Notebookcheck

Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK Subnotebook Review

Andreas Kilian, Tanja Hinum (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 03/14/2016

Eye-catcher. Lenovo's new 13.3-inch subnotebook attracts attention not only with technical highlights such as a current Intel Skylake processor, but also with its red casing. Our test reveals whether the IdeaPad 500S is a practical everyday companion beyond that.

Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK

For the original German review, see here.

According to Lenovo, its 13.3-inch IdeaPad 500S model is a lightweight, suitable as an everyday companion that thanks to the latest processors is also technically impressive. The review sample, which is also the current top model in the lineup, carries a Core i5 CPU from Intel's latest Skylake generation, 8 GB of working memory, and a hybrid hard drive. Its price is listed at 799 Euros (~$889).

The IdeaPad finds opponents in the 13.3-inch sector, mainly in Acer's Aspire V3-372Asus' ZenBook UX303UA and HP's ProBook 430 G3. However, the slightly larger Acer's Aspire E5-473G can also be considered as a rival. We have also recently tested Lenovo's U31-70, a device that in many respects is similar to the IdeaPad 500S.

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Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK (Ideapad 500S Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 520, 10.18.15.4279
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR3-1600 single-channel
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, LGD048C (LP133WF2-SPL1), IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive, 500 GB 
, 5400 rpm, 412 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Skylake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: audio jack, Card Reader: SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19.3 x 323 x 230 ( = 0.76 x 12.72 x 9.06 in)
Battery
35 Wh, 4068 mAh Lithium-Polymer, 2 cell battery, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 4.5 h
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: stereo speakers, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 45 watt power supply, McAfee LiveSafe Internet Security (trial), Lenovo software bundle, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.52 kg ( = 53.62 oz / 3.35 pounds), Power Supply: 290 g ( = 10.23 oz / 0.64 pounds)
Price
799 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The review sample's casing shimmers almost completely in metallic red from the outside while black dominates the inside. The display's lid and base unit's upper tray are metal. The latter has a brushed finish. Although there are no glossy elements, it can quickly collect fingerprints on the wrist rest that are difficult to remove.

It is not possible to open the laptop with one hand because it lifts off the surface. However, to a large extent the hinge keeps the display firmly in position even when it is shaken. While the base unit proves to be quite robust, the display's lid yields more easily under pressure. Fortunately, this does not cause annoying image distortions. It can at most lead to a temporary brightening of dark contents.

The review sample's build makes a decent impression. The impeccable fitting shows that all components have been assembled carefully, particularly in a closed state. Only the display lid's black frame that is not firmly fixed to all parts of the red cover plate spoils this impression slightly. It caused crackling noises when opening the laptop. With a weight of approximately 1.5 kilograms (~3.3 lb) and a surface area of 323 x 230 millimeters (12.7 x 9 in), the handy device joins the ranks of the other contenders.

Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK - opened
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK - opened
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK - rear
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK - coloration
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK - closed
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK - closed
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK - underside
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK - power button
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK - model plate
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK - keyboard
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK - keyboard
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK - power supply

Connectivity

The interfaces in the IdeaPad 500S are manageable. A total of three USB ports - two of which support USB 3.0, a Gigabit Ethernet socket and HDMI port for video output are installed. An analog headset can also be connected to the 3.5 millimeter jack. The review sample does not stand out from its opponents with this basic configuration.

The so-called "Novo" button is a special feature. A kind of boot manager opens when triggered with a pointed object, which enables accessing the BIOS and the recovery program.

Left: Kensington Lock slot, power socket, USB 2.0, memory card reader, audio jack, status LEDs (battery & on / off)
Left: Kensington Lock slot, power socket, USB 2.0, memory card reader, audio jack, status LEDs (battery & on / off)
Right: "Novo" button, 2 x USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI
Right: "Novo" button, 2 x USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI
Front: No interfaces
Front: No interfaces
Rear: No interfaces
Rear: No interfaces

Communication

The integrated Wi-Fi module by Qualcomm Atheros transmits in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands, and supports the current AC standard with gross transmission rates of up to 433 Mbit/s (1 antenna). The module's range was slightly below average, especially in the 2.4 GHz band in the author's test setup with an Asus RT-AC56U router. However, the IdeaPad displayed the maximum gross data rate until it lost the signal. A Bluetooth 4.0 module is installed for near-field communication.

Memory Card Reader

The memory card reader's performance is at a low rate. A maximum transfer rate of 26.2 MB/s was reached when transferring large data blocks from our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference card to the laptop. Copying 250 JPEG image files with approximately 5 MB each on the IdeaPad's hard drive was performed at an average of 14 MB/s. Some rivals, such as Asus' ZenBook UX303UA-FN121T, have considerably more to offer with maximum rates of over 85 MB/s.

Accessories

Lenovo does not include accessories beyond the standard. In addition to the mandatory power supply, only a quick start guide and warranty conditions are found in the box. The buyer will not find a microfiber cloth or a sleeve that are included in Asus' UX303 ZenBooks lineup.

Maintenance

We did not open the laptop because our review sample was a shop device. However, the IdeaPad is obviously based on the same casing as Lenovo's U31-70 that we have recently examined. Thus, it should be possible to access the installed components by simply releasing the screws on the casing's underside. The IdeaPad does not have maintenance hatches or an easy to remove battery.

Warranty

Lenovo includes a two-year warranty on the IdeaPad 500S. The battery is covered for only one year. Lenovo offers an optional warranty upgrade to 3 years when ordered via the manufacturer's online shop.

Webcam

Webcam indoors in daylight
Webcam indoors in daylight

The webcam installed in the review sample takes pictures and records videos at a maximum resolution of 1280x720 pixels. In bright environments, the photos barely exhibit picture noise, but they definitely lack sharpness (see sample photos). Image artifacts and streaking effects visibly increase in poor light conditions. However, on the positive side, the image is brightened decently then. Video recordings with audio sound quite unnatural, but the speech remains understandable. At most, the review sample offers only standard fare in this sector.

Input Devices

IdeaPad 500S: Input devices
IdeaPad 500S: Input devices
Lenovo Settings - Input
Lenovo Settings - Input

Keyboard

The chiclet keyboard in the IdeaPad 500S is based on Lenovo's standard layout that is characterized by the position of additional keys in the keyboard's right edge and the function key row's inverted arrangement. The latter can be changed in Lenovo's settings when desired. The two-level, white keyboard backlight also facilitates using the laptop in unfavorable light conditions.

While prolific writers will welcome the quiet yet firm key stroke, the short key drop will probably be a matter of taste. A positive feature is that the keyboard bed yields only marginally under point pressure, which excludes any discomfort while typing.

Touchpad

The integrated ClickPad does a good job. Fingers glide easily over the sleek surface, and multitouch gestures are mostly no problem. The integrated mouse keys also appeal with their short and defined pressure point. Only the limited space could deter proper use: When the left hand is placed on the wrist rest - and thus inevitably a bit on the touchpad -, cursor movements often lead to unwanted zooming. However, the review sample is not the only device with this issue; many laptops with generously sized touchpads have this problem.

Display

The IdeaPad 500S is equipped with the same Full HD IPS panel as Lenovo's U31-70 80M5003EGE. However, the brightness of 219 cd/m² in the screen's center is much lower in the review sample than in the comparison model. At least it does not dim further in battery mode. The black level of 0.35 cd/m² and contrast of 626:1 are very decent, and the IdeaPad 500S can stand up to the other opponents in this respect.

Although the measured illumination of 82% is not a good outcome, the brightness reduction in the lower corners is not noticed subjectively. Also noteworthy in this context is that the screen installed in our review sample does not exhibit backlight bleeding at its edges.

AdobeRGB color space coverage: 37%
AdobeRGB color space coverage: 37%
sRGB color space coverage: 58%
sRGB color space coverage: 58%
Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid
218
cd/m²
228
cd/m²
219
cd/m²
200
cd/m²
219
cd/m²
212
cd/m²
188
cd/m²
216
cd/m²
204
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
LGD048C (LP133WF2-SPL1)
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 228 cd/m² Average: 211.6 cd/m² Minimum: 1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 82 %
Center on Battery: 219 cd/m²
Contrast: 626:1 (Black: 0.35 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.95 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 3.45 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
58% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 37% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.34
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
1920x1080 px 13.3'' (IPS matt)
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
1920x1080 px 13.3'' (IPS matt)
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
1366x768 px 13.3'' (TN matt)
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
1366x768 px 13.3'' (TN matt)
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
1920x1080 px 13.3'' (IPS matt)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
1920x1080 px 14.0'' (TN matt)
Response Times
-5%
41%
-34%
-27%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
46 (16, 30)
46 (19, 27)
-0%
23 (7, 16, Spikes in between)
50%
54.4 (33.2, 21.2)
-18%
54 (19, 35)
-17%
Response Time Black / White *
22 (4, 18)
24 (5, 19)
-9%
15 (8, 7, Spikes in between)
32%
32.8 (18, 14.8)
-49%
30 (7, 23)
-36%
PWM Frequency
192 (90)
192 (90, 176)
Screen
3%
5%
-66%
10%
-46%
Brightness middle
219
250
14%
203
-7%
212
-3%
293
34%
238
9%
Brightness
212
247
17%
193
-9%
205
-3%
289
36%
228
8%
Brightness Distribution
82
87
6%
84
2%
90
10%
93
13%
90
10%
Black Level *
0.35
0.43
-23%
0.49
-40%
0.71
-103%
0.36
-3%
0.54
-54%
Contrast
626
581
-7%
414
-34%
299
-52%
814
30%
441
-30%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.95
4.51
9%
3.2
35%
12.06
-144%
4.94
-0%
10.64
-115%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
11.17
4.13
63%
9.98
11%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.45
3.18
8%
2.77
20%
13.41
-289%
4.11
-19%
11.74
-240%
Gamma
2.34 94%
2.43 91%
2.46 89%
2.41 91%
2.48 89%
2.42 91%
CCT
6815 95%
6743 96%
7176 91%
15382 42%
7508 87%
13043 50%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
37
37
0%
41
11%
34.3
-7%
37
0%
36
-3%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
58
58
0%
65
12%
54.2
-7%
58
0%
57
-2%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-1% / 1%
23% / 11%
-50% / -60%
-9% / 4%
-46% / -46%

* ... smaller is better

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

The IdeaPad 500S is equipped with the same Full HD IPS panel as Lenovo's U31-70 80M5003EGE. However, the brightness of 219 cd/m² in the screen's center is much lower in the review sample than in the comparison model. At least it does not dim further in battery mode. The black level of 0.35 cd/m² and contrast of 626:1 are very decent, and the IdeaPad 500S can stand up to the other opponents in this respect.

Although the measured illumination of 82% is not a good outcome, the brightness reduction in the lower corners is not noticed subjectively. Also noteworthy in this context is that the screen installed in our review sample does not exhibit backlight bleeding at its edges.

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↗ 4 ms rise
↘ 18 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. » 26 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
46 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16 ms rise
↘ 30 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. » 73 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (39.7 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 not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9354 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The matte surface contributes to legibility outdoors. However, direct sunlight could cause brightening that outshines the rather weak backlight, depending on the laptop's positioning. It is also noteworthy that the anti-glare finish does not display an exaggerated granulation when looking at bright monochrome surfaces.

IdeaPad in direct sunlight
IdeaPad in direct sunlight
IdeaPad in direct sunlight with reflections
IdeaPad in direct sunlight with reflections
IdeaPad in the shade
IdeaPad in the shade

As to viewing angle stability, it pays off that Lenovo has opted for an IPS panel. The displayed content barely changes in all viewing angles. Only an IPS glow effect is sometimes visible, which brightens dark image sectors in flat viewing angles.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

The IdeaPad 500S-13ISK is a compact subnotebook that is powered by a current Intel Core i5-6200U processor from the Skylake generation. It is supported by 8 GB of working memory and a 500 GB hard drive alongside an SSD cache. Since a dedicated graphics card is not installed, the laptop is not that suitable for playing up-to-date games, but rather for routine office and multimedia applications. In addition to our top model, Lenovo offers hardware configurations with 128 GB and 256 GB SSD and some with only 4 GB of working memory.

CPU-Z: CPU
CPU-Z: Caches
CPU-Z: Mainboard
CPU-Z: Memory
CPU-Z: SPD
GPU-Z
HWiNFO64: System Summary
LatencyMon

Processor

With Intel's Core i5-6200U CPU, the IdeaPad is equipped with a frugal Skylake chip with two processing cores. However, up to four threads can be processed simultaneously thanks to Hyperthreading. The CPU has a base clock of 2.3 GHz, which can be boosted to 2.8 GHz (one core loaded) and 2.7 GHz (both cores loaded) via Turbo. The review sample utilizes this headroom in both AC and battery mode.

The IdeaPad fares well in our Cinebench tests with this configuration. Acer's Aspire E5-473G-59QT based on a processor from the former Broadwell generation is defeated in all respects. The review sample is neck and neck with Acer's Aspire V3-372-50LKAsus' ZenBook UX303UA-FN121T and HP's ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES opponents, also equipped with a Core i5,6200U CPU. The IdeaPad scores somewhat better than most rivals particularly in the single-core tests, but is often outperformed in the multi-core benchmarks. Overall, the review sample offers good CPU performance that is on the appropriate level for the hardware configuration.

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6866
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
9517
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4385
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
22.34 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.01 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.32 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.9 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
29.94 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
271 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
115 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
115 Points ∼53%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
97 Points ∼44%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
109 Points ∼50%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
115 Points ∼53%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
123 Points ∼56%
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
108 Points ∼50%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
271 Points ∼6%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
291 Points ∼7%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
286 Points ∼7%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
286 Points ∼7%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
276 Points ∼6%
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
247 Points ∼6%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1.32 Points ∼54%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
1.13 Points ∼46%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
1.24 Points ∼51%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1.32 Points ∼54%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
1.43 Points ∼59%
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1.24 Points ∼51%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3.01 Points ∼7%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
3.2 Points ∼7%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
3.19 Points ∼7%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
3.2 Points ∼7%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
3.07 Points ∼7%
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2.75 Points ∼6%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4385 Points ∼40%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
4397 Points ∼41%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
4148 Points ∼38%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
4391 Points ∼41%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
4695 Points ∼43%
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4061 Points ∼37%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
9517 Points ∼15%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
9942 Points ∼15%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
9925 Points ∼15%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
9948 Points ∼15%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
9543 Points ∼15%
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
8384 Points ∼13%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
91.5 ms * ∼1%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
89 ms * ∼1%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
90.9 ms * ∼1%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
107.6 ms * ∼1%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
96.2 ms * ∼1%
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
122.1 ms * ∼1%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1254.5 ms * ∼2%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
1250.7 ms * ∼2%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
1285.3 ms * ∼2%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2390.9 ms * ∼4%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
2250.8 ms * ∼4%
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
9202 ms * ∼15%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
28165 Points ∼54%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
28525 Points ∼54%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
26374 Points ∼50%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
13992 Points ∼27%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
14491 Points ∼28%
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3311 Points ∼6%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

The particularly high PCMark 7 score of Acer's Aspire V3-372-50LK reveals that systems with an SSD have an advantage here. However, the review sample, equipped with only a hybrid hard drive exhibits a performance on par with its Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE sister model based on a Core i7 CPU from the Broadwell generation. The IdeaPad is also on par in PCMark 8, although minor weaknesses are seen in Home Score Accelerated.

Subjectively, system booting and the performance of the review sample are suitable for everyday tasks. However, users who want the maximum should opt for an SSD model.

PCMark 7 Score
3767 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
2802 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
3556 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4047 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3767 Points ∼41%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
5197 Points ∼57%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2984 Points ∼33%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
3819 Points ∼42%
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2780 Points ∼30%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4047 Points ∼62%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
4155 Points ∼64%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
4086 Points ∼63%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
4106 Points ∼63%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
3811 Points ∼58%
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4151 Points ∼64%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3556 Points ∼34%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
3520 Points ∼33%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
3390 Points ∼32%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
3313 Points ∼31%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2802 Points ∼46%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
3209 Points ∼53%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
3209 Points ∼53%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
3043 Points ∼50%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
2841 Points ∼47%
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3167 Points ∼52%

Storage Device

As in Acer's Aspire E5-473G-59QT, a 500 GB hybrid hard drive by Seagate operates in the review sample. It has an additional 8 GB SSD cache so that frequently used data can be accessed quickly. For example, the system boots faster than with a conventional hard drive. The test results are slightly above the normal outcomes for drives that spin at 5400 revolutions per minute, but they do not even come close to the performance data of SSDs.

The storage is divided into several partitions ex-factory. While the primary partition has a capacity of 419 GB and holds the operating system among other data (approx. 389 GB free), Lenovo has placed drivers and software installation packages on a small 24.9 GB partition. However, it is questionable whether an additional partition that the user cannot use flexibly is really needed for only 1.9 GB of data. An additional 21 GB is reserved for the recovery partition.

Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Transfer Rate Minimum: 53.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 110.4 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 89.1 MB/s
Access Time: 17.5 ms
Burst Rate: 140.4 MB/s
CPU Usage: 3.5 %
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E63
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB 8GB SSD-Cache
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
8003%
-22%
3%
-14%
-21%
Write 4k QD32
0.673
212.9
31534%
0.871
29%
1.288
91%
1.19
77%
0.738
10%
Read 4k QD32
1.026
248
24072%
0.792
-23%
1.151
12%
1.018
-1%
0.377
-63%
Write 4k
3.439
71.05
1966%
0.862
-75%
1.246
-64%
1.165
-66%
0.762
-78%
Read 4k
0.48
21.1
4296%
0.379
-21%
0.57
19%
0.399
-17%
0.369
-23%
Write 512
61.15
388
535%
35.06
-43%
53.85
-12%
46.16
-25%
53.89
-12%
Read 512
37.68
392.3
941%
31.27
-17%
39.56
5%
31.3
-17%
34.87
-7%
Write Seq
113
447.4
296%
94.47
-16%
93.49
-17%
65.62
-42%
110.1
-3%
Read Seq
108.1
522.2
383%
97.7
-10%
94.82
-12%
87.54
-19%
113.7
5%

Graphics Card

Since the IdeaPad 500S-13ISK does not feature a dedicated graphics card, the integrated Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU is solely responsible for image calculations. The fact that the working memory installed in the review sample operates only in single-channel mode takes revenge on graphics performance. Thus, Acer's Aspire V3-372-50LK with the same CPU, but dual-channel configuration takes a clear lead.

3DMark 11 Performance
1302 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
42442 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
4976 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
630 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1302 Points ∼4%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
1487 Points ∼4%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
1401 Points ∼4%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1222 Points ∼3%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
1849 Points ∼5%
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2560 Points ∼7%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
630 Points ∼2%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
754 Points ∼3%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
589 Points ∼2%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
1073 Points ∼4%
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1465 Points ∼5%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4976 Points ∼8%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
5833 Points ∼9%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
5239 Points ∼8%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
4932 Points ∼8%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
5778 Points ∼9%
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
6231 Points ∼10%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
42442 Points ∼4%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
56687 Points ∼5%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
51945 Points ∼5%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
44992 Points ∼4%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
45983 Points ∼4%
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
42423 Points ∼4%

Gaming Performance

Not having a dedicated graphics chip, the review sample has to fall back on the relatively weak GPU integrated in Intel's processor. Although some games, such as "Dirt Rally" or "BioShock Infinite", can be rendered smoothly using minimum details and a low resolution, the available performance is definitely insufficient for up-to-date video hits or even gaming in the laptop's native resolution. "Rise of the Tomb Raider" completely refused to start in our minimum settings (error message from graphics driver); the measurements in medium details clearly show that the laptop has not been designed for this purpose with graphic errors and low frame rates. More benchmark results of the installed GPU can be found in our gaming benchmark comparison.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 3721.117.25.5fps
Dirt Rally (2015) 72.42112.5fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 0 game wont start (Treiberfehler)8 severe graphical problems (ganze Bildteile temporär schwarz)4 severe graphical problems (ganze Bildteile temporär schwarz)fps

Emissions

Review sample's operating noise
Review sample's operating noise

System Noise

The hard drive's quiet operating noise is occasionally audible in idle mode and light load. However, the noise level climbs up to 41.7 dB(A) when the laptop is used. Only Lenovo's U31-70 with a dedicated graphics card is louder among the rivals. The noise level is not really distracting. Subjectively, a slightly more sonorous operating noise would be desirable, but we could not hear any high-pitched whistling noises. The installed fan also responds quite dynamically to the current load conditions, which leads to the maximum possible quietness in idle mode, but can get somewhat annoying during load peaks. Overall, the IdeaPad 500S does not do a superb job in this regard, but we can say it behaves very satisfactorily.

Noise Level

Idle
32 / 32.2 / 32.3 dB(A)
HDD
32.1 dB(A)
Load
41.7 / 41.3 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
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: 31.3 dB(A)

Temperature

IdeaPad 500S in the stress test (AC mode)
IdeaPad 500S in the stress test (AC mode)

While some other compact and powerful laptops, such as Acer's Aspire V3-372, reach relatively high surface temperatures of over 50 °C (~122 °F), the review sample at most gets lukewarm even in the stress test with rates below 40 °C (~104 °F). The somewhat faster spinning fan is noticed positively compared with the rivals.

Our stress test reveals whether these low temperatures are related to throttling components. We load the processor and graphics card fully with the programs Prime95 and FurMark for over an hour. Although the laptop could hardly utilize the processor's available Turbo headroom under these extreme conditions, throttling was not determined at a minimum clock speed of 2.3 GHz. The GPU ran almost continuously at a fast rate of 950 MHz. The IdeaPad can maintain the full Turbo rate of 2.7 GHz for a prolonged period when only the processor is loaded. The review sample gathers further plus points by not throttling the performance in battery mode.

Max. Load
 26.5 °C
80 F
35.9 °C
97 F
29.6 °C
85 F
 
 25.1 °C
77 F
35 °C
95 F
30.3 °C
87 F
 
 23.7 °C
75 F
24.2 °C
76 F
28.2 °C
83 F
 
Maximum: 35.9 °C = 97 F
Average: 28.7 °C = 84 F
30.6 °C
87 F
35.1 °C
95 F
32.4 °C
90 F
29.7 °C
85 F
39.1 °C
102 F
27.2 °C
81 F
28.5 °C
83 F
25 °C
77 F
24.6 °C
76 F
Maximum: 39.1 °C = 102 F
Average: 30.2 °C = 86 F
Power Supply (max.)  37.5 °C = 100 F | Room Temperature 21 °C = 70 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 28.7 °C / 84 F, compared to the average of 30.7 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Subnotebook.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 35.9 °C / 97 F, compared to the average of 35.8 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22 to 57 °C for the class Subnotebook.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 39.1 °C / 102 F, compared to the average of 40.1 °C / 104 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.2 °C / 79 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 28.2 °C / 82.8 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.6 °C / 83.5 F (+0.4 °C / 0.7 F).
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520 - 6200U
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520 - 6200U
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520 - 6200U
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520 - 6200U
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M - 5500U
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M - 5200U
Heat
-22%
2%
-14%
-10%
-22%
Maximum Upper Side *
35.9
49.3
-37%
39.7
-11%
42.1
-17%
40.8
-14%
44.4
-24%
Maximum Bottom *
39.1
53.3
-36%
34.8
11%
44.1
-13%
43.8
-12%
46.7
-19%
Idle Upper Side *
27.8
28.2
-1%
27.4
1%
31.1
-12%
29.8
-7%
36
-29%
Idle Bottom *
29.1
32.6
-12%
27.7
5%
32.9
-13%
31.5
-8%
33.4
-15%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The stereo speakers situated on the laptop's underside produce a surprisingly good sound despite the review sample's compact exterior dimensions. Although the low-tone range is clearly under-represented, like most rivals the IdeaPad 500S manages a balanced playback of music and speech. The review sample is not among the leaders with a maximum volume of 70 dB(A) in our Pink Noise measurements, but its homogeneous sound quality even at higher volumes is impressive.

The user can also customize the audio output quite easily via the Dolby Audio software.

Speaker charakteristic
Speaker charakteristic
Dolby Audio Software - Equalizer
Dolby Audio Software - Equalizer
Dolby Audio Software - Music preset
Dolby Audio Software - Music preset

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The IdeaPad's power consumption goes to extremes: Although its 28.2 watts represent the lowest maximum energy requirement, its idle consumption of 5.2 watts minimum is the highest.

The included 45-watt power supply has more than enough reserves for undisturbed work with the laptop.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.25 / 0.45 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5.2 / 6.9 / 7.2 Watt
Load midlight 26.7 / 28.2 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
HD Graphics 520 - 6200U
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520 - 6200U
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520 - 6200U
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520 - 6200U
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M - 5500U
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M - 5200U
Power Consumption
0%
4%
-4%
-20%
-36%
Idle Minimum *
5.2
3.8
27%
4.2
19%
4.7
10%
3.9
25%
4.6
12%
Idle Average *
6.9
5.8
16%
6.2
10%
7.2
-4%
6.8
1%
6.3
9%
Idle Maximum *
7.2
8.1
-13%
6.4
11%
8.3
-15%
7
3%
8.8
-22%
Load Average *
26.7
30.2
-13%
29
-9%
26.4
1%
40
-50%
43.3
-62%
Load Maximum *
28.2
32.4
-15%
31
-10%
32
-13%
51
-81%
61.5
-118%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Lenovo settings - battery state
Lenovo settings - battery state

The review sample cannot compete with the class leaders, some with higher capacity batteries, in battery life measurements due to its relatively tight, 35-watt battery. The IdeaPad 500S is downright outclassed by Asus' ZenBook UX303UA-FN121T that last over 2 hours longer in our practical Wi-Fi test. However, it fares quite decently especially in comparison with Lenovo's U31-70 and Acer's Aspire E5-473G that have similarly sized batteries.

It was striking that the battery in our review sample already displayed clear deficiencies in Lenovo's settings. It sometimes lost 10% of its maximum capacity here.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
10h 15min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
5h 01min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
5h 11min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 21min
Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK
35 Wh Akku
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
51 Wh Akku
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
50 Wh Akku
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
44 Wh Akku
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
35 Wh Akku
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
37 Wh Akku
Battery Runtime
43%
45%
13%
-14%
-8%
Reader / Idle
615
906
47%
449
-27%
525
-15%
565
-8%
H.264
311
337
8%
273
-12%
308
-1%
WiFi v1.3
301
349
16%
436
45%
377
25%
253
-16%
280
-7%
Load
81
135
67%
118
46%
70
-14%
70
-14%

Pros

+ base unit's good stability
+ decent input devices
+ viewing angle stable Full HD IPS screen
+ no observable PWM flickering
+ cool surfaces
+ no throttling in the stress test
+ useful speakers
+ AC WiFi
+ attractive design

Cons

- screen's low maximum brightness
- slow memory card reader
- no maintenance hatches
- battery not easy to remove
- hardly gaming suitable
- only middling battery life in category comparison

Verdict

In review: Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK. Review sample courtesy of Campuspoint.de
In review: Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK. Review sample courtesy of Campuspoint.de

Lenovo's IdeaPad 500S-13ISK would have to possess multiple core virtues, such as useful input devices, robust casing, a decent screen and the longest possible battery life, to pass as the ideal mobile companion. While the first two points can be checked, the last two are only partially fulfilled. The viewing angle stable IPS panel alongside its high resolution, flicker-free backlight and good color rates offer many positive qualities, but disappoints with its relatively low maximum brightness. However, outdoor use is possible thanks to its matte screen. Seen alone, the battery life is quite decent, but rivals like Asus' ZenBook UX303UA prove that considerably longer runtimes are possible. Beyond that, the useful speakers, the low surface temperatures and lack of throttling in the stress test should be noted positively. Although it is logical that the laptop is hardly suitable for playing sophisticated 3D games without a dedicated graphics card, it is too bad that Lenovo does not install a dual-channel working memory to retrieve the very last bit of power from the graphics card. Otherwise, the system impresses with appropriate performance.

With the IdeaPad 500S-13ISK, Lenovo has built a compact subnotebook that will appeal to many thanks to its unusual design, good input devices and viewing angle IPS screen.

Users who are happy with less storage capacity can also take a look at the SSD models that cost as much as 100 Euros (~$111) less, and which should even offer a somewhat better overall performance. Asus' ZenBooks from the UX303 lineup in the same price range are also strong alternatives for the review sample. However, a considerably inferior screen will have to be accepted.

Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK - 03/03/2016 v5(old)
Andreas Kilian

Chassis
82 /  98 → 83%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
47 / 80 → 59%
Weight
69 / 35-78 → 79%
Battery
81%
Display
84%
Games Performance
54 / 68 → 80%
Application Performance
68 / 87 → 78%
Temperature
94 / 91 → 100%
Noise
87%
Audio
69 / 91 → 76%
Camera
50 / 85 → 59%
Average
73%
82%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo IdeaPad 500S-13ISK Subnotebook Review
Andreas Kilian, 2016-03-14 (Update: 2018-05-15)