Wed. Dec 8th, 2021

 

“Premium” and “better value” do not often come in one sentence but that’s exactly what you get with Lenovo’s IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro. Starting at Rs 71,490, the IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro isn’t exactly cheap, but this price point along with the features you get makes it a premium thin-and-light notebook.

I have been using the IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro for a week now, and here is my take.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro price in India: Rs 71,490 onwards

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro review: Design and aesthetics

I don’t know if this is an industry trend or not, but I am seeing a lot of compact notebooks hitting the market lately. Typically, compact laptops are reserved for business travellers but companies like Lenovo want to sell premium-looking, well-designed portable notebooks to a broad set of consumers.

The design of the IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro is simple yet has a satisfying appeal to it. It comes in a sandstone finish and has an all-metal build. The hinge is very smooth to open and close and the laptop’s lid can be opened with one hand. The Slim 5i Pro weighs about 1.3kg and you can take this machine to a cafe or business meeting without any second thought. Aesthetically, it’s not a flashy-looking notebook. It feels great to hold and is small enough to be tucked away in a bag.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro review: Ports and security

What’s also impressive about this notebook is the healthy number of connectivity ports. On the left is a USB-C port used for data and for the AC adapter, as well as HDMI 1.4, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The right side has dual USB-A 3.2 ports accompanied by a microSD card reader. There’s no Ethernet, but Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 are present.

The notebook also comes with a 720p webcam, which isn’t too great but does the job well. It’s fine for attending video calls and that’s about it.

You can use the camera to log in, as this is a Windows Hello-compatible IR camera. The IR camera with the Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor quickly reads your face and unlocks the PC. Interestingly, the laptop senses your presence and locks the device when you are away from the machine. This feature can be turned off if that makes you a little uncomfortable.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro review: Display and audio

The display is a 14-inch 2.2K (2240×1400) IPS panel with a refresh rate of 60Hz and a peak brightness of 300 nits. It’s very good. There are no issues when it comes to watching videos and reading text-based content. Colours are vivid and the viewing angles are great too.

For an average user, the biggest difference would be jumping from 16:9 to 16:10 aspect ratio screen. Thanks to slim bezels around the display, you get more screen real estate that’s useful when scrolling through big web pages. Editors and website managers would be impressed by using 16:10 aspect ratio screens. While most thin laptops tend to have pretty poor audio, the Slim 5i Pro gets loud and offers a decent midrange. The speakers on the notebook are front-facing and it’s good to see how the sound is projected. Even microphones are solid on this machine.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro review: Keyboard and trackpad

Keyboards and trackpads do matter – at least to me. I spend my entire day in front of the laptop writing. This backlit keyboard on the Slim 5i Pro isn’t my favorite—it’s shallow but the keys are tactile and the feedback is good. The trackpad is well-sized, and although not the best in responsiveness, it should be fine for most people.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro review: Performance and battery

Intel’s latest 11th-generation Corei5-1135G7 processor powers the Slim 5i Pro. My review unit had 16GB of system memory and a 512GB solid-state drive. Even though this chip isn’t designed for extreme workloads, I found the Core i5 can handle demanding stuff such as editing photos and 25 Chrome tabs with ease. Since the chip is fast, the laptop can easily handle lightweight tasks such as sending emails, word processing, and working on a presentation. There is no dedicated GPU built-in, so this may not deliver a true gaming experience, but with the “Xe” graphics, the notebook can be used for light gaming.

Although my Slim 5i Pro review unit came with Windows 10, I upgraded to Windows 11 for free. There’s a lot to like about Windows 11, Microsoft’s newest desktop operating system. It’s not only got a fresh new design but also includes a bunch of new features that help you become more productive including Snap Layouts which allows users to group multiple applications together in a grid.

I regularly got between 5 and 6 hours of battery life under heavy use. My workday includes using Chrome with about 12 to 15 tabs, various chat apps, Apple Music, YouTube running in the background and a few other apps.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro review: Should you buy it?

All in all, the IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro is an incredible machine at this price point. This is not a “Pro” machine but is rather made for entertainment in a thin-and-light form factor, and that’s fine with me. I always like laptops with sufficient power and a bright display. While I do like the extra screen space on the Slim 5i Pro, I wish the battery could have been slightly better. The IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro represents a significant value and also happens to match my expectations that I would like it a premium, mainstream notebook.