Lenovo is best known for its ThinkPad business laptops, but its IdeaPad range provides entry-level machines for both corporate and consumer use. The IdeaPad S12 is a 12.1-inch offering that strikes a balance between the netbook and the ultra-portable.
As one of the larger netbooks available, the 1.6kg IdeaPad lacks the mobility of its rivals. While the battery is fairly slimline, it protrudes 14mm from the rear of the chassis, adding to the bulk of the device. Battery life is excellent, running to five and a half hours, but unfortunately the IdeaPad scored the worst by a long way in the rundown test.
Build quality is average: the matt plastics are resilient enough, but the glossy plastics on the lid are prone to scratches. You will undoubtedly find it quite hard to keep the IdeaPad in good condition if playing regular gigs, so it’s a machine for those who don’t mind the ‘stickered’ look. The extra size of the chassis allows space for a full-sized keyboard, which upholds Lenovo’s reputation for high-quality usability.
All the keys move smoothly and firmly, and this is one of the most usable netbooks on our test. It’s ideal for business use, but sadly not entirely ideal for music making.
The screen should be the clincher here, but the IdeaPad lacks the power to run music production programs effectively.