Review Update Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15D 59405766 Notebook

Sascha Mölck, 02/28/2014

Flexible. Lenovo tries to make using a touchscreen easier for the users of the IdeaPad Flex 15D with an opening angle of up to 300 degrees. We indeed liked this solution. Our test uncovers whether the device is also convincing beyond this feature.

For the original German review, see here.

With the IdeaPad Flex 15D, Lenovo offers another notebook with a display that can rotate up to 300 degrees. With the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15 59394106 (Pentium 3556UHD Graphics (Haswell)), we already reviewed a representative of this series. Unlike the Flex 15, Flex 15D models feature AMD APUs. Our test model comes with an A6-5200 APU. We compared it to the following competitors: Toshiba Satellite C50-A-1JU (Pentium N3520HD Graphics (Bay Trail)), and Acer Aspire E1-572 (Core i3-4010UHD Graphics 4400).

As we have already reviewed the Flex 15D with other components, we will not cover case, display, connectivity, input devices, and speakers here. This information is available in our review of the Flex 15.

Case & Connectivity

The Lenovo Flex 15 is available in two colors: orange-black and gray-black. Our IdeaPad Flex 15 59394106 test model came with the first color, the Flex 15D with the second one.

The Flex 15 in stand mode (picture: Lenovo)
The Flex 15 in stand mode (picture: Lenovo)
The Flex 15 in notebook mode (picture: Lenovo).
The Flex 15 in notebook mode (picture: Lenovo).
The lid is rubberized (picture: Lenovo).
The lid is rubberized (picture: Lenovo).

Display

The Flex 15D comes with the same display as the Flex 15. They are not especially bright, but they feature a good contrast.

182
cd/m²
182
cd/m²
175
cd/m²
177
cd/m²
179
cd/m²
163
cd/m²
168
cd/m²
164
cd/m²
155
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 182 cd/m²
Average: 171.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 126 cd/m²
Black: 0.23 cd/m²
Contrast: 778:1

Performance

With the IdeaPad Flex 15D, Lenovo offers a simple 15.6-inch office notebook. The CPU performance of its APU is sufficient for everyday usage scenarios like surfing, Skype, writing etc. Those requiring more CPU performance can select one of the numerous other models of the Flex 15 series. Lenovo equipped these with Intel or AMD processors. The models differ in CPU, RAM capacity and hard drive type and capacity. In addition, there are models with the GeForce GT 720M GPU. Our test model is available for about 480 Euros (~$663). Currently, the cheapest model with a dedicated GPU is Lenovo's Flex 15 59394031 with Pentium 3556U processor and GeForce GT 720M graphics priced at about 550 Euros (~$759).

Processor

With the A6-5200M APU, a representative of the Kabini generation from AMD works inside the Flex 15D. The CPU part of the APU is a quad-core processor with a clock rate of 2 GHz without Turbo. The TDP of the APU is 25 Watts. Therefore, it comes in between standard mobile APUs (about 35 Watts) and ULV APUs (about 15 Watts). During the CPU test of the Cinebench benchmarks the processor permanently clocks at 2 GHz. The results of the three devices in our comparison are rather close to each other in the multithread test. In the single thread test, the Aspire is the clear leader since it features the fastest CPU overall.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.5 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
13.66 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.89 Points
Help
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15D 59405766
Radeon HD 8400, A6-5200, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
0.5 Points ∼18%
HP Pavilion 15-n050sg
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
0.39 Points ∼14% -22%
Toshiba Satellite C50-A-1JU
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
0.45 Points ∼16% -10%
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15
HD Graphics (Haswell), 3556U, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
0.75 Points ∼27% +50%
Acer Aspire E1-572-34014G50Dnkk
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
0.76 Points ∼27% +52%
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15D 59405766
Radeon HD 8400, A6-5200, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1.89 Points ∼11%
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15
HD Graphics (Haswell), 3556U, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
1.45 Points ∼8% -23%
HP Pavilion 15-n050sg
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
1.48 Points ∼8% -22%
Toshiba Satellite C50-A-1JU
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
1.76 Points ∼10% -7%
Acer Aspire E1-572-34014G50Dnkk
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1.87 Points ∼11% -1%

System Performance

In general, the system runs smoothly. The Flex 15D achieves a good result in the PC-Mark-7 benchmark, which is unusually high for a notebook with AMD APU. The reason is found quickly: The Flex 15D profits a lot from its hybrid hard drive. The Aspire (Core i3-4010U, HD Graphics 4400) is on par, but the Satellite (Pentium N3520, HD Graphics (Bay Trail)) performs worse here.

PC Mark
PCMark 72449 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15D 59405766
Radeon HD 8400, A6-5200, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2449 Points ∼37%
HP Pavilion 15-n050sg
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
1501 Points ∼23% -39%
Toshiba Satellite C50-A-1JU
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
1621 Points ∼24% -34%
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15
HD Graphics (Haswell), 3556U, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
2156 Points ∼33% -12%
Acer Aspire E1-572-34014G50Dnkk
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2385 Points ∼36% -3%

Storage Devices

The Flex 15D is equipped with a hybrid hard drive from Seagate with a capacity of 500 GB and a revolution speed of 5400 rpm. The hard drive is supported by an integrated SSD cache (8 GB). CrystalDiskMark reports a read rate of 92.7 MB/s. This value is okay for a 5400-rpm drive.

Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Sequential Read: 92.7 MB/s
Sequential Write: 88.41 MB/s
512K Read: 28.93 MB/s
512K Write: 48.29 MB/s
4K Read: 0.321 MB/s
4K Write: 4.522 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 0.722 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 0.673 MB/s

Graphics Card

The graphics core of the Flex 15D is called Radeon HD 8400. It supports DirectX 11.1 and works with a clock rate between 267 and 600 MHz. In the 3D Mark benchmarks, the Flex 15D comes in between the Satellite (Pentium N3520, HD Graphics (Bay Trail)) and the Aspire (Core i3-4010U, HD Graphics 4400). The Radeon core's performance is about on par with the HD Graphics 4200's.

3D Mark
3DMark 11694 points
3DMark Ice Storm33227 points
3DMark Cloud Gate2683 points
3DMark Fire Strike369 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15D 59405766
Radeon HD 8400, A6-5200, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
694 Points ∼5%
Toshiba Satellite C50-A-1JU
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
218 Points ∼2% -69%
Acer Aspire E1-572-34014G50Dnkk
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
782 Points ∼6% +13%

Gaming Performance

The Flex 15D has not been designed for 3D computer games. It can smoothly run a few games in low resolution and low graphics quality at best. If a game is not too demanding, it will also run smoothly in native resolution and with high quality settings. For example, FIFA 14 is such a game. Games made for the Metro interface of Windows 8/8.1 usually work without problems. The Satellite and the Aspire are not different here since they only feature weak graphics cores, too.

low med.high ultra
Anno 2070 (2011) 42.318.5fps
Dead Space 3 (2013) 44.119.9fps
Crysis 3 (2013) 14.2fps
Splinter Cell: Blacklist (2013) 2413.5fps
Saints Row IV (2013) 17.113.5fps
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (2013) 18.410.8fps
Batman: Arkham Origins (2013) 2614fps

Emissions

System Noise

While idle, only the permanently running, yet not particularly disturbing fan is audible. The Flex 15D only gets loud under full load. In addition, the fan whistles in a disturbing way in this scenario. The Aspire and the Satellite are quieter than the Flex 15D in all scenarios. For the most part the Satellite works silently since it does not have a fan. Therefore, only its hard drive is audible.

Noise Level

Idle 32.7 / 32.7 / 32.7 dB(A)
Load 35.4 / 41.2 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The Ideapad Flex 15D during the stress test.
The Ideapad Flex 15D during the stress test.

None of the three devices in our comparison suffers from heat problems. The temperatures are in the green at all measurement points while idle and under load.

In mains operation and on battery, the CPU of the Flex 15D permanently clocks at 2 GHz during the stress test (Prime95 and FurMark run for at least one hour). The GPU runs at full speed (600 MHz) in mains operation, but its clock rate is decreased to 400 MHz on battery. The CPU temperature hovers at about 85 degrees Celsius (185 Fahrenheit) during the stress test (mains operation).

 26.5 °C24.8 °C23.8 °C 
 27.2 °C26.7 °C24.5 °C 
 26.8 °C26.7 °C27.7 °C 
Maximum: 27.7 °C
Average: 26.1 °C
24 °C26 °C28.7 °C
24.3 °C27.2 °C29.5 °C
27.5 °C27.5 °C26 °C
Maximum: 29.5 °C
Average: 26.7 °C
Power Supply (max.)  30 °C | Room Temperature 23.3 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The three computers are rather frugal while idle. The Flex 15D's power consumption of 4.8 to 7.2 Watts is lowest. Under load, the Lenovo notebook needs the most energy. This is not surprising since the Satellite and the Aspire feature CPUs that are more frugal. TDPs of their CPUs are 15 Watts (Core i3-4010U) and 7.5 Watt (Pentium N3520).

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.2 / 0.4 Watt
Idle 4.8 / 6.8 / 7.2 Watt
Load 19.4 / 33.3 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

Our realistic WLAN test automatically loads web sites in 40-second intervals. The energy-saving profile is selected and the display brightness is set to about 150 cd/m². This test ends after 3:46 h on the Flex 15D. The Satellite (5:51 h) lasts significantly longer. On the Aspire, we ran this test via LAN since its Wi-Fi module was defective. It achieved a battery life of 3:55 h.

It is not surprising that the Flex 15D has the shortest battery life. It also features the battery with the lowest capacity (Lenovo: 32 Wh, Acer: 37 Wh, Toshiba: 48 Wh) among all three devices in our comparison.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
3h 46min

Verdict

The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 15D.
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 15D.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15D is suitable for users looking for a notebook for simple tasks like surfing, writing, Skype, watching videos etc. The performance of the APU is sufficient for these tasks. The computer usually works quietly and hardly gets warm. Fans of touchscreens will appreciate the stand mode, which makes using it easier. The cons of this computer include the display. While it has a good contrast, it is dark and bluish.

The Acer Aspire E1-572 can be considered if a computer with matte, full HD display is desired. In addition, the Aspire features the fastest CPU among the three devices in our comparison. The Toshiba Satellite C50-A-1JU scores points with long battery life and very low system noise.

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In Review: The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 15D 59405766, courtesy of:
In Review: The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 15D 59405766, courtesy of:

Specifications

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15D 59405766

:: Processor
AMD A6-5200 2 GHz
:: Mainboard
AMD Yangtze
:: Memory
4096 MB, DDR3, single channel, one RAM slot
:: Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon HD 8400, Core: 600 MHz, 13.250.31.0
:: Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, AU Optronics B156XTT01, TN LED, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive, 500 GB 5400 rpm , 400 GB free
:: Soundcard
AMD Hudson-2 High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: Audio combo, Card Reader: SD,
:: Networking
Realtek RTL8102E Family PCI-E Fast Ethernet (10/100MBit), Atheros Communications AR9565 Wireless Network Adapter (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22 x 380 x 271
:: Weight
2.3 kg Power Supply: 0.184 kg
:: Battery
32 Wh Lithium-Ion, 14.4 V, 2200 mAh
:: Price
479 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: HD-Webcam, Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, Cyberlink PhotoDirector 3, Cyberlink PowerDirector 10, McAfee LiveSafe-Internet Security (trial version), Microsoft Office 365 (trial version), Nitro Pro 8 (trial version), 24 Months Warranty

 

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Links

Compare Prices

Amazon.com

Show results on Amazon.com

Pricerunner n.a.

Pro

+Works quietly most of the time
+Relatively low surface temperatures under load
 

Cons

-Only Fast-Ethernet
-No VGA out
-Whistling fan noise under load
-Dark, bluish display

Shortcut

What we like

the low waste heat

What we would like to see

a better display.

What surprises us

Lenovo dropped the VGA-out and equips almost all consumer notebooks with just Fast-Ethernet.

The competition

Toshiba Satellite C50-A-1JU, Acer Aspire E1-572, Medion The Touch 300 (Akoya S6212T), HP Pavilion 15-n050sg, Lenovo G500s, Lenovo G505s, Acer Aspire E1-532, HP Pavilion 15-n005sg, Asus F550DP-XX022H, Asus F550CA-XX078D, Acer Aspire E1-522, HP Pavilion 15-e052sg, Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E, Samsung ATIV Book 2 - 270E5E, Fujitsu Lifebook AH502

Rating

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15D 59405766
04/14/2014 v4
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
72 / 98 → 73%
Keyboard
65%
Pointing Device
78%
Connectivity
59%
Weight
61 / 67 → 87%
Battery
81%
Display
69%
Games Performance
56 / 85 → 66%
Application Performance
60%
Temperature
85%
Noise
84%
Audio
50%
Camera
38%
Average
66%
72%
Office *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Update Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15D 59405766 Notebook
Author: Sascha Mölck, 2014-02-28 (Update: 2014-03- 1)