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August 27, 2017

1

The Lenovo laptop life for me

by GFR2

IMG_0055Over the years in IT I’ve experienced most brands in both laptop and PC form and the difference between brands can at times be quite substantial – Even in the same price range build quality can be excellent or very poor.

Because of this when it came to home PCs, I always opted to build my own, it saved some money and allowed me to pick and choose parts – but then prices came right down and it made more sense to buy pre-built systems.

intelnucMy last system was an Intel NUC – It wasn’t a fully built system as you needed to add a HDD, some memory and a software licence but for £89 it was absolute bargain.  Add the bits above and for under £300 I had a very compact system suitable for occasional use.

However things change, I started writing reviews and doing more and more on that little NUC – It’s Celeron chip was being worked hard and it didn’t like it.  So I bought a Microsoft Surface 3 (Not Pro) and used this for a year to do all the our wedding planning on, it allowed me to do all the photos, website, invites, table layouts etc but it needed the purchase of a keyboard and pen – It also lacked space with only having a 128GB SSD.

So I was on the lookout for a new system to replace the NUC and maybe sell the Surface too.

lenovog50-80Xmas came and an amazing deal was had on a Lenovo G50-80 (i3, 8GB, 1TBHDD) and I mean it was a damn good deal!  The NUC was stripped down, data transferred and the G50 became my main home system, yes it’s not the most powerful system out there but I didn’t buy it for gaming – I bought it to be an everyday use PC, my main system.

For a £250 Laptop its brilliant, at the full price of £350 it would have also been very good – Well built, very quick, decent speakers, clear screen and so far hasn’t missed a beat.  Yes I’d like to add more memory to give it a boost but it’s not critical.

The only downside for me is its size – It’s in the size category of a 17″ laptop rather than a 15.6″ – but this gives the advantage of a full size keyboard which is really nice to type on.

Which leads me to a small issue – Whilst portable (it’s a laptop after all) it’s not as portable as I’d like, and I needed something to write reviews on whilst on the move and at work.

20170624_171938654_iOSThe iPad, small, light, portable and with the WordPress app it does a good job – Well yes and no, it allows me to write a review or blog post but I can’t finalise it as I’d like – It’s not easy to add and manipulate images and typing is not as quick as when I’m on a laptop – no matter the keyboard used.

So I went looking for a smaller portable laptop for review writing and blogging, but it needed to be cheap, very portable and with a small screen (around 11″) but also well-built.  There aren’t a huge number of devices that fit into this category.

You can get small, portable and well-built but at a huge cost.  You can get small, portable and cheap but with questionable build quality or an unknown brand. And then a small subset of small, portable, well built and cheap in which I found a Lenovo Ideapad 110S-11IBR.

lenovo110s-11ibrThe 110S has an 11″ screen, 2GB RAM, 32GB eMMC and is very well-built – in fact it’s better built than most laptops that cost 3 times the price or more.

Perfect for review writing and blogging, however I wanted a bit more space for basic photo editing and syncing to OneDrive so I added a 128GB SSD and rebuilt the system. (Guide here)

Yep, I got my cheap, portable and well-built laptop meaning I can write reviews and blogs wherever I am, which for me opens up a huge range of possibilities.

I would highly recommend looking at the Lenovo range of laptops next time you are thinking about buying one.  Of course being a techy geek, I always want the latest and best that they have to offer, but my bank account disagrees, but then this leads me to discover the little gems I have and that’s even better.

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1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Bill G
    Oct 29 2018

    Thanks for this review and also for your post about upgrading storage on the Lenovo 110S. I have one as well (the -100US model) and I absolutely love it! Like you, I’m an IT techy. It isn’t something to use for software development, but for blogging, notes, and “regular” work, it’s great. I especially love that it is so lightweight and not overpoweringly large, so it’s easy to carry, while not being too small to use.

    Since it only comes with 32GB eMMC, the storage limitations were problematic, so I switched operating systems to Linux Mint. (Despite being a Microsoft .NET programmer, I have come to love Linux Mint!) That made using the Lenovo 110S much better. Still I wanted more. So tonight I have installed a 500GB SSD, following the instructions in your blog post. I’m doing a clean OS install as you did, except once again using Linux Mint.

    So thank you for your posts! I hope you continue to enjoy your Lenovo 110S as much as I do!

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