Notebookcheck

Review Lenovo IdeaPad S415 (59399720) Notebook

Sebastian Jentsch (translated by Vinay Pradhan), 02/07/2014

Quad-core couch potato. There are plenty of touch notebooks but cheap models available for less than 450 Euros (~$612) and in a flat, 14-inch format are quite rare. Lenovo launches its new S415 touch notebook and the question on our mind is: Is it more powerful and mobile than the slow S405?

Lenovo IdeaPad S415: the ideal companion thanks to touch, runtime and low weight?
Lenovo IdeaPad S415: the ideal companion thanks to touch, runtime and low weight?

For the original German review, see here.

Slim laptops are popular as ever: especially when they are cheap. Lenovo launches a successor for its 14-inch model, which we previously tested. It all started with the IdeaPad S400 (Intel) and the S405 (AMD). The manufacturer has swapped out the weak Trinity APU (A8-4555M) in favor of the Jaguar successor, the AMD A6-5200 (Kabini). Can the 14-inch model keep up with the Intel competition of the 450 Euros (~$612) price class?

The competition under 500 Euros (~$680) is limited, if you are looking for a 14-inch model with a touchscreen. The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 (version with Celeron 2955U, 449 Euros, ~$611) is probably the only alternative. We tested the more powerful configuration: IdeaPad Flex 14 (i5, 700 Euros, ~$953). If your budget reaches 600 Euros (~$817), then you might be interested in the Asus VivoBook S300CA-C1049H (589 Euros, ~$802), Sony Vaio Fit E SVF-1421A4E/W (520 Euros, ~$708) and Toshiba Satellite U840T-101 (599 Euros, ~$815).

The IdeaPad S415 looks just like the S405 which came out at the end of 2012. As such we will only discuss in detail the differences between the predecessor and the successor and leave out details on the case, connectivity and input devices as they have stayed the same (mostly).

Case

Change: the rear feet are no longer as rounded as before, instead they are now pointed towards the back.
Change: the rear feet are no longer as rounded as before, instead they are now pointed towards the back.

The chassis of our test model is almost identical to that of the S405. Two small differences exist: the rear feet are more pointed and the non-touch of the predecessor has been replaced with a touchscreen. The display has a small border but the touch panel itself is half a centimeter shorter than the touch glass makes it seem.

The weak construction of the base (sturdiness) is the biggest flaw. For more information, read the in-depth review of the S405. We have posted photos of the open device there.

Connectivity

The ports are identical to those of the S405. The new OneLink port replicator of the ThinkPads and most Lenovo office models (like the B5400) seems to have been left out of the consumer line-up completely. 

Left side: Recovery button, RJ45 (10/100 MB), HDMI, USB 3.0
Left side: Recovery button, RJ45 (10/100 MB), HDMI, USB 3.0
Right side: card reader, microphone/headphone combi jack, 2x USB 2.0, power adapter
Right side: card reader, microphone/headphone combi jack, 2x USB 2.0, power adapter
40 W power adapter, 268 grams including the cable
40 W power adapter, 268 grams including the cable
Lenovo Photos
Lenovo Photos
Engine Control Center (AMD)
Engine Control Center (AMD)

Communication

The WLAN adapter (Atheros AR956x bgn) works on the 2.4 GHz frequency. The Ethernet supports only Fast Ethernet and not Gigabit-LAN. This technology is outdated. Bluetooth 4.0 is on-board. At a distance of three meters, the WLAN works great. It works just as well one floor above (10 m). However, when we go outside the house, the reception drops to three bars (15 m) and down to one bar at 40 meters. At this distance, we could surf notebookcheck.com. The output of the router (Fritz!Box 7270) was set to 100%. As such, we find this performance quite good as most laptops cannot keep a secure connection at 40 meters. 

Software 

Lenovo has installed a slew of trial software. Aside from McAfee Internet Security and Nitro Pro 8 (trial), the laptop offers Lenovo Photos (commercial photo book service) and other commercial services (for ad purposes). The Engine Control Center belongs to the APU driver and allows the user to control the performance to a degree. 

Accessories

The test model is delivered with Windows 8 64-bit. There are no recovery DVDs. The user can use the OneKey Recovery to create a recovery DVD using an external writer. The OneKey button (left side) calls up the security/backup tool. When turned off, the recovery mode on the hidden HDD partition is activated using this button.

Warranty

Lenovo offers a 24 month "bring in" warranty for the S415. The customer can send in the notebook in case of defect. Furthermore, Lenovo offers a variety of warranty goodies: on-site service or extending the warranty up to 3 years. The prices are reasonable and can be seen at the manufacturer's website.

Webcam

The webcam has a 1280x720 pixels resolution. It takes blurry pictures, even in good lighting. As such, the camera can not be used to take snapshots.

Webcam with status LED
Webcam with status LED
Camera 0.9 MP 1280x720
Camera 0.9 MP 1280x720
Reference EOS 1100D
Reference EOS 1100D

Input Devices

The input devices have stayed the same since the IdeaPad S405 which means that they are still useful but not perfect. See test.

Keyboard: spongy feedback and weak keyboard base.
Keyboard: spongy feedback and weak keyboard base.
ClickPad: short stroke distance, loud noise but very large.
ClickPad: short stroke distance, loud noise but very large.

Display

Like before, the panel is a cheap TN panel with poor viewing angles. Its name is B140XTT01 and it is produced by AUO. The panel offers a 1366x768 pixel resolution in the 14-inch form factor. Furthermore, it offers good contrast (733:1), but low brightness. The distribution of brightness is decent (82%). The VivoBook S300CA offers similar contrast (611:1) and the IdeaPad Flex 14 lags far behind (323:1).

195
cd/m²
202
cd/m²
207
cd/m²
190
cd/m²
203
cd/m²
196
cd/m²
170
cd/m²
176
cd/m²
173
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 207 cd/m²
Average: 190.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 82 %
Center on Battery: 203 cd/m²
Black: 0.277 cd/m²
Contrast: 733:1

Let's take a look at the color space coverage. It's small: sRGB is 54% covered, whereas the AdobeRGB spectrum is 37% covered. Thus, this panel is not suited for professional graphics editors (the APU is wrong for that purpose too). Using the photo spectrometer, we measured the TFT before calibration. The gray levels show a significant blue tint, which is visible to the naked eye. The shift towards blue is also noticeable in the saturation. Except for green and yellow, all colors are strongly affected, which leads to a poor DeltaE average of 10.

Color space vs. sRGB
Color space vs. sRGB
Color space vs. AdobeRGB
Color space vs. AdobeRGB
CalMAN gray levels
CalMAN gray levels
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker

The brightness of the AUO panel is limited to 203 cd/m² which is good for indoors or in the dark. However, it is not enough to overcome the reflections in the daylight. Our photos were taken in a relatively weak light in winter. Due to the good contrast, we could get a good picture in indirect lighting. However, to reliably use the screen outdoors, we would expect a brightness of at least 250 cd/m².

Outdoor: reflections
Outdoor: reflections
Outdoors: clear display in indirect, weak lighting
Outdoors: clear display in indirect, weak lighting

Even slight vertical deviations (starting at 15 degrees) can lead to color inversions. Playing movies or viewing pictures with multiple observers can be a challenge: If you wish to get a good picture, you should sit right in front of the panel or at most, at 40 degrees (horizontally) from it. This is quite bad, but 60% of the laptops on the market offer similar performance. The two alternatives we offer in our review also have poor viewing angles (TN-TFT: IdeaPad Flex 14; Asus VivoBook S300CA).

Viewing angles of the Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720 with the AUO B140XTT01
Viewing angles of the Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720 with the AUO B140XTT01

Performance

The AMD A6-5200 APU (4 x 2 GHz, TDP 25 W) from AMD's A-series is the main platform for manufacturers of cheap laptops. It is well-suited to small laptops due to its low power consumption. The weaker sister, APU A4-5000 (4 x 1.5 GHz), is also a Kabini CPU with a 15 W TDP and can be found in many laptops. The A6-5200 is still quite new in the CPU market.

4 GB of RAM in single-channel mode and a Solid State Hybrid Drive (500 GB + 8 GB cache) accompany the APU. The APU contains the AMD Radeon HD 8400 graphics chip, which also uses the DDR3 RAM.

Systeminfo CPU-Z CPU
Systeminfo CPU-Z Cache
Systeminfo CPU-Z Motherboard
Systeminfo CPU-Z Memory
Systeminfo HWinfo
Systeminfo GPU-Z HD 8400
HD Tune 89 MB/s Seq. Read
CrystalDiskMark 97 MB/s Seq. Read
System information for the Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720

Processor

Cinebench R15 Single CPU@ 2.0 GHz
Cinebench R15 Single CPU@ 2.0 GHz
Cinebench R15 Multi CPU@ 2.0 GHz
Cinebench R15 Multi CPU@ 2.0 GHz

We posed a question at the start of this review: Can a new Kabini quad-core A6-5200 stand its own against the Intel competition of the 500 Euros (~$680) class? Thus, we chose devices for comparison which used the entry-level Intel processors, like Celeron (2955U) or Core i3 (3217U). The i5 models belong to a much higher price category and cannot be considered direct competitors, although they might be slim, well-equipped touchscreen laptops.

The following table is led by the Acer Aspire E1-532, which runs on the Celeron 2955U, which can also be found in the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14. In the multi-core 64-bit test, the A6-5200 surpasses the Celeron (-35%) and holds its own against the older Core i3-3217U (Ivy Bridge, +2%). In comparison to the old Trinity chip, our new APU has a 29% lead. The switch was well worth it, but during this time, the Intel chips have also gotten faster.

The A-Series A4-5000 (IdeaPad S215) is a little slower (-15 to -25%). The APU could even be installed in 15- to 17-inch models. The clock speed of 2.0 GHz (standard) stays constant during the test. The APU lacks turbo and the performance on battery is the same as when plugged in (according to the identical results in Cinebench R11.5 and OpenGL).

Cinebench R11.5
OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720
14.8 fps ∼12%
Acer Aspire E1-532
10.7 fps ∼9% -28%
Lenovo IdeaPad S405
11.99 fps ∼10% -19%
Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287
12.67 fps ∼10% -14%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
12.33 fps ∼10% -17%
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14-59395501
12.42 fps ∼10% -16%
Toshiba Satellite U840T-101
17.51 fps ∼14% +18%
Sony Vaio SV-F14A1M2E/S
33.47 fps ∼27% +126%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720
1.75 Points ∼10%
Acer Aspire E1-532
1.14 Points ∼6% -35%
Lenovo IdeaPad S405
1.24 Points ∼7% -29%
Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287
1.48 Points ∼8% -15%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
1.78 Points ∼10% +2%
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14-59395501
2.5 Points ∼14% +43%
Toshiba Satellite U840T-101
2.52 Points ∼14% +44%
Sony Vaio SV-F14A1M2E/S
2.5 Points ∼14% +43%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720
0.51 Points ∼26%
Acer Aspire E1-532
0.61 Points ∼31% +20%
Lenovo IdeaPad S405
0.57 Points ∼29% +12%
Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287
0.38 Points ∼19% -25%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
0.76 Points ∼38% +49%
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14-59395501
1.13 Points ∼57% +122%
Toshiba Satellite U840T-101
1.11 Points ∼56% +118%
Sony Vaio SV-F14A1M2E/S
1.11 Points ∼56% +118%

Legend

 
Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720 AMD A6-5200, AMD Radeon HD 8400, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
 
Acer Aspire E1-532 Intel Celeron 2955U, Intel HD Graphics (Haswell), Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
 
Lenovo IdeaPad S405 AMD A8-4555M, AMD Radeon HD 7600G, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVT
 
Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287 AMD A4-5000, AMD Radeon HD 8330, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
 
Asus VivoBook S300CA Intel Core i3-3217U, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
 
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14-59395501 Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Samsung PM841 Series MZ7TD128HAFV-000L1
 
Toshiba Satellite U840T-101 Intel Core i5-3337U, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
 
Sony Vaio SV-F14A1M2E/S Intel Core i5-3337U, NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M, Toshiba MQ01ABD075H
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
1971 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
2811 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
6697 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
1598
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
5600
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
2904
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.51 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
14.8 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.75 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
12.32 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
155 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
42 Points
Help

System Performance

We value the system performance more and for this we use PCMark 7 and 8. We lack the PCMark 8 scores for the Aspire E1-530, but the PCMark 7 results are much worse than those of our test model (-48%). The Core i3 system performs better (S300CA) and is a whole 40% faster in PCMark 7. The S405 (Trinity) lies 37% behind.

We find the S415 to be a sufficiently fast system. The user has to wait quite a long while starting it up but running multiple applications simultaneously is not a problem. If the HDD has to read a lot of data, then the speed drops quickly. A switch to an SSD could bring enormous boosts in this case. However, this would not be a worthwhile decision for Lenovo as this APU would not be attractive in a higher price class.

PCMark 7
Score (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720
2131 Points ∼32%
Acer Aspire E1-532
1484 Points ∼22% -30%
Lenovo IdeaPad S405
1627 Points ∼25% -24%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
2173 Points ∼33% +2%
Toshiba Satellite U840T-101
4300 Points ∼65% +102%
Computation (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720
4507 Points ∼16%
Acer Aspire E1-532
1701 Points ∼6% -62%
Lenovo IdeaPad S405
2811 Points ∼10% -38%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
12091 Points ∼43% +168%
Toshiba Satellite U840T-101
15256 Points ∼54% +238%
System Storage (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720
2858 Points ∼40%
Acer Aspire E1-532
1412 Points ∼20% -51%
Lenovo IdeaPad S405
1438 Points ∼20% -50%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
1465 Points ∼21% -49%
Toshiba Satellite U840T-101
4318 Points ∼61% +51%
PC Mark
PCMark 72131 points
PCMark 8 Home1886 points
PCMark 8 Creative1799 points
PCMark 8 Work3093 points
Help

Storage Device

The Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive (5400 rpm) with a total capacity of 500 GB is equipped with an 8 GB SSD cache. The HDD can thus access often used files quickly. This takes a little time and as such, the PCMark and HDD benchmarks do not benefit from it.

CrystalDiskMark and HD-Tune record typical values for a 5,400 rpm HDD. The write 4K (4.42 MB/s) is amazing: usually only eMMCs or SSDs can score this high. The cache must have been responsible for this one.

Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Transfer Rate Minimum: 7.4 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 115.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 89.3 MB/s
Access Time: 20.1 ms
Burst Rate: 157.1 MB/s
CPU Usage: 2.6 %

Graphics Card

R15 OpenGL GPU@ 600 MHz
R15 OpenGL GPU@ 600 MHz

The Radeon HD 8400 GPU takes care of the graphics output. The core supports DirectX 11.1 and works at speeds of 267 - 600 MHz. It is one of the strongest IGPs of the 8000 series and aids the CPU with video decoding during playback, thus giving it more room to deal with other matters.

The strongest IGP? That does not matter much: depending on the benchmark, the HD 8400 can either be level with the HD 4400 (Haswell, 3DMark 11) or the HD 4000 (Ivy Bridge, depending on the device). The performance can also be up to 40 - 60% lower (3DMark 2013). As such, we cannot wholeheartedly say that the HD 8400 beats the Intel HD Graphics (Haswell), which is the low-cost solution for the Celeron 2955U or the Atom Z3740.

Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720
AMD A6-5200, AMD Radeon HD 8400, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Acer Aspire E1-532
Intel Celeron 2955U, Intel HD Graphics (Haswell), Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Asus VivoBook S300CA
Intel Core i3-3217U, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14-59395501
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Samsung PM841 Series MZ7TD128HAFV-000L1
Toshiba Satellite U840T-101
Intel Core i5-3337U, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
3DMark (2013)
-5%
-1%
44%
56%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score26902169
-19%
2570
-4%
3719
38%
3983
48%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics29943252
9%
3071
3%
4502
50%
4908
64%
3DMark 11
-30%
-19%
6%
-1%
1280x720 Performance679480
-29%
551
-19%
722
6%
683
1%
1280x720 Performance GPU609422
-31%
493
-19%
640
5%
590
-3%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-18% / -18%
-10% / -10%
25% / 25%
28% / 28%
3D Mark
3DMark 0310647 points
3DMark 056281 points
3DMark 11679 points
3DMark Ice Storm31087 points
3DMark Cloud Gate2690 points
3DMark Fire Strike385 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The latest games (2013/2014) can only be run to a certain extent on the HD 8400: less-demanding games like FIFA 14, Dota 2, Grid 2, Counter-Strike: GO or StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm run fluidly at low details and resolution (no anti-aliasing). In the GPU information, the user will find a variety of games we tested on the Radeon chip.

low med.high ultra
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) 16.410.6fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 23.711.5fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 21.510.9fps
Dota 2 (2013) 33.516.5fps

Emissions

Ventilation opening
Ventilation opening

System Noise

The fan of the S415 runs constantly. This occurs even during long periods of the laptop being idle and the cooling fan measuring 32.6 dB(A). We find this to be too much, especially as the laptop is quite weak in performance. The HDD is much quieter than the fan and its read and writes noises are just barely audible.

Load shoots the emissions up: during the stress test, the emissions reached an annoying 44.6 dB(A). At low load, running 3DMark06, we reached 38 dB(A). We have had quieter systems, like the Aspire E1-532 (idle min. 30.4 dB(A)). The VivoBook S300CA (31) and the IdeaPad Flex 14 (29) also stay much quieter.

Noise Level

Idle 32.6 / 33.5 / 33.8 dB(A)
Load 37.8 / 44.6 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperatures

Stress test: CPU@ 2.0 GHz; GPU@ 600 MHz; max. 80 °C
Stress test: CPU@ 2.0 GHz; GPU@ 600 MHz; max. 80 °C

The constantly running fan leads to low temperatures on the surface. On average, while idle, the surface temperatures measure 26 °C (top and bottom). At load we detect two hot spots, which are slightly warmer (37 °C). The load was generated with a stress test, which pushed both GPU and CPU to 100% load. The low temperatures are nice and on the inside, the APU never exceeds 80 °C (inside sensors). Throttling is not to be found here as the APU runs at a constant 2.0 GHz.

 26 °C26.9 °C26.8 °C 
 26.1 °C27 °C26.3 °C 
 24.2 °C24.2 °C24.8 °C 
Maximum: 27 °C
Average: 25.8 °C
29 °C27.1 °C26.4 °C
28.4 °C27.3 °C26.8 °C
24.4 °C24.1 °C25.8 °C
Maximum: 29 °C
Average: 26.6 °C
Power Supply (max.)  32.6 °C | Room Temperature 22.7 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

Two speakers are placed on the bottom, directly beneath the hand-rest regions. They produce an output heavy on the middle notes. It is lacking bass and differentiated high notes. The volume is quite good considering that these are laptop speakers, and the user can fill a small room quite nicely without distorting audio output.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption while idle and at load is very low, lower than in the VivoBook S300CA (+38%) or even the Aspire E1-532 (Celeron 2955U) with +7%. While idle, the laptop consumes a mere 4.4 - 7.6 W, which is far lower than the 7.2 - 12 W of the predecessor. At low load, the S415 requires 20 W and at high load, the consumption can rise up to 32 W. All-in-all, the S415 is a very conservative notebook which is adequately supplied by the handy 40 W power adapter.

Power Consumption
Idle Minimum (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720
4.4 Watt * ∼4%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
5.9 Watt * ∼6%
Acer Aspire E1-532
4.8 Watt * ∼5%
Toshiba Satellite U840T-101
6.5 Watt * ∼7%
Idle Average (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720
6 Watt * ∼6%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
10.0 Watt * ∼10%
Acer Aspire E1-532
6.7 Watt * ∼7%
Toshiba Satellite U840T-101
10.6 Watt * ∼11%
Idle Maximum (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720
7.6 Watt * ∼8%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
10.2 Watt * ∼10%
Acer Aspire E1-532
8.1 Watt * ∼8%
Toshiba Satellite U840T-101
10.8 Watt * ∼11%
Load Average (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720
20.2 Watt * ∼6%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
30.9 Watt * ∼9%
Acer Aspire E1-532
25.1 Watt * ∼7%
Toshiba Satellite U840T-101
40.1 Watt * ∼11%
Load Maximum (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720
32.2 Watt * ∼9%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
33.0 Watt * ∼9%
Acer Aspire E1-532
26.5 Watt * ∼8%
Toshiba Satellite U840T-101
42.5 Watt * ∼12%

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.3 Watt
Idle 4.4 / 6 / 7.6 Watt
Load 20.2 / 32.2 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 960

Battery Life

The predecessor, the S405, had poor battery life. The S415 does a much better job in the practical WLAN test, despite its higher performance (quad-core): 29% longer runtime. This gives the user a full four hours instead of a mere 3 hours. The Intel competition can do much better: for example, the VivoBook S300CA can last 11% longer in the WLAN test. The runtime is determined by the battery, and like in the predecessor, our test model is equipped with a meager 32 Wh battery. The competitors offer a lot more: IdeaPad Flex 14 (48 Wh), VivoBook S300CA (48 Wh) and Aspire E1-532 (37 Wh). As such, the shorter runtime is a fault in the design of the notebook. In fact, with the same battery capacity, our test model could outlast a Celeron "Low Voltage" system, due to its lower power consumption.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
7h 28min
WiFi Surfing
4h 05min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
3h 20min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 14min

Verdict

Lenovo IdeaPad S415
Lenovo IdeaPad S415

Another try, but the same mistakes. The update to AMD's Jaguar architecture has boosted the performance to the level of the Intel competition of this price class (up to 450 Euros, ~$612). The 14-inch laptop is well-designed and attractive. Furthermore, only the cheap Celeron configuration of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 can offer a 14-inch touchscreen in this price class. Seen in this light, the S415 seems to have no competition.

Still, cheap is not always good. Lenovo does not make the most of this conservative platform as it chooses (once again) a weak 32 Wh battery. This clearly puts the Intel competition ahead in terms of battery life. The workmanship of the chassis is precise and the surfaces look good. The material is not very resistant and bends easily under pressure. The input devices are decent. The same goes for the temperatures (very low) and noise emissions. The shiny panel offers a relatively high contrast of 733:1, which is far better than we expected, but the poor viewing angles and strong blue tint mar the positive impression.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 (with Celeron 2955U, 449 Euros, ~$611) is suitable for users who have little money, require a laptop and can live with the "Stand" mode of this notebook. The Asus VivoBook S300CA (13.3-inch, 589 Euros, ~$802) is suited for those users who want a well-built aluminum case, good performance and a display with good contrast.

Test model provided by ...
Read all 1 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading comments

Comment this article:

In Review: Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720, provided by Cyberport.de
In Review: Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720, provided by Cyberport.de

Specifications

Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720

:: Processor
AMD A6-5200 2 GHz
:: Mainboard
AMD Yangtze
:: Memory
4096 MB, Single Channel, 1x 4GB
:: Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon HD 8400, Core: 600 MHz, DDR3, 12.102.1.9000
:: Display
14 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, 10 fingers, AUO B140XTT01, TN, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive, 500 GB 5400 rpm , 415 GB free
:: Soundcard
HD Audio
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: Headphones, Microphone, Card Reader: SD/MMC, Intel Wireless Display
:: Networking
Realtek PCIe FE Family Controller 10/100 (10MBit), Qualcomm Atheros AR956x (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22 x 336 x 241
:: Weight
1.728 kg Power Supply: 0.268 kg
:: Battery
32 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 4 cell, 14.8 V, 2200 mAh
Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 5 h
:: Price
499 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: 0.9 MP 1280x720, Speakers: 2x, Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, Notebook, Battery, Power Adapter 40 W, McAfee Internet Security 90 day trial, VeriFace, Photos, Nitro Pro 8 Trial, Intel AppUp Center, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
This seems familiar?
This seems familiar?
Right! The S415 in front of us is the almost identical successor of the...
Right! The S415 in front of us is the almost identical successor of the...
...S405 released at the end of 2012. At that time, the 14-inch model was equipped with a conservative Trinity quad-core CPU.
...S405 released at the end of 2012. At that time, the 14-inch model was equipped with a conservative Trinity quad-core CPU.
The S415 runs on AMD hardware: a quad-core.
The S415 runs on AMD hardware: a quad-core.
The processor is named AMD A6-5200 and comes from the Kabini platform (Jaguar architecture).
The processor is named AMD A6-5200 and comes from the Kabini platform (Jaguar architecture).
The second addition is the touch panel which adds to the appeal of the model.
The second addition is the touch panel which adds to the appeal of the model.
The rest stays the same as in the old S405: Lenovo has not managed to replace the weak keyboard.
The rest stays the same as in the old S405: Lenovo has not managed to replace the weak keyboard.
The flat chassis looks good (metal look) but consists entirely of synthetic material.
The flat chassis looks good (metal look) but consists entirely of synthetic material.
The battery can be easily removed...
The battery can be easily removed...
...but it only has a capacity of 32 Wh, which is not enough for a long time even with weak hardware.
...but it only has a capacity of 32 Wh, which is not enough for a long time even with weak hardware.
No change to the ports. A USB 3.0 has to suffice as VGA is not provided.
No change to the ports. A USB 3.0 has to suffice as VGA is not provided.
The laptop has a tasteful appeal, but the material is average (can be pressed inwards).
The laptop has a tasteful appeal, but the material is average (can be pressed inwards).
The tiny power adapter delivers 40 W.
The tiny power adapter delivers 40 W.
Lenovo IdeaPad S415: Like in many other cheap laptops, the viewing angles are not great.
Lenovo IdeaPad S415: Like in many other cheap laptops, the viewing angles are not great.
Lenovo IdeaPad S415: AMD A6-5200 for a small budget. The performance is decent but the HD 8400 is not good enough for gamers.
Lenovo IdeaPad S415: AMD A6-5200 for a small budget. The performance is decent but the HD 8400 is not good enough for gamers.
Lenovo IdeaPad S415: Where are the ports? Many of them are not provided...
Lenovo IdeaPad S415: Where are the ports? Many of them are not provided...
...for example, VGA is missing (also left out in the S405 at the end of 2012).
...for example, VGA is missing (also left out in the S405 at the end of 2012).

Similar Devices

Devices with the same GPU

» Review Toshiba Satellite M50D-A-10K Notebook
A-Series A6-5200, 15.6", 2.2 kg

Devices with Same Screen Size and/or Weight

» HP Stream 14-z050ng Notebook Review
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A-Series A4 Micro-6400T
» Toshiba Tecra Z40T-A1410 Notebook Review
HD Graphics 4400, Core i5 4310U
» HP EliteBook 745 G2 Notebook Review
Radeon R6 (Kaveri), Kaveri A10 Pro-7350B
» Dell Inspiron 14-7437 FHD Ultrabook Review Update
HD Graphics 4400, Core i7 4510U

Links

Price Comparison

Pro

+Low weight
+Good TFT contrast
+24 months warranty
+Good program performance
+Low power consumption
 

Cons

-Weak keyboard base
-Short run times
-Only Fast Ethernet
-Slow HDD
-No VGA port
-Constantly running fan

Shortcut

What we like

The flat design, low temperatures and power consumption. 

What we miss

More battery capacity and a fan which occasionally shuts off. 

What surprises us

Lenovo skimps on the battery and misses out on a 14-inch laptop with great runtimes.

The competition

The only 14-inch touch alternative:
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 (Version Celeron 2955U, 449 Euros, ~$611) 

Under 600 Euros (~$817):
Asus VivoBook S300CA (589 Euros, ~$802)
Sony Vaio Fit E SVF-1421A4E/W (520 Euros, ~$708) 
Toshiba Satellite U840T-101 (599 Euros, ~$815)

Rating

Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59399720
04/14/2014 v4
Sebastian Jentsch

Chassis
58 / 98 → 59%
Keyboard
62%
Pointing Device
64%
Connectivity
55%
Weight
66 / 67 → 98%
Battery
80%
Display
70%
Games Performance
59 / 85 → 69%
Application Performance
56%
Temperature
92%
Noise
81%
Audio
50%
Camera
38 / 85 → 45%
Average
64%
69%
Office *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Lenovo IdeaPad S415 (59399720) Notebook
Author: Sebastian Jentsch, 2014-02- 7 (Update: 2014-02- 7)