Laptops

Lenovo IdeaPad S340 review: When both size and performance matter

For those who like it big

Published

on

Life recently seemed like a dating adventure. After my laptop broke down last June, I started hopping from one laptop to another. In search of a potential GadgetMatch, I started exploring options and allowed myself to try new laptops so I can find the one.

In my quest, I stumbled upon the Lenovo IdeaPad S340.

Humongous, but also head-turner

The IdeaPad S340 is huge, despite being called “ultrathin.” It has a plastic build and an aluminum finish on the lid, which looks smooth and sleek. Despite the classy approach, this laptop is a magnet for smudge — something I really hate in every smartphone and laptop of 2019.

The unit I got came in Sand Pink. This color is a definite head-turner, especially if you’re a guy. However, there’s an adage that real men wear pink so don’t let this color halt you from flaunting it in cafes and in meetings.

If this doesn’t match your personality, the IdeaPad S340 is available in three more colors: Onyx Black, Abyss Blue, and Platinum Grey.

This laptop has a 14″ Full HD display. Despite the big screen, it has a wide bezel on its chin which is annoying to look at, unless you make your toolbar dark.

It uses an IPS panel that doesn’t present the colors accurately. I tried to fix the display settings in hopes that maybe there’s a solution to its color balance problem. After several attempts, I gave up and accepted the fact that my screen is either be bluish or orange-y.

Lots of ports to insert your cables to

Moving on to the ports and slots, the IdeaPad S340 provides what I need as an old-school guy. Unlike the Dell XPS 13 (2019) I reviewed which didn’t come with any USB 3.1 Ports, this laptop has what I’m looking for.

On the left side, it has a port for USB-C and HDMI, as well as a power connector input and a headphone jack. Sweet, right?

On the right side, you can find the two USB-A ports which made my life easy, and a 4-in-1 SD card reader, too! As a designer, my life depended on my external hard drive and a trusty, wired mouse I bought back in 2013 which comes in USB Type-A connectors.

People kept telling me to get a dongle, buy a wireless mouse, and get a new cable. However, I’m that type of person who doesn’t buy things he doesn’t need, especially when his stuff is still working. This is why this laptop is such a blessing for a slotty person like me.

Joyful to use for work

Some people don’t realize but your experience with the keyboard and a touchpad can make or break your experience.

The IdeaPad S340’s keyboard is evenly placed. It’s soft and responsive, which I find delightful to type at. For someone with little fingers, it’s joyful to type and write in big keys since I don’t encounter typos a lot. There’s also an option for a backlit keyboard, in case you need to type in dimly lit places.

When it comes to its trackpad, I’m not sure I have something good to say about it as it’s unresponsive AF. My fingers had a hard time sliding especially when it creates that cringey sound caused by friction, most likely because of its plastic build. It’s one of the reasons why I opt to use my trusty mouse, especially when I need to edit and design.

A big performer

The IdeaPad S340 presents itself as a laptop for work and productivity. Fair enough, it’s packed with an 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, and 128GB SSD storage. Additionally, it runs the latest 8th-gen Intel i7 processor.

As a designer, I was able to run Adobe Photoshop (to an extent, Adobe Premiere Pro) hiccup-free. The only thing that bugged me is its bluish tint interfering with my work. But its performance is really sweet.

For instance, while I was resizing photos, I was streaming music on Spotify, and I’m running Google Chrome as my browser with six tabs open mainly for Slack, GadgetMatch.com, Gmail, Google Drive, Facebook, and Twitter. Despite multitasking, the laptop didn’t lag one bit.

However, my usage seems to be the limit for this laptop. Anything beyond what I did made the laptop heat up and I had to cool it down. On several occasions, there’s a delay especially when I run multiple tabs (like, fifteen?) on Google Chrome (which we know takes a lot of RAM).

Even in my line of work, it can’t handle heavy editing for graphics and video so I’m not suggesting to push this laptop beyond its limits. If you want to go for a multimedia laptop, this is just not it.

Get entertained wherever you go

Of course, it’s not all work and no play. The IdeaPad S340 doubles as a mini TV with its humongous screen. It may only run an IPS panel, but it’s capable of producing a theatre-like sound with Dolby Audio speakers.

The experience was immersive. I watched the trailer for Weathering With You by Makoto Shinkai and I got even more excited to see it. Anyhow, it’s not as great as any other laptop with calibrated screens meant for entertainment. But for its price, the IdeaPad S340 suffices.

It has all the juice you need

What I love about the IdeaPad S340 is its long battery life. It lets you work throughout the day without worry especially if you only do basic tasks such as browsing, emails, chats, and video calls. Add some entertainment and multimedia work, then you’re gonna have to bring the charger wherever you go. Fret not, it’s equipped with rapid charging technology so you can get the juice back up if it runs out.

True to its advertisement, the IdeaPad S340 can really last up to 10 hours, albeit my usage made the laptop lasts for only six to seven hours. Nonetheless, it has all the juice that I need. If this heavy and huge laptop lasts only for a short time, I’d be pretty disappointed.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The IdeaPad S340 is an all-around laptop that gets the work done. It’s capable of running creative software and doing basic multimedia editing, providing theatre-like entertainment, and allowing its users to multitask.

For PhP 52,995, the price isn’t bad and if you’re looking for a speedy, work laptop then this might be your GadgetMatch. However, for me, this laptop is not the one. Due to my issues — and high standards — I can totally say that I need to find another one. Time to hop to another laptop — and dating — adventure.

SEE ALSO: Lenovo Philippines Laptop Price List

Laptops

Windows 11 update coming to select Lenovo devices

From Yoga to Legion

Published

on

Legion 5i

Windows 11 is slowly but surely rolling out to more and more devices. Lenovo, who has a strong partnership with Microsoft, has a number of notable devices getting the update. These include laptops from their Yoga line all the way to their Legion gaming machines.

If you own or are looking to buy any of the devices listed below, then you can rest assured you can get the latest Windows software today.

Yoga Slim 7 Carbon 14 – 82L0003DPH

The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 Carbon 14 features up to an 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 5800 U Series Mobile Processor with AMD Radeon Graphics, the laptop is available with optional NVIDIA GeForce MX450 graphics for supercharged creation.

Packed with up to 16GB LPDDR4x of memory, the Yoga Slim 7 Carbon 14 also brings up to 1TB PCIe Gen 3.0×4 of internal storage and a powerful 61WHrs battery that delivers the ease of Rapid Charge Express while on the go. It also mounts a stunning 14-inch 2880×1800 designed for ultra-vivid picture quality with Dolby Vision. A VESA Display HDR True Black 500 certification for enhanced video quality reproduction in a 16:10 display format with less scrolling and more content.

IdeaPad Slim 5 Pro – 82L500KKPH

Lenovo strongly believes they’re able to combine “Premium” and “Better Value” in one package. And that’s the IdeaPad Slim 5 Pro. Powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H Processor, you are guaranteed to get any job done. The IdeaPad Slim 5 Pro is also accompanied by the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, creating high-resolution and immersive graphics. Packed with up to 16GB of DDR4 memory and 1TB PCIe Gen 3.0×4 of internal storage, there is no need to worry about running out of space or memory.

IdeaCentre AIO 3i – 90NB00JEPH

The IdeaCentre AIO 3i is equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce GT 730 and powered by the latest 11th-Generation Intel Core processors. It comes with 8GB of RAM that is upgradeable up to 32GB of DDR4 and a 512GB SSD for storage.

Legion 5i Pro – 82JD003VPH

The Lenovo Legion 5i Pro offers excellent gaming performance with the latest 11th Generation Intel Core H-series processors with 45W of dedicated processing power. Accompanied with the 130W NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070.

The laptop also features a 16-inch QHD gaming display with up to a 165Hz refresh rate, providing gamers with a 16:10 aspect ratio with best-in-class color accuracy and high dynamic range. It comes in a sleek Stingray White color to top it all off. It’s optimally cooled via the Coldfront 3.0 thermal system with the Legion AI Engine.

Legion 5i – 82JH00CSPH / 82JH00CTPH

The Legion 5i is for gamers looking to compete on equal footing with the pros. It comes with with the 11th Generation Intel Core processing and 45W of dedicated power. Optimized with the Legion AI Engine that powers the revolutionary Legion Coldfront 3.0 and Q control and dynamically shifts power between the CPU and GPU, experience a massive leap in performance in the Legion 5i with up to 130W NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060.

All devices will also include a Premium Care Warranty that allows buyers front-of-the-queue and straight-to-the-experts customer support service.

Continue Reading

Laptops

ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED review: Serious-looking champ

This serious looker made me want to skip work

Published

on

Zenbook 14X OLED

When it comes to displays, OLED panels are usually considered the best of the best. Whether it’s a TV, monitor, smartphone, or even a laptop.

Hopping on the opportunity of bringing a visual spectacle, ASUS unveiled a full range of notebook computers — all sporting OLED displays. What came to my lap is the sleek-looking Zenbook 14X OLED, gearing up to be a machine for professionals on the go.

Looks that really mean business

The Zenbook 14X OLED looks like your familiar clamshell notebook, carrying a distinct style that screams ASUS. It evokes a serious vibe, parading a glossy shade adorned with an off-center version of the iconic ZenBook spun-metal finish.

It’s more evident in the Jade Black colorway. It’s not my cup of tea, but it projects a serious mood. Showing off this laptop can mean business for anyone who’ll see it.

Especially when you lay it flat with its 180-degree ErgoLift hinge — perfect for when you’re sharing information and presenting to your clients.

You can also conveniently type when you tilt the rear of the laptop a little bit. The arrangement of the keys, together with the slightly elevated platform, helped me in writing my stories and preparing documents.

Build that can take a beating

I haven’t been stuck to a desktop ever since I started working. It’s why I’ve always been fascinated with the desire to learn about laptops and other portable machines. I don’t want to be tied down in one place, ruminating over papers and a messy desk.

Before the pandemic, I used to work in airport lounges, restaurants, cafes, and even inside a car while I travel between provinces. For professionals on the go, having a thin and lightweight laptop means a lot.

While I barely work outside these days, the Zenbook 14X OLED — despite carrying a design that I find bland — still amuses me with its thin and light form factor. It weighs only 1.4kg and measures only 16.9mm. You can easily carry it in between your meetings, or fit it inside your everyday bag without straining your shoulder and arms.

The chassis and lid are made of military-grade diamond-cut aluminum alloy. That’s why it felt sturdy even if it is lightweight. The Zenbook 14X OLED is built extra durable, it can probably take a beating when it gets thrown into bins at airports during security checks.

Display that makes you want to stare at it all day

One of the most underrated parts of a laptop is the screen. Most people go after power and performance, and I can’t argue with that. But a good display can elevate your experience.

We spend a lot of time staring at our screens. The work we do, the shows we watch, the games we play — all of these activities can be made more fascinating if you have a display that brings out the best in whatever you do.

And that’s why I enjoyed using the Zenbook 14X OLED. Its 14-inch 4K OLED touchscreen display is perfect for accompanying me in my pursuit of a work-life balance.

The slim, 3mm bezels and 92 percent screen-to-body ratio made my favorite Netflix shows immersive. Games look expansive, as well

It’s like watching on an OLED TV but on a smaller machine. The colors reproduced are so rich and vivid, and I like how it exhibits the same amount of color detail even at a lower brightness setting.

If it’s easy switching gears, I could probably move back to a Windows laptop. Except, the display alone isn’t enough to make me switch, no matter how spectacular it looks.

Sadly, no secondary screen

Zenbook 14X OLED

Unlike the Intel version of the Zenbook 14X OLED, the Ryzen variant uses the proprietary NumberPad 2.0 instead of a second-screen built into the touchpad.

It would’ve been nice to get a secondary display, but it’s not necessary especially when the 4K OLED touchscreen takes so much battery life.

Lose yourself in that audio-visual experience

What I enjoyed the most is the audio-visual experience that the Zenbook 14X OLED brought me. When you parade a visually-stunning display together with a stereo sound system tuned by Harman Kardon, you could lose yourself in awe.

I had a pleasant time watching Single All The Way on Netflix, I forgot I was working. Sometimes, I end up zoning out when I play “La Vie En Rose” on YouTube Music. The experience is simply spectacular, it helps you enjoy a bit of life.

Professional laptop that lets you work and literally play

Like many guys out there, I care for power — especially when talking about a Windows laptop. Maybe it was me growing up tinkering with computers, but I have so many high expectations on Windows laptops.

When I got the Zenbook 14X OLED, I knew right away it’s a multi-tasking powerhouse. And it certainly did not disappoint despite having a unit that only has 8GB of RAM and 512GB of Internal Storage. My only gripe is how there’s a one- or two-second delay opening up important programs like the file explorer and anything related to the system settings.

Zenbook 14X OLED

It’s not the case when you’re browsing, switching apps, or even playing games. Yes, I did install Steam and re-downloaded my favorite games. My exact unit uses an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H clocking up to 3.3GHz, so it made me wonder if a professional-looking laptop can handle my desire to blow off some steam.

I played some of my favorite MMORPGs, Dota 2, and of course, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. I’d say the machine handled everything well — keeping up with graphics-intensive gameplay, high resolution, vivid colors, and staying lag-free.

Zenbook 14X OLED

Excessive heat and shorter runtime

What bothered me was the excessive heat the Zenbook 14X OLED produced when I was playing for only a few minutes. I guess I pushed it harder than what’s expected, but happy to report that you can balance work and play.

Its new, thermal design and smart sensors — like the ones in the ProArt Studio — helped maintain high performance at optimal power efficiency. No. Throttling. Involved.

Zenbook 14X OLED

Its heat pipes and 90-blade fan tried their best, so props to that. What’s funny though, is how the Zenbook 14X OLED promises up to 8.3 hours of work and play unplugged, but it actually has a shorter runtime. Much shorter when you play a game. My 100 percent battery went down to 51 percent in just 30 minutes of playtime.

For everyday tasks, the laptop lasted me around five to six hours. That includes writing my stories on moderate brightness, watching videos, music playback, hopping on virtual meetings, and browsing on the web.

Charging it for one hour with its thick yet compact power brick gave me enough juice to power through the day. From 20 percent, I was able to fill the battery up to 82 percent.

Ready to keep you connected whenever, wherever

If you’re the type of professional who needs a lot of ports for different devices and peripherals, the Zenbook 14X OLED is packed with relevant input and output ports. There are two (2) reversible USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports, supporting up to 10Gbps of data transfers. There’s also your regular HDMI port and even a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port for your connectivity needs.

My favorite would be the 3.5mm combo audio jack and the microSD card reader — which I still deem essential for transferring confidential files obtained using my smartphones and cameras.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re a professional in need of a machine that lets you balance work and life, the Zenbook 14X OLED can surely keep up. And it’s probably the way to go, especially when you’re in the market for a new laptop.

The Zenbook 14X OLED simply means business from the way it looks. And it can carry its duties excellently whether it’s sharing presentations, a half-day worth of video meetings, or even doing creative work.

Zenbook 14X OLED

Its only shortcomings were its shorter runtime and excessive heat produced over highly intensive tasks. But it surely can deliver the power, audio-visual experience, and performance that can keep up with your fast-paced lifestyle and go-getter personality.

The ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED (UM5401) retails for PhP 64,995 for the 8GB/512GB variant. Meanwhile, it costs PhP 66,995 for the 16GB/512GB configuration.

Continue Reading

CES 2022

Dell unveils the XPS 13 Plus for your home office needs

Featuring a clean design

Published

on

Today, performance-heavy desktops and laptops are a necessity. With cases still rising, a hybrid, work-at-home scheme is likely here to stay. Hence, a capable device will certainly help us maximize efficiency while at home. For CES 2022, Dell revealed what might be your next laptop for working at home or on-the-go: the XPS 13 Plus.

Right out of the box, the XPS 13 Plus presents a clean, minimalist design featuring large keycaps that encompass the entire width of the chassis. Much like previous MacBooks, the laptop has a touch capacitive bar on top of the keyboard. Below the keyboard, you’ll find a palm rest and a seamless glass touchpad, instead of a traditional design.

The screen can go up to a brilliant 13.4-inch 4K UHD+ beast. All variants will have Dolby Vision, EyeSafe, and a 178-degree viewing angle.

Under the hood, the notebook sports up to a 12th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, up to 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and up to 2TB of SSD internal storage. It will have an Intel Iris Xe GPU system, complementing the power. Out of the box, it will come with Windows 11. Users will have an option between Platinum and Graphite colors.

The XPS 13 Plus will start retailing at US$ 1199.

SEE ALSO: Dell Technologies aims to shape next generation of tech talent in Singapore

Continue Reading

Trending