back to article Back to school with El Reg - how about a chunky Lenovo for the student in your life?

With a new school term fast approaching, The Register has got its claws on Lenovo's second generation 300e laptop, a device aimed fairly and squarely at students. The first impressions are good. The 300e has the appearance of a robust beast: the chassis has rubberised edging, suggesting it should be able to withstand a drop or …

  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "for when your little darling simply must have Windows 10"

    It's probably not even legal to let a kid use Windows 10, thanks to GDPR.

    And the hardware for this particular model seems just as disappointing as Windows 10 too.

    1. whitepines

      Re: "for when your little darling simply must have Windows 10"

      Don't worry, after Brexit we won't have to worry about that pesky GDPR. Our CCTV systems will send Microsoft all of our movements, and our courts can simply mandate the storage of all of our personal thoughts and data in Azure. Add in mandatory cameras in the bedroom -- IoT of course -- to enforce the porn laws and you've got a perfect British implementation of the instructions laid out in Orwell's textbooks.

  2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    Better off with a secondhand X series

    A used X220 or X230 should be more than sufficient for school work.

    1. Mr Catbert

      Re: Better off with a secondhand X series

      I bought an excellent quality T460 off eBay for £250

    2. TheRealRoland

      Re: Better off with a secondhand X series

      I like the XJ220 better. More than enough for the school commute, i'm sure.

  3. James 51

    Buy a refurbished x260 or x270 for half the price.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      ...although those models do seem to suffer issues of the camera cable failing. Sadly, the camera cable is also attached to the power switch. And it's a bitch to replace.

  4. Ali Dodd

    should be

    a criminal offence to sell a machine with that low a spec for £600+ it's abysmal.

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: should be

      No, it's only complete pants when anchored with a copy of Windows. Give it a light weight *nix distro & it will be more than enough to chew up most tasks & spit them out like a champ. Afterall, old netbooks with a 1GHz CPU & 2Gb of RAM were perfectly fine with Linux on them & this machine has that beat.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: should be

        Until you find out the "special, licensed, super expensive, school approved" software that has to run on it only exists in Windows flavor and doesn't even run under Wine or the likes.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: should be

          My Granddaughter's machine will run Cupertino, Redmond or Slackware as she sees fit. She lives in Slackware unless the school forces her into Apple or Microsoft, and then she grumbles.

          It took the school over a year before they noticed she was running Slackware. Then they threw a shit-fit. My daughter took great delight in explaining how stupid they were being ... My GD is a straight-A student, so obviously she was completing the coursework despite the crippled tools that the school district was trying to saddle her with.

          1. whitepines

            Re: should be

            When she's a bit older...she can have one on me. -->

            Brilliant to see the younger generation care enough to use a real OS *and* defend that use where needed.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Also lurking within that chassis is an Intel Celeron N4100 CPU, clocked at 1.1 GHz, 4GB of soldered-on RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage."

    Wow, a slowon at 1.1 ? And 4GB of *soldered* RAM ? My daughter is a student and I'm dead sure she won't do fuck all with that ...

    "That £627 cost is Lenovo's list price."

    Re-Wow, complete rip-off.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: rip-off

      Yeah, agreed. I read the article and as it went through the specs - 1.1GHz processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage - I was nodding to myself and thinking “yes, fair enough, it’s obviously a dirt-cheap disposable machine that won’t break the bank if little Timmy drops/loses it at school”... then I saw the price. £627? Nope. Nope, nope, nope.

      1. NeilPost Silver badge

        Re: rip-off

        That feels like £150 spec you would previously have bought in Toys’R’Us with Win10S as a kids computer.

  6. andy gibson

    I had to double check the date on this article and see if it was a review of the first eeePC notebooks with talk of Celerons, soldered in RAM, and tiny storage.

    And I see Lenovo are still dabbling with horrible, easy to wear out charging sockets.

  7. OssianScotland

    Screen Resolution

    I gave up with the review at "1366 x 768". How on earth can that be an acceptable screen resolution (actually, how did it ever become one)?

    Not trying to compare apples and oranges, but for me the amazing thing about the Surface family is the 2700 x 1800 or better resolutions - you can actually do a decent amount of work without wearing out your scroll buttons

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Screen Resolution

      We did a decent amount of work at 80x25 ... If we hadn't. you and I wouldn't be having this conversation.

      The vast majority of so-called "computer work" is done in wetware. Glitter is a distraction and doesn't actually get work done.

      1. DiViDeD

        Re: Screen Resolution

        @ jake:

        My only regret is that I have only 1 upvote to give for your comment.

      2. OssianScotland

        Re: Screen Resolution

        I completely agree, but now you would struggle to see that much text (at an acceptable size) on a "modern" display (i.e. the one I mentioned).

        The first business computer I worked with was a Wang MVP 2200 - text only, on a green screen (I can't remember if it got up to 80x25 characters, but it certainly didn't exceed it). No, I don't miss it.

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Screen Resolution

      I gave up with the review at "1366 x 768". How on earth can that be an acceptable screen resolution (actually, how did it ever become one)?

      It would have been a perfectly acceptable resolution back in 1990 (or so) when I bought a 14" 1024x768 interlaced CRT...

      1. borkbork

        Re: Screen Resolution

        These days the extra pixels are needed to negate modern graphic design trends of unecessary padding and whitespace.

        My phone has 4x the pixels of this thing and cost half as much.

  8. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    Power switch next to volume control?

    My youngest has an otherwise pretty decent ASUS Core i3 laptop (with tablet mode, and full HD resolution) which was cheaper than this Lenovo offering, much better specced, and on the whole a machine you can work on. The one thing I absolutely hate about it is the position of the power switch, right next to volume control. Even just picking up the thing can cause a shutdown. This Lenovo machine has NO WAY written all over it from where I stand.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If anyone's seriously interested in paying way over the odds for a unupgradeable, low res, low memory, low storage, absurdly underpowered lappy for their beloved offspring to tout around campus, a five year old 11" Macbook Air from eBay will cost less, have better specs and (possibly, if they like shiny things) please your teenager more, while also helping to ensure they don't slip a disc lugging the thing around. I can only assume someone at Lenovo set that price as a joke.

  10. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

    Careless Youth

    From my time in a private school careless is a understatement, not giving a flying a flying fuck is more generally more accurate.

    Case in point kid came in with smashed screen on his school supplied laptop, every morning he would bring his loaner unit back with another smashed screen & turned up 30 seconds after the replacement screen arrived in the post for fitting, with yet another smashed screen loaner.

    Icon - Cause the little bastard(s) really needed a good visit from Jimmy Edwards.

    1. Sebastian Brosig

      Re: Careless Youth

      probably flogged the screens on ebay with a "trade-in" offer for broken panels!

  11. karlkarl Silver badge

    The high price is probably an attempt to get parents to choose the £249 Chromebook version.

    The cheap price for that is obviously subsidized by adverts and the fact that your kids privates will be exposed.

    1. whitepines

      Adverts sure, but W10 isn't exactly any more of a fig leaf for privacy than the Chromebook. And W10 defaults to having a bunch of adverts for Microsoft tat anyway, unless of course you do expect the little darling to be playing Candy Crush instead of doing schoolwork?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    offering from Dell

    .... this is what I got for my middle school daughter... for $232 (less than this lenova kit in the UK), will be getting an entry level Dell Inspiron 3000 series with: Intel Core i3-7020U, 4GB DDR4 (Expandable), 128GB M.2 PCIe SSD (replaceable) 15.6" FHD LED (1920x1080), Intel HD Graphics 620

    Note that the RAM and the drive are expandable/replaceable. For those paying attention, that is a computer with an EASILY upgradeable NVME drive for $232. And upgrading RAM will be just as simple.

  13. confused and dazed
    Thumb Down

    Really ?

    Other than being robust (like a brick) - this really seems like a poor value choice for any student in the UK or otherwise ....

  14. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    627-249 ?

    £378 sounds a lot for an OEM Windows licence *now*, but just wait until after Brexit.

    1. royprime

      Re: 627-249 ?

      We could make this a drinking game - yell Brexit in a forum and then run and watch the carnage.

  15. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge


    Back in my day, a student laptop was called a three-ring binder.

    1. Anomalous Cowturd

      Re: Bah

      You youngsters. In my day, it was a satchel.

      Old fart icon.

  16. WolfFan Silver badge

    Not a chance

    I got to ‘Celeron’ and ‘600+ Pounds’ and stopped. Not a chance. No. Not happening. Ever.

  17. Nosher

    Has El Reg become entirely US-based recently? There seem to be more and more articles using US references, such as "math" and "No. 2 pencil" (which I had to look up), than ever

    1. M.V. Lipvig Bronze badge








  18. Slions

    For that price they could at least give it a trackpoint.

    Please Lenevo m, get busy designing a 4th gen ThinkPad X1 Tablet instead. With mate screen finish this time.

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