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May 13, 2018

Lenovo’s new IdeaPad laptops tickle your gaming fancy without breaking the bank

by John_A

Lenovo refreshed its IdeaPad portfolio on Thursday, May 10, with three new models promising high performance and high mobility at the right price: The IdeaPad 330, the IdeaPad 330S, and the IdeaPad 530S. All three arrive in up to three different sizes packing Intel processors and discrete graphics on some models. Prices start at $249 and climb as you move up the IdeaPad laptop chain to the meatier 530S models.

IdeaPad 330

For this group, Lenovo serves up 10 models spanning across three screen sizes: Three with a 14-inch screen, five with a 15.6-inch screen, and two with a 17.3-inch screen. There are no customization options: Each model has a set hardware list, and not all of the features you may want will be offered across all three sizes, such as the discrete GeForce GTX 1050 graphics chip limited only to the 15.6- and 17.3-inch models.

Key Specs


Screen size: 14 to 17.3 inches


Resolution: Up to FHD


Processor: Core, Pentium, Celeron


Graphics: Up to GTX 1050


Memory: Up to 16GB


Storage: SSD and HDD


Camera: Up to 720p


Connectivity: Wireless AC, Bluetooth


Ports: USB-C, HDMI


Battery: Up to 8 hours


Size: Up to 0.96 inches thick


Weight: Starting at 4.6 pounds


Available: May 2018

According to Lenovo’s specifications, the three 14-inch models will rely on four different Intel processors: Two Core i7 chips (seventh and eighth generation), one Pentium, and one Celeron. They’re backed by Intel’s integrated graphics or up to a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX130 graphics chip. Completing the package is up to 8GB of system memory, and a 16GB Intel Optane stick.

For storage, the 14-inch models rely on SATA-based SSDs and hard drives, with up to 256GB on the SSD and up to 2TB on the hard drive. Models can also sport dual storage: A 128GB or 256GB SSD paired with a 1TB hard drive. The storage is complemented by an SD card reader, several USB-A ports, HDMI output, an Ethernet port, and an audio jack. Configurations also include a USB-C port, depending on the model.

Finally, the 14-inch versions include two 1.5-watt speakers featuring Dolby Audio, Bluetooth 4.1 and Wireless AC (433Mbps) connectivity, and a DVD drive. The display supports a default 1920 x 1080 or 1366 x 768 resolution, depending on the version you purchase. This laptop does not offer touch-based input.

As for the other two sizes, Lenovo expands on the hardware list by adding GeForce MX150 and GeForce GTX 1050 discrete GPUs to the menu, and an additional default 1600 x 900 resolution setting to the 17.3-inch versions. The larger units also get a better Wireless AC component (867Mbps) and PCIe-based SSD storage, which is faster than the SATA-based SSDs installed in the 14-inch models.

Meanwhile, the Pentium and Celeron processors are not available for the 17.3-inch models. They’re only offered in two colors as well – Platinum Gray and Onyx Black – whereas the 15.6-inch models sport five colors (Blizzard White, Platinum Gray, Onyx Black, Midnight Blue, Chocolate) and the 14-inch models sport three (Platinum Gray, Mint Green, Midnight Blue).

Here are the starting prices:

  • 14-inch models: $349 (330-14IKB / 330-14IKBR / 330-14IGM)
  • 15.6-inch models: $249 (330-15IKB / 330-15IKB-Touch / 330-15ICH / 330-15ICN / 330-15IGM)
  • 17.3-inch models: $499 (330-17IKB / 330-17ICH)

IdeaPad 330S

The hardware specifications for this model weren’t hard to decipher: There are only two units in this batch. They’re mostly the same across the board save for the obvious size and weight differences, and the discrete GeForce GTX 1050 graphics chip provided in the larger 15.6-inch unit. Based on the specifications, you can get this laptop without the discrete GPU too for a lower price and thickness.

Key Specs


Screen size: 14 and 15.6 inches


Resolution: Up to FHD


Processor: Core, Pentium Silver


Graphics: Up to GTX 1050


Memory: Up to 12GB


Storage: SSD and HDD


Camera: 720p


Connectivity: Wireless AC, Bluetooth


Ports: USB-C, HDMI


Battery: Up to 7 hours


Size: Up to 0.82 inches thick


Weight: Starting at 3.6 pounds


Available: May 2018

For the screen, there are two variants: An unspecified screen type with a 1366 x 768 resolution and an IPS screen with a meatier 1920 x 1080 resolution. Both are powered by a seventh- or eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, or a Pentium Silver processor. System memory spans between 4GB and 12GB of DDR4 RAM, and an additional 16GB Intel Optane stick.

For storage, the IdeaPad 330S provides single and dual-storage configurations: 128GB to 256GB on a PCIe or SATA-based SSD, 1TB to 2TB on a hard drive, or a dual configuration with a 128GB PCIe SSD and a 1TB hard drive. The storage is complemented by an SD card reader, two USB-A ports, a USB-C port, HDMI output, and an audio combo jack.

Other ingredients thrown into the mix include Bluetooth 4.1 and Wireless AC connectivity (433Mbps), a 720p webcam with array microphones, dual 2-watt speakers with Dolby Audio, a backlit keyboard, and a battery promising up to seven hours on a single charge. Both will ship in Platinum Gray, Blizzard White, Midnight Blue, Rose Pink, and Iron Gray.

Here are the starting prices:

  • 14-inch model: $499 (330S-14IKB)
  • 15.6-inch model: $449 (330S-15IKB)

IdeaPad 530S

This duo is similar to the previous 330S pair, only Lenovo ditches the GeForce GTX 1050 discrete graphics, Intel Optane memory, and dual-storage configuration. You also only find Intel Core i7 processors here along with an additional fingerprint reader supporting Windows Hello. Both sizes rely on IPS screens although the larger 15.6-inch unit doesn’t have the 2560 x 1440 option seen with the smaller 14-inch unit.

Key Specs


Screen size: 14 and 15.6 inches


Resolution: Up to WQHD


Processor: Core i7


Graphics: Up to GT150


Memory: Up to 16GB


Storage: Up to 512GB SSD


Camera: 720p


Connectivity: Wireless AC, Bluetooth


Ports: USB-C, HDMI


Battery: Up to 6 hours


Size: Up to 0.66 inches thick


Weight: Starting at 3.28 pounds


Available: May 2018

With these two models, you have configurations spanning between 4GB and 16GB of DDR4 system memory. For storage, the laptops rely on PCIe-based SSDs ranging from 128GB to 512GB. The storage is complemented by an SD card reader, one USB-C port, two USB-A ports, HDMI output, and an audio combo jack. You have two Wireless AC configurations – 433Mbps or 867Mbps – and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity.

Rounding out these two laptops are a pair of Harman speakers with Dolby Audio, a 720p webcam with array microphones, a backlit keyboard, and a battery promising up to eight hours on a single charge. According to Lenovo, the battery supports Rapid Charge, providing up to two hours after charging the laptop for only 15 minutes.

Finally, Lenovo’s IdeaPad 530S laptops ship in Onyx Black, Liquid Blue, Copper, and Mineral Gray colors. Here are the starting prices:

  • 14-inch model: $799 (530S-14IKB)
  • 15.6-inch model: $849 (530S-15IKB)

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Lenovo takes wraps off Windows 10, Chromebook device lineup at MWC
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon vs. Apple MacBook Pro 13
  • Acer Nitro 5 Spin vs. Lenovo Yoga 720 15
  • Asus ZenBook Flip 14 vs. Lenovo Yoga 920
  • Dell rebrands Inspiron gaming laptops to G Series, serves up four new models


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