Searching for a portable laptop that offers adequate performance? If yes, this Lenovo IdeaPad S540 review is a nice place to start.
Itechguides' Take on Lenovo IdeaPad S540
The Lenovo IdeaPad S540 is a portable 13.3-inch laptop that offers a nice design and exceptional performance. Furthermore, this laptop comes with multiple graphics card options, including a dedicated GPU. However, due to its size, this Lenovo laptop offers a limited number of ports.
- Sufficient storage
- Multiple GPU options
- Brillant display
- Great battery life
- Lightweight and portable
- Limited ports
- Short key travel
- Sticky touchpad
In the course of this review, you will be provided with the necessary information concerning the Lenovo IdeaPad S540’s performance and features. To be more specific, you will get to know everything about the design and specifications of this laptop.
That’s not all, I will also be discussing the laptop’s performance in terms of processor, RAM, storage, graphics, and battery life. Equally, I will be offering the laptop’s benchmark test results in various sections of this review.
Therefore, at the end of this review, you should have enough information to decide whether or not the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 is for you.
My Initial Thoughts
Most people are having a difficult time finding a laptop these days because there are so many options to choose from. Basically, there are numerous brands and lineups with different kinds and sizes of laptops.
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However, there is a particular laptop lineup that is quite popular and stands out, which is Lenovo’s IdeaPad lineup. So, in order to expand this lineup, Lenovo released the IdeaPad S540 in 2020.
The Lenovo IdeaPad S540 is a 13.3-inch laptop that offers a brilliant QHD display screen and mouth-watering specs. However, everything about this laptop isn’t all that perfect as there are areas it lacks.
Nevertheless, as we journey through the rest of this review, we’ll get to know the laptop’s good sides as well as its bad sides. Hence, fasten your seatbelt, and let’s ride through the rest of the review.
Lenovo IdeaPad S540 Design, Dimension, and Weight Review
The design of the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 is very simple, yet very attractive. To give more details, this laptop features an aluminum chassis with a silvery-grey matte texture.
Moreover, thanks to its aluminum chassis, this laptop is very sturdy and able to withstand rough handling.
That said, to add to its overall design, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 features a “Lenovo” logo on the bottom right of its lid. This logo is adorned with the same silvery-grey matte texture as the entire chassis of the laptop.
Impressively, the lid of this laptop does not flex even a bit when pushed. This is due to the fact that it is attached to the base of the laptop with two sturdy hinges.
Moreover, thanks to these hinges, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540’s lid can be opened up to 135-degree. Speaking of opening the lid, when you open this laptop’s lid, you will be greeted by a 13.3-inch display.
This display offers a QHD (2560 x 1600) resolution that allows it to render sharp, colorful, and clear images. Also, this laptop’s 13.3-inch display is made with an IPS panel that allows it to deliver outstanding viewing angles.
Therefore, when viewing the display off-center, color accuracy and picture quality will stay intact without dropping a bit. In addition to its impressive viewing angles, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540’s display offers an excellent maximum brightness of 300 nits.
As a result, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 is ideal for outdoor usage. Also, due to its display’s impressive maximum brightness, this laptop is suitable for use in well-lit or bright areas.
The impressive display performance of this laptop doesn’t end here as its display is surrounded by slim bezels. As with most Lenovo laptops, there is a “Lenovo” logo at the middle of the bottom bezel.
Meanwhile, the top bezel houses an HD webcam for video calls and taking selfies. Interestingly, this webcam features a privacy cover that prevents web spying.
Also, just a little distance to the right of the webcam, there is a hybrid infrared (IR) sensor. This IR sensor allows for easy login into Windows via Windows Hello facial recognition.
Moving on to the keyboard, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 comes with a black chiclet-type keyboard. The keys on this keyboard are well-spaced with clear white letterings on the top.
Impressively, this keyboard is also backlit. As a result, you will be able to type comfortably on the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 at night or in dark areas.
However, the laptop’s keyboard offers short key travel which makes typing experience to be less-appealing. You must be wondering what is key travel – it is the total distance between a key’s resting point and full depression.
At the bottom of the Lenovo IdeaPad S540’s keyboard, you will find a touchpad with two integrated click buttons. Sadly, the surface of this touchpad isn’t smooth and is a bit sticky.
As a result, navigating using the touchpad may be inaccurate in certain situations. Also, performing multitouch gestures on the touchpad will be a pain in the neck.
Moving on to the port selection, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 features a limited number of ports. To give more details, the right side of this laptop houses the power button, a combo audio jack, and one USB Type-A port.
On the other hand, the left side of the laptop features only two USB Type-C ports. The main reason this laptop comes with such a small amount of ports is due to its compact size.
Specifically, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 measures 308.3 x 211 x 14.8 mm (W x D x H) and weighs only 1300 g. Therefore, with its compact size and lightweight, this Lenovo laptop will be very easy to carry around.
However, when compared to another 13.3-inch laptop (Dell XPS 13 9370), the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 is slightly bigger and heavier. To be more specific, the Dell XPS 13 9370 measures 301.7 x 199.2 x 7.8 – 11.6 mm (W x D x H) and weighs 1270 g.
All things considered, I will rate the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 an eight out of ten in this design review section.
Lenovo IdeaPad S540 Processor (CPU) Performance Review
The Lenovo IdeaPad S540 comes with a powerful 7th generation Intel Core i7-10710U processor. This processor features six cores as well as a cache memory of 12 MB.
In addition to that, the processor has a base frequency of 1.10 GHz and a maximum frequency of 4.70 GHz. Performance-wise, as a 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor, the Intel Core i7-10710U should be able to handle most computing tasks.
Basically, with this processer, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 will be to handle demanding tasks like video editing and processing. In fact, this Lenovo laptop will be able to multitask with ease without slowing down a bit.
To further verify the processor performance of the Lenovo IdeaPad S540, I will now be offering its result on the Geekbench 4 benchmark test. For clarity, the Geekbench 4 is a cross-platform benchmark test that measures how a computer’s processor can handle intensive workloads.
Furthermore, a high score on this benchmark test means better performance. So, according to the Geekbench 4 test results, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 scored 22,182 points.
Impressively, this laptop’s score is well above the category average of 14000 points. However, when compared to the Dell XPS 13 7390, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 fell slightly short.
To be more specific, on the Geekbench 4 benchmark test, the Dell XPS 13 7390 scored 22,492 points. It is worth mentioning that this Dell laptop uses a quad-core Intel Core i7-10510U processor.
In conclusion, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 offers a powerful and fast 7th generation Intel processor. However, this laptop fell short of one of its closest competitors on a benchmark test.
As a result, I will rate the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 an eight out of ten in this CPU review section.
Lenovo IdeaPad S540 Memory (RAM) Performance Review
The Lenovo IdeaPad S540 comes with a standard memory of 8 GB DDR4 2666 MHz on its single memory slot. Unfortunately, due to the fact that this laptop’s memory is onboard, it cannot be removed or upgraded.
However, you can purchase another version of the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 that comes with 16 GB RAM DDR4 2666 MHz. Nevertheless, I doubt if that would be necessary because 8 GB RAM is just enough for this Lenovo laptop to carry out most computing tasks.
As a matter of fact, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 should be able to multitask smoothly with 8 GB RAM. Speaking of multitasking, this laptop will be able to operate seamlessly even when it has about 20 Chrome tabs running simultaneously.
However, all these facts about the laptop’s performance won’t be particularly valid if I don’t back them up with a benchmark test result. Therefore, we will now be discussing the Lenovo IdeaPad S540’s results on a PCMark 10 test.
Briefly, PCMark 10 is a benchmark test that measures a computer’s memory performance by simulating real-world productivity tasks like word processing. Furthermore, according to the settings of this benchmark test, a high score indicates good performance.
Thus, based on the PCMark 10 test results, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 obtained a score of 4772 points. Impressively, this laptop’s score surpasses the category average of 3500 points.
Also, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 performed better than the Dell XPS 13 7390 which scored 4161 points on the PCMark 10 test.
Therefore, in this memory review section, I will be rating the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 a nine out of ten.
Lenovo IdeaPad S540 Storage Options and Performance Review
Lenovo really tried in terms of storage for the IdeaPad S540, ranging from the storage space and the type of storage drive. Specifically, this Lenovo laptop comes with an M.2 PCIe SSD (Solid State Drive) that offers a maximum storage capacity of 1 TB.
Despite the laptop lacking an SD card reader for storage expansion, I believe 1 TB of storage space should be enough for most users. That’s not all, because this laptop uses an SSD, it should offer a fast boot time and transfer speed.
That said, I will now present the CrystalDiskMark test result of the IdeaPad S540 to further verify its SSD storage performance. However, before I proceed, I will like to explain what the CrystalDiskMark test is all about.
To start with, the CrystalDiskMark test is a benchmark test that calculates the performance of a computer’s storage drive by measuring its read and write speed. While the read speed is the time it takes a storage drive to open a file, the write speed is the exact opposite.
To be more specific, the write speed is the time it takes the storage drive to save data. It is worth mentioning that the higher the “MB/s” value on the CrystalDiskMark test, the faster the read and write speed of the computer’s storage drive.
So, according to the CrystalDiskMark test result, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 recorded a sequential read speed of 2011 MB/s. Also, this Lenovo laptop recorded a sequential write speed of 2199 MB/s.
Compared to the Dell XPS 13 7390 which also uses an SSD, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 has a faster read and write speed. Specifically, the Dell XPS 13 7390 recorded a sequential read speed of 1804.31 MB/s on the CrystalDiskMark test.
In addition to that, this Dell laptop recorded a sequential write speed of 1000.27 MB/s.
In conclusion, even though it lacks an SD card reader, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 offers sufficient storage space. Moreover, the laptop delivered an exceptional read and write speed on a storage benchmark test.
Therefore, I will rate the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 a nine out of ten in this storage performance review section.
Lenovo IdeaPad S540 Graphics Card Performance Review
Lenovo was generous enough to offer three graphics options for the IdeaPad S540. These graphics options include Intel UHD Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce MX250, and NVIDIA GeForce MX350 GPU.
In terms of speed, the Intel UHD Graphics offers a base and boost frequency of 300 MHz and 1150 MHz respectively. The NVIDIA GeForce MX250, on the other hand, has a base and boost frequency of 1519 MHz and 1582 MHz respectively.
Also, the NVIDIA GeForce MX350 graphics card features a base frequency of 1354 MHz and a boost frequency of 1468 MHz.
That said, unlike the NVIDIA GeForce MX250 and NVIDIA GeForce MX350 GPUs, the Intel UHD Graphics is an integrated graphics card. As a result, it is built into the laptop’s processor and shares the system memory with the CPU to perform graphics-related tasks.
Hence, with the Intel UHD Graphics, the IdeaPad S540 won’t be able to handle graphics-intensive applications or games. The NVIDIA GeForce MX250 and NVIDIA GeForce MX350, however, are dedicated graphics cards with 2 GB GDDR5 dedicated VRAM each.
Therefore, with either of these dedicated GPUs, the IdeaPad S540 should be able to run graphics-intensive apps and some modern games smoothly. Thankfully, this review is based on the IdeaPad S540 with the NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics card.
With this graphics card, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 is capable of playing some modern games smoothly. For example, while playing Valorant, this laptop delivered an impressive frame rate of 117 fps.
That’s not all, this laptop was also able to deliver a frame rate of 79 fps while playing the popular FIFA 22.
In order to further verify the IdeaPad S540’s performance with this dedicated graphics card, I will be presenting its 3DMark 11 test result. For clarity, the 3DMark 11 test is a benchmark test that measures the graphic rendering ability of a computer.
Moreover, on this test, a high score means a great graphics performance. So, based on the 3DMark 11 test results, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 scored 4950 points, which is above the category average of 3000 points.
However, when compared to the HP Pavilion 15-cs2019ng that uses the same graphics card, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 performed slightly less. To be more specific, the HP Pavilion 15-cs2019ng was able to score 4994 points on the 3DMark 11 test.
Notwithstanding, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 offers three graphics card options, which is quite impressive for a non-gaming laptop. Therefore, I will rate the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 an eight out of ten in this graphics review section.
Lenovo IdeaPad S540 Battery Life and Performance Review
The Lenovo IdeaPad S540 comes with a 3-cell 56 WHr battery. As advertised by Lenovo, this laptop’s battery can last up to 17 hours.
However, in order to ascertain this claim, I will be providing the Lenovo IdeaPad S540’s battery rundown test result. Briefly, the battery rundown test involves continuous web surfing on the laptop via a WIFI connection till it dies.
Hence, at the end of this test, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 delivered a battery life of 11 hours. Although this battery life is outstanding, it is about 6 hours less than what Lenovo claimed.
However, when compared to most laptops in its category, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 has longer battery life. For example, on the battery rundown test, the Dell XPS 13 7390 delivered a battery life of 7 hours and 56 minutes
All things considered, I will rate the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 a nine out of ten in this battery review section.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, it doesn’t. The Lenovo IdeaPad S540 comes with a 13.3-inch non-touchscreen display that offers a QHD resolution.
The Lenovo IdeaPad S540 was released in 2020.
Yes, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 features a backlit chiclet-style keyboard.
Unfortunately, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 lacks an SD card slot for storage expansion.
Yes, it is. The Lenovo IdeaPad S540 weighs only 1300 g, which makes it very light and easy to carry around.
My Final Thoughts
The Lenovo IdeaPad S540 is a portable laptop that offers adequate performance and lots of features. To give more details, this laptop comes with a powerful 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor.
That’s not all, this Lenovo laptop also offers three graphics card options including two dedicated graphics cards. Also, the laptop features fast and sufficient SSD storage.
However, this laptop comes with a few major drawbacks like its poor keyboard and limited port selection. Nevertheless, if you need an on-the-go laptop with exceptional performance, the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 is the best for you.
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References and Further Reading
- notebookcheck.net – Lenovo IdeaPad S540 13-inch Laptop Review
- laptopmedia.com – Lenovo Ideapad S540 (13) review – better than your MacBook Air
- firstpost.com – LENOVO IDEAPAD S540 LAPTOP REVIEW: A SAFE BET FOR ANYONE LOOKING FOR A NEW DAILY DRIVER
- gadgetmatch.com – Lenovo IdeaPad S540 review: A professional’s daily driver
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