In case you’ve been after a hybrid computer combining laptop and tablet elements you might’ve heard about the Lenovo Flex series. They’re laptops, but their screen turns far more than a normal notebook’s screen would (take a look at the image above). As a result, the laptop also works like a tablet stand. In this review, we’ll concentrate on the particular model Lenovo Flex 2 15D (59418211) and tell you what it offers besides the flexing screen.
The most distinctive thing here is undeniably the display. Allowing you to use the computer in both notebook and tablet with stand mode, it also features a 10-point touchscreen (good for Windows 8.1 64-bit). The display itself measures at 15.6 inches and offers resolution of 1366×768. It is labeled as HD, which is true, but don’t make the mistake to take it for a Full HD. I wouldn’t personally mind having a 1920×1080 resolution even on screen of this size, but I understand very well the compromises budget computer manufacturers have to make.
The quad-core AMD A6-6310 processor of 1.8 – 2.4GHz clock frequency offers good baseline speed, being on par with some slower Intel Core i3s. Using it at home or in small office is no problem, and I’d deem it fast enough even for occasional (not all-day) heavier use. There is also a Radeon R4 graphics engine integrated in the processor which offers rudimentary gaming experience – more about that below.
For memory, Lenovo Flex 2 15D (59418211) offers 4GB DDR3L, a power-efficient RAM type. It is installed on one chip while the total number of memory slots on the mainboard is two. As such, the computer should support at least 8GB memory in case you wanted to upgrade.
While many modern laptops sport a fast SSD/eMMC, this Lenovo relies on the conventional hard drive. It’s 500GB big, beats solid-state drives in storage space, but is also lots slower than SSDs. If you’re after storage and don’t care having a top-notch operating speed, a hard drive is indeed your choice. Such half a terabyte drive is able to host, say, tens of thousands of photos easily. In addition, installing a solid-state drive afterwards should be possible.
How’s it for gaming?
Budget laptops are not great for gaming. Simple as that. The Radeon R4 graphics chip (comparable to Intel HD 4200/4000) makes sure you won’t be running heavy games, like Thief of The Evil Within, no matter what your settings are. The rig should however work with some other titles, namely the ones easier on graphics, such as Fifas, Sims and even Minecraft when settings are turned to minimum.
Your networking needs are served by the Gigabit Ethernet and WiFi adapters, with the latter supporting Bluetooth 4.0.
Lenovo Flex 2 15D (59418211) has three USB ports. Two of them are USB 2.0 and one is USB 3.0.
A HDMI output is provided, so you may use the laptop with a HDTV.
Very typical for 15.6″ notebooks, this model also sports a DVD burner. In addition, it has a media card reader for SD and MMC formats.
The front-facing webcam supports 720p video format.
Other things to keep in mind
One might get an idea of portability due to tablet-like features. Well, this Lenovo Flex is not true hybrid model – there’s no 360 degree or detachable screen. Those hybrid models also tend to come with small screens, whereas this Flex has a bigger 15.6″ display. This also adds to weight, which is 5.5 pounds with this laptop. The battery is non-replaceable type with life of 5 hours, substract an hour or so to get a more realistic duration.
The keyboard is not backlit but features, like virtually every 15.6 incher, a 10-key numeric pad on right.
Wrapping it up
Lenovo Flex 2 15D (59418211) gives good value for your money. For around 450 bucks you’ll get solid almost Core i3 level performance and a flexing touchscreen. It’s not too gamer friendly rig, but for most other kind of uses the Lenovo definitely works. If you’re after a true laptop/tablet hybrid with great portability, you’d better look for something else, but for a multifunctional laptop this Lenovo Flex should suffice well.