So, perhaps you need an all-rounder notebook – build for office work, student stuff and multimedia, while at the same time being capable of doing some minor gaming. Moreover, your budget is very strict and you can’t afford to throw more than 1000 bucks for your every-day driver. Well, in this case, the Ideapad L340 (15″) might just be the right laptop for you.

It comes in two major configurations – one with AMD processors and one with Intel CPUs. Let’s disclose that we have tested the Intel-equipped version, so you might see a difference in some of the results if you own an AMD model. Nevertheless, in terms of a display, the top-end model goes with a Full HD TN panel, which is a bummer.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-ideapad-l340-15/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Lenovo ideapad L340 15″ (15IWL / 15API) – Specs


HDD/SSD

up to
2000GB SSD + up to 1000GB HDD


OS


Windows 10, Windows 10 Home, No OS


Dimensions


363 x 255 x 22.9 mm (14.29″ x 10.04″ x 0.90″)


Body material


Plastic / Polycarbonate

Ports and connectivity

  • 1x USB Type-C 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1)
  • 2x USB Type-A 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1)
  • HDMI 1.4b
  • Ethernet LAN
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Audio jack combo audio / microphone jack

Features

  • Web camera HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone
  • Speakers 2x 1.5W
  • Optical drive optional
  • Security Lock slot

What’s in the box?

Inside the box, there are the laptop, some paper manuals, and a 65W power brick, which attaches directly to the plug on the wall, rather than using a power cable.

Design and construction

On the outside, the laptop looks really good, honestly. It has a glossy, brushed lookalike lid, a base that painted in a similar fashion and a matte bottom plate. Sadly, the entire body of the Ideapad L340 (15″) is made out of plastic, so you have to be extremely careful if you don’t like scratching or damaging your tech. Its profile is 22.9mm and it weighs 2.20 kg – averagely sized device for 2019.

Indeed, the laptop lacks innovation and lacks a feature like the ErgoLift hinge of the VivoBook S15 S530 and S532 but on the bright side, its lid can be opened with a single hand. Additionally, above the display, you can see that the camera has its own lid, that Lenovo call the “TrueBlock Privacy Shutter”. If we look past the fancy name we are going to see a piece of plastic that is mounted on a lever that moves on top and away from the camera.

Let’s take a look at the base, shall we? It is the home of a key player – the keyboard (the pun is intended). We are really happy with the size of the keycaps. However, everything else about it just … sucks. In terms of key travel, it is very shallow and on top of that, it lacks the click to it. This results in an overall discomfort in use.

On the other hand, the touchpad feels responsive and fast, although, the surface is not what we would call premium and it bends pretty substantially when you press on the bottom edges.

Turning the laptop upside-down reveals the ventilation grills. There are no speakers to be seen here because they are placed on the chamfered side on left and right sides of the laptop.

Ports

In terms of connectivity, you can see that all of the ports are placed on the left side of the device. They start off with the barrel-style plug, an RJ-45 connector, an HDMI port, two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 2) ports, an audio jack, as well as a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 2) port. However, this is not it! Only for the old school – there is a DVD-RW drive on the right side. You can definitely enjoy some of the FIFA 2005 action that you still have on CD laying around.

Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

This device follows the trend of recent years – no service lid but fewer screws. The first thing to do is to remove the screw that holds the optical drive in place. After that just pull the drive out of its slot and remove the rest of the screws. Then, pop the bottom panel with a plastic pry tool and you should be able to easily lift it from the chassis.

As you can see, the cooling is comprised of only one heat pipe. Frankly, it is so thick that there should be no problem for it to cool down both of the chips. Additionally, the fan that Lenovo has put is pretty massive for a budget multimedia device.

In terms of upgradability, there is only one RAM DIMM that supports up to 16GB of DDR4 memory. Additionally, the single-channel nature means it is going to be a little slower than a possible dual channel one. Furthermore, there is one M.2 NVMe slot that supports both PCIe and SATA drives and an additional SATA slot for 2.5″ drives.

Lastly, there is the battery, which has a very modest capacity – 36Wh.

Display quality

We’re going to update this part of the review, as soon as we’re ready with our lab results.

Drivers

You can download all of the drivers and utilities for the Ideapad L340 (15″) from here: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/ideapad-l-series-laptop/l340-15iwl

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. Certainly, the battery size is not one of the Ideapad L340 (15″)’s strong points – 36Wh.

However, we find the screen on times during Web browsing and video playback to be respectable – around 6 hours and a half and just shy of 7 hours, respectively.

CPU options

The Lenovo Ideapad L340 (15″) comes in variants with either Intel or AMD chipsets. On the Intel side, you can choose from the Pentium Gold 5405U, Core i3-8145U or the Core i5-8265U, while the AMD options are pretty straightforward – Ryzen 3 3200U or the Ryzen 5 3500U.


Lenovo ideapad L340 15″ (15IWL / 15API) CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the Lenovo ideapad L340 15″ (15IWL / 15API) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Lenovo ideapad L340 15″ (15IWL / 15API) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.


GPU options

This laptop can be purchased with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX230 graphics card. If you opt away from it, then you get the respective integrated solutions from Intel and AMD.s


Lenovo ideapad L340 15″ (15IWL / 15API) GPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the GPUs that can be found in the Lenovo ideapad L340 15″ (15IWL / 15API) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Lenovo ideapad L340 15″ (15IWL / 15API) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different GPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / GPU.


Gaming tests

cs-go-benchmarks

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i5-8265U (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Lenovo Ideapad L340 (15″) 3.27 GHz (B+104%)@ 72°C 1.99 GHz (B+24%)@ 60°C 2.01 GHz (B+26%)@ 65°C
ASUS VivoBook S15 S532 2.96 GHz (B+85%) @ 75°C 2.95 GHz (B+84%) @ 90°C 2.17 GHz (B+36%) @ 68°C
ASUS VivoBook S15 S530 2.99 GHz (B+87%) @ 77°C 2.99 GHz (B+87%) @ 87°C 2.29 GHz (B+43%) @ 71°C
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s 2.76 GHz (B+73%)@ 75°C 2.74 GHz (B+71%)@ 84°C 2.11 GHz (B+32%)@ 74°C
Lenovo ThinkPad T490s 3.43 GHz (B+114%)@ 91°C 2.69 GHz (B+68%)@ 91°C 2.19 GHz (B+37%)@ 80°C
HP ProBook 450 G6 2.69 GHz (B+59%)@ 64°C 2.53 GHz (B+60%)@ 68°C 2.09 GHz (B+31%)@ 71°C

Quite obviously, the cooling of the Lenovo Ideapad L340 (15″) is more than sufficient enough to cool down the Core i5-8265U. However, apparently, the manufacturer has chosen to keep temperatures even further down, in order to promote longevity and introduce less heat into the chassis, whatsoever. This is completely opposite to what they achieved with the ThinkPad T490s. Weirdly, the Ideapad L340 (15″) dropped its frequencies down from the respectable 3.27 GHz to 1.99 GHz in only 20-30 seconds after the test has started. It is particularly interesting because the temperatures never exceeded 72C and after the throttling, they got down to 60C. This means we are seeing power throttling and not a thermal one.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce MX230 GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)
Lenovo Ideapad L340 (15″) 1632 MHz @ 69°C 1532 MHz @ 69°C
Lenovo Ideapad C340 (15″) 1658 MHz @ 74°C 1300 MHz @ 64°C

Certainly, the Ideapad L340 (15″) is fully capable to cool down the GeForce MX230. It appears to be much more effective than the Ideapad C340 in this aspect, as well.

Comfort during full load

The outer body of the laptop wasn’t that hot, but we measured a maximum temperature of just over 42C.

Verdict

Ideapad L340 (15″) is basically the successor to Ideapad 330 – a budget laptop that leaves some mixed impressions on whether it is worth it, or it is just the next cheapo. However, in 2019, Lenovo did something interesting to the Ideapad 330. It took it, and it separated it into branches. First, there is the Ideapad L340 (15″), which may be considered as the main successor to the line. Then, there is the Ideapad L340 Gaming (15″) which is basically, the Ideapad L340 (15″) on steroids, and finally, there is the Ideapad S340, which is more or less a successor to the Ideapad 330s.

One thing can be told for sure – the Ideapad L340 (15″) certainly looks more modern than its predecessor. It now has relatively narrow bezels, thin and light body and great design. However, it is still not too polished. Not only performance-wise, but also in terms of features and overall quality of the device.

First, let’s start with the performance. In day-to-day tasks, the laptop performs really well – it is snappy and you won’t notice stuttering. If you are going to put some substantial stress on it, though, expect the clock speeds to go down. This is not because of poor thermals, but because of the super-conservative approach from Lenovo. In fact, we are pretty confident that the cooling can sustain more than 3.00 GHz for a relatively long period of time, rather than the 10-15 seconds it does.

Again, if you use it daily, you would find the I/O to suit you well, even though it lacks an SD card reader and Thunderbolt connectivity. On the bright side – it is equipped with an optical drive. However, we strongly recommend using an external keyboard for this laptop. Its own is just too shallow and mushy, which takes away from the pleasure of typing.

Not only that, but the use of an external display is also preferable. Not that its TN panel is terrible but it is not the best either with its poor viewing angles and mediocre contrast ratio. At least, its battery is not that bad. The battery life was pretty good for a 36Wh unit – 6 hours and a half of Web browsing and around 7 hours of video playback.

Despite the low price, we feel that Lenovo is still asking too much money for this device. We would personally go for the VivoBook S15 S530 – a one-year-old laptop, but it offers you a more stable performance as well as a better keyboard and an IPS panel for relatively the same money.

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Great cooling capacity
  • Energy efficient
  • DVD-RW drive on board

Cons

  • Uncomfortable keyboard
  • All-plastic build
  • Conservative approach towards performance
  • No IPS panel options

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-ideapad-l340-15/





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