Lenovo ideapad 100S Chromebook Review – Bringing Style To The Low End

Chromebooks have been most famous for the price. When you can get a solid computer for under $200, you’re gonna make waves. Now Lenovo has made a new entry to this market with the ideapad 100S Chromebook. This $179 Chromebook is pretty basic but brings a great value for the price. Is it worth it? Let’s find out.

Specs*

  • Intel Celeron N2840 Processor – Integrated Intel HD Graphics
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB Storage
  • 11.6″ HD Display
  • 2.6lbs
  • 1x USB 2.0 Port, 1x USB 3.0 Port, SD card reader, full size HDMI port
  • 1MP Front HD Webcam
  • Chrome OS

Hardware & Design

At first glance this Chromebook looks like 99% of other Chromebooks, or laptops in general for that matter. Upon closer inspection however you’ll notice the textured outer layer. This is a great addition to the machine as it makes it easier to hold thanks to the added grip and also makes the device a bit more resistant to scratches and damage. On the lid this texture is a bit rubbery while on the bottom it’s a rigid texture.

The rigid texture on the ideapad 100S Chromebook was a treat.

The rigid texture on the ideapad 100S Chromebook was a treat.

The inside of the 100S Chromebook is also fairly normal, but it’s nicer than most Chromebooks. The bezels around the display are pretty large, but no more than most laptops. The keyboard inside is slightly wider than the display, but more on that later. Around the trackpad is where things really get good. Here we have an entire section made from metal. This provides a great place to put your hands when typing and provides a cool touch when you first open up the machine. The chamfered edges around the trackpad are also a very nice touch.



Software & Performance

When it comes to software we have Google’s Chrome OS and the experience is just as good as other base-model Chromebooks. The Intel Celeron processor and 2GB of RAM inside the machine provide solid performance for basic tasks. I can easily have a handful of tabs open while still being able to multitask. When you get a few too many tabs open you’ll notice a lot of re-loading. While that’s not the end of the world, it is a bit disappointing but not unexpected. While the 2GB variant is just fine, if you can afford to upgrade to the 4GB model you’ll be wise to do so.

Keyboard & Trackpad

The keyboard inside of this machine is the highlight. The keys are well spaced with plenty of travel and an overall awesome experience. This keyboard is better than anything I’ve tried on an 11″ Chromebook so far and would come second to the Chromebook Pixel in terms of machines I’ve used. I’d prefer a bigger keyboard, but getting a keyboard this good inside of a machine this small is insanely impressive.

This is one of the best keyboards I've ever used.

This is one of the best keyboards I’ve ever used.

The trackpad is also very good with a solid amount of travel and a satisfying, but not annoying, clicking sound. Gestures work very well on it and it feels very good to use.

Display

The 11.6″ display in the 100S Chromebook is honestly pretty good. Yes it’s a mere 1366×768 resolution and the brightness isn’t amazing, but it’s maybe a half-step above most other 11″ displays out there. The matte texture on the outside is also very good. I wrote the majority of this review in near direct sunlight without a single issue.

Even though this is a low-price machine, the display on the ideapad 100S Chromebook isn't terrible.

Even though this is a low-price machine, the display on the ideapad 100S Chromebook isn’t terrible.

Battery Life

Battery life of the Lenovo 100S Chromebook is pretty awesome. I can easily pull multiple days of use out of this machine and a single charge can last through Lenovo 8 hour claim.

Final Thoughts

The Lenovo ideapad 100S Chromebook is a solid base-model Chromebook and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend is over just about every other 11.6″ Chromebook on the market. There are compromises, sure, but overall this is a great little machine.