ThinkPad S340 vs IdeaPad X1 Carbon G7 in 2020

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Test Result

Best Price
Lenovo IdeaPad S340 81N8001LUS 15.6" FHD Laptop - Intel Core i5-8265U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 10 - Platinum Grey
Performance Winner
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Generation Ultrabook: Core i7-8565U, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 14" FHD Display, Backlit Keyboard
Model
Lenovo IdeaPad S340
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G7
Test Result
Test Result 9.2/10 Very Good April 2020
Test Result 9.8/10 Excellent April 2020
Manufacturer
Lenovo
Lenovo
RAM
8GB RAM
16 GB RAM
CPU
Intel Core i5-8265U
Intel Core i7-8565U
Graphics Card
Intel UHD 615 Graphics
Intel UHD 620 Graphics
Storage Capacity
256GB SSD
512GB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
3.45 lbs
2.4 lbs
Pros
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Great display
  • Good ergonomics
  • Lightweight with strong battery
  • Excellent ergonomics
  • Beautiful display
Cons
  • Performance could be better
  • Lean equipment
  • SD card reader missing
  • No mobile phone interface
  • Hardly any increase in performance compared to the G6
Best Price
Lenovo IdeaPad S340 81N8001LUS 15.6" FHD Laptop - Intel Core i5-8265U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 10 - Platinum Grey
Model
Lenovo IdeaPad S340
Test Result
Test Result 9.2/10 Very Good April 2020
Manufacturer
Lenovo
RAM
8GB RAM
CPU
Intel Core i5-8265U
Graphics Card
Intel UHD 615 Graphics
Storage Capacity
256GB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
3.45 lbs
Pros
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Great display
  • Good ergonomics
Cons
  • Performance could be better
  • Lean equipment
Performance Winner
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Generation Ultrabook: Core i7-8565U, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 14" FHD Display, Backlit Keyboard
Model
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G7
Test Result
Test Result 9.8/10 Excellent April 2020
Manufacturer
Lenovo
RAM
16 GB RAM
CPU
Intel Core i7-8565U
Graphics Card
Intel UHD 620 Graphics
Storage Capacity
512GB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
2.4 lbs
Pros
  • Lightweight with strong battery
  • Excellent ergonomics
  • Beautiful display
Cons
  • SD card reader missing
  • No mobile phone interface
  • Hardly any increase in performance compared to the G6

Lenovo’s top lines: ThinkPad vs IdeaPad

Lenovo Laptops are real work machines and are kown for their great performance. Because of their reliability they are commonly used in the business world. There are many different models and product lines in the Lenovo Laptop family. In this article we want to present you the two biggest product lines of Lenovo: the ThinkPad and the IdeaPad series. We hope that this article gives you a good overview over the two models and helps you narrow down your options, so you can make the right choice for your needs.

In the follwoing section we inspect the differences between the particular model types in the Thinkpad and Ideapad series:

ThinkPad series

MODEL SERIESCHARACTERISTICS
T seriesvery well-known and solid business series with good hardware equipment
P seriesReplaces the old workstation series designation “W” from now on
L seriesBudget business series – a little cheaper and a little less valuable than the “T” series, successor to the “R” series
X serieshigh quality subnotebooks with 12 ″ and 13 ″ display
W seriesHigh-end series, based on the “T” series.
Differences: stronger processors and often higher resolution display (now replaced by “P” series)
SL seriesSmall business series, not intended for large companies and no “build-to-order” option. Discontinued in 2011.
Successor: Edge series
R seriesLocated somewhat below the “T” series, discontinued in 2010.
E series / Edge seriesfirst non-black ThinkPad series, target: consumer (end customer), without docking port, glossy display, HDMI output
S seriesRemoved from the “Edge” series in 2013, they belong in the section of Ultrabooks: narrow, high-performance, long battery life
Helix series“Convertible” series. Devices are notebooks and can be used as tablets. The display is removable and self-sufficient.

IdeaPad

The IdeaPad series is a private customer note and netbook series, due to its compact size very portable and designed for media consumption rather than serious work.

MODELCHARACTERISTICS
S seriesNetbook series with Atom or AMD Fusion processors, displays from 8.9 ″ -12.1 ″
U seriesVery light design subnotebook series from 11.6 ″ -15.6 ″ display with elegant design applications (e.g. partially leather-covered wrist rest)
Y seriesThe Y series is the high-end IdeaPad, which is particularly powerful because it is designed for multimedia applications
V seriesSmall Office IdeaPad (optional) with fingerprint and metal housing
Z seriesStandard multimedia notebook, located somewhat below the Y series

In detail: Ideapad S340-14IWL vs. Thinkpad X1 Carbon G7

Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL

Lenovo Ideapad S340
The Lenovo Ideapad S340

Pros

  • Outstanding battery life
  • Great display
  • Good ergonomics

Cons

  • Performance could be better
  • Lean equipment

The Lenovo Ideapad S340 convinces in the test with a strong battery life; almost no one can compete with the 14 inch notebook in the mobility area. Good ratings for ergonomics and display round off the performance. The processor could be a bit faster and we also miss one or two features in the configuration. Nevertheless, the Ideapad S340 is a top recommendation for a price under 600 Dollar.

Lenovo Ideapad S340 in review: Simple but appealing

The Lenovo Ideapad S340 notebook model is available in various hardware configurations with widely varying prices. In our review, we took a close look at the Laptop: an affordable all-rounder with a dual-core Pentium processor. The aluminum case looks high-quality and stable, the design is simple but appealing. Lenovo calls the model “ultra slim”, but the notebook isn’t exceptionally thin with its 1 inch – it’s a good and handy average. The other dimensions are also normal for a 14 inch device. The display can be opened by 180 degrees, but the Ideapad isn’t a convertible notebook.

Solid battery with top runtime

The highlight of the Lenovo Ideapad S340 is the battery, which Lenovo hasn’t stinted on: You rarely find a 53 watt hour battery even in more expensive notebooks and in the price range up to 500 Dollar the average is 40 watt hours. The battery life is correspondingly excellent: The Ideapad played videos for over 15 hours in our endurance test, work applications ran for 08:39 hours. Nobody can beat this among the direct competitors. In our standard measurement with medium display brightness it was noticeable how energy-saving the display and processor worked.

Lenovo also emphasizes lightness: the 3.2 lbs weight of the device is good, even if not outstanding. But the Ideapad can be transported without any problems. Thus, the mobility score is 1.0 in the end – only the Asus VivoBook E203MA-FD825TS, which weighs 2.4 lbs., gets a comparable score. In any case, the Lenovo device’s battery life is unbeatable for working on the go.

Dual core processor for everyday use

You can’t expect performance miracles from the dual-core processor Intel Pentium Gold 5405U. With a clock rate of 2,300 MHz, supported by the integrated graphics chip Intel UHD Graphics 610 and 8 GByte DDR4-2400 RAM, the Lenovo Ideapad S340 delivers solid performance. However, the notebook can’t compete with the various Intel Core and AMD Ryzen devices in the best list. The Lenovo achieves average results in the benchmarks, but in practice it is absolutely suitable for everyday use. Normal office and multimedia applications aren’t a problem; the device isn’t suitable for demanding video editing or gaming, of course.

TN-LC display with average results

The Lenovo Ideapad S340 14-inch LCD display is a TN panel with typical readings. Especially the viewing angle stability is, as expected, less good than an IPS panel. However, you will probably rarely look at the display from the side or from above when using the notebook and notice the loss of contrast. Apart from that, Lenovo’s readings are solid: The maximum brightness of 239 candela per square meter is above average in comparison to other notebooks on our best list, the chessboard contrast of 146:1 is a bit lower.

The Ideapad also ranks among the other low-priced notebooks in terms of color space coverage: 66 percent coverage of the standard RGB color space is okay, only a few manufacturers offer more in this price range. The extended Adobe RGB color space is therefore hardly an issue; the Lenovo device covers it to 49 percent according to our measurement. This is sufficient for multimedia in Full HD resolution (1,920 by 1,080 pixels), but you’ll need a different caliber of display for HDR content. In our rating, the Ideapad S340-14IWL’s display gets a solid grade of 2.2.

The Lenovo Ideapad S340 – Video Review

There could be more in the equipment

In terms of equipment, the Lenovo Ideapad S340 has the essentials on board, but it could have been a bit more. 256 GByte storage space on the fast M.2 SSD is okay for office apps and streaming, but you can’t store too much data on it. Moreover, an optical drive is missing, which is disappearing more and more even in this price range, but it is still practical. The Ethernet network connection is also missing. At least the SD card reader is there.

The connections meet the expectations of the device category: apart from two USB ports of type A (USB 3.1), you get a USB-C interface, but the latter is also just USB 3.1 Gen 1 without Thunderbolt 3 or Displayport support. You can connect an external monitor via HDMI 1.4b. WLAN is available in 802.11ac standard, Bluetooth in the still sufficient 4.2 version. Otherwise, there is a jack socket for cable headphones as well as a 1 megapixel webcam with 720p resolution and a shutter cover to protect privacy.

Windows 10 S is initially installed as the operating system ex works, but you can immediately upgrade the slimmed-down version to Windows 10 Home for free – which we also did for our test. Overall, the Ideapad’s equipment is satisfactory. It is the worst single rating of the device and clouds the good result a bit.

Good workmanship and pleasant operation

The Lenovo Ideapad S340’s workmanship is good and there are no negative surprises in handling. The case is robust and the display can be opened easily. The wrist-rest is also okay, the Ideapad is constructed a bit angular, but that doesn’t disturb. We like how quiet the notebook works, which is partly due to the not quite as strong processor. The keyboard is average, the crisp counterpressure is somewhat disliked by the short stroke distance and the slippery surfaces. The mouse substitute is roughened and lets the fingers glide nicely, there are no extra mouse keys. Overall a good result, though.

A fair price for strong qualities

With its good individual evaluations, the Lenovo Ideapad S340 is a recommendation for all users who don’t want to spend more than 600 Dollar. You pay around 580 Dollar and are offered a lot of quality in return. However, if you place a bit more value on performance, you’ll get many alternatives with stronger processors in the price range.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G7

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon G7
The Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon G7

Pros

  • Lightweight with strong battery
  • Excellent ergonomics
  • Beautiful display

Cons

  • SD card reader missing
  • No mobile phone interface
  • Hardly any increase in performance compared to the G6

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G7 is fully convincing in the test and can secure itself a top position in our best list of premium notebooks. The device is light and persistent and pleases with a very good display. The speedy Intel Core i7-8565U processor with four cores, 16 GByte RAM and a 512 GByte M.2 SSD provide the 14 inch notebook with enough power and memory. However, we miss a memory card reader in the configuration.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G7 in review: Ideal for working

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G7 may seem rather inconspicuous at first glance, but it is excellently manufactured and looks quite noble. It still turns out relatively compact with its 14 inch screen. Above all, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon G7 is light as a feather: It weighs only 2.4 lbs – an ideal work notebook for on the go. This featherweight is achieved, among other things, by the carbon that gives it its name: Woven-in carbon fibers make the plastic case light and yet break-proof. However, the characteristic honeycomb structure is only visible on the case lid of the models with 4K display. This is a pure design element, because our test device with full HD display also has a housing made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), but the surface is completely black. The overall impression of the notebook is still great: It is stable and of high quality.

Lenovo also proves its class in terms of input options. The keyboard works flawlessly and offers a good balance between stroke travel and back pressure. Thus, the individual keys react with a gentle click – a first-class keyboard. The same goes for the multi-touchpad, the Pointing Stick and the TrackPoint. The movements are executed precisely and the mouse buttons release exactly. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G7 is fun to work with.

Great performance, prints in the equipment

Lenovo relies on a Whiskey Lake generation processor in the ThinkPad X1 Carbon G7 with the Intel Core i7-8565U. The four-core works with a standard clock rate of 1,800 MHz and reaches a fast 4,600 MHz in Turbo Boost. As already with the ThinkPad X1 Yoga G4, Lenovo has also attached importance to keeping the noise development very low in this model. But this has a somewhat negative impact on the performance, because the Carbon G7 partly acts a bit slower than the ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6 in our benchmarks. The everyday performance is nevertheless very good.

Lenovo does without a dedicated graphics card and relies on the Intel UHD Graphics 620 graphics chip that belongs to the processor, which offers enough performance for office applications, video streaming and internet surfing.

Furthermore, the notebook is equipped with 16 GByte DDR3-2133 RAM RAM RAM and a 512 GByte M.2 SSD. No bottlenecks should occur here in the future either. Not even if you always have to reserve a few GBytes for future Windows 10 updates.

The notebook has four USB 3.1 ports, two of which have a Thunderbolt 3 feature and two more of USB 3.1 type A. You can connect an external monitor via HDMI 1.4 and for headsets there is a headphone and microphone port. Also included is an Ethernet LAN adapter that allows you to establish a Gigabit Ethernet connection. The device supports the WLAN 802.11-ac standard and Bluetooth 5.0, so you can easily pair external devices like headsets or keyboards with the ThinkPad X1 Carbon G7. However, you’ll have to do without a memory card reader, which Lenovo has saved in the current generation in opposition to the previous version.

The total package is completed by a fingerprint sensor, a webcam with 720p HD resolution and infrared feature, Dolby Atmos speakers and four 360-degree far-field microphones.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G7 – Video Review

Excellent battery life and a superb screen

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G7 could fully convince in our benchmarks, especially in the battery life test. Thus, the notebook runs almost 13 hours when you want to watch videos, and it can also show off with nine hours and 15 minutes in office mode. So you can even complete pending tasks on long-distance flights without having to charge the device. The excellent mobility rating also takes into account the very low weight of the device.

The viewing angle stable IPS screen (Full-HD with 1,920 by 1,080 pixels) shines pleasantly brightly with 368 candelas per square meter. This isn’t a peak value, but it is still perfectly alright. Because the display is matt and doesn’t reflect, you can also use the notebook outdoors in bright sunshine and in bright rooms without any restrictions.

The display can fully convince with a measured value of 156:1 in the checkerboard contrast. The coverage of the standard RGB color space is a very good 97 percent, but it’s not enough for a good AdobeRGB coverage; we only measured 72 percent here. The Thinkpad X1 Carbon is not intended for image editing or HDR video editing tasks.

Conclusion: ThinkPad vs IdeaPad

Of course you cannot really compare the Ideapad line with the Thinkpad line. The thinkpad line offers high-performimg high end work machines, whereas the Ideapad line is aims more at users that are less professional. General Multimedia applications and light gaming are well handled by the Ideapad line. However, when it comes to more demanding applications and more performance the Thinkpad is the way to go. If you hve any further questions about our test or the Lenovo laptop model lines, please let us know.


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