Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Lenovo Flex 10 - An Insightful Review


Lenovo is attempting to model its Windows 8 touch enabled notebook in yet another design. The screen is not detachable and cannot be twisted 360 degrees for an experience like that of using a tablet. The Lenovo flex 10 attempts to get over the problem of going across the trackpad and keyboard for interacting using the touchscreen.

The lid of the Flex 10 can be folded flat on its back and then rotated up to 300degrees almost. It can be kept with its upside down keyboard deck which can double up as a support. In this manner, the screen goes down to a suitable angle which is also close to you.

Lenovo Flex 10
Lenovo Flex 10

Feel and Look

At first, you would think that the Flex 10 is a premium gadget. It appears solid and sturdy with very good quality finishing. The lid is neutral brown and deep with the texture of a cloth. Even though the device is made of plastic, it does not look cheap. The bottom too looks pretty good.

The Flex 10 is not the lightest or thinnest device around. The ports, even though not many, are placed on the right and left edges. The volume and power button have been placed on the edges so that they can be accessed no matter how the device has been placed. When the hinge is opened, you would be surprised to note that the screen is much smaller than its lid and its side bezels are thick by almost an inch. A bright and large Lenovo logo has been placed above its screen which can act as a distraction.

By contrast, the keyboard fills up the width of the gadget. Although most of the keys are there and not in a crammed fashion the keyboard is quite shallow itself. Your style of typing needs to be adjusted in order to get a satisfactory performance out of the keyboard.

The touchpad is quite crammed and can get quite annoying. It is much small for common usage. There is very little space for resting your wrists on the side which can affect your overall comfort level. The main attraction of the Flex 10 is that the screen can be tilted backwards enough to prop the full unit on the keyboard deck to form a base. It would make a stand for the screen so that you do not have to lay your hands out for using it. The screen cannot fold flat on the rear of its lower deck unlike the Yoga hybrids hence the screen cannot be used as a tablet.

Specifications

The laptop works in a meagre Intel Celeron CPU, N2805 dual core which works at 1.46 GHz. It is founded on the bay Trail which is why it works on little power. The graphics processor used is also not of a very high quality.

The processor can take care of instructions in 64 bit although the Flex 10 is sold with the 32 bit Windows version. Even if you do not execute heavy software, you might face a few restrictions which could be evaded altogether.

The laptop has 2GB RAM and 500 GB hard drive which runs at 5,400rpm. There are probably no vents in the machine and the only cut outs are for the stereo twin speakers placed on lower part of the front edge. Only 2 USB ports have been included in the machine, of which one supports USB 3.0.

These are the sole physical ports along with the headset jack and HDMI video output. A couple of USB ports more and a SD card slot would be much appreciated by users. Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi b/g/n are the two options for wireless connectivity.

The LCD panel screen has a resolution of 1366X768 which is quite low. However, given the size, it works quite well as objects are displayed clearly and crisp. However, the surface does not offer good viewing angles and is very reflective. The volume rockers have been placed in a way to make them feel natural when the keyboard is folded that means they are placed in the incorrect way when the Flex 10 is used like a normal laptop.

Performance

Even though the laptop has good construction and an intriguing design, the components are moderately weak because Lenovo hastaken the decision to introduce the product for the lower end market. The performance is comparable to the latest Windows 8 tablets and low budget CPUs. However, the tasks that involved graphics performed very badly.

It is evident that Lenovo utilized its resources to make the device look visually appealing. The functionality can be at best described as that of a new netbook- sufficient for creating documents and surfing the internet and watching an occasional movie. However, it is unsuited for serious tasks

Because of the touchscreen, several apps from the Windows store can be used on it, but nothing very heavy. What you should bear in mind is that most of the keyboard is blocked when you require the keyboard on screen. Kids might like playing with the musical or drawing applications.

The battery of the Flex 10 lasts roughly 2 hours and 42 minutes. Video and audio performance in general was quite average. Videos which were played at 1080p were quite lagged but the maximum level of volume is quite impressive.

To Conclude

The Lenovo Flex 10 does not come cheap despite being a device at the entry level. A more powerful notebook can be bought for the identical amount, even though you have to sacrifice the swivel and touchscreen features. Between performance & appearance, it would always be wiser to opt for the former.

The lithe design cannot be counted as a merit on this device. The screen is not big enough for enjoying movies and there are not too many tasks that you can perform in the propped up position that you cannot on a regular laptop. If its keyboard was slightly more user friendly and switching between the two modes was easier, then the laptop would find a larger buyer base.

The Lenovo Flex 10 although fascinating, will probably not become a sought-after product. It appears to be like another factor form experiment of Lenovo.


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