Lenovo Ideapad 500s (80Q30032US) Review

November 17, 2015
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New laptops being released all the time it might be touch to choose one – every manufacturer is saying their product is the best. But how can they all be the best, some have to be bad and there must even be the least best, right? Well, in this review, Lenovo Ideapad 500s (80Q30032US) will be examined further and determined if it’s one of those better notebooks the manufacturers would like you to believe…

What is it good for?

The Lenovo should be excellent for a home user, digital artist or a student. It has sufficient processing power thanks to Intel Core i5-6200U, a dual-core CPU with 2.3GHz base speed and also a turbo boost up to 2.8GHz. As you can read from the prefix “6”, the processor is one of the 6th generation models a.k.a. the latest. If you’re interested in the benchmark side, I’ll tell you the chip receives almost 4000 points in CPU Mark. That’s strong for a laptop, certainly the processor here wouldn’t become a problem.

But is there a bottleneck somewhere else in the system? Not in the memory section at least. The notebook has eight gigabytes DDR3 low-voltage RAM installed. To my knowledge, that is the maximum memory already. 8GB is very appropriate for multitasking and dealing with resource-intensive applications.

The 1TB 5400RPM hard drive doesn’t give the system any extra points. It’s quite a slow unit, although if you’ve never used speedier drives – SSDs – you won’t obviously notice it’s “slow”. But of course, if you’re not afraid of hardware stuff, you might promptly remove that HDD and put in such a solid-state drive.

I mentioned digital artists might find this Lenovo a good choice. That’s because the screen, albeit just 14 inches, supports Full HD. You’ll need such resolution for effortless image editing, at least from my experience. It is not touch display, so you need to operate the system with trackpad and keyboard.

What is it bad for?

One thing Lenovo Ideapad 500s (80Q30032US) wouldn’t be good for is gaming, especially the hardcore type. The simple reason is, the notebook features no dedicated graphics card – only an integrated Intel HD 520. Thus, you’re limited to lower settings and perhaps 720p resolution with many heavier games (including Grand Theft Auto 5). And you can’t do anything about that, the graphics card can’t be upgrade here.

What peripherals can be plugged in?

If you have, say, printer you’re free to connect it. The Lenovo has three USB ports for those common devices (two are USB 3.0 and one is USB 2.0). Hooking up any monitor with HDMI-in – like HDTVs or most desktop displays – is also possible thanks to the notebook’s HDMI-out.

Network connectivity is brought to you by the WiFi adapter (2×2 802.11ac standard). Hence, wireless printing also works, such as the Google Cloud Print service. Connecting Bluetooth devices is possible as well. The RJ-45 port allows you to plug in a network cable.

If you take a look at product photos you see no optical drive on the side. A fix for this, if you need to use discs, is an external DVD burner. Let it also be noted the SD card slot can be used with memory cards to transfer files from and to the laptop.

A front-facing webcam is available.

Miscellaneous things

Keyboard doesn’t have backlight feature on this model.

The Lenovo weights just 3.7 pounds, a road warrior would like a lightweight unit I think. The official battery life would be 6 hours but I imagine you’re getting 4 hours with a single charge.


Simply put, Lenovo Ideapad 500s (80Q30032US) is ideal for everything but gaming. It has (very) adequate processing power and memory, although storage section might need an upgrade to catch with the strong processor and RAM. But putting in a faster drive is not mandatory. The biggest hurdle is – obviously – gaming performance, only browser gamers and those who don’t mind low settings and laggy environment would like gaming here. If you’re fine with that, the pros outweigh the cons with this laptop if you ask me.

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