13.3″ Lenovo IdeaPad 710S Ultrabook 80SW0032US
Lenovo IdeaPad 710S (80SW0032US) is a 13.3 inch Ultrabook with a solid build and high-end specs and features including the latest i7 processor, backlit keyboard, 802.11ac variety wireless, proper surround sound from its JBL stereo speakers with Dolby Audio and long battery life of up to 8 hours. Main technical specs are the ultra low voltage dual core Intel i7-6560U processor (4MB L3 cache) at 2.2GHz base speed that moves up to 3.2GHz with turbo boost and hyperthreading (two cores and four threads), 256GB high speed PCIe Solid State Drive, 8GB DDR3L SDRAM for very decent multitasking power and 64-bit Windows 10 operating system. 13.3 inch Full HD display has 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and IPS panel for up to 178-degree viewing angles vertically and horizontally and the Infinity Edge Display feature with thinner bezels enables the chassis to be smaller than a regular 13-inch computer. Although this is a matte display, colors are vibrant, contrast is great and the image quality is accurate and decent on this FHD high-resolution IPS display.
Intel Iris 540 is the built-in graphics card and the gaming performance will depend on the CPU it is attached to but it can certainly handle the games of 2015 and 2016 at low to medium settings. Keyboard is backlit so you can work or play comfortably in dim light or dark, there is no 10-key numeric pad which I prefer (takes no time to get used to) and the keyboard layout is somewhat different but great to type on, with good travel key and nice feel when you touch, as Lenovo makes some of the best computer keyboards. And one thing to point out is the weird placement of the small shift key. Both the keyboard and the touchpad are responsive and work well. Silver Lenovo 710S has a premium look and feel with an aluminum frame backlit keyboard and magnesium top cover, weighs 2.6 pounds and measures 12.09 x 0.55 x 8.42 inches- very light and ultra-slim that make it very portable and the build quality is pretty good. It doesn’t have a DVD Optical Drive but 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 4-in-1 Media Card Reader that supports SD, SDHC, SDXC and MMC formats, Micro HDMI output and Audio Combo jack.
The 46wh lithium ion battery should give you up to 8 hours at reduced light settings, thanks to the low TDP of the low voltage processor even though it is a powerful Intel i7 and the screen is a Full HD which can be a little more draining on the batteries and the battery life can be significantly less if you’re working on very demanding multimedia editing or gaming stuff. There is not a lot of junkware on this model but still some, and you may want to remove those you don’t need so you can have an overall faster computer, about 20 to 30GB of the total storage space is allocated to Windows 10 and other software and the remaining 230-235GB is spacious enough and SSD is way faster in terms of opening files and overall snappiness than the mechanical SATA drive. It wakes up from sleep mode in just a second if you press the power button like you do when you turn it on, and if that is not the case you can ask for help from Lenovo as some customers have pointed out. It is not the quietest laptop around as the fan will kick in as soon as the unit gets warm, which it can and does from heavy media stuff or gaming, but not really from listening to music or word processing. Overall the customer reviews are positive and the cons reported are nothing major as you’re already getting quite a lot in terms of design and technical capability.