The march of know-how stomps ever onwards, and it is as noisy as ever. However we do not see the know-how parade the way in which we as soon as did. We have discovered ourselves capable of tune out its incessant footsteps.

That fixed, determined improve cycle has, by all accounts, slowed quickly; generally a fantastic finances laptop computer will meet all our wants. Why make investments near a grand on the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S when you could possibly have its (barely bigger) little brother, the decidedly inexpensive Lenovo IdeaPad 320S?

Sure, if you’d like the facility to wrestle polygons you are higher off wanting elsewhere – the Medion Erazer X6603 (additionally, type of, a Lenovo product) is a strong gaming laptop computer at a good value – however might this bargain PC, with its paltry Pentium processor, even have what it takes?

Spec Sheet

Right here is the Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-14IKB configuration despatched to TechRadar for overview:

CPU: 2.3GHz Intel Pentium Gold 4415U (Twin-core, 2MB cache)
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 610
RAM: 4GB DDR4 SDRAM (2133 MHz)
Display: 14-inch, 1366 x 768 TN
Storage: 128GB SSD
Ports: 1 x USB three.zero, 1 x USB 2.zero, 1 x HDMI, 1 x USB Sort-C, SD reader, audio multi-jack
Connectivity: Intel Twin Band Wi-fi AC
Digicam: Constructed-in HD webcam
Weight: three.75 kilos (1.7kg)
Dimension: 15.35 x 10.47 x zero.78 inches (32.7 x 23.6 x 1.9 mm; W x D x H)

Worth and availability

As talked about, we’re testing the Pentium flavour of the IdeaPad 320S 14-IKB right here – it is also obtainable with a beefier Core i3, a Core i5 and, proving the flexibility of its chassis, a full-on Core i7 with FHD display screen.

Whereas the MSRP of the Pentium mannequin is a fairly excessive £399.99 (round $550, AU$700), you will discover it for £50 much less – for those who do not, there’s little profit to purchasing the Pentium mannequin over the already-discounted Core i3 flavour of the identical machine, which is similar value at press time.

We have been unable to seek out any proof of this Pentium mannequin being offered anyplace apart from via sure UK retail shops, although its Core i3-7100U cousin (with in any other case equivalent specs) is obtainable for an MSRP of £479/$479/AU$649.

Design

You do not normally count on a finances machine to look any good. Spend underneath £400/$600/AU$700 and also you’d historically be dragging a silvery paving slab out of your bag, a thick, chunky, ugly beacon, shouting to throughout that you are a cheapskate with poor style in computer systems.

Not so with the IdeaPad 320s, which shares the identical slim, curvy chassis all through its line. It is actually somewhat good. Have been it not for the holographic blue ‘Pentium’ sticker on the bottom, you’d by no means know this was a finances machine at first look.

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This white model (there’s an aluminium model of the identical chassis, utilized in extra premium fashions) does have a couple of peculiarities to keep in mind. Every part however the aluminium lid is manufactured from plastic, so it’s going to all-too-easily choose up soiled marks, and there is a specific amount of flex in each the bottom and the display screen, so you will need to put it in a correct padded case somewhat than simply tossing it in a backpack.

Display

The low-end IdeaPad 320s-14IKB’s greatest sacrifice, and the loudest klaxon saying its finances nature, is its display screen — that is probably the most bog-standard 1366 x 768 TN panel you are prone to discover.

It takes some angling earlier than you will discover a place that does not wash out and even invert a number of the colours; transfer your head round and the entire picture shimmers. It is not nice.

Credit score, although, to Lenovo for not including a shiny materials to make it much more troublesome to see. The anti-glare coating on the display screen actually does neuter reflections, making this the perfect sub-HD media machine for those who can tilt the display screen good.

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