Review: Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 with Ryzen 7 4700U & Ryzen 5 4500U. Fastest 2-in-1 budget laptop

In this video, I will be reviewing the fastest thin and light 2-in-1 convertible budget laptop that you can buy right now. Its Lenovo Flex 5 also known as IdeaPad Flex 5 and this laptop is rocking the latest Ryzen 4000 series mobile CPU from AMD. These CPUs come in 6 and 8 core configuration, and they offer a quantum leap for thin and light 2-in-1 laptops, which historically have never had more than 2 cores. So in today's video I will put Lenovo Flex 5 through 10 rounds of grueling test.


I think Lenovo Flex 5 oozes a very professional look. It comes in 2 colors: Graphite Grey and Platinum Grey. The front of the laptop has a very clean minimalist look. There are no gaudy flourishes or distractions except for a small silver colored “Lenovo” logo on the top right corner. Flex 5’s exterior body has a grainy metallic finish which feels very grippy and secure when holding the laptop. Open the laptop, and you are greeted with a gorgeous 14” screen with minimal bezels. This laptop weighs only 3.3 pounds making it light enough to toss in a backpack and carry it around with you.

👉 Buy Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14

At a first glance, Lenovo Flex 5 looks like an expensive laptop with all metal design. But it's actually made from machined ABS polymer. This gives Flex 5 a metallic look, yet it is light in weight and feels soft and grippy while holding. Since Lenovo Flex 5 is a 2-in-1 convertible laptop, the quality and durability of its hinge is very crucial. I am happy to report that Lenovo did not cut any corners with this hinge. Flex 5 has two metallic hinges and they provide sturdy support to the screen. In laptop mode, this hinge mechanism provides ample resistance when pressing the touchscreen with either your fingers or stylus. You will be able to tap the screen and scroll with your fingers without experiencing any screen wobbling. I flipped the laptop multiple times from clamshell mode to tent mode and to tablet mode, and the hinge always felt very robust. Overall I think the build quality on this laptop is top notch.


Let's talk about the CPU. Lenovo Flex 5 is powered by Ryzen 4000 series mobile processors. There are 2 configurations of this laptop: The one I have here is sporting an 8-core Ryzen 7 4700U processor. The other one comes with Ryzen 5 4500U processor which has 6-cores. Ryzen 4000 series mobile CPUs are a big deal because for the first time, we are seeing an “8-core” and “6-core” processors in the budget thin and light laptop category.

These processors are based on AMD’s “Zen 2” architecture and they are designed hand-in-hand with TSMC's 7nm process technology. The Zen 2 architecture boasts impressive performance across both IPC and clock speeds, which in simple english means that they kick ass. Let's take a look at both these processors and compare them with the latest Intel’s offering. Here is a chart showing the keys features of these processors. As you can see both Ryzen 4700U and 4500U beat intel in every category while still maintaining the 15 watt thermal envelope. They have higher core count, higher base clock frequency, higher turbo clock frequency, and have more cache than Intel's latest 10th gen Icelake CPU.

So how does all this translate to real world performance? In Passmark CPU benchmark, Ryzen 7 4700U scored 13,541 points while Ryzen 5 4500U scored 11,108 points which is significantly higher than Intel Core-i7 which managed to score only 9,023 points. Keep in mind that we are comparing these AMD CPUs with Intel's latest and greatest 10th generation Icelake CPU. And yet Intel is getting clobbered. Ryzen 7 is whopping 50.1% faster than Intel while Ryzen 5 is 23.1% faster. So long story short, AMD has absolutely decimated Intel with these chips. You will have no trouble running any application on Flex 5. Whether you are planning to use this laptop for internet surfing, casual gaming, or serious productivity work this laptop will breeze through all these tasks without any hiccups.

Keyboard & Trackpad

Let's talk about the keyboard. Lenovo Flex 5 comes with an island style keyboard which is backlit enabled. The keys are platinum grey in color with white lettering. The backlighting has a cool white color which enhances the visibility of each key when using the laptop in a dark room. The intensity of the backlighting is user adjustable and it can also be completely turned off. The typing experience on this laptop is fantastic. It rivals my Thinkpad’s keyboard and that is a huge compliment because in my opinion Thinkpad keyboards are the gold standard. You get plenty of key travel and springy tactile feedback during typing.

I am someone who types a lot, and I have really enjoyed typing on Lenovo Flex 5. It just feels right, the layout is perfect, the keycaps are large and comfortable, and there are no stupid design flaws like “power button” next to a “delete key” or reducing the size of “enter” and “backspace” keys. I think this is one of the best keyboards that I have used in a thin and light convertible laptop this year. There is also a fingerprint reader under the arrow keys on the right, which is great for passwordless login. It's really fast and unlocks the laptop as soon as you put your finger on it.

OK now let's talk about the trackpad. I like its size, it measures 4.2 by 3 inches which makes it taller than most other trackpads found on typical 14” laptops. The build quality of this trackpad is pretty good. It does not wobble and gives a satisfying click when pressed. Its surface is smooth and feels great when you slide your fingers across it. Lenovo comes with windows precision drivers and supports all windows 10 gestures. So in addition to performing simple things like scrolling and pinch and zoom, you can do cool stuff like toggle between various open apps, see all open windows, switch virtual desktops and quickly minimize to desktop. Overall this is a pretty good trackpad with larger than average size and a snappy performance.


Lenovo Flex 5 comes with a 14” Full HD widescreen display which is touch enabled. It's an LED backlit IPS panel with a maximum brightness of 250 nits. It's bright enough for indoor use and I had no trouble using this laptop in my extremely bright home office. But this laptop will struggle outdoors in sunlight. If you are planning to use this laptop on a beach or a park in bright sunlight, you will be disappointed. When it comes to color reproduction, It delivers 62% sRGB and 46% AdobeRGB color gamut. Now these are not steller numbers and they will certainly disappoint professionals who do color grading on Davinci Resolve or Adobe Photoshop. These folks will be better off connecting this laptop to an external monitor. But for the rest of the population, I think this is a pretty good screen. It's a glossy screen which makes videos and pictures pop out. The text looks sharp and I enjoyed web browsing as well as typing documents on this laptop. Lenovo Flex 5’s screen has minimal bezels and they seem to disappear when watching full-screen videos. The top bezel is wide enough to house a 720p webcam which I think is adequate for video conference calls.


Lenovo Flex 5 comes with an integrated GPU based on Vega graphics. This is a brand new GPU architecture based on the latest 7nm process technology. It comprises of 7 Vega-architecture Compute Units (CUs), with a maximum clock speed of 1.6 GHz. As a result, the overall performance of this GPU is significantly better than the previous generation. I was able to play 4k videos on youtube without any dropped frames or stuttering. I also played fortnite at default settings and got an average frame rate of about 60 fps, pretty good for a smooth gaming session. In 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark, lenovo flex 5 bested far more expensive laptops like Surface Laptop 3 and Dell XPS 13 which were running on 10th generation intel core-i7 processor. Considering that Flex 5 is less than half the price of these laptops, I am simply blown away by the performance of Lenovo Flex 5


Now let's talk about the system memory and on board SSD storage. Lenovo Flex 5 comes in various configurations. My unit has 16GB of DDR4 3200 MHz RAM. This is a blazing fast and power efficient LP-DDR4 RAM, but unfortunately it's soldered to the motherboard. So that means memory cannot be upgraded. Now 16GB is more than enough for most folks, so it shouldn't be an issue. I was able to run over 20 chrome browser tabs and seamlessly switch between them without any issues. The laptop always felt very snappy when running productivity apps like microsoft word and excel sheet. I was also able to run Davinci Resolve video editing software on this laptop without any hiccups. When it comes to disk storage, this laptop is rocking a 512GB NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive. This is the fastest form of SSD storage and 512GB should be plenty of most folks. Fortunately, Lenovo does allow you to upgrade this SSD to a bigger one.

👉 Buy recommended PCIe NVMe SSD upgrades

Battery & thermals

Let's talk about the battery life. Lenovo Flex 5 ships with a 3 Cell 52.5 Whr battery which is a beefy battery for a 14” laptop. Historically when it comes to battery life, Ryzen CPUs always trail behind their Intel counterparts. But Ryzen 4000 series chips are far more power efficient thanks to the new Zen 2 architecture and 7 nm process technology. This has resulted in significant improvement in battery life. Flex 5 delivered an amazing 12 hour battery life during continuous 1080p video playback at 150 nits of brightness. I also tried PCMark 10 Battery test which simulates real world usage by running common office applications at regular intervals. I got around 8 hours of battery life which is pretty impressive.

The included 65-Watt A/C adapter is able to charge the laptop from 0 to full in about 2 hours. It also supports fast charging, a 15-min charge can add 2 hours of battery life. BTW you can also charge this laptop via the USB Type-C connector which is an added bonus. Regarding thermal heat dissipation, Lenovo Flex 5 has 1 large cooling fan and it uses dual pipe heat-sink to keep the CPU cool. Under heavy workload, I found that this fan kept the laptop cool without getting too loud. The laptop never felt hot when running demanding jobs like 4K video editing for a long period of time. The area around the keyboard, trackpad and the palm rest never felt uncomfortably warm. Overall, for a thin and light laptop, I am pretty happy with both the battery life and the thermal performance of Lenovo Flex 5

Audio and webcam

Let's talk about audio. Lenovo Flex 5 comes with top firing stereo speakers which deliver a total 4 Watt sound. These speakers get really loud in laptop mode because they are facing upwards. There is minimal distortion and they sound pretty good while watching videos & listening to music. In tablet mode, when you flip the screen back, the speakers are facing away from you. But the sound quality is still fine especially since you are holding the laptop closer to you in tablet mode. You also have a choice of using wired or wireless headphones for private listening.

Ok, now let's talk about the webcam. Lenovo Flex 5 comes with a 720p webcam mounted at the center of the top bezel. I think the placement of this webcam is perfect for making zoom video calls. As long as you have good lighting, the video quality is fine. The onboard mics do a good job of picking your audio during conference calls. But I do wish that Lenovo had put a 1080p webcam. Laptop makers need to step up their game when it comes to onboard webcams. Luckily it's very easy to add an external 1080p USB webcam. I will drop a link to my favorite 1080p webcam that can be directly plugged into this laptop.


For a thin and light laptop, Lenovo offers a good selection of ports. There are 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports supporting data transfer speed upto 5 gbps. There is also a USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1 port which can also be used to charge the laptop. But unfortunately this USB Type-C port does not support displayport protocol. So you will have to use the HDMI port for connecting the laptop to an external monitor. I tested the HDMI port with my 27” 4K monitor, and Flex 5 had no trouble driving 4K resolution at 60Hz refresh rate over HDMI cable. 60Hz refresh rate is important, because many laptops only support 4K resolution at 30hz refresh rate causing headaches and eye fatigue. There is also a full size SD card reader which is great for folks like me who routinely transfer pictures and videos from their cameras. One thing missing is support for the latest WiFI 6 protocol. This laptop only supports WiFi 802.11AC standard which is a bummer. But overall, Lenovo is offering a good selection of ports here.


OK, so here are my final thoughts. I think Ryzen 4000 model of Lenovo Flex 5 is the best 14” thin and light 2-in-1 budget laptop in the market. It has class leading CPU performance and it wipes the floor with other laptops running intel chips. The keyboard, the trackpad and the overall build quality is pretty good. I really like the 360 degree hinge which feels very durable and sturdy. All day Battery life is an added bonus. But not everything is perfect with this laptop. Although the screen is bright enough for indoor use, it will struggle outdoors. Overall, if you are in the market for a 14” 2-in-1 laptop, I would highly recommend Lenovo Flex 5. Links to both the 6-core and the 8-core models are linked in the description below. I have also linked the Intel version of this laptop which is currently discounted. So what do you guys think of Lenovo Flex 5? Please let me know in the comment section below.

Purchase Links

👉 Buy Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14

👉 Buy recommended PCIe NVMe SSD upgrades
👉 Buy 1080p webcam
👉 Buy Active Stylus Pen
👉 Buy M.2 NVME SSD Enclosure Adapter
👉 Macrium reflect free for SSD cloning

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