The Lenovo Flex 5 (81X20005US) is a 2-in-1 that seeks to answer an important question: How big is too big when it comes to some of these hybrids? Sure, it feels great to have your laptop ad tablet needs served by a single machine, but only for as long as both are useful. With a 14-inch screen, the Flex 5 is a mid-size laptop, but an absolutely big tablet.
How workable is it, though? That’s what we attempt to investigate for our review.
The Flex 5 is quite convincing that little design tweaks make all the difference. The graphite gray lid sports a sturdy plastic construction with a matte finish that looks great. The dark-gray underside gives 2-in-1 a classy, two-tone look that you don’t see quite often.
At 3.6 pounds and 0.8 inches thick, the Flex 5 (81X20005US) is slightly heavier but same thickness as the HP Pavilion x360 (3.5 pounds, 0.8 inches) and the Acer Aspire 5 (3.9 pounds, 0.7 inches), which is not a 2-in-1.
The Flex 5 has 360-degree hinges that are sturdy, and they allow the laptop to stay in place in both tent and display modes. However, you’ll notice a slight wobble when tapping on the screen in stand or laptop modes.
The excellent 14-inch display in the Flex 5 is bright, colorful and produces hi-res picture quality. Watching BBC’s Planet Earth II on the machine looks absolutely thrilling, the series’ vivid green landscapes, blue oceans and vibrant yellow shoots look very attractive. The 1920 x 1080-pixel panel made the 4K film’s finer details, such as the tiny floating bubbles in the arctic, appear super clear.
Its touchscreen accurately tracks touch inputs, is responsive and correctly registers swipe-in gestures. While you won’t see any latency when doodling in MS Paint, drawing in Fresh Pain or navigating the web in Chrome browser, you will notice some slowness in Pain 3D. The IPS 250 nits screen is bright enough, and the included Lenovo Digital Pen makes it easy to interact with this machine.
Port selection is very robust. On the left, you’ll find the machine’s power jack, HDMI output, a USB Type-C port and a headphone jack. Lenovo placed the two USB 3.0 port, security lock slot and SD memory reader on the right, while the fingerprint reader sits under the bottom right corner of the keyboard.
If only the Type-C port charged or supported Thunderbolt 3, the Flex 5 would’ve been more future-proof.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard is comfortable and pleasant to use just like what you have on the Lenovo IdeaPad S145, offering enough travel, resistance and the space between the keys make for a lovely typing experience that’s won’t distract your neighbours at the office. The keyboard also boasts a set of dedicated media keys dedicated for browsing, volume, and screen brightness.
Below the keyboard is a trackpad that’s reliable enough, nice to the touch and has more give in the bottom left and the bottom right where the left and right buttons are. It feels sturdy, just like what you have on the Apple MacBook Pro 13, but a little stiff and not always accurate.
In addition to the great design, the Lenovo 81X20005US shines in its performance, showcasing its spectacular multi-tasking abilities.
However, don’t get us wrong, by good performance we mean enough power to multitask on daily productivity tasks, and not playing games at the highest settings. For instance, if you’re thinking of playing something like PUBG Mobile on this convertible in medium settings, expect lots of latency.
Yes, it will play fine, but it will not be the smoothest experience to remember for months to come. But for home/office use, you’ll find this laptop absolutely great. If you need something affordable for both gaming and productivity, the Asus TUF FX505DT-AH51 is worth a long look, thanks to its dedicated GeForce 1650 graphics card.
That’s hardly surprising consider the specs and the Windows 10 OS. The 2.1Hz AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor fused with 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD and AMD Radeon graphics make it faster and more power efficiency, just the right ticket for multitasking on this operating system.
By multitasking, we mean running 14 or more Chrome browser tabs open at a time, on playing Stranger Things on Netflix, and the other playing The X-Files on Hulu. All that while, Sims Mobile game is playing in the background. For the home/office tasks and several college computing needs, this Lenovo Flex 5 is a sure companion.
Even with an affordable price point, the Flex 5 manages to deliver strong performance and a very responsive touchscreen. Battery life is yet another reason why you should have this machine. Yes, around 8 hours 23 minutes isn’t the best in the 2-in-1 category, but it’s among the best you can get. It’s almost 2 hours over the mainstream notebook average (6:27), and is a few minutes shy of the HP Sceptre x360’s 8 hours 36 minutes.
The Lenovo Flex 5 is a 14-inch 2-in-1 convertible that delivers strong performance, a brilliant display, comfortable keyboard and speedy SSD, making it an affordable way to enjoy the multiple modes of Windows 10. If only the tablet mode was much lighter, this 2-in-1 would be much more portable and the best in its class.
The AMD Radeon graphics card doesn’t do much when it comes to playing modern games, but it works as expected being a budget laptop. For better performance and battery life, you can get the HP Pavilion x360, but you’ll spend a few hundred dollars more. But if you don’t stray from power sources for long, you’ll appreciate how the Lenovo Flex 5 81X20005US can enable both workday productivity and after-hours relaxation.