Lenovo Flex 2 (59418264) Review

June 12, 2015
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Multifunctional laptops are in demand these days. Many people can benefit from them, due to the simple fact they are a laptop now and tablet in the next moment. Of course, there are trade-offs to be made. For example, such a big (15.6″) hybrid like Lenovo Flex 2 (59418264) can’t really beat real tablets in portability. But judging by its popularity I can see folks have really liked it. So let’s see what’s there to like about, and is there a reason why you should not like this laptop.

Is it fast enough?

As expected, this 2-in-1 laptop relies on low voltage components. Its processor is the Intel Core i7-4510U, a power efficient chip with max TDP of 15W (in comparison regular i7s consume much more, TDP being around 47W). The processor has two cores and 2.0GHz clock speed, although with turbo boost it will be increased up to 3.1GHz. CPU Mark gives this unit around 4000 points, considerably better than average i3s that reach something like 2500. You’ll find the i7-4510U fast enough for general use and also some gaming provided you don’t try to up the eye candy too much.

There’s 8GB memory installed in Lenovo Flex 2 (59418264). The speed is DDR3L 1600MHz and distribution is two 4GB sticks. Maximum RAM supported is 16GB so by replacing the current sticks you can double the memory. Few will actually benefit it, 8GB is a lot for such a convertible notebook.

Lenovo Flex 2 (59418264) offers one terabyte 5400RPM hard drive for storage. It’s not an SSD or even a hybrid drive so you won’t get a great performance. Switching this kind of mechanical hard drive for an SSD is very popular these days. You can do so with this model, too. Remember the system can only hold one storage drive at a time, there is no free mSATA slot available.

Does it have a good screen?

The display should be decent. It has a 15.6″ diagonal with 1920×1080 resolution. You don’t have to suffer from the lower 1366×768 if you’re used to Full HD. The touch support should make it easy to use Windows 8.1 – although rest assured it works fine on keyboard and mouse as well.

The 300 degree hinge allows you to turn the display to a standing tablet mode. The screen won’t go beyond that (full 360 degrees) so you can’t use it as a flat tablet.

Can you play games on it?

Suitability for gaming is dictated by graphics card. In Lenovo Flex 2 (59418264), the graphics unit is integrated to the processor. Called Intel HD 4400, the chip can run many games without causing too much frustration. The trick is to have lower details and conservative resolution. For example, you’ll average around 20 frames per second with GTA V played on 1366×768 and low settings. Battlefield 4 would give 5-10FPS more. The older the game, the bigger chances you have succeeding with high frame rates (Sims 4, for example).

How’s the connectivity?

You can connect three peripherals to this laptop at a time, it has two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 for that. Additionally, USB hub can be used to get more. Also the obligatory HDMI output is included, an HDTV owner can plug his television in to this machine.

Lenovo Flex 2 (59418264) has 802.11b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card for networking. According to product images, RJ-45 LAN port is included too.

Built-in DVD burner are a dying breed yet this Lenovo has one. Also SD & MMC card slot is featured if you fancy memory cards.

There’s a front-facing 720p HD webcam with microphone, meaning Skype video chats work on this system.

Some other things to consider?

Lenovo Flex 2 (59418264) isn’t exactly like a tablet so it doesn’t have the great portability of one. Instead, it weighs 5.51 pounds like any 15-inch notebook. It’s not really a burden but considerably more than a true tablet that are a couple of pounds and less.

The included 4-cell battery won’t last the advertised 7 hours, you’ll end up with around four. It’s also tough to replace the battery. The unit back has to be removed, so a non-tech savvy person might not be able to replace the battery in case it’s needed.

Backlit keyboard is featured on this model. A numpad is fixed on the right hand side as well.

Summing it up

Lenovo Flex 2 (59418264) gets a good grade for performance. It has a Core i7 processor (although low voltage one) and 8GB RAM memory, a speedy combo that makes sure the system is suitable for both light and heavier use. The storage offered by the 1TB drive is spacious, yet I can see the logic behind some people replacing it with an SSD. Other aspects seem decent as well (quality screen, ample connections) although if you trust the advertised 7 hours battery life you’ll be disappointed: this system runs for ~4 hours on web browsing. Travelers won’t find it nearly as good as a true tablet, but of course this machine brings good sides of a laptop into the equation, too. So if you don’t care so much about the portability, opting for this Lenovo should be a smart move to do.

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