Top positive review
Review after four plus months of usage
26 December 2018
Why this review?
Because I'm free, and thought of hitting on a few points for the prospective buyer, as well as comment on the remarks made by other reviewers.
Been Using this laptop for 4+ months.
The definitive trade-offs:
1. Very, very average battery backup. ~3 hrs for an average use-case scenario. If portability is a prime concern, avoid Lenovo in this price segment.
2. Laptop speakers are again very average, but better that previous Lenovo models in this price range. The best laptop speakers in this prime range were from Asus, and in comparison to those these are not that bad -- just average.
So then why buy?
1. Full HD IPS screen -- which is better that almost all offerings in this price range.
2. Compact size, lightweight and great ergonomics.
3. Great typing experience, the keyboard is better than expected and the keys have good travel as well as are springy. Writers may love this one. The keys are back-lit as well.
4. A USB-C port!
5. An Intel 8th Gen processors below Rs 35k - Eighth generation has been a big improvement over the 7th Gen. An i3 of the 8th Generation will be better that an i5 from the 7th Gen. There's absolutely no need to opt for an outdated seventh generation in late 2018.
1. The display is not spectacular for an IPS LCD, the brightness is not top-notch, but it is definitely better than 90% of what's being offered at this price point (sub Rs35k). Mine doesn't have backlight bleed as someone else mentioned, but it has PWM flickering which most laptop reviews don't cover, and almost all display panels in this range have this compromise. For long screen time hours, nothing beats a true-tone Apple display.
The display response times, or sRGB coverage are average at best, but again, at this price point you're getting something better than what most laptop manufacturers are providing. I bought it from a brick and mortar store, and spent like 3 days comparing the displays, and it is a pretty good bargain if you ask me! A screen, like a processor, can't be upgraded after purchase, and is something that you'll spend almost all time looking at -- so a compromise here doesn't make much sense.
2. Dual core SOCs with 8th gen core Intel processors handle Windows 10 pretty fine, even on an HDD (5400 RPM). Just make sure to do a clean install of the Windows operating system by formatting everything, without delay, and let the Windows auto-update itself via internet. Typing this on Windows 10 (1809 - October update).
There's no Lenovo bloatware on my laptop, the updated drivers have been downloaded and installed from https://pcsupport.lenovo.com, including the BIOS. No need to install Lenovo Vantage as it slows the system down. Updating BIOS helped with the fans, but a clean, fresh install of Windows eliminated all fan-noise, for the time being. So, it was not hardware but a properly reconfigured OS that solved the problems of abnormal CPU usage, and erratic device temperatures. Things are very, very smooth now.
After a fresh installation Windows will be activated automatically, as the license is tied to your laptop's motherboard. A separate license key is not needed.
3. One of the best keyboard, and chassis. Flex is almost non-existent. The ergonomics are Surface Book standard, if you've played with one. There's a precision track-pad, too!
4. Battery life is not good. Agreed. But I knew that already, and it applies to all cheap Lenovo laptops. As a rule of thumb keep the battery above 30% and below 99% always to extend its battery life.
5. Linux works fine (tried distros like Manjaro, Ubuntu 18.04, Solus 3.9, Mint 19), but after a clean Windows install - never felt the need to boot into Linux. No advantages, whatsoever. Windows is smooth, and browsers support HW video acceleration (web browsing is still glitchy in Linux, if you ask me).
6. M.2 PCIe NVME SSD (no SATA III) is supported, which is still a bit expensive in India (but is way faster when compared to SATA-III). So keep that in mind. If after clean install, you want a high end performance consider adding an additional Solid state drive (SSD) and shift the OS to that drive. The device comes with a DDR4 RAM but it has no significant advantages over DDR3 performance wise, but adding an SSD can create a huge difference if you ask me.
8. If you are an Adobe CC user or a heavy multitasker, go for i5-8250 (the Surface Book 2, and Surface Pro 6 base models have that). i3 is not bad but i5 will be better. i3 is sufficient for IDEs and all.
9. There's an extra RAM slot, as well, and you can convert the 4 GB RAM into Dual Channel Memory of 8GB by adding another 4GB stick, and multiple options for this are available (and are cheap, too).
Have used a top-tier-loaned-by-company Thinkpad, and it cannot compete with a Thinkpad, but it costs less than half of what a good Thinkpad costs!
Be ready to upgrade and tweak a bit and the machine will get rolling. If you find this informational, hit like and cheers!