The Lenovo Ideapad series is a staple offering from the company, constantly proving itself to be one of the best choices at its price point. Is the case the same with this Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i? How does it feel, what are the things to like about it, and what aren’t? And ultimately, is it a good buy? Let’s find out in this review of the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i (2023).
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i (2023) Specifications:
- Design & Build: All-plastic build
- Display sizes: 14″ / 15.6″
- Display Properties: TN/IPS anti-glare panel, 45% NTSC, 250/300 nits
- Resolution: Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 16:9 aspect ratio
- Keyboard: Chiclet-style backlit keyboard
- Trackpad: Plastic multi-touch trackpad, Windows Precision drivers
- Intel: up to Intel Core i5-13420H (4P+4E / 12T, up to 4.6 GHz)
- AMD: up to Ryzen 7 7730U (8C / 16T, up to 4.5GHz)
- Intel: Intel UHD / Iris Xe (integrated)
- AMD: Radeon Radeon (integrated)
- Intel: up to 16GB LPDDR5-4800
- AMD: up to 16GB DDR4-3200
- Storage: up to 1TB M.2 2242 SSD
- Audio: 2x 1.5W speakers, Dolby Audio
- Battery: 56.6Wh Li-Ion
- Power Supply: 65W power adapter
- Webcam: 720p HD camera, Privacy shutter
- I/O: 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 (Power Delivery, DisplayPort 1.2), 1x HDMI 1.4, 1x Card reader, 1x 3.5mm jack, 1x Power connector
My unit is an Intel Core i5 variant with a 15.6” screen. It has 8 GB of RAM alongside a 512 GB SSD. The laptop retailed for around NPR 80-85,000 just a few months ago but is now available for just NPR 71,000 which is what prompted this review.
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i (2023) Review:
Design and Build
- Dimensions: 359.30 x 235.00 x 17.90 mm
- Weight: 1.62 Kg
- Material: All plastic build
The design of Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i is pretty similar to other IdeaPads. The entire chassis is made out of plastic, while the company logo is featured on a metal-like material. The IdeaPad Slim 3i is pretty neat and minimal, making it optimum for office work and students. It sees quite some amount of flexing, but nothing to worry about particularly.
The laptop has a matte finish which prevents smudges. But, if you have sweaty palms like I do, sweat stains can be a bother. It isn’t the most comfortable when carrying around, but it’s a caveat that comes with the size. At 1.62 kg, the IdeaPad Slim 3i is a relatively light notebook with decent build quality for the price.
Keyboard and Trackpad
- Keyboard: Full-size keyboard with dedicated Numpad
- Trackpad: Precision trackpad made of plastic, dedicated left and right keys
We are getting a full-sized keyboard with a dedicated numpad with the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i. The keyboard here is good enough for me to not have any major complaints. The keys feel soft and I find the typing experience pretty pleasant. With the dedicated numpad, we get full access to the Alt keys, making the typing experience more convenient. Furthermore, I really love and appreciate the dedicated screenshot, and calculator shortcuts in the keyboard.
The trackpad we have here is aligned a little towards the left, which isn’t the end of the world, but it is prone to some accidental touches. It is smooth and easy to use, even when using multiple fingers. However, I’d still prefer to use an actual mouse over it because dragging and dropping isn’t the easiest feat to perform over here. But for a general use, it’s good to go.
- 15.6” FHD(1920 x 1080) TN panel
- 45% NTSC colour gamut, 250 nits peak brightness, 400:1 contrast ratio
In terms of display, you can also get a multi-touch IPS panel with a 45% NTSC colour gamut, 300 nits brightness, and 800:1 contrast ratio with this device. However, my unit had a 15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080) TN panel which Lenovo claims has a colour gamut of NTSC 45%, 250 nits of brightness, and a contrast ratio of 400:1. I ran a few tests to test out the claims and the results do align with those numbers, which you can see in the screenshots I have included in the following gallery. These numbers are below average, but, a standard at this price point.
Talking of the experience, I did not face any eye discomfort when working on it for an extended period. However, I must say the display isn’t the shining quality of this laptop at all. The screen looks a little washed out, which isn’t a problem if you use the laptop only for general work. But, it becomes much more apparent when you’re consuming media. Dare I say, I’d rather watch videos on my phone instead of this laptop.
Speaker, Mics, and Webcam
- Speakers: User-facing stereo speakers, 1.5W x2, optimised with Dolby Audio
- Microphone: Dual-microphone array with noise-cancelling
- Webcam: HD 720p, with privacy shutter, fixed focus
Continuing on the topic of media consumption, I did not particularly like the speakers either. They are optimised with Dolby Audio but that isn’t very apparent and they are okay-ish at best. The Ideapad Slim 3i doesn’t get very loud either which is much more apparent when making calls in a surrounding with ambient noise. I couldn’t make out what the other person was saying due to the low volume.
Furthermore, the microphone seems to be good for the most part, but I couldn’t notice any noise cancellation taking place. I was heard clearly at the other end, along with everything happening in the background. Even though the speaker and mics were average at best, the camera, however, was pretty good for a laptop. It gave good image quality during video calls and performed decently on a bright background. You can even fiddle around with the brightness, contrast, sharpness, and saturation of the camera as per your liking.
Hence, I’d say the Lenovo Ideapad Slim 3i is good for making calls and video meetings in a quiet environment. However, in a setting with a high amount of background noise, I’d opt to take the call with earphones on.
- CPU and GPU: Intel Core i5-13420H, Intel UHD graphics
- Memory and Storage: 8GB LPDDR5-4800 RAM, 512GB One M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 slot SSD
In terms of power, the Lenovo Ideapad Slim 3i comes with the latest 13th Gen Intel Core i5-13420H processor coupled with Intel UHD Graphics. Furthermore, it has 8 GB soldered LPDDR5 RAM and 512 GB SSD. With this combination, you can breeze through your regular tasks. I am not a power user by any means but I didn’t have issues editing photos on Canva while juggling between 10 other Opera tabs at the same time. It performed pretty well on synthetic benchmarks as well. On CineBench R23, it pulled an impressive 1,504 single-core score and 4,890 multi-core score.
Though it lacks a dedicated GPU and is NOT meant for gaming, I wanted to try my luck out anyway. Since it has an H-series processor, I was hopeful it’d be able to handle some light titles. I did have my concerns about the Intel UHD graphics though. As expected, the laptop can load up games, but playing them isn’t a pleasant experience. Low-demanding games like Valorant can be played well enough but you may see some screen tearing and frame drops here and there. In terms of newer games like CS:2, it is nowhere near smooth ruining the entire experience altogether. Additionally, this device heats quite a bit when playing games. Therefore, I would not recommend gaming on the Ideapad Slim 3i.
- Battery: 56.60 Wh Li-Ion Battery, 65W power adapter
- Ports: 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 (Power Delivery, DisplayPort 1.2), 1x HDMI 1.4, 1x Card reader, 1x 3.5mm jack, 1x Power connector
As for the endurance, IdeaPad Slim 3i is powered by a 56.60 Wh Li-Ion battery, which in my experience gives me about 4.5 hours of general usage before the “Battery Saver” mode is triggered. In terms of charging, the 65W charger juiced it up from 5% to 100% in around 1.5 hours while I worked on it on the side. Overall, this is decent battery life for a budget notebook and not too far off from laptops with weaker ‘U’ series processors.
On the side(s), the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i has a pretty decent port selection. Since I am not a heavy user by any means, I only made use of the charging port but there are two USB-A ports, a USB-C port, an HDMI port, a card reader, and a headphone jack which might come in handy for certain use cases.
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i (2023) Review: Conclusion
All in all, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i is a pretty powerful device but fails to make a definite mark. It has a powerful chipset that can handle heavy loads but is held back by its UHD graphics. On the other hand, that same powerful chipset limits its battery life which is a very important resource for a general user. Therefore, this product is in this weird limbo state where it is neither powerful enough for heavy users nor efficient enough for ultrabook enthusiasts.
That being said, the powerful processor is a good bet for future-proofing your machine. So, if you want a long-lasting laptop that won’t slow down any time soon, this might be a good choice.
In conclusion, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i ticks a lot of the boxes for a value-for-money budget notebook. With a powerful processor and a decent build quality, it is a recommendation for those seeking for a long-term companion. But if you value screen quality, and battery life a lot, there are better options for not that much more. And if you are someone who likes to do some casual gaming on the side, something like the Acer Aspire 7 (2022) [review] for around NPR 79,000 is much more suitable.
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i (2023) Review: Pros and Cons
- Powerful CPU
- Neat and professional design
- Dedicated Numpad
- Subpar display and speakers
- Lackluster Graphics