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Lenovo S20-30 UltraPortable Laptop

Lenovo S20-30 Affordable Ultraportable Windows Budget Friendly Laptop Review

When it comes to notebooks these days a lot of people are going with smaller ones the size of tablets it would seem.  Okay not that small but the 10 and 11 inch netbooks are more popular these days then one would have expected.  The Lenovo S20-30 laptop is a device that was designed to a very portable machine for being able to surf the web and write things down.  The matte screen makes for good visibility and it comes running Windows 8.1 64 bit with Bing, not to mention the battery life isn’t bad.

For those of you looking for something that allows you to be mobile and better comfort than having a tablet that have a an attachable keyboard the S20-30 makes for a good choice.  Like the other models in the S20 series from Lenovo the structure is almost the same however on the other ones the processors were the Ivy Bridge or AMD APU’s, on this model however the company chose to go with the Bay Trail.

Performance

First let’s start by saying this machine was not built for the heavy user in mind, and in fact this device is something that is specifically a little machine that is meant to be mobile for those who indeed love surfing the web and writing.  You can tell from the hardware Lenovo’s S20-30 was built for simple office and internet related tasks and applications.  The processor on this S20 series model is the Bay Trail Celeron N2830 dual core processor which you will notice running on a lot of machines these days on the lower cost laptops.

The base clock speed allows the CPU to run at 2.16GHz and up to 2.41GHz with turbo.  If you are looking for something with great and blazing performance this is not the machine for you.  The system comes with hardware that is just too weak for the high end performance of other higher end laptops.  The S20 netbook however does run very smooth and other than not being the powerhouse the system doesn’t give you and problems.  For the most part it is on par with most of the machines in its class.

For storage on the 11.6 inch laptop you will find a Western Digital manufactured hard drive.  The 500GB hard drive runs at 5400RPM and you should have pretty decent storage your videos files and more.  However much like the processor for the Lenovo netbook the graphics card doesn’t provide much performance to be thrilled about.  The Intel HD Graphics leaves much to be desired so don’t expect much in terms of gaming unless you only expect to ones from Windows store.  The more modern games just are going to do while on this S20-30 device.

Design

This little machine is made from a black plastic that comes in a matte color.  The design is fairly simple with the top of the unit and display having more of a rough feel while the back of the lid and underneath the device is more textured.  For the price you should expect what you get with this 11.6″ notebook from Lenovo.  If you want to do maintenance on this notebook be prepared to remove the bottom shell has there is not hatch to access the inside.

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Lenovo decided to install a matte display for the 11.6 inch S20 model that comes with a native resolution of 1366 x 768.  While the brightness of the display is comparable to other comparable devices in the same size and price range the contrast does seem to need a bit more work.  One of the great things with having the matte display is that it works very well outdoors.  You don’t have to work about the reflections as you would with some of the other glossy screens.  For that the 11.6″ HD AntiGlare display gets a thumbs up.

For someone needing something portable the S20 comes in weighing just 2.86lbs and measuring only 11.77 x 8.15 x 0.82 inches.  This is not only thin and light but makes it perfect for traveling and using on your lap when no tables or desk are present.

Connectivity, Battery, and More

The Lenovo S20 comes with the 3-cell 36 Wh Lithium-Ion integrated battery that gets up to 5 hours on a single charge.   For ports you get the OneKey recovery button, Ethernet port, HDMi, USB 3.0 on the left side and on the right side you get the audio combo, memory-carder reader, USB 2.0 and the power connection.

When it comes to the sound you get two small speakers that are located underneath the device.  If you are expecting or looking for high quality sound don’t be shocked because this doesn’t offer it.   The stereo speakers with Dolby Advance Audio works okay in a quiet room however even then the sound is thin and at as with most devices in this price range there is seemingly no bass.  Headphones or external speakers would be best for sound.

Keyboard and Touchpad

On the S20-30 notebook from Lenovo you are going to get a chiclet styled keyboard.  The keyboard isn’t best on the market but we still think you would enjoy your typing experience better on this than most of the tablets with attachable keyboards.  The touchpad on the S20 measures just 3.2 x 1.7 inches and comes with multitouch gesture support.  This little device has no problem picking up and recognizing the the multitouch gestures and does so without a glitch.   There are also two mouse buttons located on the touchpad that have short key travel length.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that the Lenovo S20-30 is a good but not great choice if you are in the market for a new 11.6″ device.  While it comes with the Intel Celeron N2830 Intel HD Graphics Bay Trail and only costs around $250 it leaves much to be desired.  For those just looking for something that can do simple and light office work and general internet applications it offers enough performance.  It runs quietly for the most part and the battery life is more than sufficient.  While the contrast of the display needs a little work the matte display offers great use outdoors.  If you are judging on low cost pricing this is surely worth mentioning however there are better mobile machines out there from in terms of the Lenovo ThinkPad and Acer Aspires.  You are going to spend a little more money but you are going to get more features.  At the end of the day it comes down to what is most important in the machine for your.  Is it the price or the performance?  This machine just isn’t going to offer the performance you will get for others.

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