A slim IdeaPad 330S with advanced battery

The Lenovo IdeaPad S340 has been in the Indian laptop market for months now. It is currently on sale alongside the IdeaPad 330 and IdeaPad 330S, two models that were launched last year with the more premium IdeaPad 530S to fill the space of the company’s budget laptops. This year though, Lenovo has decided to redesign its entire IdeaPad line-up even if last year’s models are still on the market (especially during the sales season). Lenovo in its updated 40 series to keep things identical with an ‘S’ in the name prefix of each non-touchscreen model.

Let’s review the refreshed IdeaPad line-up so that we can clear the names of the new models: instead of the IdeaPad 330, we have the IdeaPad S145. This year, it only comes in a 15.6-inch incarnation with a dedicated media key on top of the numpad. You can read our review of the new model here. Instead of the more expensive IdeaPad 530S, we have the IdeaPad S540. We’re still getting our hands on that one. Finally, instead of the IdeaPad 330S, we have the IdeaPad S340, the device in question.

The IdeaPad S340 is available in 14-inch and 15.6-inch variants, starting at Rs 37,990. All variants listed on Lenovo’s official website are driven by a solid-state drive (either 256GB or 512GB), with Lenovo consciously pursuing this time to increase overall computing speed and keep pace with competition. Surprisingly though, our review unit came up with a 1TB hard drive instead. More surprisingly, it was listed on Amazon.in for Rs 51,990 while the SelfSame variant with 256GB solid-state drive is available for Rs 50,990 on Lenovo’s official website.

Performance

Our review unit has an Intel Core i5-8265U CPU with integrated graphics. System RAM comes in the form of a removable 4GB DDR4 chip that is soldered to the motherboard and bundled with a removable 4GB DDR4 SODIMM card, bringing the total to 8GB. This means that future upgrades were limited to a maximum of 12GB, which is unforgivable. Handling storage was not a PCIe NVMe solid-state drive but a 1TB WDC hard drive rotating at 5,400 rpm. In my opinion it is not so forgivable. On paper alone, this configuration is a bit disappointing, as you can get all this and more from Asus for Rs 43,990.

There is no Intel 9th ​​Gen / 10th Gen Core i5

The IdeaPad S340 got average scores on our CPU and GPU benchmark tests. In PCMark 8’s Accelerated Creative Experiment, our review unit picked up 3464 points. In contrast Asus VivoBook S431 and VivoBook X403, scored 3551 and 3724 respectively in the same test. At 3DMark’s Fire Strike and Cloud Gate, our review unit scored 1096 and 8468 points, respectively. The other two aforementioned Asus VivoBook models have advanced by about 100 points in the same two tests. In CrystalDiskMark 6, the review unit scored extremely low 102.3 MB / s (continuous reading) and 112.6 MB / s (continuous writing), indicating that its hard drive is about sixteen times slower than two VivoBooks on the same test.

IdeaPad S340 vs VivoBook S431 vs. VivoBook X403

The same competitor here

The day-to-day performance of the review unit can best be called decent. It was clear that the speed of the device was greatly limited by its hard drive. A cold boot on the Windows 10 lock screen (without any pending Windows updates) takes between one and two minutes. It took another full minute from that point to reach the desktop and be fully ready for use. For the first time, it took about three and a half seconds to open File Explorer. It took about nine seconds to open a 1.0MB PNG image file in the first photo and up to two seconds later. It takes an average of about two seconds to bring up the Start menu or Windows Search.

Browsing in a Chrome window with over a dozen open tabs was fairly smooth, but it took a while to switch between tabs or other windows. Whenever I switched between windows, I noticed a gap of one second in the window switcher. Overall, the IdeaPad S340 never stutters or hiccups but does show considerable lag when it comes to disk activity. That’s why this model is purchased with one of the best solid-state drive options that Lenovo’s official website offers. Simply put, the lazy hard drive inside destroys the IdeaPad S340’s otherwise promising performance party.

Battery

The Lenovo IdeaPad S340 packs a three-cell 52.5Wh non-removable lithium-ion polymer battery, which, for the price of a laptop, is quite fleshy. In our standard battery benchmark test, our review unit lasted 4 hours, 39 minutes. This is more than 24 minutes from the score of Asus VivoBook S431. Understandably, the IdeaPad S431 did not outperform the VivoBook X403 (6 hours, 16 minutes), which packs an unusually large 72Wh battery. Yet it is an acceptable score.

In our daily experiments, where the screen is set to 80 percent brightness and Wi-Fi + Bluetooth is enabled, the review unit charge dropped from 100 to 55 percent in just three hours. During testing, the IdeaPad S340 was tasked with continuous browsing (about 15 or 20 tabs in Chrome) and endless music playback (opening a YouTube window in the background) via USB headphones. Running another with a slightly heavier load (full brightness, a few app installations, file downloads, etc.), the charge drops to 100 to 45 percent in the same three-hour time frame. It took about an hour and a half to fully charge from 30 percent.

Display, audio and IoT

Our review unit features a 14-inch non-touchscreen TN panel with full HD resolution and an anti-glare finish. The panel colors have been thoroughly washed in all brightness settings In some corners, they even appear to have a red tinge. What’s more, both vertical and horizontal viewing angles were severely limited. Although the font size is not very small, it makes the text quite difficult to read. On the bright side, the text doesn’t look granular on the IdeaPad S145’s screen. I have found myself pushing the brightness of the panel up to a maximum of 220 nits on many occasions, even when I was indoors. All things considered, the IdeaPad S340’s display is extremely disappointing because of its lack of color and readability.

Unfortunately the dull non-IPS TN panel

The base panel of the IdeaPad S340 has two down-firing speakers on either side. The sound through them is fairly high but flat and inspiring despite the bundled Dolby Audio app being enabled. Weekend Starboy Sounds absolutely flat across all frequencies in our review unit. On the plus side, the maximum volume was enough to fill a large conference room (15 x 20 feet). This pair is best used for short, occasional YouTube clocks and quick conference calls. If you want quality audio, it’s best to invest in a good pair of headphones.

Poor audio despite having Dolby Audio app

The IdeaPad S340 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to connectivity. On the left side of its body, we see a proprietary round-pin power port, a full-size HDMI port, a USB-C 3.1 port, and a 3.5mm audio jack for the headset. On the right, we see a few USB-A 3.1 ports and a full-size SD card reader slot. Missing in action are LAN port, fingerprint scanner and Kensington security slot. The Power Brick is a standard 65W matte black unit, as bundled with last year’s models.

Unfortunately there is no USB-A

A Kensington security slot will not go wrong

Interestingly, the IdeaPad S340 comes with a physical privacy shutter for 720p webcam. This means you don’t have to stick a piece of tape over the webcam lens for extra peace of mind. It’s the cheapest Lenovo to get privacy shutter. So far this feature is only available on more expensive ThinkPad models.

The Nifty Little Slider for webcams ensures privacy and peace of mind

Keyboard and touchpad

The keyboard of the IdeaPad S340 is no different than the IdeaPad 330S and this is definitely a good thing because starting that unit was not bad. The keys have a decent amount of resistance but can do with a bit more travel. Being a little smoother, they can also do a little more ‘clickness’. That said, they work well for long emails and documents all the same; You won’t find too much wrong typing along the way. Also, there are two levels of backlighting for all your Lolita typing. In short, the IdeaPad S340 plays a moderately comfortable keyboard.

Decent keyboard, borrowed from IdeaPad 330S

Unlike the cheap IdeaPad S145’s touchpad, the IdeaPad S340 is a Windows 10-recognized perfect unit. This means that the movement of the pointer is normal and linear. This means that multi-finger taps and swipes work out of the box All touchpad settings can be changed in Windows settings without installing third party drivers or utilities. The two click keys at the bottom of the touchpad’s smooth, smoke-free surface are fairly easy to click as long as you press the bottom half of the touchpad.

Accurate touchpad, in contrast to the cheaper IdeaPad S145

Construction and design

This is a category where the Lenovo IdeaPad S340 is without a doubt the best. Lenovo basically took everything nice and clean on last year’s IdeaPad 330S and included it in the new IdeaPad S340. It closes the body thickness by 1.05 mm. As a result, Lenovo’s refreshing mid-ranger looks neat and modern. The base panel adapts the curvy chins to make it look more like a ‘thinkbook’. The slim black bezels around the display look slim. What’s more, there are privacy shutters for webcams that we’ve covered before.

The anodized aluminum top cover offers ample grip

The top cover of the IdeaPad S340 is made of anodized aluminum, the base panel is made of plastic with a soft paint coating on top. Surprisingly, the difference is rare when you hold the device in your hand. The IdeaPad S340 seems to be a rigid and durable machine with little flex on the lid and almost no flex on the keyboard island, so it should survive occasional scratches (or drops, if you’re lucky). There is also enough grip around. The IdeaPad S340’s display goes back 180 degrees, which will make computing sessions more comfortable in your bed. All things considered, the IdeaPad S340 is a well-engineered laptop for the price.

The display goes back 180 degrees

The last row

The Lenovo IdeaPad S340 is virtually last year’s IdeaPad 330S with a few major upgrades: enhanced aesthetics (including a slim frame), that nifty little privacy shutter for webcams and extended battery life. Lenovo could use this opportunity to throw a brighter, more colorful Flower HD IPS LCD panel. Unfortunately for us, our review unit was attached to a hard drive (although all variants of Lenovo’s official website get a solid-state drive), which detracts from its functionality across benchmarks and daily tests. I’m sure Lenovo’s PCIe NVMe will do much better on the same laptop performance front with the solid-state drive offer.

Even if we do not consider the average performance of our review unit, the IdeaPad S340 can adapt to its most immediate competitors from Taiwan. The quality of keyboard and display is much better in the recently launched Asus VivoBook S431. The VivoBook X403, in fact, offers about eight hours of battery life for the same price. Lenovo IdeaPad S340, then, for hardcore Lenovo fans who missed the bus with the IdeaPad 330S last year. But if you’ve already got the IdeaPad 330S with the same (or similar) configuration, there’s no point in upgrading to the IdeaPad S340. Just tap off the webcam and continue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.