The Lenovo IdeaPad 100s is an affordable 11-inch laptop, which is travel-friendly and offers more than nine hours of battery life. You’re safe if you don’t expect speedy performance or a touchscreen
- Portable and good looking
- Good for those on a budget
- No USB 3.0 ports
- Middling performance
For users looking for portability and the affordability of Chromebooks, but won’t stick a day without Windows, then the 11-inch Lenovo – IdeaPad 100s with Windows 10 is a safe bet. Maybe…. maybe! Powered by Intel Atom processor (Z3735F), this budget laptop looks easy on the eyes and has what it takes to handle your everyday home productivity and multimedia tasks thrown its way, and it’ll give you more than 9 hours of battery life.
It has a slim profile, lightweight chassis and ideal for your frequent travel, college tasks and other basic computing needs. Of course, it comes with a few concessions that come with budget laptops like sluggish performance and lacks a touch screen.
At 0.69 by 11.5 by 7.95 inches (HWD), the 100s will fit easily into most carry-on bags, and at 2.2 pounds you’ll hardly feel that it’s there. It comes in almost the same size as the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 11’s 0.7 by 11.5 by 7.95 (HWD) inches but weighs ~.2 pounds more, while remaining smaller that the Chrome OS version of this laptop, the Lenovo 100s Chromebook, that measures and weighs slightly more at 0.78 by 11.81 by 8.23 (HWD) inches, 2.52 pounds.
However, it isn’t the lightest and most portable in the category as we have the Asus EeeBook X205TA, measuring a mere 0.6 by 11.2 by 7.6 (HWD) inches and weighs 2.16 pounds. It is available in red, blue, gray or white (our review model came in red) colors, and sports a classy matte finish which carries the accent color that persists from the lid to the system’s bottom.
With an 11.6-inch display with a maximum resolution of 1366 by 768, it may not be as colorful or sharp as those expensive ultrabooks, but it gives decent image quality and impressive viewing angles. On a trailer of the Avengers: Age of Ultron, I was able to make clear detail of Iron Man’s moves, though at not at great detail but was still bearable.
Put side by side by other units in the same class, it offers better brightness levels than the Asus EeeBook X205TA, but is almost at par with the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook. The botton-facing speakers’ sound output is loud enough to fill a room, while the keyboard and touchpad aren’t anything far-from most budget laptops.
Even with the slim profile, the 100S affords a number of useful ports: On the left side is a power port, HDMI-out, an audio jack, and a microSD card reader, to enable you expand the paltry 32GB of internal storage. The right side hosts two USB 2.0 ports, good enough for your peripherals, but we at least expected a USB 3.0 port the budget and simplicity notwithstanding. Its 0.3-megapixel webcam looks blurry, but the pictures do improve on detail when viewed under direct light.
Powered by a low-cost 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3735F CPU and 2GB of RAM, we really didn’t for mind-blowing performance, rather simple but solid performance. And the Ideapad 100S delivers exactly that. It gives really solid performance, which is good enough for Web surfing, editing a few documents, movie watching and some multitasking.
Here we’re looking and a few open Chrome browser tabs, a YouTube trailer and nothing more. You won’t experience any lags even when playing some offline clips on Windows Media Player and maybe a word document open in the background and a few browser tabs loading, but the rule of thumb remains to steer clear of heavy tasks.
The Ideapad 100S’ simplicity trickles down to storage. While most Windows PCs come with hard drives and more recent SSDs with hundreds of gigabytes for your files and media, this ilk of budget laptops like the Ideapad 100S, HP Stream and Acer Aspire One Cloudbook Series come with 16, 32 or 64GB of eMMC storage memory.
The Ideapad 100S is fitted with 32GB; of which 17GB is available to the user since rest of the memory is occupied with Windows 10. To expand the memory, you’ll have to get a microSD card like the SanDisk Class 4 series, which will extend your memory to 64GB. Alternatively, you can use some of the 1TB of cloud storage that comes with the included Office 365 subscription.
Battery life is where this unit ticks, we managed 9 hours 46 minutes on continuous Web surfing at full brightness, and hopefully you can get more if you tone down the brightness. Still, it way less than the Asus EeeBook X205TA’s 12:05, while its sibling the Lenovo 100s gives a almost 11 hours 19 minutes of battery life.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 100s is a good choice for any Windows user who seriously requires ultrabook portability at budget pricing. Its 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3735F CPU and 2GB of RAM, notwithstanding, you’ll have to occasionally be patient as it wades its way through certain productivity and multimedia tasks, but it easy to tot around during your travels, has a comfy keyboard, and offers almost full day battery life.
Unfortunately, you don’t get perks like touch-screen capabilities with this model. If that is a deal breaker, our Editors’ Choice entry-level convertible-hybrid laptops, the Dell Inspiron 11, is a good bet. It suffices as a solid performer, offers longer battery life and the flexible touch screen qualifies for a longer look as you shop around.
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