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Andrew Williams is a technology writer, who has contributed to Stuff, WIRED, TechRadar, T3, Wareable and, of course, Trusted Reviews. Here he test and reviews some of newest mobile, audio and camera d
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Lenovo Ideapad 3 15 Review: $400 Is Enticing But You Can Get Better Features Elsewhere
Lenovo’s IdeaPad lineup ranges from truly budget options that cost just a bit more than $200 all the way up to gaming and premium Ultrabooks costing well over $1,000. The IdeaPad 3 15 I have here to review is near the low end of the pricing spectrum, targeting everyday use for anyone who wants a PC for homework or other productivity work around the house. I’ve been using this budget laptop for about a week to see where it excels, where corners are cut to keep the cost down, and, ultimately, whether or not it’s worth your money.
Strong Points: Why You Should Get A Lenovo Laptop
First things first that Id like to put out there: YOU CAN NEVER GO WRONG WITH A LENOVO LAPTOP!
These powerful machines can pack a good punch, even as a mobile computer! They are built to be DURABLE and RELIABLE, so finishing your daily tasks will be a breeze.
Take the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon: A Perfect Business Laptop, for example. This laptop has been the HALLMARK in the world of business-oriented laptops, and there are no signs of slowing down!
They boast powerful processors with the Intel Core series, long battery life, HD displays, and sleek design aesthetics!
Lenovo offers the right kind of specifications to meet your demands. They offer world-class business systems and mean gaming machines that are PACKED with features.
Theres one for EVERYONE!
Stellar Product Series
Ill be upfront with you and tell you that Lenovo laptops are just PHENOMENAL. And no I am not kidding! This PC manufacturer means REAL BUSINESS when it comes to making good laptops.
Their budget laptops can deliver your daily tasks like web surfing, basic data entry, and streaming to your hearts content!
One of the notable Lenovo notebooks you can check out is the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630. Its definitely worth a PEEP!
On the other side of the spectrum, their premium business laptops make waves with the power and functionality it delivers!
Meanwhile, their gaming laptop line gives a power-to-performance ratio that is DEFINITELY OFF THE CHARTS!
Value for Money
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Best Lenovo Laptops In 2021
The best Lenovo laptops, from ThinkPad to Legion
The best Lenovo laptops consistently rank near the top of our overall best laptops rankings. From the excellent ThinkPad business laptops to the sleek Yoga notebook and affordable Ideapad laptops, Lenovo offers something for all types of users.
We recently reviewed the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold, the first PC with a flexible, foldable display. It didn’t make this list but it’s worth checking out anyway. If you’re looking for something more traditional, the ThinkPad X1 Nano is a 13-inch competitor to the XPS 13.
Still not sure which Lenovo business laptop to buy? Check out our best Lenovo ThinkPad guide that compares the top models. And to maximize productivity at work, make sure you buy the right ThinkPad accessories. If you’re a business user and aren’t sold on buying a ThinkPad, check out the best Dell Latitude and Precision laptops.
Disassembly Upgrade Options And Maintenance
A total of 7 Torx-head screws are holding this notebooks bottom panel in place. Interestingly, the back ones remain attached to the plate after you undo them, while the front four can be taken away. So, as soon as you unscrew them, you can start prying the panel from the front left corner, as seen here.
Cooling-wise, you get not only one, but two heat pipes, and a pretty big fan.
Sadly, the memory is soldered to the motherboard, but as we saw on the 15-inch version, the chips will be configured in dual-channel mode if you buy the 8GB or the 16GB version of the notebook. Additionally, it works at 3200 MHz, enhancing the AMD experience. In terms of storage, there are two M.2 slots one of them fits 2242 units with speeds of PCIe x2, while the other can hold 2280 device, running with 4 PCIe lanes. According to Lenovo, they can work only one at the time, but we cant confirm that.
Our unit came with a 57Wh battery pack, although there is a 45Wh unit also available.
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Q: Why Should I Buy A Lenovo Laptop
Recently, there has been a lot of innovation geared toward improving Lenovo laptops. Apart from offering superior graphics, the processor provides unmatched performance while the designs are more travel-friendly. Users also get increased battery performance and more storage capacity at a good price compared to other Lenovo competitors. Being one of the most versatile laptop brands, Lenovo offers multiple options designed to suit the unique needs of different users.
There are many innovative 2-in-1 laptops for businesses and powerful options for gaming or content creation. Lenovo also favors on-the-go users with their exceptional ultraportable laptops.
Agree To Continue: Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3
Every smart device now requires you to agree to a series of terms and conditions before you can use it contracts that no one actually reads. Its impossible for us to read and analyze every single one of these agreements. But we started counting exactly how many times you have to hit agree to use devices when we review them since these are agreements most people dont read and definitely cant negotiate.
To use the IdeaPad Gaming 3, you have to agree to:
- Request for your region and keyboard layout
- Windows 10 License Agreement
- Microsoft 365
- Set up Cortana
- Privacy settings, including online speech recognition, find my device, inking and typing, advertising ID, location, diagnostic data, and tailored experiences
- Save your email address on your device
- Add the device to your Lenovo ID for support, updates, and more
Final tally: four mandatory agreements and 15 optional ones
The IdeaPad Gaming 3 didnt raise much of a stutter while running my loadout of work applications, which includes running Spotify, Affinity Photo, Slack, and anywhere from 10-20 Google Chrome tabs in perpetuity. In terms of performance, the laptop started to chug when I pushed its 8GB of RAM to the limits with too many Chrome tabs and Affinity Photo projects. Lenovo confirmed to me that both the RAM and M.2 SSD storage can be upgraded by unscrewing the bottom shell of the laptop, so at least you can remedy this issue yourself if you choose.
The RAM and M.2 storage are user-upgradeable
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Should You Buy The Lenovo Ideapad 3
I would be happy doing 90% of my work on the Lenovo Ideapad 3 were it not for one thing: the low-quality screen.
Its TN panel lets down what is otherwise a very capable laptop, one with a solid processor among budget models and a nice deep-action keyboard. The faux-metallic panels will likely trick a few people into thinking you spent more too.
Dig deep and do just that and you can get the IdeaPad Flex 5i instead. It has an IPS touchscreen with flexi hinge, which will look much better. Or if you only need a laptop for basic work and entertainment, dont forget a Chromebook. You can spend less on one of those and get a better display than the Lenovo IdeaPad 3s.
Lenovo Ideapad 3 1: What I Don’t Like
Budget laptops understandably have to cut corners to make up the price. Not everything can be a Razer Book 13, and that’s OK. It’s nevertheless good to know what you’re getting yourself into when it comes to the IdeaPad 3 15.
Compared to aluminum or even magnesium alloy, the plastic used for the chassis is very flexible. It’s a bit disconcerting, so you’ll want to take some extra care to ensure nothing gets bent too far â especially the lid. But after lugging the laptop around for awhile it doesn’t seem to be ready to fall apart.
Port selection is another drawback. There’s no USB-C, nevermind Thunderbolt, so you might feel like you’re leaving behind modern accessories. The laptop does come with two USB-A 3.2 , USB-A 2.0, HDMI 1.4b, 3.5mm audio jack, and a UHS-I SD card reader. The laptop charges via proprietary barrel charging port.
Elsewhere, the 1366×768 display is nothing to get excited about. This resolution at 15 inches gets a bit fuzzy, and a glossy finish due to the touch function doesn’t help. The TN panel has rather narrow viewing angles, and the bezel is chunky. Is it functional for productivity work and email? Absolutely. Is it something you’re going to love each time you open the lid? Probably not. There is an FHD IPS option listed in some documentation , though it doesn’t seem like it’s an easy configuration to find.
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Similar Products We’ve Reviewed:
- Product Name 2018 ideapad 320 15.6″
- Product Brand Lenovo
- Product Dimensions 14.88 x 10.24 x 0.9 in.
- Processor 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron N3350 dual-core processor
- Camera 0.3MP webcam
- Battery 2-cell lithium ion battery
- RAM 4 GB DDR4
- Storage 1TB SATA HDD
- Ports Ethernet, HDMI, headphone jack, 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
- Warranty One year limited
Lenovo Ideapad 3 Design Imposter Aluminium
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is out to play tricks on us. Its keyboard plate and lid have a fairly convincing brushed metal effect to their finish, yet both parts are plastic with a slight metallic sheen.
This plastic is also very smooth, which feels tackier on your palms than either anodised aluminium or textured plastic. However, well done Lenovo, you had us for a minute. The Lenovo IdeaPad 3s underside is the typical rough textured plastic of an affordable laptop.
Build quality is fair, if no better than the norm. The keyboard surround will flex a little under the pressure of hard typing, if not enough to ruin the experience, and the inside of the IdeaPad 3 looks a little too much of a mish-mash.
You have the metal-effect plastic base, mid-grey keyboard keys, a textured plastic hinge and a cheap-looking screen. Lenovo has made some great-looking mid-price laptops over the years, but this cheaper one wont convince too many eyes its anything but a budget model close-up. That metal effect illusion works best from a distance.
Still, the screen part is fairly stiff and its light enough to treat as a portable laptop. The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 weighs 1.6kg and is 20mm thick. Its far from being truly thin and light, but we are talking about a £430 laptop.
You dont get a USB-C port either, which seems a head-scratcher in 2020.
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Best Rugged Lenovo Thinkpad
|Connectivity||2× USB A, HDMI, Ethernet, Audio Jack, Card Reader|
The ThinkPad Yoga 11e is the best-rugged ThinkPad you can get. If you need a durable laptop for a student or a laptop that you can use anywhere, this is the right choice. The chassis is a thick block of reinforced plastic. It endured 12 different military-grade tests and 200 regular durability tests.
The body features tough hinges that allow the display to rotate 360 degrees. The keyboard is water-resistant but also surprisingly enjoyable to type on. You get an average 11-inch display that wont impress anyone, but its good enough for basic usage. The CPU is powerful enough for browsing the web, word processing, and watching videos.
The battery life is solid. It offers full-day use under low load. It should last enough through an average school day. Overall, the ThinkPad Yoga 11e is a cheap but durable laptop. Its great for students and those who seek a rugged but inexpensive notebook. It features an amazing keyboard, solid battery and performance, and an average screen.
The Legion Series Offers A Variety Of Gaming Laptops For Your Budget
Another reason we think Lenovo is a good computer brand isthe new Legion brand of reliable gaming laptops. Introduced to the gaming world in 2017, thegoal: to pulverize Acer Predator andAsus Republic of Gamers .
One of the biggest hurdles for laptops is always the price especially if youre talking about gaming machines Much of what you pay foris the miniaturization of powerful components that must keep up with the ever-evolvingPC gaming world.
On that front, the entry-level Legion Y520 demonstrates you dont have to pay $2K for enthusiast-level gaming: Its Core i7 CPU in addition to an NVIDIA GTX 1060 card proves enough to give competitors a run for their money.
But gaming laptops tend to be esoteric, meaning that theirlavish often time outlandish design makes them un-suitable for theconservative heterotopia of the corporate office.
Youve got to ask: if youre dropping so much for a portablecomputer, shouldnt it be versatile?
The Legion line addresses that issue with a more mature design that dispenses with the typical flair dominating the gaming PC world but red accents still adorn the keyboard for a subtle touch of the gamer aesthetic.
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Productivity: Adequate For Basic Productivity Tasks
Youre best off using the Ideapad 320 for basic productivity tasks like word processing, light web browsing, and email. The excellent keyboard is great for long sessions of typing, but the sluggish processor means that running any resource-intensive applicationsor even editing imagesis a real chore.
Lenovo Ideapad 3 Review: Performance And Features
Our IdeaPad 3 review unit came running a 10th-gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor by no means the latest or greatest Intel chipset, but definitely enough to get you through some everyday computing tasks. The integrated Intel UHD Graphics G1 setup means that gaming and other graphically intense tasks are beyond the laptop , but for most tasks that most of us do with a computer it’s perfectly fine.
The review unit we had was fitted with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD internal storage you wouldn’t really want to try and run Windows 10 on anything less, but again you can get by with this sort of spec. We tried some web browsing, some emailing, and some media playing on the Lenovo IdeaPad 3, and everything moved along at a fair clip. If you really try and overload the laptop with a lot of browser tabs or a lot of open applications you might run into problems, however.
It is worth noting that the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 stayed nice and quiet during our time with it, with the fans only spinning up occasionally when the laptop was put under pressure. Note that the computer comes with the restricted Windows 10 S Mode enabled you can switch to Windows 10 proper for free in about a minute, but you do lose some benefits in terms of performance and security.
Are you a student and need a system to go to college or university? Then check out the best student laptops on the market.
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How To Pick A Lenovo Laptop
Lenovo’s our top-rated laptop brand for good reason. The company offers an extensive product lineup with some of the best notebooks you can get from any manufacturer. Lenovo makes laptops for just about every type of user, from children in school to gamers and business executives.
We’ve listed our favorite current Lenovo laptops above, but if you’re doing research, it helps to know the difference between the company’s major product lines.
- ThinkPad: Lenovo’s business laptops have some of the best keyboards in the world and many have extremely long battery life. They’re a great choice, even if you’re not planning to use them for work.
- Yoga: These premium 2-in-1s have great designs, colorful screens and strong battery life.
- Legion: The gaming line offers solid performance at reasonable prices.
- Flex: A line of 2-in-1s that is less expensive than Yoga, but still full-featured.
- IdeaPad: These mainstream consumer laptops range in price from low-end budget systems to more premium Ultrabooks.
Lenovo Ideapad Vs Thinkpad Our Verdict
Now it is time for our final thoughts. Actually, we can not recommend you just with one laptop series between these two. It totally depends on your personal preferences & uses. If you want a laptop for business & professional uses like you are a system administrator or developer then having an Intel 10th/ 11th generation processor ThinkPad will be your best choice. For hardcore users, this series can be an ideal option among all other brands. On the other hand, if you are looking for a laptop for most home uses like watching movies, playing light games or if you are a student & want a stylish laptop to carry with you & make assignments & keep notes then the IdeaPad series can be your perfect match. IdeaPad also comes with a lower price tag that is this one is also an affordable option for you.
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