As we mentioned in our previous review – the one of the Lenovo Ideapad L340 (15″), there was a good amount of different laptop series that share a common ancestor – the Ideapad 330. This one is not an exclusion – the Ideapad L340 Gaming (15″) is very close to a unit we had for review some time ago – the Ideapad 330-15ICH.
However, let’s set the similarities aside for a second, and focus on what makes them different. Starting with the obvious – the outer shell. This laptop now looks super sleek and has thin bezels to cope with the trends of this year. By the way, it is very pleasing to see a gaming laptop that has even less gamer-centric branding, than the already industrial Legion brand. Combined with its low price, the Ideapad L340 Gaming may refer to the Legion series the same way the Pavilion Gaming brand refers to the Omen series of HP. Although the Pavilion Gaming 15 from last year wasn’t very sound in terms of the overall construction, this year we saw a significant step up from the 17-inch model.
With that said, we hope the Ideapad L340 Gaming (15″) is going to pose a good threat to the budget gaming market. While we already know the answer, you shall see in the review below.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-ideapad-l340-15-gaming-l340-15irh/
Lenovo ideapad L340 15″ Gaming (L340-15IRH) – Specs
2000GB SSD + up to 1000GB HDD
Windows 10, Windows 10 Home, No OS
363 x 254.6 x 23.9 mm (14.29″ x 10.02″ x 0.94″)
Ports and connectivity
What’s in the box?
Inside the package that houses the Ideapad L340 Gaming (15″), there is nothing more than some foam, paper manuals, and a 135W power adapter.
Design and construction
As we already mentioned, the Ideapad L340 Gaming (15″) has a stylish look to it. It is made entirely out of plastic, just like the Legion Y540, although, the paint is glossy and easily scratchable, in contrast to the rubberized base and the circular design on the lid of the latter. Even though it is a gaming unit, it looks almost the same as its non-Gaming brother – the Ideapad L340 (15″) – it weighs the same at 2.20 kg, while the profile of the gamer boy is slightly thicker – 23.9mm vs 22.9mm.
Opening the lid with one hand is possible only if you are using your knee to hold the base. Still, on the downside, the hinge is not stiff enough in an open position and the display shakes pretty nastily when you push the laptop by accident. Moreover, the lid itself flexes significantly, when you force it to. Despite that, we were not entirely disappointed with this one, because it has its camera on its orthodox position and it goes down for a full-flat experience of the 180-degree hinge.
Looking down to the base, we see a keyboard, that looks like is made for typing, rather than gaming. Here we got pretty much the same layout as on the regular Ideapad L340 (15″) plus an additional backlight. In terms of comfortability, the keyboard has a good key travel, decent tactile feedback, and large keycaps, which always enhances the experience when typing.
Then, there is the touchpad. To say we hated it would be an understatement. We noticed some random inputs like, it just feels it is too sensitive to touch.
On its bottom panel, two pretty large ventilation grills act as an air intake, while the exhaust hot air is going out from the area between the laptop and the display. Its speakers are placed on the two sides of the laptop, similarly to the regular Ideapad L340 (15″).
Reminiscent to what we were seeing in the past, the Ideapad L340 Gaming (15″) has all of its ports on the left side of the chassis – It starts with the dedicated Lenovo charging port, an RJ-45 connector, an HDMI 2.0 port, then two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) ports, an audio jack and a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 1) port.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
You won’t be needing any special tools to get in touch with the internals of this notebook. There are 11 Phillips-head screws that you have to unscrew before you proceed.
The first thing inside we see is … the amount of free space surrounding the hardware – more on that, later.
Cooling-wise, the set up seems to be a rip off the Ideapad 330 15‘s cooling solution. In fact, it is the exact same thing, as you can see from the images below. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing, because the Ideapad 330 (15) was actually doing pretty good in terms of thermals.
At first sight, there is only one storage option available – the M.2 PCIe slot. However, if you look closely, there are four mounting points for a 2.5″ SATA drive, while the connector lies beneath the M.2 device. Additionally, there are 4GB of soldered RAM on board, as well as one RAM DIMM for upgrades.
Ideapad L340 Gaming (15″) is 45Wh – not the largest, but expected for a budget gaming laptop.
Stay tuned as we are working on the display results for this laptop in our lab.
You can get all of the drivers and utilities for Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming (15″) from here: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/ideapad-l-series-laptop/l340-15irh-gaming/downloads
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. There is a 45Wh battery pack inside this machine.
Despite the relatively small size – we got 7 hours of web browsing and around 5 hours and 45 minutes of video playback.
You can pick one of two very respectable offerings by Intel – the quad-core Core i5-9300H or the six-core Core i7-9750H.
Lenovo ideapad L340 15″ Gaming (L340-15IRH) CPU variants
Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the Lenovo ideapad L340 15″ Gaming (L340-15IRH) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Lenovo ideapad L340 15″ Gaming (L340-15IRH) 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.
As of the graphics card of choice, there is a (watch closely) 3GB version of the GeForce GTX 1050 and one of the new Turing chips inside of a GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB of GDDR5 memory.
Lenovo ideapad L340 15″ Gaming (L340-15IRH) GPU variants
Here you can see an approximate comparison between the GPUs that can be found in the Lenovo ideapad L340 15″ Gaming (L340-15IRH) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Lenovo ideapad L340 15″ Gaming (L340-15IRH) 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.
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 i5-9300H (45W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming (15″)||2.39 GHz @ 52°C||3.72 GHz (B+55%)@ 87°C||2.92 GHz (B+22%)@ 78°C|
|Intel Core i5-8300H (45W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|ASUS TUF Gaming FX505||3.25 GHz (B+41%) @ 92°C||3.13 GHz (B+36%) @ 92°C||2.98 GHz (B+30%) @ 92°C|
|Dell G3 17 3779||3.44 GHz (B+50%) @ 98°C||3.29 GHz (B+43%) @ 98°C||3.11 GHz (B+35%) @ 91°C|
Lenovo has opted for strange management of the thermals and the frequencies of this device. First, the Core i5-9300H didn’t Turbo under pressure for a good 10-15 seconds. After that, we saw a pretty high frequency, reached by the cores, while the temperature was around 87C. Then at the end, it settled for 2.92 GHz – lower than what we saw from its competitors, however, the temperature was 78C – pretty comfortable.
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)|
|Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming (15″)||1691 MHz @ 74°C||1620 MHz @ 74°C|
|Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15ICH||1718 MHz @ 65°C||1643 MHz @ 65°C|
|MSI GL63 8RC (GTX 1050)||1658 MHz @ 65°C||1645 MHz @ 69°C|
|Dell G3 17 3779||1683 MHz @ 77°C||1670 MHz @ 88°C|
While the temperatures of the processor were managed pretty well, this of the graphics card was somewhat a downgrade from the Ideapad 330-15ICH, which as a matter of fact has exactly the same cooling solution. Despite that, the laptop maintained a pretty low fan speed, which resulted in noise that is far less intrusive than what we saw from other manufacturers.
In addition to the low fan noise, the laptop maintained reasonable temperatures on the outside as well.
If you are looking out for a gaming laptop that won’t break your budget, the Ideapad L340 Gaming (15″) might seem like a pretty tempting choice. In fact, at first sight, the laptop looks very good and if it wasn’t for the sticker Gaming on the base of the chassis, one would never tell that this device has the ability to run some AAA titles.
Everything just seems too good to be true. Because… it is. Its low price is mainly derived from its poor build quality and TN panel. Of course, you can go for the IPS version, but then you are approaching Legion Y540 territory and the Ideapad L340 Gaming (15″) becomes less appealing. Especially with the modest GPU choice you have – a GTX 1050 with only 3GB of memory as well as a 4GB GeForce GTX 1650, which would be the natural choice, should you go for this machine.
Again, doing so will set you back some more of that sweet green cash. Which means, you may probably pay just a little bit extra and get the Acer Nitro 5 or the newly updated HP Pavilion Gaming (2019), both of which have better battery life and better upgradability.
All in all, we don’t think the Ideapad L340 Gaming (15″) is really that bad of a device. It just carries too much of the older Ideapad 330 with itself and is not really focused on gaming. Should they lower the price or update some of the features of this notebook, it is going to be a perfect match for gamers on a budget.
- Sleek design for a gaming laptop
- Sufficient cooling
- Backlit keyboard with large keycaps
- Adequate price
- Budget build quality
- TN panel should be avoided
- Overshadowed by its competitors
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-ideapad-l340-17%e2%80%b3-gaming-l340-17irh/