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Lenovo IdeaPad S145 review: an affordable, student-friendly laptop

If you are a student looking for a capable and good-looking laptop, you are in the right place. The Lenovo IdeaPad S145 is one of the most affordable offerings in the company’s line-up. I received the IdeaPad S145 Intel Core i3 variant of the laptop for the purpose of this review, which is quite affordable with a price tag around Rs 30,000. Quite obviously, Lenovo has cut a few corners to keep the price point low, but are these compromises worth the money you save? Let’s find out.

What works

Being an affordable laptop offering, the IdeaPad S145 is crafted out of plastic in its entirety and yet manages to look premium, thanks to the classy grey brushed metal paint job on the lid and inside. Additionally, due to the plastic make, the laptop is extremely light-weight as well, making it comfortable to carry around.

Speaking of the design brings me to another key feature of the IdeaPad S145. I am talking about the full-sized QWERTY keyboard along with a full numpad. The U-shaped keys used on the IdeaPad S145 are very comfortable to type on and also have an ample travel distance. However, they don’t have much tactile feedback, which might be a deal-breaker for some. Speaking of the input devices, the touchpad is pretty smooth and accurate as well.

Lenovo has kept the design of the laptop pretty minimalistic, and to that extent, has placed most of the i/o ports on the left, including the charging pin, HDMI connector, three USB Type-A ports (one 2.0 and two 3.1). The right side is bare except for the SD card slot and 3.5mm audio input. The ventilation grills and speaker cut-outs are located at the bottom, while the heat exhaust is located on the spine between the display and keyboard. All in all, Lenovo has done a pretty good job of making the IdeaPad S145 classy and sleek.

The 15.6-inch display of the laptop is pretty sharp thanks to the full HD resolution. The 16:9 display is good for watching videos, but I did feel that it’s not bright enough, which is the only grouse I had when it comes to the display. Additionally, the battery life of the laptop is pretty good as it lasted around 3-4 hours while I used, watched videos and browsed web, all the while connected to the Wi-Fi.

What doesn’t

The lid of the laptop feels very delicate and bends even with the slightest force which is off-putting. Additionally, while the lid is closed the construct seems solid, but when its opened, the display wobbles a fair bit. Moreover, the bottom panel of the laptop feels unfinished because of the sandblasted texture and dull grey colour.

Let’s talk performance now, the Lenovo IdeaPad S145 sent to me for the review is powered by an Intel Core i3 8th-gen SoC backed by 4GB RAM. While the laptop handles regular tasks like writing documents, watching videos and browsing the web with ease, it struggled when it came to anything else even remotely resource-hungry. Therefore, if you are looking to use apps like Photoshop or play games, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Verdict

It’s evident that the Lenovo IdeaPad S145 is solely a student laptop, that’s ideal for basic tasks. If you are looking for a productivity-oriented laptop, it’s advisable to stretch your budget a bit and get a Core i5 powered machine.

Pricebaba’s rating: 6.5 / 10

What works:

  • Sleek design
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Accurate touchpad

What doesn’t:

  • Underpowered processor
  • Only 4GB RAM
  • Build quality is finicky

Photos by Raj Rout

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