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Lenovo IdeaPad S300 review

A budget, pseudo-Ultrabook with plenty of power and good looks

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Ivy Bridge performance
  • Low price tag
  • Connectivity
  • Great design
  • Good keyboard

Against

  • Poor battery life
  • Quick start needs improving
  • Wasted gaming potential
  • Heavy
  • No SSD

While the Lenovo IdeaPad S300 doesn't quite have the technical ability to rival other Ultrabooks, in the end you're paying a lot less money.

Admittedly, the Lenovo IdeaPad S300 isn't actually an Ultrabook, so perhaps it's unfair to compare. But - aside from its lack of a fast drive - the Lenovo IdeaPad S300 has much the same appeal that any expensive Ultrabook does.

We liked

Ignoring the raw figures, which reveal the Lenovo IdeaPad S300's performance, it handled pretty much everything we could throw at it, which is surely a testament to that current generation processor producing the goods.

Its £469.99 (around AU$729/US$757) price tag might be low, but Lenovo hasn't scrimped on the important things, so It has a pretty good range of connections, including a handy USB 3.0 port, HDMI-out and the latest generation Wi-Fi adaptor for faster wireless speeds.

In the fashion stakes, the Lenovo IdeaPad S300 takes on the Ultrabooks and makes a pretty good case for itself. It certainly looks the business, and that build quality looks as if it came from a laptop costing over £1,000 (around AU$1,545/US$1,603).

We disliked

Although it looks great, the Lenovo IdeaPad S300 is actually pretty heavy - for an Ultrabook at least. This isn't a big laptop by any means, so you expect it to be much lighter.

Heavier than expected, it affects the Lenovo IdeaPad S300's portability credentials, and this is further blighted by a poor battery performance. 122 minutes of looped HD video might seem pretty decent, and real-life use will probably see more than that, but it's still not really acceptable in this day and age.

Had Lenovo promised more battery capacity, we would have happily let the additional AMD graphics go in return for some added juice. It doesn't appear to really offer any benefit over the integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics, so what's the point?

Final verdict

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The Lenovo IdeaPad S300 isn't exactly the slimmest, nor is it definitely the lightest, but it is very attractive, well-built, very nice to use for long periods of time and it does have a decent amount of lick underneath the hood, thanks to its Ivy Bridge processor.

Its only real downside is the lack of a strong battery life compared to the 'all-day' boasts made by many of the Ultrabook manufacturers.

Lenovo has been consistently coming up with the goods recently, especially for those on a budget. While its Ultrabooks haven't completely set the world on fire, the Lenovo IdeaPad S300 shows that being the best isn't always the name of the game.

It offers a lot of real-world performance, looks and connectivity. If you want outright performance and portability, you might be better off forking out a little more cash for something better.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD Graphics
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time5 Hour
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyIdeaPad S300
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Operating System LanguageEnglish
Processor Model987
ColourGrey
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Home Premium (English)
Brand NameLenovo
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypePentium
Screen Size33.8 cm (13.3")
Number of Cells2-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.50 kg
Cache2 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, RoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height22.4 mm
Width330 mm
Depth230 mm
Screen ModeHD
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesS300
ManufacturerLenovo Group Limited
Product NameIdeapad S300 Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineIdeaPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberMA122UK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lenovo.com/uk/en/
Marketing InformationYOU BRING THE IDEAS, WE'LL BRING THE SWAGGER.

Attention-getter, multimedia maven or gaming virtuoso - no matter what you call yourself, our IdeaPad laptops power your imagination and your sense of self-expression. They feature clever feature clever technology and a spectrum of equally smart designs.

EXPRESS YOURSELF

IdeaPad's stylish design makes these laptops ones to see and be seen with. No two people are the same. We kept that in mind when we designed the first IdeaPad laptops. Fact is, we wanted to give you options for expressing yourself. You may look at a tribal tattoo pattern and see yourself. Or maybe bold colors or a sleek metallic finish is more your speed. Choose carefully - you will get noticed.

Maximum Memory4 GB
Package Contents
  • Ideapad S300 Notebook
  • Standard Battery
  • AC Adapter