Lenovo IdeaPad S405 review

Ultrabook by name, netbook by nature

Lenovo IdeaPad S405 review
The Lenovo IdeaPad S405 looks like an Ultrabook, but lacks the Intel processor

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The Lenovo IdeaPad S405 is an attractive laptop that has Ultrabook looks at a rock-bottom price tag, but while we could forgive the lack of power compared to an actual Ultrabook that costs far more, the short battery life hobbles the Lenovo IdeaPad S405 into being redundant on the move, meaning it's really only suitable for use around the home.

However, those looking for a lightweight and attractive secondary laptop for simple duties around the home, instead of a tablet, will find happiness here.

We liked

If you're after something that looks the part, without the action to fully back things up, then you're onto a winner with the Lenovo IdeaPad S405. It's thin and lightweight so it'll happily drop into a bag, and you could carry it all day without noticing it's there.

Despite its low power output, the Lenovo IdeaPad S405 will happily perform most tasks with ease, such as browsing the web or watching HD movies, although full-on gaming is out of the question. As a bonus, it boots up nice and quickly too.

It's nicely specced as far as ports go, with HDMI and a single USB 3.0 port, and overall it feels like terrific value for money -the current selling price of £399.99 (around US$612 / AU$588) is not a lot to ask for something that feels this good.

We disliked

While the Ultrabook proportions look and feel great, unfortunately the Lenovo IdeaPad S405 doesn't quite hit the mark in terms of portability. With a battery life of between two and four hours, depending on use, it's certainly not capable of carrying out a full day's duty.

The options are: you can live with this and work accordingly; carry the power supply with you every time you leave the house; or pay a little more for an actual Ultrabook with a better battery life.

The Lenovo IdeaPad S405's other main problem is the fact that you might just want to go ahead and get yourself the Intel-powered S400 version instead, which is identical in every way, including price, expect it has a slightly faster processor, but a little less go in the graphical department.

Final verdict

Overall, with the Lenovo S400 you're getting roughly the same performance and similar battery life as the Lenovo S405, but with a different badge attached. It's a confusing situation - we say go with your heart. Once you've tackled this tricky dilemma, you're left with a laptop that looks like an Ultrabook but will probably stay at home mostly.

That's not to say the Lenovo IdeaPad is a failure in any way - this is a seriously cheap laptop and if you're looking at the budget end of the market, you'd be mad to buy a similarly-specced laptop that looked run-of-the-mill.