I use a Macbook in my day to day work, and a desktop for everything else. When I think about it, I haven’t had a Windows based laptop since 2015 – that’s a long time. But with a change of circumstance, came a change of need, and so I went out shopping and got the Lenovo IdeaPad L340 Gaming. I can’t really tell you why, but I’ve always loved Lenovo, and the matte black with blue trim look just won me over – plus it had everything I needed in one neat little package.
Let’s crack into the specs first:
- 9th Gen Intel Core i5-9300H (4C / 8T, 2.4 / 4.1GHz, 8MB)
- 16GB Ram (Base model comes with 8GB)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5
- 256GB SSD M.2 2242 PCIe NVMe
- Backlit keyboard (I only just found out how to do this, ‘fn + space’)
- 15.6″ FHD (1920×1080) IPS 250nits Anti-glare
I do believe you can get it with an i7 as well, but I figured the i5 would be plenty for my needs, and I was right. Like all my reviews, heck most of TIG’s reviews, we don’t focus too much on the specifics. If you want a more detailed rundown, then you’ve come to the wrong place. We’re about making reviews for the everyday user, one that everyone can understand – and get the information they need; so with that in mind, let’s get started.
Lenovo has used a very similar design and look for a long time now, it works well, and the IdeaPad L340 Gaming follows that same style and I love it. When using it, the anti-glare screen is stunning, and thanks to the 1080p resolution and the GTX 1650, games and film all look tremendous – but we’ll get into that more later. The keyboard with it’s blue lettering and trim looks great, and the whole design screams simple and serene – bound to look great in any setup. BUT (that’s a big but by the way, hence the caps, scream it when you read it please), the glossy top is just disgusting; I’m a sweaty boy, ask anyone I know. It’s not my fault, I just run hot. So, seeing my fingerprints all over the top when it’s closed just bothers me to no end. Sure, it’s a small thing, but hey, I gotta say it.
Whether you go for the i5, or the i7, this thing is a beast, especially with an upgrade to the RAM like I did and the NVME drive. From games, to work, to gaming and working, to working and gaming, this thing is yet to skip a beat, and that’s what I wanted it for. Even running games at higher settings barely gets a peep out of the machine, and it took a very very long gaming session of Minecraft to get this thing really heating up. But, and I’ll cover this more in-depth later, getting it to actually use the dedicated graphics was an absolute mission, and I’m not a slouch when it comes to using PCs – from my research I found a lot of common posts about this, but for a lot of people, they wouldn’t even realise, and likely would end up thinking their new gaming laptop is pretty garbage. UHD is great, but it isn’t gonna play anything on max settings.
Portability – Laptopness
This thing is actually pretty light and easy to move around when combined with a great battery, it’s genuinely very usable on the go as well. Like all laptops, if you run the dedicated graphics not plugged in, the battery will drain quickly, but I’m still impressed with it overall. The power brick is a pretty standard size which is nice to see as so commonly now with gaming grade machines they need a big ol’ power injection to even think of charging a battery while running a game.
So what’s left?
The laptop comes pre-installed with some pretty great Lenovo software to keep your new IdeaPad L340 Gaming safe and for the first time in my entire life, I didn’t uninstall any of it. Usually made up of just bloatware, this little beast comes with some awesome tools including webcam locks, wifi security, and a pretty sweet update system. It also came with a trial to Mcafee – which always annoys me because either give me the full, or leave me with the baked in one from Windows thanks. If you’d like to learn about how to uninstall Mcafee like I do, the creator, John Mcafee, released a great tutorial on how to do so here.
The fact that getting the GPU to work properly took me literal hours also really annoyed me. I’m a website developer, I’ve been working with computers my entire life, I’ve seen them completely transform over the years, and all I can think about is the users that just like a casual game, that maybe don’t have those same skills wondering why their new gaming laptop is so yuck – which was my first thought before I clicked. Hahaha… clicked.
Anyway, all in all, Lenovo’s IdeaPad L340 Gaming does not disappoint. Sure, the gloss top is annoying, and the GPU switching not working was a P.I.M.A, but those are pretty small issues in the long run, for me at least. I’d definitely recommend it, don’t stress too much about the i7 upgrade unless you utilise multi-core applications a lot, but I’d definitely recommend the RAM upgrade if you’re a Chrome user (Yeah stuff you Google).
Note from the Techspert:
Lenovo will always have a place in my heart, though this whole thing with the GPU switching has given me some pause for thought. Yeah sure, it can be remedied but I know Michael, and he’s definitely an adept user. So with that in mind, make sure you are aware this may require some additional tinkering to get it into the sweet spot. Otherwise I’m pretty impressed with this little machine.