Lenovo Flex 2 15 review

Lenovo's budget laptop falls apart at the seams

Lenovo Flex 2 15 review
Lenovo Flex 2 15 review

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It's clear Lenovo has put its money into the screen for this budget machine. While the Chinese electronics firm has improved the Flex 2 15's screen's since the system's outing last year, it's been done at the cost of making the laptop worse in almost every other way.

This Lenovo transformer ends up offering a great multimedia experience backed by serviceable internals, but is ultimately hampered by inputs that will agonize users until they connect their own keyboard and mouse. At that point the Flex 2 ceases to be a laptop and becomes an all-in-one you can fold up and tote around.

We liked

For the price, the Flex 2 15 offers up a full HD display, and a nice one at that. It's perfect for watching your favorite shows, editing photos or anything else that demands a contrasty display with accurate colors.

Lenovo's 15.6-inch budget machine is a bit more expensive than the Acer Aspire E1 and Toshiba Satellite C50D, but the extra cost gives users a faster and more capable Intel Core i7 processor. The Lenovo is also the only option here that can be outfitted with an SSD cache. While it won't provide true flash memory speeds, the extra oomph should get your system moving faster than a purely mechanical drive.

We disliked

Judged on its own merits, the Flex 2 15 has a thoroughly cheap feel to it even for an all-plastic system. Some of you may want to avoid this laptop even more knowing that Lenovo docked some of the higher quality materials from the Flex's inaugural outing.

But what's worst about the clamshell is the shoddy quality of trackpad. Turning on tapping options is an easy way to avoid the track pad's flimsy buttons, but I can't overlook the way it sticks rises above the rest the palmrest. Similarly, I can take the keyboard flex in stride, but ultimately these are small annoyances that will add up over time, making you hate the Flex 2 15 even more.

Final verdict

As a budget machine, the Lenovo Flex 2 15 offers some very big pluses where many others falter. Users won't find many other $700 transforming notebook options, let alone ones with a 1080p screen. The Acer Aspire R7 comes closest with it's head turning design.

If you can find the room in your budget and still want a transforming notebook, I highly suggest getting a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro instead. The build quality is leagues better, and while the 13-inch screen is smaller, it sports a much higher 3,200 x 1,800 resolution.

Alternatively, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a good $799 (around £475, AU$863) option that comes with Intel Core i3 chip, 64GB of SSD storage and a 12-inch 2160 x 1440 multi-touch display – plus its two-millimeter thick type cover is actually sturdier than the Flex 2 15's actual keyboard.

Lastly users still craving a 15.6-inch laptop with a full HD display could spend a little bit more for the Dell Inspiron 15 7000. The bottom line here is that – unless you absolutely love the form factor and Lenovo brand – you should look elsewhere for a wallet-friendly, 15-inch laptop.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.