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Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD Review – Proof AMD Brings Power at a Price You’ll Love

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Image credit lenovo.com

The Lenovo Ideapad 330-15 AMD is a budget laptop powered by an AMD processor. This affordable 15-inch model delivers solid performance for basic home and student needs. Read on for a detailed review of the design, display, performance, battery life and other key factors to consider with the Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD.

Overview of the Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD

The Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15ICH model is configurable with up to an AMD Ryzen 5 2500U 2GHz quad-core processor with Radeon Vega 8 integrated graphics. You can choose between 4GB or 8GB of DDR4 RAM and storage options include a 1TB hard drive or a 128GB SSD.

The 15.6” HD display has a resolution of 1366 x 768. Battery life is estimated up to 5 hours depending on usage. The Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD has a plastic body and weighs 4.63 lbs. For ports, it includes 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, HDMI, and an SD card reader.

Overall, at this price point, the Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD offers decent AMD-powered performance for basic home and student needs like web browsing, office work, streaming media and light gaming.

Design and Build Quality

The Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD has an all-plastic body finished in Mineral Grey. The plastic construction keeps it lightweight while feeling a bit cheap and flexible. There is some flex visible when twisting the base or lid but the overall build quality is reasonable for the price.

The textured plastic finish helps resist fingerprints and scratches. The smooth edges and corners are comfortable when carrying the laptop around. Measuring 14.96 x 10.2 x 0.94 inches, the IdeaPad 330 is quite portable for a 15-inch notebook. It’s easy to slip into a backpack or large purse when traveling.

Interior access is simple with a large panel secured by one screw. Inside, there is one open memory slot and an open 2.5” storage bay for upgrades.

Display Quality

The 15.6” HD glossy display has a disappointingly low 1366 x 768 resolution. However, texts and images appear fairly sharp for the screen size. The bright LED backlight provides good visibility in indoor environments.

The colors are decent but not very vibrant. The glossy finish helps boost contrast but also produces more glare and reflections. Viewing angles are also quite narrow with the image washing out quickly when viewed off-center.

The display is sufficient for casual use but the low resolution and lackluster color reproduction make it ill-suited for photo editing or graphics work. Adding an external monitor can greatly improve the experience.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD’s plastic keyboard exhibits some flex when typing but provides reasonable tactile feedback. The keys have slightly curved, textured bottoms with 1.4mm of travel. There is sufficient spacing between the island-style keys to allow accurate typing.

Key presses feel a bit heavy and muddy. The layout includes a number pad and there are dedicated media controls across the top row. The white backlight helps visibility when typing in dim environments.

Below sits a roomy 4.1 x 2.7-inch buttonless touchpad. Gestures like taps, swipes, and scrolls work smoothly. The mylar coating creates a responsive slick surface for navigating the cursor. Physical clicks make a hollow plastic sound but work reliably.

Performance of AMD Processor and Integrated Graphics

This IdeaPad 330-15 model includes an AMD Ryzen 5 2500U with Radeon Vega 8 graphics. The quad-core Zen-based processor has a 2 GHz base clock and 3.6 GHz max boost speed. With 8GB of RAM, it provides suitable performance for everyday productivity, internet usage, and light gaming.

The Vega 8 graphics allow playing older or less demanding games at low settings. Titles like League of Legends, Minecraft, and Fortnite are playable at 40-60 fps at 768p resolution. The latest AAA games will not run well though.

Application performance is quick thanks to the fast SSD. Programs open briskly and moving between multiple apps is lag-free. The CPU can handle heavier multitasking better than similarly priced Intel-based laptops.

RAM and Storage Options

The IdeaPad 330 AMD can be configured with a 4GB or 8GB stick of DDR4 RAM. Having 8GB of memory is recommended for smoother multitasking and better integrated graphics performance. The RAM slot is easily accessible for adding more memory later.

For storage, Lenovo offers either a 1TB 5400 RPM hard drive or a 128GB SSD. The SSD model delivers much faster boot-up, game loading, and application launch times. If going with the HDD version, consider adding an SSD down the road for a major speed boost.

Battery Life Testing

Lenovo estimates the IdeaPad 330-15’s 2-cell lithium-ion battery provides up to 5 hours of use per charge. In my testing, it lasted for 4 hours and 35 minutes of continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi with the screen at 50% brightness.

This runtime is about average for an affordable 15-inch notebook. Reduce brightness further, avoid intensive gaming, and enable battery saver modes to stretch it closer to the rated 5-hour mark. Rapid charging brings the battery up to 80% full within an hour.

Noise Levels and Thermals

The IdeaPad 330 AMD stays relatively quiet during light everyday use. There is some audible fan whirring when the laptop is under heavy load. Air exhausts from vents on the left edge and bottom. The middle of the underside can get quite warm when gaming.

Noise levels are low when idle or using office software and web browsers. Streaming HD video causes the fans to ramp up at times. The gameplay kicks the fans to their highest speed, producing an audible humming. But the overall acoustics are not too intrusive.

Speakers and Audio Quality

The two 1.5W bottom-firing speakers deliver passable audio quality. Maximum volume is sufficiently loud for personal listening in smaller rooms. However, the sound reproduction lacks bass and sounds somewhat canned.

There is a noticeable lack of depth with music playback. Vocals in videos come through clearly but the highs are harsh at max volume. External speakers or headphones are recommended for listening to music or watching movies with this laptop.

Webcam

Above the display sits a 0.3MP webcam. It captures very grainy and dull images even in well-lit rooms. The video quality is quite poor and unsuitable for streaming or conferencing.

Consider getting an external webcam if you need to make video calls with this laptop. At least the webcam includes a physical shutter for blocking the lens when not in use.

Ports and Connectivity

The Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD provides a decent assortment of ports considering the price. The left side houses one USB 3.0 port, an HDMI output, one USB 2.0 port, and the power jack. Over on the right is a 4-in-1 card reader, one USB 3.0 Type A port, an Ethernet jack, and the audio jack.

For wireless, it includes 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1. The Wi-Fi chip provides sufficient speeds and range for everyday use. But it lacks support for faster Wi-Fi 6 networks. Upgrading to a PCIe Wi-Fi card in the future is possible for improved wireless performance.

Gaming Benchmarks

Here are some average fps gaming benchmarks for the Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD with Radeon Vega 8 graphics and 8GB RAM:

  • Minecraft: 60fps (1080p, Medium)
  • Fortnite: 48fps (900p, Low)
  • CS:GO: 54fps (768p, Medium)
  • GTA V: 32fps (768p, Very Low)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: Unplayable (Even at 768p, Lowest)

Light online games like Minecraft and older titles run decently. More demanding games need resolution and settings lowered significantly for playable frame rates. Overall the Vega 8 graphics are capable for very casual gaming but cannot handle modern AAA titles.

Video Editing and Rendering Performance

I tested video editing performance by exporting a 5 minute 1080p video clip in Shotcut and Adobe Premiere Rush. Here are the export times:

  • Shortcut: 4 minutes 45 seconds
  • Premiere Rush: 6 minutes 2 seconds

The Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD can handle basic video editing and exporting tasks fine. But more complex timelines with lots of effects will take much longer to render and export. The lack of a dedicated graphics card limits its multimedia capabilities.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD For Everyday Use

Powered by a decent AMD Ryzen processor and SSD, the 330-15 AMD delivers smooth performance for everyday home and student use. It boots up quickly in under 20 seconds from off to the Windows desktop.

Browsing the web with multiple tabs open is fast and snappy. Streaming video through apps like Netflix and Disney+ works flawlessly in up to 1080p quality. Office programs like Word and Excel launch swiftly and run without issue.

Even photo editing in Lightroom and managing a large digital photo library is manageable. The laptop stays cool and quiet during most daily productivity workloads. Just don’t expect to play the latest games on high graphics settings.

Image credit lenovo.com

Advantages of the Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD

Here are some of the notable benefits of choosing the Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD:

  • Affordable price under $500
  • Capable AMD Ryzen processor
  • Smooth everyday performance with SSD option
  • Lightweight and portable 15-inch size
  • RAM and storage are upgradeable
  • Good port selection including USB 3.0 and HDMI

Drawbacks to Consider

Some of the IdeaPad 330 AMD’s limitations to keep in mind include:

  • Mediocre 1366 x 768 display
  • Basic integrated graphics performance
  • All-plastic build feels cheap
  • Short 5 hour battery life
  • Bad 0.3MP webcam quality
  • No support for faster Wi-Fi 6

Who Is the Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD For?

The Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD hits a sweet spot for:

Students – The large screen provides ample workspace for homework and research. Portable enough to carry every day in a backpack.

Tight budgets – Starting under $500, it delivers solid AMD performance for the price. The SSD model offers plenty of speed for everyday usage.

Light gaming – Casual and older games run fine on low settings. It handles popular online games like League of Legends smoothly.

Work from home – Fast enough for productivity apps, web meetings, and managing documents/spreadsheets when paired with an external monitor.

Conclusion

The Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD makes for a cost-effective home and student laptop. Models with the Ryzen 5 2500U CPU, 8GB RAM, and SSD offer the best performance. While the display and construction feel cheap, it still provides quality speed for web browsing, office work, and light gaming given the budget price.

For shoppers seeking good value in a basic AMD-powered 15-inch notebook, the IdeaPad 330-15ICH deserves consideration. Just be mindful of the corners Lenovo cut to reach this price point. Adding more RAM and an SSD down the road can keep this affordable IdeaPad running smoothly for years.

FAQs

What processor options does the Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD offer?

It can be configured with up to an AMD Ryzen 5 2500U Quad-Core 2.0GHz CPU. This provides good performance for everyday home and school usage.

Can you upgrade the RAM and storage?

Yes, the RAM is upgradable to 20GB in total. There is one free SODIMM slot to add more memory. The storage can be upgraded to a larger SSD or faster hard drive.

How is the battery life?

Expect around 4.5 to 5 hours of continuous use per charge. The battery life is decent but not outstanding.

Is the display good enough for graphic design?

No, the 1366 x 768 resolution and lackluster color reproduction make this display unsuitable for serious graphic design or photo editing work.

What games can it play?

Older titles and less demanding online games like Minecraft and League of Legends play fine at 30-60fps on lower settings. Don’t expect great AAA gaming performance though.

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This post first appeared on DJI Mini 3 Pro: Finally, Pro-Quality Video In A Super Compact Drone, please read the originial post: here

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Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 AMD Review – Proof AMD Brings Power at a Price You’ll Love

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