Review Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287 Subnotebook

Sascha Mölck (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 01/23/2014

Enduring quad-core. Lenovo equips a small 11.6-inch laptop with an AMD quad-core processor, and demands less than 400 Euros (~$547) for the bundle. Our test report reveals whether Lenovo has created the perfect compromise of size, performance, and price.

For the original German review, see here.

11.6-inch laptops are quite popular. Their compact size and low weight make them handy and portable, and they often provide the same convenience as larger laptops. Lenovo now expands the range of this laptop category with its IdeaPad S215. The laptop is no stranger: We tested the identically built, Intel-based IdeaPad S210 Touch (Pentium 2127U, HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)) counterpart only a few months ago. Unlike the S215, the S210 model we tested featured a touchscreen. The S210 reaped in a "Good" (81%). Read in our test report whether the IdeaPad S215 can keep up with its Intel counterpart, or whether it even excels.

We used the Toshiba Satellite NB10t-A-101 (Celeron N2810, HD Graphics (Bay Trail)) and the Acer Aspire V5-131 (Celeron 1017U, HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)) to classify the laptop.

Since the IdeaPad S215 is identical with the S210, we will not go in-depth about casing, connectivity, input devices, or speaker - apart from describing a few minor differences. Information about the mentioned components can be read in the review of the IdeaPad S210.

Case

The IdeaPad S210 and IdeaPad S215 are identical in build. However, the S215 is approximately 2 mm thinner than its counterpart because it does not feature a touchscreen, and thus has a thinner lid. The most obvious difference between both laptops is their color. While the S210 model that we tested was completely white, the S215 is clad in black. The 210 is also available in black.

The IdeaPad is completely made of matte, black plastic.
The IdeaPad is completely made of matte, black plastic.
The lid's back is structured.
The lid's back is structured.
There is no maintenance cover.
There is no maintenance cover.

Configuration

Operating System and Recovery

The Windows 8 (64-bit) operating system is pre-loaded. Lenovo does not include a Windows 8 DVD. Like all Lenovo laptops, the S215 also features the OneKey Recovery System. It, for example, allows restoring the operating system or resetting the laptop to factory state. The OneKey Recovery button has to be pressed when the laptop is off to start the recovery system. The small button is located on the laptop's left. The laptop is powered and displays a menu where the option "System Recovery" can be selected.

Users who want to replace Windows 8 with Windows 7 should not encounter problems. Lenovo provides drivers for all current Windows version (Windows 7/8/8.1) on its website.

Maintenance

Lenovo omits a maintenance cover. The base unit's underside has to be removed should the user want to, for example, exchange the hard drive. All screws on the underside have to be removed for this. Note: Screws are also hidden underneath both rubber stoppers. The stoppers can simply be folded back, and are not glued. The tray can then be lifted off with a putty knife. Note: The tray is secured with small plastic hooks. We would recommend looking at Lenovo's Hardware Maintenance Manual before opening the casing, where the procedure is explained in detail.

The working memory, hard drive, Wi-Fi module, BIOS battery, and fan can be accessed after opening the casing. The latter can be taken out for cleaning purposes. Lenovo only builds in one working memory bank in the S215, which is furnished with one 4 GB module. Only 2.5-inch hard drives with a height of 7 mm can be used when replacing the hard drive.

Display

Lenovo installs a matte, 11.6-inch screen with a native resolution of 1366x768 pixels in the IdeaPad. The average brightness of 197.6 cd/m² places the screen in the midfield. The Aspire (194.4 cd/m²) is on par, and the Satellite achieves much poorer rates (161.9 cd/m²).

195
cd/m²
203
cd/m²
198
cd/m²
206
cd/m²
222
cd/m²
196
cd/m²
198
cd/m²
190
cd/m²
170
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 222 cd/m²
Average: 197.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 77 %
Center on Battery: 222 cd/m²
Black: 0.58 cd/m²
Contrast: 383:1
IdeaPad S215 vs. sRGB
IdeaPad S215 vs. sRGB
IdeaPad S215 vs. AdobeRGB
IdeaPad S215 vs. AdobeRGB

Both the screen's contrast of 383:1 and black level of 0.58 cd/m² are at most middling. The Aspire (441:1, 0.43 cd/m²) is only slightly better than that of the S215. However, the Satellite (791:1, 0.22 cd/m²) achieves better rates. The IdeaPad's screen cannot reproduce either the AdobeRGB or the sRGB color spaces. The coverage is 53.6% of sRGB, and 37.6% of AdobeRGB. These color spaces are important for professional image editing, for example.

We assessed the screen in its default state (target color space: sRGB), and established an average DeltaE 2000 shift of just below 7.6. This rate is a bit better than we know from most laptops, in particular from the low-budget sector. No color achieves the target range (DeltaE smaller than 3). The screen exhibits a bluish cast.

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps

The screen's low contrast and only middling brightness do not exactly suggest outdoor suitability. Nevertheless, this should still be possible in not overly bright surroundings.

The viewing angle stability is within the range that the laptop's price would let us presume: There is a lot of elbow room horizontally, and even several viewers can look at the screen at the same time. The content can still be read from the side, but the image dims with an increasing angle. Altering the vertical viewing angle on the screen quickly leads to image distortion though.

The IdeaPad outdoors
The IdeaPad outdoors
Viewing angles: IdeaPad S215
Viewing angles: IdeaPad S215

Performance

Lenovo has a small, 11.6-inch laptop in its product line with the IdeaPad S215. It provides enough power to perform routine tasks, such as Internet research, typing, Skype calls, etc. Even playing videos - including Full HD material - is no challenge for the laptop. The IdeaPad's GPU features a decoder that unloads the processor during playback. The IdeaPad is currently sold for approximately 380 Euros (~$520). We did not find alternative configurations.

There are more options in the identical IdeaPad S210 lineup. Models based on Pentium or Core i3 are available here. Some models also feature a touchscreen. The currently lowest priced member of this range is the IdeaPad S210 59397113 with a Pentium 987 for approximately 300 Euros (~$410). However, it does not include a Windows operating system. We previously tested a model from the series with the IdeaPad S210 Touch (Pentium 2127U, HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)).

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWInfo
System information: Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287

Processor

Lenovo installs AMD's A4-5000 APU in the IdeaPad. It comes from the latest Kabini generation. The APU's CPU part is a quad-core processor that clocks with a speed of 1.5 GHz. It does not feature Turbo. The APU is not excessively power guzzling. AMD specifies the APU's TDP with 15 watts. More information and many benchmark scores can be found in our short review of the APU.

The processor always performed the Cinebench benchmark's CPU tests with full speed (1.5 GHz). The IdeaPad is generally on par with the Aspire (Celeron 1017U, HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)) in the multi-thread tests. However, it cannot compete with the Aspire in the single-thread tests, and is clearly inferior. Consequently, the Aspire has an advantage in routine use because single-thread applications are still prevalent here. The Satellite (Celeron N2810, HD Graphics (Bay Trail)) is on par with the S215 in single-thread applications, but clearly lags behind in multi-thread applications. Overall, the Aspire sports the strongest processor. The IdeaPad won the GL test of the Cinebench R11.5 benchmark.

Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
2329 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
1479 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
5071 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
2375
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
4237
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
1201
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.38 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
12.67 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.48 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
11.64 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
118 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
32 Points
Help
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1.48 Points ∼8%
HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11-e000sb
Radeon HD 8210, A4-1250, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
0.47 Points ∼3% -68%
Acer Aspire One 756-B847X
HD Graphics 2000, 847, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
0.57 Points ∼3% -61%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E145
Radeon HD 8240, E1-2500, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
0.66 Points ∼4% -55%
Toshiba Satellite NB10t-A-101
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2810, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
0.72 Points ∼4% -51%
Acer Aspire V5-131-10172G50akk
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 1017U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1.3 Points ∼7% -12%
Lenovo IdeaPad S210 Touch 20257
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 2127U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1.51 Points ∼9% +2%
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
0.38 Points ∼14%
HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11-e000sb
Radeon HD 8210, A4-1250, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
0.2 Points ∼7% -47%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E145
Radeon HD 8240, E1-2500, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
0.35 Points ∼13% -8%
Toshiba Satellite NB10t-A-101
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2810, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
0.37 Points ∼13% -3%
Acer Aspire One 756-B847X
HD Graphics 2000, 847, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
0.39 Points ∼14% +3%
Acer Aspire V5-131-10172G50akk
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 1017U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
0.61 Points ∼22% +61%
Lenovo IdeaPad S210 Touch 20257
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 2127U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
0.79 Points ∼29% +108%
Geekbench 3 - 32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
870 Points ∼25%
Toshiba Satellite NB10t-A-101
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2810, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
762 Points ∼22% -12%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E145
Radeon HD 8240, E1-2500, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
785 Points ∼22% -10%
Acer Aspire V5-131-10172G50akk
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 1017U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1367 Points ∼39% +57%
Geekbench 3 - 32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2759 Points ∼21%
Toshiba Satellite NB10t-A-101
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2810, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
1328 Points ∼10% -52%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E145
Radeon HD 8240, E1-2500, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1340 Points ∼10% -51%
Acer Aspire V5-131-10172G50akk
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 1017U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2308 Points ∼18% -16%

System Performance

The system runs smoothly to the largest extent. Delays are sometimes noticed when file content is being loaded, or while opening a window. The PCMark benchmark scores are on the level that we know from laptops based on AMD APUs. The Satellite (Celeron N2810, HD Graphics (Bay Trail)) is on par with that. This demonstrates that the single-thread performance has a greater influence than the multi-thread performance in everyday use. The IdeaPad would otherwise have the lead on the Satellite. Neither contender can compete with the Aspire's (Celeron 1017U, HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)) score. It sports the overall strongest processor.

The IdeaPad's overall performance could be increased considerably by installing a solid state drive. The system boots faster, and responds swifter on the whole. The PCMark benchmarks scores also skyrocket. We tried this: Our Crucial RealSSD C300 (64 GB) improved the PCMark 7 score by almost 64% to 2415 points.

PC Mark
PCMark Vantage3014 points
PCMark 71472 points
PCMark 8 Home1522 points
PCMark 8 Creative1448 points
PCMark 8 Work2576 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1472 Points ∼22%
Acer Aspire One 756-B847X
HD Graphics 2000, 847, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
1251 Points ∼19% -15%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E145
Radeon HD 8240, E1-2500, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1254 Points ∼19% -15%
Toshiba Satellite NB10t-A-101
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2810, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
1504 Points ∼23% +2%
Acer Aspire V5-131-10172G50akk
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 1017U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1973 Points ∼30% +34%
Lenovo IdeaPad S210 Touch 20257
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 2127U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2144 Points ∼32% +46%

Storage Devices

HD Tune
HD Tune
CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark

Data is stored on a hard drive from Seagate's Momentus Thin line. It has a capacity of 500 GB and spins with 5400 revolutions per minute. CrystalDiskMark recorded a read speed of 107.3 MB/s and HD Tune delivered an average transfer rate of 83.5 MB/s. Overall, the hard drive accomplishes decent results. In particular, the 4k read rates are compelling.

Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Transfer Rate Minimum: 33.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 115.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 83.5 MB/s
Access Time: 18.5 ms
Burst Rate: 110.1 MB/s
CPU Usage: 3.6 %

Graphics Card

The graphics core in the IdeaPad also comes from AMD. The GPU is dubbed Radeon HD 8330 and it supports DirectX 11.1. It clocks with a speed of 500 MHz, but does not feature Turbo. The IdeaPad scores better than both the Satellite (Celeron N2810, HD Graphics (Bay Trail)) and Aspire (Celeron 1017U, HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)) in all 3DMark benchmarks. That was expected because the S215 sports the strongest graphics core. Its performance is roughly on a level with Intel's HD Graphics 4000.

3D Mark
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
3268 points
3DMark Vantage1855 points
3DMark 11591 points
3DMark Ice Storm28047 points
3DMark Cloud Gate2275 points
3DMark Fire Strike349 points
Help
Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287
AMD A4-5000, AMD Radeon HD 8330, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Toshiba Satellite NB10t-A-101
Intel Celeron N2810, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Toshiba MQ01ABF050
Acer Aspire V5-131-10172G50akk
Intel Celeron 1017U, Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Lenovo IdeaPad S210 Touch 20257
Intel Pentium 2127U, Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E145
AMD E1-2500, AMD Radeon HD 8240, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
3DMark (2013)
-55%
-29%
-20%
-30%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score2804712655
-55%
18903
-33%
21365
-24%
18212
-35%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score22751028
-55%
1733
-24%
1972
-13%
1501
-34%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Standard Score349156
-55%
267
-23%
272
-22%

Gaming Performance

The IdeaPad's primary application field is not found in computer games. Nevertheless, the compact laptop can smoothly render a few games in a low resolution and low quality settings. We have tested a few laptops based on the A4-5000 APU, and therefore know that the list of playable games includes Grid 2, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Dead Space 3, and all editions of the FIFA series, among others. The latter can even be played smoothly using higher resolutions, and a higher quality level.

Most laptops with an integrated GPU can be beefed up to an extent with a second working memory module. The working memory then operates in dual-channel mode, which maxes out the GPU better. Consequently, it achieves up to 20% higher frame rates. The IdeaPad does not have this option for two reasons: First, the installed memory controller only supports single-channel mode, and second, the laptop only has one working memory bank.

low med.high ultra
CoD: Modern Warfare 3 (2011) 48.326fps
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) 17.6fps
Anno 2070 (2011) 34.615.8fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 25.613.29.1fps
Batman: Arkham Origins (2013) 23fps
Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013) 13.3fps
Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287
AMD A4-5000, AMD Radeon HD 8330, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Toshiba Satellite NB10t-A-101
Intel Celeron N2810, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Toshiba MQ01ABF050
Acer Aspire V5-131-10172G50akk
Intel Celeron 1017U, Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Lenovo IdeaPad S210 Touch 20257
Intel Pentium 2127U, Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E145
AMD E1-2500, AMD Radeon HD 8240, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
Tomb Raider
-52%
-66%
-11%
-16%
1024x768 Low Preset25.612.6
-51%
8.8
-66%
22.7
-11%
21.8
-15%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x13.26.4
-52%
11
-17%

Emissions

System Noise

The laptop did not annoy us greatly with noise - neither during load nor in idle mode. The fan even often stood still in idle mode, and thus only the base noise, and the hard drive's operating noise was usually audible. The noise level was 31.2 to 32.6 dB. The Satellite (31 to 32.5 dB) ranges on the same level and the Aspire (29.8 to 31 dB) offers marginally better rates. The IdeaPad's noise level barely increased in either medium load via 3DMark06 with 32.6 dB, or full load in the stress test via Prime95 and Furmark with 32.8 dB. The noise levels of the Aspire (32.3 and 32.6 dB) are just as good, but the Satellite (31 dB) can provide slightly better rates this time.

Noise Level

Idle 31.2 / 31.2 / 31.9 dB(A)
HDD 32.6 dB(A)
Load 32.6 / 32.8 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The IdeaPad S215 in the stress test
The IdeaPad S215 in the stress test

All three laptops in comparison sport a low-voltage CPU or APU. Therefore, none of the laptops reach excessive surface temperatures - neither in idle mode nor in full load. The Satellite achieves the highest temperatures, and surpasses 40 °C in multiple measuring points (maximum: 43.2 °C). This is a bit surprising seeing that the processor in the Satellite has the lowest TDP (7.5 watts; IdeaPad 15 watts; Aspire 17 watts). The reason is soon found: The Satellite's fan is inactive even during full load.

The CPU ran the stress test (Prime95 and Furmark run for at least one hour) with 1.5 GHZ in both AC and battery mode. The GPU's speed was at least 267 MHz in AC mode. It was occasionally boosted to 400 to 500 MHz. The GPU's behavior was exactly the same when the stress test was performed in battery mode. However, the graphics core was sped up to a maximum of 400 MHz. The CPU's temperature settled to approximately 67 °C in the stress test (AC mode).

 26.4 °C26.7 °C25.2 °C 
 27.1 °C27 °C26 °C 
 26.5 °C26.9 °C26.2 °C 
Maximum: 27.1 °C
Average: 26.4 °C
25.7 °C28.3 °C27.5 °C
28.4 °C28.3 °C27.3 °C
28.1 °C26.1 °C26.3 °C
Maximum: 28.4 °C
Average: 27.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  28.3 °C | Room Temperature 22.4 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The IdeaPad's idle power consumption ranges from 3.7 to 7.8 watts. Both the Aspire (4.5 to 7.3 watts) and the Satellite (6 to 7.6 watts) are roughly on par with that. The S215's rates climb to 17 watts in medium load via 3DMark06 and 21.1 watts in full load during the stress test via Prime95 and Furmark. Thus, the IdeaPad places itself between the Aspire (20.3 and 24.7 watts) and the Satellite (9.5 and 12.5 watts). The Satellite's lower load power consumption was expected because the installed processor has a TDP of only 7.5 watts (IdeaPad: 15 watts; Aspire: 17 watts).

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.3 Watt
Idle 3.7 / 6.9 / 7.8 Watt
Load 17 / 21.1 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

The battery in the S215 lasted for 9:20 h in idle mode. It thus places itself between the Aspire (12:15 h) and the Satellite (5:20 h). The idle mode is ascertained using Battery Eater's Reader's test. The screen is set to minimum brightness, the energy-saving profile is enabled, and the wireless modules are turned off. The IdeaPad's battery was drained after 2:03 h of load. It is on par with the Satellite (2:05 h), but clearly lags behind the Aspire (3:49 h). The load runtime is determined via Battery Eater's Classic test. The screen is set to maximum brightness, the high-performance profile is enabled, and the wireless modules are on.

The IdeaPad shut down after 5:02 h in the Wi-Fi test. Again, it places itself between the Aspire (5:52 h) and Satellite (2:52 h). Websites are opened automatically every 40 seconds, the energy-savings profile is enabled, and the screen's brightness is set to approximately 150 cd/m² for this test. We used the video clip Big Buck Bunny to ascertain the video playback runtime in battery mode. It runs in a loop while the energy-savings profile is enabled, the wireless modules are disabled, and the screen's brightness is set to 150 cd/m². The IdeaPad managed a runtime of 4:03 h here, and thus does better than the Satellite (3:11 h). We did not perform this test with the Aspire.

Overall, the S215's battery runtimes are good. The relatively small battery prevents better runtimes (IdeaPad: 36 Wh; Satellite: 24 Wh; Aspire: 56 Wh). The Aspire has the longest runtimes because it sports the highest capacity battery.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
9h 20min
WiFi Surfing
5h 02min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
4h 03min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 03min

Verdict

Lenovo IdeaPad S215
Lenovo IdeaPad S215

Lenovo's IdeaPad S215 offers a decent application performance that absolutely suffices for most tasks that an 11.6-inch laptop should be able to deal with. The IdeaPad operates quietly over the entire load range, and the laptop does not consume much power. It translates this low requirement into good runtimes despite of its relatively low capacity battery. Here, the S215 clearly defeats its Intel counterpart, which has the same battery size. We also like the two year warranty period. However, compromises have to be made in terms of screen. Lenovo only supplies an averagely bright, low-contrast model. Beyond that, we have to criticize the maintenance options. The hardware can only be accessed by opening the casing.

The price of Toshiba's Satellite NB10t-A-101 is on par with the IdeaPad. It, however, does not offer as much computing power, but excels with the overall lowest power consumption. Unfortunately, it cannot convert this quality into long battery runtimes because it has an even lower capacity battery than the IdeaPad.

Acer's Aspire V5-131 is interesting when as much computing power and the longest possible battery runtimes are wanted. The laptop has the lead in both categories. It also provides easy access to the innards owing to a large maintenance cover. The Aspire also has the lead in terms of price: The Aspire is the lowest priced device among our three comparison laptops. It is currently available for 300 Euros (~$410) with a Celeron 1007U processor. The laptop is sold for just 250 Euros (~$342) should a Windows operating system not be required.

Finally, we would like to point to another alternative from Lenovo: The ThinkPad Edge E145 (AMD E1-2500, Radeon HD 8240). The laptop does not provide as much performance as the IdeaPad S215, but it can offer a very good keyboard, extremely long battery runtimes (idle: 19:43 h; Wi-Fi: 8:19 h; full load: 4:01 h), a bright screen, and easy maintainability. The laptop reaped in the third place in our Subnotebook Top 10 List, and it has been there for a few months already. Its price of approximately 370 Euros (~$506) is on par with that of the IdeaPad, and the laptop is available for a price starting at 320 Euros (~$438) without an operating system. The ThinkPad is also available with an A4-5000 APU. However, we could only find the corresponding model in Lenovo's shop.

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Specifications

Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287

:: Processor
AMD A4-5000 1.5 GHz
:: Mainboard
AMD Yangtze
:: Memory
4096 MB, DDR3, single-channel, one memory bank
:: Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon HD 8330, Core: 267-500 MHz, 12.102.1.1000
:: Display
11.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, Chi Mei N116BGE-L32, TN LED, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142, 500 GB 5400 rpm , 400 GB free
:: Soundcard
AMD Kabini - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: combo audio jack, Card Reader: SD,
:: Networking
Realtek RTL8102E Family PCI-E Fast Ethernet (10/100MBit), Atheros Communications AR9565 Wireless Network Adapter (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 21 x 299 x 207
:: Weight
1.3 kg Power Supply: 0.177 kg
:: Battery
36 Wh Lithium-Ion, 10.8 V, 3350 mAh
:: Price
379 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: HD-Webcam, Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, Cyberlink YouCam, McAfee Internet Security (trial), MS Office 365 (trial), 24 Months Warranty

 

Black everywhere we look.
Black everywhere we look.
The hinges...
The hinges...
...keep the lid firmly in position.
...keep the lid firmly in position.
The underside has to be removed to access the hardware.
The underside has to be removed to access the hardware.
There is only one working memory bank.
There is only one working memory bank.
Swapping the hard drive is no problem.
Swapping the hard drive is no problem.
The fan can be taken out for cleaning.
The fan can be taken out for cleaning.
The CPU is soldered.
The CPU is soldered.
The BIOS battery can be replaced.
The BIOS battery can be replaced.
Good: Two Wi-Fi antennas are installed.
Good: Two Wi-Fi antennas are installed.
The battery weighs approximately 172 grams...
The battery weighs approximately 172 grams...
...and provides a capacity of 36 Wh.
...and provides a capacity of 36 Wh.
The power supply weighs approximately 177 grams.
The power supply weighs approximately 177 grams.
It has a power output of 45 watts.
It has a power output of 45 watts.
The speakers are on the laptop's underside.
The speakers are on the laptop's underside.

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Compare Prices

Pro

+24 month warranty
+Matte screen
+Always quiet operating noise
+Decent battery runtimes
+Low power consumption
 

Cons

-Dark, low-contrast screen
-No maintenance cover
-One working memory bank only

Shortcut

What we like

The decent battery runtimes and the low operating noise.

What we'd like to see

A brighter, higher-contrast screen.

What surprises us

We don't see a two-year warranty on a low-budget range laptop every day.

The competition

Toshiba Satellite NB10t-A-101, Acer Aspire V5-131, Lenovo IdeaPad S210 Touch, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E145, HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11-e000sb, Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E135, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E130, Acer Aspire One 725-C7Xkk, Acer Aspire One 756-B847X.

Rating

Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287
01/10/2014 v3
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
79%
Keyboard
80%
Pointing Device
80%
Connectivity
56%
Weight
93%
Battery
90%
Display
73%
Games Performance
63%
Application Performance
76%
Temperature
92%
Noise
93%
Add Points
81%
Average
80%
83%
Subnotebook *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287 Subnotebook
Author: Sascha Mölck, 2014-01-23 (Update: 2014-01-23)