Notebookcheck

Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB (Core i5-7200U, 940MX) Laptop Review

Benjamin Herzig (translated by Mark Riege), 09/09/2017

Successful all-rounder. An affordable Ultrabook with Full HD IPS display, GeForce 940MX, and Core i5-7200U - Lenovo intends this interesting package mainly for students. You can find out in our detailed review whether the IdeaPad 520s can convince us.

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For the original German review, see here.

Since 2015, the dominant trend in notebooks has been narrow bezels around the display. It was mainly  Dell that was responsible for this trend with their XPS series, and after the great sales success of this series other manufacturers followed suit.

Until now, it has been mainly Ultrabooks in the higher price segment, which offered such narrow bezels. However, this is changing slowly but surely, and this design feature is so popular that it can also be found more and more in more affordable models. An example is our current test unit, the IdeaPad 520s. The IdeaPad 500 series was created last year as the successor to the older Lenovo IdeaPad Z series. Since then, Lenovo's naming scheme for consumer notebooks looks as follows: IdeaPad 100 series are the most affordable and IdeaPad 700 (for example IdeaPad 710s) or 900 (Lenovo Yoga 910) are the most expensive series. Accordingly, the 500 series forms the mid-range, together with the slightly more affordable IdeaPad 300 series.

Our test unit is a 14-inch model, a size which is rather rare in customer notebooks, especially when they have a multimedia focus. But Lenovo provides many devices with 14-inch displays that would have a 13-inch display with other manufacturers. Our test unit costs 799 Euros (~$951) with the student rebate and 850 Euros without (~$1012). As well as the predecessor, the IdeaPad 510s-14ISK, we have selected the following comparison devices in the price range of below 1000 Euros (~$1,190): the HP Envy 13 ad065nr, the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3-Zoll, and the ASUS X302UV. Since it serves as a reference for good Ultrabooks below 15.6 inches, we have also added the Dell XPS 13, even though it is quite a bit more expensive and competes more directly with the IdeaPad 720s.

Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE (IdeaPad 520s Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX - 2048 MB, Core: 1083 MHz, Memory: 1253 MHz, GDDR5, 373.50, Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, N140HCA-EAC, IPS LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL, M.2 GB 
, SATA-III SSD, 185 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio combo, Card Reader: 4-in-1 card reader, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19.3 x 327.4 x 236.5 ( = 0.76 x 12.89 x 9.31 in)
Battery
52.5 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 0.3 Megapixel
Additional features
Speakers: 2W stereo speaker, Keyboard: 6-row Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Lenovo Settings, Lenovo Companion, Lenovo Appexplorer, Microsoft Office Trial, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.616 kg ( = 57 oz / 3.56 pounds), Power Supply: 223 g ( = 7.87 oz / 0.49 pounds)
Price
799 Euro

 

Case

Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB

Compared to the predecessor, the case of the IdeaPad 520s-14IKB has been completely reworked. The choice of materials has remained the same: aluminum for the palm rest and display cover, and plastic for the base unit and display frame. Yet the IdeaPad 520s is clearly distinguishable from its predecessor. The bezels, which as mentioned before are much narrower mainly on the sides, are now made from black, instead of silver plastic. The edges are now diamond cut, which gives the device a higher-quality impression, and the sides of the base unit are less rounded. Overall, the case gives a more modern and better-quality visual impression than the IdeaPad 510s-14ISK. Haptically, both devices are very similar.

For case stability, metal is of course never a bad choice, even if the whole case is not made from aluminum. In this price range, cases made entirely from metal are not customary, although there are exceptions, such as the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air. The IdeaPad 520s cannot quite keep up with such designs or the XPS 13. For example, the display cover can be pushed in slightly, but only a strong pressure on the panel shows a visual effect. In contrast, the palm rest is very resistant to point-pressure and can hardly be pushed in, even in the center. The base can only be twisted minimally. The display proves to be more flexible, but still has an advantage compared to the plastic display covers.

Fortunately, there was no sloppiness when assembling the test device and the workmanship is absolutely flawless. All the gaps between the case parts are even and narrow, and there are no sharp edges. However, the hinges are not perfect. Although they allow opening the display with one hand, they bounce back a little. The maximum opening is 180°, which deserves some praise.

Compared to the IdeaPad 510s-14ISK, the IdeaPad 520s-14IKB has become smaller, mainly in the horizontal dimension, so that it is slightly more compact overall. However, the thickness has remained almost the same, and in terms of its weight the new IdeaPad is even slightly heavier than the old model. In terms of size, despite its narrower bezels it plays in a completely different league than the 13.3-inch Ultrabooks. The XPS 13 in particular is definitely more compact and light. However, the 14-inch notebooks in our comparison are all very similar.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

Lenovo takes one step towards being current, but unfortunately does not follow it through. Although the IdeaPad 520s has USB Type-C, it is only a very limited implementation. There is neither Thunderbolt, nor does the connector offer the alternate DisplayPort mode. Lenovo continues to use a proprietary connection for charging the device. The USB-C connection which only supports data transfers according to USB-3.1 Gen-1 is a missed opportunity. In addition, one USB-3.0 connection and the foldout Ethernet port have been left out. For many users this might not be critical, but perhaps still a painful loss. 

There is nothing to complain about the position of the connections. The connections are all far enough apart and positioned on the sides towards the back.

Left: power connection, HDMI, USB Type-A 3.0, USB Type C 3.1 Gen1, combo audio
Left: power connection, HDMI, USB Type-A 3.0, USB Type C 3.1 Gen1, combo audio
Right: SD-card reader, USB Type-A 3.0, Kensington lock
Right: SD-card reader, USB Type-A 3.0, Kensington lock

SD-Card Reader

There is an SD-card reader on the right side of the case. In the benchmark test which as usual we performed with the Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference storage card ran at a rather average speed. While very cheap laptops have considerably slower card readers, there are also some with much faster ones, such as the XPS 13.

It is a drawback that the cards are still sticking out after inserting them into the reader, so the slot is not suitable as a permanent storage extension.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
107.8 MB/s ∼100% +35%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
79.6 MB/s ∼74%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
  (Toshiba THN-M401S0640E2)
62.8 MB/s ∼58% -21%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
250.6 MB/s ∼100% +186%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
87.6 MB/s ∼35%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
  (Toshiba THN-M401S0640E2)
81.88 MB/s ∼33% -7%

Communication

The Intel Wireless 3165 is a 1x1 AC-WLAN card that can often be found in less expensive notebooks. It delivers a performance suitable for everyday life, and the connection always remained stable in the test. Although it is okay for non-demanding users, the limitation of the 1x1 design clearly shows in the benchmark test. 2x2 AC cards, such as the Killer Wireless 1535 or the Intel Wireless 7265 are considerably faster.

The built-in camera is a typical notebook webcam. It produces a noisy and pixelated image. The microphones are slightly better. Both components are sufficient for video calls, but not much more than that. 

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
635 MBit/s ∼100% +85%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
525 MBit/s ∼83% +53%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
343 MBit/s ∼54%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
575 MBit/s ∼100% +92%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
480 MBit/s ∼83% +60%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
300 MBit/s ∼52%

Security

Fingerprint sensor
Fingerprint sensor

Even though the IdeaPad 520s is not a business laptop, it is equipped with a touch-based fingerprint reader. It is a positive trend that you can find such sensors, even in more affordable consumer notebooks nowadays. 

The sensor operates just as fast and reliable as in the ThinkPad cousins, although the practical status LED that shows that it is ready for the scan is missing. 

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Accessories

There are no accessories included with the test unit and there are no manufacturer's or model specific accessories such as docks either.

Maintenance

In terms of its maintainability, the test device shows itself as a typical Ultrabook. There are no maintenance hatches, but you have to take off the whole bottom of the case to get to the insides. You need to remove 10 Philips screws to take off the cover of the base. After you have managed that, you need to loosen the small plastic hooks around the whole bottom with a spudger tool; otherwise they keep the base fastened tightly. You have to be very careful and not use force, since the little clips can otherwise break easily.

With the base cover removed, you have access to the internal battery, the cooling system, the WLAN module, the 2.5-inch main memory storage, the M.2 SSD (1 slot empty), and the working memory (1 slot).

A look inside
A look inside

Warranty

Lenovo offers a two-year warranty on the IdeaPad 520s-14IKB. During these 24 months, you can send your notebook to Lenovo to use the warranty (bring-in service). Optionally, Lenovo offers an extension to 36 months, as well as on-site service and accident protection, which includes accidental drops.

Input Devices

Keyboard

As well as the case, Lenovo has also updated the keyboard, or rather its layout. The most striking change has been to the arrow keys. In the older IdeaPads they were still full-size keys, but now the vertical arrow keys have been reduced in size. The right Shift key which was very small before has now been increased to full-size instead. This might have been a reaction to some user complaints that the right Shift key was too small before. Furthermore, instead of a dedicated power button, this is now integrated into the keyboard, so that the Delete key is not in the top right corner anymore. While this change is not as welcome, the change in the arrow key area is more a matter of taste. If you use the right Shift key, you will probably welcome it; otherwise you might be annoyed with the smaller arrow keys.

Lenovo is known for being able to make notebooks with good keyboards. The IdeaPad 520s does not disappoint in this respect, even if the ThinkPad cousins are again a whole level better than that. The keys are compelling with a crisp typing feel and their stable base, which does not give in even during more ferocious typing. The stroke is a little too short for our taste, but overall the keyboard of the IdeaPad 520s is still suitable for those who type a lot.

As with many notebooks nowadays, the IdeaPad 520s-14IKB has a backlit keyboard. The illumination has two steps and a white-blue color. 

Keyboard area of the IdeaPad 520s-14IKB
Keyboard area of the IdeaPad 520s-14IKB

Touchpad

Lenovo has built in a suitably large ClickPad. Unlike the more expensive Ultrabooks, this has a plastic instead of a glass surface. Still, the plastic surface does not really feel too cheap and works well enough, since it is sufficiently smooth to permit unimpeded gliding of the fingers. The mechanics of the ClickPad do not produce any clacking, and the clicks are crisp and not too loud.

Lenovo uses touchpads according to Microsoft's Precision-Touchpad standard in all their new laptops, which is also the case in the IdeaPad 520s. Consequently, the use of the touchpad is good and gestures work perfectly and precisely.

Display

Pixel grid N140HCA-EAC
Pixel grid N140HCA-EAC
Backlight bleeding
Backlight bleeding

According to the data sheet, Lenovo offers two display options for the IdeaPad 520s-14IKB: a matte 14-inch TN display with an HD resolution (1366x768) and a matte IPS display with a Full HD resolution (1920x1080) of the same size. Almost all models in Germany are equipped with the better IPS Full HD display. If you are interested in the IdeaPad 520s-14IKB, you should definitely choose a model with this display.

Of course, even the better Full HD is not the highest-quality display, which is not surprising in this price range. Its average brightness values of 256 cd/m² corresponds more to an affordable panel: not extraordinary but okay. The Dell XPS 13 and the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air are much better with their display, offering considerably more than 300 cd/m².

The IdeaPad 510s-14ISK  had a display with an extremely low PWM frequency of 50 Hz. The successor does not have that problem, and the display has such a high PWM frequency that nobody should have problems with it. Unfortunately, backlight bleeding is a bit stronger in the panel, which is made by Innolux. While this is not visible in normal operation, with dark images it might possibly be slightly annoying.

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 24510 Hz ≤ 60 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 24510 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 60 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 24510 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 10727 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 588200) Hz was measured.

275
cd/m²
276
cd/m²
256
cd/m²
265
cd/m²
274
cd/m²
245
cd/m²
240
cd/m²
247
cd/m²
228
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 276 cd/m² Average: 256.2 cd/m² Minimum: 3.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 273 cd/m²
Contrast: 1522:1 (Black: 0.18 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.7 | 0.8-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 6.3 | 0.64-98 Ø6.6
61.5% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 39.6% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.04
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
N140HCA-EAC, , 1920x1080, 14
Asus X302UV-FN016T
InfoVision M133NWN1 R3, , 1366x768, 13.3
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
Samsung LTN133HL09-M01, , 1920x1080, 13.3
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
NV140FHM-N41, , 1920x1080, 14
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Sharp SHP1449 LQ133M1, , 1920x1080, 13.3
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
LG Philips LGD0576, , 1920x1080, 13.3
Response Times
-33%
-44%
-39%
-6%
-6%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
38 (20, 18)
42 (20, 22)
-11%
49 (20, 29)
-29%
45 (17, 28)
-18%
32.8 (16, 16.8)
14%
28 (14, 14)
26%
Response Time Black / White *
26.4 (14.8, 11.6)
23 (6, 17)
13%
27 (8, 19)
-2%
26 (7, 19)
2%
33.2 (10.8, 22.4)
-26%
22.4 (12.4, 10)
15%
PWM Frequency
24510 (60)
50 (90)
-100%
50 (30)
-100%
50 (60)
-100%
10200 (100)
-58%
Screen
-13%
26%
3%
14%
7%
Brightness middle
274
218
-20%
347
27%
257
-6%
351.2
28%
290
6%
Brightness
256
210
-18%
334
30%
263
3%
325
27%
270
5%
Brightness Distribution
83
88
6%
80
-4%
90
8%
89
7%
78
-6%
Black Level *
0.18
0.5
-178%
0.27
-50%
0.24
-33%
0.195
-8%
0.32
-78%
Contrast
1522
436
-71%
1285
-16%
1071
-30%
1801
18%
906
-40%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.7
3.89
42%
3.29
51%
5.44
19%
7.4
-10%
4.8
28%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
14.8
7.11
52%
4.69
68%
10.93
26%
9.08
39%
11.2
24%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.3
4.9
22%
3.62
43%
3.95
37%
6.71
-7%
2.8
56%
Gamma
2.04 118%
2.41 100%
2.23 108%
2.29 105%
2.74 88%
2.19 110%
CCT
6363 102%
7860 83%
7307 89%
6896 94%
7222 90%
6382 102%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
39.6
46
16%
62
57%
40
1%
50.48
27%
54.9
39%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
61.5
73
19%
95
54%
64
4%
73.31
19%
83.5
36%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-23% / -18%
-9% / 10%
-18% / -7%
4% / 11%
1% / 4%

* ... smaller is better

Color values
Color values
Grayscale
Grayscale
Saturation
Saturation
Color values (calibrated)
Color values (calibrated)
Grayscale (calibrated)
Grayscale (calibrated)
Saturation (calibrated)
Saturation (calibrated)

The black value of 0.18 and the resulting contrast of 1522:1 are quite good. Only the XPS 13 is a little better. The high contrast definitely contributes to the image making quite a good impression subjectively. In the state of delivery the display has a slight green tint, which can be removed by calibration. If you do not have your own calibration device, you can use the profile that Notebookcheck offers for free.

From the color space values you can see that the panel is an affordable display despite the surprisingly high contrast. Only 39% of the AdobeRGB color space and 61.5% of the sRGB color space are extremely weak values that disqualify the display for image processing. Nowadays the color space coverage is one of the key deciding factors when differentiating good from average displays. Even though it might only play a small role for the average user in everyday life, with lower color space coverage the colors also look less saturated and vibrant, for example. 

sRGB: 61.5%
sRGB: 61.5%
AdobeRGB: 39.6%
AdobeRGB: 39.6%

Although about 250 cd/m² is not really an abundance of brightness if you want to use the laptop outside, the matte display generally helps when using it outdoors, particularly if you stay in the shade.

Outdoors (shade)
Outdoors (shade)
Outdoors (sun)
Outdoors (sun)

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
26.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14.8 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. » 50 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (26 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
38 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20 ms rise
↘ 18 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 (41.6 ms).

One of the most important reasons to choose the FHD over the HD option is the viewing angle stability. As an IPS display, the panel does very well here. The colors are never inverted and the brightness is also comparatively stable.

Viewing angles IdeaPad 520s
Viewing angles IdeaPad 520s

Performance

The IdeaPad 520s-14IKB is available in half a dozen different configurations on the German market. The six models cover a price range from about 600 to 900 Euros (~$714 - $1071). With a regular price of 850 Euros (~$1012), our model which is the only one with a dedicated Nvidia GPU is at the upper end of the range. Five of the six configurations have the Core i5-7200U built-in, and only one uses the more expensive Core i7-7500U.

The two weakest configurations have a 1-TB HDD, and the rest have either a 256-GB SSD, or in the most expensive model a 512-GB SSD. All models except for the most affordable device have 8 GB of DDR4-2400 RAM, and the model for 600 Euros (~$714) has only 4 GB. There is one RAM slot, and the storage can be expanded to a maximum of 16 GB.

HWiNFO
HWiNFO
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
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 Intel HD 620
GPU-Z Intel HD 620
LatencyMon
LatencyMon

Processor

The Core i7-7200U is an economical dual-core processor of the Kaby-Lake generation. With a TDP of 15 W it falls into the class of ultra-low-voltage CPUs, which you can recognize by the appended "U" at the end of Intel's processor designations. The CPU offers Hyperthreading as well as Turbo-Boost up to 3.1 GHz. The base clock speed is 2.5 GHz. You can see more comparisons in our CPU benchmark list.

Many laptop test websites test the performance only in a single test run, which cannot simulate a constant load. However, Notebookcheck uses a 30-minute loop of the Cinebench R15 Multi-core test to evaluate how well the cooling system of the test unit can really handle the built-in components and whether the performance really is available constantly. In this test, the IdeaPad 520s-14IKB shows a considerably reduced performance from the second test run. Although there is still no throttling since the speed does not go below the base clock speed, the CPU can clearly not use its full potential.

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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

In a single run of the Cinebench R15 Multi-core test, the i5-7200U can achieve its optimal result of above 330 points. The lower performance in the loop test is apparently due to a temperature limit which has been set by the manufacturer. When 70 °C (158 °F) is reached, the CPU lowers its speed to the base clock speed, while before that it can consistently maintain the Turbo speed of 3.1 GHz. In a single test the temperature limit is not reached, whereas things look different during constant load.

In battery operation the CPU performance is not limited.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
Intel Core i5-7200U
132 Points ∼100%
HP Pavilion 14-al103ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
129 Points ∼98% -2%
Acer TravelMate X349-G2
Intel Core i5-7200U
124 Points ∼94% -6%
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
Intel Core i5-6267U
123 Points ∼93% -7%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
Intel Core i5-6200U
118 Points ∼89% -11%
Asus X302UV-FN016T
Intel Core i5-6200U
115 Points ∼87% -13%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
Intel Core i5-7200U
334 Points ∼100%
HP Pavilion 14-al103ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
330 Points ∼99% -1%
Acer TravelMate X349-G2
Intel Core i5-7200U
318 Points ∼95% -5%
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
Intel Core i5-6267U
314 Points ∼94% -6%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
Intel Core i5-6200U
294 Points ∼88% -12%
Asus X302UV-FN016T
Intel Core i5-6200U
290 Points ∼87% -13%
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
67.28 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
334 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
132 Points
Help

System Performance

The combination of sufficient RAM, an SSD, and a modern Intel processor in the test unit assure a good result in the PC-Mark benchmarks. In everyday life the performance and reaction speed also give no reason for complaint.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, SanDisk X400 SD8SN8U-128G-1006
4669 Points ∼100% +1%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL
4628 Points ∼99%
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
Iris Graphics 550, 6267U, Samsung MZYTY256HDHP
4579 Points ∼98% -1%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
4568 Points ∼98% -1%
Asus X302UV-FN016T
GeForce 920MX, 6200U, Hynix HFS128G3MND
4464 Points ∼96% -4%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
GeForce 940MX, 6200U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
4274 Points ∼92% -8%
Home Score Accelerated v2
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, SanDisk X400 SD8SN8U-128G-1006
3760 Points ∼100% +6%
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
Iris Graphics 550, 6267U, Samsung MZYTY256HDHP
3710 Points ∼99% +4%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL
3554 Points ∼95%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
3535 Points ∼94% -1%
Asus X302UV-FN016T
GeForce 920MX, 6200U, Hynix HFS128G3MND
3466 Points ∼92% -2%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
GeForce 940MX, 6200U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
3144 Points ∼84% -12%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3554 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4628 points
Help

Storage Solution

This SSD is a first for us, since it is the first time that we have an SSD from the manufacturer RAMAXEL in our test. RAMAXEL does not only produce SSDs but also working memory.

The built-in 256-GB SSD runs only at SATA-III speed. This is not unusual for an affordable notebook, but even among the SATA-III flash storage, this SSD is not really one of the fastest SSDs. The Samsung SSD built into the predecessor is about 30% faster, and against the modern PCIe-NVMe SSDs, the RAMAXEL SSD has no chance anyway. However, in everyday life the slightly slow SSD produces no noticeable negative effects, and it is still worlds apart from the slower HDDs.

Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
Samsung MZYTY256HDHP
Acer TravelMate X349-G2
Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
HP Pavilion 14-al103ng
Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
Asus X302UV-FN016T
Hynix HFS128G3MND
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
29%
113%
-88%
76%
-26%
Write 4k QD32
244.8
257.3
5%
210.8
-14%
1.026
-100%
312.2
28%
174
-29%
Read 4k QD32
279.6
397.7
42%
373.7
34%
0.72
-100%
487.6
74%
253
-10%
Write 4k
77.69
90.22
16%
133.4
72%
0.981
-99%
153.4
97%
71.15
-8%
Read 4k
24.74
35.27
43%
34.93
41%
0.34
-99%
43.4
75%
6.559
-73%
Write 512
252.8
299.3
18%
585.6
132%
47.13
-81%
179.1
-29%
Read 512
347.8
399.7
15%
1134
226%
30.83
-91%
282.6
-19%
Write Seq
254.1
458.8
81%
581.9
129%
110.2
-57%
314
24%
178.6
-30%
Read Seq
472.3
509.7
8%
1818
285%
113.3
-76%
1209
156%
428.2
-9%
Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL
Sequential Read: 472.3 MB/s
Sequential Write: 254.1 MB/s
512K Read: 347.8 MB/s
512K Write: 252.8 MB/s
4K Read: 24.74 MB/s
4K Write: 77.69 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 279.6 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 244.8 MB/s

Graphics Card

The Nvidia GeForce 940MX is an outdated graphics solution based on the Maxwell architecture. It was introduced in the beginning of 2016 as a facelift of the GeForce 940M, which in itself was really only a renamed GeForce 840M. Thus the technology the 940MX is already 3 years old. At that point the GPU was still the mid-range, but today it is considered the lower range due to its age (a successor is already on the market in the form of the GeForce MX150). At least Lenovo uses the GDDR5 version of the GPU, while there is still another version with the slower DDR3 storage.

Even though it is outdated, it more than clearly beats the Intel HD Graphics 620. The Intel Iris 550 in the predecessor is also considerably slower and the similar GeForce 940MX in the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air is slightly slower as well. However, the old GeForce does not come anywhere near the MX150 in any benchmark, and the difference in generations clearly shows in the results. You can compare the 940MX with other GPUs in our GPU benchmark list.

Like the CPU, the GPU performance is also not limited in battery operation.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
4575 Points ∼100% +80%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-7200U
2535 Points ∼55%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-6200U
2417 Points ∼53% -5%
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
Intel Iris Graphics 550, Intel Core i5-6267U
1782 Points ∼39% -30%
Asus X302UV-FN016T
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX, Intel Core i5-6200U
1747 Points ∼38% -31%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
1545 Points ∼34% -39%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
1474 Points ∼32% -42%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
3576 Points ∼100% +68%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-7200U
2132 Points ∼60%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-6200U
2091 Points ∼58% -2%
Asus X302UV-FN016T
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX, Intel Core i5-6200U
1282 Points ∼36% -40%
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
Intel Iris Graphics 550, Intel Core i5-6267U
1025 Points ∼29% -52%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
963 Points ∼27% -55%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
939 Points ∼26% -56%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
19333 Points ∼100% +40%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-7200U
13775 Points ∼71%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-6200U
12078 Points ∼62% -12%
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
Intel Iris Graphics 550, Intel Core i5-6267U
8885 Points ∼46% -35%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
8177 Points ∼42% -41%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
7854 Points ∼41% -43%
Asus X302UV-FN016T
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX, Intel Core i5-6200U
7733 Points ∼40% -44%
3DMark 11 Performance
2700 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
7222 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1936 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Of course you cannot expect much from the GeForce 940MX. If at all, current games can only be played in reduced detail. For the casual gamer, it is quite suitable though, particularly if it does not have to be the latest games.

Parallel to the Cinebench loop, Notebookcheck performs a similar test to evaluate the performance capabilities of the graphics chip under constant load. We use "Witcher 3" in the Ultra setting for this. The result: Unlike the CPU, the GPU is able to maintain its (low) performance level.

01234567891011Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra

The comparison with its own predecessor and the MX150 are interesting. Here the difference to the newer GPU is not quite as large as in the synthetic benchmarks, although it is still clear enough to make the difference between playable and not playable. The Iris 550 in the IdeaPad 510s-14ISK remains far behind.

BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
GeForce MX150, 7200U, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
30.2 fps ∼100% +29%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL
23.49 fps ∼78%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
GeForce 940MX, 6200U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
19.82 fps ∼66% -16%
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
Iris Graphics 550, 6267U, Samsung MZYTY256HDHP
7.8 (min: 4.6, max: 58.8) fps ∼26% -67%
Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1366x768 Medium Preset AF:2x
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
GeForce MX150, 7200U, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
33.6 fps ∼100% +32%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL
25.49 fps ∼76%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
GeForce 940MX, 6200U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
23.2 fps ∼69% -9%
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
Iris Graphics 550, 6267U, Samsung MZYTY256HDHP
16.2 fps ∼48% -36%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 135.7573.463.8423.49fps
Company of Heroes 2 (2013) 39.8232.4219.43fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 44.2125.0113.458fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 45.7925.4913.63fps

Emissions

Noise Emissions

As customary for many notebooks with ULV CPUs, the fan of the IdeaPad is almost always turned off during idle operation, and if it does turn on, it runs very quietly. The fan noise is very pleasant and not disturbing at all, even during load when you can hear the fan more clearly.

There are no high-pitched or other disturbing noises in our test unit.

Noise Level

Idle
29.9 / 29.9 / 30.7 dB(A)
Load
35.1 / 36.2 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: 29.9 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2026.729.628.43130.729.528.426.72528.53029.730.628.929.728.328.53128.228.126.327.428.526.728.728.24024.226.828.22726.526.32424.25025.223.524.724.3242523.925.263232525.825.324.92425.3238024.825.32424.425.525.924.324.810025.523.122.923.123.823.421.825.512521.322.522.421.723.922.622.221.316022.42221.421.921.919.820.422.420026.925.323.624.421.620.719.626.925021.422.822.22121.620.319.421.431520.823.121.921.221.81918.220.840022.923.823.322.921.919.517.422.950022.424.423.522.321.919.317.322.463024.223.62524.223.218.716.524.280024.826.225.725.623.919.216.124.810002627.926.726.524.419.616.626125024.526.125.325.123.118.816.924.516002424.824.123.322.218.617.224200023.824.824.223.722.718.417.723.8250024.625.525.124.122.618.718.224.6315023.223.423.122.421.218.618.523.2400021.922.421.921.320.118.518.521.9500021.222.621.620.919.918.418.521.2630019.82120.519.919.218.218.419.8800018.819.71918.618.317.718.118.81000017.618.317.817.617.617.417.617.6125001717.317.11717.11717.1171600016.716.616.616.91716.416.516.7SPL35.236.235.735.133.830.729.935.2N2.22.42.32.221.41.32.2median 22.4Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GEmedian 23.1median 22.9median 22.3median 21.9median 18.7median 18.1median 22.4Delta2.21.81.61.71.70.60.82.2hearing rangehide median Fan Noise

Temperature

Stress test (Prime95 + FurMark)
Stress test (Prime95 + FurMark)

During everyday operation, the device hardly warms up outside, which also shows in the idle results. A different result would be strange, since a ULV CPU is used and the Nvidia GPU is mostly turned off in everyday life. Under load however, the case heats up considerably, and at the bottom the 50 °C (122 °F) mark is exceeded. On the lap it can also become uncomfortable during full load, whereas the device does not warm up quite as much in the more realistic “Witcher-3” temperature test.

The outside temperatures that are rather too high indicate that during the stress test, the device also becomes very hot inside. To start at the beginning of the stress test, which we perform with Prime95 and FurMark as usual: From the beginning, the CPU clocks at 2.5 GHz and the GPU at 750 MHz. This remains similar for 17 minutes, and during this time the CPU and GPU slowly and consistently heat up more and more. After 17 minutes, the CPU reaches 99 °C (~210 °F) which is the T-junction point at which the CPU is automatically clocked down to 400 MHz. The CPU then remains in this state, and even after the temperatures fall to about 70 °C (~158 °F), it does not increase the clock speed again. The GPU reaches a maximum of 85 °C (~185 °F), but can maintain its maximum speed.

The 3DMark11 run performed directly after the stress test achieved a result on a normal level. So probably the heavy throttling in the stress test does not play any role in everyday life. 

Max. Load
 47.4 °C48.5 °C49.3 °C 
 43.6 °C45.5 °C36.7 °C 
 33.6 °C29.2 °C28.4 °C 
Maximum: 49.3 °C
Average: 40.2 °C
32.1 °C53.9 °C52.9 °C
34.6 °C39.7 °C35.7 °C
26.1 °C29.2 °C30.1 °C
Maximum: 53.9 °C
Average: 37.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  47.1 °C | Room Temperature 22.8 °C | Voltcraft IR-900
The maximum temp on the upper side is 49.3 °C, compared to the average of 35.9 °C ranging from 21.1 °C to 71 °C for class Multimedia.
Top (idle)
Top (idle)
Bottom (idle)
Bottom (idle)
Top (load)
Top (load)
Bottom (load)
Bottom (load)

Speakers

The speakers of the IdeaPad 520s are placed at the bottom. In this position, they achieve a performance that is okay for an Ultrabook. They are not particularly loud and as always, the bass is hardly present, but at least the sound is not distorted at higher volumes and the speakers sound relatively balanced. The flawless headphone port on the left side of the case achieves an even better performance.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.628.431.62533.428.333.43132.528.732.54031.62431.65030.423.930.46330.825.330.88033.824.333.81003321.8331253622.23616038.320.438.320044.419.644.425054.519.454.531560.618.260.640057.317.457.350055.817.355.863053.316.553.380063.216.163.2100060.616.660.6125056.716.956.7160059.217.259.2200056.717.756.7250056.318.256.3315058.218.558.2400051.318.551.3500054.718.554.7630053.818.453.8800055.218.155.21000055.317.655.31250056.717.156.71600055.416.555.4SPL69.529.969.5N26.51.326.5median 55.4Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GEmedian 18.1median 55.4Delta3.70.83.736.336.236.336.137.436.134.832.734.834.431.434.432.433.132.433.232.433.236.331.936.336.729.536.742.230.142.252.527.652.552.527.752.556.726.856.756.82756.856.725.756.755.224.955.26124.36160.523.960.561.423.761.461.423.361.459.723.259.759.822.759.855.922.755.950.722.750.757.722.757.758.422.758.454.222.854.255.122.855.153.622.753.649.722.749.741.122.941.170.435.570.4282.528median 55.9Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5median 23.3median 55.93.72.23.7hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (69.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 12.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.5% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (13% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 18% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 78% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 10% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 88% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5 audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (70.35 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 6.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (10.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (14.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 18% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 74% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 19%, worst was 47%
Compared to all devices tested
» 14% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 83% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency comparison (Checkboxes selectable!)

Power Management

Power Consumption

Under load, the IdeaPad 520s-14IKB uses considerably more power than the direct competitors. This is not surprising since most of them have no dGPU, which drives up the power consumption. In the idle state, the test unit fares much better, placing in a similar range as most of the competitors. The predecessor, the IdeaPad 510s-15IKB, still used considerably more, and also the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air uses much more power while idling.

A 65-W power supply is included, which is exactly the right size for its maximum consumption of 57 W.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.24 / 0.41 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.37 / 5.2 / 7.1 Watt
Load midlight 46.2 / 57 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
7200U, GeForce 940MX, Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
6267U, Iris Graphics 550, Samsung MZYTY256HDHP, a-Si TFT-LCD, IPS, LED, 1920x1080, 14
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
6200U, GeForce 940MX, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
7200U, HD Graphics 620, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
7200U, HD Graphics 620, SanDisk X400 SD8SN8U-128G-1006, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Asus X302UV-FN016T
6200U, GeForce 920MX, Hynix HFS128G3MND, TN LED, 1366x768, 13.3
Power Consumption
2%
-6%
25%
18%
18%
Idle Minimum *
3.37
3.9
-16%
4
-19%
4.1
-22%
2.8
17%
3.3
2%
Idle Average *
5.2
7.1
-37%
6.6
-27%
4.2
19%
5.8
-12%
5.1
2%
Idle Maximum *
7.1
8.8
-24%
7.4
-4%
5.1
28%
6.4
10%
5.2
27%
Load Average *
46.2
27.6
40%
41.7
10%
22.1
52%
31.3
32%
29.5
36%
Load Maximum *
57
30.2
47%
52.4
8%
29.4
48%
31.7
44%
44
23%
Witcher 3 ultra *
38.5

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Charging time: 141 mintues
Charging time: 141 mintues

Lenovo provides the IdeaPad 520s-14IKB with a battery that has a 52.5 Wh capacity. This is much more than the IdeaPad 510s-14ISK, which had only 30 Wh.

No wonder though, that the new IdeaPad lasts much longer than its predecessor. In the WLAN-Test it ran 32% longer and in the Big Buck Bunny H.264 test even 59% longer. Overall, the test unit achieves very good results in the battery life, and only the Dell XPS 13 with its large 60-Wh battery is still slightly better in the practically relevant WLAN test.

Charging the battery takes 141 minutes, which is neither very good nor bad for a battery of this capacity.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
14h 24min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge)
9h 28min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
9h 17min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 16min
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
7200U, GeForce 940MX, 52.5 Wh
Lenovo IdeaPad 510S-14ISK
6267U, Iris Graphics 550, 30 Wh
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
6200U, GeForce 940MX, 40 Wh
Asus X302UV-FN016T
6200U, GeForce 920MX, 38 Wh
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 60 Wh
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 53.6 Wh
Battery Runtime
-36%
-28%
-31%
28%
22%
Reader / Idle
864
638
-26%
718
-17%
1295
50%
1487
72%
H.264
557
231
-59%
423
-24%
WiFi v1.3
568
384
-32%
389
-32%
392
-31%
677
19%
570
0%
Load
136
100
-26%
83
-39%
157
15%
127
-7%

Verdict

Pros

+ good quality case
+ comfortable keyboard
+ pleasant touchpad
+ quiet fan
+ much improved battery life
+ matte IPS display

Cons

- CPU cannot keep up the performance level
- warm case during load
- USB C without DisplayPort and power delivery
- 1x1 WLAN
In review: The IdeaPad 520s-14IKB, provided by campuspoint.
In review: The IdeaPad 520s-14IKB, provided by campuspoint.

The IdeaPad 520s-14IKB is a good overall package which does many things right, but has weaknesses in some details. However, those weaknesses can be excused to a large extent by the price. First the positive: Compared to the predecessor, the design is more attractive and the case shows no weaknesses in terms of stability and workmanship. The good stability also helps with the typing experience, so that you can also count the keyboard with the positives, the same as the Touchpad that is according to Microsoft's Precision standard. The battery life is very good and clearly improved compared to the predecessor, since has Lenovo built in a larger battery. The fan is often turned off and when it runs, it runs with a pleasant, quiet whirring. Even though the display is far from perfect (low color space coverage), it can still show the IPS-typical good viewing angles and a surprisingly high contrast.

In principle, Lenovo did all the most important things right. But there are flaws in some details. For example, the case becomes very warm under load. In general, the cooling is not quite adequate. Although it is quiet, there is strong throttling in the stress test. Already in the Cinebench loop, the CPU cannot maintain its top performance. It is still incomprehensible to us that a USB-C connection is built in that neither supports DisplayPort, nor can it be used for charging. What a shame! It is also regrettable that Lenovo only builds in a 1x1-WLAN card.

Overall, the IdeaPad 520s is a good all-rounder, which convinces with a good battery life and an attractive design.

The negative points are not enough to withhold a recommendation for the IdeaPad 520s-14IKB. It simply is a relatively successful Ultrabook, which could be interesting for students in particular, with its good battery life, the dGPU, and the comfortable keyboard. If you compare it for example with the popular Dell XPS 13, the IdeaPad is larger and heavier, but it still is very portable and almost suitable for games with the GeForce-GPU. It is also much cheaper. 

We need to mention one small qualifier to the recommendation, since at the time of testing the IdeaPad 520s-14IKB is already outdated. A new version of the same laptop with Core i5-8250U and GeForce MX150 would be much more attractive. However, then we would also need to ask how well the cooling could handle the newer components.

Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE - 09/05/2017 v6
Benjamin Herzig

Chassis
81 / 98 → 82%
Keyboard
78%
Pointing Device
84%
Connectivity
46 / 81 → 57%
Weight
68 / 20-67 → 100%
Battery
91%
Display
83%
Games Performance
68 / 85 → 80%
Application Performance
87 / 92 → 95%
Temperature
87%
Noise
95 / 95 → 100%
Audio
64%
Camera
42 / 85 → 49%
Average
75%
83%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB (Core i5-7200U, 940MX) Laptop Review
Benjamin Herzig, 2017-09- 9 (Update: 2017-09-11)