The Lenovo 100S Chromebook weighs 2.6 pounds (1.18kg) putting it close to the Acer Chromebook C740's 2.91 pounds (1.32kg) but way above the Asus Chromebook Flip's 1.96 pounds (0.88kg). The Lenovo is light enough to carry around without being bothersome, and all three are light enough that comparative differences in weight would be difficult to discern.
The 100S measures 11.81 x 8.23 x 0.78 inches (299 x 209 x 19.8 mm).This makes it just a hair thinner than the 0.79-inches (20mm) thick C740, but loses out against the Asus Flip, which measures a mere 0.60-inches (15.24mm) thick. Still, at such small dimensions there's really no practical difference between thicknesses when it comes to portability or determining value.
Here is the configuration for the Lenovo 100S Chromebook sent to techradar for review:
- CPU: 2.16GHz Intel Celeron Processor N2840 (dual core, 1MB Cache, up to 2.58GHz with Turbo Boost)
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
- RAM: 2 GB
- Screen: 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 matte display
- Storage: 16 GB eMMC Flash
- Ports: 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, headphone/mic combo jack, 4-in-1 Combo Card Reader, HDMI
- Connectivity: 802.11 a/c Wi-FI, Bluetooth 4.0
- Camera: 1MP 720p front camera, dual digital microphone
- Weight: 2.6 pounds (1.18kg)
- Size: 11.81 inches x 8.23 inches x 0.78 inches (299 x 209 x 19.8 mm) (W x D x H)
The 100S comes with an additional 100GB of cloud storage on Google Drive, free for two years. That's great, because 16GB of local storage is practically worthless if you plan on loading it up with music or video for on-the-go watching.
Inside the laptop there's a dual-core Intel Celeron Processor N2840 running at 2.16GHz, which puts it behind the Asus' quad-core 1.8GHz Rockchip 3288-C but ahead of the Acer's' dual-core 1.5GHz Intel Celeron 3205U. However, the 4GB of RAM on the Acer offsets the 2GB of memory on both the Lenovo and the Asus.
Still, for a sub $200 laptop, there's not a lot to complain about. Retailing for around $180, it works just fine for most internet-related tasks, and Google has set up Chrome OS to work adequately even when it's not grabbing wireless internet signals. The speakers aren't great, but they're much louder than you might expect from such a small machine, and it feels sturdy enough to survive a tumble or two.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the United Kingdom or Australia will be getting the Lenovo 100S Chromebook anytime soon. However, if it should come to retail abroad it would cost approximately about £120, or AU$250.
I'm always a little apprehensive using smaller computers, because I tend to leave a dozen or more tabs running at any given time. If I behave myself, I'll stick to half that amount, and I'm glad to say that with five or six tabs open and switched between frequently, I never once ran into any problems with the 100S Chromebook. The little machine easily kept up with my obsessive Twitter posting and Facebook checks, and I was able to work in Google Docs and read a few Feedly tabs.
As I started opening more and more tabs, it seemed as though the Chromebook was taking each new webpage in stride. One nice thing about the Lenovo 100S is that it never became uncomfortably warm to the touch, even with computationally heavy processes, like streaming from Amazon while Ajax-heavy websites ran in open tabs, running in the browser. I didn't notice any issues having 12 tabs open while watching a movie on Amazon Prime.
The real problem came when I would leave a bunch of tabs open for an extended period of time. Returning to a Facebook tab or any other constantly refreshed website after an absence would render the tab useless. I would have to close out of the tab and try again. Chrome told me it ran out of memory in an apologetic message. If you plan to have a ton of memory-hungry pages running simultaneously, the Lenovo 100S won't be up to the task.
Here's how the Lenovo 100S Chromebook performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
- Octane: 8,938
- Mozilla Kraken: 3,704
The Lenovo beat out the Flip in the Octane benchmark test, but fell well short of the C740's score of 13,700. However, the 100S Chromebook's place was swapped in the Mozilla Kraken test, in which the C740 lagged behind with a score of 2,137 while the Flip came in at 5,447. The 100S seems perfectly capable, but at a more attractive price-point than its competitors.
Battery life on the 100S came pretty close to the advertised 8 hours, with 7 hours and 35 minutes of continuous viewings of Guardians of the Galaxy in HD. It's really a pleasure to be able to tote a laptop around for an entire day on a single charge, as I am wont to do, and not have to worry about dashing to the charger. The battery life lasts effectively for an entire day, so it almost feels like having a cellphone. Before bed, I would plug the Lenovo in and let it simmer overnight.
The speaker on the Lenovo 100S is also surprisingly loud. The quality leaves something to be desired, but it's a step above the quality of a tinny, built-in phone speaker and really sounds better than such a cheap and compact laptop has any right to. While watching videos in my living room surrounded by my kids and dogs and their associated sounds, I actually had to turn the volume down a few notches at certain points.