Lenovo Flex 3 14 (80R3000UUS) Review

October 8, 2015
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Is it a “flexible” notebook you’ve been eyeing lately? Lenovo Flex 3 14 (80R3000UUS) is such a modern laptop, in that its screen rotates more than a regular notebook would. This essentially tuns the unit into a tablet, and you now have two devices instead of one. Handy, yes, but how is the actual performance of this computer? And does it offer decent value at least? In this post, you will find my answers to those important questions!

How’s the performance?

Intel’s new 6th Generation processors are beginning to find their way into computers. Lenovo Flex 3 14 (80R3000UUS) is one of those rigs, it features the Core i7-6500U which promises ~15% better performance compared to the older i5-5500U (3950 vs 4450 CPU Mark points). The new i7-6500U is a dual-core chip like its predecessors and it offers a bit higher clock frequency: 2.5GHz base speed and 3.1GHz turbo. Being a low voltage model it’s not ultra fast, but the i7-6500U can easily take any program a power user might trow at it.

The laptop memory is 8GB, and these new Flex models have only one memory slot – hence the default 8GB is the maximum you can have. Hard drive is very basic, perhaps even a disappointing 1TB 5400RPM (SATA 3) one, many probably dream of removing it and putting in an SSD instead. You can do that here no problem.

And would it also run games?

Lenovo Flex 3 14 (80R3000UUS) is indeed a pricey model, but there’s still no proper graphics engine available. Its graphics are commanded by the Intel HD 520 integrated unit. It’s a new one yes, but not faster than the more popular Intel HD 5500. Hence, you’ll have to deal with decreased eye candy if you want to keep playable FPS. For example, playing GTA 5 on medium (to low) settings and 1366×768 gives an alright ~25FPS, but it won’t be smooth as a silk. Titles with simpler graphics, like the famous Minecraft, will luckily get higher frame rates than that.

Is the display a good one?

The screen of Lenovo Flex 3 14 (80R3000UUS) isn’t bad I’d dare to say. The 14″ anti-glare display features 1920×1080 resolution so techies shouldn’t have a reason to complain. However, a casual user might want to adjust the resolution lower, even to 1366×768, otherwise everything will look darn small on the screen. Obviously, the screen supports touch so when you turn it 360 degrees you have a tablet at your fingertips.

What peripherals can I hook up?

To answer the above question, all the essentials. You’ll find two USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 ports in Lenovo Flex 3 14 (80R3000UUS), and you can also connect a HD television to the full-sized HDMI-out.

You won’t find a DVD drive here, so your best bet for working with discs is an external optical drive.

SD media card reader is available. The laptop’s hard drive is very big, you probably don’t need to use the SD card slot for expanding the local storage, but for transferring files from some mobile devices it’s good.

The 802.11 A/C type WiFi card is the main interface for connecting to Internet. That said, nothing is stopping you from using the RJ-45 port. Bluetooth 4.0 is enabled as well.

There’s a basic 0.3MP webcam included, shoot a film or video chat with your friends if you like.

Other important things

Carrying this unit around wouldn’t be a burden, it weighs only 4 pounds. Its 45Whr battery lasts up to 6 hours if ad copy tells the truth, in reality you can expect the usual 4 hours.

The keyboard features backlight as far as I know.

Final thoughts

There are indeed a lot of things you can do with Lenovo Flex 3 14 (80R3000UUS). It can serve as (big) tablet and laptop, and performance-wise there are not many applications that would be too much for it – the 6th Generation Core i7 processor and 8GB RAM are not a weak bunch at all. The hard drive at 1TB means you will never run out of space, although those wanting to get a very powerful system would need to take it out and put a solid-state drive in. At the current price the Lenovo doesn’t offer exceptional value but it’s still a decent convertible model for the more power user minded!

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