If you are in the market for a laptop and price is a major issue then this Lenovo is worth a good look. It does come loaded with some bloatware and there is not a single aspect that sets this model apart other than the streamlined design. Still though the basics are well covered for a computer that should do a nice job with the majority of computing tasks. This makes a strong laptop for sending with the kids off to college as it does not cost too much, it can carry a decent workload, and it is not so strong that a student would become easily distracted.
You can find this model in multiple colors though the gorgeous all silver in black of the base model still looks great. With nice rounded edges and a relatively thin bezel at the very least the look of this laptop surpasses its budget price line. With well placed ports and optical drives you also don’t have to worry about too many cords cramping up your performance. The attention to design allows this laptop to feel like its made of more than just the cheap plastic that makes most budget laptops feel so underwhelming.
Everything is well placed in a standard design as far as the hardware configuration. With the main components towards the left and a optical drive on the left. Definitely not the most convenient laptop for upgrading, but pretty standard for the budget range.
For the processor Lenovo went with a Intel i3 7100U processor running at 2.4 ghz. This processor can over clock to around 3 gigs for some impressive speed at a good price. This is not the type of processor that will revolutionize you computing experience, but it does stand strong as one of the stronger components of this laptop. The U series is catered towards efficiency over performance however so heavy load programs will start to cut into your overall speed.
Lenovo did gamers a favor by at least adding the higher line of Intel integrated graphics with a HD 620 card. You should have no problem running many games on their basic settings. Once you start moving towards the mainstream games though you will notice that this card can struggle to keep up. As long as you don’t mind playing games on their lowest settings this laptop should be able to handle the majority of the market especially with a RAM upgrade.
A lot has already been said about the possible RAM issues with this laptop and that is because we are scrapping the bottom of the barrel here. You will not find many laptops with less than the 4 gigs of RAM that this one provides because that is pretty much the bare minimum on the market. We do have room for upgrade though and at least it is the newer DDR4 RAM as opposed to the less efficient DDR3L. Still at the end of the day if you want to get the most you can out of this computer an additional 4 gig upgrade is a cheap alternative to buying a higher end laptop.
Here we have a 1 TB standard hard drive for a ton of file space at the expense of the speed and efficiency that you will find in a solid state drive. The space is enough to store hundreds of hours of video along with a slew of other programs without worrying about filling it up. So while a SSD would be great, for a budget option it is still nice to see a bunch of space for storage even if the hard drive does not provide much else.
With so much attention towards making this laptop a budget option the simplicity of the screen should not be too much of a surprise. We have a 15.6 inch LED lit screen with decent picture quality. The resolution pins us in below HD however, but that is once again the standard for a budget laptop.
Another section where you can’t expect anything too crazy. Then Lenovo surprises you with a Harmon Kardon audio system that separates this laptop from the budget pack when it comes to audio capabilities. While the screen is not HD we do at least have a 720p HD webcam. The final great feature is the impressive connectivity that this laptop has with its thre USB 3.0 or better ports. In conjunction with the HDMI as well the connectivity of this laptop runs circles around the majority of budget options. Compare with the best on the main page.
Value for Money
With so much of this review focused on how each aspect of the computer fits either spot on or above what you will find in most budget laptops you have to say the value is here. With a price line hovering right around $400 dollars there is nothing here to be dissapointed about and thats the best grade you can give a budget laptop. You have to appreciate a laptop under $500 that can handle the basics admirably.
Lenovo IdeaPad 320 Review Conclusion
As long as you don’t have crazy expectations this laptop should fit nicely into the zone Lenovo has carved out for it. As long as the speed of a standard hard drive doesn’t get on your nerves and you can deal with a lackluster battery life along with it being irremovable then the rest of the laptop does well to match the budget standards. The design, processor, audio, and storage space go a long way towards this laptop being a close to perfect budget option.