AMD’s Mendocino processors are designed for budget laptops with prices starting at around $400. AMD keeps the prices for these chips low while offering decent all-around performance by combining Zen 2 CPU cores with an entry-level integrated GPU based on RDNA 2 architecture.
Acer was the first company to launch a laptop powered by an AMD Mendocino chip. But now Lenovo has quietly launched its own Mendocino-powered laptops in select markets.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 1 is an entry-level line of laptops that up until now have been available with Intel Celeron, Pentium Silver, or Core processors or AMD’s entry-level Athlon Silver chips.
Now Lenovo has launched models with Mendocino processor options including:
|Cores / Threads||Base / Boost freq||Total Cache||TDP||GPU|
|Ryzen 5 7520U||4 / 8||2.8 GHz / 4.3 GHz||6MB||15W||1.9 GHz Radeon 610M|
|Ryzen 3 7320U||4 / 8||2.4 GHz / 4.1 GHz||6MB||15W||1.9 GHz Radeon 610M|
|Athlon Gold 7220U||2 / 4||2.4 GHz / 3.7 GHz||5MB||15W||1.9 GHz Radeon 610M|
|Athlon Silver 7120U||2 / 2||2.4 GHz / 3.5 GHz||3MB||15W||1.9 GHz Radeon 610M|
Keep in mind that these are budget laptops, so while I’ve found that AMD’s Ryzen 3 7320U processor offers CPU performance that’s competitive with pricier chips, the graphics performance is nothing to write home about. While the integrated Radeon 610M GPU is based on AMD’s current-gen graphics architecture, these chips have just 2 graphics cores, which means that you might get better gaming and video performance from a previous-gen GPU with more cores.
But laptops with Mendocino chips are meant to be budget devices, and it shows when you look at other specs for Lenovo’s IdeaPad 1 series notebooks.
All of the models with Mendocino chips features LPDDR5-5500 memory and M.2 2242 PCIe 3.0 or 4.0 x4 NVMe SSD storage. But entry-level models have as little as 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while higher-priced configurations have as much as 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage.
Since the RAM is soldered to the motherboard, it’s not user upgradeable.
And while Lenovo has sold IdeaPad 1 laptops with screen sizes ranging from 11.6 to 15.6 inches in the past, it looks like all of the Mendocino-powered models have 14 to 15.6 inch displays. Some are 1920 x 1080 pixel IPS LCD displays, but lower-priced models have 1366 x 768 pixel TN screens.
While it’s nice to see PC makers offering better CPU performance in low-cost laptops, it’d be nice if we could finally do away with low-resolution TN displays with limited viewing angles… at least in laptops with screens larger than 13 inches.
Other features include support for WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 or WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, depending on the configuration, 42 Wh batteries and 65W power adapters, 720p webcams with privacy shutters, dual microphones, and stereo 1.5W speakers.
- 1 x HDMI 1.4b
- 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C (data-only)
- 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
- 1 x USB 2.0 Type-A
- 1 x 3.5mm audio jack
- 1 SD card reader
Unsurprisingly for cheap laptops, the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 notebooks have plastic cases and lack backlit keyboards. But some models do have an optional fingerprint sensor integrated with the power button.