Equipped with a 1.6GHz fourth-generation Intel Core i5-4200U processor, 8GB of DDR3, a 128GB SSD and Intel HD Graphics 4400 the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 offers solid performance with ability to tackle most applications and functions with ease.
With a powerful fourth-generation Intel processor the Flex 14 is able to run simple world and web functions without any hiccups. More demanding Microsoft Office tasks such as complicated Excel spreadsheets also prove to be no challenge for the device either. Thanks to the Flex 14’s ample 8GB of RAM the notebook is able to juggle multiple programs. While testing the Flex 14 Notebook Review was able to run two HD video streams with an additional 10 web tabs open without any noticeable drop in performance.
The most notable weak point for the Flex 14 is the notebook’s limited graphical prowess, but even in that department the Flex 14 is not a total slouch. While the integrated Intel HD 4400 GPU certainly can’t handle most new game titles, or other graphically demanding tasks; the device is able to run more moderate graphical processes, including games like League of Legends and Left for Dead.
The unit that NBR tested was equipped with a 128GB SSD storage device, though it’s worth noting that users who don’t mind skimping on overall performance can opt for the same build with a 500GB HDD for around $150 cheaper. While the drive is somewhat limited in terms of raw storage capacity the SSD offers excellent performance. The Flex 14 proved to be responsive with quick data retrieval times as applications load nearly instantly and the device was incredibly quick to startup, booting the windows 8 home screen in around only 8 seconds.
Our Review unit of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 includes the following specifications:
- Windows 8 (64-bit)
- 14″ LED 10-Point Multitouch (1366 x 768)
- 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5-4200U
- Intel HD Graphics 4400
- 8GB DDR3
- 128GB SSD
- Intel 7260 b/g/n Wireless (2×2 BGN)
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 4-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
- Dimensions: 13.5″ x 9.87″ x 0.84″
- Weight: 4lbs.
- Starting Price: $480
- Cost: $800
The unit that NBR tested is currently priced at $800 and was outfitted with a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor, with 8GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD and Intel HD Graphics 4400.
It’s worth noting that the same build — with an orange strip running along the outer edge of the chassis (as opposed to the silver strip on NBR’s model) — was at the time of review available on Lenovo’s online store for $700 with promotional coupon.
Another special promotion deal was also available for an even more powerful build, which featured a 1.8GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and Intel HD Graphics 4400 for $850.
However, not every Flex 14 configuration will leave a huge dent in your wallet. The device offers a far more affordable $800(with online coupon) starting price. The base model is the only device to not offer a fourth-generation Intel Core processor, instead the notebook is outfitted with a 1.4GHz Intel Celeron ULT 2955U processor, 4GB of DDR3, 500GB HDD and Intel Graphics HD 4400. Users looking to get their hands on a fourth-generation Intel Core processor will be able to do so starting at $640.
Over the course of testing the Flex 14 Lenovo has adjusted its pricing multiple times, so before making a purchasing decision, users may want to peruse Lenovo’s web store to see what current offers the company is providing.
Prime processor comparisons (lower score means better performance):
PCMark 7 is a newer benchmark and measures overall systems performance (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark 11 is a benchmark that measures overall graphic card performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
Crystal DiskMark storage drive performance test:
Heat and Noise
The Lenovo houses a vent along the left-hand side of the chassis. The fan certainly does its job as a fair bit of heat can felt emanating form the vent when taxing the machine. After running an HD video stream for 30 minutes a steady stream of hot air was flowing from the vent and a faint hum of the fan was audible. However, while the device dos appear to produce some heat the fan does a commendable job of expelling it as the device itself remains comfortably cool even when being pushed to its limits. The only instance in which the device might be uncomfortable to use is if the vent is angled at the user, otherwise the notebook can easily serve as a laptop without any discomfort.
To test battery life, we used our new 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 our previous test, measuring the machine under a litany of scenarios to better simulate real life use. With the test being far more demanding the scores are understandably lower than our previous benchmark.
PowerMark “Balanced” battery life test results (higher scores mean better life):
In our tests the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 ran for 4 hours and 51 minutes at 110 nits brightness before shutting down. Running just shy of 5 hours the Flex 14 offers strong battery life. Considering that the conditions in which PowerMark tests notebooks is far more strenuous than real life use the Flex 14 can likely last an entire-day on a full charge with upwards of 7 hours of continuous battery life.