One of many least expensive thin-and-light convertibles we have examined to pack in a quad-core Eighth-generation Intel CPU, the Lenovo Flex 6 14 boasts peppy productiveness efficiency and strong battery life for a comparatively finances value. Sadly, the Flex comes saddled with a dim display and iffy graphics, disappointing given the system’s discrete Nvidia graphics core. Should you do not care about gaming or photograph enhancing and also you’re on a finances, the Flex is perhaps value contemplating, however if you happen to’re purchasing for true graphics energy in an ultraportable, look elsewhere (maybe on the Asus ZenBook 13).
Worth and configuration
We examined the $800 configuration of the Lenovo Flex 6, which comes with Intel’s quad-core, eighth-generation Core i5-8250U, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a 14-inch 1920×1080 contact show, a 256GB solid-state laborious drive, and discrete Nvidia GeForce MX130 graphics.
The Flex’s $800 price ticket is fairly good on paper—and certainly, it is among the many least expensive 2-in-1 techniques we have examined with an Eighth-generation Intel CPU.
For instance, the Asus ZenBook Flip 14, the same 14-inch convertible with the identical Core i5-8250U processor and solely built-in Intel graphics has an inventory of $900, when you might drop greater than $1,800 on Lenovo’s premium, Core i5-8250U-powered ThinkPad X1 Yoga.
Then once more, if you wish to save money by selecting the Lenovo Flex 6 14, you will need to put up with some compromises. Learn on.
Measuring 12.9 x 9 x zero.7 inches and weighing in at about three.75 kilos (or 4 kilos if you happen to embrace the compact, 7-ounce AC adapter), the onyx-black Flex 6 14 is slim and lightweight sufficient to fall into the ultraportable class, though it is a tad heavier and thicker than a few of its pricier rivals.
The Flex’s sturdy plastic shell seems to be plain however skilled, with a only a small Lenovo emblem on the sting of the gently tapered lid. A brushed aluminum palm relaxation sits inside. The matte floor of the Flex’s lid resists fingerprints however (not unusually) tends to draw oily hand smudges.
Being the 2-in-1 convertible system that it’s, the Flex boasts a pair of 360-degree hinges, permitting you to make use of the laptop computer in clamshell mode, pill mode, or a V-shaped “tent” mode in between. The Flex’s twin hinges felt reassuringly sturdy, holding the show in place with a minimal of wobble.
The Lenovo Flex 6 14’s Full-HD show seems to be moderately sharp and vivid by itself, but it surely pales—fairly actually—as compared if you stack it up in opposition to different, brighter laptops screens. We measured the utmost brightness within the heart of the display at 224 nits (or candelas), which falls considerably wanting our 250-nit low-water mark for comfy indoor viewing. When you can view the show comparatively simply in an workplace setting, do not be shocked if you end up squinting on the display when open air or close to a brilliant window.
On the plus facet, viewing angles on the Lenovo Flex 6 14’s IPS-technology show had been fairly good. The display dimmed solely barely when considered from excessive angles and confirmed no indicators of inverse colours, as you will usually see on cheaper shows.
The Flex’s contact show responded easily to my faucets and swipes, and it additionally boasts pen assist. You possibly can snag Lenovo’s Energetic Pen, full with 2,048 ranges of strain sensitivity and a plastic USB pen holder, for $40.
Keyboard, trackpad, audio system and extras
The Lenovo Flex 6 14’s backlit keyboard feels satisfactory, with barely concave keys that sport a tactile bump about midway by way of every keystroke. Properly eschewing a 10-key numeric keypad, the Flex’s keyboard feels moderately roomy, with simple discovery and (until you press laborious) little signal of bending within the center.
The Flex’s midsize trackpad felt clean and conscious of my fingertips, and it by no means registered any false swipes throughout my testing, though it does require a good quantity of strain to click on.
Simply beneath the bottom-right nook of the keyboard sits the Flex’s fingerprint reader, which helps you to unlock your Home windows profile and open Home windows Hi there-compliant apps with a single contact. I used the fingerprint reader all through my testing and infrequently had any issues.
The Lenovo Flex 6 14’s bottom-firing Harman Kardon audio system are a tiny lower above your common laptop computer audio system, however they’re nonetheless fairly (and unsurprisingly) iffy. Whereas I loved the vast separation between the left and proper stereo channels, particulars had been a bit muddy, bass was just about non-existent, and the sound wasn’t that loud even after cranking the amount all the best way up. That’s all fairly typical so far as laptop computer audio system go, however don’t get your hopes up due to the Harman Kardon model title.
In the meantime, the Flex’s 720p webcam (which sits within the high bezel of the display) is pretty first rate—a little bit grainy and noisy, as common, however nonetheless it nonetheless manages to seize comparatively clear and sharp video, useful for Skype chatting.
The Lenovo Flex 6 14’s assortment of ports is strong, however nothing particular. On the left facet, you get barrel-shaped charging port, a full HDMI video port, the primary of two USB three.zero Kind A ports, a single USB three.zero Kind C port, and a combo audio jack.
On the fitting sits a Kensington lock slot, a second USB three.zero Kind A port, an SD card reader, and the facility button.
Total, that’s a wonderfully respectable assortment of ports, though we’re bummed by the shortage of Thunderbolt three ports, seemingly a concession to the Flex’s finances price ticket.
After placing it by way of a sequence of benchmarking assessments, we’re assured in saying that the Lenovo Flex 6 14 is a clean, comparatively speedy performer in terms of basic productiveness duties, significantly given its finances value and svelte chassis. However as you will see in a second, the Flex’s graphics efficiency comes up disappointingly quick, a disgrace given the system’s discrete graphics core.
PCMark eight Skilled Work
First, we fired up PCMark eight to see how the Lenovo Flex 6 14 performs when it got here to day-to-day computing duties corresponding to internet searching, composing Phrase paperwork, tinkering with spreadsheets, and the like.
Unsurprisingly, the Flex handed our PCMark eight take a look at with room to spare, simply besting the two,000 mark that we deem the minimal for clean Workplace efficiency, in addition to notching a consequence that is according to competing 2-in-1 ultraportables.
Whereas PCMark eight is a benchmark at which even cheaper dual-core laptops can excel, our subsequent take a look at is one other story. Through the use of the free HandBrake utility to transform a 30GB MKV video file into an MP4 file, we will get a fairly good concept of how a given laptop computer beats the pinnacle below a chronic and crushing CPU load.
With its Handbrake rating of almost four,400 seconds (or about an hour and 13 minutes), the Lenovo Flex 6 14 lands proper within the combine with different Eighth-generation 2-in-1 laptops we have examined. The Flex 6 14 throttled its CPU clock pace to about 2.three GHz (down from its typical cruising pace of three.38 GHz) throughout a lot of the take a look at. Such a concession to the warmth is typical for latest convertible techniques we have tried. Laptops with conventional, easier-to-cool clamshell kind elements (just like the Dell XPS 13) can usually get away with speedier HandBrake efficiency.
Whereas Handbrake places a heavy pressure on a CPU for about an hour or extra, our processor-intensive Cinebench take a look at (which includes rendering a 3D picture in actual time) lasts mere minutes, giving us a greater understanding of how a laptop computer handles quick bursts of stress.
With four cores and eight threads in its CPU, plus Hyper Threading, which allocates CPU assets dynamically, the Lenovo Flex 6 14 brings loads of assets for mainstream duties. In each single-threaded and multi-threaded Cinebench testing, it turns in a efficiency according to different sub-$1000 Eighth-generation 2-in-1 techniques, although it dials down its CPU clock pace to about 2.4GHz to regulate temperatures.
3DMark Sky Diver
An $800 ultraportable with a discrete graphics core: That’s the promise of the Lenovo Flex 6 14, and on paper, the prospect sounds engaging. In follow, nevertheless, we had been pretty underwhelmed by the Flex’s graphics efficiency.
Armed with the Nvidia Geforce MX130, which sits in the midst of Nvidia’s entry-level cellular MX line, the Flex solely managed a median general Sky Diver rating of about three,100, nicely beneath the outcomes of competing Eighth-gen 2-in-1s with built-in Intel UHD 620 graphics.
We ran the Sky Diver benchmark a number of instances simply to make sure. Even the Flex 6 14’s absolute best scores (about four,020, solely twice out of 10 tries) nonetheless got here in considerably beneath what we noticed in competing convertibles with built-in graphics, and means behind a latest laptop computer (the Asus ZenBook 13) with MX150 graphics.
The Flex’s disappointing Sky Diver efficiency might merely be a thermals subject, and certainly, we seen the system briefly slamming the brakes (through power-limit throttling) on the CPU a couple of minute or so into the take a look at as inner temperatures started to mount.
Whereas discrete cellular graphics playing cards just like the MX130 are meant extra for enhancing photograph and video enhancing reasonably than enjoying video games, we went forward and fired up a couple of gaming favorites. The Tomb Raider reboot from 2013, for instance, solely gave us a woeful four.four frames per second with the graphics settings maxed out, or simply 22.eight fps on the bottom graphics settings. In the meantime, we needed to dial down Fortnite all the best way to the bottom settings (together with painfully blocky visuals) simply to keep up a gentle 30 fps.
We measure battery life by looping a 4K video utilizing the inventory Home windows Motion pictures & TV app, with display brightness set as near 250 nits as potential (solely 224 nits, alas, on the Flex’s dim show). We additionally set quantity on the 50-percent mark, with headphones plugged in.
The Lenovo Flex 6 14’s common battery drain results of 441 minutes (roughly 7.5 hours) is not dangerous contemplating its 45 watt-hour battery, and it is comparable to a different Eighth-generation convertible with a similar-sized battery, the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin. Different techniques in our comparability chart boast extra battery capability.
Positive, it is wonderful you could now snag an ultraportable 2-in-1 with a quad-core Intel CPU and discrete GPU for simply $800, however the Lenovo Flex 6 14’s dim display and disappointing graphics efficiency rely as main drawbacks.