The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 1 is a budget laptop with sufficient computing power to handle typical office productivity tasks. Battery life is decent, and it even has a physical privacy shutter for its webcam, which is a nice touch. There are several drawbacks, likely due to cost constraints, that may be deal-breakers to some. But it's worth considering if you need something relatively affordable for school or work.
- 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel TN screen
- AMD Ryzen 3 7320U with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage
- USB 2.0, USB 3.2 Gen 1, USB-C, HDMI, SD card reader, and headphone jack
- From 1.38kg
It's immediately obvious that the Slim 1 is an entry-level model. Because Lenovo has decided to equip it with a TN display. Frankly, it's been so long since I last encountered a TN display — which typically exhibit middling viewing angles, colour shifts, and lacklustre colours — on a laptop. Even budget notebooks now often come with IPS displays. I'm a stickler for screen quality, so the Slim 1's display just looks terrible to me. It's also not very bright at 220 nits. In short, the Slim 1 doesn't cut it for anyone who value a good viewing experience. In addition, the speakers are forgettable. They are too soft, hence I mostly used them at maximum volume.
The Slim 1 doesn't have a keyboard backlight. The keyboard is shallow, and soft, though the layout is fine. There's a keyboard shortcut for the calculator app, which I found unusual, but useful. There's no built-in biometric authentication — no fingerprint sensor, or facial recognition. On the other hand, I like that you can open the lid, which feels thick and solid, till it's lying flat (180 degrees). The laptop itself is fairly slim and lightweight for a 14-inch model. Its minimalist design is bland, but lends itself well to an office setting. And despite its plastic build, the Slim 1 feels sturdy enough. Its 720p HD webcam doesn't look great, but it's usable. It also has a physical privacy shutter, a handy feature that I didn't expect to find in a budget model.
While it has a USB-C port, this port cannot be used to charge the notebook. It's data only, so no display output either. There's also a HDMI port, two USB-A ports, including a USB 2.0 version, and a SD card reader. It's a mixed bag, for sure. Obviously USB-C with charging would have been ideal, but the other options are acceptable. Performance-wise, my review set's AMD Ryzen 3 7320U exceeded my relatively low expectations. Its PCMark 10 score (4,390) is very decent. It's comparable to the 11th-gen Intel Core i5 chip (4,282) found in the Acer Spin 3. But as you'd expect, the Slim 1 is good only for casual games. For instance, the laptop barely managed 30fps at 1080p resolution in the cutesy isometric action game Tunic.
In our usual video-loop battery test, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 1 lasted around 6.5 hours. It's decent enough that you can do some work outside without a power source. But it's far from impressive by today's standards. That said, the Slim 1 is an entry-level notebook, after all, which means there are compromises. And the battery life isn't its biggest drawback. That has to be the display. But if you're used to TN screens, like the ones found in budget gaming monitors, this may not matter. On the bright side, the performance is very decent. Moreover, the local version is the AMD Ryzen 5 model, which will offer even more performance than my Ryzen 3 review set. In other words, those on a budget can consider the Slim 1, which is available on Shopee, and Lazada for around S$800.
Note: Review unit provided by Lenovo.
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