Lenovo IdeaPad 110s Laptop Review
Like the Lenovo 100E Chromebook 2nd Gen and others in Lenovo’s family of budget laptops, the Ideapad 110S does its best work as a school laptop for the kids, or as a backup laptop for adults. The big difference between both laptops (you may already have guessed it) is that while the former operates Google’s Android OS, the latter runs Microsoft’s Windows. Lenovo had to find a way to accommodate the inclusion of Windows on a laptop with such a low price tag and predictably, the Ideapad’s 110S laptop’s performance and features take a massive hit.
A lot of manufacturing corners have been cut to keep the price of this laptop low. Its plastic build looks and feels gimmicky, its screen is not much fun to look at, the speakers are atrocious, and perhaps most egregiously, the laptop lags intermittently.
In a nutshell, the Ideapad 110S is what it is: a bare-bones, no-frills laptop that will put in a decent shift helping your kids with their schoolwork or providing short-term cover for your main computer. If you’re happy with that, then this laptop is worth settling for.
Design and Appearance
White is a color that symbolizes elegance as well as plainness. We’re unsure if it was intentional or purely accidental, but Lenovo seems to have settled for the latter sentiment as this laptop’s design theme. While the laptop falls short of looking gaudy, it’s unremarkable enough not to attract second glances. The laptop’s plastic finish feels neither solid nor good to the touch, and we shudder to imagine the outcome of any accident involving this laptop.
When you flip the lip, you’ll come face-to-face with (white-colored) bezels surrounding the Ideapad 110S’s 11.6-inch screen somewhat aggressively. The keyboard deck and chassis maintain the laptop’s white aesthetic, and both, as well as the laptop’s screen, flex uncomfortably whenever they’re handled. The Ideapad 110S seems to be aiming to recreate the look of older model Macbooks, but something must have gone awry somewhere down the line.
At least, the laptop is pretty portable. It weighs about 2.5 pounds and measures 0.7 x 11.5 x 7.95 inches, meaning you’ll have little trouble moving it between home and the school.
Ports and Connections
Overall, the Ideapad 110S concerns itself with providing the most essential features, not concerning itself with those that can merely be deemed nice to have, and this motif extends to its offering of ports.
Along the left flank of the Ideapad 110S, you’ll find a USB 3.0 port, an HDMI port, a microSD card reader, and the power jack right at the edge. On the opposite flank are two USB 2.0 ports, and a headset jack. That’s it. Nothing close to being forward-thinking has been included.
Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11/b/g/n/ Wi-Fi take care of wireless connectivity.
Keyboard and Input Devices
Things had to look up for this laptop at some point, and here it did. We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the Ideapad 110S’s keyboard, given that this is one area where budget laptops traditionally cut corners. Lenovo has a well-earned reputation for delivering some of the best keyboards in the industry, and here again, they delivered.
The Ideapad 110S’s keyboard is solid overall, even if it flexes when you press down with some force at the middle. The keys offer 1.5 mm of travel, good enough to support an enjoyable typing experience. They also require just enough actuation force, so your hands do not get tired very quickly. We would have liked the inclusion of backlights.
The touchpad is decent and responsive if a little small. It supports Windows 10 gestures navigation and the buttons offer good tactile feedback.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this laptop’s speakers are not up to par. They are weak, and filling up a small room with sound is utterly beyond them, even with the volume cranked up to the loudest. You’ll find it difficult to enjoy any multimedia function with them until you save yourself the stress and just plug in the headphones.
The Ideapad 110S’ display is bang average, predictably. The 11.6-inch screen offers a resolution of just 1366 x 768 and apart from simple word processing or web surfing, it doesn’t provide the best experience with most tasks. It doesn’t offer the best viewing angles either, but this is helped by the screen’s ability to be folded back up to 180 degrees.
This laptop’s panel covers 70 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which is way below the category average of 97 percent. It’s not the brightest as well, its output of 213 nits getting comfortably dwarfed by the category average of 303 nits. Streaming videos on Netflix and Youtube on this laptop’s screen will be far less enjoyable than it could be, and photo or video editing would be out of the question with this panel.
There’s a 640 x 340 webcam at the top bezel on this laptop’s screen. The camera falls way short of expectations as well, with images taken with it extremely pixelated and low on graphic detail.
Graphics and Gaming
Powered by an integrated Intel HD Graphics 400, the Ideapad 110S is good for streaming videos and music, word processing, web surfing, and sending and receiving emails. Basic computing tasks, in other words. This laptop won’t exactly slice through them like a hot knife through butter, but it will get the job done. It does draw the line on any sort of picture or video editing tasks, or any other program that requires extensive GPU capacities.
Hardcore gamers will find no satisfaction with this laptop because it most definitely is not a gaming laptop. It won’t even run the older titles and on really slow days, you may have to content yourself with basic games to pass the time.
On a single charge, the Ideapad 110S’ batteries last a little over 7 hours. This is almost a full work day, and even though it falls short of the category average of 8 hours, it’s good enough to give you the confidence to leave its charger at home while you head off to work or school.
Cooling and Noise Emmision
The Lenovo Ideapad 110S manages to stay cool and calm throughout, even when the laptop needs to dig deep to execute a task. The fans never get too loud, and it also never loses its cool, never crossing the 95-degrees Fahrenheit even in the thick of the action.
Talking about performance, the Ideapad 110S is unlikely to win any prizes for breaking any speed records. That’s not in the least surprising, given the fact that it isn’t fitted with the world’s greatest components. It packs an Intel Celeron N3060 CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB eMMC storage under its hood, and this ensemble is far from being potent enough to make this laptop a champion racehorse.
As it stands, the Ideapad struggles to execute even basic computing tasks, taking its sweet time to switch between programs and lagging frequently. It’s comfortable executing a single task at a time, anything more and its limitations become readily apparent.
With a little (or a lot of) patience, you may be able to coax it into performing a little light picture editing. Just don’t get too ambitious, or try to get it to play games.
The Lenovo Ideapad 110s ideal buyers are kids who need an entry-level laptop to assist with schoolwork and adults who need an efficient cover or stop-gap computer. It’s not designed to perform any kind of hard lifting, and its price tag and hardware reflect this.
It looks and feels like a budget laptop, it doesn’t provide the best entertainment function, and you won’t be able to get it to do much more than the basics. On the flip side, the Ideapad 110S is a solid investment that offers a decent Windows 10 experience at a pocket-friendly price.