We recently received a laptop from Lenovo to check out and play around with and this time it’s the IdeaPad S145. It comes from the same lineup of notebooks we reviewed late last year but this specific model is on the lower end of the specifications spectrum or SPECtrum (get it?).
Kidding aside, it still shares certain features seen on its high-end counterparts so let’s delay no longer and get on with this hands-on.
The Lenovo IdeaPad S145’s design isn’t one to call attention due to its subtle design. While it’s also available in Platinum Grey Glossy and Granite Black Glossy, our unit came in Granite Black Texture which, as you may have guessed, traded its shiny finish for a matte and textured coating.
It sports a 14-inch HD display but there’s a better Full HD variant available. Side bezels are thin enough while the top still needed to house a webcam so there’s a bit of thickness added to it. Meanwhile, its bottom bezel is one thick panel of plastic.
The texture from its lid continues to the chassis while the keys share the same gray color of its body. Oh, and these aren’t back-lit in case you were wondering.
A power button is situated on the upper right corner of the keyboard with a light indicator of its own. Meanwhile, towards the bottom, its clickable touchpad might be a bit small for some but it still gets the job done.
In terms of dimensions, I can still consider the IdeaPad S145 a slim laptop that I can easily slide in and out of any normal-sized backpack. The front lid has that slanted edge which makes it easy to open with just one hand and if there’s something I appreciate about laptop construction, it’s thoughtful applications like these.
One feature that it got from its higher-end siblings is the ability to open all the way and flat on its back. This is made so online content, presentations, or basically anything can be shared easily with others for easier collaboration.
The left side houses all the ports including one USB 2.0, two USB 3.1, and an HDMI. On the flip side, we have the combined microphone and headphone jack along with an SD card reader.
Adding to the connectivity aspect is Bluetooth for wireless pairing with gadgets. And when it comes to sound quality, you’ll be glad to know that it features Dolby Audio speakers for a more immersive experience when sound-tripping or watching videos.
Now onto what’s inside. Before we proceed, though, keep in mind that it has different configurations available and could still be upgraded. What we’re going to discuss here is the specific model we have.
This IdeaPad S145 runs on an Intel Pentium Gold 5405U. It doesn’t compete with the higher end chipsets from Intel and is not made to process heavy tasks. It is then partnered with a modest Intel UHD Graphics 610 which, again, isn’t the best around.
Furthermore, only 4GB of RAM is installed in this notebook so the things you could accomplish on it is limited. No, there will be no complicated video or photo editing on this setup.
Storage is supported with 512GB of HDD onboard although it could also run an SSD at the same time to help make it snappier. Finally, a 64-bit Windows 10 Home comes as standard and the company claims its battery can last up to six hours.
As I have mentioned earlier, this combo of specifications won’t let you work on resource-heavy tasks like video editing or gaming. It functions well for browsing the web and working on your Powerpoint projects — basically light tasks that you need to accomplish anywhere.
Its form factor is great for portability, though, so you can easily bring it at a cafe, whip it out on a table, and start typing away to meet those deadlines.
Nokia 3.2 Hands-On: Basic but classy
Nothing fancy but really speedy
Nokia has been stepping up its lineup of budget smartphones. Early in 2019, the brand launched a plethora of budget smartphones that are under the Android One program. One of the budget-friendly smartphones introduced was Nokia 3.2. Eager to have that Nokia experience, I took the phone out for a spin.
It’s cheap… but classy
I had high hopes when I first got the Nokia 3.2 in its box. Seeing it earlier in MWC 2019 made me appreciate its look and vibe. Compared to other budget smartphones, it’s classier and sexier. However, the phone feels a little bit downgraded when compared to its predecessor.
Nokia the 3.1 with an aluminum frame, a plastic back, and corning gorilla glass while the 3.2 used only a polycarbonate unibody design. Its plastic back is smudgy and slippery, but the phone has a tighter grip, thanks to its subtle curved edges towards the front.
Even its buttons are subtly protruding on its sides. On the left is a dedicated Google Assistant button, and on the right are its power buttons and volume keys.
Found on its back are the 13-megapixel main camera, LED Flash, and fingerprint scanner. On the other hand, its top side features a headphone jack, while the micro USB port and speaker grilles are found on the bottom.
It also features a 6.2 inches LCD panel on its front display, with a tall 19:9 ratio. It might be disrupting, but the Nokia 3.2 still sports a small notch, housing its 5-megapixel selfie camera capable of AI face unlock. Even though it might be bigger and taller this time, the Nokia 3.2 is definitely a joy to hold.
Stock Android on a budget
The saving grace for Nokia’s disappointing build (at least for me) is its clean version of Android One. That means there’s no bloatware to take up your limited memory and storage.
Additionally, the Nokia 3.2 comes with Android 9 Pie out of the box. This makes it feel faster than its competitors in the budget segment despite having a 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Fortunately, it provides a microSD card slot up to up to 400GB of storage.
An entry-level performance
Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 429 processor, the Nokia 3.2 performs better compared to its predecessor which carried a MediaTek chipset. In addition, its GPU runs on Adreno 504.
This made the Nokia 3.2 handle graphic-intensive games like Mobile Legends even if it was set on the highest graphics setting possible. There were no delay and lag spikes, ensuring smooth gameplay all throughout.
Decent cameras for your everyday needs
Featuring a 13-megapixel main camera with an f/2.2 aperture, and a 5-megapixel selfie camera with an f/2.0 aperture, the Nokia 3.2 takes decent photos. Depending on the lighting, both of its cameras can either take a vibrant, lively reproduced color during daylight or a slightly desaturated photo on indoor and low-light conditions.
Of course, we can’t really expect budget smartphones to have flagship-like cameras. It won’t have quick auto-focus or any fancy features like blurring your background, but it’s the compromise we’re getting when we follow our tight budget. At the very least, make use of natural light and other camera tricks to improve your photos.
Lasts longer than your partner
If there’s one thing I enjoyed with this smartphone, it’s the humongous battery. Packing a 4000mAh battery, the Nokia 3.2 can definitely last a day on a single charge. It can handle your multimedia use and everyday tasks throughout the day, yet it will still have enough juice left to carry you through the night.
However, for a phone carrying a huge battery, it charges slowly at 10W. This phone might just be good for those who love to charge their phones overnight.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
The Nokia 3.2 is a contender in the budget segment. It might have a disappointing build and design, but the phone packs with power, performance, and speed, thanks to Google’s Android One program.
With a starting price of PhP 7,990 (US$ 154) for the 3GB/32GB model, Nokia loyalists will find this a real treat. For people looking for a secondary phone, or a primary phone with no frills and just functions to handle your everyday needs, the Nokia 3.2 could be your GadgetMatch.
However, there are still far better options in the budget category, like the Redmi Note 7 and Realme 3. If Nokia wants to come back in its former glory and capture people looking for an affordable powerhouse, they need to join the battle and beat Realme and Redmi in their game, just like Samsung bending over to compete in the tough budget battlefield.
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