Lenovo Ideapad Slim 1 review

Lenovo Ideapad Slim 1 Review

The Lenovo Ideapad Slim 1 is a low-cost laptop based on AMD technology. It’s ultraportable, should have a great battery life but has a bunch of cost-saving limitations. Is it the ‘low performance laptop’ of choice?

Lenovo Ideapad Slim 1 Specs

Screen14-inch, matte, 60Hz, 1,920 x 1,080, TN display
Processor2.1–4.1GHz AMD Ryzen 3 7320U CPU
Memory8 GB LPDDR5-5500
Graphics1.9GHz AMD Radeon 610M
Hard drive256MB NVMe
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.1
1 x USB 2.0
1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1
3.5mm audio jack
HDMI 1.4
SD card reader
Speakers2 x 1.5W
MicrophoneNoise cancelling
SecurityPrivacy slide
WebcamHD
Battery42Wh
Dimensions325 x 217 x 18mm
Weight1.38KG
SKU14AMN7
Specs.

Features, Ergonomics & Design

It took us a little while to realise that Lenovo’s Ideapad Slim 1 was a budget laptop (we received it out of the blue with little background – and that’s no bad thing). It’s a solid-looking, silver, corporate-friendly laptop with a cool, iridescent Lenovo logo.

Lenovo Ideapad Slim 1 rainbow logo
We love the Ideapad Slim 1’a iridescent logos.

Opening it up reveals the matte, 1080p screen  but, the retail SKUs are sold as 1,366 x 768 HD screens. Whichever you end up with, turning it on shows it’s instantly not great because it uses ancient TN technology instead of the standard IPS.  While TN is attractive to professional gamers because of its pixel response time, it doesn’t take long to realise that the yellow-ish white, washed-out display and low-vibrancy colours are downright poor when compared to the rest of the market.

Lenovo Ideapad Slim 1 front
The Ideapad Slim 1 might be low cost, but it handles like a regular laptop.

In terms of multimedia performance, colour transitions are actually very good. Even monochromatic transitions aren’t terrible although they do get a bit blocky. Contrast is poor with details getting lost in both bright and dark areas and true blacks getting washed out significantly. It’s usable for un-demanding users, though.

Lenovo Ideapad Slim 1 review flat
The Slim 1 almost folds flat. There’s just enough room for a Lego Basilisk.

Lenovo’s Ideapad Slim 1’s touch-type, low travel, lozenge-shaped keyboard is accurate and comfortable to type on for extended periods. The trackpad is smooth but actuating the buttons requires more pressure than we’d like.

Lenovo Ideapad Slim 1 review backlight bleed
We’re not normally to fussed about backlight bleed, but it can be an issue in dark multimedia scenes on the Ideapad Slim 1 review.

Above the screen is an HD webcam (with privacy slide). It’s not great (especially when viewed on its own screen) as the image is washed out and grainy in low light. The microphone captures decent audeio, though.

The speakers aren’t bad for a budget machine. They offer decent volume and (comparatively) impressive fidelity. There’s even a little bass but they can still sound rather tinny.

Performance

The Ideapad Slim 1 is powered by a 2.1–4.1GHz AMD Ryzen 3 7320U CPU with its four cores and eight threads, a somewhat low-end processor. It partners just 8GB of low-power, LPDDR5-5500 RAM and a 512MB hard drive (note, the available retail models have just 256MB). These combined to score 4,372 in the general-computing PCMark 10 test. That’s 10th-Gen ultraportable levels of speed. But, it’s not the be all and end all of laptop performance.

It scored 771 in the Cinebench R15 CPU-rendering test and 4,725 in the longer Cinebench R23 version. These are, unsurprisingly, low but this isn’t a laptop for Creators or renderers.

Lenovo’s Ideapad Slim 1’s performance levels carried into our 3D tests where the integrated, Radeon 610M GPU struggled. It scored 638 in 3DMark Time Spy and 800 in Fire Strike Extreme – the two, Triple-A gaming tests. Those are averages of 3fps and 4fps respectively. It’s not a gaming machine.

It wouldn’t run the difficult, ray-tracing tests, Port Royal and Speed Way but it did score 7,689 in the easy Night Raid test. That’s an average of 40.3fps which means it can just about play above-basic, casual games.

In our CS:GO test it averaged 37fps which is almost playable. However, this dropped to just 4fps when the going got tough in the 1% Low test.

Our tests merely confirm that this is no gaming machine (games wouldn’t look good on the screen anyway) but that’s not what this laptop is designed for.

A benefit of the low power is that it neither gets hot nor noisy.

Connectivity

Lenovo Ideapad Slim 1 review left
On the left of the Ideapad Slim 1 is a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port an HDMI 1.4 port and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Lenovo Ideapad Slim 1 review right
On the right is a USB-A 2.0 port and an SD card reader.

Inside, there’s Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. It’s all a bit last gen, but it’s workable for most, basic, computing purposes.

Portability

We were hoping for the Ideapad Slim 1 to redeem itself for portability and we weren’t disappointed. The 14-inch laptop weighs just 1.38KG and the small power supply (and cables) add just 324g more. It’s not a burden to cart about.

Lenovo Ideapad Slim 1 review underside
The matte bottom of the Ideapad Slim 1 is solid and robust.

It also ran PCMark 10’s Modern Office test for an impressive 14 hours and 35 minutes. That’s pushing two days out of the office – great for undemanding computer users.

We’re also impressed by the build quality. Despite the plasticy construction, it’s quite robust and the screen folds down flat. It’s not got the strongest hinge we’ve seen though.

Conclusion

We were hoping that Lenovo’s Ideapad Slim 1 would be a super-budget choice but it still costs $819 which isn’t super cheap in this category – it’s rivalled by last-gen, cheap, ultraportable rivals that are now heavily discounted. Still, in a world of inflated prices, the fact it’s available for under $1,000 is not to be sniffed at. It might not be sturdy enough for school, but if you need an undemanding portable computer (and you’ll take care of it) the Ideapad Slim 1 could be an attractive choice.

Pros

Lightweight ultraportable
Long battery

Cons

Poor performance
Mediocre screen

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