The Lenovo Ideapad 500S series laptops are designed with portability in mind for business professionals and not only. These laptops are thin, light and surprisingly powerful. And they’re just that: old fashioned, sturdy and durable.
The Lenovo Ideapad 500S 80Q30032US model is a 14-inch screen iteration of the new series from the Chinese manufacturer. Judging by its specs, it’s a mid-range notebook with improved portability.
An improved design
The design is classic Lenovo: we have the trademark keyboard with the usual orange accents which sits on a dark grey, brushed aluminium looking chassis. The keyboard is beveled inwards, creating a few interesting shadows and razor lines around its corners. The trackpad has a much more refined feel to it, compared to the previous models. No clunky left click/right click buttons and no outlandish colors either. They’ve kept it simple and I appreciate that.
Furthermore, although the general feel of this laptop points towards more premium alternatives, the corners and sides are coated in a highly durable and scratch resistant plastic. It’s unapologetic, but serves a really useful purpose: protecting the chassis from wear and tear caused by moving it around on a daily basis.
Lightweight and thin
One of the main selling points of the Lenovo Ideapad 500S is portability. Weighing in around 3.7 pounds, it’s one of the more light laptops around. It’s no match for the Dell XPS, but neither is the price. I’d say this Lenovo is a great device for people who want to transition from owning a classic, heavy laptop to a more carry-friendly device. It’s also pretty thin, measuring just 0.77″ inches.
It will fit in either a backpack or messenger bag easily and will not weigh down the user as much, great for carrying to work or college. It’s not ideal to travel with (there are more thin and light options, such as the LG gram), but for lack of an alternative, this notebook will perform OK as a road or air companion.
The Lenovo Ideapad 500S is equipped with a 6th generation Intel Core i5-6200U processor, capable of withstanding some serious multitasking. Benchmark tests show a score of around 3900 points, a fair result for a dual core processor.
System memory is enough to fulfill the needs of average and even more demanding users. At 8 gigabytes of RAM, it’s unlikely anyone would feel the need to upgrade it. It’s upgradeable, but Lenovo hasn’t specified what’s the maximum amount supported by the system.
Storage space is also abundant. One terabyte of available space will hold large media collections. However, I would argue a solid state drive would have worked better for the Lenovo, considering it’s semi-ultrabook profile. Getting such a drive means faster access times, no latency in handling requests, boot times of mere seconds and more power efficiency.
Impressive screen, but no discrete graphics
This model has a 14-inch screen with a great LED display with FHD capabilities. This 1920 x 1080 pixels display is bright enough to use outdoors and even in sunny conditions. It’s not a touchscreen, but the special hinges that were mounted on it allow to arc the screen at 180 degrees. Sharing work being done with your peers will be easier with this feature.
The 80Q30032US model doesn’t come with a dedicated video card, sadly. This means playing new games is out of the question. Even titles launched a couple of years ago will struggle to get decent frame rates on the integrated Intel HD Graphics card.
Good connectivity, decent interface options
The Lenovo 500S comes with a 802.11ac wireless card, which will allow the user to access the internet wirelessly at superior speeds (provided the paired router also supports the technology). It also features Ethernet LAN which, to be honest, doesn’t seem that necessary for this type of notebook.
The interface is pretty much standard. It has two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port, HDMI-out port and a 4-in-1 card reader (which will read SD, SDHC, SDXC and MMC cards) and a RJ-45 LAN port. It’s a shame not all the ports are USB 3.0. There is also no information if it supports sleep-and-charge, but I suspect it does.
The battery life may be the Achilles heel of this laptop. Official figures handed out by Lenovo suggest a battery life of up to 6 hours, not enough in my opinion for a device listed as thin and light. I mean, it’s supposed to be portable. Taking your thin and rather affordable notebook along should be easier with this model, but after just six hours you’ll need a power outlet. It’s not catastrophic, but I would have liked to see around 8 hours of autonomy for this 500S.
|Product||Lenovo Ideapad 500S 14-inch – 80Q30032US|
|CPU Name||Intel Core i5-6200U|
|CPU Type||Dual Core|
|CPU Speed||2.3 GHz up to 2.8 GHz|
|CPU Cache||3 MB|
|Installed Memory||8 GB|
|Memory Type||DDR3l SDRAM|
|Total Memory Slots||2 slots|
|Storage Capacity||1 TB|
|Storage Type||Hard Disk Drive|
|Storage Technology||SATA, 5400 rpm|
|Screen Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Graphics Processing Unit||Intel HD Graphics|
|Graphic Card Type||Integrated|
|AUDIO & VIDEO|
|Audio Technology||Dolby Home Theater|
|NETWORK AND COMMUNICATION|
|Wireless LAN||802.11ac WLAN|
|USB Ports||2 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 2.0
|Headphone/Mic||Audio Combo Jack|
|Multi Card Slot||Yes, 4-in-1 Card Reader|
|Pointing Device||Precision Trackpad|
|Keyboard||Standard Notebook (84 keys)|
|Maximum Battery Life||Up to 6 hours|
|Operating System||Windows 10|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||13.39″ x 0.77″ x 9.45″|
Scores, Pros and Cons
- Thin and light, so very portable
- Good specs, enough to please everyone
- Quality display
- Good design choices, simple and practical
- No SSD
- Modest battery life
- No discrete graphics
Although I’ve been a bit harsh on the battery life and the lack of a solid state drive, the Lenovo Ideapad 500S 80Q30032US I’ve just reviewed is a good mid-range laptop or entry-level featherweight notebook, depending on how you plan to use it. It’s not an ultrabook, but it doesn’t have an ultrabook price tag either.
Performance-wise, this device will handle everything an average user might throw at it. It’s very light, it’s thin, but don’t distance yourself too much from a power source if you plan to take it on trips.
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