Lenovo's Flex 5 catches up to other convertibles, adding Kaby Lake and USB-C

It debuts with one nice advantage: a lighter weight.

Lenovo’s Flex 5 convertibles are the latest arrivals in a busy, popular segment: laptops with 360-degree hinges and a full feature set for mainstream computing.

These new models aren’t cheap—the starting prices are $720 for the 14-inch model and $830 for the 15-incher—and in some ways they’re just catching up to similar competitors from Dell and HP. But the major PC vendors are constantly one-upping each other, and when they ship in May, the Flex 5 products will have an edge in a few areas everyone cares about.

Weight is the first one. When you’re schlepping a PC or even balancing it on your lap, every ounce matters. As I compared the specs for the Flex 5 15-inch to those of similarly priced models, namely Dell’s Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 and HP’s Pavilion x360 (15-bk151nr), I noticed the Flex 5 had managed to slim down to 4.4 pounds, while the Dell and HP are both closer to 5 pounds.

lenovo flex 5 15 inch 3qtr Lenovo

You can use Lenovo's Active Pen and Windows Ink features on the Flex 5 convertible laptop.

Battery’s the second. The Flex 5 laptops boast a 3-cell, 52.5 Wh power pack, compared to 42 Wh for the Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 and 48 Wh for the HP Pavilion x360. Lenovo didn’t provide further battery specs, but at least on paper, this battery should last longer.

After these highlights, what you’ll find with the Flex 5s are well-equipped choices at the high end of mainstream laptops. Most notably, both sizes of the Flex 5 will be available with CPUs up to Intel’s 7th-generation (Kaby Lake) Core i7, whereas the predecessor Flex 4, had 6th-generation Skylake parts. Models will be available with up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM and up to 512GB of PCIe SSD storage, or 1TB of traditional hard-drive capacity.

lenovo flex 5 15 inch overhead Lenovo

The Lenovo Flex 5 has a full-size keyboard and a buttonless clickpad.

The touch displays will start with Full HD (1920x1080) for the 14-inch model and Ultra HD (3840x2160) for the 15-inch model. Integrated graphics will be the default, but you can opt for Nvidia’s GeForce 940MX mobile chip for more oomph. Neither the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 nor the HP Pavilion x360 offer such an option.

The Flex 5 convertibles will also add one USB-C port, along with two traditional USB-A. It can’t charge—Lenovo’s proprietary AC adapter has a lock on that role—but it’s good to see a little future-proofing in the connectivity.

lenovo flex 5 15 inch right side Lenovo

The ports on the right side of the Lenovo Flex 5 (15-inch model shown) include non-charging USB-C.

The thing we don’t know is detailed pricing per configuration. From the information we have, the Flex 5 product line might actually be a little more expensive than its peers, though it’s impossible to know for sure. On the other hand, a lighter device with longer battery life could be worth a little extra cash.

Why this matters: The Flex 5 and its ilk are a good barometer for where mainstream laptops are going. The 360-degree hinge and do-it-all features make it easy to use your computer however you wish, which is what everyone wants, if they can afford it. Shaving off a little weight and packing in a little more battery are good advantages, and the higher-end graphics option means you could game a little on this laptop, too.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Lenovo

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Melissa Riofrio

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?