2023 Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5 14/16 (AMD) and Slim 5i 14/16 (Intel)- what to expect

2023 Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5 14/16 (AMD) and Slim 5i 14/16 (Intel)- what to expect
By Andrei Girbea, last updated on January 12, 2023

In this article, we’re discussing the 2023 Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5 and Ideapad Slim 5i lineups.

These are Lenovo’s mainstream lineups of compact clamshell laptops for the year, available in either 14-inch or 16-inch variants, and with either AMD (Slim 5 models) or Intel (Slim 5i models) specs.

While these 2023 models are dubbed as 8th Gen refreshes, there’s a good chance you might not have heard of the IdeaPad Slim 5 lineup in the past, mostly because Lenovo sell their mainstream products under different names between markets. Hence, the previous generations were mostly sold as the IdeaPad 5 models here in Europe, and we’ve reviewed several of those variants in the past.

That aside, you should be aware that Lenovo are also offering 2023 IdeaPad Pro 5/5i lineups, which are more premium metal designs and a little heavier, but get higher-tier hardware with optional dedicated graphics and more advanced cooling. In comparison, the Slim models rely solely on iGPU graphics and a more basic thermal module, most likely with a single fan, single radiator, and two heatpipes (to be confirmed).

At the same time, the IdeaPad Slim 5/5i models are the more affordable 2023-gen Lenovo models, starting at around $650 for the AMD specs and $750 for the Intel variants. You won’t find them in stores sooner than Q2 2023, though, and the available configurations will vary between markets.

With that out of the way, in this article we’ll touch on the particularities of the two sizes and two platform variants, discussing their features, strong points, and their potential quirks, based on our experience with past mid-tier Lenovo laptops. We’ll follow up with detailed reviews once these will be available in stores.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5/5i Gen 8 14-inch models

I’ve bought several IdeaPad 5 14-inch models over the years due to their excellent value and price/features ratio, but I ended up returning both for one main reason: their poor display.

However, these 2023 generations of the IdeaPad Slim 5/5i 14-inch models will be configurable with a choice of up to three different panels, a washed-out FHD+ panel with poor color coverage, a mid-tier 2.2K IPS panel that’s most likely similar to the one we’ve already tested on the ThinkPad T14s, and a new FHD+ OLED panel with 400-nits of brightness and wide-gamut 100% DCI-P3 colors. Thus, as long as you stay away from the basic option, image quality should no longer be a concern on these Slims.

That aside, expect Lenovo to offer these in a multitude of variants. Aside from the three panels, you can also get these with either AMD or Intel hardware, as well as either a plastic or a metal chassis.

Here’s a full specs sheet of the available options.

2023 Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5 14ABR8 14-inch (AMD) 2023 Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i 14IRL8 14-inch (Intel)
Screen

14.0 inch, 16:10 format, touch

FHD+ IPS 60Hz, 300-nits with 45% NTSC coverage
FHD+ OLED 60Hz, 400-nits with 100% DCI-P3 coverage
2.2K IPS 60Hz, 300-nits with 100% sRGB coverage

Processor AMD Barcelo Refresh, up to Ryzen 7 7730U, 8C/16T Intel Raptor Lake H, up to Core i7-13700H, 6C+8E/20T
Intel Raptor Lake P, up to Core i7-1260P, 4C+8E/16T
Intel Raptor Lake U, up to Core i7-1255U, 2C+8E/12T
Video Radeon Vega Intel Iris Xe
Memory up to 16 GB DDR4 up to 16 GB LPDDR5 or LPDDR5x
Storage 1x M.2 PCIe gen4 SSD 1x M.2 PCIe gen4 SSD
Connectivity Wireless 6 or 6E, Bluetooth 5.1
Ports 2x USB-C 3.2 gen1 (video, charging), 2x USB-A 3.2 gen1, HDMI 1.4b, microSD card reader, audio jack
Battery 47, 56 or 75Wh ??, USB-C charger with rapid charge
Size 312 mm or 12.3” (w) x 221 mm or 8.72” (d) x 16.9 mm or 0.67” (h) – metal version
312 mm or 12.3” (w) x 221 mm or 8.72” (d) x 17.9 mm or 0.7” (h) – plastic version
Weight from 3.1 lbs (1.39 kg) for metal version + charger
from 3.5 lbs (1.59 kg) for plastic version + charger
Extras white backlit keyboard, FHD webcam with IR and privacy Shutter, up-firing stereo 2x 2W speakers, Violet (metal only), Cloud Grey, and Abyss Blue variants

As far as construction goes, the metal variants are a little slimmer and lighter, starting at 1.3 kilos, while the plastic models are thicker and heavier, at 1.5+ kilos. There’s also a choice of three color options, Violet, Cloud Grey, and Abyss Blue, with variable availability between regions.

I find it interesting that Lenovo didn’t skimp on the inputs and the IO with this series. There’s a standard IdeaPad keyboard layout on these 14-inchers, as well as a spacious clickpad, larger than in the past. It’s plastic, not glass. A finger sensor is included as well on all models, plus an optional FHD+IR camera.

As for the IO, you’re getting two USB-C ports with data, charging and video functionality, two USB-A ports, a full-size HDMI, an audio jack, and a microSD card reader. The two USB-C slots are both placed on the left edge, and the connectivity is similar between the Intel and AMD models, so that means no Thunderbolt 4 on the Slim 5i versions.

2023 Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5/5i 14-inch model

And that brings us to the hardware specs.

On the AMD side, the 2023 Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5 14 is built on an AMD Barcelo-Refresh platform, which bins together Zen3+ CPU cores with Vega-generation graphics. The CPU options are a Ryzen 7 7730U (8C/16T), Ryzen 5 7530U (6C/12T), and Ryzen 3 7330U (4C/8T). These haven’t been officially introduced or tested, but you should expect them to perform similarly to the AMD Barcelo processors (Ryzen 7 5825U, Ryzne 5 5625U) available in a multitude of 2022 mid-tier laptops.

In other words, you’re not getting the latest AMD 2023 specs on this series, with either Zen 4 Cores or RDNA-based graphics. You’re also getting only DDR4 memory on the AMD configuration, and gen4 M.2 storage.

As for the battery specs, those are a little unclear to me at this point, but the specs sheets mention either 47, 56, or 75 Wh battery variants for these 14-inch models.

On the Intel side, Lenovo offers this IdeaPad Slim 5i 14 model with a multitude of 13th-gen Raptor Lake specs, either Core U15 (i5-1355U, i5-1335U), Core P28 (i7-1360P, i5-1340P), or Core H45 (i7-13700H, i7-13620H, i5-13500H), all with Iris Xe graphics (with slight variations between the Core platforms). Furthermore, these are paired with LPPDR5 or LPDDR5X memory.

What’s unclear at this point is the potential differences in cooling between these configurations, as I’d expect a beefier cooling module would be required on this sort of 14-inch Core H45 configuration in order for it to run properly. There’s also a fair possibility that the Core H models will only be available on the thicker plastic variants of the IdeaPad slim 5i, while the thinner and lighter metal models will run on the Core U and P hardware.

Finally, as far as availability goes for these IdeaPad Slim 14-inch models, it seems that we will get them here in Europe around May 2023, as well as in some other parts of the world, but they won’t be sold on the North American market. Some of the 16-inch models will be available there, though.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5/5i Gen 8 16-inch models

The 16-inch variants of the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5/5i notebooks follow up on the previous IdeaPad 5 15 from the past, now offering the newer 16-inch 16:10 displays with smaller bezels.

Specs wise, they’re pretty much identical to the 14-inch models discussed above, with either Intel or AMD hardware and several battery and screen options. I’d stay away from that base-level 45% NTSC panel with the poor brightness and washed-out colors, but the 2.5K panel is a balanced choice for a mainstream computer.

Design wise, these 16-inch models are the larger kins of the 14-inch Slims, with the same variety for plastic or metal builds, similar color options, and the same IO lined around the edges. However, you are getting a full-size keyboard with a NumPad section on these larger models, and this change pushes the speakers to the top of the keyboard deck. That’s in fact the single noticeable difference between the two variants, aside from the obvious differences in size, weight, and display area.

2023 Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5/5i 16-inch models

I also expect these 16-inch models to be the same internal design, but with the extra interior space inside the chassis allowing Lenovo to include up to a 75 Wh battery with all these 16-inch models. That big battery option is most likely reserved for some higher-tier configurations, though, and there’s no guarantee you will even be able to get it in your region. If available, it will allow for some solid runtimes, especially in the AMD and the Intel Core U variants.

2023 Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5 16ABR8 16-inch (AMD) 2023 Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i 16IRL8 16-inch (Intel)
Screen

14.0 inch, 16:10 format, touch

FHD+ IPS 60Hz, 300-nits with 45% NTSC coverage
QHD+ 2.5K IPS 60Hz, 350-nits with 100% sRGB coverage

Processor AMD Barcelo Refresh, up to Ryzen 7 7730U, 8C/16T Intel Raptor Lake H, up to Core i7-13700H, 6C+8E/20T
Intel Raptor Lake P, up to Core i7-1260P, 4C+8E/16T
Intel Raptor Lake U, up to Core i7-1255U, 2C+8E/12T
Video Radeon Vega Intel Iris Xe
Memory up to 16 GB DDR4 up to 16 GB LPDDR5 or LPDDR5x
Storage 1x M.2 PCIe gen4 SSD 1x M.2 PCIe gen4 SSD
Connectivity Wireless 6 or 6E, Bluetooth 5.1
Ports 2x USB-C 3.2 gen1 (video, charging), 2x USB-A 3.2 gen1, HDMI 1.4b, microSD card reader, audio jack
Battery 47, 56, or 75 Wh ??, USB-C charger with rapid charge
Size 356 mm or 14” (w) x 251 mm or 9.88” (d) x 16.9 mm or 0.67” (h) – metal version
312 mm or 14” (w) x 221 mm or 9.88” (d) x 17.9 mm or 0.7” (h) – plastic version
Weight from 3.95 lbs (1.79 kg) for metal version + charger
from 4.4 lbs (1.99 kg) for plastic version + charger
Extras white backlit keyboard, FHD webcam with IR and privacy Shutter, up-firing stereo 2x 2W speakers, Cloud Grey and Abyss Blue variants

As far as availability goes, both the IdeaPad Slim 5 16 and the IdeaPad Slim 5i 16 will be widely available across the world from Q2 2023. In the US, the Intel model is expected to start at $749, while the AMD model will start at $649.

That’s about it for now on these 2023 Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5/5i models. Look for our review coverage later in the year, and in the meantime, let me know what you think about these lineups in the comments section down below.

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Andrei Girbea, author at Ultrabookreview.com
Article by: Andrei Girbea
Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief. I've a Bachelor's in Computer Engineering and I've been covering mobile technology since the 2000s. You'll mostly find reviews and thorough guides written by me here on the site, as well as some occasional first-impression articles.

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