Lenovo IdeaPad S205 review

It may lack power, but this petite laptop is highly portable

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Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Light and portable
  • Good battery life
  • 500GB hard drive

Against

  • Limited performance
  • Compact design means usability suffers

The Lenovo IdeaPad S205 is a small and light laptop, but in order to keep this machine highly portable, some compromises have been made.

At just 1.4kg and with a dinky 11.6-inch screen, the IdeaPad S205 looks more like a netbook than a laptop. It's designed to be as portable as possible, and you barely even notice it when the compact body is stashed in your bag.

Thankfully, it's solidly constructed, with only a slight hint of flex. We certainly weren't worried about it breaking when we threw it into our backpack and wandered around town.

The plain black design of the interior is nothing special, although we liked the unusual and subtle boxy pattern on the lid. Despite the reduced size, the IdeaPad is still surprisingly chunky.

This is due to the battery, which protrudes from the rear of the machine and pushes it upwards. As a result, this laptop is almost as thick as the 17.3-inch Toshiba Satellite C670D. However, that raised rump means the keyboard is tilted at a more comfortable angle for typing.

Lenovo has managed to fit an isolation-style keyboard on to the compact body, which is perfect for touch-typing thanks to the gaps between the keys.

Some sacrifices have been made – such as the squashed Shift, Tab and Return keys – but the best has been made of the tiny space. However, we did get annoyed at the indented Ctrl key, which we constantly miss-hit when using Windows shortcuts.

Lenovo ideapad s205

The palmrests are understandably slim, so your palms dangle off the bottom when you're typing. It's a minor quibble, although the slender palmrests also means the touchpad is pretty small. Still, considering the shrunken chassis, the IdeaPad is surprisingly usable.

Basic performance

However, in our benchmarking tests we found the Lenovo was seriously lacking power, like the much bulkier Toshiba. In fact, the IdeaPad uses the same AMD processor as the Toshiba, and matches its 4GB of memory. The result is very basic performance.

Thankfully, we had no problem running office software, browsing the web and so on. The integrated graphics can also cope with standard-definition movies and you can edit your photos with simple design packages.

However, when we tried watching a high-definition film it came out as a slideshow presentation, displaying a frame every few seconds. Only basic web games such as Bejewelled actually ran at an acceptable framerate. That said, if all you need is a laptop for checking emails, enjoying your family photos and running basic software, and you value portability over performance, this laptop may be the one for you.

Not only is it slim and light, the battery lasts for over three hours when watching movies and for over four hours when browsing the web.

We're also impressed that Lenovo has crammed 500GB of hard drive space into the tiny chassis.

TechRadar Labs

Tech labs

Battery Eater '05: 182 minutes
Cinebench: 2193
3DMark 2006: 2232

This is enough space to last most users years, and only the Acer here offers more storage. A 5-in-1 memory card reader can be used for extra space.

To sum up, if you need a budget machine for regular travel, the Lenovo is the best options. However, if you'd prefer a laptop with a bit more power, and are willing to carry something a little chunkier and heavier, the Acer Aspire 5742Z will suit you more.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ModelRadeon HD 6310M
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time5 Hour
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyIdeaPad S205
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor ModelE-350
ColourBlack
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameLenovo
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Screen Size29.5 cm (11.6")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.48 kg
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, ENERGY STAR, EPEAT Silver
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerAMD
Chipset ModelA50M
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyVibrantView
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height37.6 mm
Width290 mm
Depth193 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesS205
ManufacturerLenovo Group Limited
Product Model10382EG
Product NameIdeaPad S205 10382EG Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineIdeaPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberM632EUK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lenovo.com/uk/en/
Marketing InformationYOU BRING THE IDEAS, WE'LL BRING THE SWAGGER.

Attention-getter, multimedia maven or gaming virtuoso - no matter what you call yourself, our IdeaPad laptops power your imagination and your sense of self-expression. They feature clever technology and a spectrum of equally smart designs.

EXPRESS YOURSELF

IdeaPad's stylish design makes these laptops ones to see and be seen with. No two people are the same. We kept that in mind when we designed the first IdeaPad laptops. Fact is, we wanted to give you options for expressing yourself. You may look at a tribal tattoo pattern and see yourself. Or maybe bold colors or a sleek metallic finish is more your speed. Choose carefully - you will get noticed.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • IdeaPad S205 10382EG Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year