Hands-on: The Lenovo Flex 5 promises Ice Lake-shattering performance at an affordable price

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Notable Features

One thing this affordable 2-in-1 has that many laptops don’t is a full-size SD card reader. While testing this reader out, it was capable of maxing out my 90 MB/s SD card that I had on hand. Specifically, this SD card slot is powered by a Realtek PCI-e card reader. It’s worth noting that the SD cards inserted into this reader will stick out of the device. They don’t click in and stow away like on some other machines, so unfortunately using an SD card as extra storage won’t be an option.

Another point of interest is the stylus. The model we tested included a Lenovo Digital Pen, one of the cheaper pens Lenovo sells on its website. Despite this, the drawing experience while using it was fairly good. The pen features 4,096 pressure levels and requires AAAA batteries to operate. It comes bundled with a pen holder that slots into one of the USB Type-A ports on the laptop (which results in the power button being blocked).

The fingerprint reader on this laptop is very good. The lock screen is dismissed almost immediately after tapping it. It’s also very accurate: I haven’t had to touch it a second time more than once or twice.

The HDMI port on the left side is noted as only supporting up to 4K resolutions at 24 Hz. However, in our testing, we were able to get 4K at 60 Hz working easily despite the spec sheet saying otherwise.

The USB-C port is only used for charging and data transfer with no DisplayPort alt-mode to speak of. While the spec sheet doesn’t specifically mention the data transfer capability, the USB-C port is capable of doing standard USB 3.1 things, such as transferring data off and on to a flash drive.

On the inside, both the SSD and Wi-Fi card are removable and upgradable. If you’re looking for Wi-Fi 6 support, or just looking to switch the Wi-Fi card, this is possible on this laptop. If you want to upgrade the storage, all you’ll need is a 2280 M.2 NVMe SSD. Unfortunately, the DDR4 memory on the Flex 5 is soldered to the motherboard, so there isn’t any room for upgrading there. The screws on the back are T5 Torx and vary in length. Be sure you don’t screw the long screws into the spot for the short screws or you’ll risk damaging the device.

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