In today’s day and age it seems that everybody and their brother are releasing various Chromebooks. From Samsung, and Acer, to Lenovo and Asus, then of course you have Google’s own Pixel, but that’s besides the point. All of these manufacturers are racing to the bottom, and are rapidly filling a space that wasn’t even here five years ago.
The race to the bottom is for the cheapest, but most relevant Chromebook. Nobody has really “knocked it out of the park” and hit all the primary objectives for the cheap Chromebook, but that hasn’t stopped anyone. These manufacturers are still churning out different variations to bring the user the best Chrome OS experience.
As for a reliability, when it comes to regular laptops, the first words out of my mouth would be Apple. But they are the only manufacturer for their Operating System. If you were to ask me about the most reliable Windows laptop, I’d instantly reply with Lenovo. I’ve used a large variety of Lenovo products over the years, and some of which that have been reviewed here, but I’ve never reviewed a Chromebook from Lenovo before. So let’s dive into the Lenovo 100S Chromebook.
The Lenovo 100S Chromebook features a fairly impressive spec-sheet for a Chromebook packed in an 11-inch frame. Under the hood, you can find the following:
|Processor||Up to Intel Celeron N2840 Processor|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics|
|Memory||Up to 4GB of RAM|
|Webcam||1MP HD Front Camera, Dual Digital Microphone|
|Storage||Up to 32GB eMMC|
|Battery||Up to 8 hours|
|Display||11.6 HD (1366 x 768)|
Of course, these specs pale in comparison to your traditional sub-$300 laptop, but there’s a huge difference between running Chrome OS and Windows.
Chrome OS wasn’t designed to be the end-all-be-all for your computing need. Instead, Google went for the Google Chrome experience, with the various applications and extensions that we were already used to with our browsers.
So, no, this won’t run World of Warcraft, or even Minecraft, but you can bet your bottom dollar that it’ll help you be productive while you’re on the go. Whether on the go means in your home, or on the train to and from work.
The Lenovo 100S features a plastic design, but a design that still seems sturdy enough. I wouldn’t recommend throwing the 100S around, but this Chromebook will also survive a few drops here and there.
Seemingly, the 100S has a thicker plastic than can be found on other similarly sized Chromebooks. The hinges have been reinforced to ensure maximum protection against drops or anything else that may arise in your day to day uses with this Lenovo Chromebook.
The display is one of my sore points, but that’s just because of personal preference. If you’ve been using smartphones for a long time, you are probably aware of those oleophobic screen protectors that help protect your devices against fingerprints. Well, it seems that Lenovo used a similar type of material for the display on the 100S.
It’s definitely a matte display, and one that still catches glare in the wrong spots, depending upon the lighting situation. Of course, with a resolution of 1366 x 768, you’ll still be able to see what’s on your screen clearly, but it just will tend to look grainy from time to time. I understand that these devices are built for portability, but a matte screen just isn’t something that I enjoy using a regular basis.
As for connectivity with the 100S, there is one-USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port, one HDMI port, a 4-in-1 Combo Card Reader, and an audio jack. What impressed me was the addition of a USB 3.0 port, due to the fact that these aren’t found in many sub-$200 Chromebooks.
Keyboard & Trackpad
If you enjoy typing on a smaller device, you’ll LOVE typing on the Lenovo 100S. Since the 100S is only 11.6”, the keyboard feels cramped. But that won’t stop you from speeding through any work that you may performing. There’s just going to be a bit of a learning curve, unless you’ve got smaller hands or are used to typing on a device of this size.
I had issues with the placement of the search button since it’s larger than most other keys on the keyboard. My pinky continuously found itself wandering a bit too far, and this became a frustration while typing for long periods of time.
Other than the fact that keyboard feels cramped, the actual keyboard itself, is a beaut. Moving from key to key is seamless, and once you get used to the feel of the keys, you can breeze through that email you’re writing.
The trackpad was another point of concern due to the fact that I was worried about pushing too hard. Sometimes I would push down on the trackpad, and would hear a click, but nothing would register on the 100S. Obviously, this may be limited to just the review unit that was received at TechDissected, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Lenovo states that this battery should get users up to 8 hours of usage, and they sure didn’t lie about that. The 100S would last me a few days of varied usage, and would power up without issue as soon as the lid was opened. I never found myself running to a charger, because even when you’re running low on juice, there’s a nice little notification in the bottom right corner that helps you keep track. In this notification box, you are presented with an estimated time of battery life, allowing you to wrap up at just the right moment, or grab that charger before it’s over.
Even though I have gripes about the display and the keyboard, some of that is to be expected. This is a sub-$200 Chromebook that won’t feature all the bells and whistles, and when purchasing a device at this price point, there will definitely be some sacrifices that have to be made.
All-in-all, the Lenovo 100S is a solid Chromebook for anyone who needs a light and portable device to stay productive throughout the day, or even if you just want a device to check out what your friends are doing on various Social Networks. If this review has piqued your interest, you can check out some more info on the Lenovo 100S over at Lenovo’s website.
As for pricing, Lenovo has priced the 100S at only $199.99, and that includes 100GB of storage for 2 years via Google Drive. Once you get the Chromebook started up, you’ll be prompted to sign up for that deal, and you’ll have a bunch of extra storage for all of those files. If you want to save a few bucks, Amazon currently has the Lenovo 100S available for about $160.95 at the time of this writing. Drop us a line in the comments below letting us know what you think about the Lenovo 100S Chromebook, and whether this is one of the devices that may be added to your arsenal of productivity devices.
Product Page: Lenovo 100S Chromebook
Amazon: Lenovo 100S Chromebook