Notebookcheck

Lenovo Flex 5 15 (i7-8550U, GeForce MX130) Convertible Review

Not that flexible. Lenovo's Flex 5 is an affordable 2-in-1 that looks and feels great for the price with plenty of integrated ports. Unfortunately, the dim display and poor Turbo Boost performance leave a lot to be desired.

Lenovo kickstarted its 2-in-1 laptops with the flagship Yoga series years ago. In order to bring laptop convertibles to the hands of more consumers, however, the manufacturer later launched the affordable Flex series with the same 2-in-1 features but at lower starting prices. The Flex 5 15 is Lenovo's latest 15.6-inch convertible laptop that starts at just $700 USD compared to $1200 or more for the Dell XPS 15 9575 or HP Spectre x360 15. It carries much of the same hardware as found on costlier alternatives like an 8th gen Intel Kaby Lake-R CPU, discrete Nvidia GeForce graphics, and even support for WACOM-enabled pens. While a good deal on paper, our review below will reveal why the Lenovo convertible is a hard recommendation even at this low of a price.

The Flex 5 15 competes against other budget 15-inch convertibles like the Asus VivoBook Flip 15, HP Envy x360 15, Acer Spin 5 SP515, Dell Inspiron 15 5578, and the HP Pavilion 15 x360. Pricier alternatives include the Asus Zenbook Flip 15 and the aforementioned XPS 15 9575 and Spectre x360 15.

Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS (Flex 5 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce MX130 - 2048 MB, Core: 1108 MHz, Memory: 5010 MHz, GDDR5, 388.72, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2400, PC4-19200, 10-10-10-28, Single-Channel
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, 10-point capacitive, native pen support, NV156FHM-N48, IPS, BOE0700, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage
SK Hynix 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG), 512 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: SD reader, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Gyroscope
Networking
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 20.8 x 365 x 250 ( = 0.82 x 14.37 x 9.84 in)
Battery
52.5 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 3-cell
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: Harman stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, McAfee, Dolby Audio, Lenovo Vantage, Lenovo Utility, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2 kg ( = 70.55 oz / 4.41 pounds), Power Supply: 213 g ( = 7.51 oz / 0.47 pounds)
Price
1000 USD

 

Case

The chassis is reasonably rigid given its budget-mainstream price. There is minimal flexing around the aluminum palm rests and even the lid for a stronger first impression than the HP Pavilion x360 15. Its weakest spot is down the center of the outer lid where warping is most visible. Thankfully, it's not significant enough to affect day-to-day use.

Unlike the weighty higher-end XPS 15 9575 or Spectre x360 15, the Lenovo convertible feels hollow. It's tough to shake off the impression that the system could have been thinner or sleeker because of all the empty space inside. Its design is on the dull side and more reminiscent to the Ideapad series of laptops rather than the pricier Yoga series.

As for size and weight, the Flex 5 15 is thinner than the Asus Zenbook Flip 15 but thicker than the HP Envy x360 15 while weighing slightly less than both. The differences are minimal at best and hard to notice in practice A traditional 15-inch Lenovo laptop like the Ideapad 530S is still much thinner and lighter than the Flex 5 15 by a few millimeters and hundreds of grams, respectively. A dedicated tablet is much more comfortable to use since 15-inch convertibles in general are naturally bulky.

Matte aluminum surfaces attract grease and fingerprints easily
Matte aluminum surfaces attract grease and fingerprints easily
Strong chassis for the price, but still cumbersome to use in tablet mode
Strong chassis for the price, but still cumbersome to use in tablet mode
Dual hinges are strong and uniform up to the full 360 degrees
Dual hinges are strong and uniform up to the full 360 degrees
Chrome-cut edges and corners not unlike on a Zenbook
Chrome-cut edges and corners not unlike on a Zenbook

Connectivity

The system is equipped with all of the basic ports distributed evenly along the left and right edges. The ports are widely spaced between them and are all easy to reach. The only major downside is that the model relies on a proprietary AC adapter port for charging. A Thunderbolt 3 port with power delivery would have been more than enough to displace the AC port.

There is no dedicated volume rocker on the unit unlike on the Zenbook Flip 15 or Spectre x360 15.

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Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Left: AC adapter, HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 3.0 Type-C, 3.5 mm combo audio
Left: AC adapter, HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 3.0 Type-C, 3.5 mm combo audio
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity
Right: Power button, SD reader, USB 3.0, Kensington Lock
Right: Power button, SD reader, USB 3.0, Kensington Lock

SD Card Reader

Fully inserted SD card
Fully inserted SD card

Transfer rates from the integrated card reader are average for the multimedia category. Moving 1 GB worth of images from card to desktop takes about 13 seconds. The card reader is not spring-loaded and a fully inserted card will still protrude by half its length. It is recommended to remove any inserted cards before transporting.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
138 MB/s ∼100% +76%
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
78.4 MB/s ∼57%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
36.31 MB/s ∼26% -54%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
27.35 MB/s ∼20% -65%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
200.36 MB/s ∼100% +139%
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
84 MB/s ∼42%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
38.56 MB/s ∼19% -54%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
28.95 MB/s ∼14% -66%

Communication

The Qualcomm wireless module exhibits no connectivity issues. We're relieved to see 2x2 wireless across all SKUs of the Flex 5 15 as some OEMs like to cut corners on some budget offerings by including only 1x1 wireless.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Huawei MateBook D 53010BAJ
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
644 MBit/s ∼100% +2%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
640 MBit/s ∼99% +2%
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
630 MBit/s ∼98%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
RealTek Semiconductor, Device ID: C821
245 MBit/s ∼38% -61%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
521 MBit/s ∼100% +1%
Huawei MateBook D 53010BAJ
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
516 MBit/s ∼99% 0%
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
515 MBit/s ∼99%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
RealTek Semiconductor, Device ID: C821
280 MBit/s ∼54% -46%

Accessories

Included extras are a warranty card, Quick Start guide, and a Lenovo Active Pen with battery. It's commendable to see a stylus in the standard packaging and not just an option. A cleaning cloth would have been appreciated since the chassis and glossy display are fingerprint magnets.

Maintenance

A Philips screwdriver and sharp edge will be required to pry off the bottom panel. Users are granted direct access to the cooling solution, both M.2 and 2.5-inch storage bays, WLAN module, and both the internal and BIOS batteries. The single RAM module is protected by an aluminum cover and so all SKUs are limited to single-channel memory only.

Note the large volume of unused and potentially wasted space between the system fan and battery.

Relatively easy accessibility
Relatively easy accessibility

Warranty

The standard one-year limited warranty applies. The OEM offers additional protection of up to three years with onsite service and Accidental Damage Protection if desired.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The keyboard (27.8 x 10.5 cm) is essentially identical to what the Ideapad series has to offer. Users who have typed on the Ideapad 530S or 720S will know what to expect from the Flex 5 15. The flat keys are shallow and relatively quiet with a low-medium level of feedback. The Enter key and small top row of Function keys could have benefited from being firmer.

A two-level white backlight is included across all SKUs.

Touchpad

The Precision trackpad (10.5 x 7.0 cm) is smaller than the trackpads on the XPS 15 (10.5 x 8.5 cm) and Zenbook Flip 15 (10.5 x 7.3 cm). Fortunately, glide is still smooth and responsive without any issues. The integrated click keys are a bit soft and could have been firmer. They also tend to stick and so rapid clicks are more difficult to perform than they should be.

Feedback and visual design have been lifted from the Ideapad series
Feedback and visual design have been lifted from the Ideapad series
Quiet key clatter is slightly on the spongy side
Quiet key clatter is slightly on the spongy side

Display

The glossy 1080p IPS touchscreen is crisp if not unexceptional. Its dim backlight and narrow gamut prevent colors from popping and leaving a better impression. In fact, the Flex 5 has one of the dimmest displays we've tested on a 15-inch notebook with an average of just 185 nits. The Ideapad 530S is almost 50 percent brighter while the MacBook Pro 15 can reach over 500 nits. Contrast is otherwise good for its price range to reduce muddy grays and blacks during video playback. WACOM pens are supported including the Lenovo Active Pen.

It's worth noting that the same BOE NV156FHM-N48 panel can also be found on the budget 15-inch Acer Aspire 3 SF315 and the two systems share very similar colors, contrast, and response times as a result.

Our unit suffers from some uneven backlight bleeding as shown by the image below that can become noticeable during video playback with black borders. Users sensitive to onscreen flickering should keep in mind that pulse-width modulation is present on all brightness levels except maximum.

Light-moderate backlight bleeding around top left corner
Light-moderate backlight bleeding around top left corner
Subpixel array (141 PPI)
Subpixel array (141 PPI)
198.5
cd/m²
196.4
cd/m²
194.9
cd/m²
184.9
cd/m²
196.3
cd/m²
183.5
cd/m²
162.2
cd/m²
178.4
cd/m²
169.5
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 198.5 cd/m² Average: 185 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 82 %
Center on Battery: 196.3 cd/m²
Contrast: 755:1 (Black: 0.26 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.97 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3, calibrated: 4.85
ΔE Greyscale 6.1 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
57.7% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 37.4% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.2
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
NV156FHM-N48, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Sharp SHP148D, IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
N156HCA-EAB, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Huawei MateBook D 53010BAJ
AU Optronics B156HW02, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Asus ZenBook Flip 15 UX561UD
B156ZAN03.1, IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41G-R6BR
BOE CQ NV156FHM-N48, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Response Times
-48%
4%
5%
-19%
-37%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
37.6 (19.2, 18.4)
48.4 (23.2, 25.2)
-29%
37.2 (19.6, 17.6)
1%
36.4 (18.4, 18)
3%
52 (25, 27)
-38%
43 (23, 20)
-14%
Response Time Black / White *
29.2 (17.6, 11.6)
34.8 (19.2, 15.6)
-19%
32.4 (18.4, 14)
-11%
27.2 (15.6, 11.6)
7%
29 (15, 14)
1%
30 (16, 14)
-3%
PWM Frequency
21190 (99)
1000 (25)
-95%
25770 (67)
22%
1471 (90)
-93%
Screen
72%
23%
16%
63%
29%
Brightness middle
196.3
488
149%
285.1
45%
265.7
35%
380
94%
284
45%
Brightness
185
440
138%
271
46%
258
39%
371
101%
254
37%
Brightness Distribution
82
81
-1%
88
7%
91
11%
87
6%
80
-2%
Black Level *
0.26
0.3
-15%
0.28
-8%
0.31
-19%
0.28
-8%
0.29
-12%
Contrast
755
1627
115%
1018
35%
857
14%
1357
80%
979
30%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.97
3.16
55%
4.38
37%
6.01
14%
4.38
37%
4.22
39%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
25.53
8.8
66%
24.07
6%
18.87
26%
7.59
70%
9.29
64%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.85
3.95
19%
3.94
19%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.1
3.3
46%
3.1
49%
5
18%
3.6
41%
1.17
81%
Gamma
2.2 100%
2.178 101%
2.24 98%
2.7 81%
2.32 95%
2.39 92%
CCT
5800 112%
6811 95%
6705 97%
6569 99%
6860 95%
6360 102%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
37.4
71.7
92%
40
7%
42.24
13%
88
135%
38
2%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
57.7
97.9
70%
62
7%
60.92
6%
100
73%
59
2%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
12% / 44%
14% / 19%
11% / 14%
22% / 49%
-4% / 14%

* ... smaller is better

Color space is only 37 percent and 58 percent of the AdobeRGB and sRGB standards, respectively. These results are typical of budget panels where <60 percent sRGB coverage is common. Very accurate colors are generally unimportant for home or multimedia use, but alternative 15-inch convertibles with full sRGB coverage is available from Dell, Asus, and HP for more vibrant colors.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB

Further analyses with a X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal an overly warm color temperature and generally inaccurate colors across all tested saturation levels. Our calibration attempts improve grayscale and RGB balance significantly and we recommend applying our ICC profile above to get more out of the display. Colors will still be inaccurate at higher saturation levels due to the limited reproducible color gamut of the panel.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration

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
29.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17.6 ms rise
↘ 11.6 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 70 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
37.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19.2 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. » 34 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41.1 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 21190 Hz ≤ 99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 21190 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 21190 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8872 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is average at best because of the dim backlight. Be prepared to squint at every word and fend off glare from the glossy display even if under shade. The Flex 5 is a poor outdoor companion despite its versatile form factor.

Viewing angles are excellent and the system can be used in either landscape or portrait orientation without major color shifting issues. Apparent brightness decreases if in portrait mode and so images do not appear as vibrant when compared to the default landscape mode.

Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

Current SKUs of the Flex 5 15 can be configured with the Core i5-8250U or i7-8550U CPU and either UHD Graphics 620 or GeForce MX130 graphics. The same FHD IPS touchscreen comes standard across all configurations. It's clear that Lenovo is marketing the system as an affordable alternative to the popular Dell XPS 15 or HP Spectre x360 15 based on the specifications alone. Sadly, no Ryzen options are available which would have fit perfectly within the TDP envelope of the Flex 5.

Processor

CineBench R15
CineBench R15

CPU performance is poor when compared to other systems equipped with the same i7-8550U CPU. The Flex 5 is able to score just 388 points in CineBench R15 Multi-Thread whereas the average Core i7-8550U in our database scores about 571 points. This massive delta is further explored in our Stress Test section below, but it essentially boils down to poor Turbo Boost performance from the Lenovo convertible. Its CPU is simply not able to maintain Turbo Boost clock rates for even short periods and so performance suffers as a result. Final scores are disappointing to say the least when even the Core i5-8250U in the Ideapad 530S is able to outperform the i7-8550U in our Flex 5 by 26 percent.

Running CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop shows us just how bad the Flex 5 can be at sustaining Turbo Boost. Its initial score of 541 points tanks to just 385 points after only two or three loops to represent a performance drop of 29 percent. Our system never recovers thereafter until the loop test is stopped.

See our dedicated page on the Core i7-8550U for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼85% +54%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (108 - 172, n=57)
160 Points ∼77% +40%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBA-80WY001VGE
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
147 Points ∼71% +29%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 20J1005TPB
Intel Core i7-7500U
146 Points ∼71% +28%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 Points ∼70% +26%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
135 Points ∼65% +18%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
135 Points ∼65% +18%
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
Intel Core i7-8550U
114 Points ∼55%
Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 320-10ICR Pro LTE
Intel Atom x5-Z8350
28 Points ∼14% -75%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Intel Core i7-8750H
1217 Points ∼39% +214%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (301 - 761, n=59)
571 Points ∼18% +47%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
556 Points ∼18% +43%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
546 Points ∼18% +41%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBA-80WY001VGE
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
501 Points ∼16% +29%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
Intel Core i5-8250U
490 Points ∼16% +26%
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
Intel Core i7-8550U
388 Points ∼12%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 20J1005TPB
Intel Core i7-7500U
338 Points ∼11% -13%
Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 320-10ICR Pro LTE
Intel Atom x5-Z8350
92 Points ∼3% -76%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (1.43 - 160, n=30)
7.1 Points ∼0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Intel Core i7-8750H
1.96 Points ∼0%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Intel Core i7-8750H
12.8 Points ∼0%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (4.38 - 8.56, n=30)
6.31 Points ∼0%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Intel Core i7-8750H
6539 Points ∼60%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (4202 - 8211, n=29)
6325 Points ∼58%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
4379 Points ∼40%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Intel Core i7-8750H
34568 Points ∼70%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (11694 - 24180, n=29)
17844 Points ∼36%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
9812 Points ∼20%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 20J1005TPB
Intel Core i7-7500U
490.184 s * ∼6%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (258 - 435, n=11)
351 s * ∼4%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (1.4 - 7795, n=81)
1208 Seconds * ∼5%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 20J1005TPB
Intel Core i7-7500U
615.331 Seconds * ∼3%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
114 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
388 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
56.45 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help

System Performance

PCMark scores are rather mediocre when compared to other 15-inch multimedia systems like the Zenbook Flip 15 or XPS 15 9575. Nonetheless, results are where we expect them to be when considering the ULV CPU and low-power GeForce GPU. Launching apps and navigating through the OS are swift with no hiccups as expected from a SSD-based laptop.

PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 10 - Score
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Vega M GL / 870, 8705G, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
5001 Points ∼64% +76%
Asus ZenBook Flip 15 UX561UD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
4249 Points ∼55% +50%
Huawei MateBook D 53010BAJ
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3904 Points ∼50% +38%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2046 - 5358, n=59)
3740 Points ∼48% +32%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBA-80WY001VGE
Radeon RX 560 (Laptop), 7300HQ, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
3700 Points ∼48% +30%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
3643 Points ∼47% +28%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba MQ04ABF100
3250 Points ∼42% +15%
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
GeForce MX130, 8550U, SK Hynix 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
2837 Points ∼37%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA GeForce MX130
  (2801 - 2837, n=2)
2819 Points ∼36% -1%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Huawei MateBook D 53010BAJ
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4894 Points ∼75% +13%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
4762 Points ∼73% +10%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBA-80WY001VGE
Radeon RX 560 (Laptop), 7300HQ, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
4700 Points ∼72% +9%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba MQ04ABF100
4654 Points ∼71% +8%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA GeForce MX130
  (4327 - 4811, n=2)
4569 Points ∼70% +6%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Vega M GL / 870, 8705G, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
4469 Points ∼69% +3%
Asus ZenBook Flip 15 UX561UD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
4401 Points ∼68% +2%
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
GeForce MX130, 8550U, SK Hynix 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
4327 Points ∼66%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2213 - 5343, n=242)
4209 Points ∼65% -3%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBA-80WY001VGE
Radeon RX 560 (Laptop), 7300HQ, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
4257 Points ∼70% +26%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Vega M GL / 870, 8705G, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
4235 Points ∼70% +25%
Huawei MateBook D 53010BAJ
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3889 Points ∼64% +15%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba MQ04ABF100
3675 Points ∼60% +9%
Asus ZenBook Flip 15 UX561UD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
3614 Points ∼59% +7%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
3585 Points ∼59% +6%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA GeForce MX130
  (3381 - 3704, n=3)
3583 Points ∼59% +6%
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
GeForce MX130, 8550U, SK Hynix 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
3381 Points ∼55%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1740 - 4693, n=261)
3332 Points ∼55% -1%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3381 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4327 points
Help

Storage Devices

M.2 SSD and SATA III slots are directly underneath the left palm rest
M.2 SSD and SATA III slots are directly underneath the left palm rest

Two internal storage bays are available. Our particular test unit is equipped with just a single 512 GB M.2 SSD from SK Hynix with respectable sequential read and write rates of over 1000 MB/s each. It doesn't quite outperform the Samsung NVMe SSDs like the PM981 series, but its performance is more than sufficient for the target audience and still much faster than what SATA III can offer.

See our table of SSDs and HDDs for more benchmark comparisons.

Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
SK Hynix 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
Huawei MateBook D 53010BAJ
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Asus ZenBook Flip 15 UX561UD
Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
AS SSD
7%
34%
-58%
-28%
Copy Game MB/s
683.66
944.26
38%
1047.01
53%
282.32
-59%
301.11
-56%
Copy Program MB/s
495.65
487.91
-2%
438.11
-12%
196.79
-60%
233.52
-53%
Copy ISO MB/s
1013.34
1522.88
50%
1286.92
27%
291.03
-71%
868.11
-14%
Score Total
2123
2132
0%
4225
99%
844
-60%
1387
-35%
Score Write
832
807
-3%
1709
105%
371
-55%
415
-50%
Score Read
860
921
7%
1665
94%
310
-64%
690
-20%
Access Time Write *
0.051
0.051
-0%
0.143
-180%
0.056
-10%
0.051
-0%
Access Time Read *
0.045
0.044
2%
0.043
4%
0.097
-116%
0.06
-33%
4K-64 Write
611.98
637.4
4%
1486.2
143%
248.49
-59%
271.59
-56%
4K-64 Read
659.92
649.44
-2%
1455.07
120%
235.49
-64%
431.26
-35%
4K Write
99.47
94.25
-5%
81.93
-18%
84.85
-15%
88.45
-11%
4K Read
40.59
41.38
2%
52.95
30%
25.79
-36%
38.69
-5%
Seq Write
1209.39
752.11
-38%
1411.48
17%
379.28
-69%
549.75
-55%
Seq Read
1595.69
2302.4
44%
1567.26
-2%
488.01
-69%
2205.34
38%

* ... smaller is better

SK Hynix 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
Sequential Read: 1595.69MB/s
Sequential Write: 1209.39MB/s
4K Read: 40.59MB/s
4K Write: 99.47MB/s
4K-64 Read: 659.92MB/s
4K-64 Write: 611.98MB/s
Access Time Read: 0.045ms
Access Time Write: 0.051ms
Copy ISO: 1013.34MB/s
Copy Program: 495.65MB/s
Copy Game: 683.66MB/s
Score Read: 860Points
Score Write: 832Points
Score Total: 2123Points

GPU Performance

The GeForce MX130 is essentially on par with the last generation GeForce 940MX according to 3DMark benchmarks. It's also comparable to the integrated AMD Radeon RX Vega 10 provided that the latter is equipped with dual-channel RAM. If not, then said AMD owners can expect a rough 35 percent boost if moving up to the GeForce MX130. Jumping from the MX130 to the more common MX150 will bring a substantial 50 percent boost in raw graphics performance.

Gaming performance is limited to undemanding or older titles like LoL, DOTA 2, Starcraft II. The Flex 5 is more of a general multimedia machine than one for playing games.

See our dedicated page on the GeForce MX130 for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Lenovo Yoga 730-15IKB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8550U
4446 Points ∼25% +57%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
4000 Points ∼23% +41%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2975 Points ∼17% +5%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX130
  (2708 - 2958, n=9)
2832 Points ∼16% 0%
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
NVIDIA GeForce MX130, 8550U
2831 Points ∼16%
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
1679 Points ∼10% -41%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
1246 Points ∼7% -56%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 2700U
1157 Points ∼7% -59%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Lenovo Yoga 730-15IKB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8550U
6935 Points ∼14% +168%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
4392 Points ∼9% +69%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX130
  (2592 - 3188, n=10)
2873 Points ∼6% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2849 Points ∼6% +10%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 2700U
2688 Points ∼5% +4%
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
NVIDIA GeForce MX130, 8550U
2592 Points ∼5%
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
1782 Points ∼3% -31%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
1668 Points ∼3% -36%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo Yoga 730-15IKB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8550U
5965 Points ∼15% +178%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
3291 Points ∼8% +53%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2340 Points ∼6% +9%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX130
  (2149 - 2478, n=9)
2340 Points ∼6% +9%
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
NVIDIA GeForce MX130, 8550U
2149 Points ∼5%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 2700U
1567 Points ∼4% -27%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
1095 Points ∼3% -49%
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
1025 Points ∼3% -52%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Lenovo Yoga 730-15IKB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8550U
26144 Points ∼14% +102%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
18916 Points ∼10% +46%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX130
  (12166 - 14809, n=9)
13502 Points ∼7% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
13362 Points ∼7% +3%
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
NVIDIA GeForce MX130, 8550U
12942 Points ∼7%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 2700U
9364 Points ∼5% -28%
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
8885 Points ∼5% -31%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
7309 Points ∼4% -44%
3DMark 11 Performance
28 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
8662 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1991 points
Help
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 126.974.264.423.1fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 42.72513.67.2fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 51.228.615.612.5fps

Stress Test

We stress the notebook with synthetic loads in order to identify for any potential throttling or stability issues. When running Prime95, the CPU can be observed operating at 3 GHz at the very start of the test before immediately falling and stabilizing at its base clock rate of 1.8 GHz. It's disappointing to see that the Flex 5 is unable to sustain any Turbo Boost at all when under high load. We believe there is some headroom for faster clock rates since the CPU tops out at just 63 C, but Lenovo apparently thinks otherwise. Running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously will cause the CPU and GPU to stabilize at 89 C and 86 C, respectively.

Running Witcher 3 stress is more representative of real-world gaming load. The CPU and GPU remain steady at 70 C and 73 C, respectively, albeit with no Turbo Boost from the CPU yet again. Frame rates are otherwise steady with no recurring drops over time.

Running on battery power will reduce CPU performance. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 4619 and 2797, respectively, compared to 5212 and 2592 points when on mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Witcher 3 stress
Witcher 3 stress
0123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627Tooltip
The Witcher 3 medium
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 1.8 -- 63 --
FurMark Stress -- 758 -- 69
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 1.8 732 89 86
Witcher 3 Stress 1.8 1046 70 73

Emissions

System Noise

The cooling solution consists of a single 50 mm fan and a short heat pipe shared between the CPU and GPU. In comparison, some smaller laptops like the HP EliteBook x360 1030 or Yoga 920 utilize two fans and a longer heat pipe for cooling just a single CPU. The relatively small cooing solution of the 15-inch Lenovo negatively impacts noise as the fan is almost always active and audible even during low loads like streaming. We recommend using the Power Saver profile and the integrated GPU to reduce pulsing and fan noise if the extra horsepower is not needed.

Fan noise when under higher loads like gaming is comparable to the HP Envy x360 15 but surprisingly louder than the ZenBook Flip 15 with the more powerful GeForce GTX GPU. Furthermore, the fan in the Lenovo is relatively high-pitched as shown by our microphone measurements below. The fan is therefore more noticeable to the ear than we would like.

Our system does not exhibit any coil whine or electronic noise. Even if it did, however, the constant fan noise would likely overpower it.

Just one short heat pipe despite the large 15-inch form factor
Just one short heat pipe despite the large 15-inch form factor
Single 50 mm fan. Note the unused empty space surrounding it
Single 50 mm fan. Note the unused empty space surrounding it
Fan noise
Fan noise

Noise Level

Idle
29.6 / 29.6 / 29.6 dB(A)
Load
39.2 / 41.6 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.2 dB(A)
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
GeForce MX130, 8550U, SK Hynix 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Vega M GL / 870, 8705G, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
Asus ZenBook Flip 15 UX561UD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
HP Envy x360 15-bq102ng
Vega 8, 2500U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Noise
2%
9%
-1%
-1%
off / environment *
28.2
28.2
-0%
28
1%
30.4
-8%
30.13
-7%
Idle Minimum *
29.6
28.2
5%
28
5%
31.3
-6%
30.13
-2%
Idle Average *
29.6
28.2
5%
28
5%
31.3
-6%
30.13
-2%
Idle Maximum *
29.6
28.2
5%
30.1
-2%
31.3
-6%
30.13
-2%
Load Average *
39.2
29
26%
30.2
23%
36.4
7%
38.8
1%
Witcher 3 ultra *
39.2
44.7
-14%
Load Maximum *
41.6
47.4
-14%
33.2
20%
37.1
11%
38.8
7%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Witcher 3 stress. Exhaust only from the rear
Witcher 3 stress. Exhaust only from the rear

Expect the left half of the notebook to always be warmer than the right half because of how the processors and storage drives are positioned around the motherboard. Surface temperatures are generally flat on both sides when idling or during very low loads and so the temperature discrepancy shouldn't be an issue when browsing or word processing. If gaming, however, the left side of the keyboard can be over 10 C warmer than the right side. A more symmetrical temperature gradient, such as on the HP Spectre series, is preferred.

System idle (top)
System idle (top)
System idle (bottom)
System idle (bottom)
Witcher 3 stress (top)
Witcher 3 stress (top)
Witcher 3 stress (bottom)
Witcher 3 stress (bottom)
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (bottom)
Maximum load (bottom)
Max. Load
 49 °C
120 F
44.6 °C
112 F
33.4 °C
92 F
 
 44 °C
111 F
39 °C
102 F
26.8 °C
80 F
 
 31.2 °C
88 F
26 °C
79 F
26 °C
79 F
 
Maximum: 49 °C = 120 F
Average: 35.6 °C = 96 F
34.4 °C
94 F
51.8 °C
125 F
55.2 °C
131 F
27 °C
81 F
44.8 °C
113 F
42 °C
108 F
27.2 °C
81 F
28 °C
82 F
31 °C
88 F
Maximum: 55.2 °C = 131 F
Average: 37.9 °C = 100 F
Power Supply (max.)  44 °C = 111 F | Room Temperature 22.6 °C = 73 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer

Speakers

The stereo speakers from Harman are sufficiently loud to fill a small-medium room. Sounds are relatively imbalanced on the default setting as shown by our pink graph below meaning that some frequencies are reproduced markedly worse than others. It's passable for music and video if not unspectacular.

A high volume setting introduces no static but will reverberate the chassis slightly. 

Speakers face downwards towards the front corners of the system
Speakers face downwards towards the front corners of the system
Pink noise
Pink noise
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2038.239.12537.134.63132.4364032.133503332.86331.531.98030.33110029.631.312528.731.716027.739.420028.552.925027.462.731526.26240025.656.750025.856.163025.363.180024.474.3100024.268.912502460.3160023.958.5200023.958.5250023.758.9315023.555.5400023.552.1500023.557.5630023.452.2800023.458.41000023.462.51250023.3651600023.359.4SPL36.276.1N2.634.6median 24Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUSmedian 58.5Delta1.53.935.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (74.32 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 14.4% lower than median
(-) | bass is not linear (15.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.6% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (14.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (11.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 53% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 38% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 37% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 58% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 47%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Prime95 initiated at 20s mark. The spike in power consumption reflects poor Turbo Boost sustainability
Prime95 initiated at 20s mark. The spike in power consumption reflects poor Turbo Boost sustainability

Idling on desktop demands anywhere between 4 W to 8 W depending on the brightness setting and power profile. Maximum load draws about 43 W over a 90-second period from the small (~7.5 x 7.5 x 2.8 cm) 65 W AC adapter. The Huawei MateBook D draws about 9 W more with its slightly faster GeForce MX150 graphics when under high loads.

Monitoring power consumption over time while running Prime95 shows interesting results. Consumption spikes to as high 45 W at the very start of the test before immediately falling and stabilizing at 23.7 W as shown by the image on the right. This reflects our CineBench loop test above where Turbo Boost sustainability was shown to be very poor.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.28 / 0.6 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.1 / 7.6 / 7.9 Watt
Load midlight 42.5 / 54 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
8550U, GeForce MX130, SK Hynix 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG), IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
8705G, Vega M GL / 870, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Huawei MateBook D 53010BAJ
8250U, GeForce MX150, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba MQ04ABF100, TN LED, 1366x768, 15.6
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Asus ZenBook Flip 15 UX561UD
8550U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Power Consumption
-79%
-20%
7%
15%
-77%
Idle Minimum *
4.1
6.2
-51%
4.2
-2%
5.6
-37%
3.5
15%
5.4
-32%
Idle Average *
7.6
12.9
-70%
7.2
5%
7.1
7%
5.6
26%
10.8
-42%
Idle Maximum *
7.9
13.6
-72%
12.1
-53%
7.9
-0%
10.3
-30%
13.9
-76%
Load Average *
42.5
76.1
-79%
51.1
-20%
32.8
23%
30.5
28%
94
-121%
Load Maximum *
54
99.4
-84%
59.9
-11%
30.5
44%
33.8
37%
116.6
-116%
Witcher 3 ultra *
38.6
84.3
-118%
52.7
-37%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The internal 52.5 Wh battery is larger than what you'd find on the Pavilion x360 15 and about the same as on the more powerful Asus ZenBook Flip 15. Runtime during WLAN load is respectable at 7.5 hours to be comparable to other 15-inch multimedia systems.

Idling on desktop at the lowest settings and brightness can last for almost 19 hours before shutdown. The system cheats a bit, however, as its lowest brightness setting turns off the backlight and display completely to save on power. For most other notebooks, the display is still visible even if on the lowest brightness setting. Getting anywhere near 19 hours is pretty much impossible on the Flex 5 during real-world scenarios.

Charging from near empty to full capacity takes about 2 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
18h 52min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
7h 29min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 50min
Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS
8550U, GeForce MX130, 52.5 Wh
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
8705G, Vega M GL / 870, 75 Wh
Huawei MateBook D 53010BAJ
8250U, GeForce MX150, 43.3 Wh
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 41 Wh
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 45 Wh
Asus ZenBook Flip 15 UX561UD
8550U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 52 Wh
Battery Runtime
-37%
-24%
-21%
-13%
-44%
Reader / Idle
1132
673
-41%
910
-20%
722
-36%
558
-51%
WiFi v1.3
449
420
-6%
462
3%
419
-7%
391
-13%
311
-31%
Load
170
63
-63%
74
-56%
134
-21%
84
-51%

Pros

+ discrete GeForce MX130 graphics
+ good build quality; stiff hinges
+ included Lenovo Active Pen
+ dual internal storage bays
+ respectable battery life
+ accessible internals

Cons

- lots of empty unused space surrounding the motherboard
- proprietary AC adapter charging instead of USB Type-C
- constant fan noise; very small cooling solution
- PWM on all brightness levels except maximum
- very poor Turbo Boost performance
- single-channel RAM only
- high-pitched fan noise
- very dim display

Verdict

In review: Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RU
In review: Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RU

The Flex 5 is not for enthusiasts or performance users and Lenovo knows this. Instead, the budget system is for the home multimedia user or student who may simply want an inexpensive 15-inch Windows laptop with tablet features for movie playback, word processing, and the occasional casual games. It offers no significant advantages over the Pavilion 2-in-1, Vivobook 2-in-1, Envy 2-in-1, or heavier Inspiron 15 2-in-1 other than an option for the slow GeForce MX130 GPU. As an at-home family convertible, the Flex 5 fits the bill just barely.

There is a long list of unfortunate performance cutbacks. The very dim display means this is a convertible mainly for indoor use and the extremely limited Turbo Boost means there is very little reason to purchase the Core i7-8550U SKU when the less expensive i5-8250U SKU can perform nearly the same. Its single-channel RAM hampers performance even further and the cooling solution is embarrassingly small given the roomy 15-inch form factor. There is ample empty space surrounding the fan that could have been utilized for a larger cooling solution to reduce fan noise.

The $700 starting price is fair for a lackluster and honestly forgettable system while its higher-end SKUs can reach over $1000 USD. We recommend avoiding the costlier options as you'd be better off with a well-made traditional laptop like the XPS 15 or spending a bit more on the Spectre x360 15. The extremely poor Turbo Boost and dim screen make this a tough sell.

Lenovo Flex 5-1570 81CA000RUS - 09/03/2018 v6
Allen Ngo

Chassis
79 / 98 → 81%
Keyboard
77%
Pointing Device
75%
Connectivity
54 / 81 → 67%
Weight
63 / 20-67 → 91%
Battery
90%
Display
73%
Games Performance
65 / 85 → 76%
Application Performance
81 / 92 → 88%
Temperature
87%
Noise
88 / 95 → 93%
Audio
50%
Camera
45 / 85 → 53%
Average
71%
79%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo Flex 5 15 (i7-8550U, GeForce MX130) Convertible Review
Allen Ngo, 2018-09- 3 (Update: 2018-09- 4)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.