Performance – Storage Devices, Synthetic GPU, Gaming
Performance – Storage Devices
On that subject, let’s turn to our array of storage device benchmarks to see just how the IdeaPad Flex 14’s drive compares with the field. Specifically, the included SSD in our review unit was a Samsung 840 Series 128 GB:
This drive’s performance is mixed compared to the best SSDs, but any SSD is typically an improvement over a mechanical drive in terms of performance. Let’s first turn to AS SSD for a reliable report of the drive’s overall performance within the context of solid-state storage:
The overall score of 786 is quite good, especially when you consider that the write speeds for the drive are absolutely nothing special. Having said that, 4K performance is still good, and more than anything that defines the perception of speed during general operation.
Next, let’s take a look at ATTO’s results:
Particularly odd of this drive is its refusal to budge beyond the ~130 MB/s mark on its write benchmarks. The drive quickly climbs to this point at the 2 KB mark (incidentally, a good value for that transfer size) and then sticks there throughout the duration of the testing. On the bright side, recorded read speeds are consistently good, launching into the 500s and remaining there for everything above 16 KB.
As it compares to the competition:
The Flex has no trouble in the realm of read speeds, but again, its write performance pales in comparison to that of most other solid-state drives.
Let’s see how CrystalDiskMark feels about it:
Nothing much to remark about here; once again, results are consistent with our other findings.
And, finally, although it’s of limited importance when assessing SSDs, here’s HD Tune’s results:
Odds are, if you’re in the market for a Flex 14, its ability to play games isn’t your predominant concern Sporting integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400 (200 MHz to 1 GHz clock rate), performance ought to be better than comparable Ivy Bridge models, but nowhere near the level of even basic discrete adapters. Still, it’s nice to know whether a notebook can handle an occasional gaming session regardless of its class. Let’s start with our synthetic benchmarks to see how it ranks amongst its peers.
Synthetic GPU Benchmarks
First up in our lineup of synthetic GPU tests is always 3DMark (2013 version):
Although performance here is once again marginally better than the Yoga 11S, with scores of 3832 and 496 in Cloud Gate and Fire Strike respectively, the Flex 14 clearly can’t handle anything major.
To further reiterate this position, let’s look at 3DMark 11:
The Flex 14’s score of 614 here is better than both the ThinkPad Twist and the Yoga 11S (again, thanks to Haswell specifically)—but it’s not going to score you tolerable FPS results in most modern games. Nothing shocking here, but it comes with the territory.
Let’s say you want to try and play a few games on this baby anyway. Okay, that’s fine; we’ve got your back. Let’s see how our standard lineup of game benchmarks treats the Flex 14.
Still one of my all-time favorite PC games, let’s start off with Just Cause 2. Why? Just Cause. [/fires self]
Depressed yet? Yes, it’s better than the Yoga 11S, but nearly every modern configuration is. Such is the life of a ULV CPU. You’d have to drop the resolution down to 1024×768 to get relatively consistent frame rates near 30 fps on the Flex 14.
How about StarCraft II?
Significant improvements over the Yoga 11S once again, though things are still questionable on Medium settings (and unplayable anywhere north of that).
Next on the agenda is Diablo III:
Not so bad, especially for a low-voltage CPU. These frame rates are almost playable, though we did experience a bit more stuttering than would be ideal during gameplay. To mitigate this, you could drop the detail settings all the way down to Low, but it’ll only buy you 5 FPS on average per our testing:
Still, that’s nearly 8 FPS higher than the Yoga 11S managed, so if you’re in a pinch and you’ve just got to get that Belial run in before getting back to work, it’s nice to know that it’s at least possible on the Flex 14.
Finally, although no one in their right mind would likely attempt it, we loaded up Bioshock Infinite to see how it holds up on this configuration. We don’t actually have any comparative data to work with as this is the first 768p non-gaming model we’ve reviewed using this title, and as such, it’s the first time we’ve benchmarked the game at 768p for our database records. But the average FPS of 18.07 lays that dream to rest anyway.
The bottom line is, modern ULV CPUs simply aren’t cut out for gaming. A few years ago, we would have laughed at the concept of playing games on any integrated GPU, however—and the sheer fact that some older games can be enjoyed on the Flex 14 with acceptable frame rates on Low settings is impressive in its own right.
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.