The niche that the IdeaPad 3 fills is now more important than ever. The need for a budget-conscious laptop has skyrocketed with the world being in the state that it is. The newest generation IdeaPad 3 laptops offer the Ryzen 5000 U-series chips, albeit the ones that are built on the Zen 2 architecture.
However, they still offer plenty of performance for day-to-day activities, as well as the occasional heavy workloads. The IdeaPad 3 (17″, 2021) offers a lot of bank for the buck, with its 17.3-inch screen and is one of the more interesting IdeaPad 3 laptops.
Today, we present you with LaptopMedia’s top 5 picks about the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 (17″, 2021).
4 reasons to BUY the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 (17″, 2021)
The laptop offers decent, but not perfect upgradeability. For example, half the RAM is soldered onto the motherboard, with there being only one SODIMM slot for future expansion. Storage-wise, you get one M.2 PCIe x4 drive, along with an optional 2.6-inch SATA drive bay, depending on which battery you go for.
Here is our detailed teardown video, which shows how to access the laptop’s internal components, including the RAM and SSD slots.
The laptop offers two display options, each with a 17.3-inch diagonal. The first laptop offers a 1600x900p resolution and uses a TN panel, which offers narrow viewing angles and poor color reproduction. The second option increases the resolution to Full HD and uses an IPS panel. Our laptop had the latter option, and it showed comfortable viewing angles, a maximum brightness of 327 nits in the middle of the screen, 321 nits as an average for the entire display area, and a maximum deviation of 8%. The contrast ratio is good – 1150:1.
The display also covers 97% of the sRGB color gamut, making a good case for being a budget creator laptop.
The display solidifies its case by delivering great color accuracy once we applied our Design and Gaming profile applied, bringing down the dE value to 1.1.
Here are the results of our color accuracy test with both the factory settings (left) and with our Design and Gaming profile applied (right).
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Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for MSI Katana GF76 configurations with 17.3″ FHD IPS AUO B173HAN04.3 (AUO439D).
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Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
3. Battery life
The laptop comes with the choice between two different battery units, either 38Wh or 45Wh. Our laptop came equipped with the 45Wh battery unit, and it performed quite well, lasting for 9 hours and a half of Web browsing, 9 hours and 3 minutes of video playback, and two hours and five minutes of gaming. Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with.
The laptop offers adequate performance, with its Ryzen 5 5500U, which is a nice middle ground between the Ryzen 3 5300U and the Ryzen 7 5700U. Here you can compare the benchmark scores of our laptop, as it goes against several of its competitors.
Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
1 reason NOT to buy the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 (17″, 2021)
1. Design and build quality
The laptop is built entirely from plastic, which is totally understandable, considering the price of it. However, we would have liked it if Lenovo had put more effort into making it sturdier. When you are the brand that created the ThinkPad laptops, which annually show the world that you don’t need fancy materials on laptops to make them rigid and tough, you need to apply the same effort for your other, less expensive laptops, which make the largest chunks of your revenue.
Both the lid and the base are bendy, and the lid cannot be opened with a single hand. However, it sports portable dimensions especially for a 17.3-inch device, weighing only 2.10 kg, while being 19.9 mm tall.