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Lenovo IdeaPad S340 hands-on review: Now available to buy from just £350

The affordable IdeaPad S340 has some premium features and plenty of customisability - and it's now out in the UK

Amongst the multitude of ThinkPad, ThinkVision and Yoga products at MWC in Barcelona, the cheaper IdeaPad lineup proved to be one of the more interesting attractions at the Lenovo booth. I’ve decided to focus on the Lenovo IdeaPad S340, the cheapest of the lot, because it offers a host of interesting features for such a low-cost device.

I had a good deal of hands-on time with the Lenovo IdeaPad S340, which Lenovo expects to be the best-seller among the new range — keep reading for the full lowdown.

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Lenovo IdeaPad S340 review: Key specifications, price and release date

  • 14in or 15in 1,920 x 1,080 IPS display
  • Optional touch-screen (15in only)
  • Up to 8th-Gen Intel Core i7-8565 processor
  • Up to 8GB RAM
  • Up to 256GB NVMe PCIe SSD
  • Up to NVIDIA MX250 GPU
  • 2 x 2W speakers
  • Dolby Audio Premium
  • Windows 10 Home
  • UK price: Starting at £350 from Lenovo
  • UK release: April 2019

Lenovo IdeaPad S340 review: Design, key features and first impressions

There are two sizes of Lenovo S340, with 14in and 15in models announced. That said, only the 14in variants are currently available to buy in the UK. An optional touch-enabled display can only be fitted with the 15in configuration, so it’s a shame that it’s not out yet in the UK. The displays both go up to a 1,920 x 1,080 (FHD) resolution.

The IdeaPad S340 is a pleasant looking device and, more importantly, it’s affordable despite the higher-end features. Lenovo says it places emphasis on bringing the tech of “more desirable” products down into the lower-end lines. One such innovation is the webcam security shutter which was initially introduced in the ThinkPad lineup. There’s also the option to add NVIDIA MX250 dedicated graphics, not a common feature in a laptop with such a low starting price — the base spec 14in IdeaPad S340 is a mere £350.

Buy now from Lenovo

Lenovo will offer Intel or AMD-powered versions of the IdeaPad S340, although it has yet to list the AMD CPU models. As for Intel, you can configure the Lenovo IdeaPad S340 with up to a 1.8GHz 8th-Gen Intel Core i7-8565. The S340 can be kitted out with a maximum of 8GB RAM and up to 512GB PCIe SSD. It may be a cheap laptop to start with but a maxed out Lenovo S340 with all the internal trimmings is considerably more costly.

Cheap laptops often give away their nature through chunky, ugly designs and low-grade materials but the IdeaPad S340 looks rather nice. It’s lightweight and sturdy although it’s not made of metal. Instead, Lenovo has opted for a hybrid chassis of plastic reinforced by carbon fibre. It’s ‘hand-feel’ isn’t as nice as a metal alloy laptop yet it doesn’t feel as cheap as an ultra-budget Chromebook. Incidentally, Lenovo also had one of those on display too. I’m a big fan of the Lenovo S340’s ‘sand pink’ colour — as shown in my photos — and there’s also a nice ‘abyss blue’ finish to choose from.

The IdeaPad S340 has a standard array of ports. On the left edge there’s a full-sized HDMI port, USB Type-C socket and a 3.5mm audio jack in addition to the power port. On the right are two USB 3.0 sockets and an SDcard reader. That’s comprehensive connectivity for a mid-tier laptop and it should cover most people’s requirements.

Buy now from Lenovo

Lenovo IdeaPad S340 review: Early verdict

Compared to the big headline products revealed at MWC 2019, the Lenovo IdeaPad S340 and its pricier siblings aren’t breaking any boundaries. Yet it’s hard not to be won over by the impressive customisability in such a comparatively low-priced device. As mentioned, Lenovo predicts that the IdeaPad S340 will be the most popular IdeaPad device in 2019 and it’s easy to see why. It’s cheap, cheerful and can be transformed into a much more powerful device if that’s what the customer is after.

The Lenovo IdeaPad S340 is now on sale in the UK, with prices starting from as low as £350, while premium models cost up to £750. Keep an eye out for a full review in the near future.

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