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Lenovo Ideapad S145 15 review – budget multimedia device with a modern look

On the bottom end of the Ideapad brand, there is a laptop that is going to target a wide variety of people. It is offered in both a Pentium form and in an Intel Core iteration. However, no matter which option you choose, there is one thing in common – the philosophy about price management.

With that said, the laptop is going to appeal more to students and people that prefer to stay on the budget, rather than go for a flashy notebook. Although it is clearly visible where Lenovo has done the cost-cutting – the plastic body and the lack of a TN panel, we have to admit that the laptop looks quite stunning on the outside.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-ideapad-s145-15/

Contents

Specs Sheet

Lenovo IdeaPad S145 technical specifications table

Acer
Not available
Display
15.6”, Full HD (1920 x 1080), TN
HDD/SSD
1TB HDD, 5400 rpm
RAM
4GB DDR4, 2133 MHz
Dimensions
362 x 252 x 19.9 mm (14.25" x 9.92" x 0.78")
Weight
1.85 kg (4.1 lbs)
Body material
Plastic / Polycarbonate
Ports and connectivity
  • 1x USB Type-A 2.0
  • 2x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • HDMI 1.4b
  • Card reader MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Audio jack 3.5 mm combo
Features
  • Web camera
  • Microphone Monaural Microphone
  • Speakers 2x 1.5W, Dolby Audio
  • Optical drive

What’s in the box?

Inside the box, you’ll find some paper manuals, the laptop and a 45W charging brick (MX110 equipped version should come with a 65W charger).

Design and construction

The stylish design we were talking about is backed by the mere 1.85 kg weight and the profile of 19.9 mm. Sadly, the building material pick for this laptop is only plastic and not a very sturdy one as well. There is some flex to the body if you try to bend it and the entire surface looks very, very prone to scratches.

Ideapad S145 15″ needs a little help from the other hand when you open the lid up. The lid itself bends within the normal range and it is good to see rather thin side bezels.

Then there is the keyboard. We won’t lie to you, we got a little excited when we saw the U-shaped keys and the included NumPad section. Sadly, though in the end, we were quite disappointed. Not by the keyboard itself, although it has shallower travel than our lickings, it is clicky enough – there is a very substantial bend on the base when you type more vigorously and it can be a tiny bit disturbing. On the other side, the touchpad is accurate but a little slow.

At the bottom are located the ventilation grills, speaker cut-outs, while the heat exhaust is placed between the base and the lid.

Ports

Most of the I/O is placed on the left side of the device – there is the charging plug, an HDMI connector, three USB Type-A ports (one 2.0 and two 3.1 (Gen. 1)). On the right are only the SD card reader and the headphone jack.

Disassembly and upgrade options

Taking the Ideapad S145 15 apart is a pretty simple task. You just need a Phillips screwdriver and a plastic pry tool. After you remove the screws, just lift the bottom plate up with the help of the pry tool.

In the cooling department, we see nothing unexpected. A single heat pipe cools off the processor. However, there are signs for the optional GeForce MX110, so we reckon the model equipped with it will include a second heat pipe.

There is only one DDR4 RAM module, while on the storage side you’ll see a 2.5″ SATA drive and an M.2 slot.

Battery-wise we weren’t really impressed. It packs a tiny 30Wh unit that in our opinion wouldn’t last very much. For comparison the HP 15 (15-da0000) came equipped with a 41Wh one).

Display quality

Lenovo Ideapad S145 is equipped with Full HD TN panel bearing a model number AUO B156HTN06.1 (AUO61ED). Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution 1920 х 1080 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 142 ppi, and a pitch of 0.18 х 0.18 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 60cm (24″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).

Expectedly, viewing angles are terrible. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.

We measured a maximum brightness of 217 nits in the middle of the screen and 214 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 6%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6980K – slightly colder than the optimal for the sRGB standard of 6500K. The average color temperature through the grey scale before profiling is even warmer – 12000K – very cold, bluish light, corrected by our profiles.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.

Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color sensitive work. The contrast ratio is poor – 420:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows Lenovo Ideapad S145’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers only 51% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of Lenovo Ideapad S145 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 9 ms – a fast reaction time.

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

Ideapad S145’s backlight is free of flickers across all of the brightness levels. This makes it comfortable for extended periods of use in this aspect ratio.

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Conclusion

Lenovo Ideapad S145 has a TN Full HD panel. Its reaction time is quick and it doesn’t use PWM to adjust brightness levels. On the downside, its naturally poor viewing angles, mediocre contrast ratio, and narrow color coverage result in a rather unpleasant viewing experience.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Lenovo Ideapad S145 15″ configurations with 15.6″ FHD TN AUO B156HTN06.1 (AUO61ED).

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at bg.laptopmedia@gmail.com.

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount

Sound

This laptop produces sound that has average quality – it lacks the punch and its volume is not very high.

Drivers

We found all of the drivers and utilities for the Ideapad S145 (15″) here: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/bg/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/ideapad-s-series-netbooks/s145-15iwl/downloads

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. Ideapad S145 15’s mere 30Whs were enough for just 4 hours and a half of web browsing and 5 hours of video playback.

In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.

CPU options

As we mentioned Ideapad S145 15 has a lot of options to choose from. If you are a fan of AMD, you can go for the AMD A4-9125, A6-9225 or A9-9425. If you sympathize team Blue – the options are as follow – Celeron 4205U, Pentium Gold 5405U and then the substantially more powerful Core i5-8265U and Core i7-8565U.

Lenovo IdeaPad S145 15" (15API/15IGM/15IKB) CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the Lenovo IdeaPad S145 15" (15API/15IGM/15IKB) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Lenovo IdeaPad S145 15" (15API/15IGM/15IKB) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.

GPU options

Same goes for the graphics card options – the integrated ones are AMD Radeon R3, R4, and R5, Intel HD Graphics 62 and UHD Graphics 620. In addition to them, there is one more GPU that can be used – the NVIDIA GeForce MX110.

Lenovo IdeaPad S145 15" (15API/15IGM/15IKB) GPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the GPUs that can be found in the Lenovo IdeaPad S145 15" (15API/15IGM/15IKB) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Lenovo IdeaPad S145 15" (15API/15IGM/15IKB) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different GPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / GPU.

Gaming tests

cs-go-benchmarks

CS:GOHD 1080p, Low (Check settings)HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings)HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)
Average FPS19 fps– fps– fps

DOTA 2HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings)HD 1080p, High (Check settings)
Average FPS33 fps– fps– fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core temperature (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Pentium Gold 5405U (15W TDP)0:02 – 0:10 sec0:15 – 0:30 sec10:00 – 15:00 min
Lenovo Ideapad S145 152.30 GHz @ 48°C2.30 GHz @ 52°C2.30 GHz @ 56°C

There is nothing much to say here. The Ideapad S145 utilizes the Pentium Gold 5405U at its maximum frequency at all times, while at the same time it reached a maximum temperature of 56C.

Comfort during maximum load

Lenovo Ideapad S145 15 produce hardly any noise from its fan. Additionally, the Pentium Gold 5405U did not produce a lot of heat as well, as we measured a maximum temperature of 34.4C between the “F4” and “F5” keys.

Verdict

Despite the Ideapad S145 15’s wide versatility, we found it to lack some key features. Yes, the device clearly looks pretty, especially given the competition at the bottom end of the budget. However, we would give up the looks for the convenience given by the DVD reader and the RJ-45 connector of HP 15 (15-da0000) for example.

That’s not all, though. One of the biggest concerns we had was with the battery. It is only a 30Wh unit that will last you through no more than 4 hours and a half of web browsing. Add the lack of an IPS panel to the mixture and you will end up with a pretty average budget offering.

Thankfully, the laptop is made pretty easy to disassemble and offers you decent upgradability. Additionally, it doesn’t heat up and it is barely audible during full load.

Last but not least, let’s talk about that Full HD TN panel (AUO B156HTN06.1 (AUO61ED)). It is not the brightest out there, it has uncomfortable viewing angles at it can display only half of the colors of sRGB. Well, at least it doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness levels so it shouldn’t present any excessive harm to your eyesight in this aspect.

Should you buy it? First, you should definitely get your priorities straight. Do you need a super feature-packed machine or you get satisfied with the little things?

Pros

  • Adequate price
  • Cool and quiet
  • The screen doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment (AUO B156HTN06.1 (AUO61ED))
  • Thin and light body


Cons

  • Poor build quality
  • Bendy base
  • Poor viewing angles and contrast ratio (AUO B156HTN06.1 (AUO61ED))
  • Only 50% of sRGB is covered (AUO B156HTN06.1 (AUO61ED))
  • Mediocre battery life

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-ideapad-s145-15/