If you’re after something that’s easy to carry around but has enough power to deal with tasks beyond the everyday then the Lenovo IdeaPad S205-1038 is well worth considering. The cost of £340 certainly makes it very attractive, but there’s more to the IdeaPad than a low price tag.
Like the other Lenovo in this group test it commits the crime of having a glossy screen surrounded by an even glossier bezel. However, the 11.6in display has plenty to offer, with a 1366 x 768 resolution providing a sharp, well defined image. Powered by an older AMD processor, the dual-core 1.6GHz E350, the IdeaPad struggled in the WorldBench 6 tests, though was still streets ahead of the only genuine netbook in this category, the Samsung NC110. Gaming is a stretch too far though, with the integrated AMD Radeon HD 6130M chip struggling to a score of 6fps in the FEAR tests.
There’s no optical drive but you will find a decent-size 500GB hard disk, three USB 2.0 ports, VGA and HDMI and a multi-format card reader. In terms of working on the IdeaPad the keyboard gives a generous amount of space to most keys, though again we’d prefer larger Return and Backspace keys.
The touchpad, though, could be a bit bigger but it does have one nifty feature – a tiny button that you can press to turn it off should you be sitting at a desk and using a USB mouse. The button is too small to accidentally press, so there’s no worries there.
We were a little disappointed by the battery life, though, with a score of 338 minutes the third-lowest in the group. It certainly wasn’t in the same league as the Samsung NC110’s score of 472 minutes, more than two hours clear. However, we’ve no arguments with the price and it’s easily worth the £100 more it costs than the Samsung netbook.