Review Update Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE Notebook

Florian Wimmer (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 07/20/2013

Down to earth. No gaming ambitions, no high-performance: Lenovo's IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE simply wants to be a slim, lightweight computer that manages everyday tasks on the go. Our review update reveals whether it does this well.

In Review: Lenovo S300-MA14CGE

For the original German review, see here.

The previously tested IdeaPad S300-MA145GE with a Core i3 and dedicated AMD graphics card even satisfied undemanding gamers. This is unknown to the IdeaPad S300 that we are now reviewing. The MA14CGE model features basic equipment in the form of a 1.8 GHz Pentium 2117U processor alongside the integrated Intel HD Graphics 2500. However, there is a price difference of 200 Euros (~$262) between both configurations. Our present review sample is available for 399 Euros (~$524).

There are not many contenders in this price range. Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge E335 based on AMD belongs to them as well as Asus' X301A that even sports a Core i3 processor. The buyer could also risk looking at the somewhat smaller Acer Aspire One 756 or Aspire One 725. The Asus X201E might also come into question.

Since no modifications have been made in casing, connectivity or input devices, we will start our review update with the screen's quality.

Display

13.3-inches, 16:9 aspect ratio and 1366x768 pixels are the key specs of the screen installed in the IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE. Although the size, format and native resolution are the same as in the stronger IdeaPad S300-MA145GE the screen is another type. This time, a model from Samsung is used.

This actually also brings along some improvements. For example, the maximum and average brightness are both approximately 50 cd/m² higher. The rates of 247 cd/m² and 220.9 cd/m² are even slightly higher than in the ThinkPad Edge E335 or Asus X301A. The screen is thus sufficiently bright for practical use.

195
cd/m²
207
cd/m²
205
cd/m²
214
cd/m²
224
cd/m²
224
cd/m²
247
cd/m²
237
cd/m²
235
cd/m²
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 247 cd/m²
Average: 220.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 79 %
Center on Battery: 224 cd/m²
Black: 0.85 cd/m²
Contrast: 264:1
Distribution of brightness

Compared with the screen in the IdeaPad S300-MA145GE, the black value and contrast are much better although not yet really exceptional. The black value of 0.85 cd/m² still lets black areas look dark gray and the single colors look pale due to the at most acceptable contrast of 264:1. However, both rates are better than from all contenders and consequently the image reproduction is also superior.

It quickly becomes obvious in the more accurate color analysis using the colorimeter that the screen renders colors very imprecisely. The average deviation from the ideal rate of the reference color space was 12.09, which is a very high rate. The average deviation in the grayscale was even higher. When looking at the saturation, it is noticed that all colors are very shifted towards blue and thus the screen has an extreme bluish cast.

The IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE does a better job with the color space coverage than the MA145GE model. The color space is much larger particularly in green and violet hues in a direct comparison. However, the current review sample still does not come close to rendering the sRGB and Adobe RGB reference color spaces.

CalMan color accuracy
CalMan color accuracy
CalMan grayscale
CalMan grayscale
CalMan color saturation
CalMan color saturation
Lenovo IdeaPad S300 vs. sRGB
Lenovo IdeaPad S300 vs. sRGB
Lenovo IdeaPad S300 vs. Adobe RGB
Lenovo IdeaPad S300 vs. Adobe RGB
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE vs. MA145GE
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE vs. MA145GE
Outdoors
Outdoors

Using the laptop outdoors in bright sunlight is a rather unpleasant affair. The screen is extremely reflective and the just mediocre brightness almost completely prevents recognizing anything. However, it is possible to work well with the laptop in the shade and in bright rooms.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Considering that a TN LED screen is installed in Lenovo's IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE, great viewing angle stability cannot be expected. At least the horizontal viewing angles are quite decent. Apart from a slight brightness loss, major image changes do not occur when looking from the left or right. However, massive brightness changes quickly turn up when the screen is tilted up or down and extremely limit the contents' legibility.

Performance

High performance should not be expected from Lenovo's IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE in view of the price. Intel's Pentium 2117U dual-core processor with a clock rate of 1.8 GHz is a member of the entry-level sector. The laptop does not sport a dedicated graphics card either. Only the integrated Intel HD Graphics 2500 is available so that 3D and gaming performance will likely be quite weak.

4096 MB of working memory and a 320 GB hard drive that spins with only 5400 revolutions per minute complete the most vital system components. Our review sample is roughly within the category average compared with the most significant contenders.

System information: Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE

Processor

The dual-core processor is a member of the no longer current Ivy Bridge generation. Intel replaced it with the new Haswell generation in June 2013. Intel's Pentium 2117U lacks many features of the Core i processors, such as Turbo Boost or Hyper Threading. That means that its two cores can in fact only process two threads with a maximum speed of 1.8 GHz.

However, the Pentium processor fares quite well compared with the lower clocked, 1.4 GHz Intel Core i3-2365M. Although the Core i3 can process four tasks simultaneously, the Pentium compensates for that with its higher clock so that both achieve exactly the same score in the Cinebench comparison. The Pentium 2117U even has the lead due to its higher clock when the single cores are compared. So it is not necessary to invest 200 Euros (~$262) more in the IdeaPad S300-MA145GE for sole processor power.

Compared with other devices from this price range, our review sample proves to be one of the fastest. Nevertheless, a bit of patience is needed to navigate through the swift Windows 8. Just booting the system takes a long time and switching between the desktop and start menu is associated with hefty dropouts. However, internet browsing is quite swift once the browser is completely cached in the working memory.

Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
3495 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
3016 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
5840 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
2357
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
4215
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
3409
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.74 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.34 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
9.09 fps
Help
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
1.34 Points ∼11%
Acer Aspire One 725-C7Xkk
0.37 Points ∼3% -72%
Asus X201E-KX096H
0.72 Points ∼6% -46%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
1.13 Points ∼9% -16%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300 MA145GE
1.34 Points ∼11% 0%
Asus X301A-RX005V
2.17 Points ∼18% +62%
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
0.74 Points ∼1%
Acer Aspire One 725-C7Xkk
0.23 Points ∼0% -69%
Asus X201E-KX096H
0.42 Points ∼0% -43%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
0.59 Points ∼0% -20%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300 MA145GE
0.56 Points ∼0% -24%
Asus X301A-RX005V
0.91 Points ∼1% +23%
Legend
      Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE Intel Pentium 2117U, Intel HD Graphics 2500, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
      Acer Aspire One 725-C7Xkk AMD C-70, AMD Radeon HD 7290, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
      Asus X201E-KX096H Intel Celeron 847, Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge), Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545032A7E380
      Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007 Intel Pentium 987, Intel HD Graphics 2000, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
      Lenovo IdeaPad S300 MA145GE Intel Core i3-2365M, AMD Radeon HD 7450M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
      Asus X301A-RX005V Intel Core i3-2350M, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
      Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E335 NZT5YGE 33555YG AMD E2-1800, AMD Radeon HD 7340, 320 GB - 7200 rpm

System Performance

Stress test
Stress test

Our review sample also fared quite well with the overall system performance in the category comparison. Only Asus' X301A stands out clearly. All other compared laptops fall behind. Of course, top performance cannot be expected for a price of 399 Euros (~$524). However, the speed is sufficient for daily routine.

The IdeaPad S300-MA145GE with a Core i3 processor is altogether on a par. The only thing that is noticed when looking at the single results is that the hard drive seemingly spins quite slowly.

Both the processor and graphics card were indifferent to longer load via the stress test. The temperature did not surpass a healthy rate and the clock rate was not throttled.

The GPU's and CPU's clock rate were lowered in battery mode. The CPU's clock dropped as soon as the power supply was disconnected even when the high performance profile was selected. The GPU's clock first decreased to 350 MHz in energy-saving mode and curiously did not increase again when the power supply was reconnected. Consequently, benchmarks like Cinebench presented a lower score in battery mode.

4.7
Windows 8 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
5.9
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
5.9
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
4.7
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
6.1
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.9
PC Mark
PCMark Vantage3337 points
PCMark 71686 points
Help
PCMark 7
Score
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
1686 Points ∼25%
Acer Aspire One 725-C7Xkk
640 Points ∼10% -62%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E335 NZT5YGE 33555YG
1093 Points ∼17% -35%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300 MA145GE
1311 Points ∼20% -22%
Asus X201E-KX096H
1359 Points ∼21% -19%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
1452 Points ∼22% -14%
Asus X301A-RX005V
1861 Points ∼28% +10%
System Storage
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
1232 Points ∼19%
Acer Aspire One 725-C7Xkk
1370 Points ∼21% +11%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300 MA145GE
1505 Points ∼23% +22%
Asus X201E-KX096H
1324 Points ∼20% +7%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
1388 Points ∼21% +13%
Asus X301A-RX005V
1403 Points ∼22% +14%
PCMark Vantage - 1024x768 Result
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
3337 Points ∼14%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E335 NZT5YGE 33555YG
2529 Points ∼11% -24%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300 MA145GE
4099 Points ∼17% +23%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
3547 Points ∼15% +6%
Asus X301A-RX005V
4906 Points ∼21% +47%

Storage Devices

Seagate's 320 GB hard drive is in fact a bit slow with only 5400 revolutions per minute. This can be noticed when the synthetic benchmark scores are compared. Our review sample almost always lagged behind. That is also noticed in the system's slow booting and the sluggish opening of programs in routine use.

Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
Transfer Rate Minimum: 30.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 87.2 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 66.4 MB/s
Access Time: 18.7 ms
Burst Rate: 104.9 MB/s
CPU Usage: 6 %
HD Tune Transfer Rate Average
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
66.4 MB/s ∼7%
Asus X201E-KX096H
49.4 MB/s ∼5% -26%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
69.3 MB/s ∼7% +4%
Asus X301A-RX005V
68.5 MB/s ∼7% +3%
Acer Aspire One 725-C7Xkk
86.9 MB/s ∼9% +31%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E335 NZT5YGE 33555YG
90.9 MB/s ∼9% +37%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300 MA145GE
84.6 MB/s ∼8% +27%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
Read Seq
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
68.83 MB/s ∼7%
Asus X201E-KX096H
51.8 MB/s ∼5% -25%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
83.02 MB/s ∼8% +21%
Asus X301A-RX005V
96.5 MB/s ∼9% +40%
Acer Aspire One 725-C7Xkk
99.03 MB/s ∼9% +44%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E335 NZT5YGE 33555YG
101 MB/s ∼10% +47%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300 MA145GE
104.6 MB/s ∼10% +52%
Write Seq
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
70.95 MB/s ∼9%
Asus X201E-KX096H
36.02 MB/s ∼4% -49%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
80.71 MB/s ∼10% +14%
Asus X301A-RX005V
95.43 MB/s ∼12% +35%
Acer Aspire One 725-C7Xkk
96.78 MB/s ∼12% +36%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E335 NZT5YGE 33555YG
100.2 MB/s ∼12% +41%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300 MA145GE
101.4 MB/s ∼12% +43%
Read 512
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
26.2 MB/s ∼4%
Asus X201E-KX096H
26.45 MB/s ∼4% +1%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
27.63 MB/s ∼4% +5%
Asus X301A-RX005V
28.05 MB/s ∼4% +7%
Acer Aspire One 725-C7Xkk
29.65 MB/s ∼4% +13%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E335 NZT5YGE 33555YG
39.24 MB/s ∼5% +50%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300 MA145GE
33.39 MB/s ∼5% +27%
Write 512
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
37.92 MB/s ∼5%
Asus X201E-KX096H
14.57 MB/s ∼2% -62%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
36.63 MB/s ∼5% -3%
Asus X301A-RX005V
29.32 MB/s ∼4% -23%
Acer Aspire One 725-C7Xkk
29.44 MB/s ∼4% -22%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E335 NZT5YGE 33555YG
50.15 MB/s ∼7% +32%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300 MA145GE
44.74 MB/s ∼6% +18%

Graphics Card

One thing should be clear: The IdeaPad S300-MA14CGA is not apt for gaming in the sense that the latest high-end titles can be played even to the slightest extent. That is particularly due to Intel's HD Graphics 2500 card, which is simply called HD Graphics in the mobile sector and is integrated into the processor. The installed video decoder should at least noticeably accelerate video playback so that even 4K streams should not be a problem. In any case, our review sample did not have problems with two Full HD videos from the hard drive.

Lenovo's IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE has the lead on most other compared devices in the synthetic benchmarks. Only Asus' X301A and the IdeaPad S300-MA145GE, which both sport a dedicated graphics card, have a clear lead. We will look at the practical gaming capabilities of our review sample in the next part.

3D Mark
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
3300 points
3DMark Vantage1375 points
3DMark 11374 points
3DMark Ice Storm20694 points
3DMark Cloud Gate1906 points
3DMark Fire Strike257 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
374 Points ∼3%
Acer Aspire One 725-C7Xkk
226 Points ∼2% -40%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E335 NZT5YGE 33555YG
362 Points ∼3% -3%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300 MA145GE
613 Points ∼5% +64%
3DMark Vantage - 1280x1024 P Result no PhysX
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
1375 Points ∼4%
Acer Aspire One 725-C7Xkk
534 Points ∼1% -61%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
789 Points ∼2% -43%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E335 NZT5YGE 33555YG
1041 Points ∼3% -24%
Asus X301A-RX005V
1568 Points ∼4% +14%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300 MA145GE
2034 Points ∼6% +48%

Gaming Performance

The processor-integrated Intel HD Graphics 2500 is not exactly famous for its gaming suitability. Even two-year old games like Anno 2070 or the rather undemanding FIFA 2013 do not run completely smooth in minimum details and minimum resolution. It looks worse for demanding up to date games.

The IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE's power will be sufficient for users who only install casual games and really old game classics on the laptop. However, those who are remotely thinking about installing the latest full-priced games on the laptop should look elsewhere and will likely also have to shell out more. An entry for gamers could be laptops that sport Nvidia's GeForce GT 720M but they also cost at least 150 Euros (~$197) more. Processor-integrated graphics cards, such as the HD Graphics 4000 integrated into stronger Intel processors could also suffice for basic gaming. Models are available for around 500 Euros (~$656), for example Lenovo's B590.

low med.high ultra
Anno 2070 (2011) 23.159.785.23fps
Fifa 13 (2012) 29.6523.6217.23fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 20.110.97.1fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 17.6686.96fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 11.079.849.64fps

Emissions

System Noise

An ear has to be placed quite close to the left side of the casing where the vent is to hear the fan in the IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE. The laptop is ultra-quiet in most situations. Even the maximum noise of 33.9 dB during full load is barely audible. The previously tested IdeaPad S300-MA145GE was considerably noisier here; even if not in idle it reached up to 41.2 dB during load.

Noise Level

Idle 31.4 / 31.4 / 31.4 dB(A)
HDD 31.6 dB(A)
Load 32.7 / 33.9 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Lenovo's IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE proved to be quite cool regarding the temperatures. This is most likely also due to the laptop's low performance. The IdeaPad S300-MA145GE with Intel's Core i3 produced considerably more waste heat that was also noticed on the casing. The MA145GE got really warm particularly during load with up to 49 °C. Nice that our review sample stayed much cooler. In both cases, the fan sucks in air over the large vent on the bottom and blows it out from the casing's left.

Our review sample reached 31.4 °C when idling, which was at most 8.3 °C warmer than room temperature. The warmth is barely noticed, also due to the plastic surfaces' poor conductivity. The highest temperature was 38.1 °C in longer full load. Although that is felt it is not yet unpleasant. Generally, Lenovo's S300 got warmer on the top than on the bottom so that using it on the lap was no problem.

Max. Load
 38.1 °C32.3 °C26.7 °C 
 36.5 °C37.9 °C27.5 °C 
 33 °C32.7 °C27.6 °C 
 
27 °C28.2 °C32.2 °C
26.5 °C28.1 °C31.6 °C
24.6 °C30.3 °C33.1 °C
Maximum: 38.1 °C
Average: 32.5 °C
 Maximum: 33.1 °C
Average: 29.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  50.2 °C | Room Temperature 22.9 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

Although the position of the speakers on the underside is unfavorable their sound is acceptable.
Although the position of the speakers on the underside is unfavorable their sound is acceptable.

It is rarely a good idea to place speakers on the bottom of a laptop. In this case, it is not very tragic since both speakers produce a quite decent sound despite the unfavorable place on the casing's underside. The maximum volume is good but the speakers' sound gets a bit imprecise when they are turned up to full. A volume of 60% is enough although the sound also remains somewhat muffled. The mids are overemphasized and the trebles and low pitches are lacking.

All in all, sound aficionados will prefer an external solution. However, it is not possible to connect a microphone when external speakers are connected since only one combo jack is installed. The speakers will nevertheless prove to be sufficient for occasionally listening to music or watching a movie.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Our review sample only sometimes has the lead in power consumption. The Pentium 2117U even has a slightly higher idle power consumption than the Core i3-2365M in the IdeaPad S300-MA145GE.

This looks different in load. The MA145GE consumes over 40 watts from the mains in contrast to the maximum of 29 watts of the now tested MA14CGE. The small 40 watt power supply is thus sufficiently designed to feed our review sample even in full load. The ThinkPad Edge E335 undercuts our review sample with a power consumption of 24.8 watts, but its performance is also weaker.

Power consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.2 Watt
Idle 7.2 / 10.1 / 10.1 Watt
Load 25.6 / 29 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

The battery has not been changed compared with the previously tested Lenovo IdeaPad S300. A 32.97 watt hour, lithium-ion battery supplies the device with power when remote from the mains. The interesting question is what the runtimes look like seeing that the consumption rates are quite close to each other, with exception of full load.

In fact, our review sample reached a very similar idle rate as the IdeaPad S300-MA145GE with 5:13 hours. The clearest difference is seen in internet browsing where the present IdeaPad S300 achieved almost 90 minutes more than the previously tested laptop. The models close in on each other again with a difference of 24 minutes in full load.

However, the IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE's runtimes are not exactly long compared with the contenders. Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge E335 for example sports a twice as big battery and consequently achieves longer runtimes. Asus' X301A clearly outdoes our current review sample in both battery capacity and runtimes.

Battery runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 13min
WiFi Surfing
3h 34min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 01min

Verdict

Surprise! The less expensive IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE offers the better price-performance ratio compared with the bigger MA145GE model. This is due to the virtually identical performance of the processor and overall system. Only the storage device lags behind here. Although the MA145GE provides considerably higher graphics power, it is not enough for eager gamers either. So users who are not into games can save the 200 Euros (~$262) extra.

The buyer gets cooler surface temperatures, an almost silent operating noise and one of the best system performances in subnotebooks from this price range. USB 3.0 is also installed and the laptop features a stylish casing, large touchpad and better screen that however still has its shortcomings.

Only the battery runtimes should be secondary and the listed weaknesses in the review of the MA145GE, such as the omitted Gigabit LAN and spongy key stroke, also apply here. Buyers who can live with these trifles will get a lot for their money.

In Review: Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE.
In Review: Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE.
Review sample courtesy of ...

 

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In Review: Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE. Courtesy of:
In Review: Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE.

Specifications

Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel HM70 (Panther Point)
:: Memory
4096 MB, PC3-12800 DDR3
:: Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 2500, Core: 350 - 1000 MHz, Memory: 798 MHz
:: Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, SAMSUNG L ATLTN133AT28L01, TN LED, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142, 320 GB 5400 rpm 320 GB, 5400 rpm
:: Soundcard
Intel Panther Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: headset combo jack, Card Reader: SD / MMC card reader, recovery button
:: Networking
Realtek RTL8102E Family PCI-E Fast Ethernet (10/100MBit), Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230 (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22.4 x 330 x 230.2
:: Weight
1.8 kg Power Supply: 0.149 kg
:: Battery
32.97 Wh Lithium-Ion
:: Price
399 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: 0.3 MP camera, Speakers: built-in stereo speakers (2 x 2 W) w/ Dolby AA 2.0, Keyboard: chiclet keyboard , Keyboard Light: no, McAfee Emerald, VeriFace, OneTouch Recovery, Lenovo Smart Shutdown, Lenovo EE, Lenovo Smart Update, 24 Months Warranty

 

Lenovo builds an affordable and slim subnotebook with the IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE.
Lenovo builds an affordable and slim subnotebook with the IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE.
We have already reviewed its bigger brother.
We have already reviewed its bigger brother.
Surprisingly there are barely any performance differences in applications.
Surprisingly there are barely any performance differences in applications.
Lenovo bundles a decent price-performance ratio in the stylish casing.
Lenovo bundles a decent price-performance ratio in the stylish casing.
Small details make the design appealing.
Small details make the design appealing.
It even sports a USB 3.0 port.
It even sports a USB 3.0 port.
Many things have remained unchanged compared with its bigger brother, e.g. the webcam.
Many things have remained unchanged compared with its bigger brother, e.g. the webcam.
The fan is hardly ever audible.
The fan is hardly ever audible.
The large touchpad is pleasant to use.
The large touchpad is pleasant to use.
The screen has been improved noticeably.
The screen has been improved noticeably.
Windows 8 is now on-board.
Windows 8 is now on-board.
The speakers are on the underside but sound OK.
The speakers are on the underside but sound OK.
The slim silhouette conveys an ultrabook feel.
The slim silhouette conveys an ultrabook feel.
The smaller and cheaper IdeaPad S300 model seems to be better conceived.
The smaller and cheaper IdeaPad S300 model seems to be better conceived.
So much processor power is rare in subnotebooks from this price range.
So much processor power is rare in subnotebooks from this price range.
Overall, a good job Lenovo!
Overall, a good job Lenovo!

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Links

Compare Prices

Amazon.com

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Pricerunner n.a.

Pro

+Good price-performance ratio
+Stylish casing
+Light and slim
+Ultrabook feel
+Decent application performance
+Very quiet operating noise
+Very low waste heat
 

Contra

-Only average battery runtimes
-Not suitable for games
-Limited viewing angles
-No Gigabit Ethernet
-Spongy key stroke
-Few interfaces
-Intense bluish cast

Shortcut

What we like

The stylish casing, the decent application performance for this price and its ultra-quiet noise.

What we'd like to see

Gaming is not much of an issue here.

What surprises us

That the cheaper version seems to be better conceived than the more expensive one.

The competition

Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA145GE, Asus X301A, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E335, Acer Aspire One 756, Acer Aspire One 725, Asus X201E.

Rating

Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
07/09/2013 v3
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
78%
Keyboard
80%
Pointing Device
82%
Connectivity
61%
Weight
89%
Battery
86%
Display
65%
Games Performance
60%
Application Performance
81%
Temperature
91%
Noise
94%
Add Points
83%
Average
79%
82%
Subnotebook *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Update Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE Notebook
Author: Florian Wimmer, 2013-07-20 (Update: 2013-07-20)