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Lenovo IdeaPad 730S Review: Great All Around Notebook Priced Right

Hitting well above it's price point

by Nicole on February 18, 2019
Lenovo IdeaPad 730S
Positives
  • Great price for the build, design and performance
  • Thin and light aluminum design
  • Display is vivid with great color accuracy.
  • SSD is upgradable
  • Good performance
Negatives
  • Battery life is average at under 8 hours.
  • No IR camera for facial recognition (but there is a fast fingerprint reader)
  • Very average 720p camera, if you do a lot of calls with your friend you’ll need good lighting.

The IdeaPad 730S focuses on strong performance, premium design, and a great display, all available for less than you might expect. We take a closer look at the notebook that’s aimed at someone who surfs the internet watches Netflix and wants a lightweight device that will handle banging around in a backpack.

Design

Aluminum body feels very well built and premium.
.5 inches thick which makes it nice and slim and it’s only 2.43lbs which is
Finger print reader is is fast and reliable.

With such a thin frame you’ll be embracing the dongle lifestyle as legacy ports like HDMI and USB-A are a thing of the past. However, if you put it up against other devices sporting the same svelt profile it’s got a decent number of Type C connectors. On the right, we have two Thunderbolt 3 ports  (with 4x PCIe lanes each) and a standard USB-C 3.1 and 3.5 mm audio jack on the left side. All three ports can be used for charging for some extra convenience, but you’re no doubt going to be living that dongle or dock life if you frequently connect external displays or other accessories.

The keyboard is great, large key’s with good spacing and have three levels of brightness for working in the dark. The trackpad uses Windows 10 gestures with Microsoft’s Precision drivers and it tracks flawlessly.

Display

The display is beautiful with great color accuracy!

The Ideapad 730s has a non-touch 1920×1080 IPS LCD that has wide viewing angles and hinges that let it lay flat on any table. With 300nits of brightness if you’re planning on using it on the go it’s fine in most situations but in a very bright room I did try to turn ithe brigthness up a few times. Very large bezel at the bottom with thin bezels around the rest of the screen. I wish the display had been matte to handle the average brightness.

Sound

On the bottom panel of the laptop, you’ll find a wide vent for heat exhaust from the cooling system and dual 2-Watt down-firing speakers. These are certified with Dolby Atmos branding, and they do a good enough job of delivering sound in a laptop this thin and light. There’s some hollowness, but they get loud without crackling or distorting.

Performance & Battery Life

The IdeaPad 730S uses 8th Gen Whiskey Lake CPUs for four cores of power from either the Core i5 or Core i7 option. My review unit has the former, and it provides excellent performance that nearly matches even the Core i7-8550U in the XPS 13 9370. Along with 8 GB of DDR3 RAM (that you can up to 16 GB at checkout, but can’t upgrade yourself due to it being soldered onto the board), I didn’t have any issues dealing with daily work tasks, like heavy web browsing, video watching, and word processing.

There’s not much room for a battery in the chassis, and indeed at 42 Wh it’s on the small side. However, I was able to get somewhere around eight hours from it while going about productivity work. No video or photo editing and there was a coffee shop stint where I didn’t have the wifi on.

Lenovo IdeaPad 730S Core i5-8265U

Geekbench single 4,669

Geekbench multi 13,431

PCMark Home Conventional 3.0 – 3,322

Lenovo uses a Samsung PM981 NVMe PCIe SSD with M.2 form factor here, which delivers outstanding performance. The caveat for this premium hardware in a laptop this price is that it’s only available up to 256 GB. However, it can be replaced rather easily at home with something with more space.

SSD Speed – Read – 3,454.2 MB/s Write – 1,465.9 MB/s

Lenovo Yoga 730s Specifications

OS

Windows 10 Home

Processor

8th Gen
Intel Core i5-8265U
Four cores

RAM

8 GB DDR3-2400MHz

Storage

256 GB PCIe NVMe
Samsung PM981

Display

13.3 inches
1,920 x 1,080 (FHD)
IPS
Glossy

Graphics

Intel UHD 620

Ports

Two Thunderbolt 3 (4x lanes PCIe)
One USB-C (Gen. 1)
3.5 mm audio

Audio

Dual speakers
Dolby Atmos

Wireless

Realtek 8822BE
802.11ac (2 x 2)
Bluetooth 4.1

Camera

Front-facing 720p

Keyboard

Backlit

Touchpad

Precision drivers

Biometrics

Fingerprint reader

Battery

42 Wh

Dimensions

12.1 inches x 8.3 inches x 0.5 inches
(307 mm x 210 mm x 11.9 mm)

Weight

2.43 pounds (1.1 kg)

Price

At under $800 on Lenovo’s official website we think that this is a steal, you’ve got top-notch hardware and great performance. You just need to be clear on the fact that it’s not a multimedia device, light photo editing is all you’ll want to do. If you need editing or heavy graphics or development programs you might want to look for something that has beefier specs.

It’s a great deal that should be considered if you’re looking for something in the seven hundred dollar range.

Rating
Design / 8
Camera / 7
Sound / 7
Performance / 8
Battery Life / 7
Software / 8
Price / 9
Editor's Choice / 8
Hardware / 8
Display / 8
Lenovo IdeaPad 730S

The IdeaPad 730S looks and feels premium without the heavy pricetag. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for a portable notebook that allows you to watch some netflix, work on documents and presentations and do some heavy web browsing with the occational photo editing session. It’s not a device if you want to run any graphically intense programs or needs something with big battery life. The aluminum body is lean and light and can be easily carried around, the display has great color and contrast, and though there are no longer legacy ports, two Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C ports allow for plenty of connectivity options.

If you’re on a budget but don’t want a device that looks like you’re on one, the Ideapad 730S is a solid choice.

7.8
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