The Lenovo S41 (80JU000TUS), a laptop born in Summer 2015, is meant for users that appreciate budget performance. There’s a capable 5th Gen Intel Core i5 processor commanding the system. The RAM amount is acceptable 4GB, and the notebook boasts a hybrid hard drive allowing for large storage and some added performance. Whether such a device is worthy of buying is entirely another matter – we’ll try to answer that here…
Looking inside the engine room, it seems to me that Lenovo S41 (80JU000TUS) is suitable for all the common programs and applications. The popular Intel Core i5-5200U processor is running the show, offering two cores with 2.2GHz base speed and 2.7GHz turbo. Benchmarks reveal it’s around 15% faster than similar i3s (~3500 vs ~3000 CPU Mark points). In real life, this kind of difference would be hard to notice. But i5 is not much more expensive so I don’t see any reason to stay away from it – unless you specifically know the slower Core i3 is all you need.
The notebook features 4GB DDR3L SDRAM by default. Perhaps because it’s a smaller laptop, the motherboard only houses one memory slot – thus you can’t go beyond 8GB RAM if you want to upgrade. If you’re asking my opinion, I don’t think more than eight gigabytes is ever needed, so the fact there’s just one slot shouldn’t be a problem for you.
Storage section is better than “hard drive only” setup. The laptop has a regular 500GB 5400RPM hard drive + 8GB SSD hybrid model. It’s tad faster than a pure HDD would be. Just keep in mind it will show as one drive in Windows, you can’t decide which files are put to the SSD part. The system decides that for you and puts frequently accessed data there to speed up the computer. If you’re dissatisfied with this, just take the whole drive out and replace it with a proper solid-state drive.
Lenovo S41 (80JU000TUS) is not a disaster for gaming. It has 4GB RAM, somewhat enough, although 6 or 8 gigabytes would mean smoother gaming experience. But the biggest culprit is graphics engine, there’s no dedicated gaming card inside, just the integrated Intel HD 5500. It allows you to play a selection of games but don’t dream of fancy graphics and high resolution. For example, using conservative (medium) settings and 1366×768, you’ll be able to get ~25FPS on heavyweight titles like GTA 5. The easier League of Legends will however give over 30 frames per second played with 1920×1080 – the default resolution of this laptop.
Comments about the display
So, it’s a Full HD 14-inch display in Lenovo S41 (80JU000TUS). 1080p is a nice thing to have, although you can’t use it all the way for gaming because of the weak graphics card. Videos and movies still work fine with 1080p. The display does not support touch.
Connections and ports
Lenovo S41 (80JU000TUS) contains three USB ports. Two are USB 3.0, one is USB 2.0, prefer the former. Also HDMI output is present in case you want to view the laptop screen on TV or another kind of monitor.
The laptop features no optical drive, the unit has that critical size with not enough space for such a drive. You may, however, connect an external DVD burner to the Lenovo’s USB port. You can also utilize the SD card slot with certain devices, such as digital cameras or music players.
The notebook can be connected to Internet with the Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 port or internal A/C WiFi card. Bluetooth 4.0 is enabled as well.
There’s a 720p webcam for video chatting on Skype.
Other essential things
It’s not a tough task to carry the laptop around. Lenovo S41 (80JU000TUS) weighs a low 3.7 pounds. Also contributing to portability, the 3-cell 45Wh battery should be good for around 5 hours if you’re surfing the web.
The keys seem to light up on this model. Numpad is not available.
Summing it up
Lenovo S41 (80JU000TUS) is not that spectacular laptop but it does its job fine. The system runs most programs and a handful of games fluently, and thanks to HDD+SSD hybrid you shouldn’t suffer from slow HDD-only transfer rates. 14″ display means the unit is easy to travel with, and Full HD resolution is one of the better things in this notebook (however using 1080p for fancy games isn’t going to work). Premium features, such as A/C Wireless and backlit keys are also present. If you value those things and can do with 4GB RAM and hybrid hard drive, getting this Lenovo should be worth it.