Notebookcheck

Lenovo IdeaPad 310-15ISK Notebook Review

Sascha Mölck (translated by Vinay Pradhan), 09/11/2016

Middle of the pack. The 15.6-inch Lenovo all-rounder is priced relatively high for the average features that it offers. The case and screen are both weak points that influence the rating.

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For the original German review, see here.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 310-15ISK is a simple, 15.6-inch multimedia all-rounder. The laptop runs on a Skylake processor and the GeForce graphics card. The competition for our test model include devices such as, the Acer Aspire E5-552G, the Toshiba Satellite C55-C and the HP 250 G4.

Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK (Ideapad 310 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX - 2048 MB, Core: 965-993 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, DDR3, ForceWare 372.70, Optimus
Memory
6144 MB 
, DDR4-2132, Dual-Channel, one RAM slot (occupied), 4 GB soldered
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel 100 PPI, LG Philips LP156WHU-TPG1, TN LED, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-U Premium PCH
Storage
WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPCX-24UE4T0, 1000 GB 
, 5400 rpm, 850 GB free
Soundcard
Conexant CX20751/2 @ Intel Skylake High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Audio combo, Card Reader: SD, TPM 2.0
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Optical drive
HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GUE0N
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22.9 x 379 x 260 ( = 0.9 x 14.92 x 10.24 in)
Battery
31 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD Webcam
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, Lenovo Photo Master, Cyberlink Power2Go 8,Lenovo PowerDVD 12, McAfee LiveSafe Internet Security (trial), MS Office 365 (trial), 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.2 kg ( = 77.6 oz / 4.85 pounds), Power Supply: 210 g ( = 7.41 oz / 0.46 pounds)
Price
699 Euro

 

Case & Connectivity

Lenovo uses a synthetic material case for this model. Most parts are colored black, with the exception of the top of the base unit, which is a dark anthracite shade. The material looks like brushed metal. Overall, the workmanship is fine. However, the sturdiness of the case is a different matter. The base unit can be bent inwards in several areas without much effort (below the touchpad, on both sides of the keyboard). This device should be kept at a fixed workplace and not moved too much. The bottom of the laptop has two maintenance hatches: one hides a hard disk and the other has a RAM slot. The battery is not removable.

In terms of ports, the laptop holds no surprises since Lenovo has chosen the standard package. One of the three USB ports uses the USB 3.0 standard, but it is not a type-C USB slot. A modern notebook should have this port. The WLAN module supports the fast ac-standard and delivers good transfer rates.

The card reader does a decent job. While copying large data blocks, it offers a maximum speed of 26 MB/s. The transfer of 250 jpg images (each around 5 MB) is performed at 16.5 MB/s. We tested the card reader with a reference card (the Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II).

Size comparison

Connectivity

Left side: power outlet, VGA, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, USB 3.0, audio combo, memory card reader
Left side: power outlet, VGA, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, USB 3.0, audio combo, memory card reader
Right side: 2x USB 2.0, DVD burner, Slot for a cable lock
Right side: 2x USB 2.0, DVD burner, Slot for a cable lock
SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Lenovo E51-80 80QB0008GE
68 MB/s ∼100% +312%
Toshiba Satellite C55-C-1NE
57.8 MB/s ∼85% +250%
Asus VivoBook X556UQ-XO076T
22.2 MB/s ∼33% +35%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
19.8 MB/s ∼29% +20%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
16.7 MB/s ∼25% +1%
Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK
16.5 MB/s ∼24%
Acer Aspire E5-552G-F62G
11.2 MB/s ∼16% -32%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Toshiba Satellite C55-C-1NE
89.2 MB/s ∼100% +243%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
33.2 MB/s ∼37% +28%
Asus VivoBook X556UQ-XO076T
27.7 MB/s ∼31% +7%
Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK
26 MB/s ∼29%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
25.6 MB/s ∼29% -2%
Acer Aspire E5-552G-F62G
10.2 MB/s ∼11% -61%
Networking
iperf Server (receive) TCP 1 m
Acer Aspire E5-774G-78NA
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
331 MBit/s ∼100% +20%
Lenovo Ideapad 510S-13ISK
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
313 MBit/s ∼95% +13%
Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
276 MBit/s ∼83%
Dell Latitude 14 3470
Atheros AR5BWB222 Wireless Network Adapter
165 MBit/s ∼50% -40%
iperf Client (transmit) TCP 1 m
Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
334 MBit/s ∼100%
Acer Aspire E5-774G-78NA
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
327 MBit/s ∼98% -2%
Lenovo Ideapad 510S-13ISK
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
240 MBit/s ∼72% -28%
Dell Latitude 14 3470
Atheros AR5BWB222 Wireless Network Adapter
143 MBit/s ∼43% -57%

Input Devices

Lenovo has equipped the IdeaPad with an unlit Chiclet keyboard. The flat keys have a slightly rough surface, a short stroke distance and a clear pressure point. They offer a comfortable yet crisp press resistance. While typing, the keyboard can bend slightly, but we did not find this disturbing. Overall, Lenovo delivers a keyboard that offers sufficient performance for home use. The multi-touch touchpad has a surface measuring 10 x 5.3 cm (~4 x ~2.1 in), which, combined with the smooth surface of the touchpad, allows the user to easily use gestures. Two separate mouse keys are found below the touchpad.

Input Devices
Input Devices

Display

Pixel grid
Pixel grid

The Lenovo IdeaPad has a glossy 15.6-inch screen with a native resolution of 1366x768 pixels. The display offers a good contrast of 714:1, but the brightness falls short at 198.4 cd/m². Furthermore, the display exhibits PWM flickering at a 50 Hz frequency at 80% or lower brightness levels. In addition, the panel also shows flickering when the power adapter is connected (second picture with PWM, at max brightness). This can cause headaches and eye problems for users.

204
cd/m²
190
cd/m²
182
cd/m²
216
cd/m²
200
cd/m²
180
cd/m²
218
cd/m²
214
cd/m²
182
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 218 cd/m² Average: 198.4 cd/m² Minimum: 4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 200 cd/m²
Contrast: 714:1 (Black: 0.28 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 10.63 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 11.19 | - Ø
56% sRGB (Argyll) 35% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 1.78
Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK
TN LED, 1366x768
Acer Aspire E5-552G-F62G
TN LED, 1920x1080
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
TN LED, 1920x1080
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
TN LED, 1366x768
Toshiba Satellite C55-C-1NE
TN, 1366x768
Response Times
-34%
-34%
482%
109%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
27
45
-67%
43
-59%
42
-56%
22
19%
Response Time Black / White *
22
22
-0%
24
-9%
24
-9%
20
9%
PWM Frequency
50
806
1512%
200
300%
Screen
-9%
-11%
-7%
-18%
Brightness
198
196
-1%
221
12%
203
3%
236
19%
Brightness Distribution
83
76
-8%
84
1%
83
0%
85
2%
Black Level *
0.28
0.34
-21%
0.49
-75%
0.49
-75%
0.44
-57%
Contrast
714
588
-18%
486
-32%
449
-37%
570
-20%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
10.63
11.54
-9%
11.19
-5%
8.95
16%
14.58
-37%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
11.19
12.98
-16%
11.53
-3%
10.59
5%
16.8
-50%
Gamma
1.78 135%
2.58 93%
2.41 100%
2.51 96%
2.33 103%
CCT
11258 58%
14060 46%
13057 50%
12049 54%
27039 24%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
35
36
3%
38
9%
41
17%
35
0%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
56
56
0%
60
7%
65
16%
56
0%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-22% / -14%
-23% / -15%
238% / 127%
46% / 17%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 50 Hz80 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 50 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 80 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 50 Hz is very low, so the flickering may cause eyestrain and headaches after extended use.

In comparison: 60 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 1345 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 30860) Hz was measured.

Out of the box, the panel has a DeltaE 2000 color deviation of 10.63. Ideally, this number should be below 3. Furthermore, the display has a blue tinge.

CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - Grey Levels
CalMAN - Grey Levels
CalMAN - Saturation
CalMAN - Saturation

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
22 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 11 ms rise
↘ 11 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 15 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (27.2 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
27 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7 ms rise
↘ 20 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 8 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (44.2 ms).

The laptop uses a TN panel, which means that the screen is not legible from all angles. Outdoors, the IdeaPad can be hard to use, due to the low brightness and glossy surface of the panel.

Outdoors (bright sunlight).
Outdoors (bright sunlight).

Performance

The Lenovo IdeaPad 310-15ISK is a simple, multimedia all-rounder in the 15.6-inch format. The laptop offers sufficient performance for everyday use and gaming. We were not able to find the test model in price search engines at the time of this review. Factoring the price of similar models into the equation, the test model should cost around 700 to 750 Euros (~$788 to ~$845).

Processor

An Intel Core i7-6500U (Skylake) dual-core processor runs inside the test model. The CPU offers sufficient performance to satisfy most users. The processor offers a base clock speed of 2.5 GHz. Thanks to Turbo, the speed can be increased to 3 GHz (two cores) or 3.1 GHz (one core). The Turbo can be used while plugged in or on battery.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4984
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
10803
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
2632
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
131 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
312 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
47.72 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo E51-80 80QB0008GE
Intel Core i7-6500U
131 Points ∼59% 0%
Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK
Intel Core i7-6500U
131 Points ∼59%
Asus VivoBook X556UQ-XO076T
Intel Core i5-6200U
117 Points ∼52% -11%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
108 Points ∼48% -18%
Toshiba Satellite C55-C-1NE
Intel Core i3-5005U
81 Points ∼36% -38%
Acer Aspire E5-552G-F62G
AMD FX-8800P
78 Points ∼35% -40%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
AMD A10-8700P
74 Points ∼33% -44%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo E51-80 80QB0008GE
Intel Core i7-6500U
312 Points ∼17% 0%
Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK
Intel Core i7-6500U
312 Points ∼17%
Asus VivoBook X556UQ-XO076T
Intel Core i5-6200U
293 Points ∼16% -6%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
257 Points ∼14% -18%
Acer Aspire E5-552G-F62G
AMD FX-8800P
207 Points ∼11% -34%
Toshiba Satellite C55-C-1NE
Intel Core i3-5005U
206 Points ∼11% -34%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
AMD A10-8700P
195 Points ∼10% -37%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK
Intel Core i7-6500U (Edge 38.14393.0.0)
212.34 Points ∼1%
Asus VivoBook X556UQ-XO076T
Intel Core i5-6200U (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
196.28 Points ∼1% -8%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
Intel Core i5-5200U (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
173.24 Points ∼1% -18%
Lenovo E51-80 80QB0008GE
Intel Core i7-6500U (IE 11)
127.82 Points ∼1% -40%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
AMD A10-8700P (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
109.87 Points ∼1% -48%

System Performance

The system runs smoothly and we did not encounter any issues. The PC Mark Benchmark results are very good. It is possible to increase the system performance further by swapping out the HDD for a SSD. This would enable the system to run faster by reducing loading times.

PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3497 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
3825 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4281 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo E51-80 80QB0008GE
Radeon R5 M330, 6500U, Samsung PM871 MZYLN256HCHP
3509 Points ∼59% 0%
Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK
GeForce 920MX, 6500U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPCX-24UE4T0
3497 Points ∼59%
Asus VivoBook X556UQ-XO076T
GeForce 940MX, 6200U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
3483 Points ∼58% 0%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
Radeon R5 M330, 5200U, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
3237 Points ∼54% -7%
Acer Aspire E5-552G-F62G
Radeon R8 M365DX, FX-8800P, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
2806 Points ∼47% -20%
Toshiba Satellite C55-C-1NE
GeForce 920M, 5005U, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
2752 Points ∼46% -21%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
Radeon R6 M340DX, A10-8700P, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024
2485 Points ∼42% -29%

Storage Device

The drive of the laptop is a 2.5-inch hard disk made by Western Digital. The drive operates at 5,400 rotations per minute and has a capacity of 1 TB. The transfer rates of the disk are at a normal level for a 5400 rpm disk.

WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPCX-24UE4T0
Transfer Rate Minimum: 50.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 79.3 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 70.8 MB/s
Access Time: 16.8 ms
Burst Rate: 160 MB/s
CPU Usage: 6.8 %
Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK
WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPCX-24UE4T0
Acer Aspire E5-552G-F62G
Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
Toshiba Satellite C55-C-1NE
Toshiba MQ01ABD100
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-2%
-17%
-3%
-30%
Write 4k QD32
1.245
1.312
5%
0.892
-28%
1.287
3%
0.646
-48%
Read 4k QD32
1.125
1.126
0%
0.847
-25%
1.116
-1%
0.694
-38%
Write 4k
1.188
1.261
6%
0.895
-25%
1.29
9%
0.72
-39%
Read 4k
0.44
0.415
-6%
0.451
3%
0.522
19%
0.374
-15%
Write 512
55.64
53.66
-4%
42.75
-23%
42.22
-24%
27.54
-51%
Read 512
39.02
36.71
-6%
36.46
-7%
38.12
-2%
31.7
-19%
Write Seq
113.3
108.9
-4%
95.89
-15%
99.56
-12%
93.37
-18%
Read Seq
115.9
110.7
-4%
96.35
-17%
101
-13%
105.6
-9%

Graphics Card

The laptop uses a GeForce 920MX graphics chip, which is an improved version of the GeForce 920M graphics chip. Although the names differ by a single character, the GPUs are significantly different. The 920M graphics core uses the Kepler architecture, whereas the 920MX is based on the modern Maxwell architecture. The GeForce 920MX GPU supports DirectX 12 and operates at a base clock speed of 965 MHz. Thanks to Turbo, the graphics chip can boost its speed up to 993 MHz. The test model performed slightly better than the predecessor in the 3D Mark benchmarks.

3DMark 11 Performance
1983 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Acer Aspire E5-552G-F62G
AMD Radeon R8 M365DX, AMD FX-8800P
3819 Points ∼7% +108%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
AMD Radeon R6 M340DX, AMD A10-8700P
2681 Points ∼5% +46%
Asus VivoBook X556UQ-XO076T
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-6200U
2273 Points ∼4% +24%
Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX, Intel Core i7-6500U
1835 Points ∼4%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
AMD Radeon R5 M330, Intel Core i5-5200U
1834 Points ∼4% 0%
Lenovo E51-80 80QB0008GE
AMD Radeon R5 M330, Intel Core i7-6500U
1756 Points ∼3% -4%
Asus X302UV-FN016T
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX, Intel Core i5-6200U
1747 Points ∼3% -5%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
NVIDIA GeForce 920M, Intel Core i7-5500U
1731 Points ∼3% -6%
Toshiba Satellite C55-C-1NE
NVIDIA GeForce 920M, Intel Core i3-5005U
1666 Points ∼3% -9%

Gaming Performance

The IdeaPad can run most games smoothly at an HD resolution (1366x768 pixels) with low to medium quality settings. Demanding games, such as “Far Cry Primal” will not run on this model. While the 920M and the 920MX graphics chips are quite close to each other in the 3D Mark benchmarks, the 920MX core has a clear performance lead in the tests: up to 20% higher frame rates than the predecessor.

low med. high ultra
Crysis 3 (2013) 3822.215.9fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 76.941.834.8fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 42.932.418.4fps
Sims 4 (2014) 171.463.434.1fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014) 35.222.612.4fps
Alien: Isolation (2014) 58.938.819.9fps
F1 2014 (2014) 96794625fps
Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014) 45.429.216.4fps
Battlefield Hardline (2015) 65.144.615.6fps
GTA V (2015) 60.752.512.5fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 22.113.6fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 6043.615.4fps
Mad Max (2015) 26.214.6fps
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (2015) 40.222.3fps
Assassin's Creed Syndicate (2015) 18.815.9fps
XCOM 2 (2016) 25.68.9fps
Ashes of the Singularity (2016) 13.77.3fps
Doom (2016) 29.524.1fps
Mirror's Edge Catalyst (2016) 34.920.5fps
BioShock Infinite - 1366x768 Medium Preset
Asus VivoBook X556UQ-XO076T
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-6200U
48.3 fps ∼15% +16%
Asus X302UV-FN016T
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX, Intel Core i5-6200U
43.1 fps ∼14% +3%
Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX, Intel Core i7-6500U
41.8 fps ∼13%
Toshiba Satellite C55-C-1NE
NVIDIA GeForce 920M, Intel Core i3-5005U
35.31 fps ∼11% -16%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
AMD Radeon R5 M330, Intel Core i5-5200U
28.1 fps ∼9% -33%
Lenovo E51-80 80QB0008GE
AMD Radeon R5 M330, Intel Core i7-6500U
26.6 fps ∼8% -36%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
AMD Radeon R6 M340DX, AMD A10-8700P
26.1 fps ∼8% -38%
Sims 4 - 1366x768 Medium Preset
Dell Inspiron 17-5758
NVIDIA GeForce 920M, Intel Core i7-5500U
73 fps ∼40% +15%
Lenovo B70-80 80MR0006GE
NVIDIA GeForce 920M, Intel Core i5-5200U
68.5 fps ∼37% +8%
Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX, Intel Core i7-6500U
63.4 fps ∼34%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
AMD Radeon R6 M340DX, AMD A10-8700P
37.5 fps ∼20% -41%
Battlefield Hardline - 1366x768 Medium Graphics Quality (DX11)
Asus VivoBook X556UQ-XO076T
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-6200U
56.5 fps ∼29% +27%
Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX, Intel Core i7-6500U
44.6 fps ∼23%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
AMD Radeon R6 M340DX, AMD A10-8700P
33 fps ∼17% -26%
Dell Inspiron 17-5758
NVIDIA GeForce 920M, Intel Core i7-5500U
30 fps ∼15% -33%

Emissions & Energy

System Noise

Fan emissions
Fan emissions

The test model is relatively quiet. While idling, the fan runs at low speeds and is only noticeable in quiet environments. The hard disk emits a slight whooshing sound. Swapping the HDD out for a SSD would reduce the noise levels further. Even under load, the noise emissions stay within reasonable limits. During the stress test, the laptop reaches 40.4 dB(A). This is an acceptable value for a notebook of this price range.

Noise Level

Idle
32.6 / 32.6 / 33.8 dB(A)
Load
40.2 / 40.4 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 31.2 dB(A)

Temperature

Stress test.
Stress test.

During the stress test, Prime95 and FurMark run simultaneously for at least an hour. This pushes the CPU and GPU to high load. The IdeaPad performs differently when it is plugged in compared to when it is running on battery. While on battery, the GPU can continuously operate at its maximum clock speed (993 MHz), whereas the processor starts at 400 MHz. While plugged in, the GPU runs at 993 MHz and throttles down to 405 MHz later on. The CPU operates at 2.5 GHz. Thankfully, the laptop does not heat up too much. During the stress test, we observed an excess of 40 degrees Celsius (~104 degrees Fahrenheit) at two points on the case.

Max. Load
 38.3 °C36.2 °C26.4 °C 
 38.6 °C34.7 °C26.2 °C 
 35.3 °C32.3 °C27.6 °C 
Maximum: 38.6 °C
Average: 32.8 °C
25.6 °C40.5 °C38.8 °C
26 °C33.1 °C42 °C
27.3 °C30.1 °C33.6 °C
Maximum: 42 °C
Average: 33 °C
Power Supply (max.)  38 °C | Room Temperature 22.6 °C | FIRT 550-Pocket
Heatmap top (load)
Heatmap top (load)
Heatmap bottom (load)
Heatmap bottom (load)
Heatmap top (idle)
Heatmap top (idle)
Heatmap bottom (idle)
Heatmap bottom (idle)

Speakers

The stereo speakers of the test model are placed on the bottom of the case. They produce decent sound. Thanks to the pre-installed Dolby Audio software, the sound output can be further adjusted.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2035.629.535.62533.433.633.43135.834.335.84031.130.631.15030.732.430.76328.828.928.88028.628.428.610030.526.430.512537.826.537.816044.224.544.220047.124.447.125053.923.153.931560.822.660.840063.121.263.150061.720.461.763064.219.664.280064.419.464.4100064.41964.4125064.618.564.6160067.618.267.6200068.418.668.4250067.718.567.7315069.718.669.7400068.818.868.8500063.118.863.1630065.618.865.6800070.718.970.71000071.418.871.41250069.318.769.31600059.118.659.1SPL79.531.279.5N46.61.646.6median 64.4Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISKmedian 18.9median 64.4Delta6.71.46.735.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (71 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 18.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 1.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (2.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.1% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (15.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 34% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 60% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 35%
Compared to all devices tested
» 17% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 78% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 96% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

Frequency diagram in comparison (Checkboxes above can be selected!)

Power Consumption

While idling, the laptop has a power consumption of 8.4 W - a good value. During the stress test, the laptop can reach a consumption level of 52.8 W, which is the maximum it needs. CPU and GPU operate at their full speed during Turbo. After a minute, the consumption drops to 45.1 W - the CPU does not use Turbo anymore. While gaming, the consumption lies around 39 W (+/-10 W). The power adapter provides 65 W. 

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.3 / 0.5 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 7 / 8 / 8.4 Watt
Load midlight 38.8 / 52.8 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Life

In our practical WLAN test, we simulate surfing websites. The Windows power profile is set to "Balanced" and the power saver functions of the notebook are turned off. The brightness is set to around 150 cd/m². The IdeaPad reaches a run time of 5:32 h.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing v1.3 (Edge 38.14393.0.0)
5h 32min
Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing 1.3
Asus VivoBook X556UQ-XO076T
6200U, GeForce 940MX, 38 Wh (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
408 min ∼34% +23%
Toshiba Satellite C55-C-1NE
5005U, GeForce 920M, 44 Wh (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
367 min ∼31% +11%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
5200U, Radeon R5 M330, 41 Wh (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
342 min ∼29% +3%
Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK
6500U, GeForce 920MX, 31 Wh (Edge 38.14393.0.0)
332 min ∼28%
Lenovo E51-80 80QB0008GE
6500U, Radeon R5 M330, 31 Wh (IE 11)
279 min ∼23% -16%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
A10-8700P, Radeon R6 M340DX, 32 Wh (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
183 min ∼15% -45%
Acer Aspire E5-552G-F62G
FX-8800P, Radeon R8 M365DX, 37 Wh
168 min ∼14% -49%

Pro

+ quiet
+ relatively cool
+ lots of storage space
+ maintenance flaps
+ good application performance
+ gaming-ready

Cons

- dark screen with poor viewing angles
- no USB-C port
- weak case

Verdict

In review: Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK (80SM006AGE). Test model provided by Lenovo Germany.
In review: Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK (80SM006AGE). Test model provided by Lenovo Germany.

Lenovo delivers a 15.6-inch multimedia notebook. The IdeaPad 310-15ISK has sufficient performance for most users. The Core i7 processor can even be considered a little excessive, considering the needs of the notebook. Furthermore, this CPU makes the test model relatively expensive. We recommend potential buyers to choose a Core i5 model of the IdeaPad, as it would fit better to the GeForce 920MX GPU of the laptop.

The latter runs many games smoothly. However, demanding games, such as, “Rise of the Tomb Raider”, fail to run properly on this laptop. The laptop does not produce too much noise or get too hot. Thanks to the 1 TB HDD, the user has enough storage space. The two maintenance hatches allow users to easily swap out the hard disk.

The keyboard has a comfortable key resistance. It suffices for home use. The battery life is decent, but the screen is poor. Despite offering good contrast, the brightness is too low. Furthermore, the viewing angles are poor as Lenovo has chosen a TN panel.

It is hard to recommend the IdeaPad 310-15ISK to buyers, as the manufacturer has not provided any compelling reasons. The laptop is not cheap, nor is the price-to-performance ratio appropriate. For this price, a GeForce 940MX GPU and a fast SSD, instead of a 1 TB HDD would be required. Furthermore, the screen should have been much better. To increase the attractiveness of this model, Lenovo will have to reduce the price significantly.

Lenovo Ideapad 310-15ISK - 09/08/2016 v5.1
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
73 / 98 → 75%
Keyboard
75%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
44 / 81 → 55%
Weight
62 / 67 → 89%
Battery
85%
Display
68%
Games Performance
60 / 85 → 70%
Application Performance
78 / 92 → 84%
Temperature
92%
Noise
83 / 95 → 87%
Audio
40%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
68%
74%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo IdeaPad 310-15ISK Notebook Review
Sascha Mölck, 2016-09-11 (Update: 2016-09-12)