The Flex 3 11-inch is pretty bare bones when it comes to performance. Equipped with a 2.16GHz Intel Celeron N2840 processor, with 4GB of RAM, Intel HD graphics and 64GB of eMMC storage the Flex 3 is capable of basic computing tasks, but it runs in trouble with heavy multi-tasking and more demanding processes.
The Flex 3 can handle web browsing and word processing with ease and can even handle five active chrome tabs without any slow down. The basic Intel HD graphics and Celeron processor run into a bit more trouble with video playback. Watching two HD video streams, i noticed the Flex 3 became slightly sluggish. It was still more than workable, but there was a noticeable slowdown in performance. Lower end video editing is possible, but expect editing to be rather slow and clunky. As for games the Flex 3 is more suited to playing smaller simple games (like the kind you’ll play on your tablet), but won’t be able to handle the more demanding titles that some Intel Core i3 or i5 laptops can.
So how does the Flex 3 fare for it’s price? Well that depends completely on where you currently purchase it. When Lenovo first released the Flex 3 it was available starting at a $289. However, now the device is currently listed at $580. At this price point Notebook Review certainly wouldn’t recommend it. Many of the devices shortcomings can easily be overlooked, but at that price consumers should expect a better display and overall performance. The good news is that some retailers are still offering the Flex 3 for a reasonable price. The Flex 3 is currently listed (at the time of this review) on Amazon for $380, and to make the offer even better, it’s the upgraded version with a 500GB of internal storage. At that price (with the expanded storage) the Flex 3 looks like a far more attractive offer.
The Lenovo Flex 3 that Notebook Review tested had the following specifications:
- Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
- 11.6-inch (1366 x 768 resolution) 10-point multi-touch display
- Intel Celeron N2840 processor 2.16GHz
- Intel HD Graphics
- 4GB of DDR3
- 64GB of eMMC storage
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.2 x 0.86-inches
- Weight: 3 pounds
wPrime processor comparisons (lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark8 Home (Accelerated) measures overall system performance in Windows 8 for general activities from web browsing and video streaming to typing documents and playing games (higher scores mean better performance):
PCMark8 Work (Accelerated) measures overall system performance in Windows 8 for work-related productivity tasks (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark 11 is a benchmark that measures overall graphics card performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
CrystalDiskmark storage drive performance test:
Heat and Noise
One of the nice things about low power machines is that that they don’t tend to produce a lot a heat or noise. The Flex 3 holds true to this rule. Even after heavily taxing the device (running two HD streams for 30 minutes) the laptop was near silent and only mildly warm along the back middle portion of the bottom of the chassis. The top of the laptop was still cool to the touch.
To test battery life, we used Futuremark’s PowerMark benchmark in balanced mode. The test consists of a combination of automated web browsing, word processing, gaming and video playback workloads. The test is far more strenuous than typical web browsing alone, measuring the machine under a litany of scenarios to better simulate high-stress usage. With the test being far more demanding the scores are understandably lower than what you’ll experience just checking Facebook or watching Netflix.
Battery Life is the one performance metric where the Flex 3 really stands out. The low powered specs allow the device to inch the most out of it’s battery. In our tests the Flex 3 ran for 5 hours and 25 minutes before shutting down. With PowerMark being a bit more strenuous than normal use, you can easily expect upwards of 7 to 8 hours of battery life on a single charge.