Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 review: An affordable 2-in-1 laptop worth having

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The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 2-in-1 laptop is a great laptop and worth picking up.

9.1/10 rating

One thing Lenovo does an excellent job at is creating laptops. They’re usually light, thin, sleek looking, and can be powerful depending on the model you purchase. The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 2-in-1 laptop offers some pretty decent specifications while also being able to flip into tablet mode whenever you feel like using it in a simpler mode. Read our full review down below.

Specifications

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 2-in-1 laptop has the following features and specifications (various models available):

  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • Display: 14″ FHD (1920 x 1080) Glossy multi-touch
  • Processor: Intel 8th Gen i5-8265U @ 1.60GHz, up to 3.90GHz with Turbo Boost (Pentium and i3 models available)
  • Graphics: Up to Integrated Intel UHD 620
  • Storage: Up to 256GB SSD
  • Memory: Up to 16GB
  • Audio: 2x 2 Watt speakers with Dolby Audio
  • Security: Fingerprint scanner, webcam shutter
  • Webcam: 720p HD
  • Connectivity: Up to 802.11 AC (2 x 2), Bluetooth
  • Ports:
    • 2x USB 3.1
    • USB C
    • SD card reader
    • HDMI
    • 3.5mm Audio jack
  • Keyboard: Backlit (select models)
  • Battery: Up to 8 hours, rapid charge (charge 60 minutes for up to 80%), requires 65W adapter
  • Color: Onyx Black
  • Weight: Starting at 3.65lbs (1.65kg)
  • Dimensions: 12.9″ x 9.0″ x 0.7″ / 328 x 229 x 17.9 mm

What’s in the box:

  • Lenovo Flex 14
  • Power adapter
  • Quick Start Guide

Design

Over the years, Lenovo’s laptops have gotten sleeker and appealing and design is something they’ve become good at. The same goes with the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 2-in-1. It’s sleek, slim, lightweight, and easy on the eyes. The top of the laptop has a nice black rubber-like material that feels nice with very minimal branding. The only branding on the top is Lenovo’s logo on the top right side.

The right side of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14
The right side of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14.

Opening up the laptop, you’re greeted with a nice gunmetal finish across the keyboard and trackpad. The keyboard is a pretty good size with the keys spaced out just enough where there’s barely any travel when it comes to pressing the keys. The keyboard can also be backlit if you’re using the laptop at night or with minimal to no light. Below the keyboard is a mid-sized trackpad that works really well. It’s pretty accurate and doesn’t react to any accidental clicks but will require you to use a bit of pressure when clicking the trackpad. Nothing too serious and it is easy to get used to.

To the right of the trackpad is the fingerprint scanner which will allow you to sign in to the laptop without using a password or purchase any applications from the Microsoft Store. The fingerprint scanner is quick when signing in to the laptop.

Above all, this is the 14″ multi-touch display that has small side and top bezels but a large chin for when you flip the laptop into tablet mode. It saves you from any accidental screen touches while using the device. At the top of the screen is a webcam with the option to use a camera shutter. The slider is textured, so you’ll know when your finger is on it. Yes, with this laptop, you will be able to turn it into a tablet whenever you’d like. The hinges that hold the laptop together allow the device to flip the screen 360° and the computer knows when it’s in tablet mode to disable the keyboard.

For the sides of the 2-in-1, the right side is home to two USB 3.1 ports, an SD card reader, and the power button. The left side has the power adapter port for charging the laptop, an HDMI port for connecting to another monitor or TV, a USB Type-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The bottom is pretty typical when it comes to laptops. It has 4 rubber nubs so the PC doesn’t sit flush to a surface and the air vent is just towards the back.

A drawback that this laptop has is that it easily attracts smudges due to the finish. That’s including the top of the laptop to the keyboard. It can be cleaned off but will pick up any oily smudges quickly.

Display

Screen size comes in at 14-inches and is a great size for whatever you’ll be using the laptop for. The resolution is 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) which is perfect for this size screen. Viewing angles were good, text was still legible, and colors were close to natural as they could be. However, the brightness had to be adjusted to a higher level to see the screen more clearly without seeing yourself in the reflection. I placed the brightness at 100% and left it there making everything I did much easier to view. Even 80% brightness still seemed too dark no matter if I was indoor or outdoors in certain environments. During the night I was able to turn down the brightness to lower levels and view text clearly, even if it was for a little bit before going to bed.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 has an FHD display
The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 has an FHD display.

Not everyone will have this problem depending on what you’re doing but I rarely have screen brightness maxed out unless needed.

One thing to note is that the touchscreen is a fingerprint magnet. I found myself cleaning the screen more times than I needed but that’s what happens when you use the touchscreen every so often, and is inherent with most touchscreen displays.

Software

Coming pre-installed on the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 is Windows 10 Home with some light bloatware and Lenovo applications. There are a bunch of games installed by default (thanks Microsoft!) that can be uninstalled at any time if you don’t want to use them.

As for the Lenovo applications, you’re getting Lenovo Vantage and LenovoUtility which help you keep your laptop up to date. There’s also Lenovo Pen settings if you do plan on using a stylus (not included) with this laptop. As far as security goes, McAfee is also installed if you do want to use that instead of Windows Defender.

Performance

For a laptop of this size and caliber, you would expect it to come with a 7th Generation Intel processor with at least 8GB of RAM. That’s not the case with the Flex 14. The model received for review came with the 8th Generation Intel i5-8265U SoC with 16GB of RAM and this thing handled everything with barely any lag.

Most of the time I used Chrome to write up articles or watch some videos on YouTube or Hulu but when I was throwing something heavier at it like video editing and some light gaming, there was some stutter but not enough for you to need to close out of everything or use something more powerful. The fan was quiet when on heavy loads which took me by surprise.

The IdeaPad Flex 14 can be used in multiple modes, including tent mode
The IdeaPad Flex 14 can be used in multiple modes, including tent mode.

While this probably won’t replace your desktop for gaming or video editing, this is a good secondary device for anything else that you will need while you’re mobile. Even if it’s for work or school. This will do what you need it to do.

However, bootup times are super slow which is odd given it has an SSD in it. It takes 30 seconds each bootup to get to the unlock screen but once past that, everything runs smoothly.

Sound Quality

The Flex 6 14 comes with 2x 2 Watt Dobly Audio speakers that are downward facing hitting the surface of what the laptop is sitting on. They sound decent but on the quiet end. At night I set the volume to 10 but I was unable to hear voices as clearly as I could with my 2017 Surface Pro. Sure, that has forward-facing speakers but a laptop on a flat surface where the sound is being pushed down and outward still sounded a bit too quiet for me. There was no muffled or distorted sound that was noticeable while using the Flex 14.

None of this is bad at all per se but I did have to have the volume turned up more than usual to hear videos on YouTube, Netflix, or Hulu. If you do plan on using the laptop in tablet mode, just take note that the sound will still seem a bit quiet even with the bottom facing upward.

Camera

The IdeaPad Flex 14 uses a 720p webcam and even comes with a webcam shutter for privacy. For a standard webcam on a laptop, it did ok with taking pictures. Nothing to write home about but enough for the casual video chats.

Battery Life

The Flex 14 specifications state that you should be able to get up to 8 hours of battery from one charge. During this review, I was able to get about 5 and a half hours from one charge in a day. This included writing up stuff for the site, video and photo editing, gaming, and streaming.

Of course, this was a heavy usage during the day but when using the laptop for nothing but web browsing and some streaming here and there, you’re able to get much closer to 8 hours combined over a few days.

The battery life on this laptop is pretty good already and will charge up to 80% in about an hour with the included fast charger. It’s not USB Type-C for charging, but normal proprietary charging did the job just fine.

Price

Starting at US$449.99, the Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 laptop is pretty affordable for the base model version. Given its current sale price (starting at $359.99), it’s in the price range of some expensive Chromebooks that don’t offer Windows 10, great battery life, up-to-date processors, and more. The build quality is worth mentioning too even with the quick pick up of smudges. Overall, it’s something that anyone could pick up if they’re looking for a laptop that will get them through a few years for basic internet tasks.

Oddly enough, only the Pentium and i3 versions are available on the Lenovo website. That being said, you can get the beefier models, like our review unit, over on Amazon.

Wrap Up

At the end of the day, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 2-in-1 laptop is a great laptop and worth picking up. You can’t look away from that affordable starting price of US$359.99 and the specs that come with it. Sure, there were a few things that you can take away as cons such as the slow bootup times or the sound quality being too quiet but everything else makes up for those issues. I’d recommend this laptop to anyone who is looking for something while on a budget and doesn’t need anything too powerful.

We received a review unit of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 for the purposes of this review. In some of our articles and especially in our reviews, you will find Amazon or other affiliate links. Running a website does take money, along with time. Any purchases you make through these links often result in a small amount being earned for the site and/or our writers.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 2-in-1 Laptop

US$449.99+
9.1

Design

9.5/10

Display

9.5/10

Software

9.5/10

Performance

9.0/10

Sound Quality

8.5/10

Camera

8.5/10

Battery Life

8.5/10

Price

9.5/10

Nailed it

  • Great design
  • Good battery life
  • Affordable starting price
  • Decent performance
  • Quiet fan under heavier workloads

Needs work

  • Slow boot up times
  • Display can be a little too dim
  • Trackpad takes a bit of getting used to
  • Sound a bit on the quiet end

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