The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 (82KT00GVUS) is a straightforward laptop with excellent performance and a horde of modern trappings that almost make you forget it rings up so little. It gets you Windows 11 Home pre-installed, fast SSD storage, and a little pep, than most options at this price range.
- Great performance
- USB-C port included
- Sturdy chassis
- Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
- Lackluster speakers
- Dull display
Let’s start with some good – well, pretty good – things about the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 laptop (82KT00GVUS model we’re reviewing). It packs 8GB of memory, while most budget laptops have an inadequate 4GB. And a few years ago, such a budget model would have a dim 1,366-by-768-pixel display instead of the IdeaPad 3 14’s full HD (1,920 by 1,080) resolution. And, did we mention it comes with Windows 11 Home preinstalled, so you don’t have to worry about upgrading from Windows 10 present in most economy notebooks.
Otherwise, though, this 14-inch is easy to get excited about, in as much as it doesn’t rock the same premium design, portability, and performance as our Editors’ Choice premium ultrabooks, the Dell Inspiron 13 5310. Granted, most IdeaPad 3 models costs half as much as the Dell Inspiron 13; but they suffice for browsing, email, and homework, with good-enough performance than most budget notebooks we’ve reviewed in recent weeks.
If you’re in the market for a 14-inch that comes packed with just about everything you’d want for a notebook that doesn’t cost so much, including a full HD display, a sturdy chassis, a comfortable keyboard, and useful port options, all pulled together by on-point performance and some unexpected luxuries; the Lenovo 82KT00GVUS is an excellent buy.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Specs
- Laptop Class: Personal, Budget
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U
- RAM (as Tested): 8GB DDR4
- Boot Drive: 256GB SSD
- Screen Size: 14-inch, 1920 by 1080
- Networking: Bluetooth, 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)
- Graphics : AMD Radeon 7
- Operating System: Windows 11
- Weight: 4.69 pounds
- Dimensions: 19 x 11.5 x 3 inches
Design and Display
No match of the HP Pavilion 15, our review unit features a hexa-core AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor, only half as much storage (a 256GB SSD), and a non-touchscreen backed by AMD Radeon 7 graphics. Measuring 19 x 11.5 x 3 inches, the IdeaPad 3 isn’t much bigger than two other budget laptops we’ve reviewed of late: the Acer Swift 3 (12.73 x 8.62 x 0.63 inches) and the HP 15 Laptop (14.11 x 9.53 x 0.71 inches). It’s heavier, though – at 4.69 pounds, it has a full pound on the HP 15’s 3.75 pounds.
The laptop’s left edge offers a USB 3.2 Type-A port, HDMI, a USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The right side holds an SD card reader and a USB 2.0 Type-A port. Most folks are right-handed, but you can still plug an external mouse into the right side – since there aren’t many ports there.
As for the display panel, it looks pretty vibrant, and the 1080p screen looks great but isn’t bright enough. The colors look a bit bland and washed out. Contrast is fair, and fine details are pretty sharp – no pixelation – but the display never looks like anything other than an economy-class panel.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Lenovo ThinkPad keyboards are the fines in the industry, but this is no ThinkPad. Nonetheless, the IdeaPad 3 14 is still one of the better budget laptops you’ll handle in 2022. The keyboard is comfortable, with just good travel to make keypresses satisfying. The touchpad is responsive, and there’s a fingerprint reader integrated into the power button.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the speakers located under the touchpad. They are underwhelming, not very loud, and produce some hollow sound. You’re better off using headphones or an external speaker.
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We compared the IdeaPad 3 82KT00GVUS to two other economy laptops for this review. We have already mentioned the two 15.6-inch competitors. Still, for performance, we’ll stack it up against the Asus VivoBook 15 (F512JA-AS54 model) and the Acer Aspire 5 (A515-56-50RS model), which, apart from the display size, come within striking distance in both pricing and performance. You can see their basic specs in the table below.
Lenovo bills the IdeaPad 3 14 as a laptop for work and school, and for the most part, it succeeds in these. It comes with a 6-core AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor, positioned to compete with Intel’s 11th generation Core i5 processors, only that the Ryzen 5 has two extra cores, which means even better performance on daily tasks. To that, add 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, and you have a reliable budget notebook for use at work and college.
The IdeaPad 3 82KT00GVUS with Windows 11 Home pre-installed for general Windows desktop applications does a fine job. While it may not feel as nippy as the more expensive 14-inch LG Gram 14Z90P, it’s still a good candidate for daily use.
The IdeaPad 3 14’s performance as a daily use laptop is at par with both the Aspire 5 and the VivoBook 15, but both competitors offer a few extras that are neutered in the Ideapad 3. For instance, both the Aspire 5 and VivoBook 15 come with backlit keyboards, and the former offers 512GB SSD storage but stays well within the industry price point.
That said, the AMD Radeon 7 graphics solution does an excellent job in handling photo and video creation tasks, but at the absolute basic level. You can also run a few games at low settings, but for the most part, you’ll need a laptop with a dedicated graphics card for modern AAA titles. Should you need to play games but on a tight budget, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 is an excellent choice to consider.
On a single charge, eight and half hours away from a wall outlet isn’t bad for an inexpensive desktop replacement laptop, but it’s nowhere close to the stamina of modern ultraportables. The Ideapad may not quite get you through a full day at the office or school, but it will undoubtedly survive an unplugged work session or a jiggle between lectures.
Verdict – A Budget Baron
An economy laptop can’t exist without compromise, and in the IdeaPad 3 15’s case, the lackluster speakers and the dull display are culprits. But those are just minor flaws that you won’t even realize exist. Still, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 feels premium. Its snappy performance, sturdy build, and additions like a USB-C port, Wi-Fi 6, and privacy shutter on the webcam help the Ideapad 3 outclass some of its competition.
While it might still have its share of the usual budget-laptop shortcomings like the mentioned uninspiring keyboard and a non-backlit keyboard, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 82KT00GVUS is worth the price and is one of the best inexpensive notebooks you can buy. It’s our new Editors’ Choice for budget laptops.
Last update on 2022-05-15 at 21:41 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Laptop, 14.0" FHD (1920 x 1080) Display, AMD Ryzen 5 5500U Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB NVMe TLC SSD Storage, AMD Radeon 7 Graphics, Windows 11 Home, 82KT00GVUS, Abyss Blue
$449.99 in stock
5 used from $469.88