Monday, November 20, 2017

Lenovo IdeaPad 120S-14IAP Review : Laptop with SSD & Windows 10

The focus of this laptop review review article is Lenovo IdeaPad 120S. Lenovo IdeaPad 120S uses SSD as its primary storage device. Yep! SSD, not just eMMC. Not until there, when buying Lenovo IdeaPad 120S, users directly get the Windows operating system 10 with the original license in it. A very tempting offer especially very few laptops that directly include the SSD and Windows 10 in the price class.

SSD (Solid State Drive) is generally seen as a luxury storage device. It is not strange considering the price per-GB for SSD is higher than the HDD. However, SSDs offer much higher read-write speeds than HDD. This makes the hardware capabilities more optimal and the system becomes more responsive when in use. Even an SSD is able to bring new experiences and sensations in using a PC that may be difficult to obtain if using a HDD. Not imagined before if now a laptop with SSD in it can be obtained by allocating a budget of no more than 4 million rupiah. Let's take a closer look at what other surprises are kept by Lenovo IdeaPad 120S.


Lenovo IdeaPad 120S is powered by Intel Celeron N3350 processor with Goldmont CPU architecture base built with 14 nm fabrication process. The Celeron N3350 enters the Apollo Lake processor line devoted to a 2-in-1 laptop or laptop device. With a TDP of 6 Watt, Celeron N3350 tends to be very power-efficient and has a very low working temperature at work. Celeron N3350 is a processor with dual core configuration but without equipped Hyper-Threading technology so that only able to handle two computation process at once. The Celeron N3350 Base Clock is pegged at a speed of 1.1 GHz with a Burst Clock at 2.4 GHz.

Celeron N3350 uses SOC design where chipset / PCH components are planted into one in die processor. The Celeron N3350 uses an FCBGA1296 socket soldered directly to the PCB motherboard.

Based on CPU-Z application, Lenovo IdeaPad 120S has memory / RAM with 4 GB capacity at 2133 MHz speed.

Based on the HWiNFO application, the type of memory / RAM used is LPDDR4.

The appeal of Celeron N3350 is the use of the latest generation GPU architecture, Processor Graphics Gen 9 Low Power, for IGP Intel HD Graphics 500 in it. Similar GPU architectures are also used on the Core i 6th Generation processor line "Skylake". A number of latest generation GPU technology standards such as DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.3 / 4.4, OpenCL 2.0 is available on Intel HD Graphics 500. Multimedia capabilities have also increased with the support of HEVC / H265 8-bit, VP8 and VP9 codecs both for encode and decode .

Intel HD Graphics 500 has 12 EU (Execution Units) with Base Clock GPU value at 200 MHz with Burst Clock reaching 650 MHz. Maximum memory capacity / VRAM usable reach 8 GB.

The Notebook

Lenovo IdeaPad 120S look stylish with Mineral Gray color throughout the body. Appearance of this cheap laptop does not reflect the price and more feels like a premium laptop. Who would have thought Lenovo can bring this appearance on a laptop with a price not more than 4 million rupiah. Lenovo IdeaPad 120S itself is available in two colors with the second option is Denim Blue.

In closed display conditions, Lenovo IdeaPad 120S has a body thickness of only 1.86 cm only. Just different 0.41 cm only compared to AA battery diameter (1.45 cm). Not many cheap laptops that offer the body as thin. Generally as thin as this body is found on a premium laptop with a price several fold Lenovo IdeaPad 120S.

For long and wide sides, the Lenovo IdeaPad 120S has a size of 33.4 x 23.5 cm. Classified as normal for laptops with 14-inch screen size. Slim body Lenovo IdeaPad 120S is enhanced with light weight of this laptop is only at 1.4 kg only.

Lenovo IdeaPad 120S uses a 14 inch LED LCD screen with 1366 x 768 pixels resolution that produces 111 PPI pixel density. Type of panel used is TN (Twisted Nematic) which is commonly found in cheap laptops. Although not as powerful as the IPS panel for color accuracy and viewing angle, the Lenovo IdeaPad 120S display capability in color display is still quite good for TN panel classes. The narrow viewing angle panel TN characteristics are also advantageous if they require more privacy. The surface of the screen also has a glossy surface that adds comfort when used.

Lenovo IdeaPad 120S hinges allow the screen to rotate to near 180 ° from closed condition.

On the left side of Lenovo IdeaPad 120S can be found DC-IN connector, 1x Type-A USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), 1x HDMI, and 1x Type-C USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps).

While on the reverse side can be found microSD slot, headphone microphone combo jack, and Type-A USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps).

It is rare to find laptops in the class of 3 million that offer a keyboard with comfort levels like the Lenovo IdeaPad 120S. Button does not feel "soft" when pressed with good feedback sensation. No sensation is found bouncing when pressing the button so typing remains comfortable for long periods of time. The Lenovo IdeaPad 120S keyboard key itself has a short compressive distance of only 1.2 mm.

The power on / off buttons are plugged in with the other keyboard keys. A very risky placement next to the Delete button will often be used. Fortunately short keystrokes do not directly make the laptop experience the process ShutDown / Sleep / Hibernate.

Side cross section of Lenovo IdeaPad 120S. Two speakers and four feet of rubber material are visible.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 120S internal components can be easily accessed by opening the bottom side cover of the laptop. It looks like Lenovo uses the same components as the IdeaPad 120S variant with smaller screens. The amount of free space without components indicates that.

Mainboard of Lenovo IdeaPad 120S. Lenovo embeds processor and memory / RAM components directly on the motherboard PCB making it possible to make laptops with as thin a body as possible. No SO-DIMM slot found so the memory / RAM capacity is locked in 4 GB. The top side of the motherboard features a metal plate that serves as a cooling heatsink. The Lenovo cooling system does not have a fan so it produces a noise level of 0 dB.

Lenovo IdeaPad 120S only supports the use of storage devices with M.2 connectivity. This laptop is sold directly with SSD 128 GB M.2 SATA 6 Gbps from Lite-On in it.

Lenovo IdeaPad 120S features two speakers with 1 Watt RMS level. In the price class 3 millions indeed we can not expect high on the sound quality produced and this is the impression we get from the speakers Lenovo IdeaPad 120S. To just listen to the sound quality is not too disappointing. But if you want to get the maximum quality when listening to music or watch, we recommend using speakers or headphones with better capabilities in Lenovo IdeaPad 120S.

Lenovo IdeaPad 120S features Atheros / Qualcomm QCA9377 wireless cards that support Wi-Fi wireless connectivity standards and Bluetooth V4.1. Not many laptops in the price class like this offer wireless connectivity like this. Even laptops priced above Lenovo IdeaPad 120S will not necessarily offer it.

The battery component takes up the largest space in the Lenovo IdeaPad 120S body. The battery has a capacity of 32 Wh.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 120S power supply device has power up to 45 Watt. Fortunately this charger device only weighs about 175 grams just so it does not add too much weight when brought with the laptop.

Test Results - System Benchmark

Battery Life

Setting: Windows Power Option - Balanced | Windows Brightness - 1/10 | Speaker Volume - 20% | Airplane Mode - On (Video Playback) | WiFi On & Bluetooth Off (PCMark 8 - Youtube - Web)

Lenovo IdeaPad 120S shows satisfactory battery performance in our test scenario. A number of our successful tests prove the claim of 8 hours battery life for Lenovo IdeaPad 120S. Please note, the above test describes the battery life for activities that are carried out continuously without stopping. For activities that are not done continuously by providing a pause, battery life should last longer. The use of different applications with different settings will also affect the durability of battery life.

(4K) Video Playback

Who would have thought if a 4K video (3840 × 2160 pixels) with a frame rate of 60 fps and H.264 codec can run perfectly in Lenovo IdeaPad 120S. Even this ability is obtained by using battery power alone. Utilization processor is very high but the system with the specification is faster not necessarily have the ability like this. Of course, to be perfectly displayed hardware acceleration required by using Quick Sync Video technology provided at IGP Intel HD Graphics 500 on Celeron N3350. We use the Media Player Classic Homecinema app integrated with LAV Filters.

While for Full HD video (1920 × 1080 pixels) with 30 fps frame rate and H.264 codec can be displayed perfectly with processor utilization in about 50-60% only.


Celeron N3350 - This processor does not make super-fast performance as its allure. Celeron N3350 itself is still qualified to handle light computing activities such as creating documents, surfing the virtual world, watching videos, doing simple image editing, and much more. Fortunately, Lenovo IdeaPad 120S directly uses SSD as the main storage. The laptop feels very responsive when used and does not feel like using a processor with mediocre performance. Memory capacity / 4 GB of RAM is still feels sufficient to run modern applications.

Intel HD Graphics 500 - IGP Performance in Celeron N3350 is indeed not feel special in the gaming scenario. Game options that can be played comfortably, are limited. However, at least light games like Asphalt 8, Modern Combat 5, and Point Blank can still be played quite comfortably on the Lenovo IdeaPad 120S with low graphics settings.

The strength of the Intel HD Graphics 500 IGP is precisely found on Intel's Quick Sync Video technology. In video encoding testing with Handbrake shows the conversion process using H.264 codec can be accelerated up to 9X fold compared to using processor power. While in the video playback scenario, no one would expect a 4K @ 60 fps H.264 video codec to run perfectly by utilizing Intel Quick Sync Video technology. Of course, applications that support Intel Quick Sync Video technology are required.

Temperature - The working temperature of Lenovo IdeaPad 120S is satisfactory considering the use of fanless cooling and uses only simple heatsinks from metal plates attached to components. Body surface temperature was very low so it is safe to use even with dipangku though. Whereas in our temperature testing using heavyweight Cinebench R15 applications that burden the work of rendering 3D objects.


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