Lenovo recently unveiled a new mid-range laptop as a direct competitor to the ASUS K501 series – the Lenovo IdeaPad 700 80RU00FEUS. Although not as good looking, the robustness, reliability and general sturdiness of this portable computer will score high marks for those who want a dependable device, alongside the surprising specs.
So, the Lenovo IdeaPad 700 80RU00FEUS model is a laptop geared towards a more tech-savvy audience who can appreciate superior hardware choices without much need of flashy, unnecessary extra features.
The price tag also reflects this state of affairs with the IdeaPad 700 – at a smudge over $700 at the time of this review, it’s high enough to be powerful, but low enough for industry specialists to get the most bang out of their buck.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 700 80RU00FEUS has a quad core Intel Core i5-6300HQ processor under the chassis. It’s a standard voltage CPU, meaning it won’t help with lessening battery drain and has a frequency range between 2.3 GHz and 3.2 GHz, a cache size of 6 megabytes – which is very impressive for a mobile CPU, and a thermal design power of 45 Watts. So far, users haven’t complained about their laptops overheating, so I guess Lenovo took extra steps to insure this won’t be a problem with this powerhouse of a processor.
When it comes to benchmark tests, this high end mobile CPU can easily rival advanced desktop units, such as the Intel i5 4440S, as seen here. The high score of 5700 points mean you’ll be able to do almost anything with this laptop that you’d normally do on a mid-range desktop.
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System memory is rated at 12 gigabytes of DDR4 SDRAM. It’s unclear if any stick is soldered to the motherboard, but this series has a RAM limit of 16 gigs, meaning you’ll probably be able to extend it up to that amount. However, be sure to find out what layout has been used and how many free slots will be available after the necessary permutations are done.
The 80RU00FEUS model comes with a 256 gigabyte solid state drive installed. Although short on space, the speed benefit will likely compensate in the long run. Should you want to extend that space, you can also upgrade your SSD after some time or install a hard drive alongside it. Take this with a grain of salt though since I haven’t been able to confirm it through technical manuals, even though Lenovo’s two flagship devices for the 700 series feature an SSD-HDD combo. Be sure to check first!
Lenovo also added a dedicated video card, for good measure. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M it comes with has 4 gigabytes of GDDR5 VRAM and will likely play only older games on satisfying quality settings and recent MMOs, such as CS:GO, DOTA, LoL at decent frame rates as a hobby. It’s a great card to aid professionals such as illustrators, designers, engineers or architects when using programs like Adobe Photoshop, AutoCAD and so on. It will also play FHD and 4K videos without hiccups.
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The Lenovo IdeaPad 700 80RU00FEUS has a 15.6 inch screen with IPS LED display technology and a full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels). Colors are vivid enough, but don’t stand out as spectacular and the viewing angles fall inside the expectation range of an IPS display.
The IdeaPad 700 has plenty of interface options, but no USB-C option yet. Here they are:
- 2 x USB 3.0
- 1 x USB 2.0 port
- 1 x audio combo jack
- 1 x HDMI-out
- 1 x RJ-45
- 1 x 4-in-1 card reader (SD/HC/XC, MMC)
This laptop has a dual band Intel Wireless AC 3165 card, an Ethernet port and Bluetooth 4.0 enabled. The 802.11ac wireless protocol translates to better speeds, less latency and decreased waiting times when connecting and using routers in crowded spaces.
Battery life and portability
Both of these are areas where the Lenovo IdeaPad 700 doesn’t shine as much. The laptop which I’ve been praising since the start of this review is 5.1 lbs or 2.3 kg, making it heavy enough to be a nuisance to seasoned travelers, but not so much as to restrict use around the house or the office.
Also, by today’s standards, the Lenovo’s battery life can only be described as atrocious with a rating of up to 4 hours of usage. That number will quickly fall to about 3 and half hours after some charge cycles and I doubt it will be able to hold a charge for more than 3 hours when used as intended. So, be sure to also factor in this drawback when considering the Ideapad 700 series.
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All in all, Lenovo have given us an affordable powerhouse, great for home environments as a multimedia device and as a desktop replacement or around the office as a work station. The Lenovo IdeaPad 700 80RU00FEUS can also be used as a college laptop by students enrolled in more technical or visual classes – think engineering or design. And although battery life may be a buzzkill, the price tag is sure to lure in those buyers who want processing power above all. Just don’t get too far from a wall socket.