Introduction, Design, Features
If money is no object, and you’re looking for the highest-end, fastest-performing laptop that money can buy, you might as well stop reading here, because the 14-inch Lenovo Ideapad 120s ain’t it. But not every PC buyer needs mighty power—and even those who do might also want a reasonably lightweight, inexpensive option for when they’re on the go. And that’s where a notebook like this comes in, offering just enough performance and functionality to get the job done without breaking the bank.
Priced at $279.99, the Ideapad 120s-14IAP (to give it its formal name) sports a 14-inch display with a resolution of 1,366×768 pixels. It’s powered by a 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N3350 dual-core processor and comes equipped with 4GB of memory and 64GB of eMMC storage. And if that’s a tad more than you wanted to spend, or if you wanted something more portable, a smaller Ideapad 120s equipped with an 11.6-inch display and half the memory can be had for $30 less.
Given how inexpensive the Ideapad 120s is, we were pleasantly surprised at how attractive a design it offers. Its gray plastic body may not be quite as sleek as the aluminum chassis of some more expensive offerings, but nothing about it feels low-end, either. It feels nice and sturdy and sports some nice angles.
The Ideapad measures 0.73 by 13.1 by 9.3 inches and weighs 3.2 pounds. With the lid closed, the only thing breaking up the sea of matte gray is a shiny Lenovo logo in the top left corner. Its edges curve a bit into a bevel cut, with even more of a curve at the bottom, resulting in a system that feels even slimmer than it actually is.
Once you pop open the lid, you’ll be greeted by the aforementioned HD (not full HD) display. Above the screen, in the thick bezel surrounding it, is an 0.3-megapixel Webcam that produces some of the fuzziest video we’ve seen in quite a while. Below the display, meanwhile, you’ll find another Lenovo logo, over in the bottom left corner.
While 1080p resolution would be nice, 1,366×768 would be all right for a display of this size if it were bright and crisp, but it’s not. What Lenovo calls an antiglare screen just feels dim and dull, even at full brightness.
Opposite the display is a full-sized chiclet keyboard that is comfortable to use, with the top right key serving as a dedicated power button. Below the keys is a similarly comfortable touch pad, with a line near the bottom separating the areas for left and right clicks.
Along the left edge of the Ideapad 120s, you’ll find the port for the power adapter, near the rear of the system, followed by one USB 3.0 port with a Type-A connector, one HDMI port, and one USB 3.0 port with a Type-C connector. While the USB-C port doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3, it does offer a means of charging devices when the system is plugged in, even if the system isn’t up and running.
Over on the other side, you’ll find another USB port with a Type-A connector, an audio jack, and a microSD slot that, annoyingly, requires that cards be inserted upside down. Wireless connectivity options include 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 support.
At the bottom of the system, you’ll find slightly raised rubber feet and two speakers that produces thin, tinny sound that doesn’t get nearly as loud as we’d like. So if you want to listen to music, you’ll likely want to invest in a decent pair of headphones.
The Ideapad 120s comes with Windows 10 Home as its operating system, along with a few Lenovo utilities. Also preinstalled are a copy of Microsoft Office and a few games, taking up more of the system’s scanty storage than we would have liked. You may want to take some time and uninstall anything you don’t need.
The system is covered by a one-year limited parts and labor warranty, with extensions available when ordering from Lenovo.