I’ve been using the Lenovo Ideapad Slim 7 for a while now and have summarized my thoughts on it in this article. Lenovo also sells it under the name Yoga Slim 7 in some markets, but it’s the same product, so I’ll mention it in this post IdeaPad Slim 7.
A few months ago I bought an IdeaPad 5 that I finally came back because of the fuzzy screen I couldn’t live with. Since then, I’ve always wanted to try out the high-end IdeaPad Slim 7, but since we’re a small publication and can’t buy everything under the sun, I was actually hoping Lenovo would send us one to test it at some point. They didn’t, but eventually I was able to borrow it from a friend.
This is a high-end configuration of the IdeaPad Slim 7 based on the monstrous AMD Ryzen 7 4800U processor, the most powerful platform currently available in this category of compact notebooks. It sells for just over 1000 euros with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage included, but the Ryzen 5 4500U and 7 4700U models are also available from 750 euros.
After use in recent days I can conclude that this Ideapad Slim 7 with this kind of performance and for this money is about the best option in its class at the moment, especially in the cheapest configurations, because I doubt that most of you really need a 4800U processor. However, it is not a high-end product, so do not expect it to look like one, and do not expect to enjoy the incredible typing, the incredible screen, or even some of the additional features available at the higher levels. For the average buyer, however, the IdeaPad Slim 7 notepad is a clear recommendation, and I will explain all the strengths and whims of the IdeaPad below.
Tested specifications – Lenovo IdeaPad/Yoga Slim 7 14ARE05
|Lenovo IdeaPad/Yoga 7 Slim 14ARE05|
|Screen||14 1920 x 1080 px IPS 60Hz, 16:9, non-touch, glossy, AU panel Optronics B140HAN06.8|
|Processor||Renoir raised money 7 4800U, 8C/16T|
|Video||AMD Radeon Vega 8, 8 CU, 1.75 GHz|
|Memory||16 GB LPDDR4x 4266MHz (soldering)|
|Storage||1x 512 GB SSD (SK Hynix HFS512GD9TNG), optional 2242 M.2 slot|
|Link||Wireless 6 (Intel AX200), Bluetooth 5.0|
|Ports||2x USB-A 3.2 gene 1, 2x USB-C gene with DP and power supply, HDMI 2.0, microSD card reader, earphone/microphone|
|Battery||USB-C power adapter 60W, 65W|
|Size||321 mm or 12.62 inches (W) x 208 mm or 8.18 inches (D) x 14.9 mm or 0.58 inches (H)|
|Weight||1.40 kg (3.09 lb), 0.33 kg (72 lb) Power Brick, EU version|
|Besides..,||White backlit keyboard, 2x 2W front speakers, HD webcam, IR camera and finger sensor in the power button|
In addition to the different processor, memory and memory card options, all versions of the IdeaPad Slim 7 are identical and have the same specifications, the same display and the same battery.
Design and construction
Unlike the IdeaPad 5 I reviewed some time ago, the 7-series is completely made of metal. However, it is still the same size and weight, and is only a few millimeters thinner, as was to be expected given its slender nickname.
This means that IdeaPad 7 is not as compact and light as some other 14-inch laptops, which are clearly visible at the edges of the screen. However, the thicker front has allowed Lenovo to install a camera and IR sensor at the top of the screen, and the thicker chin is something I like because it prevents the screen from being exposed to exhaust cooling and makes it cooler, which we will explore in the next section. In addition, the Ideapad Slim 7 is also well built, and part of the extra weight can be attributed to the thicker metal parts used for the extra chassis, as well as the more complex thermal design and the larger battery inside.
This is how the IdeaPad Slim 7 looks robust and well made, with almost no bending of the cover and very little inferior keyboard. I also didn’t feel any beeps or strange noises when picking up, picking up and using the laptop. The materials seem to be more durable than those of the Ideapad 5, because I haven’t noticed any bumps or hiccups like in the 5-series. However, I would be careful with wearing it, because after a while the clasp can leave traces on the metal inner lip at the front.
I also like the sleek and minimalist design language Lenovo implements in this series, which will be easily accepted in different environments. Our device has a dark gray color that hides stains and finger oil well, but maybe not as intriguing as the blue we had on the IdeaPad 5.
Regarding the usability of this notebook, first think about the hinge of the screen. This is a classic design with a long pivot point underneath the screen that allows the screen to tilt up to 180 degrees flat, and with the ability to easily lift and adjust. The magnets are used to attach the screen to the main body when it is closed, and they are very strong, so you have to pull hard enough to loosen the screen, which I found a bit annoying. The hinge is also a bit stiffer than I would like, but it would have to give way after a while.
Once opened, it is very pleasant to use every day. The armrest is quite roomy, Lenovo has set up an uncompromising keyboard and threw the power button to the side, away from the keyboard. The loudspeaker grilles are located on the left and right sides of the keyboard, so you can get sound, but the quality is not exceptional. I’m also not a big fan of the rather pointed front lip and the rubber feet that were made, which could have been a bit more exciting.
When you turn the laptop over, you will see the open back at the top of the thermal module. The air is sucked in from below and expelled through the grilles below the screen, with part of the warm air being directed upwards and part backwards and outwards. This is a pretty good implementation for this segment, but not perfect, as will be explained in the next section.
Finally, the ROs are arranged on the sides, with USB-C and A ports, HDMI, headphone jack and microSD card reader. This laptop charges via USB-C and makes it possible to watch videos via USB-C, but it does not support Thunderbolt 3 because it is an AMD platform. Nevertheless, the ports are very well arranged with USB-C and HDMI on the left. All I wanted was a full-size card reader instead of the more limited microSD device.
Keyboard and touchpad
The IdeaPad Slim 7 has virtually the same inputs as the IdeaPad 5, with a standard Lenovo keyboard and the same low-cost plastic keyboard, as well as a medium-size plastic touchpad.
However, for some reason I didn’t set up this keyboard properly, or maybe my expectations of this product were a little too high. The keys were a bit more spongy than on the IdeaPad 5, which affected my accuracy a bit. At the same time they are fast and quiet, making them a good option for a quiet environment.
Well, that IdeaPad font is still correct, but you can hardly expect the average of an ultra-portable mid-range device these days. Like I said, I probably expected more here.
This keyboard is also illuminated with bright white LEDs and has a more homogenous overall design than the IdeaPad 5. However, because this notebook is thinner, Lenovo had to mount the keyboard higher up on the chassis, causing a slight creep under the keyboard covers. That’s something you’ll probably get used to, but also something that bothered me during my time with the laptop, and something I can’t remember bothering myself with the IdeaPad 5.
The clickpad is made of plastic, medium size and quite fragile, it clicks when typed. But it follows well, handles all standard gestures and makes decent clicks, even if it is a bit clumsy to my taste. Again, this is the same Clickpad as the IdeaPad 5, and maybe I expected something different with this high-end series.
With regard to biometrics, a finger sensor is integrated in the on/off button and there are infrared cameras at the top of the screen, so no complaints.
The screen is the reason why I brought back the IdeaPad 5, and the most important improvement of this Slim 7 series.
Here Lenovo implements a high quality panel with a maximum brightness of almost 400 bits, excellent contrast and 100% sRGB color coverage, an excellent choice for everyday use and even something that professionals could use for occasional color precision work.
My only criticism is that this is a glossy panel that is not a touch screen, so you will have to live with reflections and glare in lighter conditions. I prefer matt panels, but I know that many of you prefer the glossy finish without the lubricating effect usually associated with a mirrorless finish. It’s up to you.
This is what we got in our tests with the X-Rite i1 Display Pro matrix:
- Panel HardwareID : Optronics AU LEN889A (B140HAN06.8) ;
- Coverage: 99.3% sRGB, 73.5% AdobeRGB, 77.0% DCI P3 ;
- Measured range: 2.23 ;
- Maximum luminance in the center of the screen: 395,88 cd/m2 at power ;
- Minimum brightness in the center of the screen: 9.58 cd/m2 at power ;
- Contrast at maximum brightness : 2026:1 ;
- White dot: 6900 K ;
- Black at maximum brightness: 0.19 cd/m2 ;
- PWM: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
The panel is well calibrated and we have not noticed any significant problems with bleeding or uniformity on our laptop or in our specific tests.
It should also be noted that this notebook has a kind of photosensitive design that seems to adjust the brightness of the screen to the ambient light. I haven’t found a way to turn it off properly in the settings, but I haven’t looked hard enough, so it’s something you’ll have to find for yourself.
A warning: It is a 60 Hz panel with a GTG response time of about 45 ms (source), so it is not the ideal choice for faster games. However, this panel is equipped with AMD’s Freesync technology, which eliminates tears and some other drawbacks of the game, which this implementation of the Ryzen 4800U actually does very well (for this class). We will discuss this in the next part of this evaluation.
Equipment and performance
Our test model is a high-end configuration of the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 14ARE05 with an AMD Ryzen 7 4800U APU, 16GB LPDDR4x 4266 MHz RAM, 512GB SK Hynix fast storage and Radeon Vega 8 graphics integrated into the AMD APU.
Before you go any further, remember that our test unit is a retail model that works with the software that will be available in mid-September 2020. (BIOS DMCN32WW, Lenovo Vantage 188.8.131.52).
According to the specifications, the Ryzen 7 4800U is an 8C/16T processor with a 15W TDP, but it is able to work with a higher TDP and clock speed if it gets enough power and is properly cooled. Lenovo also offers the Ryzen 5 4500U (6c/6T) and Ryzen 7 4700U (8C/8T) configurations of this notebook.
The graphics are supported by the Radeon Vega 8 iGPU integrated in the APU 4800U, and we will talk about the performance below.
Our configuration also includes 16GB dual-channel 4266MHz LPDDR4x RAM and a 512GB PCIe x4 SSD from Sk Hynix, which is fast enough for daily use. It actually contains two SSDs, one of which is a full-size SSD 2280, leaving the smaller 2242 M.2 slot open for the Ugprades. Everything else is soldered to the motherboard. Access to the components is the most important task, simply remove the rear panel, which is held in place by a handful of Torx screws.
In terms of software, everything can be managed through the Lenovo Vantage application, which provides access to power profiles, keyboard settings, system updates, battery settings and more. I consider this uniform implementation to be one of the best system control applications in the industry.
You can choose from three power/temperature profiles, which you can switch by pressing Fn+Q:
- Battery Saver – Limits CPU power to 10W and keeps fan noise at an inaudible level;
- Intelligent cooling – limits CPU power to 19W and has a low fan noise level;
- Extreme performance – 26+W processor and full-size fans (always silent, less than 40dB).
As far as the Ideapad 5 is concerned, I’ve usually left the Slim 7 in Smart Cooling mode and only switched to Extreme Performance for benchmarks and games. Fans rely on intelligent cooling in everyday use and are virtually unaffected by heavier multitasking tasks. The result is a slightly higher interior temperature and a warmer interior, especially in the middle of the keyboard and at the bottom, but that’s good for a quiet machine.
The next part of the article will focus on the performance of the Ryzen 4800U in demanding working, testing and playing conditions. We begin by testing CPU performance on control routines by running the Cinebench R15 benchmark more than 15 times per cycle, with a delay of 2-3 seconds between each run.
At extreme performance, the Ryzen 8 4800U stabilizes at 3.1+GHz and 26+W, but also at very high temperatures above 90 degrees Celsius. However, as you can see in the logbook, the first processors start at 30+ W and peak at 106.9 degrees Celsius, but eventually the power drops and stabilizes at lower power and 90+ degrees Celsius. Still, it’s one of the hottest laptops in the test. At the same time, the fans run at around 40 dB and stabilize the laptop at around 1,500, which is currently unmatched by any other mobile platform.
By switching to intelligent cooling, the processor power is limited to 14+W and a much lower temperature of 74-80 degrees Celsius, resulting in a continuous power loss of about 20% and quieter fans. It is still faster than any other mobile platform on the market.
Switching to battery-saving mode reduces processor power to 10 watts and exceeds performance by approximately 1,100 points, but it’s even more impressive with this performance and the near-silent fan noise.
Finally, this notebook works perfectly even when turned off, and offers the same performance as the Extreme Performance plug-in profile. If you want to work hard on the road, you can do so with the IdeaPad Slim 7.
To put these results into perspective, here’s how other AMD and Intel ultra-portable laptops scored in the same test.
As mentioned before, there’s nothing for the Ryzen 7 4800U in such heavy CPU tasks. AMD’s Raisen 7 4700U is by far the second most popular, closely followed by all the other options from Intel that can offer almost a fraction of what the 4800U.
We checked our results with the more demanding Cinebench R20 test and the dreaded Prime 95. In this case, the Ryzen processor stabilizes at 26+W after an initial increase in overclocking and temperatures of 90+C, again demonstrating the performance potential of this platform.
We also performed our combined CPU+GPU stress tests with the same Extreme Performance profile on this laptop.
Stress 3DMark performs the same test 20 times per cycle, looking for variations in performance and degradation over time, and this device passed without a hitch. Luxmark 3.1 loads the CPU and GPU fully simultaneously, but this is not well supported by the Ryzen platform.
You can also find some reference results here. We have carried out the entire series of tests and benchmark tests using the Extreme Performance Profile, which allows the APU to operate at a constant power output of 26+W, but with a higher output power of up to 48W at shorter peak loads. Here’s what we’ve got.
- 3DMark 13 – Shot: 3565 (Graph – 3879, Physics – 18580, Combination – 1265) ;
- 3DMark 13 – Night Raid : 14813 (Graph – 15896, CPU – 10689) ;
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy : 1369 (Graph – 1201, CPU – 6727) ;
- AIDA memory test64 : The writing: 42135 Mbps, playback: 46326 MB/s, delay: 116.9 ;
- Uniengine Overlay – Environment 1080p : 2399 ;
- Motor Overlay – 1080p Extreme : 759 ;
- Handbrake 1.3.1 (4K coding at 1080p): 35.82 fps on average ;
- PassMark: Assessment: 4810 (CPU beacon: 18242, 3D graphics beacon: 2828, disc beacon: 18052) ;
- PCMark 10 : 5376 (Foundations – 9807 , Productivity – 7616 , Creation of digital content – 5644) ;
- GeekBench 4.4.2 64-bit : Mononuclear: 4949, multi-core: 27075 ;
- GeekBench 5.0.1 64-bit : Mononuclear: 1143, multi-core: 7045 ;
- CineBench R15 (best odometer reading) : Processor 1647 kb, single-core processor 181 kb ;
- CineBench R20 (best odometer reading) : Processor 3610 kb, single-core processor 468 kb ;
- x264 HD Benchmark 4.0 32-bit : Pass 1 – 196.28 fps, Pass 2 – 87.88 fps ;
- x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 39.22 s.
We have also carried out tasks related to workplaces with the same extreme performance profile:
- Blender 2.90 – BMW Car Stage – CPU Computing: 4m 17s (Extreme) ;
- Blender 2.90 – Cold Scene – Calculation processor: 11m 51s (Extreme) ;
- Luxmark 3.1 – Luxball HDR – OpenCL CPU + GPU Evaluation : The CPU is not detected correctly;
- SPEC Viewfinder 13 – 3DSMax : 40,08 (Extreme) ;
- SPEC Viewfinder Page 13 – Katia : 52.14 (Extreme) ;
- SPEC Viewfinder Paint 13 – Creo : 42,71 (Extreme) ;
- SPEC Viewfinder 13 – Energy : 0.81 (Extreme) ;
- SPEC Viewfinder Paint 13 – Maya : 40.7 (Extreme) ;
- SPEC Viewfinder 13 – Medical : 18.73 (Extreme) ;
- SPEC Viewfinder 13 – Showcase : 14.74 (Extreme) ;
- SPEC Viewfinder Paint 13 – SNX : 32.07 (Extreme) ;
- SPEC Viewfinder 13 – SW : 58.49 (Extreme).
These are very good results for a U-type mobile platform, especially on the processor side, where the 4800U is the most powerful platform currently available, almost equal to the 8Core platforms from Intel and AMD. The performance of GPUs is of course reduced by the integrated Vega-8 iGPU, which, despite its advanced capabilities, can barely keep pace with the entry-level dGPU.
If you’re looking for a quieter/cooler system for demanding tasks, or if you’re just curious about what the AMD 4800U platform can do in a standard chassis, this is how this IdeaPad Slim 7 works with an intelligent heatsink that limits the APU’s power to 15+W in demanding tests, with an occasional power surge.
- 3DMark 13 – Shooting : 3568 (Graph – 3903, Physics – 18022, Combined – 1254) ;
- 3DMark 13 – Night Raid : 14694 (Graph – 15902, CPU – 10274) ;
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy : 1370 (Graph – 1203, CPU – 6563) ;
- AIDA memory test64 : The writing: 42135 Mbps, playback: 46326 MB/s, delay: 116.9 ;
- Uniengine Overlay – Environment 1080p : 2419 ;
- Motor Overlay – 1080p Extreme : 770 ;
- Handbrake 1.3.1 (4K coding at 1080p): average 28.61 fps ;
- PassMark: Assessment: 4720 (CPU ID: 16378, 3D Graphic ID: 2783, HDD ID: 18581) ;
- PCMark 10 : 5356 (Foundations – 9832 , Productivity – 7534 , Creation of digital content – 5631) ;
- GeekBench 4.4.2 64-bit : Mononuclear: 4988, multi-core: 25757 ;
- GeekBench 5.0.1 64-bit : Mononuclear: 1154, multi-core: 6759 ;
- CineBench R15 (best odometer reading) : Processor 1459 kb, single-core processor 183 kb ;
- CineBench R20 (best performance): 3127kb processor, 477kb single-core processor;
- x264 HD Benchmark 4.0 32-bit : Pass 1 is at 191.88 fps, Pass 2 at 76.42 fps ;
- x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 38.21 s.
And the workstation is loaded:
- Blender 2.90 – BMW Car Stage – CPU Computing: 4m 33s (smart) ;
- Blender 2.90 – Cool Scene – Computing Processor: 12m 42s (Smart).
For short-term tests and especially combined CPU/GPU workloads such as 3DMark or PCMark, there is virtually no difference between the two profiles. However, resource-intensive tasks such as handbrake, mixer or cinema bench have a performance loss of up to 20% with a corresponding reduction in temperature and fan noise compared to the limited capabilities of intelligent cooling.
Then we launched some DX11, DX12 and Vulkan titles in the Extreme Performance and Low/Low Graphics Setting Profile. Here’s what we’ve got:
|IdeaPad 7 – AMD R7 + Vega 8||UM425 – Drum R7 + Vega 7||IdeaPad 5 – AMD R5 + Vega 6||UM433 – Ryzen 7 + MX350|
|BioShock Infinity (DX 11, low preset)||81 frames per second (58 frames per second – 1% decrease)||66 frames per second (50 frames per second is 1% less)||63 frames per second (50 frames per second is 1% less)||97 frames per second (45 frames per second is 1% less)|
|Dota 2 (DX 11, best preset appearance)||53 frames per second (40 frames per second is 1% less)||39 frames per second (28 frames per second is 1% less)||–||74 frames per second (39 frames per second – 1% drop)|
|Far Cry 5 (DX 11, low preset, no AA)||28 frames per second (24 frames per second is 1% less)||21 frames per second (17 frames per second is 1% less)||21 frames per second (18 frames per second is 1% less)||35 frames per second (32 frames per second – 1% drop)|
|Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, lowest preset value)||33 frames per second (24 frames per second is 1% less)||45 frames per second (36 frames per second is 1% less)||41 frames per second (30 frames per second is 1% less)||65 frames per second (48 frames per second is 1% less)|
|CBC: Most searched (DX 11, lowest preset)||60 frames per second (46 frames per second – 1% reduction)||56 frames per second (34 frames per second – 1% drop)||–||–|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (DX 12, lowest preset, no AA)||41 frames per second (22 frames per second – 1% drop)||28 frames per second (22 frames per second – 1% drop)||33 frames per second (20 frames per second is 1% less)||45 frames per second|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Volcano, lowest-preset, no AA)||38 frames per second (22 frames per second – 1% drop)||27 frames per second (16 frames per second is 1% less)||28 frames per second (20 frames per second is 1% less)||40 frames per second (35 frames per second is 1% too much)|
|Alien Brigade (Vulcan, low-level)||41 frames per second (36 frames per second – 1% drop)||37 frames per second (32 frames per second – 1% drop)||33 frames per second (27 frames per second – 1% drop)||44 frames per second|
|Witch 3: Wild Hunt (DX 11, low preset, Hairpieces out)||28 frames per second (22 frames per second – 1% drop)||21 frames per second (14 frames per second – 1% drop)||21 frames per second (16 frames per second is 1% less)||29 fps on average (18 fps – 1% less)|
- Witcher 3, Dota 2, NFS – recorded with MSI Afterburner in game mode ;
- Games BioShock, Far Cry 5, Middle Earth, Strange Brigade, Tomb Raider – recorded with reference utilities enabled;
I’ve added a few other configurations for comparison, all based on Ryzen ultraportables available in the same segment and price range. For more information on the different implementations and performance profiles, please refer to the specific test reports, as these differ from device to device.
At the same time, Intel-based models are also an interesting alternative, especially those based on the 11th generation Intel Tiger Lake processors. These can be based on Intel Xe graphics, or linked to special Nvidia MX350/MX450 GPUs. However, we will revise these configurations shortly as we are still in the process of finalising these TigerLake revisions at the moment.
Back to our testing device: Based on the above results, older or casual games will play at more than 60 frames per second at FHD resolution and with low graphics settings in this configuration, while newer games in the AAA category can be played at about 30 frames per second or less.
Otherwise it is a solid implementation of the Ryzen 7 + Vega 8 hardware. In the Extreme Performance profile, the GPU operates at full speed from 1.75 GHz in less demanding titles and at around 1.6-1.7 GHz in titles such as Far Cry 5.
At the same time, the changeover to the intelligent heatsink results in a reduction in performance of around 10 to 20%, but also in a significant drop in temperature, especially during cloudy games. The laptop is also quieter with this profile, so that the fans are barely audible, even in a quiet room.
In terms of gaming performance, this 4800U Ryzen 7 platform still outperforms basic ultraportables with dGPUs, such as. B. based on the Nvidia MX350 and MX450 chips, as well as some based on the powerful MX250 25-watt configurations available in a 14-inch chassis. In addition, Intel TigerLake products with high-end Iris Xe graphics also outperform the AMD Ryzen platform in GPU tasks and gaming according to our initial tests, but AMD maintains a strong lead in CPU performance in all areas, starting with the mid-range Ryzen 5 4500U version. We will discuss this in more detail when we are able to publish our reviews of Tiger Lake.
Sound, heat, communication, speakers and other
In this configuration, the IdeaPad Slim 7 uses an advanced thermal module for this class with a double fan, a double heatsink and a thick heatsink. It’s almost necessary to tame an APU over 26W in demanding workloads, and I’m glad Lenovo chose this path and didn’t skip the thermal module.
This implementation can adequately cool the Ryzen 7 4800U platform in our control tests and games while still running at maximum performance in most cases, with a few exceptions in more complex AAA games and CPU+GPU tasks. At the same time, it provides passive cooling in daily use, with the fan usually remaining inactive when not connected. This can lead to a slightly higher temperature, but it’s certainly a compromise that doesn’t bother me with a quiet computer.
On the other hand, in some of our tests the AMD APU operates at very high temperatures, especially when the system is operating at a peak power of 30-48W. Eventually, the CPU temperature stabilizes at 80-90 degrees, which is still quite high, while the iGPU side of the Ryzen 7 4800U APU is at 70+, which is quite normal. However, it is not surprising that some of this heat is spreading to the outside, especially around the APU.
We see maximum temperatures of 50+ C in the middle of the keyboard and 60+ on the lower abdomen, but the WASD zones and arrows remain below 40 C, which is ideal for longer play sessions. Some of the heat is also blown into the screen, especially on the left side of our example, and although the chin takes most of the blunt heat, the panel still ends up in the 1940s, which is not great and may lead to some long-term degradation.
During this time, the fans run at head height by approximately 39-41 dB.
Switching to intelligent cooling mode not only reduces performance (10-20%), but also makes the notebook quieter (37-38 dB) and significantly cooler, both indoors and out, so I recommend keeping the notebook in this intelligent cooling profile as often as possible.
*Daily use – Netflix streaming in EDGE for 30 minutes, silent mode, 0-33 dB fan
*Games – Smart Cooling Mode – Play Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, 37-38 dB fan
*Games – Extreme Power Mode – Play Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, 39-41 dB fan
For the network connection, this laptop is equipped with the latest generation Intel AX200 WiFi 6 module. It worked very well with our platform, and the signal and power remained strong at 30 feet, with obstacles in between.
The sound is played through a set of stereo speakers that burn through the grilles around the keyboard, which is not bad for this class. We measured the resolution volumes, with 78-80 dB at head height, no distortion at high volume and quite good quality even at low volume. This is undoubtedly an improvement over the speakers of IdeaPad 5.
Finally, I must mention the HD camera at the top of the screen and the set of IR cameras used for Hello. The webcam is very good for occasional conversations, but the quality is still quite dirty and blurry.
The IdeaPad Slim 7 contains a 61-watt battery, larger than the average 14-inch device. Thanks to the efficient use of the hardware and AMD display, this notebook will last a long time with a charge.
This is what our test unit looked like, with the screen brightness set to about 120 nits (~60 brightness).
- 7.2 W (~8+ hours usage)– Google Drive text editing, silent mode, display set to 60%, Wi-Fi ON ;
- 4W (~15+ hours of use)– Full screen 1080p video on Youtube in Edge mode, silent mode, screen set to 60%, Wi-Fi ON ;
- 4W (~15+ hours of use)– Netflix full screen in Edge mode, silent mode, screen set to 60%, Wi-Fi ON ;
- 9W (~5-7 hours operation)– Side View, Smart Cooling Mode, 60% Screen, Wi-Fi ON.
The notebook comes with a compact 65W charger which is connected via USB-C. It is designed in two parts, with a compact brick casing and long cables. It takes about two hours to fully charge, but with a fast charge you can get a few good hours of use in less than an hour.
Prices and availability
The IdeaPad Slim 7 14ARE05 (or Yoga Slim 7, as it is called in Europe) is available in different versions in stores around the world, but it is currently very popular and sold out in many regions.
The Ryzen 7 4800U configuration costs about 1,050 euro in Europe, while the basic Ryzen 5 models can be purchased for about 750 euro, all with 16 GB RAM, 512 GB storage and a 100% SRGB IPS display.
At the moment this version 14 is no longer available in the United States, but I hope to be able to replenish the stock at some point.
Follow this link for current prices and configurations in your area.
All in all, I’m not surprised that this laptop is so popular and sold on many markets. I think it’s unique in the price range.
It’s definitely one of the best implementations of AMD’s Ryzen U 4000 platform, while being one of the few powerful Ryzen 7 4800U APUs that can fumigate competitive mobile platforms and outperform many of the powerful processors available in today’s full-size laptops for CPU-intensive tasks. But this notebook is more than just a list of specifications, and frankly, for most of you this 4800U model may not even be worth a premium. In fact, the best value is the available Ryzen 5 configuration, and that’s probably what I’m going to work with on a daily basis, unless I really intend to use those 7 Ryzen processors somehow.
What’s special about the IdeaPad Slim 7 is that, unlike most other AMD-Ryzen ultraportables of this generation, Lenovo hasn’t made any major sacrifices with this notebook. They had a good screen, a decent thermal design, a large battery, powerful speakers and good I/O. They brought all these features together in a well-built metal laptop that is robust and practical in real life use, and has a decent set of inputs.
However, it is not perfect, and it shows here and there that it is not an ultra-portable premium class. For example, the keyboard, numeric keypad and display are correct for a 1000 euro laptop, but not for high-end products. I like the materials and general appearance of this laptop, because it is slightly heavier and larger than some other options and is less polished.
Does it matter? Well, no, as long as the price is right. And it is. At least not, as long as you understand what you’re getting here and don’t expect it to look like a MacBook Pro for half the price.
Finally, it should be noted that to some extent it can handle light games and high GPU workloads, but it still outperforms many ultraportables in this field, especially those based on Nvidia MX350 (and soon MX450) dGPUs, and very little based on Nvidia GTX 1650 chips (such as the Razer Blade Stealth 13) or even the new high-end Intel Tiger Lake platforms. If the game is high on your list of criteria, this notebook may not be the best choice for you.
But as a multi-tasker it’s great, and I’m having trouble finding another unit that offers the same value for the same price. That’s why the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 gets our full recommendation. If only it were available for purchase….
This concludes my conversation about the IdeaPad Slim 7, but I’d like to know what you think of it, so feel free to sign up below.
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Andrei Girbea, editor of Ultrabookreview.com. I’ve been involved in mobile computing since the 2000’s, and you’ll find here mainly reviews and detailed tutorials written by me.
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