Notebookcheck

Lenovo IdeaPad 320 (128-GB SSD, FHD) Review

Nino Richizzi, Felicitas Krohn (translated by Katherine Bodner), 10/24/2018

Almost free. In a world of smartphones and tablets we may often wonder whether we actually still need a notebook. Lenovo's answer to that question is the IdeaPad 320. It is available for an impressively low $300 and is supposed to support web-browsing and office applications.

What can users expect from a notebook that costs only $300? Lenovo has packed an Intel Pentium N4200 processor, a 128-GB SSD and 4 GB of RAM into the 15-inch case of the IdeaPad 320. These components should ensure sufficient performance for everyday tasks. But other manufacturers are also trying to gain a foothold within this entry-level segment, for example with the Acer Extensa 2519. But the question remains: Will this entry-level device do?

Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE (IdeaPad 320 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 505, Core: 450 MHz, 21.20.16.4627
Memory
4096 MB 
, DDR3L
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, BOE CQ NT156FHM-N41, TN LED, glossy: no
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combined audio jack, Card Reader: SD
Networking
RealTek Semiconductor RTL8101/2/3 Family Fast Ethernet NIC (10/100MBit), Realtek RTL8821AE 802.11ac ), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22.9 x 378 x 260 ( = 0.9 x 14.88 x 10.24 in)
Battery
30 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo speakers (Dolby Audio), Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.86 kg ( = 65.61 oz / 4.1 pounds), Power Supply: 160 g ( = 5.64 oz / 0.35 pounds)
Price
280 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Below the fancy case...
Below the fancy case...
...is a rather limited configuration
in exchange for...
...a price of $300

Lenovo has given its new notebook a matte case with a black display cover and gray base unit. The case is simple but good-looking for this price range. Particularly the keyboard is an eye-catcher with its brushed aluminum look.

We would like to highlight the good gap dimensions and nice rounded edges. However, the device's workmanship gives away its low entry-level position. The display cover and keyboard give way easily and the touchpad has not been inserted very well, which is why it produces loud rattling noises. The hinge is nice and easy to move but is so loose that the screen continues to wobble after flipping it open. As the Lenovo notebook is only 23 mm thick and weighs 1.86 kg, it is a slim and light companion.

Size Comparison

The old motto "less is more" often contains a lot of truth. This cannot be said for the port selection. The choice of ports is not only meager, but the available ones are also all positioned on the left side of the device. At least Lenovo has given its IdeaPad 320 an Ethernet port and an SD card reader. The latter transfers data at an extremely slow rate in our test with our reference card Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II. We would recommend using it for occasional data transfers only. 

The included Wi-Fi module reached an average transfer rate of 288 Mb/s in our test. This is below the adapter's maximum speed of 390 Mb/s. The Acer Extensa 2519 is even slower, however, and it only reaches a third of the Lenovo's speed.  

Left: power supply, Ethernet port, HDMI output, 2 x USB Type-A (1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0), combined audio jack, SD card reader
Left: power supply, Ethernet port, HDMI output, 2 x USB Type-A (1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0), combined audio jack, SD card reader
Right: Kensington lock
Right: Kensington lock
SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Average of class Office
  (10.2 - 191, n=232)
60.8 MB/s ∼100% +136%
Dell Inspiron 15 5575-98MH4
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
30.9 MB/s ∼51% +20%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
25.8 MB/s ∼42%
Acer Extensa 2519-P35U
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
23.5 MB/s ∼39% -9%
HP 255 G6
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
18.4 MB/s ∼30% -29%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Average of class Office
  (9.5 - 255, n=209)
78 MB/s ∼100% +106%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
37.9 MB/s ∼49%
Dell Inspiron 15 5575-98MH4
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
37.5 MB/s ∼48% -1%
HP 255 G6
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
29.5 MB/s ∼38% -22%
Acer Extensa 2519-P35U
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26.4 MB/s ∼34% -30%

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Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Office
  (5 - 688, n=174)
458 MBit/s ∼100% +59%
Dell Inspiron 15 5575-98MH4
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
337 MBit/s ∼74% +17%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE
Realtek RTL8821AE 802.11ac
288 MBit/s ∼63%
HP 255 G6
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
186 MBit/s ∼41% -35%
Acer Extensa 2519-P35U
Atheros Communications AR9565 Wireless Network Adapter
105 MBit/s ∼23% -64%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Office
  (34 - 688, n=174)
425 MBit/s ∼100% +34%
Dell Inspiron 15 5575-98MH4
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
339 MBit/s ∼80% +7%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE
Realtek RTL8821AE 802.11ac
316 MBit/s ∼74%
HP 255 G6
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
261 MBit/s ∼61% -17%
Acer Extensa 2519-P35U
Atheros Communications AR9565 Wireless Network Adapter
103 MBit/s ∼24% -67%
Input devices
Input devices

Input Devices

The gray chiclet keyboard comes with a number pad. The keys have short, even travel. Their decent pressure point could be firmer. Particularly the space bar feels rather spongy. The size of the keys is almost as large as on a standard keyboard - only some individual keys are rather close together and narrower than usual. However, the keyboard is definitely usable for everyday office tasks and browsing the web.

We are not quite as happy with the touchpad. While we appreciate the clean, precise response to our inputs and the fact that even multi-touch gestures are recognized easily, the loud rattling that accompanies every input is rather bothersome.

Display

The Full HD display in the Lenovo IdeaPad 320 is definitely preferable to that of the Acer Extensa. Although we are dealing with a TN panel with poor viewing angles, Lenovo has still been a little more generous in its choice of display. Both devices offer only low brightness levels at an average of around 200 cd/m². This is below what a modern display should offer. 

As long as the device is used in offices that are not flooded with sunlight, the low brightness should not be an issue. Outdoors, you will have to find a very shady spot to be able to see the screen content reasonably well. However, the Acer competitor fares no better. It actually has even less brightness when running on battery and can only offer a resolution of 1366x768 pixels.

Pixel array
Pixel array
Viewing-angle stability
Viewing-angle stability
Outdoor use
Outdoor use
211
cd/m²
209
cd/m²
201
cd/m²
205
cd/m²
209
cd/m²
199
cd/m²
185
cd/m²
185
cd/m²
181
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 211 cd/m² Average: 198.3 cd/m² Minimum: 3.4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 209 cd/m²
Contrast: 510:1 (Black: 0.41 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 9.3 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2, calibrated: 3.21
ΔE Greyscale 10.78 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
58% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 37% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.56
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE
BOE CQ NT156FHM-N41, TN LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
Acer Extensa 2519-P35U
AU Optronics AUO71EC, TN LED, 1366x768, 15.6
Dell Inspiron 15 5575-98MH4
Innolux JMC9X 156BGA, TN LED, 1366x768, 15.6
HP 255 G6
Chi Mei CMN15E3, TN LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
Average of class Office
 
Screen
-17%
-4%
-8%
-6%
Brightness middle
209
202
-3%
197
-6%
226
8%
243 (107 - 1152, n=938)
16%
Brightness
198
194
-2%
195
-2%
203
3%
Brightness Distribution
86
77
-10%
78
-9%
77
-10%
Black Level *
0.41
0.49
-20%
0.43
-5%
0.47
-15%
0.975 (0.15 - 207, n=970)
-138%
Contrast
510
412
-19%
458
-10%
481
-6%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
9.3
14.24
-53%
10.35
-11%
11.78
-27%
8.2 (1 - 29.4, n=453)
12%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
16.64
23.76
-43%
16.02
4%
20.05
-20%
14.8 (3.55 - 76.6, n=252)
11%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
3.21
2.95
8%
3.68 (0.8 - 12.7, n=51)
-15%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
10.78
15.46
-43%
11.25
-4%
12.18
-13%
8.53 (0.8 - 16.8, n=457)
21%
Gamma
2.56 86%
2.55 86%
2.08 106%
2.13 103%
2.39 92% (1.4 - 4.03, n=456)
CCT
12162 53%
20358 32%
11592 56%
13366 49%
10501 62% (5429 - 27039, n=450)
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
37
36
-3%
38
3%
38
3%
44.9 (33 - 88.8, n=418)
21%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
58
57
-2%
60
3%
59
2%
70.2 (52 - 100, n=279)
21%

* ... smaller is better

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
12 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7 ms rise
↘ 5 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. » 9 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
41 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 19 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 49 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

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 6000 Hz ≤ 90 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 6000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 90 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 6000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8929 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

In order to measure the accuracy of colors and grayscales, we use the calibration software CalMAN. The DeltaE deviation of about 10 points places our test unit on the usual level for cheap TN displays. What was more bothersome was the strong blue cast that is also visible on the grayscales.

We managed to decrease these differences notably by calibrating the screen. As always, users can download our calibrated color profile above.

Sensitive users be warned: The Lenovo IdeaPad 320 uses pulse-width modulation to regulate screen brightness. The frequency at 90% brightness is 6000 Hz. This is quite high and should usually not cause any issues.

CalMAN: ColorChecker before calibration
CalMAN: ColorChecker before calibration
CalMAN: Grayscales before calibration
CalMAN: Grayscales before calibration
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps before calibration
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps before calibration
CalMAN: ColorChecker after calibration
CalMAN: ColorChecker after calibration
CalMAN: Grayscale after calibration
CalMAN: Grayscale after calibration
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps after calibration
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps after calibration
AdobeRGB color-space coverage
AdobeRGB color-space coverage
sRGB color-space coverage
sRGB color-space coverage

Performance

The Lenovo IdeaPad 320 has a Pentium N processor and 4 GB of RAM. As there is only one RAM slot available, it can only be used in single-channel mode. The interesting aspect in this configuration is the use of a 128-GB SSD. This combination should offer sufficient capabilities for everyday use; however, users should not expect a lot of power reserves from this configuration. We hope that the device can offer the expected performance in office and web applications. We must not forget that we are talking about a $300 device, after all.

Processor

The Intel Pentium N4200 has four cores and a clock rate of up to 2.5 GHz (instead of 2.4 GHz). The power consumption of this 6-W (TDP) chip is significantly below that of the Intel Core series. This means that the CPU is not made for high performance but rather for low consumption and adequate performance for everyday tasks.

The Cinebench R15 results are comparatively low at 130 points. The notebooks we have tested so far that are equipped with an equivalent CPU have scored around 170 points on average. The core temperatures and clock frequency offer an explanation: Due to the device's passive-cooling strategy, the CPU limits its clock rate to 1.6 GHz from the start of the benchmark and its core temperatures never surpass 58 °C. It remains to be seen if this threshold value can be increased.

Click here for further comparisons and benchmarks of various processors.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150Tooltip
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE HD Graphics 505, N4200: Ø128 (101.68-130.4)
Acer Extensa 2519-P35U HD Graphics 405 (Braswell), N3710, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0: Ø149 (147.91-149.28)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Average of class Office
  (20 - 178, n=478)
108 Points ∼50% +104%
Dell Inspiron 15 5575-98MH4
AMD Ryzen 3 2200U
107 Points ∼49% +102%
HP 255 G6
AMD A6-9220
68 Points ∼31% +28%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE
Intel Pentium N4200
53 Points ∼24%
Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE
Intel Pentium N4200
52 Points ∼24% -2%
Average Intel HD Graphics 505
  (47 - 53, n=14)
51.6 Points ∼24% -3%
Trekstor Primetab T13B
Intel Pentium N4200
51 Points ∼23% -4%
Acer Extensa 2519-P35U
Intel Pentium N3710
41 Points ∼19% -23%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Average of class Office
  (36 - 1050, n=482)
318 Points ∼7% +148%
Dell Inspiron 15 5575-98MH4
AMD Ryzen 3 2200U
306 Points ∼7% +139%
Average Intel HD Graphics 505
  (128 - 175, n=14)
156 Points ∼4% +22%
Acer Extensa 2519-P35U
Intel Pentium N3710
149 Points ∼3% +16%
Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE
Intel Pentium N4200
135 Points ∼3% +5%
Trekstor Primetab T13B
Intel Pentium N4200
129 Points ∼3% +1%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE
Intel Pentium N4200
128 Points ∼3%
HP 255 G6
AMD A6-9220
109 Points ∼2% -15%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
53 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
128 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
12.36 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Help

System Performance

Subjectively, the system performance appears satisfactory, mainly due to the storage device. Several comparison devices use an HDD storage device, which means that users can expect these devices to be slower at responding to commands. The PCMark 8 Home result is slightly below our expectations at 1756 points. This is probably due to the CPU that cannot hold up its maximum clock rate for long. The competitor from Acer has a very similar result.

PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2
Dell Inspiron 15 5575-98MH4
Vega 3, 2200U, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
3185 Points ∼100% +81%
Average of class Office
  (1169 - 4458, n=355)
3009 Points ∼94% +71%
HP 255 G6
Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge), A6-9220, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
2520 Points ∼79% +44%
Average Intel Pentium N4200, Intel HD Graphics 505
  (1337 - 2314, n=13)
1955 Points ∼61% +11%
Acer Extensa 2519-P35U
HD Graphics 405 (Braswell), N3710, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
1794 Points ∼56% +2%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE
HD Graphics 505, N4200
1756 Points ∼55%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
1756 points
Help

Storage Device

Lenovo has equipped its 15-inch office notebook with a 128-GB SSD. The manufacturer is not aiming at offering a lot of storage capacity but rather at the faster speeds SSDs have to offer. The read and write rates (450 MB/s and 320 MB/s) are normal for storage devices.

Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE
HD Graphics 505, N4200
Acer Extensa 2519-P35U
HD Graphics 405 (Braswell), N3710, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
Dell Inspiron 15 5575-98MH4
Vega 3, 2200U, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
HP 255 G6
Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge), A6-9220, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
Global Average -3
 

CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-81%
-71%
-80%
59%
Write 4k QD32
91.94
1.243
-99%
0.47
-99%
0.952
-99%
135 (0.033 - 761, n=2621)
47%
Read 4k QD32
110.4
0.952
-99%
1.267
-99%
0.881
-99%
178 (0.015 - 953, n=2620)
61%
Write 4k
45.43
1.111
-98%
0.123
-100%
0.984
-98%
47.3 (0.009 - 257, n=2654)
4%
Read 4k
9.479
0.327
-97%
0.418
-96%
0.429
-95%
17.9 (0.102 - 315, n=2656)
89%
Write 512
110.7
47.58
-57%
95.94
-13%
44.97
-59%
261 (4.1 - 2493, n=2646)
136%
Read 512
313
30.24
-90%
41.77
-87%
36.65
-88%
288 (11.4 - 1840, n=2646)
-8%
Write Seq
133
94.45
-29%
126.7
-5%
102.8
-23%
325 (10.4 - 2690, n=2658)
144%
Read Seq
449.8
93.87
-79%
137.2
-69%
109.2
-76%
460 (33.6 - 3487, n=2656)
2%
Sequential Read: 449.8 MB/s
Sequential Write: 133 MB/s
512K Read: 313 MB/s
512K Write: 110.7 MB/s
4K Read: 9.479 MB/s
4K Write: 45.43 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 110.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 91.94 MB/s

Graphics and Gaming Performance

The graphics are taken care of by the integrated Intel HD Graphics 505. This chip does not offer loads of performance but should be able to display the occasional video and less-demanding web apps smoothly. If you are interested in gaming, you might want to continue your search - or otherwise limit yourself to classic games. 

The Lenovo laptop reached 508 points in 3DMark 11 (424 points in Graphics), which is not as good as we would have expected. Again, the average (570 points) of all notebooks tested so far is significantly higher. The Acer Extensa 2519 achieves better results despite having a weaker graphics chip.

Click here for further comparisons and benchmarks of various processors.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Average of class Office
  (185 - 4967, n=603)
1222 Points ∼100% +188%
HP 255 G6
AMD Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge), AMD A6-9220
989 Points ∼81% +133%
HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Z3A47EA
Intel HD Graphics 505, Intel Pentium N4200
725 Points ∼59% +71%
Average Intel HD Graphics 505
  (424 - 825, n=14)
620 Points ∼51% +46%
Trekstor Primetab T13B
Intel HD Graphics 505, Intel Pentium N4200
527 Points ∼43% +24%
Acer Extensa 2519-P35U
Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell), Intel Pentium N3710
492 Points ∼40% +16%
Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE
Intel HD Graphics 505, Intel Pentium N4200
473 Points ∼39% +12%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE
Intel HD Graphics 505, Intel Pentium N4200
424 Points ∼35%
3DMark 11 Performance
476 points
Help
BioShock Infinite
    1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)     1366x768 High Preset     1366x768 Medium Preset     1280x720 Very Low Preset
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE
HD Graphics 505, N4200
2.54 fps ∼100%
9.17 fps ∼76%
10.77 fps ∼77%
19.44 fps ∼76%
Acer Extensa 2519-P35U
HD Graphics 405 (Braswell), N3710, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
17.7 fps ∼69%
HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Z3A47EA
HD Graphics 505, N4200, SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1006
12 fps ∼100%
14 fps ∼100%
25.5 fps ∼100%

Emissions & Energy

System Noise

The large 15-inch notebook uses passive cooling. In other words: The IdeaPad is completely silent.

Temperature

We did not encounter any worrisome temperatures while the device was idling or under load. At least the surface temperatures are kept under control by the passive-cooling system. However, we decided to take a closer look at the temperatures and clock rates in a stressful scenario. For this, we ran FurMark and Prime95. The processor clocked at its base rate of 1.1 GHz from start to finish, with very little variation. As soon as the stress scenario ended, the Lenovo IdeaPad 320 went back to its usual performance. The result of the repeated 3DMark benchmark was the same as after a cold start.

Due to passive cooling...
Due to passive cooling...
...the CPU remains...
...the CPU remains...
...at 1.1 GHz throughout
...at 1.1 GHz throughout
Max. Load
 34.4 °C
94 F
36 °C
97 F
26.9 °C
80 F
 
 35.6 °C
96 F
35.9 °C
97 F
26.6 °C
80 F
 
 34.1 °C
93 F
33 °C
91 F
26.5 °C
80 F
 
Maximum: 36 °C = 97 F
Average: 32.1 °C = 90 F
25.2 °C
77 F
27.6 °C
82 F
36.1 °C
97 F
24.4 °C
76 F
35.3 °C
96 F
38.5 °C
101 F
25.6 °C
78 F
30.6 °C
87 F
34 °C
93 F
Maximum: 38.5 °C = 101 F
Average: 30.8 °C = 87 F
Power Supply (max.)  38.7 °C = 102 F | Room Temperature 23.2 °C = 74 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 32.1 °C / 90 F, compared to the average of 29.4 °C / 85 F for the devices in the class Office.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 36 °C / 97 F, compared to the average of 33.9 °C / 93 F, ranging from 21.2 to 62.5 °C for the class Office.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 38.5 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 36.4 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 25.9 °C / 79 F, compared to the device average of 29.4 °C / 85 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (34.1 °C / 93.4 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.3 °C / 82.9 F (-5.8 °C / -10.5 F).
Idle: keyboard
Idle: keyboard
Idle: bottom of base unit
Idle: bottom of base unit
Load: keyboard
Load: keyboard
Load: bottom of base unit
Load: bottom of base unit

Speakers

So far, the Lenovo IdeaPad 320 has come across as quite capable for its price range and intended use. Its stereo speakers, however, are a pain. Music sounds unbalanced and raspy due to unbalanced frequencies. We were also disappointed by the maximum volume of about 60 dB(A). This means that external speakers or headphones are not just a recommendation but a must if you are planning on listening to audio.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.335.732.32532.435.832.43133.537.533.54028.931.528.95029.936.629.96328.927.628.98027.827.227.810026.825.126.812528.525.828.516028.124.328.120033.423.133.425051.522.751.531558.321.758.340057.920.757.950053205363052.919.852.980057.418.657.4100059.418.259.4125067.717.967.7160061.217.861.2200060.717.560.7250063.217.663.2315059.217.959.2400064.41864.4500072.118.172.163006518.165800059.518.259.51000069.518.169.51250067.31867.31600063.318.163.3SPL77.230.677.2N35.31.335.3median 59.4median 18.2median 59.4Delta7.227.23335.73334.935.834.939.437.539.434.831.534.836.936.636.929.427.629.429.427.229.430.425.130.426.925.826.925.424.325.425.923.125.941.622.741.649.121.749.151.620.751.654.32054.357.419.857.462.918.662.95918.25961.117.961.160.617.860.663.417.563.457.617.657.659.117.959.163.81863.864.118.164.160.618.160.667.118.267.161.618.161.663.81863.863.618.163.67430.67430.31.330.3median 59.1median 18.2median 59.18.928.9hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGEAcer Extensa 2519-P35U
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (72.1 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 21.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.5% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.3% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (14.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 61% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 30% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 53% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 39% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Acer Extensa 2519-P35U audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (67.07 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 25.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.2% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.3% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 68% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 25% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 58% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Power Consumption

The included components do not consume a lot of power. The maximum power consumption is 8 watts while idling and a maximum of 14.5 watts under load. The Acer Extensa 2519 has similar consumption rates.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.3 / 0.45 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.4 / 6.5 / 7.9 Watt
Load midlight 13.4 / 14.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Runtime

In practice, the Lenovo IdeaPad 320 is usually used for a mixture of office applications and browsing the web. We simulate this scenario in our Wi-Fi test. Our affordable test unit lasts around 5 hours on battery before turning off.

Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing 1.3
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE
298 min ∼100%
Dell Inspiron 15 5575-98MH4
251 min ∼84% -16%
Acer Extensa 2519-P35U
164 min ∼55% -45%
HP 255 G6
149 min ∼50% -50%

Legend

 
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE Intel Pentium N4200, Intel HD Graphics 505,
 
Acer Extensa 2519-P35U Intel Pentium N3710, Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell), Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
 
Dell Inspiron 15 5575-98MH4 AMD Ryzen 3 2200U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 3, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
 
HP 255 G6 AMD A6-9220, AMD Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge), Toshiba MQ01ABD100
Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (EDGE 40.15063.674.0)
4h 58min

Pros

+ slim and light case
+ Full HD and SSD in this price range
+ decent battery runtimes
+ passive cooling

Cons

- rattling touchpad
- weak display brightness
- blue cast ex-works
- bad speakers
- performance below expectations

Verdict

The Lenovo IdeaPad 320. Test unit provided by notebooksbilliger.de
The Lenovo IdeaPad 320. Test unit provided by notebooksbilliger.de

$300 for a 15-inch Windows notebook. That's quite something. Lenovo has given its affordable IdeaPad 320 only the most necessary components and wrapped them in a slim and light case. The input devices are good enough for activities like browsing the web. The keyboard does its job and is of satisfying quality. The touchpad also works well, although it rattles with every input. 

One highlight of the affordable device is its Full HD display, although the resolution is about the only thing we can praise it for. The screen brightness and deviation of colors and grayscales are disappointing. However, most competitors have similar display values. We were a lot happier with the system performance. Thanks to the included SSD storage, applications always respond quickly. Unfortunately, Lenovo has made it impossible for the IdeaPad to use dual-channel RAM, which could have given its graphics performance an additional boost. Talking of graphics: The integrated chip is just good enough for everyday applications and gaming with old classics. The passive cooling means that the CPU can only hold its maximum clock rate for a very short time. Therefore, the Lenovo is not able to make the most of its potential. It does better at battery runtimes: The Lenovo managed 5 hours in our Wi-Fi test.

Lenovo has been successful at creating an affordable entry-level device in the shape of the IdeaPad 320.

However, be aware that this device is made for occasional users and everyday tasks. There are no performance reserves available. You can compare this device to other budget office notebooks in our top 10 list. 

Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IAP-80XR018UGE - 10/22/2018 v6
Nino Richizzi

Chassis
78 / 98 → 79%
Keyboard
80%
Pointing Device
75%
Connectivity
31 / 80 → 39%
Weight
65 / 20-67 → 95%
Battery
81%
Display
76%
Games Performance
40 / 68 → 59%
Application Performance
54 / 92 → 58%
Temperature
93%
Noise
100%
Audio
31%
Camera
37 / 85 → 43%
Average
65%
77%
Office - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo IdeaPad 320 (128-GB SSD, FHD) Review
Nino Richizzi, 2018-10-24 (Update: 2018-10-24)