Lenovo IdeaPad series covers all price categories. But since Lenovo’s focus has shifted to the Yoga multi-mode laptops, the IdeaPad series has been addressing the more price conscious and the budget segments. Lenovo launched the IdeaPad 110 series in June and it offers laptops starting from Rs 20,000 and going up to Rs 25,000. It is clear that Lenovo is targetting the first time buyer. But will it succeed? Let us take a look
Build and Design: 7.5/10
Lenovo has really managed to get the look right. Coming in an all-black colour with textured flap as well as textured palm rest, the design language looks quite good for a sub Rs 25,000 laptop. The build is plastic, but it is the sturdy kinds and does not feel cheap. The hinge mechanism appears a bit flimsy, as the display tends to wobble for some seconds before coming to rest every time you open the laptop.
Lenovo IdeaPad 110 uses a chiclet keyboard and the just above the keyboard you’ll notice the speaker grille section, where only the central portion has the speaker on it. On the right hand side, you have a DVD tray whereas on the left you have the power port, HDMI Out, LAN port, a USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 port and an audio jack. The SD card slot is located in the front edge.
The laptop weighs around 2.2 kg and has a thickness of 22.9mm. These are decent dimensions for a budget laptop. There are four rubber feet on the base which ensures there is sufficient space for air intake. The laptop can also go fully flat, but honestly I don't see the point in that at all considering this is not a touchscreen laptop and neither does it offer great viewing angles.
Keyboard and Trackpad: 6.5/10
Lenovo IdeaPad uses a chiclet keyboard with well spaced keys which have a good amount of travel. Thanks to the 15.6-inch form factor, it does come with a dedicated number pad as well. The placement of the Shift key is a bit tricky as it is not that traditionally length button, but split into a regular size button and placed in line with the Up-arrow key. So many times we did end up hitting the Up-arrow key instead of Shift. This will take getting some used to. The keys aren’t scalloped like the ones we have seen on the more expensive Lenovo laptops.
The trackpad is quite large and has two separate left and right click buttons. The response of the buttons gets better as you approach the edges of the two keys. It isn’t that impressive and defeats the purpose of having two separate keys for left and right click. It supports Windows gestures.
Lenovo IdeaPad 110 has moderate internals keeping in line with the price point and the category of users it is targetted at. So we have a modest Intel Pentium N3170 processor clocked at 1.6GHz, paired with 4GB of RAM and it comes with Windows 10 OS out of the box. You can also get a Linux OS variant of the IdeaPad 110 which is slightly cheaper. In terms of storage you get a 500GB HDD.
It sports a 15.6-inch display with a native resolution of 1366 x 768. On the connectivity front, you have Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0. 1x HDMI port and more. And yes, you also have a dedicated DVD tray. Inside you have a 24Wh battery powering the IdeaPad 110.
Lenovo employs a TN panel on this laptop. And the quality shows in the form of shifting colours when you look from the side or different vertical angles. Also the resolution is 1366x768, so one does tend to see pixellation on the 15.6-inch display. It is not bad as such, but if your eyes are used to sharp displays on your mobile phone, you will immediately notice the dithering around text. The black and white levels on the display aren’t great either. The glossy nature of the display makes it too reflective. While the contrast is decent, there is noticeable backlight bleed. As long as you are working with office related programs such as Word or Excel there isn’t an issue with reflectivity, but watch a movie with dark scenes and you will know what I’m talking about.
Considering this is a Pentium powered laptop, we did not have much expectations apart from the bare minimum. As long as you are working with office related documents or are just surfing the web, there isn’t much of visible lag. Heavy websites with rich content, may not always run smoothly. For instance, we noticed on some video heavy sites, full HD videos refused to play back.
The benchmark scores obtained were quite modest, with Cinebench R15 giving 142 points and 3D Mark Skydiver gave 1238 points which is the lowest score we have obtained on a laptop tested in the last couple of years. Crystal Disk Mark 3.0 gave an acceptable 102 MB/s for sequential read speeds and 104 MB/s for sequential write.
While scrolling using the two-finger gesture on the trackpad, we noticed a massive lag between the time of making to gesture and actually seeing the webpage scroll up or down. Heat management is still better off. Around the palm rest region, the temperatures touched around 38 degrees Celsius which was manageable. The system temperatures reached 68 degrees on load according to Speccy.
Battery life: 5/10
The Lenovo Ideapad 110 offers around 155 minutes on PC Mark 8 battery test. This translates to around 4-5 hours on regular usage scenario. It is ideal to be used as a standalone laptop at home or school, but if you are using it in transit, ensure that it is fully charged.
Verdict and Price in India
Lenovo IdeaPad 110 is a laptop that is strictly meant for the first time buyer, who does not have power intensive requirements - in that case they should be looking at at least a Core i3 or higher models. This Pentium-processor powered laptop priced at Rs 23,990 makes for a good first laptop for school students. Of course, beware that rich media apps and heavy websites will still stutter on the laptop. It is ideal for working with word documents, watching standard definition videos, listening to music, playing Solitaire, among other things. Under Rs 25,000 price bracket, the Lenovo IdeaPad 110 offers excellent value for money.
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