Notebookcheck

Lenovo Flex 14 (2019, Core i5-8265U) Laptop Review - An average convertible at a good price

Middle-of-the-road. The 2019 model Lenovo Flex 14 offers a decent amount of performance considering its USD $800 price tag. While it fails to stand out in any meaningful way, it is still an overall good bang-for-the-buck convertible.

The 2019 Lenovo Flex 14 is the latest iteration in Lenovo's budget-friendly convertible lineup. While Lenovo once ruled the roost when it came to convertibles thanks to its Yoga and Flex brands, times have changed. 2-in-1 laptops are now ubiquitous, and the Flex 14 faces stiff competition from several different companies. Armed with a Whiskey Lake Core i5 ULV CPU and a sleek form factor, the 2019 Flex 14 looks to be a competent laptop on paper, especially considering its MSRP of US $800. We will see if the 2019 Flex 14 can manage to leap above competitors and excel where others fall short.

The 2-in-1 form factor has exploded in popularity over the past few years; subsequently, there is a wide selection of competitors. We will compare the Flex 14 to HP's new AMD-powered Envy X360 13, Dell's Inspiron 5000, the Asus VivoBook Flip, and Acer's Spin 5.

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Lenovo Flex 14IWL (Flex Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620 - 1024 MB, Core: 1150 MHz, Integrated, Intel UHD Graphics 620 25.20.100.6519
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2666 / PC4-21300
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, 10-point multitouch, BOE BOE06F2, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Cannon Lake-U PCH-LP Premium
Storage
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ, 256 GB 
, 237 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Cannon Lake-LP - cAVS
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: Combo headphone/microphone, Card Reader: SD/SDHC/SDXC card reader, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.8 x 328 x 229 ( = 0.7 x 12.91 x 9.02 in)
Battery
45 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: 2x 2 Watt, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.656 kg ( = 58.41 oz / 3.65 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
800 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The 2019 Flex 14 is well-built and compact, especially for a 2-in-1. The overall design is understated and, ultimately, uninspired. The Flex 14 fails to stand out in any particular way and will easily blend into a classroom or business environment.

Materials are equally middle-of-the-road. The lid is made from a soft-touch plastic that feels similar to Lenovo's ThinkPad line. Unfortunately, it attracts fingerprints and smudges easily. The keyboard deck and bottom panel are both made from high-quality plastic that minimally flexes under direct pressure. The lid can also be twisted, but only slightly and only with intentional force. Overall, the Flex 14 is sturdy and solid. Compared to other laptops in this price range, the Flex 14 feels more rigid and exhibits much less flex.

We will note that the screen feels substantially heavier than the keyboard deck. Although this is not uncommon for thin convertibles, it is very noticeable and may take some adjustment when using the device in the presentation or tablet modes. Despite its heft, the hinges do a great job in holding the screen in place and minimizing wobble during typing.

The Flex 14 is similar in size to other 14-inch convertibles. The machine almost perfectly matches the footprints on Dell's Inspiron 14 5000 and the Asus VivoBook Flip 14.

Objectively, the Flex 14 is svelte and can easily slide into a bag. At 3.65 pounds, it is relatively light but will feel heavy if held in tablet mode for a length of time. The top, left, and right bezels are also thin. While the bottom bezel is thick compared to other modern laptops, it makes for a good handhold for tablet mode.

381.5 mm / 15 inch 258.1 mm / 10.2 inch 17.9 mm / 0.705 inch 2.3 kg4.97 lbs328 mm / 12.9 inch 232.8 mm / 9.17 inch 19.95 mm / 0.785 inch 1.8 kg3.86 lbs328 mm / 12.9 inch 229 mm / 9.02 inch 17.8 mm / 0.701 inch 1.7 kg3.65 lbs327.4 mm / 12.9 inch 224.8 mm / 8.85 inch 17.6 mm / 0.693 inch 1.5 kg3.31 lbs306 mm / 12 inch 212 mm / 8.35 inch 14.7 mm / 0.579 inch 1.3 kg2.85 lbs

Connectivity

Connectivity is average. The left side sports an HDMI port, a USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-C port, and a headset jack. The right side holds the power button, a half-depth SD card reader, and two USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A ports, one of which is always on and can be used for charging mobile devices even when the Flex 14 is off. While the selection of ports is adequate, the Flex 14 could benefit from side-mounted volume controls (similar to other 2-in-1 devices).

Left: DC In, HDMI, USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-C, Headset
Left: DC In, HDMI, USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-C, Headset
Right: Power, SD Card reader, 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
Right: Power, SD Card reader, 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A

SD Card Reader

The SD card reader offers average to good speeds. Most users will be more than happy with the reader. Our single complaint is that it is a half-depth reader; the back half of an SD card is left jutting out of the machine when inserted.

Most other laptops in this price range can only hit one-third the read speeds of the Flex 14. For example, the Inspiron 14 5000 2-in-1 falls 63% behind the Flex 14 in our real-world JPEG copy test.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
80.38 MB/s ∼100%
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
77.7 MB/s ∼97% -3%
Average of class Convertible
  (7.5 - 197, n=131)
61.9 MB/s ∼77% -23%
Dell Inspiron 14 5000 5482 2-in-1
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
29.4 MB/s ∼37% -63%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
25.3 MB/s ∼31% -69%
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
22.5 MB/s ∼28% -72%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
87.4 MB/s ∼100% +3%
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
84.73 MB/s ∼97%
Average of class Convertible
  (19.2 - 246, n=128)
77.1 MB/s ∼88% -9%
Dell Inspiron 14 5000 5482 2-in-1
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
31.6 MB/s ∼36% -63%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
27.87 MB/s ∼32% -67%
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
24 MB/s ∼27% -72%

Communication

Similar to the SD card reader, the Flex 14 offers competent wireless speeds. We measure transmit and receive speeds that exceed the spec of most consumer routers, so users will not be left wanting. Connections remain stable up to about 35 meters through one interior and one exterior wall.

Competitors are able to keep up with wireless speeds. Other mid-tier convertibles are still plenty fast for consumer WiFi routers. Still, the Flex 14 leads the pack with networking speeds typically found in more expensive laptops. 

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell Inspiron 14 5000 5482 2-in-1
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
661 MBit/s ∼100% +1%
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
653 MBit/s ∼99%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
613 MBit/s ∼93% -6%
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
581 (min: 541, max: 615) MBit/s ∼88% -11%
Average of class Convertible
  (28.7 - 688, n=147)
490 MBit/s ∼74% -25%
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4
489 MBit/s ∼74% -25%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
674 MBit/s ∼100%
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
613 (min: 570, max: 664) MBit/s ∼91% -9%
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4
604 MBit/s ∼90% -10%
Dell Inspiron 14 5000 5482 2-in-1
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
597 MBit/s ∼89% -11%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
506 MBit/s ∼75% -25%
Average of class Convertible
  (36.4 - 743, n=147)
495 MBit/s ∼73% -27%

Maintenance & Warranty

Ten Torx T5 screws and several stubborn plastic clips hold the bottom panel in place. The side rails of the bottom panel wrap around the I/O ports and rear vents, making disassembly difficult. Accessing the interior should be attempted with extreme caution as the plastic shell is more prone to cracking that one cut from metal. For this reason, we chose to not remove the bottom panel as we did not want to damage the chassis.

The Lenovo Flex 14 comes with a standard 12-month warranty.

Input Devices

The keys have relatively short travel.
The keys have relatively short travel.

Keyboard

The keyboard is well-spaced and the keys are well-sized. The key layout will be familiar to anyone who has used a Lenovo laptop before and features the standard array of special keys (volume, screen brightness, airplane mode, etc.). The keys are comfortable to type on, mainly due to Lenovo's ubiquitous "smile" key shape. Feedback is springy and feels firm. The keyboard features a two-stage white backlight.

Our primary complaint is that key travel feels short. While not as bad as Apple's butterfly keys, the Flex 14's keyboard feels stunted due to the lack of key travel and is a far cry from ThinkPad quality. This is a problem that seems to plague mid-range convertibles; we also noticed a similar quality and feel in our reviews of the Asus VivoBook Flip 14 and the Dell Inspiron 14 5000. We are also not fans of the half-sized up and down arrow keys, but this is subjective. On the plus side, key clatter is fairly quiet and non-obtrusive.

Overall, the keyboard is adequate. Typists or those who routinely sit through hours-long typing sessions will want to look elsewhere.

Touchpad

The touchpad is large (4.13 x 2.75 in) and feels great underhand. The textured plastic offers smooth glide. Tracking is responsive, and gestures fire off accurately. The clicking mechanism feels chintzy and sounds hollow. While this is not unusual for plastic touchpads, the Flex 14's feels particularly thin and weak. This is not a dealbreaker by any means, but some users will be turned off. 

The touchscreen leaves no room for complaint. Touch input is accurate. Dragging and dropping is reliable. Other gestures like pinch-to-zoom work equally well.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad
Half-sized arrow keys and fingerprint sensor
Half-sized arrow keys and fingerprint sensor

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

The Flex 14's screen is a mixed bag. The FHD (1920x1080) panel offers average response times. There are definite low points. These include a mediocre contrast ratio (~600:1) and a low PWM frequency of 352 Hz. While the PWM is unlikely to bother most users, those sensitive to flickering may find their eyes fatigued after long viewing periods.

The primary sticking point is the screen's brightness. While not unusable, the display averages 271 nits, well below the average for most mid- to high-range laptops (300 nits). The glossy finish does not do the backlight any favors and can make the display difficult to see in bright conditions. Compared to some convertibles in this price range, though, the Flex 14 is much brighter. For example, the Dell Inspiron 14 5000's screen is comparatively dim at 181 nits.

278.7
cd/m²
273
cd/m²
280.1
cd/m²
263.4
cd/m²
284.2
cd/m²
269
cd/m²
251.8
cd/m²
275.9
cd/m²
263.3
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
BOE BOE06F2
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 284.2 cd/m² Average: 271 cd/m² Minimum: 0.12 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 284.2 cd/m²
Contrast: 580:1 (Black: 0.49 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.59 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 4.57
ΔE Greyscale 3.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
59% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 38% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.123
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
BOE BOE06F2, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
InfoVision, M133NVF3 R2, IPS, 120 Hz, 13.3, 1920x1080
Dell Inspiron 14 5000 5482 2-in-1
NV14N4H, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T
AUO B140HAN04.0, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
AUO, B156HAN06.1, a-Si TFT-LCD, LCM, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Response Times
358%
-46%
-10%
-13%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
30.4 (22, 18.4)
35 (18, 17)
-15%
58.8 (25.6, 33.2)
-93%
38 (19.6, 18.4)
-25%
42 (22, 20)
-38%
Response Time Black / White *
32.8 (21.2, 11.6)
22 (12, 10)
33%
33.2 (20, 13.2)
-1%
30.8 (17.2, 13.6)
6%
29 (15, 13)
12%
PWM Frequency
352.1 (99)
4065 (90)
1055%
198.4 (98)
-44%
Screen
55%
-5%
12%
34%
Brightness middle
284.2
633
123%
193.6
-32%
255.5
-10%
221
-22%
Brightness
271
675
149%
181
-33%
242
-11%
224
-17%
Brightness Distribution
89
75
-16%
78
-12%
87
-2%
89
0%
Black Level *
0.49
0.55
-12%
0.17
65%
0.29
41%
0.12
76%
Contrast
580
1151
98%
1139
96%
881
52%
1842
218%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.59
3.12
32%
6.99
-52%
4.18
9%
4.12
10%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
18.03
6.37
65%
23.58
-31%
19.15
-6%
6.41
64%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.57
1.83
60%
4.86
-6%
3.8
17%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.9
3.89
-0%
5.7
-46%
2.2
44%
3.4
13%
Gamma
2.123 104%
2.39 92%
2.12 104%
2.05 107%
2.54 87%
CCT
6679 97%
6476 100%
5845 111%
6599 98%
6893 94%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
38
59
55%
37.6
-1%
37.5
-1%
37
-3%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
59
91
54%
59.1
0%
58
-2%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
207% / 120%
-26% / -15%
1% / 9%
11% / 26%

* ... smaller is better

Color accuracy out of the box is average. With a DeltaE2000 score of 4.59, the Flex 14 isn't suitable for professional work (DeltaE2000 of 3 or lower) but is more than adequate for general use and media consumption. It should be noted that calibration hardly changes the DeltaE2000 for color, which may be caused by the narrow color space coverage. In regards to color, the display is in line with other mid-range 2-in-1s.

ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Grayscale
Grayscale
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps
ColorChecker (calibrated)
ColorChecker (calibrated)
Grayscale (calibrated)
Grayscale (calibrated)
Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
vs sRGB: 59%
vs sRGB: 59%
vs AdobeRGB: 38%
vs AdobeRGB: 38%

As mentioned, the combination of a glossy screen and weak screen backlight make the Flex 14 nigh unusable in bright lights. Outdoors, the screen is barely visible. Under shade, the display can be seen, but reflections are distracting.

The backlight does not exhibit much bleed; most is relegated to the upper corners. Viewing angles are excellent, as is expected of an IPS display.

Screen in direct sunlight
Screen in direct sunlight
Screen under shade
Screen under shade
Minimal backlight bleed in corners
Minimal backlight bleed in corners

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
32.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21.2 ms rise
↘ 11.6 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 85 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
30.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 18.4 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 19 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (39.7 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 352.1 Hz ≤ 99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 352.1 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 99 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 352.1 Hz is relatively high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering. However, there are reports that some users are still sensitive to PWM at 500 Hz and above, so be aware.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9365 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

So far, the Flex 14 has told a story of average performance and an adequate feature set. The machine's internals do little to change that tale. With a quad-core ULV CPU, integrated graphics, and a decent NVMe SSD, the Flex 14 is by all account a middle-of-the-road performer for 2019. However, specific issues concerning the CPU's sleep state are a major thorn in the side of an otherwise decent convertible.

CPU-Z: CPU
CPU-Z: CPU
CPU-Z: Caches
CPU-Z: Caches
CPU-Z: Mainboard
CPU-Z: Mainboard
CPU-Z: Memory
CPU-Z: Memory
CPU-Z: SPD
CPU-Z: SPD
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWiNFO64
HWiNFO64
 

Processor

Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15

Intel's Whiskey Lake platform is a minor improvement over the previous Kaby Lake-R architecture, but it is a welcome iteration. The Flex 14's Core i5-8265U is designed to replace the Core i5-8250U, which itself proved to be an excellent upgrade over older dual-core ULV chips. The newer 8265U bumps the turbo clock to 3.9 GHz on a single core (3.8 on two, 3.7 on all four) from the 8250U's 3.4 GHz. The 8265U retains the same 1.6 GHz base clock, Hyperthreading, and 15 Watt TDP.

The Flex 14 sees a marginal 10% boost over a similar laptop (Asus VivoBook Flip 14) powered by the older 8250U in Cinebench R15's single-core test. However, the Flex 14 loses to the same laptop in the multi-core test by 5%. These results are within a margin of error and suggest that the Flex 14's Core i5-8265U offers a small (if any) boost in performance.

We should note that our unit experiences problems shifting the CPU into the correct sleep state. When the laptop is put to sleep (e.g., closing the laptop's lid), the machine will not wake normally. Instead, the Flex 14 shuts off and reboots entirely. Additionally, the startup process takes a very long time to boot (~60-70 seconds), which is odd for a laptop with solid state memory. A possible cause will be explored in the Energy Management section below.

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Lenovo Flex 14IWL UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø481 (468.32-534.77)
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng Vega 10, 3700U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø440 (425.31-674.59)
Dell Inspiron 14 5000 5482 2-in-1 UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, SK Hynix BC501 NVMe 256 GB; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø557 (543.67-594.64)
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø549 (543.42-590.28)
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3 GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø518 (513.21-552.39)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8665U
176 Points ∼81% +11%
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
Intel Core i7-8550U
170 Points ∼78% +7%
Lenovo IdeaPad S940-14IWL
Intel Core i7-8565U
159 Points ∼73% 0%
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
159 Points ∼73%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (111 - 164, n=28)
155 Points ∼71% -3%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 Points ∼66% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
140 Points ∼64% -12%
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
139 Points ∼64% -13%
Lenovo Ideapad 330S-15ARR-81FB00C7GE
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
137 Points ∼63% -14%
Average of class Convertible
  (19 - 179, n=303)
106 Points ∼49% -33%
CPU Multi 64Bit
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
676 Points ∼15% +37%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
658 (min: 656.79, max: 659.13) Points ∼15% +33%
Lenovo Ideapad 330S-15ARR-81FB00C7GE
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
618 Points ∼14% +25%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (457 - 750, n=30)
597 Points ∼14% +21%
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
Intel Core i7-8550U
558 Points ∼13% +13%
Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8665U
524 Points ∼12% +6%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T
Intel Core i5-8250U
521 Points ∼12% +6%
Lenovo IdeaPad S940-14IWL
Intel Core i7-8565U
497 Points ∼11% +1%
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
493 Points ∼11%
Average of class Convertible
  (33 - 830, n=311)
302 Points ∼7% -39%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
Intel Core i7-8550U
1.94 Points ∼80%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (1.73 - 1.88, n=6)
1.793 Points ∼73%
Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8665U
1.67 Points ∼68%
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
1.23 Points ∼50%
Average of class Convertible
  (0.24 - 2.13, n=220)
1.128 Points ∼46%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
Intel Core i7-8550U
6.26 Points ∼14%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (5.22 - 7.22, n=6)
5.98 Points ∼14%
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
5.02 Points ∼11%
Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8665U
4.88 Points ∼11%
Average of class Convertible
  (0.45 - 9.37, n=229)
2.85 Points ∼6%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8665U
6716 Points ∼62%
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
Intel Core i7-8550U
6494 Points ∼60%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (5841 - 6209, n=8)
6035 Points ∼56%
Lenovo Ideapad 330S-15ARR-81FB00C7GE
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
4381 Points ∼40%
Average of class Convertible
  (466 - 7508, n=244)
3400 Points ∼31%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (16318 - 22962, n=8)
19151 Points ∼29%
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
Intel Core i7-8550U
18269 Points ∼28%
Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8665U
16602 Points ∼25%
Lenovo Ideapad 330S-15ARR-81FB00C7GE
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
16471 Points ∼25%
Average of class Convertible
  (706 - 26481, n=240)
7946 Points ∼12%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Average of class Convertible
  (233 - 3227, n=114)
805 s * ∼10%
Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8665U
429.319 s * ∼5%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (371 - 433, n=2)
402 s * ∼5%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (9.76 - 7439, n=14)
2388 Seconds * ∼11% -333%
Average of class Convertible
  (0.046 - 64540, n=1377)
1583 Seconds * ∼7% -187%
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
552.102 Seconds * ∼2%
Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8665U
521 Seconds * ∼2% +6%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
159 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
493 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
46.89 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Help

System Performance

Sleep issues aside, the Flex 14 performs well in general tasks. Using PCMark 10 to benchmark overall performance, the Flex 14 is on par with competitors and is well-equipped for office tasks, media consumption, coding, and even light content creation (e.g., Photoshop with 2-3 layers).

PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
3773 Points ∼31% +30%
Dell Inspiron 14 5000 5482 2-in-1
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, SK Hynix BC501 NVMe 256 GB
3108 Points ∼26% +7%
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
Vega 10, 3700U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
3094 Points ∼26% +7%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2067 - 3210, n=22)
2936 Points ∼24% +2%
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
2892 Points ∼24%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
2779 Points ∼23% -4%
Average of class Convertible
  (605 - 4342, n=101)
2501 Points ∼21% -14%
Productivity
Dell Inspiron 14 5000 5482 2-in-1
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, SK Hynix BC501 NVMe 256 GB
7045 Points ∼73% +10%
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
6748 Points ∼70% +6%
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
6390 Points ∼66%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2941 - 6556, n=22)
6033 Points ∼62% -6%
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
Vega 10, 3700U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
5875 Points ∼61% -8%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
5722 Points ∼59% -10%
Average of class Convertible
  (1121 - 7179, n=103)
5277 Points ∼54% -17%
Essentials
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
8689 Points ∼79%
Dell Inspiron 14 5000 5482 2-in-1
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, SK Hynix BC501 NVMe 256 GB
8354 Points ∼76% -4%
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
8248 Points ∼75% -5%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (5073 - 8689, n=22)
7774 Points ∼71% -11%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
7731 Points ∼70% -11%
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
Vega 10, 3700U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
7472 Points ∼68% -14%
Average of class Convertible
  (2489 - 9678, n=103)
6981 Points ∼63% -20%
Score
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
4194 Points ∼54% +8%
Dell Inspiron 14 5000 5482 2-in-1
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, SK Hynix BC501 NVMe 256 GB
4069 Points ∼52% +4%
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
3896 Points ∼50%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2247 - 3985, n=22)
3698 Points ∼48% -5%
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
Vega 10, 3700U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
3685 Points ∼47% -5%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
3564 Points ∼46% -9%
Average of class Convertible
  (872 - 4677, n=104)
3189 Points ∼41% -18%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
5281 Points ∼81% +9%
Dell Inspiron 14 5000 5482 2-in-1
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, SK Hynix BC501 NVMe 256 GB
5032 Points ∼77% +4%
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
Vega 10, 3700U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
4869 Points ∼75% 0%
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
4852 Points ∼74%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3132 - 4927, n=19)
4659 Points ∼72% -4%
Average of class Convertible
  (1007 - 5281, n=231)
3749 Points ∼58% -23%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
4100 Points ∼67% +19%
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
Vega 10, 3700U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
3863 Points ∼63% +12%
Dell Inspiron 14 5000 5482 2-in-1
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, SK Hynix BC501 NVMe 256 GB
3537 Points ∼58% +3%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2747 - 4244, n=20)
3465 Points ∼57% +1%
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
3438 Points ∼56%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
2986 Points ∼49% -13%
Average of class Convertible
  (741 - 4741, n=279)
2804 Points ∼46% -18%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3438 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4852 points
Help

Storage Devices

One area where the Flex 14 excels is storage. The 256 GB PCIe NVMe is only average for an NVMe drive but is much quicker than the SATA SSDs found in most competitors at this price point. Write speeds hover between 1200-1500 MB/s while read speeds settle in between 700-1000 MB/s, a strong improvement (60-70%) over SATA III speeds.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CrystalDiskMark 6.0.1
CrystalDiskMark 6.0.1
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
Dell Inspiron 14 5000 5482 2-in-1
SK Hynix BC501 NVMe 256 GB
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T
Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
AS SSD
-36%
-36%
-67%
-45%
Copy Game MB/s
392.87
535.7
354.05
420.49
Copy Program MB/s
253.09
344.44
364.29
228.52
Copy ISO MB/s
521.16
773.11
414.39
606.96
Score Total
3106
1913
-38%
1520
-51%
839
-73%
1157
-63%
Score Write
1521
829
-45%
576
-62%
379
-75%
507
-67%
Score Read
1076
741
-31%
619
-42%
301
-72%
450
-58%
Access Time Write *
0.034
0.048
-41%
0.032
6%
0.056
-65%
0.03
12%
Access Time Read *
0.053
0.049
8%
0.046
13%
0.079
-49%
0.079
-49%
4K-64 Write
1267.67
700.37
-45%
416.46
-67%
279.43
-78%
331.87
-74%
4K-64 Read
770.94
567.3
-26%
522.31
-32%
234.31
-70%
278.14
-64%
4K Write
109.36
74.74
-32%
112.4
3%
64.7
-41%
117.56
7%
4K Read
51.72
32.24
-38%
39.48
-24%
23.31
-55%
31.89
-38%
Seq Write
1437.72
540.38
-62%
471.64
-67%
350.31
-76%
577.13
-60%
Seq Read
2533.34
1412.01
-44%
576.2
-77%
437.85
-83%
1401.62
-45%
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-34%
-22%
-58%
-32%
Write 4K
136.5
88.26
-35%
111.8
-18%
66.49
-51%
132.3
-3%
Read 4K
45.74
34.84
-24%
42.6
-7%
24.65
-46%
35.38
-23%
Write Seq
740.1
715.9
413.2
592
Read Seq
984.8
1107
465.2
1186
Write 4K Q32T1
380.5
313.7
-18%
451.5
19%
227
-40%
323
-15%
Read 4K Q32T1
437.5
243.1
-44%
316.8
-28%
188.4
-57%
289.2
-34%
Write Seq Q32T1
1502.2
845.7
-44%
809.1
-46%
439.9
-71%
592.5
-61%
Read Seq Q32T1
3357.1
1782.7
-47%
1610
-52%
533.3
-84%
1569
-53%
Write 4K Q8T8
1435.3
305.7
-79%
Read 4K Q8T8
571.6
697.5
22%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-35% / -35%
-29% / -31%
-63% / -64%
-39% / -40%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3357.1 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 1502.2 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 437.5 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 380.5 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 45.74 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 136.5 MB/s
CDM 6 Write 4K Q8T8: 1435.3 MB/s
CDM 6 Read 4K Q8T8: 571.6 MB/s

GPU Performance

Intel's UHD Graphics 620 integrated GPU needs no introduction. As the default GPU on hundreds of systems, we know what to expect from the integrated solution. The Flex 14 is in line with similar laptops lacking a dedicated GPU. The UHD Graphics 620 chip is capable of streaming 4K content and supporting up to 3 separate displays but lacks the power to process heavy graphical data. As such, complex photo work or video editing is out of the question.

Comparatively, AMD's onboard Vega GPUs found in their latest Ryzen APUs doubles the Intel UHD Graphics 620's performance. Even low-powered dedicated solutions, such as Nvidia's GeForce MX230 and MX250, are vastly better options for not much more money. More power options, like the Acer Spin 5's GeForce GTX 1050, far outclass the Flex 14's integrated GPU but consumer more power and generate substantially more heat.

Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U
6480 Points ∼29% +378%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, 8265U
4340 Points ∼19% +220%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
NVIDIA GeForce MX230, 8565U
3816 Points ∼17% +181%
Lenovo Ideapad 330S-15ARR-81FB00C7GE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
2807 Points ∼12% +107%
Dell Inspiron 15 3585 (2300U, Vega 6)
AMD Radeon RX Vega 6, 2300U
2419 Points ∼11% +78%
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 3700U
1865 Points ∼8% +37%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (959 - 2084, n=169)
1536 Points ∼7% +13%
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8265U
1357 Points ∼6%
Average of class Convertible
  (185 - 7304, n=327)
1170 Points ∼5% -14%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U
7043 Points ∼14% +319%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, 8265U
4942 Points ∼10% +194%
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 3700U
4056 Points ∼8% +141%
Lenovo Ideapad 330S-15ARR-81FB00C7GE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
3706 Points ∼7% +120%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
NVIDIA GeForce MX230, 8565U
3582 Points ∼7% +113%
Dell Inspiron 15 3585 (2300U, Vega 6)
AMD Radeon RX Vega 6, 2300U
2986 Points ∼6% +78%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1235 - 2006, n=169)
1714 Points ∼3% +2%
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8265U
1682 Points ∼3%
Average of class Convertible
  (173 - 7483, n=328)
1282 Points ∼3% -24%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U
5688 Points ∼14% +430%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, 8265U
3720 Points ∼9% +246%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
NVIDIA GeForce MX230, 8565U
2729 Points ∼7% +154%
Lenovo Ideapad 330S-15ARR-81FB00C7GE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
2476 Points ∼6% +131%
Dell Inspiron 15 3585 (2300U, Vega 6)
AMD Radeon RX Vega 6, 2300U
2064 Points ∼5% +92%
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 3700U
1950 Points ∼5% +82%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (557 - 1401, n=137)
1125 Points ∼3% +5%
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8265U
1074 Points ∼3%
Average of class Convertible
  (132 - 5965, n=239)
1024 Points ∼3% -5%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U
35068 Points ∼19% +327%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, 8265U
23643 Points ∼13% +188%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
NVIDIA GeForce MX230, 8565U
17999 Points ∼10% +119%
Lenovo Ideapad 330S-15ARR-81FB00C7GE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
17712 Points ∼10% +116%
Dell Inspiron 15 3585 (2300U, Vega 6)
AMD Radeon RX Vega 6, 2300U
15850 Points ∼9% +93%
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 3700U
14056 Points ∼8% +71%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6910 - 11436, n=155)
9136 Points ∼5% +11%
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8265U
8216 Points ∼4%
Average of class Convertible
  (1023 - 37388, n=290)
6789 Points ∼4% -17%
3DMark 11 Performance
1832 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
7359 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
991 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Since it relies on Intel's weak integrated graphics, the Flex 14 is only suitable for light casual games, indie titles, and older games. Some older AAA titles are playable at the lowest graphical settings, but the latest and greatest games are far out of reach.

The Witcher 3
1366x768 The Witcher 3 medium
Average of class Convertible
  (3.7 - 67.1, n=20)
19.1 fps ∼100%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (8 - 10.9, n=16)
9.71 fps ∼51%
1920x1080 The Witcher 3 high
Average of class Convertible
  (4.2 - 38.3, n=19)
13.8 fps ∼100%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (4.2 - 8.8, n=12)
5.74 fps ∼42%
1920x1080 The Witcher 3 ultra
Average of class Convertible
  (2.97 - 23, n=13)
11.3 fps ∼100%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2.97 - 5.2, n=5)
3.45 fps ∼31%
3840x2160 The Witcher 3 4K
1024x768 The Witcher 3 low
Average of class Convertible
  (5.1 - 111, n=39)
22.9 fps ∼100%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (9.59 - 17.8, n=37)
15.2 fps ∼66%
3840x2160 The Witcher 3 4K ultra
1280x800 Lightsmark - 1280x800
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (122 - 122, n=184)
122 ∼100%
Average of class Convertible
  (122 - 122, n=414)
122 ∼100%
1280x800 Lightsmark - 1280x800
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (123 - 123, n=184)
123 ∼100%
Average of class Convertible
  (123 - 123, n=414)
123 ∼100%
1280x720 3DMark 06 - Standard 1280x720
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (148 - 148, n=184)
148 ∼100%
Average of class Convertible
  (148 - 148, n=414)
148 ∼100%
1280x768 3DMark 06 - Standard 1280x768
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (149 - 149, n=184)
149 ∼100%
Average of class Convertible
  (149 - 149, n=414)
149 ∼100%
1366x768 3DMark 06 - Standard 1366x768
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (229 - 229, n=184)
229 ∼100%
Average of class Convertible
  (229 - 229, n=414)
229 ∼100%
1600x900 Crysis CPU - 1600x900 High
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (230 - 230, n=184)
230 ∼100%
Average of class Convertible
  (230 - 230, n=414)
230 ∼100%
1600x900 Crysis CPU - 1600x900 Med
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (231 - 231, n=184)
231 ∼100%
Average of class Convertible
  (231 - 231, n=414)
231 ∼100%
1600x900 Crysis CPU - 1600x900 Low
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (232 - 232, n=184)
232 ∼100%
Average of class Convertible
  (232 - 232, n=414)
232 ∼100%
1600x900 Crysis GPU - 1600x900 High
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (233 - 233, n=184)
233 ∼100%
Average of class Convertible
  (233 - 233, n=414)
233 ∼100%
1600x900 Crysis GPU - 1600x900 Med
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (234 - 234, n=184)
234 ∼100%
Average of class Convertible
  (234 - 234, n=414)
234 ∼100%
1600x900 Crysis GPU - 1600x900 Low
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (235 - 235, n=184)
235 ∼100%
Average of class Convertible
  (235 - 235, n=414)
235 ∼100%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 4027197fps
Farming Simulator 17 (2016) 52412313fps
Rocket League (2017) 423023fps

Emissions

System Noise

Fan Noise profile
Fan Noise profile

The single fan in the Flex 14 is well-balanced and doesn't get too loud, peaking at about 35 dB(A) under load. The fan is evenly-pitched and doesn't whine, allowing it to somewhat blend in with background noise. It is still audible above a typical office setting, but it is not grating. During lighter use (web browsing, office work), the fan will intermittently ramp up to ~30 dB(A) for brief periods before spinning back down to an inaudible whir. There is no noticeable coil whine.

Noise Level

Idle
28.4 / 28.4 / 29.1 dB(A)
Load
33.8 / 37.7 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.4 dB(A)

Temperature

Heat exhaust
Heat exhaust

Temperatures are similarly well-maintained. Under load, most of the device stays relatively cool; the heat is concentrated along the top center. The middle of the function row (F5-F8) will feel warm, and the top center of the bottom panel can cause discomfort on a lap. As such, we recommend using the laptop on a flat surface in laptop mode when pushing the machine.

One unfortunate downside is that the exhaust vents are positioned along the back hinge of the keyboard deck. This means that hot air will hit the top and bottom of the user's hand when the Flex 14 is held in tablet mode.

Stress Test

The Flex 14 handles temperatures well when under stress, but performance suffers. Lenovo designed the Flex 14 to be very conservative when under load; the machine heavily throttles the CPU and GPU despite having plenty of thermal headroom to push the silicon further.

For example, when subjecting the Flex 14 to an hour-long torture test by running Prime95 and FurMark concurrently, the CPU pulls back to just below 1 GHz while the GPU drops to 800 MHz. Core temperatures peak at about 90° C at the beginning of the test before the system is throttled, dropping temperatures to around 65° C. This result is not uncommon for Ultrabooks, but there is adequate thermal headroom for the silicon to boost a bit higher.

Lenovo may have tuned the Flex 14 to pull back in order to keep fan noise well under control, which makes sense for a convertible. Since the device may be held as a tablet or propped up in a manner that could block heat exhaust, Lenovo may have decided to play it safe and heavily throttle the components to better manage heat.

Prime95
Prime95
FurMark
FurMark
Prime95 + FurMark
Prime95 + FurMark
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 2.4 - 75 -
FurMark Stress 1.1 900 68 68
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 1.0 800 65 65
Max. Load
 29.8 °C
86 F
37.6 °C
100 F
28 °C
82 F
 
 29 °C
84 F
35.4 °C
96 F
25.8 °C
78 F
 
 25.6 °C
78 F
23.4 °C
74 F
23.8 °C
75 F
 
Maximum: 37.6 °C = 100 F
Average: 28.7 °C = 84 F
27.4 °C
81 F
45.8 °C
114 F
28 °C
82 F
25.4 °C
78 F
44 °C
111 F
29 °C
84 F
23.6 °C
74 F
24.6 °C
76 F
26.8 °C
80 F
Maximum: 45.8 °C = 114 F
Average: 30.5 °C = 87 F
Power Supply (max.)  32 °C = 90 F | Room Temperature 20.6 °C = 69 F | Fluke 62 Mini
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 28.7 °C / 84 F, compared to the average of 30.3 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Convertible.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 37.6 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 35.4 °C / 96 F, ranging from 21.8 to 55.7 °C for the class Convertible.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 45.8 °C / 114 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.5 °C / 80 F, compared to the device average of 30.3 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 25.6 °C / 78.1 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(+) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.9 °C / 84 F (+3.3 °C / 5.9 F).
Keyboard, idle
Keyboard, idle
Bottom, idle
Bottom, idle
Keyboard, load
Keyboard, load
Bottom, load
Bottom, load

Speakers

Speaker profile
Speaker profile

The speakers are a high point. While the lack of bass is noticeable, mids and highs remain crisp and clear at all volume levels. Sound is balanced throughout, and there is no chassis rattle or distortion at any volume. They certainly won't win any audio awards, but the Flex 14's speakers are capable of producing an enjoyable media experience.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs204444.32538.138.43138.239.94038.637.95035.836.36336.438.38036.34010033.743.512533.845.816032.652.820032.955.225031.160.231530.665.14003068.550029.669.963028.87080028.372.5100027.772.6125027.470.7160027.471.1200027.272.1250026.865.6315026.963.440002765500026.765.4630026.767.8800026.662.61000026.563.71250026.464.71600026.359.6SPL39.781N3.752.1median 27.4median 65.1Delta2.14.538.340.732.435.833.133.933.332.931.13130.533.630.231.128.732.127.4392749.126.55426.359.826.163.725.565.524.665.224.366.224.173.324.274.623.870.123.567.823.272.223.266.623.36623.26823.271.923.275.123.176.323.17722.972.822.974.835.7842.560.5median 23.8median 67.80.97.2hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo Flex 14IWLAsus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Lenovo Flex 14IWL audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (72.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.8% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (3.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.3% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (15% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 10% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 83% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 15% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 81% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (77.01 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 18.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.2% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.6% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 28% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 65% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 28% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 65% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Flex 14 doesn't pull much power, even under load. Due to its efficient internals, the machine draws about 40 Watts under load, which is slightly above average for an Ultrabook but within reason.

There is a peculiar oddity: when the laptop is off or in a sleep state, it continues to draw about 5 Watts. This is strange as most devices pull about 0.5 Watts when in sleep. This may explain why the device has trouble waking from sleep and booting up properly; the CPU may be unable to enter the correct sleep state and may experience some issues during boot. Again, this issue may be with our review unit only, but it is worth noting and is a major detriment to the overall experience.

Prime95
Prime95
3DMark
3DMark
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 5.3 / 4.8 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 9.4 / 13.3 / 13.9 Watt
Load midlight 39.7 / 46.5 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
8265U, UHD Graphics 620, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
3700U, Vega 10, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG, IPS, 120 Hz, 1920x1080, 13.3
Dell Inspiron 14 5000 5482 2-in-1
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, SK Hynix BC501 NVMe 256 GB, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
8550U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7, a-Si TFT-LCD, LCM, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Power Consumption
37%
32%
45%
-2%
Idle Minimum *
9.4
3.2
66%
3.4
64%
3.3
65%
3.9
59%
Idle Average *
13.3
2.8
79%
6.4
52%
5.2
61%
6.7
50%
Idle Maximum *
13.9
12.4
11%
7.8
44%
5.6
60%
8.7
37%
Load Average *
39.7
24.2
39%
36.7
8%
32.9
17%
74
-86%
Load Maximum *
46.5
50
-8%
49.3
-6%
35.2
24%
79
-70%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The power adapter may be difficult to fit into a wall outlet.
The power adapter may be difficult to fit into a wall outlet.

The Flex 14's battery life is excellent. The device lasted over 10 hours in our WiFi v1.3 battery test. The Flex 14 should last an entire work or school day and still have some juice left over for the evening. The included charger is compact (2.8 x 2.8 in) but can be cumbersome due to its "wall wart" form factor.

The Flex 14 lasts a fair bit longer than competitors; the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 died three hours sooner in our WiFi battery test, and the Acer Spin 5 fell four hours short.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
13h 33min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
10h 23min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 12min
Lenovo Flex 14IWL
8265U, UHD Graphics 620, 45 Wh
HP Envy x360 13-ar0601ng
3700U, Vega 10, 53 Wh
Dell Inspiron 14 5000 5482 2-in-1
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, 42 Wh
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 42 Wh
Acer Spin 5 SP515-51GN-80A3
8550U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 48 Wh
Battery Runtime
10%
-6%
-7%
-8%
Reader / Idle
813
632
-22%
742
-9%
759
-7%
WiFi v1.3
623
437
-30%
429
-31%
578
-7%
373
-40%
Load
72
130
81%
87
21%
88
22%

Pros

+ solid build
+ good selection of ports
+ responsive touch screen
+ reasonably quiet when under load

Cons

- processor sleep issues
- dim screen
- shallow keyboard

Verdict - Good, but there are better options

In review: Lenovo Flex 14. Review unit provided by Lenovo.
In review: Lenovo Flex 14. Review unit provided by Lenovo.

The Lenovo Flex 14 is a mixed bag. Its strongest areas lie in battery life and storage speed. It is difficult to find a laptop with an NVMe drive at the $800 price point, and the fact that the Flex 14 lasts all day on a charge is the icing on the cake. However, the Flex 14 compromises on the keyboard, a plastic body, and a mediocre screen.

The Flex 14 is perhaps best suited for students in search of a low-cost convertible that won't mind sacrificing on the keyboard, build quality, and display brightness. There are similar options available at a cheaper price (i.e., the Asus VivoBook Flip 14). Spending a bit more can net the superior Yoga 730 or ThinkPad X390 Yoga, both of which improve on the Flex 14 in every area. The HP Envy x360 13 is also a viable option; for $100-200 more, the Envy x360 grants a brighter screen, better keyboard, and better graphical performance, though it sacrifices a few hours of battery life.

It's difficult to peg the Flex 14. While it doesn't fail in any single category, it doesn't excel in any either. The Flex 14 is a "jack of all trades, master of none" type of notebook and doesn't stand out in any meaningful way.

Lenovo Flex 14IWL - 07/10/2019 v6(old)
Sam Medley

Chassis
82 / 98 → 83%
Keyboard
71%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
50 / 80 → 63%
Weight
67 / 35-78 → 75%
Battery
93%
Display
78%
Games Performance
56 / 68 → 83%
Application Performance
89 / 87 → 100%
Temperature
92%
Noise
96%
Audio
70 / 91 → 77%
Camera
41 / 85 → 48%
Average
75%
83%
Convertible - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo Flex 14 (2019, Core i5-8265U) Laptop Review - An average convertible at a good price
Sam Medley, 2019-07-11 (Update: 2019-07-11)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.