Everybody needs a daily driver laptop that has enough grunt beneath the hood to handle web surfing, YouTube viewing, and scrolling through endless spreadsheets at work, without breaking the bank. Lenovo attempts to fill this niche with its latest budget-friendly workhorse: the Lenovo IdeaPad 1.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 1 is powered by a AMD Ryzen 3 processor with integrated Radeon Graphics. In other words, it is a barebones laptop that will not get your adrenaline pumping. Memory-wise, 8GB RAM and 256 GB of storage space will handle all your requirements.
The chassis comes in a shade of silver that is evergreen, even if most people would upgrade to a more powerful laptop in a few years’ time.
On the left lies the charging port, a HDMI port, a USB-C 3.2 port, USB-A 3.2 port, and 3.5mm audio port; while the right side houses an old-school USB-A 2.0 port and an SD memory card slot.
The power button is located on the top right of the keyboard. Note that there is no fingerprint reader, so make sure you assign a secure password or PIN for your Windows 11 login.
Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.
The chassis remains cool even when you are working with the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 on your lap. Heat dissipation is handled well without any noticeable signs of overheating even when you push the device beyond the ordinary.
Granted, there is not much processing muscle to begin with, but you can be sure you will not end up burning yourself by accident with the Lenovo IdeaPad 1.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 1 tips the scales at 1.6kg and measures 17.9mm thick. The body is plastic, though it might not look like it upon first glance.
Open the lid and you will be greeted by a 14-inch (36cm) Full HD screen. With its screen-to-body ratio of 86%, forget about thin or nonexistent bezels.
Kudos to Lenovo for including a physical privacy shutter for the 1MP webcam, although it needs to be manually adjusted as required.
The matte display comes with an anti-glare coating that works great under most conditions. Let’s face it – it is highly unlikely you would be working in a hostile environment where you cannot view the screen’s contents legibly for long periods of time.
In other words, the Lenovo IdeaPad 1’s screen is adequate for everyday use indoors, although working by the pool would yield far poorer results, even if you were to crank the brightness level to the maximum.
You can almost lay the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 fully flat on a surface with its screen opened at a near-180° angle, which is perfect for those who wish to share content with others at the same table.
Closing the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 is a quiet affair: the hinges have just the right amount of resistance to remain in place without you feeling like you need to use excessive force.
The keyboard comes in a general layout without a dedicated numeric keypad. At this price point, the tactile feedback is excellent, being supple enough to let you know that you have pressed a particular key without having too much travel.
The touchpad is of a decent size, although you would always do better with a mouse. There is a rubbery feel when you click the touchpad, so you might want to apply more pressure when doing so.
Considering the rather limited capability of the processor, you will not find the Lenovo Ideapad 1 suitable for gaming. While you can run legacy titles from the DOS era without any trouble, any game from the modern era will find the specifications insufficient.
Downward-firing stereo speakers do their bit to ensure you hear everything that is played back without missing a beat.
One of the key criteria when purchasing a laptop would be its battery life. The Lenovo IdeaPad 1 can last an entire day in class or at the office, assuming you do not have multiple tabs open simultaneously while playing music and video at full blast.
Context, of course, is key when determining the battery life of any device. Putting the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 through the paces, it managed to last for approximately 5.5 hours before it alerted this writer to plug in the adapter.
With a browser containing seven open tabs, Spotify running in the background, and having the screen at 50% brightness with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled, there is only so much 42Wh can do.
Fast charging is all the rage these days when it comes to smartphones, so how does this entry-level laptop fare? Basically, you can fully charge it in under three hours, which should satisfy most users.
Lenovo boasts that a 15-minute charge will nab you approximately two hours of battery life, which can be handy if you are in a rush.
All in all, the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 is suitable for those who wish to gain a foothold in the digital world. Students and young adults in need of a laptop will find it ticks all the right boxes.
You will be able to surf the net, browse videos, handle your social-media profiles with ease, churn out page after page of prose on a word processor, and embark on online shopping sprees with abandon.
Edwin Kee dreamt of being a pro-gamer only to have circumstances mould him into a programmer in a past life. He has since moved on to write about consumer electronics and other topics.