Since this is a comprehensive review of the Lenovo Ideapad 720s-15. It includes photographs, advice, and comparisons. If you’re looking to buy this system, reading this review first will be of great help. So let’s get right into it.
A Brief Review
Today I’m going to write a quick review of the Lenovo Ideapad 720S-15. This laptop has largely gone unnoticed – no Lenovo Yoga-style marketing campaign, no slew of tech site reviews, etc. – but it could be a worthy contender for your next notebook purchase.
- My last few lapwarmers influenced my selection criteria. I was looking for something in between a Skylake XPS 13 and an MSI GS60 gaming laptop. The XPS 13 had a solid build quality (though component longevity was lacking), could run a marathon session on a single charge, and was professional enough to take to any client site or lecture. On the other hand, the MSI laptop featured a large, vibrant screen and enough gaming power to provide a space sim distraction during a business trip or a shoot-em-up weekend while visiting friends. So I was looking for a compromise between the two: professional aesthetics, long battery life, and a GPU capable of gaming on the go.
- Laptop research is complex! Not only are most reviews brief – few mention touch throttling, for example – but dealbreakers are frequently overlooked until a million monkeys get their hands on the product and tease out any flaws. The Gigabyte Aero 15, for example, loses keystrokes when you hold down multiple modifier keys, and the Dell XPS 15 is notorious for throttling in games. On paper, the Lenovo 720S 15 checked all of my boxes but how does it perform on my lap?
This notebook makes a good first impression. It’s made of dark silver metal and has a subdued “Lenovo” etched on the top right of the lid. The unit’s coloring and material are mirrored on the bottom, which is free of unsightly stickers except for the obligatory Microsoft badge. Instead of the thick metal plate of the XPS line, the top surface is covered by a thin layer of metal, and it can bend slightly if opposing forces are applied to the right and left edges of the screen.
Overall, I’d classify this as “Tier 1.5” build quality: better than many laptops but not as tough as an XPS 13 or as beautiful as the Surface Book 2. I felt at ease carrying my XPS 13 around in a backpack full of textbooks, whereas the Lenovo 720S might be safer with a novel reader.
A laptop is only as useful as the number of connections it has to the outside world. Because ports on the 720S 15 are limited to 1xTB3 (2 lane), 3.5mm headset, 1xUSB C, 1xUSB A, and SD Card, this is one area where compromise is required. If you’re like me and use a Logitech mouse adapter, any additional USB A peripherals, as well as any kind of video out, would necessitate a trip to dongletown. For those who work in shared spaces, there is no lock hole. (The odd square port is the power supply.)
Display And Sound
- This laptop’s screen is quite nice, even at 40% brightness with battery saver mode (my default settings on the go).
- Colors appear vibrant and viewing angles are excellent.
- Although there have been reports of excessive backlight bleeding on the FHD model, my laptop is adequate in that regard (see below). This display operates at 60Hz with no visible ghosting.
- The speakers are located on the bottom front of the laptop and are adequate, though they will be muffled if placed on a quilt or other enveloping surface.
- The Lenovo 720S 15’s distinguishing feature is the 1050Ti Max-Q. The new Max-Q designs enable excellent performance in this form factor, and I’ve played DOTA 2, Fortnite, Overwatch, Killing Floor 2, and Doom 2016* at medium or high settings at 60 frames per second. Under load, GPU temperatures with undervolted settings reached 71 degrees Celsius.
- When using the Intel 620 IGP for productivity tasks, the CPU performs admirably under load. With undervolting, the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark is 2,307 – 2,165 Graphics and 3,672 CPU.
The Lenovo Ideapad 720S-15 is a good all-arounder laptop for those of us who want to work and play on the same device without spending too much money. You get the professional aesthetics and battery life of today’s thin-and-lights as well as the gaming chops of desktop replacements from yesteryear.
This design’s meaty battery life and good thermals (post-undervolting) stand out in a sea of flawed offerings, though you’ll want to buy it with a coupon or sale. At the end of the day, this is a fantastic hybrid-purpose laptop for the geek willing to experiment with a few voltages.