Lenovo IdeaPad 320S review – affordable and compact 14-inch notebook


  1. The Hieu

    June 28, 2017 at 1:27 am

    Thanks for reviewer !
    Many people say that Lenovo Latop installed spyware, that is Lenovo Services Engine (LSE). They advise shouldn't use Lenovo Laptop. Is that true ?

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 28, 2017 at 3:11 am

      I'm aware of this controversy, there are many articles online about the spyware in the Lenovo laptops. Personally, I recommend formatting the drive and installing a clean Windows on any laptop, and I think that should get rid of any issues. Could sound ignorant, but I just choose no to bog my mind with such things.

      • The Hieu

        August 11, 2017 at 5:04 am

        I have just bought Lenovo ideapad 320S with specs i3-7100/4gb/1TB/NoVga in Viet Nam market. It's only 500$. But, I'm very disappointed that it's only equipped 30Wh battery (3 -4 hours use), i was hoping it was 52Wh.

      • Andrei Girbea

        August 11, 2017 at 6:54 am

        Ha, that's weird, I didn't knew that's even an option. Could try to see if it's not a 52 Wh battery with a large amount of battery wear. 30 Wh is really minuscule.

      • Nick

        August 25, 2017 at 5:41 am

        In Belgium the ideapad 320s-14 is also sold with a Lithium-Polymer 2 cell, 30 WHr battery for on average 650-700 euros. It's really too little battery time to go for this model.

      • Andrei Girbea

        August 26, 2017 at 4:17 am

        Wasn't aware of that, I'll add a headsup in the battery section. Thanks.

  2. Nikolaj

    July 18, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    When reading about the 320s on Lenovos website, it mentions the following: "Upgrade with an additional 16 GB Intel Optane SSD". But I can't find any models with the Intel Optane. Is it possible to buy one without Optane and then installing it myself? And if so, is it possible to install the Optane on all models or do I need to buy a specific model?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 18, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      The Optane SSD is a regular 80 mm stick that goes into the M.2 slot and acts as SSD caching, meant to boost performance for laptops with a HDD for a low price. I don't see why you couldn't add one yourself, it's just as easy as adding a regular 80 mm SSD, but I've never tried one and I can't tell what to expect in terms of performance. This article should help though: anandtech.com/show/11210/the-intel-optane-memory-ssd-review-32gb-of-kaby-lake-caching

  3. Pete Borini

    July 20, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    I picked this one up at Staples for $479 (normally $719) this past Sunday (7/16/17). Huge value for the $$. staples.com/office/supplies/StaplesProductDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogIdentifier=2&partNumber=2716358&langid=-1&cid=PS:GooglePLAs:2716358&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=2716358&KPID=2716358&cvosrc=PLA.google-SALES.Computers&cvo_crid=39506884422&cvo_campaign=176606382&gclid=CjwKCAjwqcHLBRAqEiwA-j4AyFTMXffqek8iLX-Z1xAolrJzhtAQjJGhFgNjTN-0ycg_uUkVk_CHjRoCuzcQAvD_BwE

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 20, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      Unfortunately I can't see what's this about, somehow staples.com and target.com do not load in my country or for my Internet provider, but I'll just leave the link here. $480 sound amazing, what's the configuration you got?

    • Pete Borini

      July 26, 2017 at 8:59 am

      Just a follow-up here. The 320s I picked up from Staples for $479 on july 16th did NOT come with a backlit keyboard. Some of the reviews mentioned that it did come with it, but I believe that feature might only be available when purchased online.

      • Andrei Girbea

        July 26, 2017 at 11:57 am

        Thanks for the follow-up, much appreciated. Does it get the 1920 x 1080 px IPS screen?

  4. Pete Borini

    July 20, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Is there a guide to replacing the wireless chip in this model (the 320S)?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 20, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      No but it's very easy. Buy the chip you want (Intel 7265 and 8260 usually work very well), turn off the laptop, touch a metallic grounded object, take the back panel out , remove the Wi-Fi chip, put the new wi-fi chip instead in the exact same position, put the back panel in place and that's it. Test the existing wireless first though, perhaps it's good enough for what you need and there's no need to change it.

  5. Nikolaj

    July 21, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Would you recommend the new 14" 320s or the slightly older 14" 510s with the similar specs and the 510s is a little bit cheaper. In my case the specs are i5-7200U CPU, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. The only big differences I see, is 320s has a bigger battery (52 Wh and the 510s has 45 Wh) and the 320s is smaller than the 510s (which isn't a huge problem for me). There are of cause also some minor differences. But which one would you recommend?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 22, 2017 at 4:21 am

      What's the price difference? The newer model gets the bigger battery and the possibility to use M.2 SSD storage on top of the 2.5" regular storage (not sure if that matters to you, though), but that 510s gets a backlit keyboard. Otherwise these two are very similar in terms of weight, size, screen, keyboard, IO and performance. If you're just interested in specs and value, the cheaper option wins.

  6. Kshitij

    July 25, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    By any chance, were you able to get your hands on a lower spec model of 320s (with 7th gen, just HDD not SSD, 8GB RAM, only integrated Intel 620Graphics not Nvidea) ?

    Even if not, how much downgrade we expect from this model in terms of being able to handle low to medium gaming capabilities?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 26, 2017 at 2:57 am

      NO. The HDD takes a big toll on everyday performance. And as far as gaming goes, you can Google about Intel HD 620 and see how it performs. It can handle FHD gaming with low details with most titles, but for higher details you'll have to drop to HD resolutions

  7. John Thomas

    August 8, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Hi, here in India only the i5 7th gen, 4gb ram, 1 Tb HDD model is available.
    Is it possible to replace the HDD with an SSD? If so how to do I choose the right one. Also is upgrading the ram possible?

  8. JJ

    August 9, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Hello Andrei,
    I am comparing Apple Macbook Air 2017 with Lenovo Ideapad 320s(i3 7th generation/1 TB hdd/4gb ram).
    Macbook for $820 v/s Ideapad 320s for $620.
    Usage-Basic surfing,Youtube, Reading,Video calling, Office basic stuff.
    Thank you.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 10, 2017 at 3:17 am

      I would not consider the MBA in this day and age due to its crappy TN screen and I would advise buying a computer with 8 GB of RAM or at least the possibility to upgrade it. Also, for $800 you can also get 13-inch ultraportbales from Asus, Acer, Dell, etc.

      • Jj

        August 10, 2017 at 4:58 am

        All the other ultra portable are above $1250 here in India. I have a budget of $800-$850 dollars.
        What would you suggest then?
        Thank you

      • Rivo

        April 10, 2018 at 3:50 pm

        This is true. Here in Indonesia, ultrabooks are priced similar to cheapest MB Pro. The cheapest ultrabooks are also just less cheaper than the cheapest MP Pro.

        Windows laptop makers are kidding about mid-range notebook like 320s and its older model no backlit keyboard on the newest Lenovo 320s 14IKBR i5-8250 version with nvidia mx150 but i3 version is backlit. Like one-time production on Asus S410UN (Here in Indonesia there is no more of this type, lasts only 2 months since production). I think these manufacturers are now playing with price, maybe because their mobile products are getting pricier today. My friend bought an i5 zenbook 5 years ago just $800. But now? No way will we find zenbook is priced below $1200. Lucky you Americans.

  9. Nilay Sanghvi

    August 10, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Please review Lenovo ideapad 720s.

  10. KH

    August 10, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Hello Andrei,

    How would this perform as a business laptop running Windows 10 Professional with MS Office Pro (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Outlook.

    Configured as follows: I5 7200U; 12GB DDR4; 1TB HDDR; IntelHD 620; 15.6" touch screen display

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 11, 2017 at 3:12 am

      if you don't need special features like TPM, anti-theft, etc, it would do just fine for those tasks. However, I'd put an SSD inside, it's going to make a very big difference with everyday use.

  11. Hamza

    August 10, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Hi. Should i get a Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2 in 1 or the Lenovo 320S? Both have the same specs.

  12. Joni

    August 15, 2017 at 11:50 am

    I just ordered the i7/8GB RAM/256GB version for 1250€ in Finland. I was wondeing do you have photos without the metal case which hide the DIMM slots?

    This site is reclaiming that the RAM is soldered on so you couldn't upgrade it: laptopmain.com/lenovo-ideapad-720s-disassembly-ssd-ram-upgrade-options/

    I hope this is not true and I have the options to go 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM in the future if I need to upgrade.

    Do you also consider that the wifi card should be replaced at first?

    • Joni

      August 18, 2017 at 1:33 am

      Thanks for your reply!

      I'm sorry I meant to post this to the 720S, my mistake! I just opened the page from browsing history and opened wrong article. Guess these computers are so similarly looking, hah.

      The shield was something that video reviewers had no courage to remove, afraid that their warranty if voided or something.

      I found also a guide about removing the plate meanwhile.

      • Andrei Girbea

        August 18, 2017 at 1:08 pm

        Removing that is shield easy, it's hold in place by a few pins that you'll have to loosen up with a flat-tip screw driver. If you did remove it on your laptop I'd appreciate if you can confirm that there's a DIMM beneath.

      • Remo

        September 27, 2017 at 9:07 am

        Hello andrei,
        How many slots are there for ram sticks?
        I just bought the i3 model with 4gb of ram and i want to possibly add another 4gb stick for dual channel for increased graphics and system performance. i can only do this if there is 2 slots. Can you confirm?

      • Andrei Girbea

        September 27, 2017 at 9:19 am

        1 slot.

  13. Aaron

    August 22, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Is the cpu replaceable in the i3 model with something such as an I 7 ?

  14. Pete Borini

    August 26, 2017 at 7:16 am

    My daughter and I found our 14" 320S for an amazing $479 back on July 16th here in the US. We bought it for her to use as her primary laptop went she went to college. We've since discovered that the configuration we bought did not include a backlit keyboard AND did not include an Ethernet port. We found an adapter that allowed us to use her college's Ethernet connection but I urge you to check the specs of the unit you buy to make absolutely sure it has the features you think it does. Every review of the 320S mentioned the backlit keyboard and the online manual clearly showed an Ethernet port. The laptop we bought at Staples contained neither.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 26, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      My test sample did not come with a backlit keyboard, so not EVERY review :)

    • Felix Morath

      September 9, 2018 at 9:16 pm

      Can you please tell me which adapter it is, that works on your ethernet? We are a school and have the same problem. Thank you!

  15. Lou

    September 1, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    I saw that you said you guys had some custom settings for the screen. Where can I find this? Because I bought one and would like to try it out.

  16. Michael

    September 14, 2017 at 3:35 am

    Hi Andrei,
    Does the M2 slot use PCIe or SATA protocol? I'm looking to install an SSD as a boot drive. Thanks!

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 14, 2017 at 5:04 am

      It's SATA3 only as far as I remember

      • Tom

        February 2, 2018 at 2:04 pm

        Hi all, I've just bought IP320s 14IKB model number 81bn, bought in the UK, manufactured in Nov 2017.

        I know it's hard to be sure they're the same with the non-logical model numbering systems these manufacturers like to confuse us with but anyway….

        I've just installed a PCIE m.2 and it does work in this particular machine. So mine is PCIE.

  17. Arnold

    September 14, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Hi, is it ram upgradable or soldered in 320s?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 14, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      It's upgradeable, you could have found that if you read the article :)

  18. Arnold

    September 14, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Good day, I have this with i3, 4gb and 128 ssd, i would like to add HDD drive. Maybe you know what thickness is of HDD? Usual 9.5 mm, or 7mm?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 14, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      My unit came with a LiteON CV3-DE256, which is a 7 mm drive.

    • Geir Martin Hynne

      January 30, 2018 at 2:40 pm

      Did that work out well, to add a hdd?

  19. Lucian Iacob

    March 6, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    Hi Andrei,

    Thank you for the review! Comprehensive and informative as always.

    I would love to buy a 14” 320s for my wife in the i5-8250u/8GB/128GB config as there is a €580 offer. It would fulfill her basic needs very well. However, I would really like to pick the 52 Wh battery option though. This guy has a well specd 13.3” i5-8250u but only got a 35Wh battery (https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/868119-lenovo-ideapad-320s/).

    You said higher end models get a 52 Wh battery. Would that be true for i7s only? Or even i5s as well but in 14” models ‘cause their chassis is larger? And short of running a battery report through powercfg while testing the laptop in the shop, is there any other way I can find out the battery size prior to buying? Maybe finding a datasheet in the laptop’s box, if I’m allowed to open it prior to buying the thing?

    Lenovo says very little on their Irish website, where I’m based. In fact, their Ideapad 320 datasheet (not 320s, if there is any difference; they link a 320 datasheet on the 320s irish webpage) says all 320 models come with a 35 Wh battery, irrespective of screen size. That would be very disappointing.

  20. Denise

    November 8, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Hi Andrei!
    I have the Ideapad 320s 14IKB 4GB SSD 128GB M2.
    I saw a video in YT from a guy that just plug a Corsair MP510 240GB m.2 SSD NVMe PCIe gen 3.0 x 4.
    Do you think my 320s version is able to accept that? If yes, then I don't need to do a backup of everything I have on it? Or even though, should I do it?
    In case you think there is no way on just plugging some extra SSD space… do you have any recommendations? Will I have to open the SSD part to change the 128GB for one larger? What do you think about 1TB?
    I'm sorry but I new with these things.

    I will upgrade my RAM for a Crucial 16GB, however I'd like to upgrade my SSD too as I'm getting low space.

    Thank you so much in advance!!!

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 9, 2020 at 11:13 am

      If I get this right, your laptop already has a M.2 128 GB SSD. In this case, you can either replace it with a bigger compatible model, but first clone the content on the existing SSD onto the new drive (you'll need an USB to M.2 adapter for that), or you can choose to just install windows on the fresh drive (crate an USB install drive and install Windows from it. drivers should then be applied automatically with windows updates). You'll find videos on youtube for all these procedures.

      There's also an easier route: just put a 2.5" SSD in the 2.5" bay. Those are fairly cheap and easy to install, just make sure to open up the laptop first to see if Lenovo have included the required connectors.

  21. Denise

    November 10, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Hi Andrei! Hope you’re fine!
    Thank you for the help!
    Please I only need your help with these two questions:

    My ideapad is the 320s 14IKB with i3 7th gen., 128GB SSD, 4GB RAM.
    I will upgrade the RAM for this one that I’ll buy in Amazon:
    Crucial CT16G4DFD8266 16GB Storage (DDR4, 2666 MT/s, PC4-21300, CL19, Dual Rank x 8, UDIMM, 288-Pin)
    According to some reviews, this one seems to be a good cost benefit.
    What do you think? Is 16GB too much? Should I consider 8GB? My laptop is freezing with black screen all the time and when GChrome can’t open more tabs as there is no memory available. =[ I late with my college assignments already.

    Also when I open the laptop to upgrade that… I’ll check if there are the required connectors you mentioned and that I saw in one video on YouTube. It will be easier for me. For this option, do I still need to do a backup? I think my laptop has the required connectors but I’ll check before buying a SSD memory to upgrade. Is there any limit to upgrade in this laptop? I’m thinking in buying the 500GB as I won’t be able to buy a new laptop so soon. Please what do you think?

    Thank you so much again!!

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 10, 2020 at 3:27 pm


      The unit that I had came with a SK Hynix HMA81GS6AFR8N-UH 8gb DIMM in the memory slot. That Crucial might work as well, but I'm not entirely sure that 2666 MHz option that you mentioned is 100% compatible. Perhaps look for a 2400 MHz option instead, if you can't find the 16 GB version from SK Hynix.

      As for the storage, no, you don't need to clone/backup if you just install a 2.5" SSD. Just make sure you're buying a 2.5" 7 mm SSD that will properly fit. Once installed, you will probably have to go to Disk Manager in Windows to initiate the new drive. You'll find details about that on Youtube.


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