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If you are looking for the best laptop with i5 processor and the best laptop on a budget, the Lenovo Ideapad 720s really is an excellent option. It is over two years old at the time of writing, so you should easily be able to find it for much cheaper prices than MSRP used. For its price, it is definitely one of the top-rated laptops.
The 14 inch Lenovo Ideapad 720s is an excellent laptop for pretty much anyone looking for a laptop below $1000. It comes with good enough hardware for the price and a lot of other functionalities. Small things like a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello, Thunderbolt 3 ports really help alleviate the lifespan of this laptop.
The Lenovo Ideapad 720s sports a quad-core Intel Core i5-8250U inside, and it is a solid performer. Even though its base clock is just 1.60GHz, it mostly stays at its boost clock of 3.40GHz, thanks to the excellent cooling system. And the 2GB GeForce GT MX150 inside is slightly better than integrated graphics and is capable of driving older games at playable frame rates on the 14-inch screen.
See also: Check out our Lenovo IdeaPad l340 review for a similar laptop.
Even though Lenovo packed in just a small 4-cell battery inside, the battery life is actually pretty good. Lenovo advertises 14 hours of battery life, and as pretty much always, you get about half that. But that’s still pretty good at this price (slightly better than the ASUS VivoBook S14).
The Ideapad 720s knocks it out of the part in the ports section. You get a Thunderbolt 3/USB C port, something you don’t get to see a lot from older laptops at this price. Also, you get two full-sized USB 3.0 ports. And there are the usual HDMI and combo jacks too. On top of that, you also get a built-in SD card reader.
The build quality of this laptop and its Intel Core i7 variant are fairly decent. The bezels are somewhat low profile, and it retains a modern look. However, both the keyboard and the trackpad are very much subpar. They aren’t at all as bad as the ones found in the Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop, but they aren’t great either.
The value aspect of this laptop depends on what you want out of it. It becomes a little tough to recommend this laptop at its original price when you can buy laptops with more modern processors inside for cheaper (e.g., the Acer Aspire 5 A515). But, if you plan to do light gaming as well, the Ideapad 720s is a good option to consider. You can also take a look at our Lenovo Ideapad 110 review for another inexpensive laptop.
Overall, the Lenovo Ideapad 720s is old but still a pretty good entry in the mid-range laptop market. If you can find it used at or below $600, it is a steal in our opinion.