Compact laptop with lots of power
There are hundreds of 14-inch laptops available on the market. This sector is where innovation is key if you want your kit stand out. Lenovo hasn’t thrown out traditional laptop design with the IdeaPad 720S. But this is far more than a regular machine.
The 720S, also known as the Lenovo IdeaPad 80XC, seems to be poised for a bareknuckle fight with Dell’s slightly less-dinkier XPS13, which is probably the best all-around laptop in the world.
The slim, elegant frame has a similar design and a compact, luxurious feel. It even comes with discrete graphics. . Can it punch above its weight?
Prices and availability
In terms of cost, the IdeaPad 720S is a step above the middle-range. The US MSRP is $969.99. However, if you shop around, it might be slightly less. Its UK price is PS949.99, which includes VAT and the usual UK markup. However, you might find it cheaper if your search is more extensive. It’s not available yet in Australia. However, we expect it to be around AU$1,600 once it arrives.
The Core i5 only has one specification, so you can take it with you. However, this is a well-engineered device, so we will forgive Lenovo for limiting the options. In terms of the competition, it’s cheaper than a similarly specced model of Dell’s XPS 13 ($999/PS1,149/AU$1,599), handily squashes HP’s thinner and far lighter Spectre Pro 13 ($1,169/PS1,362).
It is, however, not the most affordable Kaby Lake Core I5 machine. Asus’s VivoBook Slim 15.6 inch is available for a mere PS200 and features the same processor as the company’s Nano Edge screen.
Despite the fact that it has a 14-inch panel the 720S is incredibly small. A significantly reduced slim bezel (not as thin as the XPS 13 but still very handsome) allows for more machine in a smaller space.
There are a few compromises to the reduced keyboard. It isn’t as brightly lit as the other keys and it places the directional arrows in the same space as the three keys. The power button is located right next to Backspace and Delete. Although it doesn’t trigger immediately upon pressing, it is still a strange choice.
It still has room for a large multitouch touch trackpad and a fingerprint sensor. There are also enough ports to keep it from being completely unplugged. The 720S is a heavyweight at 3.4lbs. Although it’s not heavy, it is very unusually heavy for a machine this small.
Sound and screen
The 720S seems to have a lot of advantages over the others. The IPS screen is extremely wide and has great viewing angles. However, it also tops out at 1920×1080. This resolution does not include the 120 vertical pixels many modern panels can manage. Yes, we’re being picky.
You’ll also find a decent JBL-engineered Dolby-infused sound system, which is quite thick for such a small laptop. However, it will often be difficult to hear over the wind tunnel blast from the infernal fan cooling system.
This laptop is one of the most loud we have ever used under stress. It does cool, which is fair. The 720S barely gets warm to the touch. However, it whirrs at a very irritating pitch.