Lenovo's $249 IdeaPad 100 Challenges HP Stream

Looking to break into the same sub-$300 space as the HP Stream 13,  Lenovo has unveiled the IdeaPad 100, a notebook that will start at $249 when it goes on sale in June.

Designed for those who need a basic system for tasks such as surfing the Web and reading email, the IdeaPad 100 will be available in both 14- and 15-inch varieties, and will run Windows 8.1 like the HP Stream. However, Lenovo's systems are  powered by Intel BayTrail-M processors, unlike the Celeron-backed Stream PC.

Both notebooks have 1366 x 768-pixel resolution displays. The rated brightness is a relatively dim 200 nits, but typical for a system in this price range.

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Somewhat disappointingly, Lenovo estimates that the notebooks will get just 4 hours of battery life, well short of some of their competition.

Both notebooks will be configurable with up to 8GB of RAM, and up to a 500GB hard drive or 128GB SSD, though the latter option is likely to push it out of the realm of a budget system.

Each laptop comes standard with one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, HDMI, Ethernet, and a 4-in-1 card reader. The 14-inch IdeaPad 100 measures 13.4 x 9.2 x 0.8 inches and weigh 4.2 pounds, and the 15-inch model measures 14.9 x 10.4 x 0.89 inches and weighs 5.1 pounds. 

The Lenovo IdeaPad 100 will be available in June starting at $249. Despite its modest specs, it could be a good system for those with simple needs. Stay tuned for our full review.

LAPTOP Reviews Editor