Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59385555 14-Inch Touchscreen Laptop Review

Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59385555 14-Inch Touchscreen Laptop

The Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59385555 14-Inch Touchscreen Laptop is an entry level machine, designed to meet your everyday computing needs at an affordable price.

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This machine is driven by an AMD A4 class processor, running at 1GHz, with 1MB of cache, and featuring ATI Radeon HD 8210 Integrated Graphics. Despite being a modern processor, its capabilities are fairly modest – it should cope relatively easily with the demands of email, surfing the web, video chat, updating social status and standard productivity software, but it will probably struggle with more resource-intensive applications and modern games. Consequently, this machine is ideal for users who don’t need – or need to pay for – the more sophisticated capabilities of high end, high cost models.

The processor is supported by 4GB of DDR3 memory, which should be more than sufficient to allow the pre-installed copy of Windows 8 to carry out the tasks for which this laptop was designed. Of course, more memory is always better, but there seems little point in adding to the machine’s overall cost by installing more memory than is actually essential, particularly in a budget-friendly laptop such as this.

A 500GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is installed for permanent storage of documents, pictures, music, movies and, of course, software applications. As with the system’s memory, this should be more than adequate to cater for the needs of most users. However, if more storage space becomes necessary, it is a simple matter to connect an external hard drive to one of the machine’s USB ports. You may also wish to consider an external USB CD / DVD drive, if you think you might need one, as the laptop does not include a built in optical drive.

Pros :

  • Low cost, entry level machine suitable for routine tasks
  • AMD A4 1.0 GHz (1 MB Cache) processor
  • 4 GB DDR3 memory
  • 500 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
  • 14-Inch Touch Screen, ATI Radeon HD 8210 Integrated Graphics
  • Windows 8

Cons :

  • Underpowered for gaming
  • No optical drive

The machine’s 14-inch, 1366 x 768 pixel, LED backlit, 10 point touch screen makes the most of the new, touch-focused features included in Windows 8. It is driven by ATI Radeon HD 8210 Integrated Graphics which, again, should easily cope with routine tasks, but will struggle with more demanding chores, particularly modern games. This is partly a result of the processor’s limited capabilities, and partly due to the HD 8210’s own limitations, none of which are unreasonable in view of the machine’s expected uses and price point. However, it is worth noting that if you’re looking for a gaming laptop this machine is not for you!

For those times when you want (or need) to use a bigger display – such as when watching a movie – the machine is fitted with an HDMI port. This makes it easy to connect the laptop to an HDTV, a modern monitor or projector,

Two standard USB 2.0 ports, and one high speed USB 3.0 port, make it easy to connect a wide range of peripheral devices to this machine. The USB 3.0 port is best suited to use with devices that need the highest possible data-transfer rate – such as the external hard drive mentioned above – while the USB 2.0 ports are suited to devices like printers or mice.

Both wired and wireless networking are supported. An Ethernet port allows for connection to wired networks if required / desire, while the machine also supports 802.11 b/g/n WiFi for connection to wireless networks.

A 720p webcam is built in to the top of the bezel above the laptop’s screen, making this machine video-chat capable right out of the box. Windows 8 ships with Skype, the popular video chat software, so all you need to do is sign in to your account (or create one, if necessary) and start chatting to your friends and colleagues.

A two-in-one card reader, a combo audio jack for headphones and microphone and stereo speakers round off the usual array of input and output ports around the sides of this machine.

The laptop’s Silver Gray case measures 13.25 x 9.50 x 0.90 inches (L x W x H) and weighs just 4.6 pounds, making it small and lightweight enough to be easily portable. And, with a battery life of up to 5 hours, there should be no need to stay within reach of a power outlet.

Overall, the Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59385555 14-Inch Touchscreen Laptop is a perfectly reasonable entry-level machine, designed to carry out routine, undemanding tasks without breaking the bank. If your computing needs don’t extend much beyond email, social networks, surfing the web and productivity software, this machine may well be all that you need. It will, however, struggle with more demanding tasks and, in particular, with modern games. That said, it isn’t – and doesn’t claim to be – a games machine; it is a basic, low cost, entry-level machine, equipped to carry out everyday tasks with relative ease, and should be quite capable of doing so.

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