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Lenovo IdeaPad 720s-14IKB Andrei Girbea Rating: 4 out of 5

Lenovo IdeaPad 720s review – a solid all-round thin-and-light laptop

55 Comments

  1. Sergey

    August 12, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    You have a misprint, "For mouse Asus went with a large Synaptics clickpad, "
    surely you meant Lenovo
    :)

  2. Nic

    August 13, 2017 at 1:17 am

    Great review on the 720s and 320s! Will we see one for 520s soon?

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 13, 2017 at 6:54 am

      I can't tell right now, but that's not impossible. Wont' happen in the next 2-3 weeks though, I have other things in the works.

  3. Joe

    August 16, 2017 at 1:17 am

    Nice review. I was looking for a budget laptop capable of light gaming, 1080p video editing, and good video streaming battery life. Initially looked at the Asus UX430UN but was disappointed by SATA 3 SSD limit, small battery and high price. Finally narrowed my choices to this or the new HP Envy, but it looks like Lenovo's also raising prices of the mid-range 7×0 lineup.
    Like the 720s, the Envy 13 has improved battery capacity since last gen but it sports the MX150 pascal dGPU. It doesn't have a TB3 port, but it does have NVMe SSD support, which is essential for video editing. I hope you get to review it soon.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 16, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      The UX430 support PCIe x4 SSDs, not at full speed, but you'd still get close to 2 GBs read speeds.

      About the Envy, HP laptops are hardly available in my region and I haven't' reviewed their devices in a while, so the chances are slim to none that's I'll be able to review that one.

  4. mikro

    August 16, 2017 at 4:55 am

    That thudnerbolt 3 thing is right. As there is a low power Thunderbolt 3 (JHL6240) using only 2x PCIe 3.0 links and therefore it is only 20Gb/s. There's also more notebooks like this, where they claim it has TB3, but they will hide the fact that it is only half the speed or they say it "speeds may vary".

    • D3al

      November 1, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Greetings mikro,
      This would be a concern if I want to put an eGPU trough an adapter (like Razer core or similar)?

      If no, maybe you can recommend one of this cases and a proper GPU to work with this laptop.

  5. Daniel

    August 16, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Would you say the screen quality on the 720s iw worse or similar to the Acer Swift 3 with mx150 graphics? Looking to buy one of these and the graphics chip is important however not as important as a really poor quality screen.

    Many thanks,
    Daniel

  6. Danny

    August 18, 2017 at 2:28 am

    Good Review!! I was wondering if you noticed any clattering/rattling noises on the touchpad when you tap on it? I had this issue on my ideapad 710s which caused me to return it. Thanks

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 18, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      Not on this sample, or at least not the the point that it would bother me. I would have mentioned it otherwise, as that's something I find annoying as well.

  7. Jonas Nielsen

    August 23, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for some amazing reviews, I love to read them. But I need some help.

    I am looking at a new study laptop and I have looked at the Lenovo IdeaPad 720s-14 "80XC0010MX" and ASUS ZenBook UX430UQ-PURE2. But I can not decide which one it should be, as there are pros and cons for both of them.

    I need it for study, light gaming and image editing.

    Have stumbled blind by looking at them for a week now.
    Which one should I choose ???

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 23, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      Personally I'd choose the Asus for the matte screen, but they are very similar. Is there a price difference between them?

      Also, if you can wait, there's a UX430 with the new KabyLake-R quad-core processors and Nvidia MX150 graphics coming in a short while, that's going to be a nice upgrade over the existing UX430UQ

      • Jonas Nielsen

        August 24, 2017 at 7:48 am

        I also like the screen on the Asus. But no, there is no price difference between the two devices.
        Do you have an idea when the MX150 version would be released? Because I've also looked at the UX430UN.
        I have also found a UX410UQ GV034T for the same price?

        • Andrei Girbea

          August 26, 2017 at 4:10 am

          No, unfortunately. However, if you're living in one of the Northern European countries (based on your name), I'd reckon you'd be among the first to get it, based on the availability of previous Zenbooks. Could try to get in touch with Asus on your country via Social media and see if they can share any helpful info.

          • Jonas Nielsen

            August 26, 2017 at 11:00 am

            You're right, I'm from Denmark :) I've talked with Asus and they expect that it is released in early Q4 of the year, so maybe October. I just find it hard to wait as it is for studio use.
            But I have found a UX410UQ GV034T, at the same price as UX430UQ-PURE2. I like how the UX430 model feels but I can not find any stores to try the UX410. Does it feel very awful compared to the UX430 or is it an okay purchase?

          • Andrei Girbea

            August 26, 2017 at 12:56 pm

            It's a big bigger/heavier, the metal feels a little cheaper and the build is a tad more flimsy. It's still a pretty good laptop though. I've seen some people claiming the UX410 comes with a plastic main-body in some regions, mine came with a metallic interior though, and only the underside was plastic.

  8. Nilay Sanghvi

    August 26, 2017 at 3:01 am

    Hey Andrei, I was planning to buy this laptop, but the slow wireless card is a problem. Are you sure it can be replaced with the newer Intel 8265? Because I read somewhere that this laptop has a 1×1 antenna and the 8265 requires 2×2.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 26, 2017 at 4:22 am

      I don't know to be frank, I didn't actually consider this aspect. Nor sure how the 8265 works on a 1×1 antenna setup, that's a bit out of my league, so I'd rather not say anything that would be wrong. Sry I can't be of any help here.

      I'll update the post, thanks.

      • Nilay Sanghvi

        August 26, 2017 at 2:54 pm

        Hey, I'm sorry for the confusion, but it seems the wireless card can be replaced with an Intel 8265 card. I went through the Hardware Maintenance Manual of the laptop and found out this. download.lenovo.com/consumer/mobiles_pub/ideapad720s-14ikb_hmm_201705.pdf
        Thanks a lot for your prompt reply!

  9. Korkka

    September 19, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Would be nice if you could implement thunderbolt 3 testing in your reviews somehow. Like a 4k screen, I've read about some laptops that can only run external displays on integrated graphics, does optimus make a difference and so on. Maybe some high speed external storage peripherals also. Thank you.

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 19, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      Noted, thanks. I don't have a 4K screen, I use a 21:9 3440 x 1440 px monitor, and I don't have any TB3 peripherals right now, but I'll check out what I need and consider it for the near future.

  10. Nat

    September 25, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Nice review! I was wondering what your thinking is on physical battery capacity vs. tested run times. You mentioned the larger capacity of the 720s as a benefit over the Asus ux410 even though the battery test results were roughly equivalen–and with a slight edge to the Asus in light browsing and youtube playback. Do you feel that in such a case, the larger capacity battery may hold up better over the life of the laptop or that it may prove superior in real life scenarios beyond your tests?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 25, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      Software optimization matters as well with battery life, I'd reckon that's the main reason why the two are mostly on par.

      As far as your question goes, batteries wear out in time and of course the more you start of, the more you'll be left with. However, there's also a big amount of luck involved in this matter, so there's always the possibility your battery would loose a chunk of its capacity out of the blue and no way to tell for sure which is going to do have a bigger capacity left after a year or more.

      Take my XPS for instance, it lost almost 8 Wh (if I remember correctly) in two occasions in the first months when I got it, and just 2 more W ever since, in more than 2.5 years. The battery on my Thinkpad also died completely out the blue one day, despite the fact that I carefully used and maintained it and was at 98% capacity after about 2 years of use. The batteries on other laptops that I own still work fine with 5-7 years under their belt.

      I try to minimize the chance of failure by not allowing the battery to go under 10% and usually not charging it past 98%, I can set this in BIOS on the XPS and the ThinkPad, but at the end of the day batteries are consumables and there's a good reason why they only get 6-12 month warranty. Luckily they're fairly easy to replace though.

      • Nat

        September 26, 2017 at 6:04 am

        Thanks for the tip on charging to 98%, that sounds much more practical than the 80% recommendation I've seen from some battery saver apps. I hope you get a chance to review the UX430UN and UX530UN. I'm interested to see if they maintain the good (for the size) battery life with the MX150 and DDR5 version of the 940MX.

  11. Dramba

    October 10, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    new version is comming equipped with 8th gen intel and mx150, check 81BD000TUS

  12. maya

    October 15, 2017 at 8:58 am

    first of all great review!
    I'm looking to buy a new laptop for college and just watching movies and stuff like that
    and i can't decide if i should buy this one or the asus zenbook ux430ua.
    i was leaning towards the asus mainly because it's lighter than the lenovo,
    but then i read your review and now my main concern about the zenbook is the noisy fan.

    so what's your recommendation?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 15, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      To be fair, the fan inside this IdeaPad is fairly noisy as well.

      In few words, the UX430UA is lighter, gets a nicer screen with a matte finishing and actually performs a little better in demanding loads. The Lenovo on the other hand gets TB3, a bigger battery and the 940MX GDDR5 graphics, but the TB3 and dedicated graphics won't probably do much for what you're saying you're expecting from your laptop.

      As an extra note, keep in mind I tested the UX430UQ version with the Nvidia graphics. The UX430UA only gets Intel graphics and will run cooler (and quieter, to some extent).

  13. Martin

    October 17, 2017 at 4:31 am

    Hi
    Thank you very much for this review. Right now I have Lenovo Ideapad 500S, i3 (14inch). And it's a good laptop. The only problem I had after using this laptop for about 3 months was the hinges! After 1,5 years Lenovo replaced the whole panel with hinges. I paid for that over 160 dollars. This is my second Ideapad laptop and the previous model also cracked after 20 months since I bought it!

    What I noticed (through first-hand experience)about Ideapads is that they usually look very nice, they have solid specifications but the hinges and the plastic around them crack with time. My question is:
    Are the hinges and the areas near the hinges well built in 720S? Any unnecessary spaces there?

    Forgive me my English. I'm not a native speakers. Thank you

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 17, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      HI, the build quality seemed fine for me, BUT, bit BUT, I can't actually judge reliability based on using the laptop for a week or two. I also didn't open the plastic shell of the hinge to see how it's designed inside. So bottom point, I really can't tell for sure if this is built better than your older devices and whether it will age well or not.

      • Martin

        October 18, 2017 at 6:09 am

        I understand. Thank you for your quick reply.

  14. Eliseo

    October 21, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Hey Andrei, great write up! I've been in the market for a good ultrabook for some time and your reviews are always great.

    I'm fairly sold on this model as of now, but I have a quick question regarding the GPU since it seems like you're really advocating for the MX150 over the 940MX.

    Currently, Lenovo's website has a deal on this specific model for $750, which IMO is a pretty great deal. I saw another person comment on the availability of the MX150 in a new model 81BD000TUS, and looked it up, turns out it also comes with the new i5-8250U. It's available through Amazon (no reviews) for a ~$200 increase at ~$950.

    To get to the point, do you think the performance of the MX150, along with the 8th gen i5, is worth the extra $200 price tag here?

    I'm primarily getting the laptop for school, which occasionally requires the use of CAD software such as Solidworks. I'd also like to get some light gaming use out of this purchase.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 23, 2017 at 9:18 am

      I'd say yes if you plan to keep the laptop for a few years. The i5-8250U is quad-core and offers a significant boost in performance in multi-core loads, and the MX150 is significantly faster than the 940MX as well.

      • Eliseo

        October 23, 2017 at 12:26 pm

        Thanks for the reply. One last quick question…

        I see that the Acer SF314-52G-55WQ has the i5-8250U as well as the MX150, but no Thunderbolt 3, for ~$750.

        I know you didn't review those exact models, but which did you prefer? For $200, the addition of Thunderbolt 3 seems like a lot. I've owned a Lenovo for the last 5 years and the build quality has been great. I'm a bit weary of Acer products, but at a $200 discount I'm considering it.

        Thanks for your thoughts

        • Andrei Girbea

          October 23, 2017 at 2:15 pm

          It's not just Thunderbolt, there's also the smaller footprint, nicer construction, better screen, larger battery. The Swift 3 is excellent for the money, but it cuts some corners to meet the lower price tag.

  15. Eliseo

    October 23, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Got it. Thanks for all the help!

  16. D3al

    November 1, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Greetings Andrei,

    Thank you for your review. Yesterday I bought this laptop on Lenovo USA. i7-7500U, 16Gb RAM, 512Gb SSD for $969. Lenovo claims to have up to 40Gbps on TB3 but as I read on your review this can be tricky… My question is: I plan to buy an eGPU (like Razer core or another) but if the TB3 port in this Lenovo is half cutted then. will the eGPU will work?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 1, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      The x2 is a bottleneck if you want to play games on the laptop's screen with the eGPU hooked up, but it's no issue at all if you also use an external monitor hooked up into the eGPU enclosure (Core or others).

      • D3al

        November 1, 2017 at 3:17 pm

        Thank you Andrei! What do you think about de <$1,000 deal for the i7, 16Gb RAM, 512 SSD?

        • Andrei Girbea

          November 2, 2017 at 4:16 am

          Very good. I'd reckon the Zenbook UX430 is more expensive?

          • D3al

            November 6, 2017 at 5:16 pm

            I just saw a YT video uploaded on Nov 2, with a review of the 2017 Lenovo IdeaPad 720s with 8th gen processor and MX150 GPU. There is no info on Lenovo's US official site, but for $999 you get the new version. If I didn't live outside the U. S. I would return my purchase… For another $30 more, I would have an 8th-gen i7/16Gb RAM/512 SSD/ and a 30% more efficient GPU.

  17. Ocean

    November 1, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Extremely helpful review! Thank you! Just a question on the wifi card: how slow does the wireless get? I'm coming from a 2010 MacBook pro on which I've been running Linux for the past few months (an upgrade is very much overdue). Is (1×1) enough of a setback for me to consider other options? Right now I can get this model with an i7, 16GB RAM and 512GB ssd for 1k on their website, which sounds like a decent deal for me. I just don't want the wireless to be painfully slow.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 1, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      My unit was rather slow, averaging 45-50 Mbps on a 2.4 GHz network where other laptops could easily reach 100+. I'd further dig into this matter and perhaps find out if replacing the Wifi chip helps, or if others report better performance, as there's a chance things could have been improved with newer drivers.

    • John

      November 22, 2017 at 11:47 am

      1×1 is unfortunately common and yet if you want good 2.4 speed its really not going to happen anyway and most users find 5Ghz a big issue with range. I can tell you a lot of PC makers skimp on Wifi and if you ever feel you may want something better. Get a 2×2 now because a 1×1 setup may not have duel antenna's and you won't be able to upgrade to 2×2 easily without adding another antenna. Frankly I wish PC makers put in better wifi something everyone uses then loading up with un needed RAM. Most users don't need over 8 GB RAM anyway. It's just overkill.

  18. Kyle

    November 20, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Hi. I'm considering buying the new model of this laptop that comes with i7-8550U + MX150 dGPU and currently available in the Lenovo US website at US$790 since Black Friday with corporate perks discount. Only issue seems to be that memory is 8 GB so assuming they're using the same chassis as 7th gen + 940MX, is the memory soldered or upgradable? I'm confused because from the disassembly photos I can see a silver metal cover above the M.2 SSD slot, which I assume means there's a non-soldered ram bracket. During my research I've also come across some unknown European maintenance manual of the previous gen 720s that showed a diagram of opening up that metal plate to remove the memory. Thanks.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 30, 2017 at 5:47 am

      I'm sorry I've somehow missed your comment and it's way too late to reply now, but the RAM is not soldered, there's a DIMM inside that allows to upgrade the RAM to 16 Gigs

  19. John

    November 22, 2017 at 11:44 am

    You want any kind of longevity in a laptop your going to have to spend $800 to a grand to get a good overall package. Anything under $500 is going to compromise in several areas, and your going to be replacing it sooner.
    Especially with ultra low voltage CPU's a quad i5 or i7 is almost a requirement even for basic use these days.
    I have a 6th gen core i3 and its rather slow when you multi task at all. Then you have to have a IPS screen to get any sort of good viewing angle and HD or higher resolution.

  20. Daniel

    November 24, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Greetimgs,

    Can someone give some lights about the type-c port? I was looking for a hub (more usb ports, VGA, UHD4k, Ethernet, etc) but it seems like not all the hubs work with this kind of USB-C ports (specially if the say Thunderbolt).
    So Im asking if somenone with this laptop can obtain a described information about controller, version, specifications, etc. Lenovo has a trash client service and the forums are empty of answers.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 25, 2017 at 4:55 am

      As far as I know, pretty much all hubs should work with this, as it gets a proper TB3 port. Do you have other reports?

      • D3al

        November 29, 2017 at 9:04 am

        Its a little bit confusing. For example, for video output, the laptop needs to be compatible with DisplayPort Alt. Mode over USB-C Is this 720s model compatible with this?
        Is Dual video compatible? is Power Delivery (PD) compatible? Not all USB-C devices support PD.

        None of this topics are realted on manual or Lenovo support. Totally mistery :)
        kensington.com/ce/ca/7428/usbc-faqs
        I was looking this hub (8-1) but seller cannot confirm if this model is compatible: goo.gl/4dxkjk

        • Andrei Girbea

          November 30, 2017 at 5:32 am

          Yes, DisplayPort is included even with USB-C gen1 ports as far as I know. I can't tell if it supports Power, but it should be a part of TB3, so I beleive it does support it as well. Unfortunately there's no way to tell for sure without actually trying it…

  21. Andrew Han

    December 1, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Hello (again), I need to decide between this and the Lenovo Yoga 720 (final decision). I'm a high school student by the way, and I was thinking that the Yoga 720's touchscreen and stylus support might come in handy when I'm taking notes or the like. So which one is better for my needs: Lenovo Ideapad 720S or the Yoga 720? Thanks in advance!

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 2, 2017 at 5:17 am

      HI. As you've probably hinted from my articles and replies, I can't make the decision for you, because you know best what you want in your laptop. If you expect to put that touchscreen to good use, then go ahead and get the Yoga, it's a fairly solid notebook (there's a review here on the site).

    • Kris

      December 6, 2017 at 10:55 am

      I think one aspect is whether you think you take better notes on a keyboard or in your own hand. Some people retain better when it's in their own hand. And of course, if you're doing math, science, or art type things, the stylus will make it much easier to draw figures and equations than to use an equation editor. Something other than hardware to consider.

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