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Lenovo IdeaPad 100-14IBY

Compromises are almost always required when it comes to low-cost systems. The Lenovo IdeaPad 100-14IBY (?449.99 as tested) is no exception; it’s a good overall budget laptop1 with a few concessions that come with the price. While it’s well designed and has good battery life, it doesn’t offer much horsepower, and the 14-inch display only features a low 1,366-by-768 resolution. The is bigger and faster with a better display for the same price, and it remains our Editors’ Choice for budget desktop-replacement laptops.

Design and Features

Lenovo keeps it simple with the IdeaPad 100, with an all-black plastic exterior that sports a slightly angular design. The lid is covered in a bumpy, textured pattern, while the interior and keyboard deck have a smoother (though still textured) finish. The system is light at just 3.74 pounds, and it measures a compact 0.8 by 9.36 by 13.39 inches (HWD). The Dell Inspiron 17 5000 Series Non-Touch is a bit larger due to its 17-inch screen, but the IdeaPad 100 is much lighter than the 5.1 pound, 15-inch .

The glossy 14-inch display is not full HD, instead offering a 1,366-by-768 resolution. This is somewhat disappointing given the screen’s size, but 1080p resolution would be rare in this price range the Dell Inspiron 17 5000 Series Non-Touch features a 1,600-by-900 resolution display, though it’s also larger, at 17.3 inches. The glossiness of the IdeaPad 100’s screen makes it fairly reflective, which can be irritating in direct light, but the picture is sharp, and the colors are vibrant.cc

The keyboard and the trackpad feel roomy, despite the system’s small frame. The keys are a little springy as opposed to a tighter, more mechanical feel, but typing is comfortable, and the spacing is good. The trackpad is consistent and smooth to use. A small nit is that the left- and right-click controls share one long bar under the touchpad instead of being split into two buttons. There’s a good inch of dead zone between the two that isn’t visibly distinguishable, but does nothing when pressed.

There is a good selection of ports. The left side has a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, an Ethernet port, and an HDMI port, as well as the headphone and Power jacks. The front of the system includes a 4-in-1 card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC), and the right side holds a Kensington lock port. There’s also a webcam and an integrated microphone. Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi provide wireless connectivity. Not surprisingly, the speakers won’t blow you away, but they’re adequate for watching a movie from a few feet away. Lenovo provides a one-year warranty for the laptop.

Performance

The IdeaPad 100-14IBY features a 1.83GHz Intel Celeron N2940 processor, 4GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive, and integrated Intel HD graphics. Given its low-cost components, the system was not exactly a powerhouse in the productivity tests. Its PCMark 8 Work Conventional test score of 1,614 points falls behind the Dell Inspiron 17 5000 Series Non-Touch’s 2,097, but it compares well to the (1,554) and the (1,605).

See How We Test Laptops

The system was quite slow on Photoshop, finishing in 14 minutes, compared with the Dell Inspiron 17 5000 Series Non-Touch’s 8:35. It did better in the Handbrake video encoding at 5:30, beating the Dell Inspiron 17 (5:48) and the Acer E3-111-C1BW (6:03). Its Cinebench score of 136 is also respectable, trouncing the Dell Inspiron 15 Non-Touch (71).

Given its low-speed processor and integrated GPU, you can’t do much gaming on the IdeaPad 100, and as expected, it didn’t get anywhere near playable frame rates on our graphics tests.

Results on our battery rundown tests were quite good. The laptop lasted 6 hours 32 minutes, which is longer than the Dell Inspiron 17 (5:20), as well as the Acer Aspire E3-111-C1BW (5:06).

Conclusion

The Lenovo IdeaPad 100-14IBY doesn’t stand out in any one area, but it doesn’t have glaring weaknesses for the price either. A better display would be a nice upgrade the Dell Inspiron 17 5000 Series Non-Touch offers a larger screen with a higher resolution. The physical design is solid and lightweight, with no obvious flaws, but performance is only decent at best. The smaller size may be appealing if you’re going to frequently take this system with you, but you might be better off investing in an ultraportable laptop designed for the road. The Dell Inspiron 17 5000 Series Non-Touch remains our Editors’ Choice for budget desktop-replacement laptops, due to its powerful hardware, bigger and better display, and aluminum finish for the same price.

References

  1. ^ budget laptop (uk.pcmag.com)


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