T he Lenovo IdeaPad 100S is the cheapest laptop in its range, but at first glance, it doesn’t look like a budget machine.
Although the laptop is an all-plastic affair, it does feel metallic to the touch, giving the impression of a more expensive piece of kit.
The usual Lenovo build quality is present even in this machine, and there were no creaks in the chassis or hinges, no matter how hard I tried to extract one.
The keyboard, although not backlit, feels nice to type on. The chiclet keys are slightly smaller than normal, which is to be expected from a laptop this size. I do miss the red Lenovo pointing stick, found on the IdeaPad’s bigger brothers, the ThinkPads. But for the price, I’m nitpicking.
The trackpad works well enough as well, but isn’t multitouch.
It’s only when you look under the hood that you realise why Lenovo is able to sell this laptop at such a very low price.
The CPU is an Intel Atom Z3735F running at 1.3GHz, which puts this device squarely in the netbook category. 2GB of RAM and a 32GB eMMC round out the usual suspects for devices in this bracket. After taking Windows 10 Home and a few included apps into account, you’re only left with 20GB to play with.
Wi-Fi functionality only comes in b, g and n flavours, but Bluetooth 4.0 is provided.
The display is a 1366x768 TN LED display, which does the job. Just don’t expect excellent viewing angles or colour reproduction. It does have a matte finish though, which helps reduce glare somewhat. You can tilt the screen all the way back so it’s flat, but I’m yet to work out where that could be useful.
Connectivity options consist of 2 x USB 2.0 ports, HDMI port, micro SD/MMC card reader and a 3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack.
This laptop is definitely built to a price point. It’s just about as vanilla a computing experience as you can get, but for a cheap and cheerful laptop, it’s one of the better ones out there.