This AMD Laptop may be TOO GOOD to Sell – Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Review

by birtanpublished on October 3, 2020

All right i'm not exactly sure where to start this video but i guess i can start with the story because this review video has been through a lot of changes and honestly i am frustrated so hang in there because this one's going to start with a little bit of a rant so this is the lenovo ideapad slim 7 or what's also known as the yoga slim 7 in some of the regions it sports a ryzen 4000 u-series processor and it's actually one of the best amd thin and light notebooks anyone at

The office has seen so far sounds good right well that's where the problem starts you see our sample comes with the ryzen 7 4800u which features 8 cores and 16 threads all crammed into this super efficient package now amd announced its processor back at ces this year but unfortunately due to delays it only started rolling into devices in the last month or two not only that but lenovo oddly never planned to offer that cpu uh in this notebook in

North america like ever the only variants that they offered was the ryzen 7 4700u which is a six core 12 pair processor and in some regions you were also able to get the ryzen 5 processor as well and i'm okay with that because you know those two cpus are still great and when you pack that into such an efficient notebook like this you know it's perfect but that also changed without using google it's like this amd model never existed on the lenovo site and if you do a web

Search for it this is what pops up not sold out not pack ordered no longer available at all and this happens just as amd starts shipping the new 4000 u series in higher volumes and what's it being replaced with well an intel model sporting the iceland cpus which basically costs more for less performance and shorter battery life i just don't get it you see in the end it's ultimately the buyers who are being screwed by these companies who are offering

Less options for more money and less performance it just it absolutely frustrates me you see i'm just hoping that this is a temporary thing and i really really hope that lenovo brings this back because as it stands at the time making this video the amd version of the ideapad slim 7 is currently missing in action but either way we're going to go ahead and publish this review for folks who can actually buy the yoga sim 7

Slim 7 in other regions so yeah why don't we get to it right after a quick message from our sponsor just when you thought ssds are getting boring check out this new team group cardia ceramic c440 m.2 pcie gen 4×4 ssd in one and two terabyte capacities with insanely fast read write speeds but also with that unique ceramic plate for heat dissipation check it out below okay before i get into the specs i do want to reiterate this one more time this laptop has two different names and it all depends on

Which region you're in so north america it's called the ideapad slim7 and in other regions it's the yoga slim 7. let's go over the specs the starting config comes with a ryzen 5 4500u 6 core processor 8 gigs of ram and a 512 gig nvme ssd the sample that i have over here provided by amd of course comes with a ryzen 7 4800u with 8 cores and 16 threads twice the memory at wicked fast speeds and storage remains the same now when it comes to pricing supposedly it was starting at 850 and

You can expect this thing all the way up to 1100 us dollars but i can't really confirm on that because this notebook isn't available here in north america at least now i really like what lenovo has done with the design of the slim 7. it comes in the sandstone gray finish which i really like and it's an all metal build i honestly can't complain about build quality because this is by far the best amd based ultrabook that i've ever looked at there's very little keyboard flex

The hinge is very smooth to open and close but the screen does get a bit wobbly there is a little lip at the top to make it easier for users to open the laptop but in my case i just had difficulty doing that so i'm just right now the notebook is in a closed position and if i just go ahead and try to open this thing it's not coming because it seems like it's glued together so i have to really give it a little bit of force or a lot of force uh to open this thing so that was really frustrating also the

Screen can be opened all the way 180 degrees flat so i'm not really sure who would take advantage of this orientation but it is there for those of you wondering about the size of the slim 7 it's only 14.9 millimeters thick and it only weighs about 3 pounds or 1.4 kilos so if you want to take this thing to school or coffee shops or business meetings this thing will perfectly fit that criteria it's it's very light and i really like the form factor the keys are spaced appropriately and the secondary

Functions are laid out really well within the function keys by default they are primary but you can change that to secondary case through lenovo's vantage software the power button is actually located on the edge by the i o it's pretty easy to reach and i don't mind this location the keys themselves are pretty good the only thing is that if you're coming from something like a thinkpad series you're not gonna like the shorter travel distance it's very limited but on the positive side there's very less key wobble

And i think you'll get used to it over time the trackpad is nice it is a glass surface with support for windows drivers the only thing is that i did find the responsiveness to be a little bit behind it's pretty good but you know this is again i'm coming from uh a lot of these different notebooks featuring really good glass track pants and they were super responsive so this or switching to something like this definitely felt a little bit behind but honestly for the price point and what lenovo was able to cram inside i guess i can give it a pass

The primary left and right buttons are integrated and interestingly enough i did notice a little bit of a rattling sound when i was clicking the left button so i'm not i'm just gonna give you guys a quick sound test so you can tell difference between the two buttons i hope the microphone was able to pick that up i'm not exactly sure if this just our sample but uh i thought it was worth mentioning so this is what the webcam looks like on the yoga slim seven and uh the

Quality is not that great but it is passable for the laptop at this price point but i am surprised by the microphone it's actually pretty good i have a refrigerator running in the background and it does a pretty good job actually isolating that so you know you can actually hear me properly so for business meetings or skype conversations this thing passes the speakers on the slim 7 are front-facing and i appreciate lenovo for going with this orientation because

The sound projection is excellent there's good clarity with the vocals so if you're listening to music that's heavily vocal emphasized you're gonna have a really good time with this notebook the only thing is that the bass response is very low so you know something to keep in mind for casual music listening and just content consumption this would get this should get the job done it's obviously not as good as something like the xps 13 and some premium notebooks but for the price

Point it's good it's really good port selection is respectable on the slim7 so on the left-hand side you get a usb-c pd port this is what you use to charge the laptop and it only supports that standard you also get a full-size hdmi port another type-c port but this one functions as a usb 3.2 gen 2 port also a displayport output and it also supports pd charging and you get an audio jack switching to the right you get two usb type-a gen1 ports

And a micro sd card reader now moving on to the display this is a 14 inch 1080p ips panel with a refresh rate of 60hz now my first impressions were really good the colors look nice with good viewing angles and as you can see it covers 99 srgb 74 adobe rgb and 77 dc ip3 so for content consumption and maybe a little bit of photo editing this should get the job done the thing is i usually do my display analysis test on notebooks when they're plugged in but as soon as i unplugged uh this

Laptop the contrast ratio was just way off videos looked super washed out the the highlights were just blown out i mean it just didn't do any justice i did perform a display analysis test when it was running in battery mode and there were some variances uh with the contrast ratios as well so again it's such a weird thing to experience when you're on battery and when you're not on battery lenovo claims this panel can get as bright as 300 nits but for my analysis it was only able to hit 275 nits

And when you pair that with a super glossy display outdoor visibility is completely out of question so just if you if you spend a lot of time outdoors this is certainly not for you upgradability is not that flexible with the slim 7 as you can see the ssd is the only component that's user upgradable the memory is soldered onto the pcb and that's pretty much it the drive speeds are fast it's in fact one of the fastest we've come across the battery is huge it's 60 watt hours and from our light load test

It did really well surpassing the xps 13 by a long shot lasting for about 16 hours but it's not quite close to the zenbook 14 but that's to be expected because it's got a bigger battery and an efficient 4700u processor but that notebook was a disaster i'll actually leave a link to my review if you're interested under heavy load the slim7 did okay lasting for about two hours and 40 minutes and i did expect this because the 4800u eight core 16 thread cpu is more power

Hungry than the rest of the lineup all right so at this point i really want to move on to how the slim 7 performs but before i did that there were some pretty odd behavior from it in different power modes you see lenovo offers three modes in their vantage software there's battery saver intelligent cooling and extreme performance remember the ryzen 7 4800u is rated to operate at a default tdp of 15 watts but it can be configured between 10

Watts and 25 watts all three performance modes offer very different profiles with intelligent cooling spiking to about 22 watts for about a minute before it goes to under 15 watts for the rest of our all-core load the battery saver mode seems to be set to between 10 and 12 watts but it's the extreme performance mode that i really wanted to talk about it pushes power consumption above amd spec to the point where the 4800u is sucking down about 30 watts and it actually peaks higher than 40. i mean sure tdp or thermal design power

And actual power consumption are two different metrics but that's still a lot of heat for a thin and light notebook to manage you can actually see that here when the extreme performance mode is smashing the ideapad's cooling solution right in the face it actually peaks around 108 degrees celsius before lenovo's algorithm start fluctuating input power to cool things off this is actually above amd's 105 degree celsius max temperature rating which is a bit concerning but luckily it

Doesn't stay at that temperature for long meanwhile the other two settings ended up being really well behaved by staying below 75 degrees celsius most of the time now that leads to some really high all core frequencies in extreme performance mode while intelligent cooling and battery saver end up a lot lower it's also important to understand what'll happen to performance because of those frequency spikes right at the beginning they'll inflate scores for shorter synthetic benchmarks like

Cinebench while longer loads like rendering in blender or video transcoding will show more of a realistic behavior you can exactly see that here while cinebench r15 is a short test there is a huge impact by moving from extreme to other modes the same goes for something like microsoft word which doesn't load the cpu all that much but then moving on to longer tests there's a pretty significant performance penalty by moving away from the highest setting this is something that you'll

Need to take into consideration as we go through the benchmarks together we always test in the highest performance mode and in this case it translates to about 30 watts of input power while other laptops in this category usually top out at a maximum of 25 watts alright let's get through this we use cinebench as a basic comparison but like you'll see all of our other tests have moved to actual use case to give you a better idea of where laptop stands in real life situations with 16 threads chewing through

Multi-threaded apps it's pretty obvious that the slim 7 would be way faster than anything else in the thin and light laptop market these numbers actually put it in competition with intel's h series rather than anything they have in the ultra low voltage category but as we move on to more lightly threaded applications the amd notebook starts struggling to keep up at times the 4800u is still pretty competitive but it can lose pretty significantly against

Something like ice lake equipped on the xps 13 in microsoft office applications then again it's a pretty good option whenever an app needs more than a few cores normally you wouldn't use a thin light for a lot of gaming but the ideapad 7 gets by pretty well at 1080p if you keep the details to low this is also another area where intel's isolate platform just falls flat on its face remember what i said at the beginning about lenovo switching to just intel for the slim7 well yeah by this

Point it's pretty obvious that that was a mistake from a raw performance standpoint surface temperatures do get quite warm especially when you use this thing in the extreme performance setting it does get quite toasty and that's to be expected considering that you've got an eight core 16 thread 4800u jammed into a thin and light package so that pretty much wraps up this review and honestly guys i'm really impressed with what lenovo has done with the yoga slim 7 or the ideapad slim 7 depending on

Where you live the only issue that i have with this laptop is the fact that you actually can't buy it even with the 4700u processor and that to me is the most frustrating thing about it the fact that they switched to intel cpus right now is just i just i just don't get it i mean from a raw performance standpoint you're paying more but getting less it just makes no sense and i really want you guys to maybe you know go as hard as you want in the comments hopefully lenovo watches this

Video and maybe we'll bring this back to store but you know what if you can find one of these it's a gem it really is i mean for the performance the package the build quality the keyboard all of it just minus the display issue that i had with the plugin versus the battery mode it's it's a solid device so on that note thank you so much for watching stay safe spend responsibly my friends and i will talk to you guys in the next one

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