Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15D review
15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.3kg, 2GHz AMD A6-5200, 8.00GB RAM, 1,000GB disk, Windows 8.1
The IdeaPad Flex 15D is the AMD version of Lenovo's budget hybrid, the Flex 15. With its 300-degree hinge, it lets you fold the screen back so you can use the keyboard as a makeshift stand. This makes it easier to use the touchscreen display as you don't have to constantly reach over the keyboard to tap icons and open files.
All you need to do is push the screen backwards and the laptop folds round so the keyboard faces down on the table. You won’t need to worry about accidentally hitting any keys in Stand mode either, as the Flex 15D automatically disables the keyboard when you push the screen back. The design of the laptop has remained unchanged from the Flex 15. Its chunky hinge is nowhere near as elegant as its main inspiration, Lenovo's ultra-flexible Yoga laptops, but it's very sturdy and works in exactly the same way.
Much like with the original Flex 15, we were disappointed to see that the touchscreen was still as wobbly as ever when we'd tried using the laptop in Stand mode. This made using the touchscreen a little tricky at times, but we found it was fine for simple touch-based games and dragging folders across the desktop as long as you're not too heavy-handed.
Strangely, the Flex 15D's 1,366x768 display doesn't fill the entire panel inside its bezel. There's an extra black border round the screen, giving it the appearance of two bezels side by side. This wasn't the case with the Flex 15, but while it looked a little strange at first, the extra room actually made using Windows 8 gestures a lot easier, as there was more space to swipe from the sides. The ten-point touchscreen was also very responsive, and we were able to open new internet tabs and minimise windows without any trouble.
The Flex15D uses the same display panel as its Intel-based sibling, so its overall image quality was roughly the same. Its sRGB colour gamut score of 57.1 per cent is fairly typical of £500 laptops, but the Flex 15D also suffered from a severe lack of warm colour coverage, so our solid reds, greens and blues weren't particularly rich or vibrant in our solid colour tests.
Its black level reading of 0.43cd/m2 was also average, but we felt the Flex 15D's solid blacks were a little deeper overall, as we only saw a few hints of grey toward the top and bottom of the screen depending on its angle.
The laptop's contrast levels were a fraction better, measuring 527:1 compared to the Flex 15's 471:1, and our high contrast test images showed a good amount of detail. Areas of deep shadow were clear as long as we'd angled the screen correctly, but its narrow viewing angles meant that images became obscured almost as soon as we tilted the screen backwards. This isn't too unusual on a laptop of this price, though, and the most important thing was that we could still see the screen clearly in Stand mode.