Lenovo Ideapad Unboxing Affordable Power
15 things about it - Blogging Vlogging and Day Job
Right, so recently my beloved Samsung laptop died.
Since I was on vacation, and had oddly specific tasks to accomplish, this was not optimal. So, I went online and bought a new Lenovo Ideapad laptop.
Below I will dive deeper into this mini-saga, unboxing it, why I needed it, and my impressions. Those impressions are both my first impression, and what I have found over several days of using it.
By the way, I found this same computer, the Lenovo Ideapad, for between $399 (refurbished) and $799. I got mine for $539, with free shipping at Walmart.com.
What do I do?
I am Bucky Builder, a character who reviews things. I have a day job, but during my off time you you might find me writing a blog or five. You might find me filming or editing videos. Should you tune into Tiktok, YouTube, Instagram, or here at Friendslr.com, perhaps you'll see one of my videos. Or vlogs. Or blog articles. As a matter of fact, I'm writing this entire article on my new Lenovo Ideapad, and also made an unboxing video on YouTube.
I create these things because, first and foremost, I must create in order to feel fulfilled. Not many people know this about me, but there it is. Most people see a doddering tall man who does his best at whatever he undertakes. But at my core, I must create. Okay, maybe not doddering, as I'm not feeble, but maybe puttering.
I am only so-so on blogging and vlogging, but you know, I enjoy it. The goal is creating, and if someone enjoys that which I created, bully for me!
The Time Out
I took a few days off my day job. I really needed it, as I found myself getting fairly cranky. You've been there, I'm sure. Yet, being a workaholic, I'm not big on vacations. However, circumstances intervened.
Now that Covid has largely ended, despite recent spikes, the extended family felt it was time to have a memorial service for my mother-in-law. We would scatter some of her ashes, along with some of my father-in-laws, about 5 hours north of here, per their wishes.
At the same time one of my dogs is very ill, is unable to travel, and needs constant care. I felt it was only right that my wife and the kids go, and I stay behind to mind the house and the pets. Great family time for them, great creation time for me. Then my laptop died.
The Need = Lenovo Ideapad
Okay, before I start sounding like a commercial here, let me preface this: I needed a new laptop. I did not want a new laptop. It just so happens that fate dictated that I purchase this machine, the Lenovo Ideapad, which I call Lenny.
I like Lenny. So far he does what I want, and need, and does it (mostly) flawlessly. So, let's define Lenny.
Lenny is an IdeaPad 3 17ITL6. That makes him rather large, with a 17 inch display. If you're not familiar with Lenovo computers, they are a Chinese company, founded in 1984, in Bejing, China, that makes computers from robust, to affordable. They also make a lot of other stuff, phones, TV's etc.
Lenovo is a portmanteau of Le from the word Legend, and Novo, Latin for New. So, new legend. I like Lenny better.
Unboxing and 1st impressions on the Lenovo Ideapad 17.3"
The Lenovo Ideapad is packed with goodness. I will, a bit later, list what I dislike about it, but here it is, the goodness itself.
- Fingerprint Reader
- 17.3" screen
- 256 gigabyte solid state hard drive
- 2.4 GHz quad core 11th generation i5 intel processor
- Windows 11
- 8 gigs of ram
- Full sized keyboard with number pad
- Privacy shutter on the camera
- Decent battery life
- Quiet as the dead
This computer starts up with a fingerprint reader to get into the computer itself. If this fails, and sometimes it does fail to read my fingerprint, you are prompted to enter a pin. Both of these features are one of the first set up steps. Initially the fingerprint sensor was a bit wonky, but it has improved to where it is helpful!
The Big Picture
Honestly, I had no idea the screen, and hence the computer, would be so big! 17.3 inches! I read the description before buying, or course, but, well, I didn't like, measure it out! I could totally watch a movie on this thing! The screen resolution is just fine at 1600x900. After I bought the computer, but before it arrived one day later, I read the reviews. Call me Backwards Bucky, but I do things like that. Anyway, one of the gripes I read about the Lenovo Ideapad was that you cannot see the screen in sunlight. Well, I can. As a matter of fact, I'm writing this blog outside, on the patio by the pool. Can you see the screen in the image above? I can.
Blazing Fast Hard Drive
This Lenovo Ideapad has a solid state hard drive. Spinning drives fail, at one point or another. They also are "Flintstone Slow" in comparison to a SSD. While my new drive is small-ish by today's standards at 256 gigabytes, it is plenty big enough for my needs. Hey, work with a 10 megabyte drive, you learn to conserve space!
The processor is a modest 2.4 Ghz quad core i5 11th gen intel processor. Yes, there are faster processors, but I have no flux capacitor nor need to computer the origins of the universe in mathematical terms. In other words, I intend to use this Lenovo Ideapad 3 for rather pedestrian tasks, like writing this article.
Microsoft upgrades operating system at about the same frequency that hillbillies change their underpants. With that said, and more to say on that later, it is always a good idea to wait awhile to jump on the "new OS" bandwagon. 6 months after release, fair enough. That ensures that many of the bugs are worked out, and that, hopefully, Lenny (my name for my new Lenovo Ideapad) can upgrade further in the future.
So far I really like Windows 11! It's fast, it's capable, so far so good! However, Windows 11 did battle me to the death when I added chrome and began designating Chrome as my default browser in place of Microsoft Edge, Maybe Edge is okay, but historically speaking, MS browsers are trash, so no.
Ramming home my Ram
Random Access Memory, or Ram, is imperative for fast computer operation. Lenny has 8 gigs of ram. That is plenty do do most anything short of gaming. Since I don't game, we're good to go.
Miles of keyboard on the Lenovo Ideapad 3 17ITL6
As I understand it, some of the smaller sized versions of the Ideapad 3 line have small-ish keyboards. They also lack a number pad. This bad boy has an enormous keyboard (it is a big laptop!) and a full sized number pad. There are also a gang load of features on the F keys that enable easy controlling of the computer. Very well thought out, save for some small details for later.
Camera Privacy Shutter
This should be a no-brainer on all computers, but apparently it isn't. While this is not a big deal, I suppose, I really don't want anyone peeping at me while I sleep. I keep the laptop closed no-matter, but still. It's creepy to have a camera pointed at you at all times anyway. This Lenovo Ideapad got it right.
Charge and Charging
Lenny charges rapidly. That's great! And I'm happy to report that this Lenovo Ideapad also discharges slowly! I'm getting no less that 5 hours of use with the enormous screen tuned all the way to 100% brightness. I have it that high to compensate for the sunlight, writing, as I am, poolside. It takes me about 6 hours to write a blog. That's because I get up and walk away, to think, to do other stuff. so yeah. This computer is SOLID in the battery department!
Nothings! The cooling on this laptop, Lenny, is so quiet I don't think I have heard it even once! Wait, not quite true. When the Bios updated it did let out a little whisper.
Downsides - what I don't like
Yes, there are some. There a a few things that bother me about my new Lenovo Ideapad. They got a lot of stuff right, but...
Additionally, I will also list the items I found on reviews, even if I don't agree with them, necessarily.
- Very few ports and not even a CD ROM
- The mouse pad sucks
- Tinny speakers?
- The mouse pad sucks
- The case torques when you open it
- The mouse pad sucks
- The camera - too low resolution
- The mouse pad sucks
Okay, I knew the Lenovo Ideapad had a scarcity of ports. I don't plug a lot of stuff into my computers anyway, but still...
There are two regular USB ports, and one USB-C port. That's it, aside from an HDMI port. And while CD use is declining, I would have loved to have even a CD ROM, or a CD Rear/Write.
On the plus side column, there is an SD card port.
That pesky cursor...
Okay, this is not unique to the Lenovo Ideapad, indeed, all laptop cursor pads annoy me. But this one, Lenny's, is the worst I have even used.
I figured out the right touch on my old Samsung laptop, but this thing, UGH! Say I'm zipping across a page, like this that I'm typing on, I move the cursor and it starts opening random stuff I did NOT select. Terrible. Closes what I am o working on, tragic. Then it will seize up for no known reason! And don't even think about sliding across Google Photos to browse your images. The cursor will sputter, stall, open something weird, and delete a photo, all while you are simply trying to get off am image the pointer is stuck on.
Now you may remember, up the page a way, where I debunk the "can't see the screen in sunlight" gripe. But I can say this, when the warmth of even a weak sun hits the cursor pad, forget it. All the above intensifies. The cursor is the cursed. I will be taking the USB dongle off my old Samsung to use my mini-mouse on Lenny.
This is one of the review gripes I read online, and I don't think it is remotely fair to the Lenovo Ideapad 3, not this one anyway.
First of all, why in the world, in this day and age of ear buds, would you be listening to music on your laptop?!? No laptop has, nor can have, audiophile speakers built it! There isn't the room for a good sized magnet, not to mention an area, cavity, for sound to resonate! That is a silly expectation.
This one bothers me quite bit. When you open this laptop, it should be rigid enough to open from a front corner. With this laptop, you will want to pull it open from dead center. If you pull this 17.3" screened Lenovo Ideapad open at either corner, the top torques quite a bit. It is enough to make one worry about breaking the screen.
This gauge of plastic, and make no mistake, this computer is all plastic, is not up to the task. Perhaps this thickness works with the smaller versions, but not the 17.3". Honestly, I'm pretty concerned about taking this anywhere, bagged or not!
Alright, do you remember back in the day when digital cameras were in their infancy? Grainy low quality photos were the norm. Well, apparently this maker remembers. Somehow they figured out how to put a circa 2001 digital camera into the Lenovo Ideapad. Listed at 720 HD, I'm fairly sure it is not. As far as image quality, it leaves a LOT to be desired.
All in All - the Summary
So, in the above I give you the highs and lows. There's about 15 different items, good and bad, to help guide you to deciding whether or not to buy a Lenovo Ideapad, or any other Lenovo product, I suppose.
What I can tell you, based on this computer, and ones from the same maker I have used at work is, they make quality items. My only regret with this particular computer is not having a larger drive.
Oh, and one other thing, and this applies to all laptops:
Why do they all seem to make the cursor pad for, apparently, lefties? Think about it, if you are right handed, you use your mouse with your right hand, yes? Then why do computer manufacturers offset the cursor pad to the left?!? This seems like it's a question that should have been asked YEARS ago!
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