Lenovo IdeaPad 720S assessment
The Lenovo IdeaPad 720S is a 14in laptop computer with all of it. It seems nice, feels costly, is highly effective sufficient for most individuals’s wants and is even significantly better at gaming than just about all type laptops twice the worth.
These determined to be destructive may name it a jack of all trades. And, certain sufficient, you could find lighter, longer-lasting fashions in case you look. Nonetheless, on the value this can be a jaw-droppingly versatile machine that’s extraordinarily likeable and a implausible purchase in case you prefer to unwind with a recreation or two every so often.
Whereas a stunning laptop computer even with out its further gaming cred, the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S’ discrete GPU is a key motive to purchase. You don’t typically see laptops this slim that may deal with video games fairly effectively.
Lenovo IdeaPad 720S: Value
Whereas not the mannequin we reviewed, Lenovo is discounting the 13in and the 15in fashions of the 720S for Black Friday, with as much as £250 off. Try the offers right here and right here.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 720S we’re reviewing prices £899, though that is £50 greater than the advised value when it initially arrived for testing. That will get you a Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. That is the basic type laptop computer core spec for fashions hovering between £800 and £1000, though Dell expenses £1149 for the closest Dell XPS 13.
You’ll be able to improve to a Core i7 mannequin though this has been faraway from Lenovo’s web site for some motive. It is obtainable from Microsoft’s website, however at £1199, it prices £250 extra that the £949 that Lenovo advised us it could price. There’s no further improve to the SSD or RAM, so it is one to keep away from at virtually £1200.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 720S comes with a one-year guarantee. It’s not a collect-and-return one, although, demanding you ship the laptop computer in or take it to a service centre.
Lenovo IdeaPad 720S: Design
Appears are subjective, however we predict the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S is a stunner on this class. Lenovo has a knack for making easy however engaging premium laptops. This can be a nice instance of 1.
It’s all-aluminium other than the keyboard keys and the glass over the display screen, and in contrast to Asus and Acer rivals, Lenovo hasn’t embellished the IdeaPad 720S with any further textures. The whole lot has a relaxed anodised end.
Some might discover it boring. However we see new laptops on a regular basis and to our eyes it’s clear, and has sufficient Lenovo flavour to keep away from trying generic. Have a look at the form of the keys: Lenovo’s have an virtually cutesy roundness that’s totally different from a Dell, Apple or Asus laptop computer.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 720S can be one of many first barely extra inexpensive laptops to have a really slim display screen encompass. Whereas we all know £850 is a big outlay for anybody, that is an alternative choice to laptops that price effectively over £1000.
With only a 4mm between the tip of the show and the sting of the laptop computer, the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S suits a 14in display screen into the footprint of a conventional 13in slim laptop computer, just like the older era HP Envy 13. It’s quickly changing into the norm for higher-end transportable laptops, though the brand new Acer Swift three nonetheless has a thicker encompass.
Svelte show design apart, although, the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S doesn’t attempt to compete with the thinnest and lightest laptops round. It’s 16mm thick and weighs 1.55kg (our assessment mannequin is 1492g based on our scales). That’s a few a whole lot grammes heavy than some, however mild sufficient for every single day transportable use.
And, let’s not overlook, the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S additionally has a discrete graphics chipset to weigh it down.
Construct high quality is superb for a sub-£100 laptop computer too. The display screen doesn’t flex and the keyboard space is extraordinarily inflexible, much like that of a MacBook. There are even some neat aesthetic touches we don’t anticipate in a laptop computer that retains an eye fixed on the finances.
For instance, the cut-outs for the connections on the perimeters are all bevelled fairly than square-cut, exposing tiny slivers of shiny, non-anodised aluminium. It demonstrates actual consideration to element.
Ports and connections
The Lenovo IdeaPad 720S additionally has connectors generally being faraway from in the present day’s most trendy laptops. In addition to a Thunderbolt three.Zero-compatible USB-C port there are two full-size USB three.0s, a full-size HDMI and an SD card slot.
Your expertise might fluctuate, however it’s every part we search for in a transportable laptop computer used each day for work.
Different mild laptops are beginning to use USB-Cs to perform as each energy connector and knowledge socket, however the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S nonetheless has a separate cylindrical energy plug.
Keyboard and touchpad
We’ve already talked about that the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S keyboard seems a bit totally different from the group because of their curvy keys. Nonetheless, the typing expertise is acquainted.
The keys are barely shallow, however have respectable definition and cheap resistance. These determined for a meatier really feel ought to take a look at the Lenovo ThinkPad 13, though we’re assured most will get on with the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S’s simply nice.
It additionally has a backlight. Press the Fn key and the area bar and the under-key LEDs cycle between two depth ranges, offering a gentle white/blue glow for late-night typing.
We’re additionally fairly impressed by the trackpad. This is likely one of the extra inexpensive laptops we’ve seen lately to make use of a textured glass pad fairly than a plastic one. It gives a smoother glide. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s is softer and smoother nonetheless, however that laptop computer additionally prices £800 extra.
Subsequent to the pad sits an indented fingerprint scanner. It permits you to login to home windows securely with a fast press, and is among the many extra dependable we’ve used.
Laptop computer finger scanners are sometimes a bit flaky, requiring a number of makes an attempt to work. Nonetheless, the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S appears to work each time.
Just like the Acer Swift three, one characteristic the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S lacks is an ultra-high decision display screen. 1080p decision throughout 14 inches makes pixellation pretty apparent in case you search for it. Nonetheless, most rivals cost extra for a real high-res panel, together with the Dell XPS 13.
The HP Envy 13 has even dropped from 3200 x 1800 decision to 1080p in its newest iteration. Unusually, it was simpler to get a sub-£1000 high-res laptop computer a yr or two in the past.
This is not a touchscreen, regardless of having a tablet-like shiny, glass-topped end. The Lenovo IdeaPad 720S is a laptop computer with out even a touch of hybrid to it.
Color and distinction are good, nevertheless. The Lenovo IdeaPad 720S covers a good, if not actually spectacular, 80.9 p.c of the sRGB color normal, 57.6% of Adobe RGB and 60.three p.c of DCI P3. It’s not deep sufficient for design execs, however because of superb distinction it’ll do the trick for the remainder of us.
Distinction is 1023:1, sufficient to make blacks look convincing even in a low-lit room.
Given the shiny floor, although, we’d have preferred to see barely increased brightness. The Lenovo IdeaPad 720S reaches a good 305cd/m² at max backlight, however others get nearer to 340-350cd/m². This shall be helpful on a sunny day. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless considerably brighter than the brand new Acer Swift three.
Lenovo IdeaPad 720S: Efficiency
The Lenovo IdeaPad 720S has a seventh era Intel Core i5-7200U processor with 8GB of DDR4 RAM. For an additional £100 you’ll be able to improve to the i7-7500U mannequin.
For the form of makes use of that swimsuit this transportable laptops greatest, although, many might not discover that a lot distinction between the 2.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 720S is a fast and responsive laptop computer. Day-to-day that is improved by the responsive and dependable finger scanner, and quick all-SSD storage. The 256GB drive reads at 1558MB/s and writes at 595MB/s. Whereas not absolutely the quickest by present SSD normal, it’s sufficient to make the laptop computer really feel a lot faster than any exhausting drive mannequin.
There’s sufficient energy and RAM to allow you to use apps like Photoshop, and to browse away with far too many home windows open with out the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S slowing to a crawl.
We did discover, nevertheless, that benchmark scores are barely decrease than some laptops we’ve reviewed with the identical CPU. For instance, it scores 6940 in Geekbench four, the place the Acer Swift 5 managed 7424.
Geekbench four outcomes fluctuate a bit between makes an attempt, however a constant slight decreasing of efficiency suggests some throttling. This shall be as a way to hold temperatures at manageable ranges.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 720S’s fan system in all fairness quiet even beneath stress, and in our expertise its rpm (pace) doesn’t bounce about an excessive amount of. This helps it keep away from changing into too intrusive. Nonetheless, like most slim laptops the fan has a comparatively small diameter, so does turn into pretty high-pitch beneath strain.
That is amongst a brand new wave of laptop computer with actual, if modest, gaming talents. In addition to a Core i5 processor, the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S has an Nvidia GT940MX GPU with 2GB RAM.
It makes taking part in trendy video games for extra fulfilling than most different slim laptops, with as much as double the body charges of a machine utilizing an built-in graphics chipset. For instance, Alien: Isolation runs at a median of 64fps at 720p, low settings fairly than round 30fps.
This provides you way more headroom to make the sport look higher. At 1080p, maxed settings it runs at a median 26.4fps. That’s beneath the perfect minimal of 30fps, however exhibits that in case you fiddle with the settings a bit you’ll have the opportunity play comfortably in Full HD.
A extra demanding recreation like Deus Ex: Human Revolution exhibits that the GT940MX isn’t a substitute for a higher-end rig, although. At 720p decision, low graphics, the sport is playable at a median 29.2fps. Nonetheless, at 1080p extremely it performs at a really gradual 10.3fps.
Given the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S is 15mm thick, 1.5kg and never ridiculously costly, we predict this form of gaming efficiency is nice.
Nonetheless, there’s only one subject: the GT 940M is now an older chipset, and Nvidia has already launched a next-generation follow-up, the MX150. We haven’t reviewed a laptop computer with this graphics processor but, however early indications recommend a worthwhile 33 p.c enhance. HP already makes use of the MX150 in its 2017 mannequin Envy 13, which is £100 dearer than the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S however in any other case seems very interesting.
That’s one thing to consider in case you’re intending on taking part in video games.
The 720S has a four-cell 56Wh battery, a non-removable unit of stable if ‘regular’ capability. It had us worrying the usage of discrete graphics would possibly result in uninspiring battery life. We needn’t have fearful.
When taking part in again a 720p video on loop, the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S lasts 12 hours 5 minutes, a really respectable upper-ranking outcome. So long as you retain the exertion degree fairly low, you’ll simply get a full day’s work out of a cost.
Unusually, that is when the laptop computer is used at 79% display screen brightness too. This isn’t one thing to get enthusiastic about, although. The Lenovo IdeaPad 720S makes use of a fairly odd brightness curve that solely reaches our take a look at degree of 120cd/m² at that time. It’s the form of brightness you would possibly use indoors.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 720S audio system are stable too, if a bit too reliant on their Dolby Atmos processing. This maximises the impression of quantity utilizing dynamic compression: so the solo guitar into to a tune would possibly sound very loud, solely to drop in quantity as the remainder of the band are available. Precise quantity isn’t near that of a MacBook, however there’s no less than sufficient richness to the sound to keep away from a skinny, ugly tone.