Lenovo is refreshing its line of IdeaPad Flex notebooks with the new Flex 14D and 15D laptops, which sport AMD processors on the inside rather than Intel's chips. Starting at $499, the 14D and 15D Flex feature nearly the same design as Lenovo’s previous IdeaPad model and are set to debut in Q1 2014.
As part of the Flex line, the 14D and 15D’s displays are capable of bending 180 degrees into what Lenovo calls Stand Mode. This means that you can essentially fold the keyboard underneath the display if you only wish to use the touch screen. This differs from Lenovo’s Yoga laptops, which can bend back an entire 360 degrees to transform the notebook into a tablet.
These laptops can be configured to include up to AMD A6 quad-core processors, which bumps the price up to $599. The A4 configuration will sell for $499, and Lenovo tells us that both the 14D and 15D will offer storage options ranging from 500GB to 1TB.
Lenovo has equipped both the 14D and 15D with 1366 x 768-resolution touch screen displays, which boasted bright vibrant colors in our hands on session. We did notice that the display appeared slightly dimmer when viewing it from different angles, but we were still able to see the content clearly.
Weighing 4.6 pounds, the Flex 14D and 15D are not among Lenovo’s lightest laptops, although its still portable enough to throw in your bag. Its IdeaPad Flex predecessor weighed in slightly lighter at 4 pounds, and the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro weighs just 3.06 pounds. At 0.85 inches thick, its also less slim than Lenovo’s previous offerings, such as the 0.67-inch IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro.
The Flex 15D comes with a sturdy keyboard with decent key travel. We typed comfortably without making many typos, but we did notice a subtle flex when pressing on the G and H keys. However, this isn’t likely to be noticeable during everyday use since we very rarely apply that much pressure to the keys when typing.
The touchpad proved impressive during our hands on experience. We found it to be fluid and responsive in all instances and really appreciated the tangible feedback when clicking. We also like the subtle silver rim Lenovo uses for the outline of its touchpad, which gives it a touch of elegance.
Overall, there isn’t much different about the Flex 14D and 15D from its predecessor other than a new processor model. We wish Lenovo outfitted its new Flex laptops with full HD displays, but we’re hoping that the Flex 14D and 15D will boast long battery life like its IdeaPad Flex sibling. We look forward to bringing you our full review shortly.