This year, Lenovo has made some interesting name changes with its Ideapad brand. While previously, there was a single character staying in front of the number of the series, now they “created” the Flex, Slim, and the Creator series, following the impact of last year’s Ideapad Gaming devices. So, today, we’re going to focus on the Ideapad Creator 5 (15), which is one interesting, yet controversial laptop.
Why controversial? Well, as you know, the Creator moniker wasn’t really employed by any of the mainstream manufacturers no more than two years ago. However, when this term came into the everyday slang of tech people, companies like MSI and Acer were quick to book the train releasing some intriguing notebooks along the way.
Now, Lenovo is trying to do the same with their Ideapad Creator. Ultimately, it uses the base of the Ideapad Gaming 3 (15), which looks decent, but it has to has something more up its pocket. For example, Lenovo states that their notebook’s display covers 100% of the Adobe RGB color gamut, has high maximum brightness and not in the last place, has a refresh rate of 144Hz. You know that we surely won’t take these words for granted, and we are going to test is just in a minute.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-ideapad-creator-5-15/
Lenovo IdeaPad Creator 5 (15″) - Specs
All Lenovo IdeaPad Creator 5 (15″) configurationsSee all Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (15) review – fresh alternative for professionals on the budget configurations
What’s in the box?
Inside the box, we found a 135W power brick, some paper manuals, and a 2.5″ HDD/SSD upgrade kit. By the way, it’s worth noting that the laptop is very well protected inside the box by a substantial amount of foam and an anti-static cloth.
Design and construction
As we said, the Ideapad Creator 5 (15) shares the same body with the Ideapad Gaming 3 (15). This means that the weight (2.20 kg), the shape, and the measurements (24.9mm profile) of both are pretty much the same. Again, the material of build is plastic, but the color is a really nice “Dark moss”. And thankfully, the chassis is really resistant to flex.
Well, this cannot be said for the lid, though. Although it opens easily with a single hand, you have to keep in mind that it bends like cheese. After all – a budget execution. On the other side, it is good to see that the camera is placed at its traditional spot – right above the display, and it has a hardware shutter on top of it.
And here comes the keyboard. Generally, it is a great unit for typing, with its decent key travel and clicky (yet quiet) feedback. Also, it features a NumberPad section, as well as a set of huge Arrow keys. Then again, there is a backlight with a couple of brightness options, and ultimately – we have no complaints here.
Next, there is the touchpad. While it has very good tracking and the gliding is on point, we have to note that our unit had a very minor issue where it sometimes skips a couple of pixels, in the bottom right corner.
Last but not least, turn the laptop upside down, and you’ll see the ventilation grill and the speaker cutouts. And while the fresh air is drawn from beneath the notebook, the hot one is exhausted from the back.
On the left side, we see the proprietary power plug, an RJ-45 connector, an HDMI 2.0 connector, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and an audio jack. Then on the right, you’ll see a lonely USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port. By the way, there is no SD card reader – this doesn’t speak very well for a “Creator” branded notebook.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
What keeps the bottom panel in place, are 10 Phillips-head screws and some clips. After you undo the screws, just pry the panel with a plastic tool, which is pretty easy on this specimen.
Expectedly, as this laptop is pretty much an Ideapad Gaming 3 in disguise, we see the same cooling solution. It employs two heat pipes shared between both the CPU and the GPU, as well as two fans with different sizes.
In terms of storage, you have one M.2 PCIe x4 slot, as well as a 2.5-inch SATA drive slot. And as you can see, there is one more M.2 slot, which is placed right next to the SATA drive bay, meaning you can choose it, instead of the latter. As of the memory, the notebook supports 32GB of DDR4 RAM in dual-channel mode.
Sadly, the battery pack is only a 45Wh unit.
Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (15) in the configuration we tested has a Full HD 144Hz IPS panel with a model number BOE NV156FHM-NY5 (BOE08EA). Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution 1920 х 1080 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 142 ppi, and a pitch of 0.18 х 0.18 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 60cm (24″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).
Viewing angles are excellent. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.
We measured a maximum brightness of 516 nits in the middle of the screen and 490 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 10%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 7050K – colder than the optimal for the sRGB standard of 6500K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.
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. The contrast ratio is good – 1130:1.
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. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the 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 Creator 5 (15)’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers fully the colors of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976. Moreover, the Primary RGB values are a lot more saturated than the standard seen on the Web, thus enabling a Gamut volume of 130% of sRGB, and 96% of DCI-P3 coverage, making the image attractive and vibrant.
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 Creator 5 (15) with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really 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 = 8 ms.
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 Creator 5 (15)’s display doesn’t flicker at any brightness level. This provides comfort in extended periods of use.
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.
Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (15)’s IPS panel has a 144Hz refresh rate, Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, good contrast ratio, and very high maximum brightness. Essentially, it is the same panel, we found on the Lenovo Legion 7 (15). This means it covers the entire sRGB color gamut and around 96% of the DCI-P3 one. Also, it doesn’t flicker at any brightness level, and the pixel response times are very fast. However, there is a teeny tiny caveat here. Well, the laptop is dubbed as a “Creator” model, but the color accuracy of the unit falls short of being standard-matching, even when our Gaming and Web design profile is installed.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (15) configurations with 15.6″ FHD IPS BOE NV156FHM-NY6 (BOE08EA).
*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 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.
THealth-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.
Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (15)’s speakers produce a sound that doesn’t boast a very high maximum volume. However, the quality as good, and the entire frequency range is clear of deviations.
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-creator-5-15imh05/downloads/driver-list
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. It comes as no surprise that the tiny 45Wh battery doesn’t perform really well. We got 4 hours and 41 minutes of Web browsing and 4 hours and 13 minutes of video playback.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
You have a choice of two Intel Comet Lake-H processors – the quad-core Core i5-10300H, and the hexa-core Core i7-10750H.
Results are from the Cinebench 15 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
Similarly, there are two options when it comes to the graphics cards – the GeForce GTX 1650 and the ever so slightly more powerful GTX 1650 Ti.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
|Far Cry 5||Full HD, Normal (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti||59 fps||53 fps||49 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)||Full HD, Lowest (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti||104 fps||70 fps||34 fps|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)||Full HD, Lowest (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti||89 fps||48 fps||45 fps|
|Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti||55 fps||50 fps||44 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.
|Intel Core i5-10300H (45W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (15)||4.11 GHz (B+64%) @ 91°C||3.99 GHz (B+60%) @ 94°C||3.67 GHz (B+45%) @ 94°C|
|Dell XPS 17 9700||3.83 GHz (B+53%) @ 94°C||3.59 GHz (B+44%) @ 95°C||3.31 GHz (B+32%) @ 89°C|
|Dell XPS 15 9500||3.43 GHz (B+38%) @ 85°C||3.34 GHz (B+34%) @ 97°C||3.34 GHz (B+34%) @ 99°C|
|Dell G3 15 3500||3.70 GHz (B+48%) @ 97°C||3.53 GHz (B+41%) @ 97°C||3.32 GHz (B+33%) @ 95°C|
|Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3i (15)||4.00 GHz (B+60%) @ 94°C||3.76 GHz (B+50%) @ 94°C||3.57 GHz (B+43%) @ 94°C|
|Acer Predator Triton 300 (PT315-52)||3.35 GHz (B+34%) @ 72°C||3.33 GHz (B+33%) @ 79°C||3.31 GHz (B+32%) @ 84°C|
While the Core i5-10300H here was running Red hot at all times, we were seeing probably one of the highest frequencies on a laptop that we’ve tested. Also, it maintained a short term boost power of 90W, and a sustained one of 56W.
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (Turbo mode)|
|Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (15)||1187 MHz @ 65°C||1159 MHz @ 67°C||–|
|Dell G3 15 3500||1560 MHz @ 77°C||1453 MHz @ 79°C||–|
|ASUS ROG Strix G15 G512||1647 MHz @ 66°C||1626 MHz @ 70°C||–|
|Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-55)||1628 MHz @ 74°C||1601 MHz @ 81°C||–|
|Acer Predator Triton 300 (PT315-52)||1581 MHz @ 70°C||1551 MHz @ 78°C||1673 MHz @ 66°C|
|ASUS TUF A15 (F506)||1566 MHz @ 68°C||1549 MHz @ 69°C||–|
So, here is where things start to look weird. Although this model is advertised with a full-blown GTX 1650 Ti experience, and GPU-Z, itself, confirms that our unit was running at very low frequencies and a TGP of 35W. The exact same TGP as the Max-Q version.
Comfort during full load
On the bright side, this results in less noise and less heat on the outside.
Quite honestly, we were expecting to see that Creator 5 will be based on another Lenovo notebook. After all, Acer did this with its entire ConceptD range, and MSI didn’t go any further, as well. So, now you are completely aware that this laptop is basically a glorified Ideapad Gaming 3 (15). But this knife has two edges, ladies and gentlemen. While the notebook actually looks really sleek and professional, and its base is super sturdy, there is the lid. Well, the lid twists and turns like the knees of the big Elvis Presley.
On the bright side, the laptop supports 32GB of DDR4 memory in dual-channel mode, and it has two storage options – two M.2 slots, or one M.2, and one 2.5″ SATA drive slot. By the way, Lenovo provides all of the connectors and screws for 2.5″ drive mounting. However, we found a couple of things to be particularly frustrating for a “Creator Edition” laptop. First, there is the lack of an SD card reader. Okay, you would say, I have a USB dongle for every single port in the Universe. Good for you. But the second problem is slightly less… fixable. We are talking about battery life. For some reason, Lenovo has decided to put a 45Wh pack inside of a professionally-inspired notebook, that is going to be used for productivity tasks on the go. And the result – 4 hours and 40 minutes of Web browsing and a little over 4 hours of video playback.
Lenovo Ideapad Creator 5 (15)’s IPS panel (BOE NV156FHM-NY5) has a 144Hz refresh rate, Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, good contrast ratio, and very high maximum brightness. Essentially, it is the same panel, we found on the Lenovo Legion 7 (15). This means it covers the entire sRGB color gamut and around 96% of the DCI-P3 one. Also, it doesn’t flicker at any brightness level, and the pixel response times are very fast. However, there is a teeny tiny caveat here. Well, the laptop is dubbed as a “Creator” model, but the color accuracy of the unit falls short of being standard-matching, even when our Gaming and Web design profile is installed.
At the end of the day, this display is simply amazing, it just puzzles us how Lenovo wasn’t able to tune the panel on this unit, the same way they did on the Lenovo Legion 7 (15), which is a gaming laptop… with far better color accuracy.
Lastly, we have to talk about the graphics card. While this bad boy can be equipped with the Sun of the budget gaming solar system – the GTX 1650 Ti, we found out that it basically works like a GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q. A TGP limit of 35W is present, and the frequencies are some 400 MHz lower than they should be. However, we have contacted Lenovo, and we’ll update the review when we have answers on this.
So, should you buy this notebook for your daily content creation endeavors? Well, it is totally up to you. Ultimately, we wouldn’t advise investing in a laptop with uncertainties, and poor color accuracy (despite the great panel), when it comes to professional work. But things like the keyboard, the design, and honestly, the entire experience using it, was excellent.
- Great price/performance ratio
- Sleek design and lid that is easy to open
- Good keyboard with decent travel, and clicky feedback
- Two M.2 slots (or one M.2 and one 2.5″ SATA slot)
- The display doesn’t flicker at any brightness level (BOE NV156FHM-NY5)
- Fully covers the sRGB gamut and is able to display 96% of the colors in the DCI-P3 gamut (BOE NV156FHM-NY5)
- 144Hz refresh rate with blazingly quick pixel response times (BOE NV156FHM-NY5)
- NVIDIA Studio drivers support
- Lacks an SD card reader and Thunderbolt support
- Poor color accuracy for a “Creator” device (BOE NV156FHM-NY5)
- The GTX 1650 Ti suspiciously performs like a Max-Q version, despite not being branded as one
- Poor battery life
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-ideapad-creator-5-15/