Notebookcheck

Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK (Core i7) Subnotebook Review

Sven Kloevekorn (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 06/07/2016

Noble companion. Lenovo did a good job with the new aluminum subnotebook in terms of design. A quick look at the specs suggests decent performance but also reveals the meager port variety. What about the input devices, display, emissions and the runtimes?

For the original German review, see here.

The new Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK is a light, thin, and compact 13-inch device. We are a bit surprised that the two models currently available in Germany have the exact same designation and that it is designed to be a very mobile office working device. Inside our 1.2 kg test model with the internal designation 80SW003LGE, which retails for 1,099 Euros (~$1244), is a frugal Hyper-Threading dual-core Intel Core i7-6560U with the integrated graphics Intel Iris 540 and 8 GB RAM. The storage device is an SSD with 256 GB. Lenovo did not save money in terms of the display, either, and it uses a Full HD IPS panel.

The less expensive version 80SW003MGE already retails for 849 Euros (~$961) at the time of writing. The difference is the smaller memory capacity of 4 GB as well as the slightly slower processor i5-6200U.

While looking for some comparison devices for this article, we mainly focused on the size, price, performance and popularity. These are our contenders:

Another word about the availability: At the time of writing, the two models were only available directly from Lenovo as well as Campuspoint, where we also got the prices from. Campuspoint does offer discounts for special user groups like students or teachers.

Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK (IdeaPad 710S Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel Iris Graphics 540, Core: 300 - 1050 MHz, shared Memory, 20.19.15.4364
Memory
8192 MB 
, LPDDR3, 1866 MHz, Dual-Channel, soldered
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 166 PPI, Sharp SHP 1447 / LQ133M1JW15, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Skylake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: combo audio, 3.5 mm jack, Card Reader: SD/SDHC/SDXC, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 14 x 307 x 214 ( = 0.55 x 12.09 x 8.43 in)
Battery
46 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 4 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p (0,9 MP)
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, 2 x 2 W, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.16 kg ( = 40.92 oz / 2.56 pounds), Power Supply: 170 g ( = 6 oz / 0.37 pounds)
Price
1099 Euro

 

Case

According to the manufacturer, the lid is made of aluminum and magnesium, while the "bottom" is only made of aluminum. This does help the stability, because you can hardly twist the thin and light base unit and there is almost no creaking at all. Fingerprints are not visible on the silver-matte surfaces, which do shimmer a bit. Lenovo follows the design language of the attractive and simple MacBook Air a bit but waives a complex unibody chassis.

The author liked the 710S so much that it got the maximum number of points in all corresponding rating categories, which is pretty rare. The excellent impression is rounded off by the almost perfect build quality with even gaps and without protruding edges. The hinges of very mobile devices should be able to prevent longer bouncing during sudden movements, which can happen in the car or on a train, for example. Lenovo did a nice job here, but you can only open the thin, yet still very pressure-resistant lid with two hands in return.

Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a loyal reader of notebookcheck? Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team!

Especially wanted: 
English-Swedish-Translator - 
Details here
Review Editor - 
Details here
News Editor - Details here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connectivity

Because of the very thin construction, you only get the most necessary connections. This means only 2x USB 3.0 and Mini-HDMI. The fact that an adapter to standard HDMI is not included is unfortunately normal, but they are also pretty inexpensive and easy to get. If you want to transport a lot of files, you will not like the lack of an Ethernet port. You cannot physically secure the notebook since there is no slot for a Kensington lock – this is really rare.

The base unit gets even thinner towards the front, so the limited number of ports are ergonomically well-placed at the rear areas of the sides. If you need more ports, you should have a look at the Dell XPS 13, which even offers a universal Thunderbolt port besides the DisplayPort.

Left: power, USB 3.0, audio in/out
Left: power, USB 3.0, audio in/out
Right: On/Off LED, SD-card, USB 3.0, Mini-HDMI
Right: On/Off LED, SD-card, USB 3.0, Mini-HDMI

Communication

Wireless network connections with the 710S can be established via the Wi-Fi module Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165, which is not the latest but at least a proven module. The name already suggests that it also supports the less crowded 5 GHz band besides 2.4 GHz. Contrary to the newer and much more popular Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260, it only has one antenna (MIMO 1x1), so the theoretical transfer rate is up to 433 Mbps in an ac-network (5 GHz). The hardware also supports Bluetooth 4.2. We determined average results for the transfer rates at 296 and 224 Mbps (transmit/receive) in combination with our router Linksys EA8500 (short distance, direct sight).

Accessories

Except for the usual setup and warranty information as well as the mandatory power adapter, there are no further accessories in the box. There are no recovery drives, either, but you get a recovery partition instead, which should not be deleted.

Maintenance

The bad news: You cannot even replace the battery without tools. The good news: There is a bottom panel, which seems to be easy to remove. It is secured by nine screws.

Warranty

Lenovo grants a 24-month Bring-In warranty, but the battery is only covered for 12 months. It is possible to extend the service period for an additional charge.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The black keyboard sits in a slight depression and is equipped with large and flat keys. The lettering is easy to see, the spacing is sufficient but the travel is limited. We would not call the pressure point crisp, but you can feel it pretty well. The stroke is slightly too bouncy in our opinion, but this is a matter of taste and prevents a tiresome typing experience. The layout does not reveal big surprises, but the space was not sufficient to implement regular sized Ctrl and Return keys. At the top right is the power button, which replaces the Ins key, which is now the second function of the Print key. Pos1 and End are also secondary functions on the unusually large cursor keys.

There is no criticism for the quality of the keyboard and you cannot dent it in the center. The two-stage illumination is very even and convenient. Contrary to some silver-colored keyboards with white or transparent lettering, respectively, it does not affect the contrast in well-lit environments. Space bar and Return are unfortunately the only two keys that produce a considerable noise, which does affect the usability in noise-sensitive environments.

Touchpad

A really good rating for the large and well-implemented ClickPad without dedicated buttons is prevented by the mediocre gliding capabilities. Even slightly moist fingers will easily stutter on the slightly roughened surface, and this is unfortunately not only the case for movements from bottom to the top. The precision and the responsiveness were no problem, and Drag & Drop gestures were always executed accurately. We liked the mouse buttons with their rather firm and very good feedback. The comprehensive driver offers options for gestures with up to four fingers or configures palm tracking.

Input devices
Input devices

Display

Lenovo uses a matte IPS display with wide viewing angles and the Full HD resolution. This results in a pixel density of 166 PPI on the 13.3-inch screen, which is high for notebooks. For comparison: The human eye (100% eyesight) manages to see 188 PPI at a distance of 45 cm and still 170 PPI at 50 cm. The sharpness does not cause any criticism. Subjectively, the panel convinces with rich, but not overly saturated colors.

The measurements of the panel are also good: The average brightness of 326 cd/m² is a good step above the subnotebook average within the last ten months but is even beaten by up to 10% by two of our comparison devices. The brightness distribution of 87% is decent, and subjectively, a completely black picture is pretty homogenous, even though it does not look particularly rich. We can only notice some slight backlight bleeding at the upper left of our review unit, but it is no problem in practice.

335
cd/m²
349
cd/m²
335
cd/m²
322
cd/m²
344
cd/m²
326
cd/m²
309
cd/m²
309
cd/m²
303
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 349 cd/m² Average: 325.8 cd/m² Minimum: 4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 343 cd/m²
Contrast: 956:1 (Black: 0.36 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.09 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 5.36 | - Ø
97.54% sRGB (Argyll) 62.25% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.01
Subpixel array
Subpixel array

A black value of 0.36 cd/m² is okay, but the subjective impression is not quite as good as we mentioned before. In combination with the excellent luminance, we get a very good, yet not overwhelmingly good contrast ratio of 956:1. The champion in this section is the Dell XPS 13 9350, which can easily compensate for its slightly lower luminance with the particularly low back value of 0.2 cd/m² and manages a great contrast of 1486:1.

Finally, we have a look at the colors. DeltaE values of 6 (ColorChecker) and 5 (Grayscale), respectively, ex-works are average at best for an IPS panel. The grayscale screenshot below shows a slight color cast, which may be improved with the linked profile, but it is hard to see in practice anyway. All the rivals are better in terms of accuracy, only the Asus Zenbook UX305UA-FC040T deviates a lot in terms of grayscale. However, all the rivals miss the target value (DeltaE smaller 3) as well.

If you like to edit pictures in your free time, you will be happy about the full sRGB coverage, and the wider AdobeRGB reference, which is important for professional users, is at least covered by 62%. This is actually enough for first place within the comparison group, but not by a big margin.

CalMAN Grayscale before calibration
CalMAN Grayscale before calibration
CalMAN ColorChecker before calibration
CalMAN ColorChecker before calibration
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps before calibration
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Lenovo Ideapad 710S vs. AdobeRGB
Lenovo Ideapad 710S vs. AdobeRGB
CalMAN Grayscale after calibration
CalMAN Grayscale after calibration
CalMAN ColorChecker after calibration
CalMAN ColorChecker after calibration
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps after calibration
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Lenovo Ideapad 710S vs. sRGB
Lenovo Ideapad 710S vs. sRGB
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISKAcer Aspire S 13 S5-371-71QZDell XPS 13 9350 WQXGAAsus Zenbook UX305UA-FC040T
Response Times
-10%
-11%
-15%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
52.4 (18.4, 34)
50 (22, 28)
5%
50.8 (18.4, 32.4)
3%
25 (15, 10)
52%
Response Time Black / White *
23.6 (12, 11.6)
29.6 (7.6, 22)
-25%
29.6 (6, 23.6)
-25%
28 (8, 20)
-19%
PWM Frequency
220 (50)
50 (20)
-77%
Screen
5%
15%
-11%
Brightness
326
358
10%
297
-9%
351
8%
Brightness Distribution
87
87
0%
92
6%
86
-1%
Black Level *
0.36
0.39
-8%
0.207
42%
0.4
-11%
Contrast
956
962
1%
1486
55%
895
-6%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.09
4.6
24%
4.18
31%
5.96
2%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.36
4
25%
4.94
8%
8.93
-67%
Gamma
2.01 119%
2.34 103%
2.31 104%
2.28 105%
CCT
7230 90%
7304 89%
7645 85%
6548 99%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
62.25
57.9
-7%
59
-5%
60
-4%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
97.54
88.7
-9%
92
-6%
93
-5%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-3% / 2%
2% / 10%
-13% / -12%

* ... smaller is better

Sunny days are obviously a big challenge, even for a notebook with a very bright and matte screen like our test model. The left picture shows a worst-case scenario with direct sunlight hitting the panel. The right picture shows a place in the shade with the house behind us, which is basically the best possible scenario. It should generally be possible to find a position for comfortable working, even on bright days.

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
23.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 12 ms rise
↘ 11.6 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. » 28 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (26.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
52.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18.4 ms rise
↘ 34 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. » 86 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (42.8 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 220 Hz50 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 220 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 50 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 220 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 57 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 6668 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The viewing-angle stability is very good, even for an IPS display. We can only see the common brightness and contrast drops from very extreme angles and they are not so bad compared to the majority of competitors in this display class. It does not get much better.

Performance

The i7-6560U (2 x 2.2-3.2 GHz) inside the review unit is probably about 15% faster than the alternative i5-6200U (2 x 2.3-2.8 GHz), but there is no perceptible effect on the system performance. Office software which would noticeably benefit from the higher clocks is pretty rare as well. The i7 might be a small advantage if you often use potentially demanding applications like Adobe Photoshop, but the memory equipment of 8 GB would be much more important in this case, and the less-expensive version of the 710S-13ISK only has 4 GB.

Processor

The Skylake CPU Intel Core i7-6560U was announced last September. It is a frugal dual-core with Hyper-Threading, which is also suitable for compact notebooks like our review unit thanks to its TDP of just 15 Watts. A single core can reach up to 3.2 GHz for a short while and both cores 3.1 GHz, while the nominal clock is 2.2 GHz. Compared to the previous generation, the manufacturer further improved the efficiency, but there are no significant performance increases. One new feature is the memory controller, which now supports DDR4.

A loop of Cinebench R15 (Multi) creates high but still realistic CPU load. The notebook from Lenovo can only maintain the specified 3.1 GHz for one run in this scenario and then levels off at around 2.7 GHz with some fluctuations. The Turbo utilization is therefore not perfect. The scores (one run) on the other hand are on the expected level, and this is also the case for the comparison with similarly equipped devices. The results are not lower on battery power.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Intel Core i7-6560U
132 Points ∼100% +2%
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Intel Core i7-6560U
130 Points ∼98%
Acer Aspire S 13 S5-371-71QZ
Intel Core i7-6500U
129 Points ∼98% -1%
Asus Zenbook UX305UA-FC040T
Intel Core i7-6500U
123 Points ∼93% -5%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Intel Core i7-6560U
318 Points ∼100%
Asus Zenbook UX305UA-FC040T
Intel Core i7-6500U
312 Points ∼98% -2%
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Intel Core i7-6560U
303 Points ∼95% -5%
Acer Aspire S 13 S5-371-71QZ
Intel Core i7-6500U
293 Points ∼92% -8%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
130 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
318 Points
Help

System Performance

You will want a notebook with a real quad-core and dedicated GPU if you often use heavily parallelized software or play modern 3D games. The test model does, however, provide plenty of performance for its intended usage scenarios. Even excessive multitasking with several Chrome tabs does not slow the handling down. This is not primarily a result of the CPU, but mainly the SSD, which accelerates application and OS launches heavily compared to conventional hard drives.

If you look at the subnotebooks with SSDs we reviewed over the last 10 months, the 710s is in second place in PCMark 8. At the bottom is the Dell XPS 13, which is up to 27% behind the Lenovo, despite the similar CPU/GPU and an even faster SSD. The comparatively weak result of the XPS 13 can be explained with the bad Turbo utilization.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
4680 Points ∼100%
Acer Aspire S 13 S5-371-71QZ
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, LiteOn CV1-8B512
4316 Points ∼92% -8%
Asus Zenbook UX305UA-FC040T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK Hynix Canvas SC300 512GB M.2 (HFS512G39MND)
4225 Points ∼90% -10%
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
3438 Points ∼73% -27%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
3883 Points ∼100%
Acer Aspire S 13 S5-371-71QZ
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, LiteOn CV1-8B512
3386 Points ∼87% -13%
Asus Zenbook UX305UA-FC040T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK Hynix Canvas SC300 512GB M.2 (HFS512G39MND)
3341 Points ∼86% -14%
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
2928 Points ∼75% -25%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3883 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4680 points
Help

Storage Devices

Thanks to the fast PCI-Express interface (NVMe), we get stellar measurement results from the integrated 256 GB Samsung SSD, so we can keep this section short: This SSD manages excellent results in all tests and should not leave anything to be desired. Besides the extreme sequential transfer rates, you can also see around 40 MB/s in the 4K read test, which is excellent. However, the SSD inside the Dell even has a significant advantage in the less important write performance.

Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
Acer Aspire S 13 S5-371-71QZ
LiteOn CV1-8B512
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
Asus Zenbook UX305UA-FC040T
SK Hynix Canvas SC300 512GB M.2 (HFS512G39MND)
AS SSD
-46%
26%
-41%
Score Write
429
347
-19%
664
55%
405
-6%
4K-64 Read
1090.76
290
-73%
1496.74
37%
375.51
-66%
4K Read
39.13
27
-31%
38.29
-2%
26.87
-31%
Seq Read
1272.74
486
-62%
1442.49
13%
496.81
-61%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-44%
3%
-49%
Read 4k QD32
548.6
301.3
-45%
572
4%
262
-52%
Read 4k
42.43
29.69
-30%
42.36
0%
28.08
-34%
Read Seq
1193
502.2
-58%
1236
4%
469.1
-61%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-45% / -45%
15% / 16%
-45% / -44%
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
Sequential Read: 1193 MB/s
Sequential Write: 309.6 MB/s
512K Read: 612.6 MB/s
512K Write: 311 MB/s
4K Read: 42.43 MB/s
4K Write: 144.9 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 548.6 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 311.3 MB/s

GPU Performance

It does not transform the IdeaPad 710S into a gaming machine, but the integrated CPU Intel Iris 540, which shares its memory with the CPU, is much faster than the other integrated Intel GPUs like the Intel HD 520 from the Core i5-6200U. The additional performance is mainly a result of the 64 MB eDRAM cache, which is integrated for the first time. More information and numerous benchmarks with the GPU are available in our Tech section.

We also included the Dell Latitude E7470 for our comparison, where the Intel HD 520 performs on an average level. We focus on 3DMark 11, and from the three Iris 540 notebooks, our test model is up to 16% behind the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (i7-6650U) in third place. It is 42% faster than the Latitude, so the Iris 540 Graphics manages a roughly 50% higher 3D performance compared to an HD 520. Our gaming benchmarks will show that even the dedicated Nvidia GeForce 940M can be beaten in some cases.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Intel Iris Graphics 540
2101 Points ∼100%
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Intel Iris Graphics 540
1898 Points ∼90% -10%
Dell Latitude E7470 N001LE747014EMEA
Intel HD Graphics 520
1482 Points ∼71% -29%
Acer Aspire S 13 S5-371-71QZ
Intel HD Graphics 520
1428 Points ∼68% -32%
Asus Zenbook UX305UA-FC040T
Intel HD Graphics 520
1362 Points ∼65% -35%
3DMark
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Intel Iris Graphics 540
11531 Points ∼100%
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Intel Iris Graphics 540
9392 Points ∼81% -19%
Dell Latitude E7470 N001LE747014EMEA
Intel HD Graphics 520
8204 Points ∼71% -29%
Asus Zenbook UX305UA-FC040T
Intel HD Graphics 520
7047 Points ∼61% -39%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics
Dell Latitude E7470 N001LE747014EMEA
Intel HD Graphics 520
82882 Points ∼100% +12%
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Intel Iris Graphics 540
73869 Points ∼89%
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Intel Iris Graphics 540
67714 Points ∼82% -8%
Asus Zenbook UX305UA-FC040T
Intel HD Graphics 520
63784 Points ∼77% -14%
3DMark 11 Performance
2244 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
60021 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
7646 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The table actually speaks for itself. The Surface Pro 4 is the fastest device here with the Iris 540, the Acer Aspire has an average performing 940M and the Asus Asuspro has the slowest Intel HD 520 (Dell: see above). Modern and graphics-demanding titles like Rise of the Tomb Raider do not even run properly on the lowest settings. BioShock Infinite from 2013 on the other hand, which still looks nice, can be played at medium or even high settings.

BioShock Infinite
1366x768 High Preset
Acer Aspire V3-575G-5093
GeForce 940M, 6200U, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
42.27 fps ∼100% +18%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
41.2 fps ∼97% +15%
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
35.7 fps ∼84%
Dell Latitude E7470 N001LE747014EMEA
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Crucial MX200 M.2 CT500MX200SSD4
27.2 fps ∼64% -24%
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced B8430UA-FA0084E
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hynix HFS256G39MND
19.79 fps ∼47% -45%
1366x768 Medium Preset
Acer Aspire V3-575G-5093
GeForce 940M, 6200U, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
51.4 fps ∼100% +22%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
49.1 fps ∼96% +16%
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
42.2 fps ∼82%
Dell Latitude E7470 N001LE747014EMEA
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Crucial MX200 M.2 CT500MX200SSD4
32 fps ∼62% -24%
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced B8430UA-FA0084E
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hynix HFS256G39MND
23.58 fps ∼46% -44%
1280x720 Very Low Preset
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
86.8 fps ∼100% +26%
Acer Aspire V3-575G-5093
GeForce 940M, 6200U, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
73.46 fps ∼85% +6%
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
69.1 fps ∼80%
Dell Latitude E7470 N001LE747014EMEA
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Crucial MX200 M.2 CT500MX200SSD4
57.7 fps ∼66% -16%
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced B8430UA-FA0084E
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hynix HFS256G39MND
44.04 fps ∼51% -36%
low med. high ultra
Crysis 3 (2013) 37.627.619.66.6fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 69.142.235.710fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 21.99.5fps
Battlefield 4 (2013) 29.818.411.4fps
Dirt Rally (2015) 119.230.414.312.5fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 17.812fps
Mad Max (2015) 28.913.2fps
Anno 2205 (2015) 29.215.96.8fps
Star Wars Battlefront (2015) 40.222.9fps
Assassin's Creed Syndicate (2015) 4.9fps
Rainbow Six Siege (2015) 39.124.213.511fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 21.5fps
XCOM 2 (2016) 186.7fps
Far Cry Primal (2016) 22108fps
The Division (2016) 21.712.9fps
Hitman 2016 (2016) 13.513.87.6fps

Emissions

System Noise

Fan (idle, maximum load)
Fan (idle, maximum load)

The fan stays deactivated in our three idle scenarios, so you can expect a silent operation in many practical situations. When we increased the load with the CPU and GPU stress test with Prime95 and FurMark, the fan quickly started spinning (bad passive cooling capabilities), and it increased the speed seamlessly to the highest level, which is audible even from a couple of meters away.

Besides the gentle, yet slightly high-pitched murmur, we can unfortunately hear a kind of humming or buzzing, which was a bit (!) annoying, because it was not always steady. This resulted in a small points deduction.

Noise Level

Idle
30.1 / 30.1 / 30.1 dB(A)
Load
39.2 / 39.3 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   ECM8000 + Voltcraft SL-451 (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29 dB(A)

Temperature

Clocks Prime95 + FurMark
Clocks Prime95 + FurMark

Maximum sustained load, which is pretty impractical for an office device in particular, will result in temperatures of up to 37.5 °C at the bottom, so you can still use it on the lap. We can measure up to 42 °C at the top, but not in the important area of the palm rest, which never surpasses 29 °C. The surface temperatures are no problem at all while idling.

Interesting: Our previously mentioned stress test throttles the processor clock to an extremely low 700-800 MHz. We did not see such extreme throttling for a while and it seems that the Iris GPU in particular needs a big part of the 15-Watt TDP. This is not a great performance but should not be a big deal for the expected usage scenarios.

Max. Load
 31.5 °C42 °C34.1 °C 
 29.8 °C36.3 °C31.1 °C 
 28.8 °C28.7 °C29.8 °C 
Maximum: 42 °C
Average: 32.5 °C
35.8 °C37.5 °C34.7 °C
34.5 °C36.8 °C32.1 °C
32.1 °C32 °C31.5 °C
Maximum: 37.5 °C
Average: 34.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  45.8 °C | Room Temperature 22.8 °C | Fluke 62 Max

Speakers

Frequency response speakers (off, 50% and full volume)
Frequency response speakers (off, 50% and full volume)

We did not expect a lot from the sound considering the thin construction, but we are slightly positively surprised. Bass is still completely lacking, and the sound is focused on medium tones, but the result is still pretty balanced and natural. Bass-heavy music with a lot of instruments often created the impression that certain frequency ranges are overemphasized and others underemphasized. We did not notice distortions or other deal breakers.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The first issue with the Lenovo 710S is the power consumption when it is turned off and in standby, where we can measure more than 0.3 Watts. The idle consumption in general is pretty average compared to other 13-inch subnotebooks (most of them with slower processors) we reviewed over the last twelve months, but the load measurements are too high. The 45-Watt PSU does not have a lot of headroom with a maximum consumption of 43.7 Watts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.32 / 0.35 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.3 / 7.4 / 8.2 Watt
Load midlight 36.5 / 43.7 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Runtime

In terms of battery capacity, our review unit (46 Wh) can only be directly compared with the Acer Aspire (45 Wh), while the Asus Zenbook and the notebook with the biggest stamina, the Dell XPS, have 56-Wh batteries. The most interesting test for mobile office users is our WLAN test at an adjusted luminance (how we test). The 710S lasts almost exactly 7 hours, which is still far away from battery monsters in the office segment, but it should last a whole business day for most users. Our Acer Aspire manages half-an-hour more, but the Zenbook has to be recharged two hours sooner, despite the bigger battery.

Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
Acer Aspire S 13 S5-371-71QZ
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, LiteOn CV1-8B512
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
Asus Zenbook UX305UA-FC040T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK Hynix Canvas SC300 512GB M.2 (HFS512G39MND)
Battery Runtime
17%
-2%
39%
Reader / Idle
810
1028
27%
604
-25%
1427
76%
H.264
486
545
12%
WiFi v1.3
418
472
13%
311
-26%
561
34%
Load
89
99
11%
128
44%
118
33%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
13h 30min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
6h 58min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 06min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 29min

Pros

+ light and thin
+ sturdy aluminum case with great build quality
+ very nice and noble surfaces
+ fingerprints not visible
+ good keyboard
+ bright and high-contrast display with wide viewing angles
+ extremely fast SSD
+ GPU with eDRAM
+ quiet and cool

Cons

- different models with the same designation
- lid cannot be opened with one hand
- no maintenance hatch
- very meager port selection
- Mini-HDMI
- rather weak WLAN performance
- bad gliding capabilities of the Clickpad
- PWM at 50 % brightness and less
- fans create some annoying noises under load
- extreme throttling when you stress CPU and GPU

Verdict

In review: Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK. Test model courtesy of Campuspoint.
In review: Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK. Test model courtesy of Campuspoint.

The compact featherweight Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK left a great impression during our review and did not really reveal any serious drawbacks. A big part of this impression comes down to the convenient aluminum-magnesium case, because we think it looks really good and the build quality convinces as well.

Another highlight is the generally very good display. The keyboard also convinces, but not the slightly sticky surface of the otherwise good touchpad. If you want to attach many peripherals simultaneously, you will have to look for another device due to the limited number of ports. A maintenance hatch is not available, but the bottom panel appears to be easily removable.

We did notice some technical weaknesses like the extreme throttling during the stress test and the slightly humming fan, but this is not important here, because maximum load will be a very rare scenario for the device in practice. Both the Dell XPS 13 9350 and the Asus Zenbook UX305FA-FC040T managed better overall scores. Therefore, we can recommend the test model and also the smaller version with the i5-6200U and 4 GB RAM in particular, because where can you get a better device in the price range between 850-900 Euros (~$962-~$1019)?

Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK - 06/02/2016 v5.1
Sven Kloevekorn

Chassis
88 /  98 → 90%
Keyboard
86%
Pointing Device
82%
Connectivity
44 / 80 → 54%
Weight
73 / 78 → 88%
Battery
89%
Display
87%
Games Performance
62 / 68 → 91%
Application Performance
88 / 87 → 100%
Temperature
91 / 91 → 100%
Noise
88%
Audio
60 / 91 → 66%
Camera
53 / 85 → 62%
Average
76%
86%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

Read all 5 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo IdeaPad 710S-13ISK (Core i7) Subnotebook Review
Sven Kloevekorn, 2016-06- 7 (Update: 2016-06- 9)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.