The Lenovo IdeaPad S340 is a cheaper laptop that has a lot to offer to us at this price range. In this post, we’ll take a detailed look at this laptop and find out what this laptop will offer us why its ranked #1 on Wheon’s Best laptop under 40000 list.
For the specs, we’ve got an Intel i5-8265U CPU, 8GB of dual-channel memory, a 256gb NVMe M.2 SSD, and a 15.6” 1080p 60Hz TN panel.
For network connectivity, it’s got 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5, but it’s too thin for a gigabit ethernet port, so you’ll need to use an adapter if you need that.
There’s no discrete graphics in this model, but newer versions are available with MX250 graphics and newer 10th gen CPUs.
The top is all just a plain silver plastic with a subtle Lenovo logo on the edge, and the interior is a similar color too.
Overall the plastic chassis did have some flex to it but it felt solid enough, and all corners and edges were smooth.
The weight is listed at 1.79kg on their website, and this was quite close to this. With the small 65-watt power brick and cable for charging the total weight rises to just 2kg, so it’s fairly lightweight and portable.
It’s less than 1.8cm thick, and the width and depth are similar to many other modern slim 15 inch laptops, giving it 7mm thin bezels on the sides. Despite the smaller bezels, the 720p camera is found in the ideal spot above the display in the middle, and it’s also got a physical privacy shutter you can slide across.
The keyboard has no backlighting but overall I had no problems typing with it.
The plastic keyboard deck was fairly flexible when intentionally pushing down hard, however, I never had any problems with the build quality during normal use.
There was an average amount of screen flex, however, it was reduced by the large hinge that runs along most of the screen.
The precision touchpad worked alright, it’s got the usual gestures and the size seemed ok.
As for the screen, the S340 is available with 3 different options, you can get it with a 1080p IPS option, however, this has the lowest 1366 by 768 resolution, and it’s a TN panel too.
We’ve measured color gamut with the Spyder 5, and got 57% of sRGB, 41% of NTSC, and 42% of AdobeRGB.
At 100% brightness, I measured 232 nits in the center with a 90:1 contrast ratio, so very low results compared to machines we typically test, but the 1080p options should do better.
As we’ve got a TN panel the viewing angles were quite bad, there’s a color shift when not looking at it front on, but to be fair you’ll probably be looking front on when using it anyway, oh and the screen goes all the way back.
TN panels are harder to get bleed photos due to the limited viewing angles, anyway despite the differences here there wasn’t any bleed in this unit that I could see with my own eyes.
On the left from the back, there’s the power input, HDMI output, USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C port, no Thunderbolt though, and 3.5mm audio combo jack.
The HDMI version wasn’t listed, however, after connecting a 4K monitor it only ran at 30Hz, so its version 1.3 or 1.4 rather than 2.0 or newer.
On the right from the front, there’s status LEDs, full-size SD card slot, and two USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports.
Otherwise, there’s nothing at all going on over on the back or front of the machine.
Due to the all silver finish, it doesn’t really show up fingerprints.
Underneath just has some air ventilation towards the back and rubber feet which did an ok job of preventing movement when in use. To get inside, we only need to take out 10 TR5 screws, and one of the front screws doesn’t fully remove from the bottom panel.
The speakers are found towards the front left and right corners, they sounded pretty average, a bit tinny at higher volumes without any bass, however, they still got loud enough at maximum volume and the latency on results wasn’t too bad.
Inside we’ve got the battery down the bottom left, 2.5” drive bay slot towards the right, single memory slot in the center, single NVMe PCIe M.2 slot to the right of that, and WiFi card right up the top right corner. There’s
a fair bit of empty space inside, and they do sell the S340 in a smaller 14” version too so I guess it’s just been stretched out for the larger 15” panel in this model.
Although there’s only one single memory slot, the laptop comes with 4GB soldered to the board, so mine runs in dual channel with the 4GB stick. I’ll also mention that although the stick is DDR4-2666 capable, the i5-8265U
CPU only supports DDR4-2400, which is what it ran at.
The S340 is powered by a 3 cell 52.5wh battery. Despite not being all that large, it lasted for over 14 hours just watching YouTube with the screen on 50% brightness, and this is thanks to the lower-powered specs.
By default, the S340 came with Windows 10 S, which basically prevents you installing untrusted apps outside of the Windows store, however, you can easily disable this for the full version of Windows, so no problem there.
The Lenovo Vantage software allows you to manage the system. For some reason, it doesn’t seem to give you the option to swap between the performance modes, however you can use the function and Q key to swap between silent and performance modes.
Thermal testing was completed with an ambient room temperature of 21 degrees Celsius. As there is no discrete graphics I’ve only tested with a CPU only stress test, and worst case in performance mode the CPU is hitting
Overall it’s not that bad of a machine for the price if you’re just doing office or school work we think it could be a good option when on sale for under $500 USD.
Let us know what you thought about the Lenovo S340 laptop.