Lenovo IdeaPad 720S
- Current price: £ 850
- All-metal exterior
- Intel Core i5-7200U
- 8 GB of RAM
- Nvidia GT 940MX Graphics
- 256GB PCIe SSD
What is Lenovo IdeaPad 720S?
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S was somewhat the best PCs of last year thanks to its combination of excellent design, features, and a low price. Now the company is back with an updated version called IdeaPad 720S.
Although similar in so many ways – it’s still a lightweight all-metal laptop – it has received some tweaks. You get a narrower bezel around the now larger 14-inch screen (there is also a 13-inch model available), Nvidia graphics included, and a Thunderbolt port has been added.
With prices starting at £ 850, it’s a pretty expensive laptop. However, it is well below the £ 1200 ordered by most premium Ultrabooks, such as the Dell XPS 13 and Microsoft Surface Laptop.
Lenovo IdeaPad 720S – Design and Features
It is a super slim and lightweight laptop. Its exterior is all aluminum and so feels reassuringly expensive, while it weights that you expect from a superior product. It’s not quite the same level as the most expensive – the panels do not feel like they’re cut into solid pieces of metal – but they’re getting closer.
But it’s regarding size and weight that the Lenovo is running out of pro models. With dimensions of 320.7×222.8 x 15.9mm and weighing 1.55 kg, it is significantly larger and more imposing. It stays portable, but you might want a sturdier backpack on a lightweight messenger bag.
The overall fit and finish is, again, a touch below the more expensive yet still impressive fixtures. For example, the trackpad does not have engraved glass favored by the best laptops. Most high-end laptops inhale and evacuate air for cooling through the hinge of the laptop, to prevent mouths from being blocked by your knees; here the vents are on the bottom, though.
Similar to Acer Swift 3, Lenovo has added a chamfer on the edges of some panels. But unlike this laptop, these edges are not so sharp and uncomfortable in hand.
One thing this notebook does not want at all is connectivity. On the right side there are ports for HDMI, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt and an SD card; on the left, a second USB 3.0 port and a headphone jack. The load is via a conventional power adapter, not the Thunderbolt port.
There is also a biometric reader on the right, below the keyboard; a webcam above the screen; a backlit keyboard and this 1080p screen.
Lenovo IdeaPad 720S – Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard and trackpad both reflect the midrange price of this laptop. The keyboard is largely excellent. It is spacious and has an excellent layout, and its vital action is clear and responsive. It’s also backlit, although it’s not the brightest backlight you’ll find on a laptop. Overall, it can not compete with the best, but it’s mostly a pleasure to hit on.
Regarding the trackpad, it lacks the engraved glass surface as mentioned, as well as the precise click of the best – but otherwise, it’s excellent. Its aluminum surface feels good in the hand, it follows with precision and is spacious enough to allow large sweeping gestures and large two-finger rollers.
Lenovo IdeaPad 720S – Display
Continuing the general trend, the 720S display is a combination of high-end features and more mid-range.
The IPS LCD panel offers excellent viewing angles and excellent overall image quality, while Full HD resolution is quite adequate. The maximum brightness is a soft touch, which combined with the glossy finish makes this notebook a somehow less capable than some in bright environments – like working outdoors on a sunny day.
Also, I found the brightness adjustment rather strange. Reducing the brightness from 100% to only 80% resulted in 300nits to 100nits. Since the general recommendation is that you work at 120-150nits, and the brightness knob moves in increments of 10%, there is not much room to adjust the setting to a reasonable level. I had to manually enter 85% of the power options to get closer to our 150nits battery test level.
Lenovo IdeaPad 720S image quality:
Maximum brightness: 297nits
Lenovo IdeaPad 720S – Webcam and Audio
Lenovo has equipped the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S with a standard Lenovo ideapad 720p 720p webcam that is in the top frame above the screen. Its image quality is quite typical, with a granulation that softens the details. Overall, however, it is doing well in a relatively dim light and offers enough detail for occasional video calls and streaming.
As for the speakers of this notebook, there are two located at the front of the laptop on its underside. Between them, they do a decent job. Volume is sufficient for most purposes; there is no distortion, even at maximum volume, and clarity and balance are acceptable. There is no real bass, but there is nothing of this sharp strident of which the poor pregnant suffer.
Lenovo IdeaPad 720S – Performance
The 720S is available in two primary configurations: one uses the Intel Core i7-7500U processor, and the other uses an Intel Core i5-7200U processor. Experienced users will appreciate the extra speed provided by the Core i7. However, considering the additional cost of £ 100 and you have nothing else for that, aside from a gray finish on the outside, the more expensive option does not jump as good value for money.
Otherwise, the surprise and surprise feature of this laptop is the addition of Nvidia GT 940MX graphics. Not that it turns the lenovo ideapad 720S into a high-end gaming machine, but it offers between two and three times more performance than the integrated graphics performance on the Intel processor.
This means that you will be able to comfortably play the most basic titles such as Minecraft and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – even though you’ll still be at a pretty low resolution and detail settings to get a reasonable frame rate.
In three figures, in 3DMark: Ice Storm, the Intel 7500U integrated graphics managed 51,696 points, while the Nvidia chip reached 67,394 points. However, this underestimates the speed advantage of the Nvidia chip. In the more demanding 3DMark: Fire Strike test, Nvidia’s graphics handled 1925 points against only 804 Intel-based chips.
It should be noted, however, that adding the Nvidia GPU surely adds to the price of this machine, and for most users, it’s useless. Not all 720S models will have dedicated graphics, so if you do not need them, take a look at another retailer to see what specs they offer.
Regarding overall system performance, both CPU options are fast enough for most everyday tasks. The model we tested used the 7200U, and I rarely felt like it was slowing me down. In the PCMark 8 benchmark, he obtained 2426 points, which is quite in line with other laptops with similar specifications. Paying more for a non-Pro laptop will not give you extra performance.
Using a fast PCIe SSD is also useful. This ensures that the loading and loading times of applications are as short as possible and adds to the overall zippy feel of this PC. It is not the fastest SSD around, but with transfer rates of 1245MB / s (read) and 555MB / s (write) AS SSD, it is comfortably faster than a more typical SATA SSD that you’ll find in other mid-range laptops.
All this adds to a laptop that will certainly have the power that the vast majority of users need, with only the most demanding users who need it. Also, the cooling system remains incredibly quiet. It brings the CPU down to 2.5GHz under a 100% sustained load, but it keeps it with a relatively unobtrusive fan noise.
Lenovo IdeaPad 720S – Battery Life
Battery life of 14 hours of battery life from this laptop, but this is unrealistic in most cases – only if sitting do very little at the minimum brightness will last a long time. Instead, Lenovo also provides a figure of 8 hours while watching the video, which is much more realistic.
However, in our tests, this notebook has exceeded this last figure. Test with Powermark, using a custom 10-minute loop while watching a video and 5 minutes of web browsing, and with the screen set at 150nits (85%) of brightness, it lasted 9hrs 4mins. This is a great result and comfortably puts this laptop in the same league as the more expensive options.
Should I buy the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S?
This is a great laptop for anyone who wants all the key features of a high-end, thin and lightweight laptop, but without paying the £ 1200 + price of these machines. It may not quite match the elegance, build quality and screen resolution of these premium models, but in all respects, it is either on par or better.
From its elegant design and high build quality, through its decent screen and excellent keyboard, to its performance and battery life, it is a machine that can do anything while having a beautiful appearance.
While portability is of utmost importance, it may not be at the top of your list, but it is still a laptop that you can take with you just about anywhere.
Not the thinnest or lightest laptop, but an all-metal design, a big screen, lots of performance and good battery life combine to make the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S a great option for the price.