A convertible laptop like Lenovo Flex 3 (80JM001MUS) might be a smart move: you’ll get two computers – laptop and tablet – in one unit but you’re only paying, well, perhaps for one and half. This particular model features a bigger 15.6″ screen and Core i5 processor for some real performance. So let’s see if this Lenovo would be something you might want to get…
The processor in this laptop is called Intel Core i5-5200U. Tech-oriented people can see it’s a 5th generation (the 5xxx number) and low voltage (the U suffix) model. The CPU has two cores clocking at 2.2GHz although the turbo will increase this to 2.7GHz. It makes sense to compare this model to the older Core i5-4200U, and good news is the 5200U is ~10% faster than its predecessor. In general, i5 chips are strong performers, and somebody using demanding programs (like photo editor or VirtualBox) should be satisfied with the series.
Lenovo Flex 3 (80JM001MUS) has one 4GB DDR3L-1600 memory chip installed. There are other versions of this notebook that have 8GB, so I think it’d be possible to swap the 4GB RAM for eight gigabytes chip if you feel the need. However, I believe most casual users are good with the current 4GB. Power users and gamers might benefit from having more.
There’s a 500GB 5400RPM (SATA600) hard drive responsible for your storage needs. In 2015, such a drive is certainly not top of the line. Most laptops that cost the same have either bigger hard drive or a quick SSD. Of course, if you know how, you can always take this drive out and put in whatever you want but it will cost you money.
Screen and graphics
This laptop has a 15.6″ HD screen with 1366×768 resolution. As you can see, it’s not Full HD, although it supports touch and turns 360 degrees. The unit can be used as laptop and tablet as you wish. Just bear in mind it still has size of a full-blown notebook even if you’re using the tablet mode.
Thanks to its integrated graphics engine, Lenovo Flex 3 (80JM001MUS) isn’t the best choice for gamers. The Intel HD 5500 can run several titles alright but not on very high settings. Battlefield 4, to name one popular game, would get a maximum 30FPS on the display’s native resolution and medium settings. But if you mainly enjoy older games you should have no worries. Types like League of Legends will easily get over 30, even 40 frames per second on higher details and resolution.
Lenovo Flex 3 (80JM001MUS) has two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 to connect your peripherals. Also, if you’re not satisfied with its screen you can always plug in an HD television or desktop display through the laptop’s HDMI out. Files from cameras and other similar devices can be uploaded with the built-in SD/MMC card reader.
Getting access to Internet shouldn’t be an issue. The laptop contains a Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 port on the right side. And for wireless, it offers a quality Intel dual-band 802.11 A/C WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 adapter.
Following the current trend, Lenovo Flex 3 (80JM001MUS) features no optical drive. So what should you do if you want to use discs? You can get a cheap (20-30 dollars) external drive and be happy with that. You might also be able to download all your files from Internet.
A front-facing 720p webcam is featured, so you can video chat with your friends on Skype like with any other laptop.
Some other things to consider?
Lenovo Flex 3 (80JM001MUS) weighs 4.62 pounds which is some ounces less than an average 15-inch notebook. The unit has a 3-cell 45 Wh battery which has up to 6 hour run time. You’ll hardly get that much, but good 4-5 hours is attainable with light activities such browsing the web.
This particular model has no backlit keyboard. A 10-key pad is included on the right, good for hitting number keys quickly.
Summing it up
Lenovo Flex 3 (80JM001MUS) is a laptop-tablet hybrid of good performance and a decent 15.6″ screen. Any common software, and even some heavier programs, will run on this system powered by Core i5 and 4GB RAM. A variety of games will work fine too, if you don’t mind playing on reduced settings and resolution. Hard drive is a slow one, you might want to swap it for SSD if performance is your concern. Connections are good, there’s Gigabit port and A/C WiFi ready to connect you to Internet. All in all, if it’s a powerful yet convertible laptop you want, you’d likely be satisfied with this new Lenovo notebook.