Customer Reviews: Lenovo IdeaPad S400 14.0-Inch Touchscreen Laptop (Silver Grey)
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on November 3, 2013
I purchased the Lenovo S400 Touchscreen 14.0 inch as it does not have a numeric keypad, which I don't use. (I'm not an accountant). I really wanted a 15.6 screen but I could not find a laptop without the numeric keypad, so settled on this model.

CPU: I bought the S400 knowing that the CPU speed was a little slow. However it has done a good job so far.
It bogs down a bit when running too many CAD or similar programs at one time, so I am careful to run one at a time. I am on a strict budget and could not wait for any newer models to come out as time was of the essence in my purchasing decision.

Hard Drive: Slow opening large files. Hopefully SSD prices come down soon.

Memory: I upgraded the memory to 8gb. This is a must if you run multiple programs at once. Do not purchase this notebook and expect the existing memory to perform well, it will not. I purchased this product: Crucial Single 8GB DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) Notebook Module, CT102464BF160B which performs very well.

Important Note: Performing a system status check indicates that there are two memory slots (0 and 1). This is not true, there is only one memory slot available. There is a good YouTube video that shows how to replace the memory, just type in S400 without the T-or Touch, and the video shows how to upgrade. Lot's of screws to deal with and a bit of prior knowledge makes this an easy task. If you don't have experience, please have a friend who is knowledgeable assist you.

I also suggest downloading the freeware Belarc Advisor on your existing machine to attain your MS Office software product serial numbers/keys and also to download on this laptop so that you can keep track of your configuration setups going forward. Print out a copy and keep in a safe place, as you will need the info to transfer not only MS office but other software programs that have specific keys/serial numbers. I have seen a lot of write ups where people had difficulty trying to move their MS Office software to a new machine without knowing what their product key/serial numbers were and had to re-purchase MS Office. This is absolutely not necessary, just need to be in the know, which unfortunately is a step often looked over by pc and notebook manufactures. I wish there was a standard disclosure that informed non-techy or non-IT people for each pc or laptop purchased, it would make life so much easier for the average user.

This notebook is an excellent choice for a student or small business owner. It runs MS office (once the memory is upgraded to 8 gb) just fine. Just don't expect it to be a heavy multi-task machine.

Portability: It is lightweight and very easy to carry. I purchased the Targus MCD-2 backpack and AmazonBasics 14-inch Laptop Sleeve for this laptop and both are very well made, work well for use with the S400 touch.

DVD Drive: No drive, I did purchase the Amazon basic portable drive, but have only used it once. Drives are becoming a non-essential fast due to the new download options with all the major software companies.

Touchscreen: Works well, however I find that I don't use it much. Touch screens are for tablets IMO unless the notebook screen can be rotated for public viewing or screen only use. There is a good touch screen cleaner available on Amazon that comes with a micro fiber cloth and it does an awesome job of cleaning. The cleaner can also be used on tablets, smart phones and I highly recommend: ShieldMe Screen Cleaning Kit, 6oz (on Amazon).

Ports: Plan on purchasing a good mini usb hub. I purchased and recommend: Belkin USB 2.0 4-Port Ultra-Mini Hub (available on Amazon). I would have preferred two 3.0 usb's as opposed to 1 3.0 and 2 2.0 usb's, but this is a small laptop.

Keyboard: It's ok, it's a small laptop with small keys, they work fine for me, although the touch is very different from more expensive Lenovo laptops with the better responsive keyboards. If you break a key, forget about finding a replacement, they are very difficult to find. I purchased a regular cheap S400 standard keyboard from China to have on hand for backup replacements. I also purchased a keyboard skin: Lenovo Ideapad U310 U300S U410 S300 S400 S405 Keyboard Protector Skin Cover US Layout Black. There is one key on the top F keys that is different (the switch window key) and the windows icon on the windows key is a little different, in addition the caps key on this skin does not have a hole so one can see the caps light. I just poked a hole in the skin where the caps light is on the cover with a nail that was similar size. Note: I have a pet bird that likes to visit me often on my laptop and well, likes to poop anywhere she lands, so a keyboard skin was a must for me. :)

Battery Life: Forget about it. 3 hours max is all I have been able to get out of this machine. Thank god most coffee shops have outlets! :)

Touchpad: It's ok, however due to the nature of my work I use a separate mouse, just don't like touchpads as I have never been able to get used to or set properly for my liking. In a pinch on the road I will use the touch pad, but still prefer a separate mouse.

One touch recovery: Will restore your system to factory settings only. Purchase a 16gb flash drive and use windows utilities to download recovery with your current programs and settings. More info on this subject is available by searching google, etc.

Windows 8: Belongs on tablets, not laptops, period. Windows 8 is easy to use IMO but I have been using computers, laptops since they came out. I agree that windows 8 uses more resources (CPU and memory) which is an unfortunate reality. In simplified terms WIndows 8 as far as I can tell, is really only 2 additional screens and the ability to add apps and a lot of the apps are useless. The new version 8.1 has the start button but it routes one back to the main custom app window which IMO is confusing to novice users. Too many options and choices to an already confusing industry (computer, high tech) places the average user at a disadvantage. IMO, I believe that the industry needs to rethink computer and laptop configurations as a whole. There used to be choices where one could purchase a machine customized to their liking. The manufacture's became hip to this trend, and have monopolized the market with machines that often are more than the average user needs, or in some cases too little. There seems to be a fine line. I don't know or have the answers, I just wish that manufacture's would realize this and be more accommodating. :) I know, I know :)

One last note of interest: Lenovo has stopped recognizing this laptop in their current line up on their website. So support is going to be pretty much non-existent.

Overall: This is a good machine for the budget conscious or someone who needs a quick solution. If this is going to be your main machine, I highly recommend looking for another laptop. There are many viable alternatives now coming out in this price range and IMO one will be able to get a much better deal if they do the necessary research.

I hope this review is helpful, I tried to provide as much and honest info as I could.

Have a great day!
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on October 26, 2013
Great entry level laptop for Windows 8! I'll get right to the PROs and Cons:


Has HDMI Port

Great price for touchscreen

Intel i3 Processor seems to be much faster (about 6 times faster) than Atom or AMD A4 Processors

Thin design. Could almost consider it at ultrabook.

Not that heavy (compared to my last laptop)

Quiet... no noisy fans to cool cpu.

Outer case seems to hide fingerprints better than the last few laptops I've owned


This laptop does not have a DVD drive. Which to me should make it either a netbook or ultra book not a laptop.

Difficult to upgrade - There are no access bays to easily remove/replace the hardrive or memory. There is only one memory slot (8GB max)

Touchscreen is awesome however if you like to use the old Desktop a lot the screen is to small. Its really hard to precisely touch what you need to. Works great with Windows 8 native apps though.

Has a large touchpad but the buttons are also used for the touch pad area. If you click using the touchpad you can't move your finger at all or the mouse pointer moves while you try to click something (very frustrating but one adapts). You have to push hard to get the buttons to click on the touchpad. If the laptop is not on a flat surface the whole laptop seems to bend when trying to click something.

Power cord is the shortest I've seen. I've owned Acer and Samsung laptops prior to this one. Both power cords were longer than this Lenovo.

Like an Acer laptops the computer comes pre loaded with "crap ware" that slows your computer down. Used the web tool [...] to get rid of unwanted programs. This is how they keep their prices down. They hope you will purchase one of the preloaded software packages.

Web cam seems to only have VGA quality. Not HD. Looks really grainy on Skype but smooth because of the low definition.

Function keys are reversed to most laptops... which actually I've learned to really like so some could put this in the PRO column. For example if you want to refresh your internet browser you would have to hold down the "Fn" key and "F5" key at the same time. All of the previous laptops I've owned use the function key to change things like screen brightness or volume. This laptop it is easy to change screen brightness and volume with just one touch of a button.

Speakers put out a lot of volume for a laptop but clip (distort) at those higher volumes.

Laptop is thin but the rubber stands stick much farther than most laptops. It does help with ventilation though.

Intel integrated graphics is okay for light gaming but you'll want a laptop with a dedicated video card for graphic intensive programs.

Casing seems nice. Looks like brushed aluminum but really its just plastic.

Screen is like most touchscreens. It is highly reflective and loves fingerprints.

Battery life after a few cycle seems pretty stable at 2 hours and 15 minutes with a full charge. (Screen on Full Bright).

Overall for the price I think this laptop is okay. This laptop would probably be a good fit for a business person needing to edit documents on the road. Other that that this laptop does not seem to do anything amazing other that being a touchscreen at this price point.
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on October 23, 2013
I bought this laptop from bestbuy and after using this laptop I have some reviews
- Processor: 1.8 GHz Core i3-3217U <- 2 cores is good
- 4 GB RAM <- it is ok
- 500 GB Drive <- enough for basic demand
- design: beautiful, this laptop was taken out the DVD drive, so the weight is very light and the body is very slim
- bright screen with soft keyboard and sensitive touch pad.
- Touching screen and windows 8 is a new experience. You should to try it in work

- the battery just 4 hours (advertiser said) but my laptop only use in over 3 hours.
- For some one, this system is quite weak with some professional programs.

In short: this laptop is very good for officer, students and who just need a laptop for work or relax in basic. If you are a businessman or who want a stronger machine with longer battery, you should refer ASUS laptop. See here.

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on December 18, 2013
I still prefer Windows7 over Windows8 because I have to install the START MENU8 program. But the touchscreen does make Windows8 better to live with.

- thin, light, beautiful. Looks like an ultrabook or MacBook air.
- everything works
- fast 1.8ghz Intel i3 cpu
- touchscreen that the Apple MacBook air does NOT have.
- $445
- 3 usb ports (one usb 3.0 port, two usb 2.0 ports). The usb 3.0 port is the best choice to connect to an external cd/dvd/Blu-ray drive that is also usb 3.0.
- hdmi port to output to a tv
- keyboard has a good feel and it keeps up with my 70wpm typing.
- charger brick is small
- 14 inch screen is easier for kids to carry around than the standard 15.5 inch screens on most laptops.
- tech support answered right away (was not on hold long) and was easy to understand (did not have an Indian accent).
- 24/7 tech support
- Surfing web is WAY BETTER than on my tablet because websites know that the Lenovo is a pc so the full website is displayed instead of a mobile version of the website (which I hate because mobile versions are crippled versions of a website) AND I get to use the touchscreen so it feels like a tablet. Plus, Flash Videos on websites work (unlike Apple iPad).
- I can remote to work via VPN and Citrix.
- Synaptics touchpad has 3 finger gesture for previous and next page for Internet Explorer like a MacBook

- Battery life is about 3 hours. You can buy an extra battery here [...]
- screen is dimmer text and colors look faded compared to my HP laptops
- Hard drive interface is the slower SATA II instead of the faster SATA III that comes in my HP laptops. This means that you'll get half the speed when you decide to upgrade to a SSD drive.
- specs on Lenovo website says it has Bluetooth but it does not. I called tech support and it's only equipped with some. But I can always buy a $15 usb Bluetooth.
- touchpad: can't set the right side to scroll vertically. Can't set the lower bottom to scroll horizontally.
- no loop to attach a cable lock.
- Don't upgrade to Windows 8.1 because you'll lose your local account and must use your account on Microsoft's website.
- Although the Lenovo's keyboard is nice, my HP 2000 laptop's keyboard feels nicer and I can type faster and more accurately.
- no pc monitor analog output jack

11/2014 update: I upgraded the hard drive to a SSD with a Samsung 250GB SSD kit for $120 so it boots super fast and gain extra battery life. But the Lenovo has 12 screws to remove instead of the HP with just 2 screws.
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on February 10, 2015
Bluetooth never worked. Touch screen didn't last a year. Microphone and webcam broke within 3 months. Have only kept this computer on my end table and have never abused in any way. After hours with customer support trying to fix THEY concluded it was hadrware issues not software issues as they could not fix. WORST computer I have ever owned. YOU have been warned.
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on October 31, 2015
I bought this laptop on December 10, 2013. The hard disk died on October 01, 2015. The death was due to natural cause. If you are planning to buy this laptop, there is no guarantee this laptop will survive for 2 years. And one more thing, after one year the battery back up was coming for 10 minutes only.
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on February 13, 2015
Still going strong after 1.5 years


Great price for touchscreen - back in 2013!

Thin design. Could almost consider it at ultrabook.

Outer case does not catch fingerprints (oleophobic)


Difficult to upgrade - There is only one memory slot - so you'd have to get a single 8GB stick

Comes pre loaded with bloatware that slows your computer down.
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on February 7, 2014
When I bought this laptop during the Cyber Monday deal, I think it was probably one of my best choices. Now, it may not be as 'powerhoused' as other laptops, but it does its job just right; being that it's for college and some entertainment. About the little bit from the other review, I am upgrading to a Crucial 8gb DDR as 4gb is the bare minimum of it and does take more time than necessary for some programs. I may even upgrade from the HDD to a SSD as I do prefer faster load times and I'm a multitasker. I particular like using the touchscreen function as I do get lazy at night and don't feel like tapping on the keyboard pad. Might as well tap the screen. I like how it's thin and light...and fits so snugly in my laptop backpack.
The mouse pad does sometimes conflict with the touchscreen UI but not too unbearable. I just simply got use to it. After getting used to the keyboard though, I've had a tough time readjusting to my old Dell laptop's after not using it for a few months. This one is a bit more spacious than most keyboards. Though I wish they had kept the music function keys instead of piling on Refresh and view all Active Programs onto the function keys when I can just Alt+Tab to switch between programs and refresh key isn't necessary.
Overall, it's a decent laptop...and with a bit of upgrading some [albeit limited] specs, it could be on par to my old laptop.
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on November 29, 2013
The ~2200mah 4-cell battery gives you 2 hours of real world usage. (battery @ 3.6V * 4 2200mah cells = 14.4V, 2200*14.4V / 1000 = 32 Whr)
Battery capacity is 32Whr, most other budget thin and light laptops have a 38Whr battery.
Pretty much all non-thin and light budget laptops have a 6-cell battery providing 48Whr. Some mid-range to premium laptops have around a 65Whr capacity.
So this thing's battery only has about 68% of the capacity of most cheap laptops.
15% less battery capacity than its direct competition.
(If this this had a 4th gen Intel Haswell chip (which draws much less power at low CPU workloads) instead of the Ivy Bridge 3rd generation chip, the battery life would probably be acceptable.)

2:30 - 3h under very light usage (e.g. typing a Word document, web browsing (text&images only) without videos, flash, animations, or sound)
1h 30m if you're watching a YouTube video.

Lenovo needs to compensate its victims with free wireless electricity for the life of the product!
Or atleast a second battery we can swap in....

Completely unacceptable, I don't know how they claim up to 5-hours. Only way to get 5 hours is if you sleep it and turn it back on 5 hours later.

Other smaller gripes:
- Inexplicable ding dong sounds (device connect/disconnect) every time you turn it on or wake up from sleep.
(Can mute in Windows Settings, but why is it playing at all? What's being connected and disconnected?
Edit: Figured out it's the integrated SD card reader, needed to re-install the Realtek card reader drivers from Lenovo to shut it up.)

Just don't like:
- Small backspace key.
- The keyboard design makes me mistype a lot. The Accutype name is ironic, because it has the effect of making you type less accurately.

I don't understand how this S series can have such terrible battery life.
The U-series laptops by Lenovo seem to get reasonably close to its advertised battery life.
My $230 Toshiba laptop even gets its stated 4 hour battery life (light usage).

See Amazon reviews on the Lenovo S405 for more hysterical reviews on the horrible battery life on the S-series. Different processor, but same design and same battery pack.

Touchscreen - neat addition, but I don't have much use for it. Awkward and uncomfortable having the laptop bobbing back and forth every time you touch it... and you have to reach for it. Can't fold it over like a notebook/tablet/yoga... so you end you support the screen with one hand and using your other hand to.... touch it. No compelling tile-world touch apps either.
The only decent touch app seems to be Fresh Paint, in my opinion.

Touchpad - Odd acceleration/sensitivity settings by default, makes it a pain it use. Can be changed in settings. Then it seems fine. I like that's it's all integrated like a Macbook touch pad, no separate button for clicks.

Webcam - A joke. Driver/software supports 720p encoding but the camera sensor is a junk 0.3mp sensor that gives you pixelated and grainy off colored images/video. $230 toshiba c55 has a better camera, not to say it's decent, it's just better than what this has.

Speakers - Decent speakers. Probably would be better if they were top facing or front facing rather than bottom facing. Has a neat effect of trembling your keyboard/laptop base when it's... sounding...? Still quite nice compared to the very budget laptops I have which sound like old school am radio with more tin.
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on November 10, 2014
Sent me the wrong colour. I really needed it for school so I didn't have time to send it back to get the one I wanted. The computer does run as it should. Great for school use not so good for games. I did upgrade the RAM to 8gb and the hard drive to 1tb SSD. So now it runs really smooth.
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