Lenovo IdeaPad 5 14ARE05 review (AMD Rzyen 5) – the almost perfect budget notebook


  1. william blake

    July 4, 2020 at 6:19 am

    bad colors but good brightness and contrast is MUCH better than bad colors and bad brightness and contrast :)
    but the biggest bummer is not here. mx350 option only for intel sibling means if i need more/the best gpu option-ill buy intel. which is dumb by default, either best gpu or best cpu, never both. plenty of models with this strange perk in the market.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 4, 2020 at 8:29 pm

      Sure, that's why this still ended up with a good rating. But not enough for my needs.

  2. bittricks

    July 4, 2020 at 8:40 am

    No longer available. Anywhere. Looked for hours online.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 4, 2020 at 12:40 pm

      It's out of stock here as well, but I've been told it will be resupplied late this month

  3. Alexis

    July 5, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Hey Andrei,

    I was wondering if you will be reviewing Samsung Galaxy Book S w/ Lakefield? If you will, when can we expect (this month or next month) to read it?

    All the best,


    • Andrei Girbea

      July 5, 2020 at 3:16 pm

      Hi, most likely not. Samsung notebooks are not available over here

      • Alexis

        July 5, 2020 at 4:14 pm

        That's a bummer.

        How about Dell XPS 17?

      • Andrei Girbea

        July 5, 2020 at 4:17 pm

        That might happen, but don't have a timeframe. Dell are not interested in sending over review samples to us, and we're a small publication and cannot buy many laptops just for reviews. That aside, the XPS 17 is still not available over here, for now

  4. Alexis

    July 5, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    Looking forward to it! :-)

  5. wertzius

    July 7, 2020 at 11:55 am

    In Germany you can configure it with a 100% sRGB Panel, then it is a no brainer! I will wait for the 15" Version to come back online.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 7, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      We don't have a localized Lenovo configurator over here, so we can only order what the distributors decide to bring in shops. This was a first-batch though, so hopefully 100% sRGB options should be available here as well. Still, 600 EUR was a good deal and I think most users should fine even this 55% sRGB screen good enough

  6. TheOldOne

    July 8, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    Hey, just wondering if you can help out with ideas:

    Looking for something preferably in the 14" size. 2.5 bay for older SSD to put in (only seen HP 445 G7 have this yet), backlit keyboard and Ryzen 4500u or higher. I prefer non-soldered RAM but if it's 16GB I don't mind. I would like the one that has the better screen tho. Hinges should be durable but I know that's not something you can guarantee considering every type can break.

    In the 15.6 size it's easier to find these things but if you know a perfect one, do tell.

    I do keep an eye on this list as well: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/36030-amd-ryzen-7-4800u-laptops/ Good thing you included the 2.5 bay if there's any. I've had to ask customer supports for this for different models.

    Thanks for the review as well, appreciate when one can see what one's paying for.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 9, 2020 at 10:49 am

      I'm updating that list, but panel details are hard to come by without getting my hands on the products, or at least looking through other reviews.

      But why is a 2.5" bay that important? OEMs are fading that out more and more, not that M.2 SSDs are getting more affordable, and you'll most likely only get this with lesser products from now on, while the higher tier lineups will only stick to M.2

      • Andreas

        July 9, 2020 at 10:37 pm

        Thanks for the reply.

        Mainly it's cause the old laptop that's dead has a 1TB SSD. Still a bummer to waste that and it's a great thing to have for simply expanding storage. I already have other SSDs that are in use so can't put it in anything else either. Only reason really. Otherwise I'd say the second M.2 slot on some models is great!

  7. mind12

    July 8, 2020 at 10:33 pm

    Great review. I'm happy I've found your site.

    I consider the 15" version of this laptop for my wife. Ryzen would be best but she needs the mx350 for light CAD work like Autocad, Mapinfo, Archicad. Also 15" has a great 70Wh battery.

    Andrei do you think the reason of the chipping is because of the blue color or it would be the same for the other two versions as well? She won't (can't?) protect it based on previous experience so this could be a deal breaker.

    Thank you.

    PS: I prefer reading so have not viewed the video :)

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 9, 2020 at 10:52 am

      As far as I can tell, the paint is pretty sensible and I'd expect it to dent and scratch over time. Not sure about the other colors, but if possible I'd rather go with a plastic lid. Might not feel as premium, but should age better.

      Adding some sort of skin over the lid should also help protect the paint, not sure if you'll find something made for this series though. Worth a look

  8. 02nz

    July 9, 2020 at 7:07 am

    I think you're wrong about "no biometrics." The power button has an integrated fingerprint reader. I have it on my 15-inch IdeaPad 5, it works great (fastest, most accurate fingerprint reader I've ever used on a laptop). Looks like most if not all 14-inch variants have it as well.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 9, 2020 at 10:56 am

      Ha, thanks for the heads-up. Stupid of me, but I never thought about looking into that. Will update the article.

  9. bittricks

    July 11, 2020 at 3:41 am

    Per Lenovo USA this model has been discontinued. On the US Lenovo site, only a single model (offering either Intel or AMD Ryzen CPU) with only 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD is being offered. Once it is gone there shall be no re-stock of that particular IdeaPad 5 model either.

    The Lenovo IdeaPad 5 14ARE is a non-USA market laptop.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 11, 2020 at 10:29 am

      Interesting. Perhaps made way for the Flex 5 and the Slim 7?

  10. Tom

    July 15, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    That's a great price! Where did you buy it?

  11. Gorg

    July 20, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Is it possible to have two ssd at same time?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 20, 2020 at 5:35 pm

      it is

      • Tom

        July 22, 2020 at 1:21 pm

        Are both usable at the same time, and how big is the included 2230?

      • Andrei Girbea

        July 22, 2020 at 1:52 pm

        they can. What do you by how big?

  12. Will

    July 28, 2020 at 3:58 am

    Will you review the Yoga slim 7?
    Especially interested in the difference to this one for the screen and speakers.

  13. Paul

    August 29, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Thanks for the article Andrei it was really useful. Like everyone else I’ve been struggling to find these laptops as they are all sold out. I can live with the display and I like Lenovo. What do you think about the intel version of the same laptop? They have the i5 1035G1 or i7 1065G7 available here in Spain with the GeForce MX330 graphics card for about 720€ / 800€. Based on your comparison it seems the Ryzen 5 4500 is much more powerful although potentially the graphics will be better with the intel configuration. I want to use it for some gaming (car racing sims mostly). Would you hold out for the AMD version to be restocked or go with one of these?
    They only stock 8GB ram configurations. Would it be possible to upgrade to 16GB from what you saw?
    Final question, Lenovo only stock the idea pad with Spanish qwerty keyboards here in Spain and don’t seem to want to ship from another country. Do you know if there is a trick to getting a US/UK keyboard in Europe? I could consider other brands if you highly recommend one.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 29, 2020 at 5:39 pm

      I haven't yet tested the Intel models, but they're not bad. The i5 + MX330 configurations should do fine with light games and GPU tasks, even better than the Ryzen 5/7 models, if the hardware is properly implemented. You'll need to look into some reviews.

      At the same time, the AMD models might run slightly cooler and will outmatch the Intel models in CPU tasks, but you haven't mentioned those, so the Intel model should be fine.

      The RAM is soldered so you'll have to get the right amount, no way to change that later.

      As for that keyboard, you could perhaps try to find the right configuration on Amazon or maybe another store that ships within the EU. That's what I do over here. Shipping from the US is complicated and most likely not worth it, due to the extra taxes.

      As for other brands, I've only tested the Asus VivoBooks in the same niche, and you'll find the article on the site. The IdeaPad is a superior thermal implementation imo, and also cheaper over here, so I'd get that over the matching VivoBook.

  14. Sany

    January 23, 2021 at 7:22 am

    I bought the Intel i5 with graphic card. I am not comfortable with the quality of the camera, not sure if this is because of I am coming from XPS15!?
    I am thinking of returning and getting the Huawei Matebook 15 with Ryzen 5. Do you think the camera is any better?

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 23, 2021 at 10:10 am

      not significantly better. and isn't the MateBook 15 a nosecam in the keyboard, like on the 14?

  15. George

    March 6, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    Did you experienced eye strain, while using this laptop?
    As far as I can tell, I bought exactly the same model (81YM0057RM). The only (considering the price) issue I have is also with the display. I won’t be using it for serious photo/video editing, so sRGB coverage is not big problem, but the white is just too bright and I can’t seem to find comfortable settings. I’ve tried custom icm files (made for the same panel), f.lux, but the problem remains to some extent, especially during nighttime? The sad thing is I probably have to pay close to double for something that have the same configuration but with better panel.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 6, 2021 at 10:02 pm

      I don't remember that bothering me, but I also haven't used it at night at all.

  16. George

    March 6, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Thanks for the quick reply. I still have time to return it, but it's a tough decision.

  17. Rafael

    May 10, 2021 at 2:34 am

    Just got one of these (currently €629 from the Lenovo website for the 16GB/512GB configuration) and trying to decide whether to keep it. My concerns are mostly whether I can make it play nice with Linux in various ways, but I ran across your helpful review and appreciate some of the general points you covered.

    Mine came with a 95W USB charger and no separate power jack, which strikes me as inconvenient as it takes up the only available USB-C port. I'm not sure whether the lid is metal or plastic, but if I can't tell the difference between it and the base, I guess it's probably plastic. Your report of scratches and dents is worrisome, though. BTW, I assume you mean "sensitive" rather than "sensible" (a common mixup between English and French, and perhaps also Romanian).

    It's been some time since your original review–do you still consider this a good budget choice or are there better options now?

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 10, 2021 at 10:48 am

      Hey, thanks for the feedback. It's still a good budget choice now, even if there should be a hardware update scheduled for the near future, but most likely more expensive. You probably got the plastic lid versions, which should age better than the metal that I had on my unit (I've experienced it in the IdeaPad Flex 5, you'll find the review on the site).

  18. John

    April 6, 2023 at 5:51 pm

    I bought a slightly newer IdeaPad 5 model with a Ryzen 5625U and have to say the screen quality is not up to what Lenovo claims. I find the colors weak and washed out, some of this might be related to touchscreen.
    Supposed to be a IPS 300 nits screen but I question the brightness claim. Even in daytime no direct sunlight I am having to max out brightness level. I have had 250 nit or lower screens where that was not needed. The other disappointment is with the AMD Ryzen APU. It is really snappy on AC power, but apparently AMD has significantly reduced performance on purpose with battery to improve battery life. Another slight annoyance is the bottom cover is so thin it creaks when I pick it up from bottom. For a mid-level laptop granted a consumer model. I felt like it had a screen quality from a base model laptop. I did not feel it was worthy of this price point.

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