Lenovo IdeaPad S340 full review
MWC might be largely about phones, but we’ve also got a range of new laptops from Lenovo that look interesting. The IdeaPad S340 could be your new budget friendly go-to laptop.
The new IdeaPad line-up for 2019 includes the more premium S540 and the C340 with ‘C’ standing for convertible. We’re most interested in the S340 which is a sort of follow up to the very popular IdeaPad 320S.
Price & Availability
The IdeaPad S340 will arrive in March or April depending on whether you want AMD or Intel power with the latter arriving first.
You’ll pay more for Intel, which in the US will start at $369 but 549 Euros so we assume the specs are quite different. The AMD model will be 50 Euros cheaper.
Those are for the 14in model, so jumping to 15in means prices start at $429 or 549 Euros. Again, we assume the specs differ so we’ll have to wait and see what SKUs arrive at various retailers.
We expect the UK prices will be similar, possibly the same, as Euro.
Design & Build
The IdeaPad S340 has a plastic build with carbon fibre threads weaved into it. You really wouldn’t know to look at the device though, which is a shame, not that we expect proper carbon fibre at this price.
In theory it makes the plastic stronger, but the S340 has an aluminium finish on the lid, which is nice.
This laptop isn’t particularly thin or light, but Lenovo still calls it ‘ultrathin’. At 17.9mm thick we wouldn’t say this fits with that description. Part of the design makes the S340 appear to be thin but it’s an illusion.
The 14in model is 1.69kg while the 15in jumps to 1.8kg. Again, not headline grabbing figures but this is a budget laptop.
We like the (optionally backlit) keyboard which has a springy and responsive feel, albeit some annoyingly small keys in places. The trackpad isn’t so great and seems spongy and unresponsive.
The amount of ports on offer here make up for that a bit as you get two USB-A ports, a USB-C port, full-size HDMI, a separate power input, headphone jack and SD card reader.
A new design feature is the TrueBlock privacy shutter which allows you to physically cover the webcam should you feel the need. This has trickled down from the ThinkPad range.
That kind of selection is rare to see these days but if you hate the idea of being forced to use a USB-C dongle then the S340 will be a real boon.
We took a look at the Sand Pink model, but you can also get the S340 in Onyx Black, Abyss Blue and Platinum Grey.
Specs & Features
The display has bezels 20 percent smaller than previously and you’ll be able to choose from a 14- or 15.6in size. They’ll come in either HD or Full HD with optional touch and IPS.
Our sample we saw looked ok but viewing angles were poor and at 250 nits maximum the display isn’t very bright. This could be the laptop’s biggest downfall.
As we’ve mentioned there will be Intel and AMD versions of the IdeaPad S340. The headline is that you’ll get up to 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8565U with Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPUs, or up to AMD Ryzen 7 3700U with Radeon RX Vega 10 graphics.
There will also be a Core i3, Core i5 and some models with come with integrated graphics.
Things are relatively simple with memory as there will be 4-, 8- or 12GB. That’s higher than we’d expect at the top end.
Storage is a bit more complex though with 128-, 256- or 512GB SSDs, although only the AMD model will get the largest option. There are also hybrid drives with 128GB plus 1- or 2TB.
Either way, upgrading to an SSD is a good sign and will mean faster performance for users.
Taking into account the display, processor, memory and storage, there could be almost endless combinations of specs. What will actually arrive remains to be seen and will be largely down to retailers so we’ll have to wait and see.
When it comes to battery the AMD model will offer up to eight hours and Intel getting up to 10. New RapidCharge tech means you’ll reportedly get 80 percent charge in just one hour.
We're really impressed with the IdeaPad S340 after a first look. We've been waiting for a follow-up to the popular 320S for a while.
This looks like a nice upgrade, but with so many different spec options from screen to processor to graphics we need to see what SKUs the retailers decide to stock and what prices they come with.
There's potential for this to be the best budget laptop of 2019 if they get it right.
Lenovo IdeaPad S340: Specs
- Windows 10 Home
- 14in up to Full HD IPS with optional touch
- 15.6in up to Full HD IPS with optional touch Up to Intel Core i7-8565U
- Up to AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
- Up to Nvidia MX250 (2GB RAM)
- Up to Radeon RX Vega 10
- 4/8/12GB RAM
- 128/256/512GB SSD
- 128GB + 1/2TB hybrid drive
- 720p web cam
- 2x USB-A 3.0
- 1x USB-C
- Headphone jack
- SD card reader
- Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth 4.2
- 2x 2W Dolby speakers
- Up to 10 hours battery with RapidCharge
- 322x230.5x17.9mm (14in)
- 358x245x17.9mm (15in)
- 1.69kg (14in)
- 1.8kg (15in)