Top critical review
12 people found this helpful
Great for the price, but not much more.
on January 22, 2013
Structural build quality: Poor. The design of the system is quite portable; its as thin as most other ultrabooks, and feels like the perfect size for a 14" laptop. However, it lacks the structural integrity of more expensive ultrabooks. The entire body is very poor quality plastic, not comparable to even the lowest-end Thinkpads like the x120. The hinges scare me quite a bit; it has a good opening and closing action, but they just don't feel secure.
IO: Good. The keyboard is very nice, easily the best feature of the product. Full size and great key placement (I compare this to the x120, which switches the position of the CTRL and FN keys; not good). One minor key on mine tends to stick down every once in a while. The mousepad is okay. Its very spacious, but lacks distinct physical buttons, instead opting for the full pad clicking action found on other models. The selection of ports is great; the addition of an ethernet port is a very welcome addition considering how few ultrabooks have one these days. The machine also has a very small physical button on the left of the machine which will cause it to boot straight into the BIOS/boot menu; a *very* cool feature for those who tinker a lot.
Screen: Average. The resolution is mediocre, at 720p. Brightness is not overly impressive. The brightness keys have the capability of turning the screen off, like MacBooks, a feature I quite like. Every once in a while my screen will "flash". I have not been able to conclude if its a hardware problem or a problem with Ubuntu, but it is so rare that I haven't had the opportunity to see it but out of the corner of my eye.
Battery: Ten lightyears beyond abysmal. In Windows 8, I was averaging around 2 hours. When I installed Ubuntu, that number dropped to 1 hour 10 minutes average. This is on medium brightness, and very low load levels. I could squeeze out another 20 minutes if I disable WiFi. The battery is exposed and user replaceable; another welcome feature compared to other ultrabooks. However, I can't find *anyone* that sells a replacement, let alone a unit with upgraded capacity. Not even Lenovo; the S405 is not even listed on their available model list, with the closest model being the incompatible S300.
Performance: Average. Again, for the price, I was pleasantly surprised. Day-to-day usage, such as internet browsing, is perfectly fast. I was capable of loading World of Warcraft on the machine, and managed to log between 20-35 FPS on low/medium settings. Boot time is acceptable on both Windows 8 and Ubuntu. For those who care: The Ubuntu install process was very painless, with no EFI or driver problems to report.
Overall: Do not buy. I was able to obtain this machine during a sale for much less than what it is currently priced. However, even at that lower price, I cannot recommend this machine. I have not experienced any of the unique issues which plague some other users on Amazon, so my experience and conclusion was formed with a fully operational unit. Even then, I would be scared to recommend it even at half its current price. Purchase with caution.