Lenovo S20-30 review

Are netbooks back with a vengeance?

Lenovo S20-30
Lenovo S20-30

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The Lenovo S20-30 proves that the Chinese company is trying hard to extend its lead as the indisputable leader across as many segments as possible (as is evident with the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro).

We liked

The S20-30 came across as a capable workhorse. It is well-built, has a decent amount of ports, a good battery life, and all this is capped off by a great price with Lenovo happy to let vendors cut that even deeper (by nearly a quarter as we've seen recently).

We disliked

You cannot upgrade the on-board memory as Lenovo saw fit to solder the module in place, and the keyboard flexes far too much for my liking. The S20-30 is a bit slow and there's no reason why Lenovo couldn't have chosen a faster processor while keeping power consumption down. The laptop is also one of the many affected (and infected) by the Superfish adware.

Final verdict

A great deal for those who are looking for this kind of laptop: portable, non-touchscreen, with a decent battery life and most importantly with a very low price.

At this price point the competition consists mainly of other Lenovo laptops (like the B50 or the Lenovo Flex 2), the Toshiba Satellite C50, the Acer Aspire ES1, the HP Stream 11 and the Asus X200MA. Dell's cheapest laptop starts from £229 (around $350, or AU$460).

Amazon's S20-30 (model number 59422752) is £30 more expensive but has a more powerful CPU, touchscreen functionality, twice the memory and a bigger hard drive.

However, these deals come and go and frustratingly, as is the case for the X200MA, vendors tend to have several similar models on sale at the same time, something that only causes more confusion.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.