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If there’s one thing we’ll emphasize on this Lenovo IdeaPad 1i Review, it’s that this is one of the most affordable laptops in the market right now, but it still delivers on the basics well. When shopping for an ‘entry-level’ laptop, you’re not looking for the most beautiful or super-powerful notebook; instead, you just need something to get the job done and at least be portable enough for your daily commute. With this Lenovo laptop, you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
Of course, we’ve reviewed much faster and more polished laptops from Lenovo including the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5, but if you’re looking to spend as little as possible on a value laptop, then the IdeaPad 1i is worth a long look. In our Lenovo IdeaPad 1i review, we’ll explain exactly why.
Remember with this laptop, you’re not going to play demanding games or kickstart a career in video production, but it has strengths worth mentioning: it’s a great small laptop for everyday computing and web browsing, reading emails, and working on spreadsheets, and you’ll use it to watch movies and streaming content as well.
About the Lenovo IdeaPad 1i
The Lenovo IdeaPad 1i arrives in a compact 14-inch display running a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, and it’s a reasonably bright and crisp screen. The bezels around the screen aren’t as thin as you’d find on a Dell XPS 13, and maximum brightness isn’t particularly top-notch, but this is a laptop you need to judge based on its price – and for the money, you’re spending we’re very satisfied.
It makes for a perfect choice for browsing the web, typing away college essays, or watching movies from your favorite streaming platform. We’ve seen some laptops in this price range boast 1920 x 1080 resolution screens, but we’re still satisfied with the 720p screen offered here. And while the 16:9 aspect ratio isn’t as good as 16:10 offered in the LG Gram 17 for viewing documents and webpages, it works fine for video content and a quick YouTube binge.
Lenovo is known for delivering laptops with the solid build quality, and the same is replicated on the IdeaPad 1i, offering robust screen hinges and a durable outer casing. If you’re buying it for your school or college students, you don’t have to worry about it falling apart in a few days at college.
While the IdeaPad 1i doesn’t offer a full-sized keyboard with a number pad, it still manages to deliver an excellent typing experience: the key presses feel soft but with good travel, the keys are well spaced, and it offers the usual array of shortcuts on the function keys at the top. There’s no keyboard backlighting, but it’s something you don’t expect at this price point, and while the trackpad is small, it feels substantial and responsive.
Port selection is decent, with one of each USB 2.0, 3.2, and Type-C, alongside HDMI 1.4B, a card reader, a headphone/microphone combo jack, and a power connector. Wireless connectivity comes in way of Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 1i debuts with a 4-core Intel Pentium Silver processor (up to 3.1GHz) – by no means the latest or most powerful Intel chipset, but enough to get you through a day at school or college. The integrated Intel UHD Graphics 605 setup means that gaming and other graphically demanding tasks are beyond the laptop’s scope, but for most tasks that most of us do with a computer, it’s perfectly fine.
The model in this review is fitted with 4GB of RAM and 128GB eMMC storage and an additional 128GB SD card. As configured, the laptop is suited for emailing tasks, playing media and everything else, provided you don’t run any graphically intensive tasks. If you try and overload the laptop with many browser tabs or open applications, you’ll certainly run into a loop.
- Acer Chromebook Spin 514
It’s worth noting that the Lenovo IdeaPad 1i stays nice and quiet during use, with the fans only spinning up occasionally when you put the laptop under pressure. Note that the laptop comes with the restricted Windows 11 S mode enabled – but you can switch to Windows 11 proper in a few clicks, but you do lose some benefits in terms of performance and security.
We’re seeing battery life of 8 hours 32 minutes with standard, undemanding use – that’s with the screen set on maximum brightness, so if you’re willing to dim it a little, you’ll get some time between the charges. This laptop will last at least a day at school, and it will be fine for a train journey or an afternoon at a coffee shop. Other laptops will of course last longer, but they’ll cost you more too.
Lenovo IdeaPad 1i Review: Verdict
Nobody is buying a budget laptop with the expectations of a fine-tuned character of a more expensive machine. With the Lenovo IdeaPad 1i, you’re getting the muted performance and less expensive feature sets that are of course at par with the sub-$400 price. But even with the lower feature sets, the IdeaPad 1i is a better machine than similarly priced Chromebooks.
Yes, you’ll spend more for a laptop with a sharper, brighter screen, longer battery life, and more powerful components, but when it comes to value for money and value for your buck, the Lenovo IdeaPad 1i is one of the best you can find around. As long as you’re aware of what you’re getting and what you aren’t getting from the IdeaPad 1i, it could be the best buy for you.
Lenovo IdeaPad 1i
The Lenovo IdeaPad 1i is a nice, little laptop designed for the basic user primarily interested in day-to-day computing tasks, affordability, and affordability as well as long battery life.
- Durable, build quality
- Comfortable typing experience
- Affordable price
- The screen could be brighter
- Low-powered hardware
Last update on 2023-06-08 at 23:19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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Lenovo IdeaPad 1i Laptop 14" HD Display, Intel Pentium Silver N5030 Processor(4-Core, up to 3.1 GHz), 4GB RAM, 256GB Storage(128GB eMMC + 128GB MSD Card), 10Hr Battery, Win 11 S, 1 Year Microsoft 365
1 used from $156.75