Lenovo Ideapad 5 (14) review – one of the best affordable ultrabooks you can get

Well, the new Ideapad 5 (14) is here and its main thing this year is symmetry. When you look at it in an open position you see two speaker grills flanking the keyboard, which is placed right in the middle of the machine. Furthermore, the touchpad seems to be pretty centered too (although it is still left-biased).

And what grabs our attention here is the price point. And moreover – what you get in terms of performance and versatility. Our particular device comes with the AMD Ryzen 4000U series processors. You can also pick an Ideapad 5 (14) with an Ice Lake CPU, but let’s be honest, in 2020, the only real excuse to buy an Intel processor, is if you are crazy.

Interestingly, this notebook is offered with two TN panels and two IPS ones – the first duo comes in 768p and 1080p resolutions, while the latter consists of two 1080p options. What makes them different, though? Well, according to Lenovo, the more premium model features 100% sRGB color coverage. This makes us think that our unit is definitely equipped with the more budget IPS display – more on that later.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-ideapad-5-14/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Lenovo Ideapad 5 (14) review – one of the best affordable ultrabooks you can get - Specs

  • AUO B140HAN04.E (AUO408D)
  • Color accuracy  5.5  3.8
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 2000GB SSD
  • M.2 Slot
  • 1x 2280 PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4  See photo
  • RAM
  • up to 16GB
  • OS
  • Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 11 Pro, Windows 11 Home, No OS
  • Battery
  • 57Wh, 44.5Wh, 57Wh, 3-cell, 56.5Wh, 3-cell, 56.5Wh, 45Wh, 3-cell
  • Body material
  • Plastic / Polycarbonate, Aluminum
  • Dimensions
  • 321.5 x 211.6 x 16.9 mm (12.66" x 8.33" x 0.67")
  • Weight
  • 1.38 kg (3 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 2x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort
  • HDMI
  • 1.4b
  • Card reader
  • MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ac/ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.0
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5 Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • optional
  • Web camera
  • HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • optional
  • Microphone
  • Dual Array Microphone
  • Speakers
  • 2x 2W, Dolby Audio
  • Optical drive

All Lenovo IdeaPad 5 (14″, 2020/2021) configurations

#CommissionsEarned

What’s in the box?

Surprisingly, we found a 95W power brick inside the package of this device. It also has USB Type-C connectivity, making it possible to charge your phone with it.


Design and construction

Similarly to the 15-inch version of the model, Lenovo is offering the notebook with two options, when it comes to the base material. One of them includes rubberish plastic and the other features an all-aluminum build. Keep in mind that regardless of your choice, the lid will always come in aluminum. Now, there is a difference in dimensions between the two – the plastic/aluminum model comes with a 17.9mm profile and a weight of 1.39 kg, while the all-aluminum device stands 1mm lower at 16.9mm and weighs 1.38 kg.

Thankfully, the lid opens with a single hand. Like most of the Lenovo laptops in 2020, it also has a protruded notch, which helps you lift the lid upwards. Additionally, it houses the camera and its privacy shutter, keeping you safe from scammers, hackers, and the CIA. It is good to see that the bezels are thin all around the display, which decreases the overall footprint of the device. As of the display, it has an anti-glare finish, which is really helpful if you have a lot of light-emitting objects behind you.

Next, there is the keyboard we were telling you about. It appears, that it is not particularly improved from last year, with its short key travel. However, it still has clicky feedback and a backlight. Now, the power button is located in the top right corner of the base and it houses an optional fingerprint reader.

Roughly centered beneath the space bar, you can find the touchpad. It has a smooth texture and offers very good gliding and tracking. However, it produces a strange click when you tap it (without pressing), which leads us to think that it hasn’t been tightened very well.

So, as the speakers are placed on the top, the bottom panel is only home to the ventilation grills. As of the hot air – it escapes the laptop from in between the lid and the base.

Ports

On the left side of the notebook, you can see a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 1) Port, which is used for charging the device and can output a DisplayPort signal. Additionally, there is an HDMI 1.4b connector, as well as a 3.5mm audio jack. Then, on the right, you can see two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) ports (one of which has an Always-on capability), and an SD card reader.


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 can’t confirm that.

Our unit came with a 57Wh battery pack, although there is a 45Wh unit also available.


Display quality

Lenovo Ideapad 5 (14) has a Full HD display, model number AUO B140HAN04.E (AUO408D). Its diagonal is 14″ (35.56 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 157 ppi, their pitch – 0.161 x 0.161 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 56 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).

Its viewing angles are great. We have provided images at 45 degrees to evaluate quality.

The maximum measured brightness is 350 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 316 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 18% in the top right corner (unacceptable). The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6760K (average) – slightly colder than the 6500K optimum for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective.
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is very good – 1350:1 (1260:1 after profiling).

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is an essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows Lenovo Ideapad 5 (14)’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 51% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of Lenovo Ideapad 5 (14) with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display can reproduce dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.


Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 28 ms


Health impact – PWM / Blue Light

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

Lenovo Ideapad 5 (14)’s display doesn’t use PWM at any brightness level. This ensures comfortable work even during long periods of time.


Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Conclusions

According to Lenovo’s specs sheet, we got the second best display option for this notebook. It has a 1080p IPS panel with good viewing angles, decent contrast ratio, and a non-flickering backlight. However, its color coverage is mediocre – 51%.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Lenovo Ideapad 5 (14) configurations with 14.0″ AUO B140HAN04.E (AUO408D) (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS panel.

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

Lenovo Ideapad 5 (14)’s Dolby Audio-enabled speakers produce a good quality sound, with a rather low maximum volume. Its low, mid, and high tones are clear of deviations.


Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/5-series/ideapad-5-14are05/downloads/driver-list

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. As we said, our device has a larger – 57Wh battery. It provided more than 12 hours of Web browsing and around 10 hours and 44 minutes of video playback.

In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.


CPU options

Like many other of the new Lenovo devices, this unit comes in Intel and AMD variants. Our unit is the AMD model and it can be purchased with pretty much the entire lineup of the so-called Renoir processors – starting from the Ryzen 3 4300U (4c/4t), Ryzen 5 4500U (6c/6t), Ryzen 5 4600U (6c/12t), Ryzen 7 (4700U (8c/8t) and the flagship Ryzen 7 4800U (8c/16t).

Lenovo IdeaPad 5 (14", 2020/2021) CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 (14", 2020/2021) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Lenovo IdeaPad 5 (14", 2020/2021) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.


GPU options

Respectively, all of the aforementioned processors come with their version of the integrated AMD Radeon Graphics.

Lenovo IdeaPad 5 (14", 2020/2021) GPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the GPUs that can be found in the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 (14", 2020/2021) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Lenovo IdeaPad 5 (14", 2020/2021) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different GPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / GPU.


Gaming tests

cs-go-benchmarks

CS:GO HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings) HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)
Average FPS 88 fps 59 fps 40 fps

DOTA 2 HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings) HD 1080p, High (Check settings)
Average FPS 98 fps 62 fps 32 fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

AMD Ryzen 3 4300U (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Lenovo Ideapad 5 (14) 3.70 GHz (B+37%) @ 73°C 3.64 GHz (B+35%) @ 86°C 2.99 GHz (B+11%) @ 66°C

Now that looks effective. More than 3.60 GHz for the first two checkpoints and maintaining nearly 3.00 GHz after 15 minutes of Prime95 with a temperature of 66C. From what it seems, the Ryzen 3 4300U turns out to be a little champ.

Comfort during full load

Yep, the laptop was not too loud under load, and neither it gets too warm.


Verdict

To sum up, what we’ve seen today, let’s start with the processor. Obviously, the Ryzen 4000U CPUs, or Renoir as AMD calls them, are very capable little devices. And what can show it better than their lowest tier processor – the Ryzen 3 4300U? Having four cores without multithreading, it should have been in the range of performance of the Core i3-10110U. However, this is an extremely potent sucker, delivering something that only a tight group of laptops equipped with at least the Core i5-10210U can reach.

Not bad. Sadly, the laptop comes with solder memory only, which can be a downside, but what is good about it, is that Lenovo is configuring it in dual-channel mode if you opt for the 8GB or the 16GB versions. Moreover, some models support Wi-Fi 6 and you have an M.2 slot that supports PCIe x4 SSDs.

In terms of usability, you have two USB Type-A ports, an SD card reader, and you can also connect a seconds (or third) screen via the HDMI port or the USB Type-C connector. Here, USB Type-C charging comes as a double-edged sword – yes, you can charge multiple devices with the same adapter, but once you plug your laptop to the wall, the Type-C port becomes virtually unusable.

According to Lenovo’s specs sheet, we got the second best display option for this notebook. It has a 1080p IPS panel with good viewing angles, decent contrast ratio, and non-flickering backlight. However, its color coverage is mediocre – 51%.

On the other hand, there is the battery life. We have the larger 57Wh unit (the smaller one has a capacity of 45Wh), and we got more than 12 hours of Web browsing and around 10 hours and 44 minutes of video playback, comfortably delivering an entire workday on a single battery while having some juice left for your favorite TV series after work.

All in all, this is not a perfect notebook, but we can really forgive some of the shortcomings when we consider the price tag and the all-aluminum body of this machine. If you want to follow our advice, just get the 16GB version of the notebook and you are good to go.

Pros

  • USB Type-C charging, SD card and M.2 PCIe x4 drive support
  • Reasonably comfortable keyboard with optional backlight
  • Lack of PWM (AUO B140HAN04.E)
  • Comfortable viewing angles and good contrast ratio (AUO B140HAN04.E)
  • Even the Ryzen 3 4300U provides a decent performance


Cons

  • Covers only 51% of sRGB (AUO B140HAN04.E)
  • Memory is soldered to the motherboard

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-ideapad-5-14/

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roundstarmoon
roundstarmoon
2 years ago

Very nice review, keep it up. I believe there is a 1x 2240 PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 slot to the right of the heatpipes that can also be used for an SSD. Question is if you can use both SSD slots at the same time.

02nz
02nz
2 years ago

Are you sure it’s all-aluminum? My 15-inch model only has an aluminum lid, and I believe the 14-incher is the same. Some configurations apparently have a metal bottom.

Snoodle
Snoodle
2 years ago

the higher quality screen comes for 20bucks more so if you pick that one, you get an almost perfect ultrabook.
All it needs are cleaner insides caus frankly the insides awefull to look at and even worse to tinker with.

Vatsal Purohit
Vatsal Purohit
2 years ago

Which one is the perfect ultrabook or better than this one in this price range?

Human
Human
2 years ago
Reply to  Vatsal Purohit

Well, Yoga Slim 7 has a faster RAM and 2 fans (but single heat-pipe only) for a slightly more premium pricing (about 10% more than this model) for my country. Alternatively, you can get an almost identical package in a more business oriented option like X13 (especially helpful where you can cheaply upgrading the display to one with better colour profile) for almost the same price as this Ideapad.
Basically, I see as 3 identical laptops tailored to different tastes and purposes.

Ivan Krumov
Ivan Krumov
2 years ago

Hello, thanks for the splendid reviews. There is something that I just don’t understand – why do you recommend getting the 16GB RAM version and at the same time provide links to 8GB versions only?

omer
omer
1 year ago

Hi, as hardware this machine can be good but I had a very bad experience, I bought this laptop on 2nd Dec-20 night and on early Friday morning 4th Dec-20 my wife was just browsing internet then she closed the laptop to prepare breakfast my kids open the laptop and found touch was not working when my wife restarted the windows they found out the touch screen has crack on it……. No hard press No Physical damage Not even fallen any where No idea how screen got broken without any physical damage and when took this machine to the vendor… Read more »

Elzbieta
Elzbieta
1 year ago

Bonjour, j’aimerais savoir si l’on peut utiliser le port USB C pour brancher un Hub/mini deck pour alimenter le PC et avoir des extensions (VGA, RJ 45, USB, HDMI). Nous avons sur ce PC un port USB C avec Display Port 1.4, et dans notre version “métal”, il n’y a pas de jack dédiée dédiée pour l’alimentation. Merci de votre réponse.

Last edited 1 year ago by Elzbieta
wayne
wayne
1 year ago

what docking station best works for this laptop

CSLum
CSLum
1 year ago
Reply to  wayne

I’m using Dell D3100 Docking station for this Laptop(Ideapad 5 (14)

Replacement Laptop Keys

You said it right Lenovo Ideapad is affordable as well as one of the best capable ultrabooks. Performance-wise it is a good quality laptop. Thanks for sharing such a nice review!! Keep sharing stuff like this!!

MBProKeys
MBProKeys
11 days ago

Great article!! There is no doubt that Lenovo Ideapad is one of the best ultrabooks on the market today, and it is both affordable and capable. In terms of performance, it is a good laptop. Thanks for sharing!

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