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

Features

How the Lenovo Legion 5Pi rekindled my love for games and arts

And helped me rediscover myself

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Lenovo Legion 5Pi

Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be? I was frantically searching for answers to this question, during my exasperating quarter-life crisis.

While I was losing hope waiting for directions, a monstrous laptop came to my house — the Lenovo Legion 5Pi. At first, I wondered how its arrival could mean anything in my situation. Surprisingly, having a gaming laptop helped me take the first step in dealing with my existential issues.

Traveling back to past

When I set up the Lenovo Legion 5Pi, I was taken back to my tranquil past. It felt like I was fourteen-going-fifteen again, cocooned in my bedroom.

Headphones in, keyboards lighting, chips and soda on the side, electric fan buzzing — life back then was untroubled. All I ever worry about was how to finish my homework so I could play online games all night.

At that time, I was stuck between two worlds: my character’s adventures in Grand Fantasia and other titles, and of course, the real world. But now, all I have is this sickening reality unraveling before me.

I’ve thought of playing games again, seeing the laptop as an opportunity to escape my current frustrations. But at some point, I realized escaping wouldn’t help me fix my issues nor provide answers.

What I did instead was sit in my emotions and used the laptop to navigate how I’m feeling — and possibly find out where I’m going next.

If you’re thinking if I went to Google to search for answers… you’re damn right, I didn’t.

Yes, I didn’t. I may be questioning my entire existence and the path I’m supposed to take while my friends are settling down and getting married, but I still believe I’m going to find the answers in a different way.

Honestly, my life felt like I was a character stuck on a puzzling quest. In between my thoughts, somehow it sunk in that maybe, this laptop was just what I needed.

Seeing and using the Legion 5Pi helped me remember how much I loved playing games. How I would spend my hours diving in different worlds, building and developing my character’s skills and personality — and even socializing with players across the world.

Games were my favorite escape

I’ve met several friends from all walks of life through gaming. Looking back, it gave me the advantage to power through this crisis.

I remember Paula, one of my online game BFF turned actual BFF for 10 years and counting. She taught me about going after my passion and what sparks joy in my heart. Surprisingly, I followed her advice until life got in the way.

Reminiscing, I logged into a dear, old game before I dropped gaming as part of my life — League of Legends, if you’re wondering. Previously, I was in my hellish college years; losing myself in depression, suffering from abuse, and other existential crisis I was facing.

Lenovo Legion 5Pi

But playing it this time around didn’t spark any pain from the past. Instead, I felt relieved clicking through the mouse and smashing buttons on the colorful keyboard. I was glued to the Legion 5Pi’s large screen, consumed by the stunning graphics and gameplay like I was living in the world I used to enjoy.

In this brief experience, I recalled who I really am before I decided to drop parts of myself  in order to fit in, to be accepted. Truth is, I really liked playing games. It has been my escape from the hell that life put me through. More importantly, it helped hone my skills and personality in life — something your education won’t usually provide.

Going back to making art

Recalling what my friend said about pursuing your passion, I realized how I wasn’t creating art anymore. I also remembered Gabriel, a mentor-slash-guildmate (who’s ten years older than me) that I really admired, especially with how he balances his life. Work, gaming, hobbies, relationships… and he even had the time to make art.

During my stint with the Lenovo Legion 5Pi, I enrolled in an online course to pursue some art classes I’ve been meaning to take for years.

I had fun learning through this gaming laptop, and I continued creating art both on this machine and on paper. It was an amusing experience to rediscover parts of myself. How I dropped arts and games to fit in and follow society’s mainstream culture; partying, feeding into wanderlust, crazing over trends.

Using the Lenovo Legion 5Pi reminded me to be true to myself. When the realizations hit me, I started building a stable ground for myself. I considered how I forgot to make my inner child happy — something that we should be doing no matter the age.

Older people used to nudge us to never forget the things that fill joy into your heart since it’s the key to living a happy life. In my case, it was always creating and playing.

Recollecting all these thoughts, I took the first step in dealing with my quarter-life crisis. Having a stable self can help you survive all these life problems, and it’s what I’m actively trying to do.

And maybe, I’ll get a gaming laptop like the Lenovo Legion 5Pi, so I can ensure I live a happy and balanced life, without forgetting who I really am.

Lenovo Legion 5Pi

The Lenovo Legion 5Pi is a competitive gaming laptop, carrying the latest Intel Core H-series processors. It focuses on extreme performance, sporting up to 32GB of RAM, 1TB of NVMe SSD, and an NVIDIA RTX 2060 for a powerful gaming experience.

Lenovo Legion 5Pi

It also comes with a 15-inch IPS HDR display with a 240Hz refresh rate for buttery-smooth gameplay. The display comes with 100% sRGB color accuracy, making it perfect for gamers, artists, and creators.

The Lenovo Legion 5Pi retails for PhP 74,995. It’s available in Lenovo’s official stores and authorized retailers.

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Laptops

Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon now official with 11th Gen Intel processors

Built for performance on the go!

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Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon

Weighing just 966 grams, Lenovo announced the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon laptop in multiple markets. The notebook leverages Lenovo’s second-generation proprietary fiber material technology to reduce the weight, without taking a hit on durability.

When compared to a metal chassis, the new material is up to 40 percent lighter. And, a lighter notebook isn’t just portable but also lets the maker add more batteries for extended usage.

The battery is undoubtedly one of the prime unique selling points of the laptop and Lenovo claims it can deliver up to 15 hours of video playback on a single charge.

It sports a 50Wh battery that can deliver more than ten hours of moderate usage. And, the brand claims its Rapid Charge Boost technology can give two hours of use based on just 15 minutes of charging.

On the front is a 13-inch Quad HD display with an aspect ratio of 16:10. Powering the laptop is an Intel 11th Gen Core i5 or i7 chipset along with Iris integrated graphics. It can sport up to 16GB RAM and 1TB PCIe SSD storage.

Unlike Apple’s Mac lineup, all other laptop makers provide a healthy dose of ports and this laptop is no exception. These include two Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support, a standard Type-C port, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.0.

A few proprietary features that ship along with the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon are Lenovo Smart Assist, Glance by Mirametrix, and Lenovo Q- Control. These software additions improve performance, extend battery life, cool the machine, and provide added security. Lastly, it has support for Amazon Alexa assistant and Windows Hello.

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Laptops

Huawei MateBook 14 Unboxing and First Impressions

AMD-powered, 2K FullView Display

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Huawei is sticking to formula with their notebook lineup but with some tweaks here and there. That means the Huawei MateBook 14 will come with a sleek, understated design along with all the Huawei goodies you’ve come to expect from their laptop line.

Just like the laptop itself, the box looks pretty simple.

Open it up and you’ll see the laptop on the left. USB-C cable and power adapter over on the right.

There isn’t anything else on the box other than the aforementioned plus the product manual.

Here’s the MateBook 14 out of the box.

Here’s what it looks like facing you.

On the left side you have the USB-C port, headphone jack, and HDMI port.

Over on the right are two USB-A ports.

As the name suggests, it has a 14-inch display, 3:2 aspect ratio.

It has a 90% screen-to-body ratio, so you get as much display as possible with pretty slim bezels.

That’s an IPS 2K FullView Display.

It’s pretty darn good for binge-watching series. You get a nice full view of what you’re watching. It supports 100% sRGB color gamut, has a good contrast ratio, and gets bright enough (300 nits).

There’s built-in hardware for eye-comfort and it’s also TUV Rheinland-certified. That also seems to be a staple for most laptop these days. It filters excessive blue light that can be harmful to your beautiful eyes.

The speakers are decent for movie viewing, but if you can hook this up to some external speakers like say the Huawei Sound X, then you’re in for a really good bingeing experience.

Huawei’s staple power button/fingerprint sensor is also here.

Speaking of staples, the MateBook 14 also has the signature recessed camera

If there’s one thing that Huawei really needs to work on, it’s this. The recessed camera is great for security but that’s a really unflattering angle. It’s fine at first, but after being forced to go on multiple video meetings due to the pandemic, you really start to notice how inadequate that angle is.

Putting the web camera where it’s usually found might mess with the laptop’s design, but this could one case where function should be prioritized over style. Alternatively, perhaps Huawei can utilize Huawei Share to have your Huawei smartphone be a camera source instead of the laptop.

Why not just take the video call on the phone, you ask? Sometimes you have to communicate via chat during calls. The mobile versions of apps like Zoom does let you chat, but that also means ruining your framing.

If Huawei manages to do this, that’s another way of really harping up the capabilities of Huawei Share. There is some sort of workaround to doing this with Huawei Share. You can link up your device and take the call using your Huawei Phone while it’s synced on your laptop. However, that still feels clunkier than just wirelessly pulling the smartphones’ camera as a source.

The hinge feels tougher but more fluid.

This is a rather largely unnoticed part of most laptops. However, it’s one that I personally noticed right away. It feels a tad different from other Huawei MateBooks I’ve tried like the MateBook D 15 and the MateBook X Pro 2020. There’s something about the hinge on the MateBook 14 that feels sturdy but flexible.

Power and performance for your work needs

On to the nitty-gritty. Should you decide to do so, you’re likely buying this for work needs. That means a lot of typing and running multiple apps from your browser, the entire MS Office Suite, perhaps Spotify, and what have you.

Powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 4600 H processor (with AMD Radeon Graphics), you’re sure to get more than adequate performance on this thing. Briefly using it mostly for drafting articles and previewing powerpoint decks, the MateBook 14 handles such tasks easily.

The keyboard though, might take some getting used to. It feels really similar to the chiclet-type of keyboard that Apple slapped on MacBook Pros for a good 3-4 years. It’s more than useable, no doubt. But you don’t get the clickety feeling that you typically get from keys with better travel.

Keyboards can make or break your experience with a laptop, and personally, I wish Huawei went with their usual keys instead of the one they put on the MateBook 14.

Other things of note

It comes in one configuration: That’s 16GB DDR4 2666MHz of memory and a 512GB PCIe SSD. Battery is 56Wh and promises up to 10 hours on continuous 1080p local video playback.

We haven’t fully tested the capacity but judging by initial use, you should get a decent 6-7 hours on a regular work day.

Click here to BUY

In the Philippines, the Huawei MateBook 14 comes bundled with the Huawei Classic Backpack. The exterior is made of 290T nylon fabric and microfiber leather while the interior is 200T polyester fabric.

The backpack comes in two options: Midnight Black (11.5L capacity) and Forest Green (8.5L capacity).

Pricing and availability

In the Philippines, the 16GB+512GB version retails for PhP 54,999. For a limited promo period running from October 9-24, the MateBook 14 comes with a free Huawei Classic Backpack and a Huawei Freebuds 3i (total value of PhP 11,998).

Click here for global pricing and availability

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