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Lenovo Flex 5 vs Flex 14 (2021): Which 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop Wins?

Lenovo’s 2-in-1 convertible laptops paved the way for this flexible notebook variant, which can turn into a flat tablet in addition to a standard desk laptop. The Lenovo IdeaPad series heads the budget-friendly options available, but with somewhat confusing model names, such as the Lenovo Flex 5 14 and Lenovo Flex 14, buyers might scratch their heads trying to tell which is which. So here’s a detailed comparison between these popular Lenovo convertible laptops to distinguish each one’s specs, features, and overall performance.

Lenovo Flex 5 vs Flex 14 Laptop Comparison Chart

ModelLenovo IdeaPad Flex 5Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14″
Lenovo Flex 5 14' 2-in-1 Laptop, 14.0' FHD (1920 x 1080) Touch Display, AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Processor,... Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, 14 Inch FHD Touchscreen Display, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U... 
PriceCheck Price Check Price 
Display14″ FHD Touchscreen14″ FHD Touchscreen
Resolution1920 x 1080 pixels1920 x 1080 pixels
GraphicsAMD Integrated GraphicsAMD Integrated Graphics
Processor2.1GHz Ryzen 5 4500U2.1GHz Ryzen 5 3500U
Memory16GB DDR412GB DDR4
StorageUp to 512GB SSD PCIeUp to 256GB SSD PCIe
CameraHD 720p fixed focus720p HD with dual array microphone
AudioDolby Audio™
2 x 2W speakers
Dual Mic(DAX3)
Harman speakers with Dolby Audio™ Premium
Ports2 x USB 3.1 (Gen 1)
1 x USB-C (Gen 1 with PD)
HDMI 1.4b
4-in-1 card reader
Headphone / mic combo
1 x USB 3.0** Type-C
2 x USB 3.0** (one always on)
HDMI
4-in-1 card reader
Audio combo jack
ConnectivityWiFi 2×2 AC
Bluetooth® 4.2
802.11 AC (2 x 2)
Bluetooth® 4.1
Active PenIncludedIncluded
OSWindows 10 Home in S modeWindows 10 Home
Battery LifeUp to 12 hoursUp to 8 hours
Rapid Charge15 minutes for up to 2 hours use15 minutes for up to 2 hours use
SecurityFingerprint reader, privacy shutterFingerprint reader
Dimensions12.65″ x 8.56″ x 0.82″12.9″ x 9.01″ x .69″ 
Weight3.63 lb3.52 lb
ReleasedMay 2020July 2019

Design

The Lenovo Flex 5 14″ and Flex 14 have similar ultraportable designs.

Only a few details tell the Lenovo Flex 5 14″ (left) and Flex 14 (right) apart.

Released roughly a year apart, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 and Flex 14 bear a striking resemblance to each other, to no one’s surprise. These flexible, thin laptops share the same design aesthetics, down to the signature hinges and bulky chassis, which is really only bulky in comparison with other more expensive 2-in-1 convertible laptops. And yes, both the Flex 5 14 and Flex 14 have that 360-degree flexibility that lets you turn it from a standard clamshell laptop all the way to a completely flat touchscreen tablet.

Dimensions-wise, the newer Lenovo Flex 5 14″ is just a tad thicker and heavier than the Flex 14. You won’t really be able to tell the difference, though, and they have the same level of portability. The Flex 5 14 has white-bordered keys that can help differentiate it from the Flex 14 but other than that, you get the same build features and ports on these Lenovo laptops.

The 2-in-1 description might be a misnomer since you can use either Lenovo laptop in several configurations. In addition to the usual “Laptop” mode, you can tilt it to “Stand” mode so the keyboard faces the table, letting the display stand out for movie watching. Plus you can switch them to “Tent” and “Tablet” modes to make full use of the touchscreen interface and included Active Pens.

That’s right, the included Active Pens give these Lenovo IdeaPad laptops a lot of extra value since you get full stylus functionality added to the deal. You can select from three different colors for the Flex 5 14″, Platinum Grey, Graphite Grey and Abyss Blue, while the Flex 14 is only available in Onyx Black.

Performance

The Lenovo Flex 5 14″ is faster than the Lenovo Flex 14.

The Flex 5 14″ in Stand mode.

A quick look at their specs sheet doesn’t immediately confirm how much more powerful the IdeaPad Flex 5 14 is compared to the Flex 14. The Flex 5 14″ is armed with an upgraded AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor along with 16GB DDR4 RAM, pushing its computing capabilities well above its price point. It has six Zen+ cores compared to the four cores in the Flex 14’s AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor, resulting in a boost in performance though both clock in at 2.1 GHz normally.

In addition, the Lenovo Flex 14 also has a maximum of 12GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB SSD storage while the Flex 5 14 can get up to 512GB of internal SSD PCIe storage. You can further upgrade its processor to an eight-core AMD Ryzen 7 4700U if you order via Lenovo’s online store. Amazingly, doing so won’t budge the price too high, so you can get even more value out of your laptop purchase.

The Flex 14 in Tent mode.

Benchmark tests confirm the impressive performance of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14″, especially compared to other laptops in its range. On PCMark 10, which measures overall CPU performance for office-related tasks like spreadsheets, word processing and video conferencing, the Flex 5 14’s AMD Ryzen 5 4500U scores 4,678 while similarly priced laptops powered by Intel Core i3 or i5 processors scored around 3,500 to 4,200. In comparison, the Flex 14’s Ryzen 5 3500U scored 3,896, which is more than good enough to be used for work.

Display visibility is slightly better on the Flex 5 14, since the Flex 14 has a glossy multi-touch screen, though both might seem dim at just 250 nits of brightness. You’ll likely want to turn the brightness levels up if you work in a well-lit office or room. Both displays max out at 1920×1080, but there’s a lower-resolution display for the Flex 14, so you should carefully check the specs when buying.

Audio performance is similar for these Lenovo IdeaPad computers, with Dolby Audio™ speakers that are adequate for entertainment and video conferences alike. The Flex 5 14 has dual mics though that can give you an easier time during calls if you don’t have dedicated headphones.

Cameras and Connectivity

The Lenovo Flex 5 14″ and Flex 14 have similar cameras and connectivity options.

Join online meetings with ease using the built-in webcams on these Lenovo laptops.

Don’t expect too much out of the cameras for either IdeaPad laptop since they only have a max of 720p resolution, resulting in moderately noisy video with unimpressive colors. That’s really about as much as you can hope for in mid-range laptops, as they’re usually just tacked on for completeness’ sake. The newer Flex 5 14 has a nice little privacy bonus of having a physical shutter so you won’t have to tape over the front cam if you’re a bit paranoid when you’re not using it.

Connectivity options are similar as well on these flexible IdeaPads, with three total USB ports, an HDMI port for a secondary monitor, a 4-in-1 car reader and an audio combo jack. These should be plenty for connecting accessories and other auxiliary devices you might look to employ when working. The Flex 5 14 has a more updated Bluetooth 4.2 firmware than the Flex 14’s Bluetooth 4.1, but they’ll function similarly well along with the 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Battery and Accessories

The Lenovo Flex 5 14″ has a longer battery life than the Flex 14.

The included Active Pens make these Lenovo laptops lots of versatility.

Lenovo improved the battery capacity of the IdeaPad Flex 5 quite significantly. It’s rated to last 12 hours on a single charge, which is 50% more than the 8 hour battery life of the Flex 14. These are just approximate claims, of course, but you can get even more juice by lowering screen brightness, adjusting volume, tweaking power management settings, etc. Both laptops also have Rapid Charge Boost, which gives you 2 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes of charging.

Greatly improving the overall value of these Flex laptop offers is the included Active Pen. This digital pen provides a good deal of flexibility and outlet for creativity, especially if you switch to the Tablet or Stand modes. With their beefy CPUs, editing photos and documents is a breeze on either IdeaPad. The pen features 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity along with two buttons, making them fully-configurable digital stylus. There’s no integrated slot on either device for easy storing though, so you’ll need to find some way of ensuring you don’t lose these accessories.

Verdict

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14″ is better than the Flex 14.

It only makes sense that the new generation Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14″ outperforms the previous one. While there aren’t too many physical design upgrades to speak of, the overall processing power and performance of the Flex 5 14 has been significantly improved. It remains thin enough to be highly portable while offering plenty of power for most work-related apps and usage. You also get improved battery life, but it’s mostly at the cost of a slightly dimmer display.

Still, the Lenovo Flex 5 14 makes for an impressive mid-range choice for a light gaming or multimedia laptop, especially when compared with other brands, due to its excellent price to performance ratio. If you can find the Lenovo Flex 14 at a significant discount, it can be a decent alternative since it offers similar features with only a step down in computing muscle.

FAQs

📌 Is the Lenovo Flex 5 14 a good laptop?

Yes, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14″ is an outstanding laptop for its price. Its specs are noticeably higher than that of competitors while also being far more affordable. With a lightweight build, plenty of connectivity, and decent battery life, the Lenovo Flex 5 14 proves that it’s amazing value for a laptop.

📌 What is the difference between the Lenovo Flex 5 14 and Flex 14?

The more recent Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 series have upgraded CPUs, RAM and overall performance. Moreover, the Lenovo Flex 5 14 has 50% more battery life than the previous gen Flex 14.

📌 Does the Lenovo Flex 14 come with a pen?

It depends on where you purchase it. Some retailers, such as Amazon, offer the Lenovo Flex 14 and IdeaPad Flex 5 14 with the Active Pen included.

📌 Does the Lenovo Flex 5 have a camera?

Yes, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 laptops are equipped with a 720p webcam that has a physical privacy shutter for extra security.

Last update on 2021-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.