Lenovo IdeaPad C340 Review: A Low-Cost Convertible with Dedicated Graphics

Since the debut of the Yoga brand in late 2012, Lenovo has taken its convertible laptop options extremely seriously—probably more seriously than any other PC manufacturer. However, the Chinese electronics giant has concluded that its customers are still perplexed by its brand names.

As a result, the names are being changed. As a result, the Yoga S940, the company’s newest model, is not a convertible. However, its newest IdeaPad, the IdeaPad C340, is.

Lenovo’s marketing team may have made a mistake with the name of its 2019 product lineup, but it has done an excellent job with the positioning of the new IdeaPad C340. The new convertible has a starting price of Rs 46,190 and goes all the way up to an eye-popping Rs 89,490.

Along the pricing spectrum, you may select a model with an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU. You can also choose between integrated and separate graphics. All of this makes the new convertible extremely customizable. Let’s see how it did in our testing lab.

Gaming and Performance

While PC manufacturers such as Asus and MSI are eager to include Intel’s 10th Generation CPUs in their laptops, Lenovo looks to be hesitant. The IdeaPad C340 in our evaluation model was powered by an Intel 8th Gen Core i5 CPU, an Nvidia GeForce MX230 graphics card, and 8GB of RAM.

A Samsung 512GB PCIe NVMe solid-state drive was used for storage. The IdeaPad C340 has 2GB of dedicated video RAM to play with thanks to the MX230 graphics card, which is something that not many convertibles in the Indian market have.

In our CPU and GPU benchmark tests, the Lenovo IdeaPad C340 scored admirably. The review unit received 3749 points on PCMark 8’s Accelerated Creative test, which is a few points higher than the result obtained by the redesigned HP Spectre x360, which was released earlier this year.

The same thing happened with the storage test. The review unit received 2427 and 7921 scores on 3DMark’s Fire Strike and Cloud Gate tests, respectively. The IdeaPad C340’s Fire Strike score is the highest among convertible laptops I’ve observed since Lenovo released the IdeaPad 530S last year.

The review unit performed admirably on a daily basis. I was able to multitask across many virtual desktops on numerous apps such as Word, Excel, Chrome, File Explorer, Steam, and WhatsApp for PC without experiencing any perceptible stuttering.

Having said that, I did observe intermittent delays in pointer movement and window switching (lasting about a second), which I’ll chalk up to a likely driver fault. On the review unit, gaming was a tense affair. Doom operated with a frame rate of 30 frames per second on Full HD with medium graphics settings.

Metro: Last Light, on the other side, achieved a frame rate of around 20 frames per second. There was noticeable slowness in both games from time to time. Overall, the IdeaPad C340 performs well, with some potential for improvement in the gaming and graphics departments.

Battery

On our normal battery benchmark test, the review unit managed to last 3 hours and 38 minutes on battery power. That’s a rather low result for any current laptop powered by Intel’s U-series CPU, but it’s expected given the inclusion of two significant power-hungry components: a discrete graphics card and a touchscreen display. The latter often drains the battery faster than the former.

On our daily testing, the review unit was tasked with multitasking on standard programmes like Chrome, Excel, Steam, and so on, with the screen brightness set to 80%.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth were also left on on during this period. In one and a half hours, the battery level went from 100% to 78%. When I increased the screen brightness to maximum, the drain rate increased dramatically and unexpectedly.

In the same one and a half hours, the battery level decreased from 76% to 38%. To summarise, the IdeaPad C340 isn’t designed for long-haul trips, but it’ll suffice for domestic travel.

Display, touch, audio, and input/output (IO)

The 14-inch touchscreen display of the IdeaPad C340 has a Full HD resolution. The unit’s colours are slightly warmer than typical by default, which is a positive thing because it makes seeing text easier even when Night Light is turned off in Windows 10.

Unfortunately, brightness is on the low side. The screen doesn’t achieve its full brightness of 250 nits unless you raise the brightness slider in Windows all the way up to 100%. Overall, if you don’t mind maxing out the brightness, it’s still a fine panel for online surfing, movie streaming, and document processing.

The IdeaPad C340, like a genuine convertible, features a 14-inch display that can be slid all the way back into tablet mode. In addition, the laptop comes with a Lenovo Active Pen pen. The display’s surface has fair palm rejection accuracy but might be better.

Aside from that, the surface is smooth and ideal for sketching and annotating. The laptop’s weight of 1.65 kg is an impediment to tablet use. On the bright side, when you fold the display back and spin the device into portrait mode, Windows prompts you to convert to tablet mode. If anything, the IdeaPad C340 might have come with a built-in stylus storage silo.

When there isn’t much noise around, the sound from the IdeaPad C340’s two down-firing speakers is powerful enough to fill a big office bay but not particularly clear.

At all volume settings, well-known electropop songs like The Weeknd’s Starboy sound essentially flat. When the level is between 60 and 80 percent, mids and highs leave the speaker grilles, but lows are completely absent. When the volume is near maximum, there is some distortion, making the pair best suited for singing and lectures.

The Lenovo IdeaPad C340 has enough connection possibilities. A round-pin power port, a full-size HDMI port, a USB-C 3.1 port, and a 3.5mm audio jack for headsets are located on the left side of its body.

On the right, there are two USB-A 3.1 connections (one of which may charge a mobile device while the PC is sleeping) and a full-size SD Card slot. The power button is likewise located here, allowing the laptop to be started even when in tablet mode. The main issue is that the button is difficult to detect if you’re not looking at the device and provides minimal feedback, making it difficult to discern if you hit it correctly in a rush.

A squarish fingerprint scanner is located beneath the backlit keyboard and works quickly with Windows Hello for user sign-in and in-app authentication. The IdeaPad C340, like its 2019-launched siblings (save the entry-level IdeaPad S145), has a physical shutter for the webcam on top of the display.

Although it is a minor element, the sliding shutter goes a great way toward assuring perfect privacy and peace of mind. It also means you won’t have to go about placing a little bit of tape here and there merely to keep the outside world out.

Touchpad and Keyboard

The keyboard on the IdeaPad C340 is comparable to, if not significantly better than, that on the IdeaPad S340. The keycaps are large enough to be easily found but not contoured properly for easy pressing. In other words, the keys on this keyboard curve outward, whereas the keys on most other laptops curve inward.

The IdeaPad C340’s keys are similarly shallow and lack enough feedback. Having said that, they’re not bad for everyday typing. This keyboard is adequate for emails and small papers, but it is not intended for people who type frequently. On the good side, there’s two-stage illumination, which is great for late-night compositions.

Because it is a contemporary precision unit, the touchpad is ideal for single- and multi-finger taps and swipes. Changes to what these taps and swipes should do may be made directly in Windows Settings, without the requirement for a third-party driver or software.

The surface is also big and smooth for ease of use. The two click buttons beneath the surface are quite easy to press, though a little more pliability would have been nice. Overall, this is an excellent touchpad for spreadsheet editing and online browsing.

Construct and Design

The IdeaPad C340 has the same construction and design as the IdeaPad S340, which is a good thing because the IdeaPad S340 is well-built and looks professional in an office situation. The IdeaPad C340, like its non-tablet cousin, is made of metal on the top cover and plastic on the bottom panel.

As a result, the laptop is quite compact and simple to handle and carry about. Unfortunately, it is not light. The IdeaPad C340 weights 1.65 kilogrammes, which is unquestionably heavy for a convertible laptop. The addition of a dedicated graphics card and a glass panel for the touchscreen display accounts for the increased weight.

When you open the lid on the IdeaPad C340, you’ll see a shiny 14-inch display with fairly thin bezels on three sides. While the laptop is a dull pale silver colour, there are lots of black accents all around to add some contrast.

The keyboard, for example, is a dark grey colour, whilst the touchpad and fingerprint scanner are a little lighter shade of silver. The IdeaPad C340’s display hinge is fairly strong. When switching between laptop and tablet modes, there is no play or wobbling.

Overall, the IdeaPad C340 is a well-designed piece of machinery for the price. As I previously stated, a stylus storage silo would have been useful.

Verdict

Unlike the small and light laptop industry, the convertible laptop market is currently underserved in terms of inexpensive models.

The Lenovo IdeaPad C340 stands out in this regard since it is a real convertible that costs less than half a lakh rupees, which is a fraction of the price of the Lenovo Yoga 730, Yoga C930, HP Envy x360, HP Spectre x360, and so on. It also has discrete graphics in the form of an Nvidia GeForce MX230 GPU. It then competes directly with the HP Pavilion x360 from last year.

The Lenovo IdeaPad C340 is a good convertible notebook with enough power for most jobs. You may even try your hand at gaming with the built-in dedicated GPU. Its display, while not very brilliant, is adequate for annotation and sketching with the included stylus.

Where does the gadget fail then? It’s fairly hefty for tablet use, weighing 1.65 kg. Its battery life is also shockingly low, especially when the screen brightness is set to maximum. If you can live with those two drawbacks, as well as the fact that the sound isn’t particularly good, the Lenovo IdeaPad C340 is a convertible worth considering.

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