The Good One of the smallest, lightest 14-inch laptops available. Its gorgeous UHD HDR display and eye-tracking software provides useful privacy and performance features.
The Bad The S940 is expensive and its battery life is no different thanks to its 4K UHD display.
The Bottom Line From the curved edge HDR display to the advanced AI webcam to the surprisingly small design, the Lenovo IdeaPad S940 is a premium, ultraportable option down to a great price.
With the lid closed, the $ 2,000 Lenovo IdeaPad S940 laptop is no different from other premium ultraportables from Asus, Dell and Acer. It is 12.2 mm (0.5 inches) thin, weighs less than 3 pounds (1.2 kg), and its metal chassis is low and elegant.
But slim, light and metallic – the prerequisites for ultraportables, and even the S940 is currently standard on the category: Intel Core i5-8265U or i7-8565U processor, 8GB or 16GB internal memory, up to 1TB PCIe SSD and Intel Integrated Graphics UHD 620.
These things get more interesting until you lift the S940. PC makers are picking up the top and side panels around displays to make the laptop’s footprint smaller – usually at the cost of a clunky webcam or a large chin under the display. Lenovo somehow managed to avoid both by removing its chin while keeping the webcam above the screen.
In addition, the glass swirls around these panels and disappears into the lid – the world’s first laptop with this curved glass. Not only does it look nice, it also makes the overall footprint much smaller than the previous 14-inch laptops For this reason, Acer’s Swift 7 is no less remarkable .
The curved edges look nice, but actually that’s what they are for – to look beautiful. Lenovo gives you a few more reasons to consider this over smaller ones Dell XPS 13 and the thinner, lighter Swift 7, however. Not one of these reasons is the low price: the IdeaPad S940 starts at $ 1500, but depending on the stock, it can be found for less. I checked the $ 2000 configuration and it sells for $ 3500 in Australia, where it’s called the Yoga S940. It is currently unavailable in the UK, but the starting price in the US is around £ 1200.
Lenovo IdeaPad S940-14IWL
|Price as reviewed||$2,000|
|Display size/resolution||14-inch 3,840 x 2,160 display|
|CPU||1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U|
|PC Memory||16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz|
|Graphics||128MB Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Networking||802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless; Bluetooth 5.0|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)|
Have a look
Lenovo offers two display options with the S940: the UHD (3,840×2,400-pixels) HDR 400 display with 500-brightness or the 400-FHD (1,920×1,080-pixel) Dolby Vision panel. I tested the higher end UHD screen and it is great with great color and contrast for this class of laptops.
The brightness of 500 bolts helps the glossy screen brighten a lot, although it’s still not enough in the sun. For example, I used this in a brightly lit cafe without problems. Well, maybe one question. The hinged design does not allow the screen to open much more than 120 degrees, so adjusting to the viewing and lighting position can be tricky.
As I mentioned, despite the thin top panel, Lenovo has placed a webcam over the infrared (IR) display, creating a notch that, unlike those used on phones, rises upwards rather than downwards. This is a smart solution that not only allowed the camera to go up, but would also increase as a lip to facilitate opening the lid.
The IR camera works to access face recognition with Windows Hello. It also combines with other sensors and the look of AI software from Mirametrix. If you connect the S940 to an external display – it has two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports – The view determines whether you are looking at a laptop display or added and will move open windows accordingly or automatically move the pointer back and forth between the built-in and attached displays.
Lenovo is expanding its premium yoga lineup at CES 2019 by Joshua Goldman01:28Replay videoLarge play-pause toggle Lenovo expands its premium Yoga line at CES 2019 AutoplayOnOff 00:00 01:28 Settings
The feature works as promised and is fast enough that it can be faster than just moving the pointer or windows on your own. It can also monitor your eyes and block the system if it feels like you’re gone or warn you that someone is surfing behind you.
The webcam is paired with long-range microphones that not only enhance your video calls, but also work with Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana voice assistants to get assistants to respond only to your voice.
The backlit keyboard is comfortable with a decent stroke and a nice bounce from the keys so you don’t feel fleshy, which is impressive given the subtlety of the system. The accuracy of the touchpad is good, as well as a reliable palm check and usually a smooth performance that doesn’t leave me wishing I left the mouse at home.
Following the C930, the S940 has an extremely good set of speakers. Buy with Dolby Atmos processing audio sounds filled with movies and music. A decent set of external speakers or headphones will still sound better, but Lenovo speakers are nice enough to use regularly, not just in the extreme.
Want a great battery life? Go in full HD
The S940 is equipped with a newer eighth generation Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD and integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620. The components focus on medium home, office and school work, such as word processing, web browsing, and email. However, it does have enough muscles to handle to promote more complex work, assuming it’s not too intense graphics. Also note that the memory is on board, so if you get an 8GB model you can’t add more on the go. However, you can swap for a larger SSD if you decide you need more space.
Also, while I love the UHD display, it basically shortens the battery life by half. We have received 7 hours 26 minutes of our streaming video test that meets Lenovo’s requirements for this display. According to the Lenovo Web site, choosing a 400mm full HD screen will give you 15 hours of battery life. And judging by what I’ve seen on similar laptops with 1920×1080-pixel displays, running time of 12 hours or more is unlikely.
The laptop charges USB-C, and it’s relatively fast. You can also turn on its RapidCharge feature for faster filling, but to use it you will need to turn off your laptop.
Lenovo’s Ideapad S940 is a stunning tech-filled ultraportable
Laptop demonstrator with the right price
Of course, although the Lenovo IdeaPad S940 is expensive, it is not overpriced. You pay for the miniaturization as much as the performance and quality UHD 4K display and new technologies that are not available elsewhere. If you want cutting-edge design and features, you’re going to pay for it. Everything here is up to Lenovo’s promises, though unfortunately it does include a shorter battery life thanks to the UHD display. If you can live with the full-HD option, you will no doubt improve battery life and most likely save money.
|Lenovo Ideapad S940||Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 512GB SSD|
|LG gram 17||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 512GB SSD|
|Samsung Notebook 9 Pro||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD|
|Lenovo Yoga C930||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; 12GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD|
|Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018)||Apple MacOS Mojave 10.14; 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8210Y; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 1,536MB Intel UHD Graphics 617; 256GB SSD|