Convertible laptops these days tend to be either super-expensive, or stripped down to their core, with merely the basics in flexibility and versatility. Lenovo’s Flex 3 line is one of the few that manages to replicate the multi-mode user experience offered by the more expensive Yoga, yet keep costs (reasonably) low.
Unlike second-gen Flex family members, billed as “dual-mode, multi-use” notebooks, the Flex 3 trio is made up of essentially 4-in-1 hybrids. The keyboards are not removable, so the new 11, 14 and 15 inchers can’t work as conventional, ultra-slim tablets.
They now have a 360 degree hinge, though, instead of the 300 degree hinge on previous models. That means users can rotate the touch screen full circle so as to conceal the keyboards and use the system like a tablet, just as with the Yoga line. Users can also use the hinge to prop the laptop up for easier access to the touchscreen on a table or desk.
Lenovo’s new Flex 3 line looks stylish and thin in any circumstance, and it’s all thanks to fifth-generation Intel Core processors. Though marketed as entry-level, budget Yoga alternatives, they can also cater to power users, as the 14-inch and 15-inch variants have a Core i7 available.
Their smaller 11-inch sibling is equipped with a Pentium chip even in its highest-end variation, and the display resolution is fittingly mediocre, at 1,366 x 768 pixels. The 14 and 15 inchers also start out with conventional HD resolution, but a 1080p upgrade is available.
Storage capacities will be up to one terabyte with a solid state/mechanical hybrid drive. Up to 64GB of solid state storage will be available, as well. RAM will top out at eight gigabytes and Nvidia graphics will be optional in the larger duo. We also know high-quality audio will be covered by stereo speakers and a Dolby Home Theatre system. Connectivity looks solid with speedy 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and Ethernet.
Pricing starts at $399 for the 11-inch Yoga while 14 and 15 inchers will start at $549 and $579 respectively. Lenovo says all three will launch in May.