The ultrasmall netbooks are one of the hottest topics in the laptop communities now. While there are a lot of netbooks available it can be a really daunting task to get a hold of a good one. Looking at the rise in the popularity of the ultrabooks today we are gonna check out this new low-cost release from Lenovo, IdeaPad 81A40025US. Let’s start the review then.
- CPU – Intel Celeron N3350 Dual-Core, 1.1 GHz
- GPU – Intel HD Graphics 500
- Memory – 2 GB DDR3
- Screen – 11.6-inch HD IPS (1,366 x 768)
- Storage – 32GB eMMC Flash
- OS – Windows 10 Home edition
- Performance – The specs sheet is not really anything exceptional that would stand out immensely- a standard and low powered Celeron processor, 2 gigs of RAM which is a bit small for this kind of laptop (4 GB would have been best) and 32 gigs of flash memory for saving and storing your files and folders (smaller than expected again as 64 GB is much more convenient). While the transfer rate in IdeaPad (38 MBps) was found somewhat slower than Dell Inspiron 11 3000 (85 MBps) and HP Stream 11 (50 MBps) its overall performance was far better than both of them. In synthetic tests like PCMark and CineBench which tests the computing ability in terms of processing power and memory speed it far outperformed Inspiron and Stream remaining only behind the relatively stronger and better configured Acer Swift 1 (Intel Pentium N4200 Processor, 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage). In short, it performed pretty well despite its small stature and would be able to handle your regular tasks like browsing and mail checking easily. Although its miniscule internal storage can get you into trouble quite easily as discussed later.
- Display – It comes with an 11.6 inch HD display. While the display is not the best in its class it certainly gets its job done. The colour coverage of the panel is mediocre at only 65%. While Inspiron (67%) shows almost the same coverage as IdeaPad, Stream surpassed it with 80%. The average brightness is found around 245 nits which is considered as a pretty good showing considering it’s an ultra-cheap netbook, Both of the competitors Inspiron (195 nits) and Stream (188 nits) featured a dimmer panel than the IdeaPad. Although the viewing angle is short and as a result, you might find yourself adjusting the screen every once in a while in order to get a comfortable view. While the colours look a bit dull overall and the visuals seem a bit blurry due to the low resolution the pictures look pretty good on the screen nevertheless making it perfect for productivity tasks.
- Price – One of the chief reasons behind the recent craze of the ultrabooks is their price and affordability. And Lenovo IdeaPad 81A40025US just rocks there. It costs even less than 150 bucks currently which is much lower than the 175 to 200 USD average of the ultra-small 11-inch category. Now, this 25 or 30 bucks may not seem much but it matters a lot when you’re buying a laptop of this price range (almost 20% lesser than the average).
- Storage – Now, there’s a big, big issue regarding the storage of this type of Windows-books (as I like to call them; pun intended). First of all, unlike many of the pricier Chromebooks and netbooks, it comes with only a meagre 32 GB of eMMC memory. And to make things even worse, if it wasn’t bad enough for you already, it’s loaded with a heavy and unwieldy Windows 10. Net result: Only 5 to 7 GB of free space after you’ve set it up and running. Also, keep in mind the terror of frequent Windows updates that would help to only make it even worse for you. You can opt for an external storage solution like the external HDDs, flash drives like the handy pendrives or even a Micro SD card to get out of this trouble.
- Audio – Well, we don’t expect much from a laptop that is this cheap. But the speakers seem really faint as the sound level seemed pretty low. While it wasn’t THAT bad considering that it’s an 11-inch ultra cheap notebook it hardly rose above the ambient environmental noise. The sound quality was, well, as good as you can honestly expect from this kind of product, quite muffled and dull.
Lenovo IdeaPad 81A40025US is a great ultrabook no matter how you decide to look at it. It’s cheap, it has got a good display and a generous battery backup and it is well built as well. While Acer Swift 1 was a better overall performer and a better candidate for your everyday Windows-book it certainly is costlier as well. And that’s when IdeaPad comes into the play with its rock-bottom pricing. Recommended.