Lenovo IdeaPad 110S – Storage Upgrade

20170818_111553469_iOSSo the other day I decided I wanted to actually fully write my blogs when out and not wait until I was home to finish them off.  The iPad is good but image editing isn’t that easy and adding images to WordPress is much easier on a fully functional laptop.

Not having a huge budget meant looking around for something small, functional and cheap – I found the Lenovo IdeaPad 110S-11IBR at Argos for £169.99.

Pretty good spec for the price –

  • Intel Celeron N3160
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB eMMc Storage
  • 11.6″ HD Screen
  • 3 USB Ports (2×2.0, 1x 3.0)
  • MicroSD Card Slot
  • Full Size HDMI

But the storage space isn’t great, as you can see it’s only 32GB, but when you take into account drive size rounding, system and recovery drives it drops to 27GB usable space, add Windows and pre-installed apps and you have around 10GB left which is OK for basic things as browsing, streaming and blogging.

I didn’t have any problems until I wanted to update Windows 10 (Home Edition) to the latest Creators Edition, the download was fine but it really ate up the disk space so you need to spend time tidying up things afterwards.

With this in mind, I went searching to see if anything could be upgraded – Running 2GB RAM is good, but more is always better!  And the storage could do with boosting.

Bad News – The RAM is on the mainboard and can’t be removed/upgraded.  The 32GB eMMC storage is also on the mainboard and can’t be removed.

Good News – There is an empty M.2 slot on the mainboard which takes a 2280 SATA SSD, yep its upgrade time!

First of all pick your SSD, I opted for a 128GB ADATA Premier Pro from Amazon for under £60.  Other drives were available for around the same price (all 128GB) but the delivery was 1 – 4 weeks!

M.2 supported Drives – this unit only supports M.2 SATA drives not PCIe. For more information on the differences, please visit Kingston SSD M.2 FAQ

Installation –

A lack of teardown instructions exist for this laptop, probably because not many people buy and upgrade them!

Simple to install though.

What you’ll need –

  • The IdeaPad (obviously)
  • A suitable M.2 2280 SSD – this unit does not support M.2 PCIe, it only supports M.2 SATA.
  • Small Philips Screwdriver
  • Plastic prise tool
  • 1 x M2 2.5mm Philips screw (not supplied)

Flip the laptop over and remove ALL the screws on the underside, no hidden ones to worry about and they are all the same size too.

110srear

Gently prise the back cover off with the prise tool.

110semptym2

The empty M.2 slot is highlighted in yellow above.

Inset the M.2 SSD and install the screw (yellow circle), I didn’t have the screw so used the screw from the battery corner (red circle) and dabbed a bit of superglue in its place.

110swithssd

Specifics for my SSD. Note this is an M.2 SATA, an M.2 PCIe drive is not compatible.

adatam2ssd

Once this is done, clip the back of the case on and re-insert all the screws – Check you have no spares!

Now the fun starts……

Power on the laptop and Windows will see the new drive, you’ll need to go into Disk Management to format, assign a drive letter and label it – You now have 128GB of extra storage.

or

You can use your favourite cloning software to clone the current install to the new drive, boot up and then use the 32GB drive as extra storage.

or

Do a complete fresh install – I opted for this method as it killed 3 birds with one stone, install on the new SSD, removed value added applications that I don’t use and upgrade to creators edition.

Now I have a very fast, light, portable laptop with plenty of storage for just over £200 and my blogging can commence!  In fact this blog was written entirely on said laptop.

20170818_111553469_iOS

For those who would like it, here is the full Ideapad 110s Teardown Manual as supplied by Lenovo.


Lenovo 110S-11IBR from Argos – http://www.argos.co.uk/product/7509425

ADATA Premier Pro M.2 SSD from Amazon – http://amzn.to/2fUnKXO

31 thoughts on “Lenovo IdeaPad 110S – Storage Upgrade

  1. Marco October 16, 2017 / 3:40 pm

    Hi,

    Your review is very useful, compliment!.
    I have the same laptop of you but instead of upgrading it with the ssd that you used in your review, I bought the 850 EVO M.2 SATA III SSD for 130 euro. The shop tell me that it will be fine, otherwise, if not, they will refund me the moneys. I will received it in few days.

    I have only a question for you:
    I will clone the 32GB eMMc Storage on the ssd using the Samsung Migration Data (I know that this software works really well, I have already cloned with success other 3 desktop with this software) but how I will let the laptop understand which storage to use as primary for booting windows?
    I think I need to go in the bios and change the boot sequence putting the ssd before the eMMc, right?
    Then the laptop will start (boot) using the ssd to load windows 10, right?
    And which driver letter it will use? I think the C: right?

    Thanks in advance for your response.

    Regards,
    Marco

    Like

    • GFR2 October 16, 2017 / 4:00 pm

      The 850 Evo SSD is a good choice of drive so you shouldn’t have any problems with it.

      I changed the boot order after cloning but the software I was using meant the MBR was still on the 32GB eMMC rather than the new SSD. As the laptop was new I opted to just download the creators edition of Windows 10 and run a clean install, installed the driver software from Lenovos site and let it update the drivers needed. Had I used other software then the clone would have worked first time, but I didn’t have access to the software I normally use.

      Like

  2. Gilmaan November 5, 2017 / 10:42 am

    sir is this will support Samsung 960 EVO Series – 250GB PCIe NVMe – M.2 i had the same model lenovo ideapad 110s 11ibr

    Like

    • GFR2 November 5, 2017 / 10:46 am

      Update – From further checking it would appear that this laptop does not support M.2 PCIe drives and only supports M.2 SATA drives. M.2 is the form factor so both drives will fit into the slot, but the protocol differs between SATA and PCIe. For more information, please go to – https://www.kingston.com/en/ssd/system-builder/m2_faq

      Like

  3. Gilmaan November 5, 2017 / 11:07 am

    thank you very much sir for your reply

    Like

  4. maser7632 November 6, 2017 / 6:47 am

    hey man

    I have the sae computer lenovo 110s I was thinking to buy samsung 850 Evo or 960 pro. I was wondering can I use the Samsung migration program to clone 32gb internal storage to the new M.2 ssd.

    If yes, after completing the migration should i go and change the BIOS boot option if so with steps please.

    Like

    • GFR2 November 6, 2017 / 6:15 pm

      I’ve not used the Samsung cloning software, but assuming it works like most then yes you could do that and yes you will need to change the boot option in the BIOS. Changing the boot order is very straight forward, enter BIOS, go to boot and in there you will see the boot options – move the new SSD higher than the eMMC option then save your settings.

      Like

  5. sam daniels December 1, 2017 / 9:50 pm

    Hey, the SSD you listed was out of stock, so i bought the adata SX8000 PCIe Gen3x4 M.2 2280 SSD 128 GB but i cant get the bios or device manager to recognise it. Any idea why? I can’t tell if it isn’t compateble or if it is just a broken SSD.

    Like

    • GFR2 December 1, 2017 / 10:11 pm

      I’ve had a look and from what I can tell the 110S only supports the SATA version and not the PCIe version. Good news is the drive isn’t faulty, bad news is that it’s not supported. I’ll update the review to make this clear.

      Like

      • sam daniels December 3, 2017 / 1:32 pm

        Thanks for responding so promptly. What would you suggest buying instead due to the listed SSD being out of stock. I have a budget of around £100

        Like

          • sam daniels December 3, 2017 / 1:58 pm

            Thank you!

            Like

    • GFR2 December 4, 2017 / 9:15 am

      Unfortunately that is not documented anywhere, the Lenovo manual lists a 128GB and a 256GB SATA SSD. In theory based on it being SATA it ‘should’ support SSDs in the region of several TBs.

      Like

      • Chris December 8, 2017 / 9:16 pm

        Thanks so much for letting me know. I think I’ll just play it safe and look around for a 128gb or 256gb.

        Like

    • GFR2 December 8, 2017 / 9:57 am

      Looking at the spec of that SSD, there is no reason why it shouldn’t work fine. It shows it as an M.2 2280 SATA based drive which meets the requirements of the 110S.

      Like

  6. Jens December 10, 2017 / 12:32 am

    Thinking about buying this and upgrading to ssd, as it currently only £129 at john lewis. At the moment there is terrible choices for compact laptops everywhere. Just a few years ago everything was quite cheap and included touch screens, 500gb hard drives and other decent features. Now it seems this laptop is about the best choice. On other hand another thing that bothers me is wifi card. It seems it does not have A/C card? Only 802.11b/G/N? I have Intel 3165AC 3165NGW Dual Band Wireless AC + Bluetooth4.0 Mini NGFF card from other laptop. Would that work on this laptop?

    Like

    • GFR2 December 10, 2017 / 8:45 am

      I know what you mean about the choice, a few years ago these little notebooks were the thing to have, then the iPad happened and numerous clones by everyone and these little notebooks died out. I’d check on the exact model you are looking at, as mine has the Intel AC-3165 as standard. If it helps, look at the box they have it in, On one side there is a spec sheet with details, serial number etc. There is a line on mine that says WLAN: WIFI 1×1 AC+BT4.0 – If it says this, then you should be good.

      Like

  7. Jens December 10, 2017 / 3:03 pm

    Ordered one. Should arrive in a few days. I will let you know how things go with it. Need something basic, inexpensive and light. The problem these days, that manufacturers just don’t not make what people want at prices that people like. 32GB of storage? It is barely enough for windows updates! How about giving 320GB 2.5″drive instead? Celeron processor is fine for basic computing, but 2GB of soldered memory is too little. My 2 year old 11″ laptop had the same processor, flip and touchscreen, 2GB of upgradeable memory, 500gb hard drive (removable). I paid only £190. Windows 10 was free upgrade that I downloaded myself. Now even poor spec laptops are around £300.

    Like

    • GFR2 December 10, 2017 / 3:15 pm

      With the SSD upgrade you should find that 2GB will be more than enough for a lot of things. I use mine for writing blogs including basic photo editing using paint .net After having the back off it would be very difficult to squeeze in a 2.5” drive without making it deeper or using a smaller battery. Even devices like the HP Stream laptops which I like also have 32GB, it’s just not enough – minimum should be 128GB. For a semi-decent spec laptop (i5, SSD etc) then you’d be looking at £500+, tablets fill that gap! Of course there are things like the MS Surface book, but for a decent spec you are looking at £1000!

      Like

  8. tom December 12, 2017 / 9:02 am

    Hi,

    I don’t have my OS activation key. is there a way to preserve the genuine OS before doing a clean installation on the new ssd.

    Thanks.

    Like

    • GFR2 December 12, 2017 / 9:14 am

      If its Windows 10 then the key is stored within the TPM module, providing you use the same version (eg home) then it won’t ask for a key during installation. You could use some free cloning software to create an image file and save to a USB key.

      Like

  9. Jens December 13, 2017 / 1:45 pm

    Anyone who wants to buy Asus 110s at current price of £129 from john lewis (no affiliation, just a deal hunter), I can confirm that this model DOES HAVE EMPTY M2 slot available. It also includes free 1 year microsoft office 365 subscription. So I think it is very good deal. Laptop has intel wifi AC card with BT 4. Overall it is a great laptop at current price (the cheapest brand name laptop in UK market?), very portable, light and with decent battery life. It actually feels faster than my old laptop with the same processor, but 2.5 spinning drive and 8GB of RAM. It is capable of viewing HD content from YouTube, running a few programs at the same time. On other hand I noticed one interesting detail- it shows downloaded videos in poorer quality vs watching them on youtube when using Microsoft Edge (always use Microsoft Edge when viewing HD content on youtube, since even google chrome struggles with HD content even on more powerful computers). Out of the box it shows 27.2GB of hard drive space, but only 10.9GB available. That fills up fast. All I did is windows update, microsoft office activation, VLC, 2 browser and adobe flash installation. Now I have only around 4 – 2.16GB left(it changes, since windows is constantly updating) . At the moment I am using micro sd card and redirected all my pictures, documents, downloads, videos, music etc to sd card. You can install apps on sd card too). I hope there will be some deals at/around Christmas to buy m2 drive as this is not the biggest problem for me at the moment.

    Also, for people who don’t know- you can plug in your old hard drive from other computer WITH WINDOWS 10 and boot it from that drive (change bios boot sequence) with no problems. Windows automatically downloads drivers and whatnot in order to work with that drive.

    I have to thank the creator of this blog for directing me to this purchase. I considered it at the beginning, but dismissed it since I thought that nothing is user upgradable on it. I also have to say, that this Lenovo model is way better looking and way lighter than similar bigger “brothers” – 14″ or 15″ from Lenovo.

    Like

    • GFR2 December 13, 2017 / 1:55 pm

      If you like it now, wait until you add an M.2 SATA SSD – Power on to full desktop use takes less than 20 seconds! It is a hidden gem of a device.

      Like

  10. Claude December 14, 2017 / 3:49 pm

    Would it be beneficial to, after upgrading the ssd, make the 32 gb original storage as boost memory? My ssd is coming in the mail today and I will be upgrading my 110s to the same specs as yours and might make the 32 gb storage into boost memory since it is onboard. It would still utilize the 2gb ddr3 onboard memory as well as the other. What are your thoughts? Would that risk messing up the computer since it would cycle the 32 gb storage like memory, reducing the life of the computer?

    Like

    • GFR2 December 14, 2017 / 3:59 pm

      ReadyBoost only uses externally connected devices so you wouldn’t be able to use the onboard storage, plus as the M.2 SSD is faster you probably wouldn’t notice any performance improvement. I use the 32GB as data storage, my Onedrive folder sits on there and happily does its thing, I also use OneDrive on demand which also helps.

      Like

      • Claude December 14, 2017 / 4:10 pm

        Thank you for your input! Extremely helpful.

        Like

  11. Jens December 16, 2017 / 11:01 am

    Looks like I will upgrade to ssd sooner than anticipated. Last few days windows 10 update went to overdrive and consumed all hard drive space. Update with external hard drive failed. Now I keep deleting windows updates in temporary folder. Let’s hope that Adata SU800 will remedy this. 128GB is currently under £50 on amazon.

    Like

    • GFR2 December 16, 2017 / 11:13 am

      This was the reason I upgraded, Creators Edition (not the fall version) ate up all the space and required a stupid amount of drive housekeeping. With the 128GB SSD, once you take into account size rounding and system drives it shows as 118GB in Windows and I currently have 84GB free space and that includes Office 2016, Paint .net, Xbox Smartglass (and yes I have streamed games from the xbox One!) and a few other apps. That Adata SU800 M.2 looks pretty good and should work well.

      Like

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