Performance – Processor, General
With a Haswell CPU and a quick solid-state drive, the Flex 14 ought to perform well in everyday tasks. Most interesting of all will be how it compares to the IdeaPad Yoga 11S, which it has already beaten handily on battery life. Apart from simply energy savings, the CPU in our Flex 14 review unit ought to also outperform that of the Yoga 11S, but the jury’s still out on the SSD’s performance. Let’s dig in.
For purposes of comparison, we’re still building up a new selection of benchmarks for office-grade and general use notebooks with 768p panels (and typically integrated GPUs) for our new reviewing process. Thus, some of the competition we’ve chosen are actually 2012 models—but nevertheless, for sake of reference, it’s still a valuable perspective. For the most part, our selections today include the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S and Lenovo ThinkPad Twist, along with the Y480 and Y500 for good measure.
Performance – Processor
Although the IdeaPad Flex 14 manages better battery life than the Yoga 11S, the CPU is actually quite a bit more capable under particular circumstances. For starters, the Haswell architecture alone allows for more power under similar TDP constraints, which in turn translates to more efficient general operation. In summary:
- Intel Core i5-4200U @ 1.6 GHz (with Turbo Boost up to 2.6 GHz)
- Dual core / Four threads
- 15W TDP (ultra-low voltage)
We witnessed no perceived slowness during our time with the machine. Let’s see how our benchmarks corroborate those impressions. First, as always, is SiSoft Sandra:
Here, performance of the i5-4200U is most comparable to the i5-3317U in the ThinkPad Twist, which makes sense given that the 3317U is clocked at 1.7 GHz (with a Turbo Boost clock rate of 2.6 GHz). Keep in mind that the TDP of the Ivy Bridge i5-3317U is 17W, which is 2W higher than that of our i5-4200U in the review unit. The i5-3339Y in the IdeaPad Yoga 11S scores considerably lower; around 30% lower, in fact.
Next, let’s look at Cinebench R11.5:
Once again, fairly consistent results, with scores above those of the Yoga 11S0—although we don’t have Cinbench scores for the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist. OpenGL performance is only marginally above that of the Yoga, but it’s an improvement nonetheless.
Now we turn to 7-Zip for compression/decompression performance:
Results are still as expected, with all three notebooks of interest placing in the same order as before.
Our next benchmark—Peacekeeper—is much more heavily dependent on browser performance, but it’s still a relevant measure of system capability.
Again likely due to browser differences over time, we see some variation in results here that places the Flex 14 near the front of the pack along with the much more powerful Y500 from months back—but again, were we to restest the Twist and the Y480, we’d probably find some improvement for the same reasons.
PCMark 7 is still a relative newcomer to our testing routine, so results aren’t as prevalent as they are with some of our other benchmarks. Still, we have results for both the Yoga 11S and two of our more recent gaming PCs (the Lenovo Y500 and the powerhouse MSI GT60), so let’s see how the Flex 14’s application performance stacks up with them:
Here we see the benefits of an SSD over a standard mechanical hard drive in terms of overall system performance; the Lenovo Y500 is the only test candidate in this lineup that features a standard drive. It’s thanks to this that the Flex 14 is able to jump ahead to second place behind the MSI GT60; in terms of general performance, CPU power is rarely the bottleneck these days.
only a single memory slot,
only a single memory slot, means single channel, lower video performance,
is it common for this kind of laptop?
When thickness, weight and
When thickness, weight and value are core focal points of the design, yes.
Crappy screen, crappy
Crappy screen, crappy keyboard, crappy touchpad and still gets a silver award? Monitors, keyboards and touchpads are parts of the computer you most interact with. If they suck, it seems you are being a bit generous.
I actually have a flex 14, am
I actually have a flex 14, am posting this using it, and I actually *adore* the keyboard and track-pad. The layout is fab (good shortcut buttons and Fn keys, and the track-pad is hugely better than any track-pad I’ve ever used before, namely my macbook pro with retina. Firstly it’s huge, and secondly, it is extremely sensitive, yet never seems to fire off accidentally, hand resting on it while typing for example. The screen, yeah okay, the resolution isn’t the best, but it’s excellent for displaying both text and HD images and movies, and without the capabilities for really intense HD gaming, the screen doesn’t do so badly for itself. No pixels are visible, even from around four inches away, and if the resolution was better, it’d just take away from the frankly amazing battery life. it’s a perfect mid-range ultrabook, and I couldn’t be happier with it.
I just bought a Flex 14.
I just bought a Flex 14. These days it comes in Full HD (1920×1080). I chose the 1TB HD (not SSD) with i5 & 8GB RAM. It boots amazingly fast, even for gaming as it comes with 4GB Nvidia. Not to mention it’s thin & light for this price. That’s why I chose it over the non-Retina MacBook Air 11″ which is priced slight higher. Good effort by Lenovo
It’s a decent price for what
It’s a decent price for what you get.
I just wish more laptops/ultrabooks came with 1080p screens, expecially if they are 13.3″ and above. Surely it wouldn’t add more than $50-100??
No gigabit ethernet, but that
No gigabit ethernet, but that screen could double as a shiving mirror. Lots of spare parts in the warehouse, let’s just slap them in case, and let the marketing folks flex some musculi masticatori.
Nice design and user
Nice design and user accessible innards…I like !
Typed on my Logitech K360 USB wireless KB with up to 3 yrs. battery life with 2 AA`s Came with Duracell`s installed…
$12.99 at Fry`s…yes…$12.99 !!!
I used to think glossy was
I used to think glossy was bad but like they pointed out on one of Leo`s podcasts matte loses brightness and blacks are not as good.
Matte makes the screen somewhat opaque.
The tree reflection thing you
The tree reflection thing you did was very creative.
I followed an ad from Amazon
I followed an ad from Amazon on your site…the Intel NUC is on sale for $179 !!!
I have the Lenovo 14 flex.
I have the Lenovo 14 flex. Does anyone know how to change you name that is at the top right hand corner.