Laptops

Lenovo IdeaPad S340 review: When both size and performance matter

For those who like it big

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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

Lenovo unveils new ThinkPad L-T-X series laptops

Power and portability for the business-savvy

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From L-R: Lenovo ThinkPad L13 Yoga, ThinkPad T15, ThinkPad X13 Yoga, ThinkPad L13

Lenovo likes to keep the businessman at the heart of its ThinkPad lineup of laptops. This time around, the company continues to bring the latest technology to further improve productivity in the workplace. Not only do these new laptops provide the power, but also provide the portability for the on-the-go professional.

First up on the list are the new Lenovo ThinkPad T series laptops, headlined by the Lenovo ThinkPad T15. The Lenovo ThinkPad T series provides a more premium take on the business laptop. These laptops sport either the latest Intel vPro processors or the new AMD Ryzen PRO 4000 Mobile processors. Apart from these, the T series also offers up to a 4K UHD display and an option for an NVIDIA MX330 discrete graphics card inside. The Lenovo ThinkPad T15 comes with up to 48GB of RAM and 2TB or SSD storage, built for high performance

Up next is the Lenovo ThinkPad X series, which almost mirrors that of the T series. The Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Yoga serves as the frontrunner for the lineup, thanks to its portability and multifunctionality. The Lenovo ThinkPad X series laptops come with up to a FHD display (touchscreen for the ThinkPad X13) and up to 32GB of RAM. It also comes with a wide array of ports for connectivity and data transfer.

Finally, there’s the Lenovo ThinkPad L series spearheaded by the Lenovo ThinkPad L13 and L13 Yoga. The ThinkPad L series puts a premium in great value, while having access to high-end specs for an efficient work flow. These laptops come with a wide array of ports  at your disposal, up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage.

The Lenovo ThinkPad L series, T series, and X series laptops will available in Q2 2020. The L series laptops will start at US$ 649, while both the T series and X series will start at US$849.

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Laptops

Jojo Rabbit director threw some nasty shade at Apple

Keyboards are terrible, he said

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Image source: Kyusung Gong / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Yesterday, Jojo Rabbit director Taika Waititi enjoyed a wide successful night at the Oscars, bagging the award for best adapted screenplay. As is custom, every Oscar winner was interviewed right after their win. Waititi was no different. However, besides talking about his historic win, he went off on a strange tangent.

In the round of interviews, entertainment outlet IndieWire asked about Waititi’s stance on the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and what writers should demand for. Waititi didn’t waste a breath thinking about his answer.

“Apple needs to fix those keyboards,” Waititi waved his hand, cutting the interviewer’s question short.

“They are impossible to write on. They’ve gotten worse. Makes me want to go back to PCs,” he continued. Then, he asks the room if anyone is still using a PC, eliciting a few nods from the crowd.

“On PC, the bounce-back for your fingers is way better.” His fingers mimicked typing on a keyboard. He explains that he has “some shoulder problems,” making Apple’s keyboards even worse. “What happens is, you open the laptop, and you’re like this,” he squeezed his elbows uncomfortably closer to his torso.

“We’ve just got to fix those keyboards,” he finished. “WGA needs to stop in and do something.”

This isn’t the first time that Apple’s keyboards were the butt of a joke. In 2016, Apple ushered in a new era for Mac keyboards — the infamous butterfly switch. Even if you use a PC, you know the butterfly problem by now. Though intended as a feature for comfort, the butterfly keyboard ultimately caused more inconvenience than preventing it, allowing crumbs to get in and destroying keys. Eventually, Apple tried a different material to reduce issues, but kept the butterfly system all the same.

Waititi’s concerns echo the sentiments of Apple’s main market: an army of creatives who write every single day. If the thousands of complaints don’t do it, maybe a critically acclaimed director’s will.

SEE ALSO: This is how Apple envisions the next iMac

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Laptops

Lenovo IdeaPad S540 review: A professional’s daily driver

An essential for every career-driven millennial

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As a 20-something millennial, I always feel like time is running out. I have this inane need to accomplish so much at a young age. Friends and mentors alike remind me that life’s not a race, but I can’t help it — I’m too passionate.

I’ve always been determined to have a high-flying career before I reach 30. Years fly by so quickly, which is why there’s an urge to achieve so many in a short span of time. Not to mention, global warming is real, wars could happen any minute, and we all could be dead soon. I don’t want to die without reaching my dreams.

To achieve my goals, I ensure I’m equipped with the right gear in building my career. For starters, we all need a laptop that does its job so we can focus on our work.

Make an impression through your gear

Enter Lenovo’s IdeaPad S540. This premium ultrabook is a tad better than the IdeaPad S340. However, both laptops look similar due to Lenovo’s design language — which should be revamped if you think about it. I would’ve appreciated it better if the logo’s more subtle (and if it’s probably embossed).

The IdeaPad S540 comes in three beautiful colors — black, grey, and copper. Of course, mine would come in the beautiful copper. After all, millennials have a flair for style — we wouldn’t settle for anything that’s boring.

It comes in a sleek-looking, matte-finished, aluminum body that’s so smooth, you’d want to caress it with your fingers for an entire day. When you present with this laptop, people will know you mean business — serious, but not boring.

Finding comfort in its shortcomings

Its screen is humongous, coming in with a 15.6-inch FHD IPS display. There’s so much you can do with a screen this big, even though it has thick bezels on its top and bottom. Glare could be a problem, especially when you love working somewhere bright and open.

Typing is sweet with this beaut, especially for someone who types a lot. Its keys are evenly placed and big enough for my tiny fingers to press on.

On the other hand, its trackpad remains as Lenovo’s weak point. Just like the IdeaPad S340, the S540’s trackpad isn’t smooth enough for navigation. Gliding your fingers create a squeaky sound that would make your eardrums cringe.

Security-wise, you can finally calm the F down since Lenovo cares about it, too. We all hate spying cameras, thus, Lenovo allows you to cover your laptop’s camera with a shutter whenever you’re not using it. For even tighter security, the IdeaPad S540 has a fingerprint reader located on the keyboard’s bottom right.

Stay connected, wherever

On the left side, you can find the power input, an HDMI port for your presentation needs, and our well-loved USB 3.1 port, along with an audio jack located at the mid-bottom.

Found on the right side are two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, and indicator lights.

Side note: Its hinge and design were built to handle being laid flat on a table, for presentation purposes. Do note it doesn’t do yoga. If you want a convertible, better check Lenovo’s Yoga lineup.

Get all your job done

The IdeaPad S540 is more than enough for most professionals. This particular model is equipped with an Intel Core i7-8565u at 1.80GHz processor, which can go up to 4.60GHz with Turbo Boost. Additionally, it carries 12GB of DDR4 memory, along with 512GB SSD storage and an Nvidia MX250 GPU.

This laptop can handle your habit of opening multiple tabs at the same time, with heavyweight apps like Spotify, Netflix, or even Adobe’s Creative Suite running in the background. I mostly deal with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom, with a bit of video editing on the side — and I was able to do all my creative work albeit only at a bare minimum.

Its display wasn’t made for creative professionals, and it heats up when using memory-consuming software for a prolonged time. But for most users dealing with large files, a bunch of emails, browsing, surfing, spreadsheets, and occasional entertainment like binge-watching on Netflix, the IdeaPad S540 is more than enough.

Being a humongous laptop, the IdeaPad S540 doubles as your business companion and entertainment hub. It has a Dolby Audio speaker system, producing decent sound for all your leisure needs. For those obsessed with audio, you might want to look elsewhere because this isn’t the laptop for you. Better buy a different speaker system and connect it to this laptop.

We might need more juice

If you’re looking at a laptop this big, it’s expected to have a lot of juice. Thankfully, the IdeaPad S540 delivers what’s expected from it. Lenovo boasts up to 12 hours of battery life, but most people nowadays are classified as power-hungry users, rendering the 12-hour promise to be useless since it’s going to be shorter.

For instance, I spent one afternoon in Malongo Atelier Barista enjoying a refreshing Iced Coffee while doing my work. I sat around 4 o’clock in the afternoon with a full battery, diving into a pile of articles to write.

Additionally, I’ve been jamming to my favorite playlist from The Bold Type so I can be more productive. Settings include 100% brightness and max volume, while connected to Wi-Fi. In between sipping my coffee, listening to interviews that I recorded, and social media breaks, the IdeaPad S540 drops 10 to 15 percent of its battery per hour.

Before 8 o’clock in the evening, my battery dropped below 20 percent already, prompting me to charge my machine. Almost four hours for a power-hungry is kinda meh but given my usage, I’d say it did its best. At least, I didn’t encounter any hiccups while navigating my work. It was seamless and smooth!

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re in need of a daily driver, the IdeaPad S540 is an ideal laptop to suit your professional needs. It’s perfect for those looking for a laptop powerful enough to handle multitasking for business and entertainment use.

For PhP 65,995 (US$ 1295), the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 (S540-15IWL, version 81NE0049PH) is a good investment to propel your career. When you’re on your way up on your career ladder, you can buy and use better, higher-end, and possibly flagship laptops that definitely cost a fortune.

For now, this will do. The key to creating milestones in your career is to take baby steps, and buying a laptop to suit your professional needs is one such step you need to take.

Update as of 02/11/2020: Lenovo drops the price for the IdeaPad S540 from PhP 65,995 to PhP 59,995. Additionally, those who will purchase will be entitled to 24-months international and local onsite warranty with Premium Care. Get perks such as On-site service, 24/7 service hotline with senior technicians, priority allocation for replacement parts, annual PC health check, and more. For more information about the warranty, visit their promo page.

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