort or HMDI.
If you want a jack of all trades, check out the higher 2.5K resolution model too. This should be able to cover 100% of the sRGB color space.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5: A cool form factor meets all-round qualities – with lower marks for the B rating

After two weeks of working with the 16-inch Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5, I can say: Yes, it is an all-rounder for everyday use. In terms of form factor and display size, it’s close to ideal for me. In other words: still portable, but equipped with enough screen that I can work on it comfortably.

In terms of performance and the connections, Lenovo is also doing well. The Intel Core i7 didn’t let itself be brought to its knees by several Adobe programs and thanks to the card reader, my photos were also quickly on the Flex 5.

The only problem with image processing was the rather weak color space coverage of the IPS panel. 62% sRGB color space is only sufficient for limited creative work. Otherwise, the properties of the display are suitable for everyday use. Contrast, white point and gamma are all on a good level.

If you want to edit pictures on the go, then use the model with a 2.5K display. According to Lenovo, this offers a higher color coverage.
On the other hand, the good input devices are really pleasant when it comes to writing longer texts (like this test). The key drop is just right and even when typing harder, nothing on the case wobbles.

Thanks to the aluminum cover and the metal hinges, the exterior of the Flex 5 also makes a good impression, which is underlined by the quiet operation – with good cooling at the same time.

With the Full HD webcam, Lenovo has finally packed a higher-resolution camera into a device in this price range, which is great for video calls and the like.
Anyone looking for a large convertible for everyday use will definitely have fun with the 16-inch IdeaPad Flex 5. It is precisely the flexibility that gives it a head start over similar laptop competitors.

And if you look around at foldables, you will notice that there are hardly any comparable cheap and large devices. So kudos to Lenovo for bringing the form factor and features into more affordable realms. Lenovo’s Yoga 7 , for example, has a better screen and a stronger CPU, but is also significantly more expensive.

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If you only want a laptop instead, you can take a look at the IdeaPad 5 Pro, which also convinced us in the test.

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A full time tech enthusiast with a passion for writing. Religiously follow everything new happening in the tech world and share my two cents with my audience here.

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