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Using the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 14’ Celeron 4GB Cloud Grey (2024)

My thoughts on the Lenovo IdeaPad 1: balancing performance, design, connectivity, and value.
Brad Cheston

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


December 27, 2023


I recently purchased the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 as a budget-friendly laptop for my everyday use. Since then, I’ve spent enough time with it to understand its strengths and weaknesses thoroughly. In this article, I’ll share my insights on its performance, design, portability, connectivity, and overall value for money. Whether you’re a student, a work-from-home professional, or just someone looking for a no-frills computer for daily tasks, my experience might help you make an informed decision.


Property Value Property Value
Brand Lenovo Model Name Lenovo Ideapad 1i
Screen Size 14 Inches Color Gray
Hard Disk Size 64 GB CPU Model Celeron N4020
Ram Memory Installed Size 4 GB Operating System Windows 11
Special Feature inexpensive budget pc commuter travel writers security safe friendly simple basic fun value midsize … Graphics Card Description Integrated


Click on photos to enlarge them:

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Performance and Expectations

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Navigating the vast seas of budget laptops can be a bewildering endeavor, but the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 sails fairly well through basic digital chores, occasionally hitting slow currents. My experience with this device has been a mixture of light breezes and mild squalls, so let’s break it down:


  • Portable and lightweight

  • Decent HD display for the price

  • Adequate for basic tasks like web browsing and document editing

  • Good build quality indicative of the Lenovo brand


  • Slow performance at times

  • Limited storage capacity

  • Initial setup can be time-consuming

First off, the Intel Celeron N4020 processor teamed up with 4GB of RAM means I’m not breaking any speed records. Simple web browsing, streaming, and using Microsoft Office are generally okay, but patience is a virtue with this setup. Don’t expect to multi-task like a pro; the IdeaPad 1 keeps things at a casual pace.

Storage-wise, 64GB fills up fast. I got around this with cloud services and an external drive, but keep this in mind if you’re planning to store a lot of files locally. Thankfully, USB ports are readily available for those additional devices.

On the upside, the 14” HD display is a pleasant surprise for a laptop in this tier. It’s not going to blow you away with vivid colors or sharpness, but it’s more than adequate for everyday tasks and casual streaming. The narrow bezels and Dolby Audio are small touches that enhance the user experience, especially when you consider the price point.

Important to note is the Windows 11 in S Mode. It has its pros and cons, with security and performance being boosted, but it limits software to Microsoft-verified apps. Some might find this restrictive, but others will appreciate the streamlined and secure nature of the OS.

As for the design, while it’s slim and I appreciate the Cloud Grey hue, the visuals and aesthetics are a conversation for another section of this piece.

In terms of performance, it meets expectations for the casual user like myself who wants just a bit more than what a tablet or phone can offer. I’m particularly fond of the full keyboard over my iPhone’s touch screen for typing out emails or documents. However, if you’re planning on more demanding tasks, it’s worth considering models with higher specs.

In terms of resources and further reading, I didn’t stumble upon any academic papers or GitHub repositories directly related to this model’s performance, but user forums on places like MacRumors echoed similar sentiments on the IdeaPad’s capabilities and limitations.

So, while the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 won’t be winning any performance races, for those looking for a simple machine for browsing, streaming, and general productivity, it gets the job done. Keep expectations in check, and this laptop can be a modest but reliable companion in your tech lineup.

Design and Portability

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Design and portability are critical factors that I look for in a laptop, and the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to its easy-to-carry build. Weighing just over 3 lbs and less than 1 inch thick, carrying it around feels like a breeze — perfect for those long commutes or shuffling between classes. For comparison, check out my impressions of the similarly portable Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i, which provides a balance between performance and design.

Here’s the rundown of what stands out in terms of design and portability:

  • Thin and Light: It just slides into my bag without adding any noticeable weight, making it ideal for travel or commuting.

  • Aesthetics: The Cloud Grey color is professional yet inconspicuous, which I prefer for a working environment.

  • Practicality: The keyboard feels nice to type on, which is a relief for longer sessions.

However, it’s not all about good looks and comfort, there are considerations to bear in mind. The HD display, while effective for basic tasks, is surrounded by somewhat thick bezels that seem to betray its modern design. Additionally, the laptop comes in Windows 11 in S mode, which some might find limiting, though it’s a sensible choice for enhancing security and performance.

The inclusion of Dolby Audio and dual stereo speakers are nice touches that enrich the media experience. It’s one of those features that often go unnoticed but are appreciated when watching a video lecture or catching up on a favorite Netflix series.

On the downside, the hard disk size at 64 GB feels constrained, prompting me to keep an eye on storage management or consider an external storage solution. But this is par for the course with many budget-friendly laptops where compromises are expected for cost-efficiency.

From a personal standpoint, the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 strikes a fine balance between what’s necessary and what’s nice to have. While it’s not going to win any performance races, the balance struck with its highly portable design makes it a solid choice for someone like me who values ease of movement and basic functionality over cutting-edge features. Sure, I have other high-performance devices for more demanding tasks, but this laptop fills a niche as a light companion for day-to-day use. I can forgive the smaller storage and the no-frills screen when considering the sheer convenience of this device.

The laptop embodies what I needed: a straightforward, no-frills machine that sacrifices some of the bells and whistles for practicality and portability. Whether it’s for typing out lengthy documents or browsing the web, the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 fits into my life almost seamlessly — an extension of my workspace wherever I go.

Connectivity and Expansion

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In the landscape of budget computing, connectivity often becomes the bottleneck, limiting the potential of an inexpensive machine like the Lenovo IdeaPad 1. Reflecting on the various inputs and outputs, the IdeaPad’s assortment offers a decent mix that leans towards utility and practicality—one of its stronger suits compared to other laptops in the same price bracket.

  • USB Ports: Sporting 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-A) ports, which are adequate for attaching a mouse and keyboard or for plugging in an external drive.

  • MicroSD Card Reader: This feature is a mixed bag. It’s a win for expandable storage, allowing for quick transfers of photos from digital cameras or phones. However, as someone who was looking forward to a microSD slot for a more discreet and permanent storage expansion, the presence of a conventional-sized SD card slot that leaves the card protruding is a bit of a letdown.

  • HDMI: This is particularly useful for extending or mirroring the display to a larger screen or projector—a staple for presentations or media consumption.

  • Audio Jack: The combination mic/earphone port is a nifty inclusion that spares me from relying solely on Bluetooth headphones.

Despite these options, the IdeaPad isn’t above criticism. There’s no denying it—the laptop could use a USB-C port for more modern peripherals and faster data transfer speeds, and the absence of an Ethernet port feels like a missed opportunity for more stable internet connectivity when WiFi isn’t cutting it. Speaking of wireless, the built-in WiFi 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.1 are passable, but don’t expect cutting-edge speeds or the most robust connections here.

In the day to day, these I/O limitations don’t cripple the user experience for my kind of usage, which includes plenty of web browsing and the occasional document editing. I particularly appreciate that I can attach an external hard drive for extra storage space without much fuss. And for video calls or virtual meetings—a staple in this era of telecommuting—the array of ports suffices to hook up necessary peripherals without needing a myriad of dongles.

Looking at this setup, it’s clear that the IdeaPad wasn’t designed to be a powerhouse hub of connectivity. Rather, it’s been outfitted to handle the mundane yet essential tasks it was meant for—without burning a hole in your pocket. While I wouldn’t call the connectivity on the IdeaPad revolutionary or particularly impressive, it punches at and slightly above its weight in this category, striking a fair balance between cost and functional expansiveness.

Value for Money and Use Cases

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In evaluating the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 from a value-for-money perspective, it’s crucial to weigh its features against its limitations. Below is a straightforward rundown:


  • Inexpensive; a solid pick for cost-conscious buyers.

  • Lightweight and slim, making it a good travel companion.

  • Decent for basic productivity tasks like Office applications and web browsing.

  • Has a microSD card slot for expandable storage, albeit it’s not as flush as a dedicated microSD slot would be.


  • The performance can be sluggish, particularly with multitasking.

  • Storage is limited with a 64GB hard drive, which fills up quickly.

  • Not suitable for gaming or heavy-duty tasks.

  • Battery life doesn’t live up to the advertised 10 hours in practical use.

From my experience, the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 has been a mixed bag. On one hand, its light weight and simple design make it an easy grab-and-go option for tasks like checking emails, handling documents, and light web browsing. Given its low price point, it’s easy to understand the appeal for someone who needs a basic device for straightforward tasks — think students or those working from home on a budget.

On the flip side, the performance often leaves me wanting more, with lag times that can test my patience. The financially appealing price tag does come at the cost of speed, and sometimes I contemplate if stretching the budget a little could have saved me some frustration.

Moreover, the fact that it comes with Windows 11 in S Mode is a bit restrictive, but it’s serviceable for basic needs, and it’s possible to opt out of S mode if you’re looking for more flexibility. On the note of expandable storage, I appreciate having the option to use a microSD card to bump up the space, but it’s a partial solution given that larger files would be better served by a higher inbuilt storage capacity or a more conveniently fitting card slot.

The battery life, while passable, isn’t quite as long as I had hoped. However, it’s good enough to get through a chunk of my day before needing a recharge, which helps when outlets are far and few between. For those who need a machine that’s fast and furious, this isn’t it — but if your work doesn’t require intensive software, it’s adequate.

All in all, the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 serves as a reminder that you often get what you pay for. It’s a functional laptop, and while its performance won’t blow anyone away, it manages to uphold a decent baseline for what a budget laptop can do. As long as you’re aware of its limitations and your requirements align with its capabilities, this laptop can prove to be a value-driven choice.