The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 11ADA05 (82G40018GE) is a very affordable 11.6-inch convertible that did not have any negative surprises in store in the test. The performance is sufficient for media consumption and the case and keyboard are good quality. The battery life is okay and the connections are not too tight either. Even the display isn’t the cheapest off the shelf, and a few software extras are also offered. Only the storage space is scarce.
Extremely inexpensive, but not cheap: Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 11ADA05
A 300 euro notebook with a touch display, tablet function, and Windows license: Too cheap to be true? We tested the small laptop with an 11.6-inch display and it is quite impressive.
The look is not even reminiscent of a cheap plastic bomber: The plastic housing has a grain that is reminiscent of polished aluminum, both in the area of the keyboard and on the display lid. Together with the chic, blue color choice, the device looks valuable and presentable. The operation of the keyboard, touchpad, and display did not reveal any problems either. The keys have a travel that is not huge, according to the case but is sufficient, and we also like the typing experience with pleasant counter pressure. However, the touchpad rattles a bit.
The essentials are available for the connections: two fast USB sockets in the classic type A design, a micro SD card reader, and an HDMI socket for connecting to a television or monitor. A modern USB-C connection, as we know it from smartphones, would have been nice. The device’s noise emissions also make it pleasant to use: thanks to its fanless design, it is silent. The speakers have a surprisingly good sound. The sound could be a bit clearer and louder, but it is perfectly fine.
Even the display isn’t that bad
The display is not a disappointment either. First and foremost, only the resolution is noticeably low: 1,366 x 768 pixels seem out of date at first glance, after all, Full HD with 1,920 x 1,080 pixels is the standard. But this is not a big disadvantage, because because of the small 11.6-inch display, a higher resolution would almost be wasted in the end.
The remaining measured values are okay for the price, we have already measured enough poorer displays or more expensive devices with the same key figures. The maximum brightness is 236 candelas per square meter and, together with the reflective surface, only speaks for use indoors or in a very shady outdoor area. A weak point of cheap displays is often the viewing angle stability: If you no longer sit in the middle in front of the device, but look at the picture at an angle, the contrasts often become very bad very quickly. The tested IdeaPad Flex 3 has a display with stable viewing angles. The contrasts remain good here, even from the side. Can also be used as a tablet thanks to the touch display and 360-degree hinge.
Tight memory but with upgrade options
In order to achieve the low price, savings must be made in the end on the inside. A cheap and simple processor from AMD is installed. This is of course not suitable for complex work, but an 11.6-inch device is too small for that anyway. It is strong enough for normal media consumption. An eMMC memory card with 64 gigabytes is used as a mass storage device. An eMMC memory is a permanently soldered memory that is very similar to an SD card and should not be confused with the performance of an SSD. The scarce storage space can then be expanded accordingly with a micro SD card, or at least for the first year free of charge with the OneDrive cloud storage service with 1 terabyte. A one-year license for Microsoft Office 365 is also included. The main memory has a capacity of four gigabytes.
Windows 10 is installed in S mode. Only programs from the Microsoft Store can be installed, which Microsoft advertises as a security and performance gain. With a few clicks in the activation settings, the S mode can be left permanently in favor of normal Windows.
The mobility of the device also fits in with media consumption: It weighs only 1.1 kilograms, is a little under two centimeters thick, and is a little smaller than a DIN A4 sheet of paper. The battery life is five to nine hours, depending on the intensity of use.