A few years ago if you thought of Chromebooks the word Lenovo would not come into your mind. Move forward to 2020 and Lenovo has a string of Chromebook devices under their belt, so they are definitely a manufacturer now committed to building Chromebook devices.
Last year they launched the C330 11.6-inch device, which was pretty good and excellent value for money. The Lenovo C340 is the follow up to that model, so we’d expect to see some improvements.
The good news is that Lenovo has improved on last years model. So let’s take a closer look in this Lenovo C340 11.6-inch Chromebook review. You’ll be very impressed with what the C340 offers.
I really like the look of the Lenovo C340 Chromebook. It’s a well built sturdy device and has improved on last years model because it now comes with an aluminium lid.
You need to remember with budget devices you do need to compromise a little. This generally means accepting an all-over plastic casing, so it’s really good that they’ve gone for an aluminium lid.
The rest of the casing is still plastic, but the aluminium lid definitely improves on the overall feel and look. I’d go as far to say it’s a really cool looking device, which you’d never be embarrassed about getting out in your local coffee shop.
It comes with a Hybrid 2-in-1 design, which means you can use it as a laptop or tablet. This is great to see because Android Apps are great to use in tablet mode. It also means you get two devices for the price of one.
It’s pretty lightweight as well, which makes it ideal if you’re looking for a laptop to take out and about with you. Weighing in at just 2.6lbs/1.18kg and being slightly smaller than an A4 piece of paper; its ideal for using on the go.
LENOVO C340 PERFORMANCE
The great thing about Chrome OS devices is that you don’t need to have the latest powerful processor for most tasks. This is good news because most budget Chromebooks come with a budget processor.
The Lenovo C340 11.6-inch Chromebook comes with an Intel Celeron N4000 processor, which is pretty standard on all budget devices. However, it performs perfectly fine for what you’d expect to do on this device.
It’s capable of a turbo speed of 2.6GHz and runs at a base speed of 1.1GHz and comes with a 4MB cache. Whether you’re surfing the internet, watching a video on YouTube or playing your favourite Android App games. You’ll find the performance of this device deals with all of these tasks with ease.
That being said, you need to accept that really intensive graphic-based Android App games may not perform too great on an Intel Celeron processor. You may also find number crunching on a huge spreadsheet may make the Lenovo C340 struggle a little bit.
Overall though, considering it’s a budget Chromebook the performance is absolutely fine for the price range.
RAM & STORAGE
It comes with 4MB of RAM, which is definitely more than enough for any task you’ll carry out on this device. Today you’d want to be looking at 4GB of RAM as a minimum. However, that minimum does not mean 4GB of RAM isn’t enough for a budget Chrome OS device.
In fact, even a mid-range device with 4GB of RAM is perfectly acceptable in 2020. So don’t worry about any performance issues due to RAM, as you’ll not come across any. Find out more about the amount of RAM you should look for when buying a Chromebook.
The storage is a very impressive 64GB, which for a budget device is great to see. Many mid-range devices come with this amount of storage, so it’s a big bonus for a budget Chromebook.
This means you’ll have no problem when it comes to installing all of your favourite Android Apps. Of course, there is always the possibility that you can run out of storage. However, if you take advantage of the cloud computing capabilities of Chrome OS devices. Then you’ll leave plenty of storage to install all of your favourite Android apps without any problems.
Also, if you are one of those types who use up storage like it’s going out of fashion. Then you can easily add further storage at a later date thanks to the Micro SD slot that comes with the Lenovo C340.
THE LENOVO C340 DISPLAY
When it comes to budget Chromebooks you’re usually let down by a poor display. This has been a frustration of mine for some time because it gives the Chromebook a bad reputation. You’ll be happy to know the C340 does not fall into this category.
The display is excellent for the price, so you’ll not be getting any nasty surprises when opening up this device for the first time.
What makes it a great display is the IPS panel. When it comes to a display you should always be looking for an IPS panel. This is not too hard when getting a mid-range device, but is a lot more difficult when buying a budget Chromebook.
The IPS panel means you get great viewing angles and the colours are rich and vibrant on the screen. My very first Chromebook the HP 11 all the way back in 2011 came with an IPS panel, and it’s why I fell in love with Chromebook devices.
The resolution is 1,366 by 768, which means it’s not true 1080p HD. However, I would definitely not let that put you off. When it comes to a display of this size at 11.6-inch this resolution works absolutely fine.
In fact, expecting a 1080p resolution on a display of this size and price would be asking far too much. A 1080p display on a screen under 12-inches would cost you a whole lot more than this. Find out more about how to avoid a poor display when buying a budget Chromebook.
The only thing I don’t like about the display is the huge bezels around it. This doesn’t have any impact on the quality of what you see on screen. It’s purely to do with how it looks. I’m not a big fan of huge bezels because it makes a laptop look a tad cheap.
However, I would not let that put you off because the display quality is excellent for the price. It’s just a shame the bezels couldn’t be smaller. That being said, if the bezels were smaller then the overall chassis would be a lot smaller. That may sound great, but it would mean the keyboard would also be much smaller, which would make it much harder to type on. So I get the compromise with the larger bezels. I just don’t like the look of them.
KEYBOARD, PORTS & BATTERY LIFE
The keyboard for me is always an important factor because I spend so much time typing. Being a touch typist I need a keyboard I can use over a long period of time without too much fatigue.
The keyboard is fine for a budget device but it does not have the same click feedback you get with some higher-priced devices. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll be able to type with the Lenovo C340 without any problems. Just don’t expect the feedback to be as impressive if you’ve used higher-priced models in the past.
The port selection is really good. A lot of Chromebooks over the last couple of years have moved to USB Type-C. This is definitely a good move because Type-C is here right now and is also the future. So it’s good to see that you get two Type-C with one on either side of the device.
The only issue with some devices is that they only offer Type-C. Like I said these USB ports are the future. However, if you have older peripherals that use the older Type-A ports. A device only offering Type-C can create some problems.
So it’s great to see that Lenovo has dealt with this problem by also offering two Type-A USB ports. Again, you’ll find one on either side of the device. This gives you a lot more flexibility compared to devices only offering one type of USB port.
It also comes with a Micro SD slot, which is really great to see. This means if you want to add extra storage at a later date this is easily done by buying and SD card. Find out more about adding extra storage to your Chromebook device.
The battery life promises 10 hours, which all sounds great. In reality, you’re looking at about 9 hours. This is excellent because it’s another reason to choose the Lenovo C340 is you want a Chromebook to use on the move.
If you’re on the lookout for a budget Chromebook that offers everything then this is the one for you. I’m really happy with this device because it provides everything you’d expect at the price and more.
Its great build quality with the aluminium lid is a huge improvement over last years model. Yes, the keyboard isn’t going to compete with some mid-range devices, but it’s perfectly usable.
You’ll not be disappointed with the performance either. The processor is what you’d expect from a budget device, but you don’t need much more when it comes to Chrome OS. Also, the RAM is more than enough and the storage offers double what most devices in this range come with.
The best thing about the Lenovo C340 11.6-inch Chromebook is the display. Sure, some may say it should have come with 1080p. However, that is simply an unrealistic ask from a display under 12-inches at this price.
Also, the resolution is absolutely fine on a display of this size, so do not get put off by that. The IPS panel is what makes this display so great. Excellent viewing angles and vibrant beautiful images will impress you without question.
If I was looking to buy a budget Chromebook in 2020. Then this is the device I would choose. This is what budget Chromebooks should look like in 2020.
I hope you’ve found this review of the Lenovo C340 Chromebook useful. I’m so happy with what we’re seeing lately from new budget Chromebook devices being released. This device is what makes Chrome OS and Chromebooks so great. Excellent value for money and an excellent laptop to match.