Lenovo unveiled its IdeaPad 330 laptop a few months ago in India. The Ideapad 330 does look beautiful outside, but does that beauty continue to resonate in the interiors also? Find out by reading this review:
Lenovo IdeaPad 330: Design
The Lenovo IdeaPad 330 looks great from a distance, it looks like it sports a metal body. As soon as you touch it you realize that it is just plastic infused with the polished aluminium paint job on top. Apart from the plastic fooling itself to look like metal, the body sports a matte paint job all over. The Lenovo branding is minimal with a small logo below the display and a logo on the top-right of the outer lid. This gives the laptop a clean and minimalist look.
The touchpad is big enough for most of the use cases. However, the sensitivity of the touchpad is a little lower than what I personally prefer. The plastic painted touchpad to match the body is not smooth at all, making long hours of usage feel a bit unpleasant. As for the keyboard, it has good key travel and is respectable and comfortable for long typing sessions.
The edges around the IdeaPad 330 body are neatly chamfered allowing comfortable grip while holding the laptop in your hand or typing with your wrist against the body. The base of the laptop is almost flat with the exception of a slight curve to the body on three of the four sides. The colour matched rubber shoes on the base keep the laptop in one place. The hinge on the laptop feels almost perfect.
The laptop sports something the company calls the hinge-less design. This gives the laptop the ability to open at any angle between 0-180 degrees. This makes it viewing in awkward positions easy. The company also claims, with this design the hinge breaking issue that most laptops usually face after a few years of usage won't ever happen. However, we cannot guarantee anything from our side.
Lenovo IdeaPad 330: Display and IO
The IdeaPad 330 sports a 15.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS display. While the display is non-reflective it attracts fingerprints quite easily. It is bright enough for daily usage, but I found the display a little dull while sitting in a park writing an article. In short, if you are planning to use the laptop outdoors regularly, you will find the brightness disappointing.
The viewing angles of the laptop are quite good. The text is legible even when the display is pushed back completely. Colours are neither too sharp nor too faded, and appear very natural during the usage.
Overall, the display is quite good considering the price of the laptop. While I haven't tested its HD display variant, in my experience spending a little extra for the full HD one if the budget allows will pay off.
While the speakers are loud enough for listening to music while working late hours in the office. The dialogue and the lack of bass demands a lot to be expected from the speakers. For anything more than casual music playback in the background while working, I would recommend using a pair of headphones or earphones instead.
For the IO (Input Output) ports, the Ideapad 330 sports two full-size USB ports, an HDMI port, a card reader, 3.5mm audio jack, a charging port and a USB Type-C port. Along with this, the laptop also sports a DVD drive. Honestly, in the modern world, I don't see a need for a DVD drive and would have honestly loved to trade that space for an SSD or more USB ports. However, that's only my personal preference. The presence of only two full-size USB ports does bother me a bit, as both of them will vanish if you decide to use an external mouse and keyboard with the laptop. Presence of the USB Type-C port helps.
Lenovo IdeaPad 330: Keyboard and Touchpad
The Lenovo Ideapad 330 sports a chiclet-style keyboard, which does not feature any sort of backlighting. The keys on the keyboard are flat are have got a nice feel to them. However, the tactile feedback from them isn’t too positive. The key travel is more than what you expect from a laptop at this price range, which according to me is a good thing.
The touchpad on the IdeaPad 330 supports Windows multi-finger gestures, which work right out of the box. This is the same technology that Microsoft calls the precision unit. The presence of such a good touchpad on a mid-level laptop is great. The lower part of the touchpad can be pressed down to register left or right clicks. However, the surface of the touchpad is not as smooth as one would like. If you plan on using the mouse heavily, it would be a great option to invest in an external mouse.
Lenovo IdeaPad 330: Performance
Performance is the most important specification while testing any laptop. The IdeaPad 330 can be configured from an i3 8th Generation to all the way up to an i7 8th Generation. Our review unit sports a Core i7-8550U processor clocked at 2.0GHz. It can be equipped with a base model of 4GB of RAM and an empty slot to upgrade to all the way up to 20GB of RAM. Our model was configured with 8GB of RAM. Storage is taken care of by a 2TB hard drive on this device. The laptop can be configured to sport an SSD of up to 256GB with or without the hard drive. Unfortunately, our model doesn't sport the SSD. The graphics onboard are handled by an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 chip along with a dedicated AMD Radeon 530 graphics card. The laptop can be specced with or without the dedicated graphics card.
While things like booting, application launches, and everyday tasks happen without too much fuss. Opening and working with multiple tabs on Chrome with 5 different applications ranging from Fortnite and Android Studio the laptop doesn't break a sweat. However, many times the laptop was found lagging. While further diagnosing the using the windows task manager's performance section it was found out due to heavy windows applications like the Windows Search Index bogging up to 80% of the disk usage leaving almost next to no disk space for the rest of the laptop to perform. Force closing such applications made it back to normal. So if you have a little extra room in your budget, I will suggest opting for a model with the SSD.
With a dedicated graphics card on board and such a powerful processor, gaming was something we all needed to test. However, it is safe to say that the AMD Radeon 530 doesn't do this laptop any good while gaming. We tested the laptop's gaming performance on CS: GO, PUBG, and Fortnite on the lowest and highest settings possible in the game and here is how that turned out to be.
The laptop in CS: GO on lowest settings and Fortnite on lowest settings was playable. With highest settings, the CS: GO started to lag a little while the Fornite became unplayable. With the PUBG, the lowest settings made the game barely playable, while the highest settings made the game impossible to play.
Lenovo IdeaPad 330: Battery
Writing and looking up websites for reference while listening to music at full volume with about ten Chrome tabs and running downloads in the background. With that being my usual usage and the battery setup cranked up to max performance settings, the battery lasts approximately six hours. However, when working on projects on Android Studio the battery lasts around three and a half hours at a stretch.
A total time of six to seven hours is what one can expect from the IdeaPad 330's battery when it’s fully charged and normally used. Cranking down the brightness to about 75% works well for indoor usage and the lowering down the laptop performance to better battery life should give you about an hour or so of more battery life.
Overall, the battery performance of the IdeaPad 330 considering its price range is a little disappointing. The company offers the same battery in their lower i3 and i5 models as well. That should make the performance well worth the price at that range, however, at the price of our variant, the battery could be slightly bigger.
Lenovo IdeaPad 330: Verdict
The Lenovo IdeaPad 330 is a modern computer that looks classy and sports a minimalist design. The laptop is definitely not designed to be thin and light and the performance of the laptop makes up for whatever is lost with the chunky design.
While the IdeaPad 330 can be appreciated for its sturdy build, the plastic body leaves a lot to be demanded. The overall non-shiny, non-flashy design of the laptop combined with a full HD display, decent battery life, okayish touchpad and keyboard is great for the price.
With a Core i7 8550U processor coupled with 8GB RAM and an AMD Radeon 530 graphics card, the performance of the laptop is well worth the money except for the gaming performance.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 330 we had is priced at Rs. 75,000. For what laptops worth, the price tag does feel appropriate for the laptop. However, if you are willing to invest a bit more you can get a gaming laptop with similar specifications optimised for performance. So, if gaming is not your cup of tea, this laptop is the answer to your problems. If you are looking for gaming, I would suggest ignoring this one.