The Lenovo S41's ultraportable design is both lightweight and durable, with classic mainstream stylings and a healthy collection of features. It's a little light on storage, but the performance ranks alongside our top picks in the category.
- Good CPU and system memory
- Great display quality
- Thin and lightweight
- Backlit keyboard
- Modest battery life
- No dedicated video card
- Lack of full sized Solid State Drive
If you require power and speed, you don’t have to skimp when it comes to choosing a PC. The Lenovo 14 inch laptop (S41) has many work-friendly features, like the latest 5th Generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive + 8 GB Solid State Drive (SSD), a 1080p screen, and an excellent keyboard, at a price that won’t sink your budget.
The same specifications are outfitted in the Lenovo S41 (80JU000UUS) only that the latter is powered by a 5th Generation Intel Core i5 and of course costs relatively less. If all you really require power and speed, both models are great for anyone. Both are worth a look if you’re looking for a capable budget school, work or home entertainment laptop.
The 14-inch Lenovo S41 non-touch screen has a 1,920-by-1,080 resolution and the LED backlit FHD (1920×1080) display delivers bright, crisp visuals in 16:9 widescreen. A matte finish quells reflections, and the screen tilts back 180 degrees to lie flat on the table. This allows you to share the laptop’s display with a few people seated around a table.
It measures 13.39 by 9.45 by 0.77 inches (HWD) and weighs about 3.7 pounds. That’s smaller and lighter than the business-class Lenovo Thinkpad E545, but of course that system has a larger 15.6-inch screen.
It has an ergonomic design backlit AccuType keyboard without 10 key numeric pad (numpad feels like a little in the way for me- I personally prefer them without) and touchpad that supports multiple gestures- scrolling, rotating, zooming and more.
With the 3-cell 45Wh lithium ion battery you get up to 5 hours of juice on a single charge. It is equipped with two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port, a Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack with Dolby Home Theater speaker, and a 720p Webcam.
Smaller on-the-go laptops dump features in order to lighten their load. The S41 80JU000VUS, in contrast, piles them on, and still remains portable, so that users don’t have to look for docking solutions, external hubs, or expansion cards. There is no optical drive because of mainly size restrictions and to make up for other things but you can get one such as the LG GP50NB40.
Connectivity options include the 802.11 A/C fast wireless with wider coverage, Bluetooth 4.0 if you wish to use a Bluetooth enabled mouse, 1000Mbps Ethernet with RJ-45 connector, an HDMI output to hook up to your large screen HDTV and SD/MMC card slot.
Gaming results won’t approach anything like playable frame rates, but mainstream ultraportables aren’t meant to be graphics powerhouses, and it should support most business uses short of rendering architectural plans.
The likelihood of experiencing any lag or downtime is slim to none. This Lenovo 14 inch laptop runs on a 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7-5500U (maximum 3.0 GHz with Turbo boost) and has its smaller iteration, the Lenovo S41 (80JU000UUS) with similarly speedier Intel Core i5, all with integrated Intel HD 5500 Graphics. Along with 8GB of DDR3 memory, very few tasks can stand its way.
It finished video encoding tests in record time (48 seconds), which is enough competition for the similarly powerful ASUS K501LX-EB71 and the ASUS F554LA-WS71, although both have larger 15.6-inch displays and are relatively heavier.
The S41 80JU000VUS is the latest in the long line that has defined mainstream laptops and ultraportables, which is a move away from Lenovo’s emphasis on business laptops. Last year’s Lenovo ThinkPad T440s was a bit of a disappointment, with its quirky, one-piece touchpad, meager 128GB solid-state drive (SSD), and lack of an HDMI-out port. The Lenovo S41 corrects those shortcomings in the mainstream and boosts the CPU to fifth generation Intel Core i5 processor for good measure.
The laptop is equipped with a generous 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM, which is quite enough for running several programs, a hybrid hard drive of 1000 GB 5400 rpm Serial ATA plus 8 GB Solid-State Drive that helps the machine boot up faster (and should not be confused with an overall performance boost- you need a larger SSD for that) and Windows 8.1 operating system that you can easily swap with the latest Windows 10 free of charge immediately after turning the machine on for the first time.
One thing you’ll realize is that the machine is very thin, actually it is the 5th Generation processor that helps this machine to be so very thin (only 0.76 inch). Graphics performance isn’t too shabby, thanks to Intel’s integrated graphics solution. This is good enough for some level of gaming (however this is not an advanced gaming laptop and is not priced as one), but older titles can do at highest settings fluently while for newer titles you must switch to lower settings.
It’s the little things that can make all the difference, and the Lenovo 14 inch laptop has them where it counts. The ultraportable design is both lightweight and durable, with classic mainstream stylings and a healthy collection of features.
It’s a little light on storage, but the performance ranks alongside our top picks in the category, and the lithium ion battery is quite ideal for anyone who may need to use their laptop continuously for long days on end, such as a trade show. The Asus VivoBook M580VD-EB76 remains our Editors’ Choice mainstream ultraportable, due to its better performance.