It’s undoubtedly the budget notebooks that sell the best, but there’s demand for these fancier laptops too. Because when power users and folks in the IT industry need raw power, a cheap computer won’t cut it. In this case, you need a beefier rig, perhaps like Lenovo S41 (80JU000VUS). The laptop in question contains i7 processor, plenty of RAM and a hybrid hard drive. Looks nice, but is it really a valuable buy? That’s what we’ll try to find out below.
There’s a whole lot of things you can do with Lenovo S41 (80JU000VUS). Its processor is the heavy-duty Core i7-5500U with dual-core setup, 2.4GHz clock frequency and a turbo speed of 3.0GHz. The unit reaches an acceptable 4000 CPU Mark points, but being a low-power CPU it’s still behind “real” i7s such as the i7-4720HQ that gets over 8000 points. But i7-5500U is still a fast chip, you can throw any kind of software to it and enjoy relatively lag free environment even with the complex applications. Also, thanks to the power efficient design, heat build-up won’t be high which might be good news if you’re using this laptop on your lap (heh).
The laptop has 8GB memory and according to the manual, it’s the most this notebook accepts. For storage you’ll get a hybrid drive: there’s 1024GB 5400RPM hard drive part and speedier 8GB SSD section. You won’t be able to decide what programs get installed on the SSD, but it will function as a cache to server Windows files fast and make the system boot up quickly. If you wanted to swap the hybrid drive for a real SSD I see no reason why that wouldn’t work.
Display and graphics
Lenovo S41 (80JU000VUS) has 14-inch screen, tad smaller than the typical 15.6″ display. Resolution is the excellent 1920×1080, giving you plenty of screen estate and peace of mind for the power users. It is no touch display, you’ll get to use Windows 8.1 with keyboard and trackpad only.
This notebook doesn’t have a great graphics performance. However, that’s not to say you couldn’t play any games. You can certainly fire up many, types like GTA 5 will require medium details and 1366×768 resolution to reach decent 20-25 frames per second. Many folks are fine with less fancy titles, and games such as Diablo 3, Sims 4 and Minecraft will be piece of cake for this machine.
Lenovo S41 (80JU000VUS) has usual ports one could expect from a modern notebook. There are three USBs in total, two of them being USB 3.0. The laptop also houses a full size HDMI output which is good for plugging in a television or another kind of monitor.
Networking interfaces are 1000Mbps RJ-45 port and 802.11 AC WiFi so you may choose between cable or wireless. Bluetooth 4.0 works as well, you can connect a mouse via BT for example.
This thing has no optical drive. The only way to get CDs or DVDs work in this case is to get an external DVD drive. Luckily they are cheap, only 20 to 30 dollars per unit.
Other included features are SD/MMC card slot and a very basic 640×480 webcam.
Lenovo S41 (80JU000VUS) isn’t too bad for on the go computing. It weighs 3.7 pounds and has 0.77″ thickness so carrying it in the backpack or case shouldn’t be a problem. Running time is around 5 hours with the included 3-cell 45Wh battery.
The notebook is premium enough to feature a backlit keyboard. It does not have a numpad on the the right because of size restrictions.
Summing it up
There are mainly positive things to be said about Lenovo S41 (80JU000VUS). It has adequate “engine room” for people who require great performance – the Core i7 processor and 8GB RAM should ensure smooth operations for the majority of programs. The hybrid hard drive isn’t bad, although it’s still much slower than a true SSD, so that you might want to swap for the real deal. The display is Full HD, although due to lack of dedicated graphics you can’t utilize 1920×1080 on heavy games. At just 14 inches and 3.7 pounds you should find this unit easy to travel with. Because of these good things (and only minor drawbacks) I would recommend this Lenovo if you know a 300 bucks starter laptop won’t be enough for you.