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2017 IdeaPad 720s is looking good!

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by B0B, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. B0B

    B0B Notebook Consultant

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    This is a pretty sweet machine so far :) The only place I have been able to locate them is at our local Microcenter.

    Your thoughts? Any fans out there for this particular brand and series? The 8th gen "U" CPU's are amazing!
     
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  2. bsoft16384

    bsoft16384 Newbie

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    I just bought one today at Micro Center (the $800 version with the i5). So far, so good.

    Turbo boost seems to be disabled by default by the BIOS (or you need some stupid software for it? I did a clean Windows install.), but enabling Speed Shift in ThrottleStop allowed me to get the full 3.4GHz turbo.

    The GeForce MX150 definitely has a low-ish power limit set compared to say the HP Spectre 15. My guess is that it's 15W on the Ideapad vs 25W on the Spectre, but I can't actually read out the power limit. Without any undervolting the MX150 hits ~1200MHz under load, which is still respectable and resulted in a 3DMark Fire Strike of ~2800. With some undervolting I got that to ~3100 (for comparison, the HP Spectre 15 is ~2100 with 940MX, ~3500 with MX150).

    No throttling issues as far as I can tell, other than the obvious power limits.

    The keyboard is good; I wouldn't say it's anything exceptional but it's definitely fine to type on. It's better than the Dell 7567 I have, which has a very meh keyboard. My old Thinkpad T530 is definitely much better.

    Touchpad is a Precision Touchpad and appears to have a glass surface. It works well, as all Precision Touchpads have in my experience.

    The screen is very nice; it's an AU Optronics B140HAN, though the whitepoint is way off by default (~7300K and very green). I measured a contrast ratio of ~1250:1 with my Colormunki Display, which is excellent for an IPS display. After gray-scale calibration the contrast ratio dropped to ~1130:1, which is still quite good (calibration done using DisplayCal). The primaries of the display are a good match for sRGB and I measured 90% coverage, which, again, is pretty good. 1080p at 100% scaling is a bit small in a 14" display, but it's usable enough if you have good eyesight.

    Fan control on this laptop sucks. The fans are whiny, and the fan control algorithm doesn't have much (if any) hysteresis, so the fans are constantly changing speed if you have any kind of load.

    My SSD is a 256GB Intel 600p. On the plus side, it's NVMe. On the negative side, the 600p is probably the worst NVMe SSD. It's probably a better choice than the random Toshiba OEM M.2 drive that came with my Dell.

    The 720s (2017 version) will charge off of USB-C. I've successfully charged it with a bunch of USB-PD adapters, including my Verizon USB-PD car charger (9V/3A), various HP USB-C chargers (one 15V/3A, one 20V/3A), an Apple 61W adapter (20V/3A), and Google 60W USB-C power adapter (20V/3A). The laptop can and will draw 60W from a USB-C power adapter that supports it. The Yoga does *not* appear to charge on USB-C power adapters which don't support Power Delivery, so if you were hoping to use your smartphone adapter, it's probably not going to work (though the Pixel/Pixel 2 adapter might, since it supports USB-PD and can supply 9V).

    For $800 I think the Ideapad 720S-14 (with the MX150 and the 8th-gen i5) is an easy yes unless you're bothered by fan noise. I'm bothered by fan noise and even I think it's a "yes". The combination of 8th-gen Intel CPUs and the MX150 is really a slam dunk in laptops this size. The MX150 is something like 3x as fast and 2x as power efficient as the Intel graphics, and because the 8th-gen CPUs are really power limited, you want to be spending that 15W power budget on the CPU cores and not on the graphics.
     
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  3. swissarmyknife

    swissarmyknife Notebook Guru

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    Took the plunge today and ordered the new i7-8550 720S. Lenovo has it on sale for less than the 8th gen i5, so it was a no-brainer. I am coming from an XPS 13 9350, so interested to see how my Ideapad will stack up.
     
  4. Erfan

    Erfan Notebook Enthusiast

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    I just found out about this model a few days ago and I'm really interested in it.
    Previously I was considering to buy the asus zenbook ux430ua. Now that I found IdeaPad 720s, I can't keep my mind off of it!

    I do have a question if you don't mind, I can't decide between the i5 and i7 variant, I know all the difference between them, but ram is more important to me than the cpu or even ssd size.
    Is it really worth it to pay extra $200 for i7 variant?

    Also how is the battery life with dedicated gpu? Can you reach 7 8 hours in normal daily usage? Are you able to like disable the dedicated gpu and use intel gpu instead to save more power?
     
  5. swissarmyknife

    swissarmyknife Notebook Guru

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    Erfan,

    I'm in the US, so not sure if the configurations offered are different in other counties, but here is what I saw when ordering on their site...
    There was one 8th gen i7 with 16GB and the MX150, but at that price you would be better off going with other solutions because it reaches price wise GB Aero 14 territory.
    The one I picked is the i7-8550U (4C,8T) with the MX150 with 8GB Ram, the PCIe storage card I can replace with something more powerful and larger down the road, the rest is soldered in place, including the RAM.

    On the other hand you can go with last gen i7-7500U, but with 16GB ram, however the more antiquated 940MX GPU.

    There was no i5 offering when I checked that had the 16GB RAM, but again that may be location based offerings.

    As far as battery live goes, I can't comment until I get the laptop in hand. Reviews are a mixed bag, where some say that the battery is sub-standard for a laptop in this category and others state that the battery is decent. It all depends on your usage behavior too, so giving an account on how long a battery lasts greatly depends on many factors.

    For me the choice clear. I wanted a laptop with dedicated GPU, but id didn't need to be a 1060 and it had to be price wise in an area that made sense to me. Out the door with the instant discount and a 2 year onsite warranty and an extra 5% of I got the 8th gen i7 model with 8GB ram for under $1000 US, including the dang sales tax ;-).
     

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    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
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  6. Erfan

    Erfan Notebook Enthusiast

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    swissarmyknife, thank you very much for your detailed explanation and I really appreciate it.

    I'm also in the US and the price difference was from the microcenter prices as you already know and for the image from Lenovo website I already checked it and the price difference from the Lenovo website and the microcenter is a little huge.

    I'm a master student so I will use my laptop as all the normal daily usages like web surfing, streaming, etc ... as well as Microsoft Office with some Adobe Acrobat and also some Autodesk applications like CAD. I will also use a few coding applications such as matlab or python. I hope to get atleast 6 hours from it with my usage.

    Portability and battery life were my main priorities, I didn't want something extremely expensive which in this case is xps 13. That was why I ended up with zenbook series, but I really love this IdeaPad. My prefered price range was $1000 including sales tax but I could stretch it to $1100 at the highest.

    Do you have any ideas about its quality in the long run (including battery, lcd and other parts)? I will keep all my devices in almost mint condition, am I able to do the same with this model? I will keep it at least for the next 2 or 3years and it will be my main computer device.

    I'm considering to buy the highest configuration, i7, 16gb of ram and 512gb ssd from microcenter. Any thoughts?

    Also any suggestions from other brands are welcomed!
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  7. swissarmyknife

    swissarmyknife Notebook Guru

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    From the Lenovo's site I chose option #2 you listed above. That one came in under 1k, whereas the #3 option added over 500 on cost and as said at that price point I would rather buy the Aero 14 with 7700HQ and the 1060GPU for only a hundred more.

    I am an engineer and use my laptop primarily for daily office tasks and SolidWorks, Spotfire, Tableau, JMP, etc. I play an occasional game but that has been far and between as I have a desktop that is much better suited for that.

    When Lenovo sprung off from IBM they had their fair share of reliability issues, however they are now long gone. The build quality now is very good, as for reliability I don't know yet because this is a new configuration even for them, but reviews so far are encouraging and Lenovo does have decent on-site support, another reason why I chose this one.

    So to summarize, if 16GB is really important to you than for sure option #3 you listed is the way to go, however if you can live with 8GB and later upgrade the SSD (BTW, you can do much better on your own upgrading the SSD for lower cost and you get what you want), then I think option #2 above makes more sense as it is over 500 less directly from Lenovo. Also if you use the coupon SAVEXTRA5 you get a extra 5% off the order. If you worry about reliability throw a 2yr on-site contract at it for 69 which is cheap insurance.

    Good luck ;-)
     
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  8. swissarmyknife

    swissarmyknife Notebook Guru

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    BTW, I am going by what youtuber BoaT posted here in stating that the DIMM is actually soldered to the MB. If that is not the case and the service manual substantiates this, the DIMM might be removable and that means we will be able to upgrade to 16GB on our own.

    Youtube :
    Service manual : https://download.lenovo.com/consumer/mobiles_pub/ideapad720s-14ikb_hmm_201705.pdf


    Also, I stand corrected. The MC deal for the 16GB is actually very good and I would go with that. 999 for what Lenovo asks 1400 is certainly a very good deal.
     
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  9. Erfan

    Erfan Notebook Enthusiast

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    Awesome work swissarmyknife!

    I just found out that the original poster of this post is the guy from this youtube video you just mentioned! lol

    If he would just took of that metal cover off of ram it would shed some light on whether it is soldered or not!

    Very nice review! The MC deal for the i7, 16GB is truly good! I'm just worried that the Lenovo would have a sale on Black Friday so I could buy the same variant from them for better support and also added warranty plan ...
     
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  10. swissarmyknife

    swissarmyknife Notebook Guru

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    I wasn't sure if it's the same person, the avatar would suggest so ;-)

    In the youtube review it sounded like he confirmed that it was soldered, but like you said, we better check ourselves once we get our machines.
     
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