Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i review: blends right in

There’s no dearth of laptops for business professionals. While most are privy to devices from HP and Dell’s stables, Lenovo’s IdeaPad range flies under the radar of many prospective buyers. The new IdeaPad Slim 5i, for instance, is a classy notebook with a robust chassis. It offers a capable processor and a stunning display and can be snagged for under Rs 65K. If you’re interested in buying the laptop, read my take to see if the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i fits your bill. 


The IdeaPad Slim 5i has a simple and understated design, similar to most business laptops available in the market. The unit I reviewed comes in a subtle silver color, making it perfect for office use. The laptop’s lid is devoid of any sharp design elements and only features the company’s logo. Needless to say, the device will not stick out like a sore thumb or attract any unnecessary attention, which is crucial for folks who work with nosy managers. 

Jokes aside, the laptop looks elegant and classy. It’s also quite robust and sports a MIL-STD-810H rating, a godsend for clumsy people. Additionally, the unit’s metal build ensures it won’t get scuffed as easily as competing products with a plastic lid and frame. The hinge offers adequate friction, too, and you’ll notice the display doesn’t wobble when it’s aligned at an angle. 

In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the hinge’s rigidity, which kept the laptop’s lid stable, even when I used the IdeaPad Slim 5i while commuting in a cab. Note that using more premium materials doesn’t make the laptop unbearably heavy. In fact, the machine weighs just 1.46 kg and can be comfortably lugged around. The 14-inch display furthers its portability, ensuring the device doesn’t take up too much room in your backpack.

Display and audio

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i’s best feature is undoubtedly its sharp IPS screen. The panel measures 14 inches, offers a 16:10 aspect ratio, and sports a WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200 pixels) resolution. The added vertical screen real estate makes it easy to type and read articles or emails on the device.

The screen can get quite bright at 300 nits, and I never felt the need to bump up the brightness beyond 50 percent. The panel shows no colour shift when viewed at an angle, and outputs vivid hues with ample contrast levels. If anything, the display is rated for 45 percent NTSC coverage, so I wouldn’t recommend using the laptop for colour-accurate work like colour-grading photos.

My only real qualm with the laptop’s screen is that it refreshes at 60Hz. While it’s hard to single out one vendor, considering the majority of business / thin-and-light laptops still use 60Hz screens, it’s high-time reputed laptop brands like Lenovo bring HRR displays to their business notebooks. On the flip side, the audio output from the laptop’s speakers was to my liking. The top-firing speakers get adequately loud. The low-end does lack depth, but the audio output doesn’t sound shrill or hollow. 

Ports and security

The IdeaPad Slim 5i is somewhat lacking in ports. To that end, the laptop features two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A and two USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 1 ports. If you tend to dock your laptop and use an external mouse and keyboard, you will find yourself in a fix if you want to use another Type-A port to connect a flash drive. 

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On the bright side, the laptop gets a full-sized HDMI slot. Additionally, it also comes with a 3.5mm combo jack and a microSD card reader. It also supports Windows Hello authentication features. While there’s no fingerprint sensor, you can leverage the built-in IR camera to log into your account seamlessly. The camera works quite well and it was able to identify my face in dim lighting conditions too. You’ll also get a privacy shutter for the camera, which is ideal for individuals who have frequent video calls and want to avoid accidentally showing up on everyone’s screen. 

Speaking of which, the bundled 1080p camera should suffice for most users. While it doesn’t come with AI smarts, the likes of which you may have seen on some newer ASUS Vivobooks, it offers a respectable 1080p@30FPS output.

Keyboard and trackpad 

I won’t beat around the bush – I don’t like the IdeaPad Slim 5i’s keyboard. While the keyboard deck was spacious, and I had ample room for my wrists, the keys felt mushy and sticky. On the bright side (no pun intended), the backlit keyboard has three brightness presets: Auto, Low, and High. You can also disable the backlit feature to conserve battery life.

The trackpad is up there with the best on a sub-Rs 70K laptop. The surface feels smooth and the left and right click buttons offer superb tactility and clickiness. 

Performance and software

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i is backed by Intel’s Core i5-13420H processor. The CPU gets four P-cores and four E-cores and can deploy up to 12 threads for strenuous workloads. Having said that, the laptop misses out on a dGPU. For RAM and storage, the IdeaPad Slim 5i gets 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM clocked at 5,200MHz and a 1TB NVMe SSD. 

Pooling everything together, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i delivers where it really matters. Although it doesn’t offer as much power as my own gaming laptop and desktop, the transition to using the IdeaPad Slim 5i was seamless. The laptop didn’t feel slow and could handle all my applications, including Slack, AirTable, Asana, and more, without issues. 

I also have an unhealthy habit of not closing the tabs on Chrome. Thankfully, that didn’t deter the IdeaPad Slim 5i’s spirits, and I could comfortably sift through my gamut of apps and a dozen or so tabs in Chrome. I did run an array of benchmarks for our spec-savvy readers. The IdeaPad Slim 5i didn’t disappoint and outputted 5,148 and 4,459 points in the PCMark 10 and PCMark 10 Extended synthetic tests. Additionally, the device overturned 439 and 96 points, respectively, in Cinebench R24’s multi-core and single-core runs. 

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The Cinebench test pits the laptop in the same league as a competing MacBook with an M1 processor, which is great. The built-in NVMe drive performed well, too, outputting 5,271MB/s and 4,841MB/s in sequential read and write tests. Unfortunately, the device’s gaming capabilities are pretty limited. You can get playable FPS in titles like Valorant and Counter-Strike 2 at the lowest graphics presets, but it’s not a great experience. 

The laptop handled thermals well, too, and I didn’t notice the base getting too hot to the touch when I was using it. However, the battery life has been hit-and-miss, and I could only get about 5.5 hours of screen time with the device. The company does bundle a rather compact travel adapter, which can top up the laptop up to 80 percent in a little over an hour, which somewhat mitigates the battery issue. 

While all that’s fine and dandy, the IdeaPad Slim 5i comes with an alarming amount of bloatware. You’ll have to dedicate a good chunk of time to deleting excess apps from Lenovo and other partner clients, as well as disabling a number of apps from the startup menu so they don’t hog up the system resources.

I should also add that the IdeaPad Slim 5i leaves something to be desired in the upgradability department. You can open the back of the laptop, which is fastened by six T2 screws to access the innards. While you can swap out the bundled Wi-Fi card and the NVMe drive, you can’t upgrade the laptop’s RAM, which is a bummer. 


Lenovo isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel with the IdeaPad Slim 5i. The laptop builds on the current market sentiments and offers a reliable package that ticks most boxes. To that end, the device performs well, offers a robust and elegant design, and is equipped with a sharp display. The battery life could’ve been better, and the keyboard’s haptics will not win it any laurels either. If you can look past that, the IdeaPad Slim 5i will not disappoint you.

Editor’s Rating: 7 / 10


  • Sharp, vibrant display
  • Capable performer
  • Robust and elegant build 
  • Sturdy hinge that mitigates display wobble
  • Competitively priced


  • Mushy keyboard
  • No room for upgradeability 
  • So-so battery life