Lenovo IdeaPad 330 Review: A Lightweight Laptop For Basic Productivity

The Lenovo IdeaPad 330 is a budget-friendly 15-inch laptop with a solid chassis and a nice keyboard. This laptop also comes with a variety of storage options. Its battery, on the other hand, isn’t appealing.

Are you looking for an affordable laptop that is capable of handling basic computing tasks? Check out this Lenovo IdeaPad 330 review to see if the laptop is right for you.

In this review, I’ll go through the general design of the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 in great detail. Moreover, I will examine its performance in terms of CPU, RAM, graphics, storage, and battery.

In addition to that, I’ll share benchmark results to help access the laptop’s performance. I will also compare Lenovo IdeaPad 330 with its competitors and predecessor.

Moreover, after each section’s review, I will also include ratings. At the end of this review, you’ll know enough about the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 to decide whether it’s worth buying.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330 Review: My Initial Thoughts

The Lenovo IdeaPad 330 is an affordable laptop with a comfortable keyboard and sufficient processing capacity for daily computing tasks. This 15.6-inch laptop has a solid chassis and features that budget laptops don’t usually have.

Being a budget laptop, the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 starts at a price of $275 (as of August 2021 when I published this review). Unfortunately, the Lenovo IdeaPad 330, like most inexpensive laptops, comes with certain flaws.

Will its flaws, however, overcome its positive aspects? Continue reading to find out!

Lenovo IdeaPad 330 Design, Dimension & Weight Review

There’s no denying that the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 is a stylish budget laptop. It comes in a Platinum Gray color scheme.

This color theme is on the cool sides of the color spectrum and is perfect for a student or office laptop.

The laptop is made of plastic. However, its color scheme makes the keyboard deck and palm rest look like they’re made of aluminum.

Even the horizontal Lenovo logo on the lid, like the IdeaPad 320 before it, adheres to the company’s basic style.

The laptop’s sleek design gives it a robust feel, which you can confirm once you hold it in your hands. The keyboard and bottom don’t flex as much as the Asus VivoBook F510UA.

Unfortunately, this laptop’s bezels aren’t the thinnest I’ve seen. The top bezel where the webcam is located is particularly chunky.

Despite this, unlike other budget laptops, the bezels are thin enough on each side to give it a modern appearance.

The IdeaPad 330 comes with a 15.6-inch display screen with two resolution configurations. You can either get the laptop with an HD (1366 x 768) or FHD (1920 x 1080) screen resolution.

While most low-cost laptops come with a 13-inch display, the IdeaPad 330 is one of few budget laptops that features a bigger display. The IdeaPad 330 I reviewed came with a 15.5-inch display screen with an HD (1366 x 768) screen resolution.

With a maximum brightness of 200 cd/m2, this laptop’s display screen is bright enough. In addition, the display is adequate for basic productivity tasks like web browsing and document processing.

Furthermore, the display screen has an anti-glare coating that reduces reflections. Even for the keyboard, the laptop does not disappoint.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 330 comes with a 6-row Chiclet keyboard. Unfortunately, the keyboard is non-backlit but it has properly spaced keys with an excellent grip. The arrow keys are well-placed, and the right-hand number pad is a great addition.

The keys feature a short travel and a distinct pressure point. Therefore, the keys should be very comfortable to type on, and even fast typists will find them to be very reliable.

A 104 x 66 mm touchpad is situated slightly to the left below the keyboard of this laptop. The touchpad matches the rest of the laptop’s color scheme.

It also supports Windows 10 gestures such as pinch-to-zoom and three-finger swipe.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 330 comes with every port a user may want. The right side houses only the DVD drive.

A USB 3.1 port, a USB 2.0 input, an HDMI port, and a headphone/mic combo port are all located on the left side. Unfortunately, the laptop lacks a Thunderbolt port.

However, it compensates with wireless connectivity such as WiFi 1×1 AC and Bluetooth 4.1. Less I forget, the laptop also comes with a 4-in-1 card reader slot for MicroSD card storage.

For a laptop in this price range, the Ideapad 330 has two 2W Dolby Audio speakers that sound really good. When streaming a movie online, the speakers’ maximum level is quite loud.

Even when I dialed the speakers to the highest volume, I didn’t notice any distortion.

A 0.3MP webcam is located on top of the Lenovo IdeaPad 330’s display screen bezels. For skyping and video calling, this webcam isn’t the best option.

If you plan to use the IdeaPad 330 for video conferencing, you should invest in dedicated webcams.

At 378 x 260 x 22.9 mm and 2200 g, the IdeaPad 330 is lighter and smaller than the Acer Aspire E15. The Acer Aspire E15 weighs 2268 grams and has a dimension of 381 x 259 x 30 mm.

It is important to note that the IdeaPad 330 has the same dimension and weight as its preceding model (IdeaPad 320). 

In conclusion, it’s remarkable to see a laptop in this price range feature such high-quality workmanship in terms of build quality. As a result, I will rate the laptop’s design a nine out of ten in this design review.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330 Processor (CPU) Performance Review

Just like its predecessor (IdeaPad 320), Lenovo equipped the IdeaPad 330 with Intel’s 8th-generation (Kaby Lake) processors. The laptop comes with a 4-core Intel Core i7-8550U processor which has a cache of 4 MB.

In addition, this processor has a base frequency of 1.80 GHz and a maximum frequency of 4.0 GHz. Being a Kaby Lake processor, this Intel Core i7-8550U should be really fast and excellent at multitasking.

As a result, the laptop was able to continuously switch between multiple applications including Netflix and Firefox browser without breaking a sweat. That is not all, the laptop also performed excellently in a Cinebench R15 benchmark test.

Cinebench R15 is a rendering test that measures how fast your processor can render a 3D scene with all of its cores. According to the Cinebench R15 test, the IdeaPad 330 scored 553 points.

In comparison, the Asus Vivobook F510UA performed slightly better than the IdeaPad 330. According to the Cinebench R15 test, the Asus Vivobook F510UA’s Intel Core i5-8250U processor scored 563 points.

However, when compared to its predecessor (IdeaPad 320), the IdeaPad 330 performed way better. According to the same test, the IdeaPad 320’s Intel Core i5-7200U processor scored 327 points.

In conclusion, the IdeaPad 330’s processor is fast and also better than its preceding model. Therefore, in this processor review, I will rate the IdeaPad 330 an eight out of ten.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330 Memory (RAM) Performance Review

Lenovo equipped IdeaPad 330 with two DDR4 RAM slots with both having a maximum capacity of 16 GB. However, one of the RAM slots is soldered on the motherboard.

This means that the memory on that particular slot can’t be upgraded.

On the bright side, the second slot isn’t soldered to the motherboard. Therefore, the memory on the slot can be upgraded.

The model I reviewed came with 8 GB RAM on the soldered slot.

Moreover, if I needed extra memory, I could easily add another 8 GB on the other slot – making it 16 GB altogether. However, the 8 GB RAM that came with the laptop I reviewed was sufficient.

With 8 GB RAM, Lenovo IdeaPad 330 is excellent for multitasking.

As a result, I was able to stream a movie on Netflix with 20 chrome browser tabs opened without slowing down. I also conducted a PCMark 10 test to further determine how well the laptop can perform with 8 GB RAM.

PCMark 10 is a Windows PC system test that evaluates a computer’s performance under typical office workloads. According to the PCMark 10 test, the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 scored 2852 points.

However, this score wasn’t enough to beat the Acer Aspire E 15’s score of 2942 points. On the bright side, it was enough to outperform its preceding model, Lenovo IdeaPad 320.

According to the PCMark 10 test, the Lenovo IdeaPad 320 scored 2723 points.

Finally, in this memory review, I will rate the IdeaPad 330 an eight out of ten for its excellent memory options and performance.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330 Storage Option & Performance Review

The IdeaPad 330 offers multiple storage configurations just like its predecessor. You can either get the laptop with a SATA HDD or SSD.

The SATA HDD storage supports a maximum capacity of 2 TB. On the other hand, the SSD storage can take a maximum capacity of 256 GB.

Additionally, the IdeaPad 330 also offers a 4-in-1 (SD, SDXC, SDHC, MMC) card reader for extra storage. The laptop I reviewed came with 500 GB HDD storage.

I believe 500 GB should be enough for most users to save their important files, images, music, videos, and so on. However, if you are a storage-hungry user, you could easily add extra storage with the SSD slot.

Alternatively, you may also expand your storage with the SD card slot.

In terms of internal storage, the recommended storage configuration is a combination of SSD and HDD. If you go for this configuration, I recommend 128 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD.

With this configuration, install the Operation System and applications on the 128 GB SSD. Then, use the 1 TB HDD to save your personal files.

Installing your Operating System on the SSD ensures fast boot time and improved overall performance. This also ensures that your apps load fast.

To determine the HDD’s performance on the laptop I reviewed, I performed a file transfer test. During the file transfer test, the laptop copied 4.97GB of multimedia files in 2 minutes and 57 seconds at a rate of 28.8fps.

This transfer rate was a little faster than the Dell Inspiron 15 3000’. The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 copied 4.97GB of multimedia files in 3 minutes at a transfer rate of 25.7fps.

In conclusion, for a laptop in its price range, most users will find IdeaPad 330’s multiple storage options useful. Specifically, the SSD/HDD storage combination is usually great for performance and large storage space.

Based on these features, I will rate the laptop a nine out of ten in this storage review.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330 Graphic Card Performance Review

The Lenovo IdeaPad 330, offers multiple graphics configurations. You can either purchase the laptop with Intel Integrated Graphics.

There is also an option to get the laptop with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050, or AMD Radeon 540.

The Intel Integrated Graphics has a base GPU frequency of 300 MHz and a boost GPU frequency of 1150 MHz. On the other hand, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 has a base frequency of 1392 MHz and a boost frequency of 1518 MHz.

In addition, the AMD Radeon 540 has a base frequency of 1100 MHz and a boost frequency of 1124 MHz.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 and AMD Radeon 540 features 3 GB and 4 GB of dedicated VRAM respectively. Unfortunately, the Intel Integrated Graphics doesn’t feature a dedicated VRAM.

Lack of dedicated VRAM means that the graphics card and the CPU shares the system memory. As a result, don’t expect it to run graphics-intensive applications smoothly.

Also, if you purchased the laptop with Intel Integrated Graphics, it will not perform well with gaming. The model of the IdeaPad 330 I reviewed features Intel Integrated Graphics.

As mention earlier, this graphics card doesn’t feature a dedicated VRAM, so it won’t be able to run any graphic-intensive games. Therefore, with this graphics card, games on the Windows App Store are pretty much your only option.

On a gaming test, the IdeaPad 330 only managed to achieve a frame rate of 14 fps while playing Dirt 3. This frame rate is nowhere near the category average of 28 fps.  

In comparison, the Acer Aspire E 15 performed way better than the IdeaPad 330. The Acer Aspire E 15’s UHD Graphics 620 graphics card was able to play Dirt 3 at 56 fps.

I also conducted a 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited graphics test to further determine the graphics card performance. 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited provides an accurate way to test component performance without display resolution scaling, vertical sync, or operating system issues interfering.

According to the 3DMark test, the IdeaPad 330 scored 25,837 points. This score is way below the Acer Aspire E 15’s score of 63,817 points.

However, compared to its predecessor, IdeaPad 320, the IdeaPad 330 performed slightly better. According to the 3DMark test, the IdeaPad 320’s Intel Integrated Graphics scored 25,320 points.

If you’re a graphics design or gamer, it is better you purchase the IdeaPad 330 with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050, or AMD Radeon 540.

Finally, in this graphics review, I will rate the laptop a seven. This rating is based on the Intel Integrated Graphics performance.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330 Battery Life & Performance Review

The Lenovo IdeaPad 330 comes with a 3-cell 52.5 Wh battery. Lenovo claims that this laptop’s battery could last up to 6 hours.

We’re all aware of how untrustworthy most laptop manufacturers’ battery claims are. As a result, I ran a battery test to verify Lenovo’s battery claim for the IdeaPad 330.

The battery test entails continuously browsing the internet over a WIFI connection. For this test, I set the laptop’s brightness to 150 nits. According to the battery test, the IdeaPad 330 has a runtime of 5 hours and 52 minutes.

This battery runtime is way below most of its competitors in the same price range. For example, the Acer Aspire E15 had a runtime of 8 hours.

It is also disappointing that Acer Swift did better than 1 IdeaPad 330. In this test, Acer Swift lasted 10 hours.

On the bright side, the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 had a better runtime than its predecessor, IdeaPad 320. According to the same battery test, the IdeaPad 320 had a runtime of 4 hours and 24 minutes.

In conclusion, the IdeaPad 330 battery’s runtime is way below most of its competitors. Therefore, in this battery review, I believe the laptop doesn’t deserve anything more than a seven out of ten.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330 Review: Frequently Asked Question

Yes. Lenovo is a great computer brand because they have a large range of laptops available. However, quality is dependent on the individual laptop you choose. This is also true for all laptop brands. HP, Dell, and ASUS are all well-known for their durability and affordability. However, every brand has outstanding and terrible models.

The IdeaPad 330 starts at a price of $275. This price was accurate when I published this article in August 2021.

Yes, it is. The Lenovo IdeaPad 330 is suitable for students that need to do simple tasks like word processing and browsing. Furthermore, it is reasonably priced for a student’s budget.

If you’re looking for the best value for money, Lenovo is the better choice. HP laptops, on the other hand, often feature higher-quality components, although they are more expensive.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330 Review: My Final Thoughts

The Lenovo IdeaPad 330 is a low-cost laptop with a nice keyboard, and a sturdy, durable build quality. The IdeaPad 330 is more stylish than most laptops in its price range.

It’s also slimmer and lighter than most of its competitors and comes with plenty of ports.

Unfortunately, it comes with few shortcomings such as its battery life. However, if you can overlook these little drawbacks, this IdeaPad is an excellent value.

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