Base model Windows laptops can be a mixed bag. Sometimes you’ll get something good, sometimes something bad. With Lenovo’s new ideapad 100S they’ve brought a machine priced to compete at just $199. Is it worth buying? Let’s find out.
- Intel Atom Z3735F Processor – Integrated Intel HD Graphics
- Windows 10
- 2GB RAM
- 32GB Storage
- Up to 8 hours battery
- 11.6″ HD Display
- 2x USB 2.0 ports, full size HDMI, microSD card slot
Hardware & Design
With low end laptops, design is hardly ever the focus. While the ideapad 100S does have a pretty basic design, it looks very good. The machine is available in blue, white, silver, and red. As you can see I was testing out the red model and overall I was pretty impressed. I never would have though a bright red machine like this would look good, but Lenovo has pulled it off quite well.
There’s a matte finish on the entire machine which looks and feels very good. The machine doesn’t tend to get dirty and it also feels very well built. The weight of the machine is quite nice as well. This is a very portable machine.
Software & Performance
The overall performance of the ideapad 100S is respectable, but not impressive. It’ll get the absolute basics done, but nothing more. I can write up a document, browse the web, and things like this, but not much more. You’ll want to run a browser like Firefox on this machine since it works best with the limited amount of RAM. While Chrome and Edge will work, Firefox was my choice. Storage will definitely be a limiting factor for this machine, but you can easily expand it via the microSD card slot up to 200GB.
Keyboard & Trackpad
The keyboard of the ideapad 100S is pretty solid considering the price. Is it perfect? No. Is it good? Yeah. The keys are flat to the machine with a solid amount of travel and a texture over the top. They are also well spaced and overall it’s pretty good.
The trackpad on the other hand is a different story. While the reponsiveness is great, the rest is not. There are two buttons on the bottom of the machine for left and right click which is fine, but the lack of gesture support is a severe downside. A year or two ago this wouldn’t be too bad, but now in a world where just about every laptop supports _at least_ a scrolling gesture, no gesture support at all is just a kick in the pants.
The 11.6″ display on the ideapad 100S is, OK. It’s not great, but it’s not good either. The resolution is low, as you’d expect, but the brightness is also not all that good. It’s fine indoors but even the matte coating on the display can’t help in the outdoors.
Lenovo rates the ideapad 100S at just under 7 hours of battery life and it can more or less achieve that. Battery life isn’t jaw dropping, but it’s good nonetheless.
Overall the Lenovo ideapad 100S is a solid Windows 10 laptop so long as you know what you’re buying. This is not a PC to use for everything, it’s just for the basics. In business or school, this would make for a great laptop for on-the-go or even as a second machine, but it’s not the one to get everything done with.