A Chromebook with sufficient performance, good workmanship, touchscreen and long battery life for less than € 500? The Lenovo C340-15 shows in the test report.
With the Chromebook C340-15, Lenovo offers a very solid, mid-range Chrome OS notebook. In the past few weeks, we have been able to test the device extensively in everyday life and have tested whether this Chromebook can also meet the higher demands of everyday work. It also turned out how practical the mix of tablet and notebook with the support for Android apps can be every now and then. However, there are hooks, for which Google is responsible.
Lenovo Chromebook C340-15: Data sheet
- 15.6 ″ FHD display with touchscreen
- Intel Core i3-8130U processor
- 4 GB RAM, 128 GB eMMC storage
- Battery up to 10 hours
- 2 x 2 watt speakers
- WiFi-ac, Bluetooth 4.2
- 2 x USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 (serves as a charging port), 1 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1
- microSD card reader, jack connector
- 1.96 kg total weight
In my eyes, reasonable equipment with which many people should come. I primarily use Chrome, mostly with about 15 tabs open. Sometimes more, sometimes a little less. My everyday life also includes rudimentary image processing via Photopea and I consume media from various streaming services.
Lenovo Chromebook C340-15: two in one
My everyday Chromebook has no touchscreen and can therefore only be used as a notebook. It is different with the C340 from Lenovo, whose display can be operated with a touch. And because the display can be completely flipped to the back, with the device automatically switching to tablet mode and deactivating the keyboard, this Chromebook is also ideal as a generous Android tablet. Only to a limited extent on the go, because the 15.6 ″ diagonal display is very large.
Especially on the couch or in bed, I find the control via touchscreen a good choice. Chrome OS would have to be adapted a little better here and there, even with many websites the touchscreen operation is not comfortable enough. See YouTube. But all in all a good option. Especially since Android games are wonderful to play on the large display. You have a work PC and multimedia tablet in one device. Only the downward-facing speakers are weak on the chest, so enjoying the film is only a limited pleasure.
Otherwise, the resolution of Full HD would be a small point of criticism, which is due to the higher demands on my part. I usually use a smaller display with a higher pixel density, so I’m used to a sharper picture. The Lenovo package is good enough for the “Normalo”. This also applies to the maximum brightness, although the reflective monitor inevitably weakens in bright sunlight. Luckily, I tested in winter.
Lenovo Chromebook C340-15: how much performance is enough?
We don’t tear out trees with the C340-15, but the test device has always proven itself in everyday use. I usually work with 15 tabs or significantly more in everyday life, which is quite a lot for Chrome. Nevertheless, I got along well with 4 GB of RAM, the system performance seldom and only briefly dropped to my knees. Depending on what you do in the individual tabs. I honestly expected more frequent dropouts.
Maybe some results from benchmarks will help some people?
- Basemark: 564.07
- Motion Mark: 384.34
- Octane: 31851
I can’t say much about the battery life. This is different in everyday life due to the display brightness alone. I get there shorter during the day because the display is brighter. Of course, it looks different at dark times of the day. Maybe I reached about 6 hours on average. But with work, so more load on the processor. If you only stream a video or films, it will use less battery power.
Speaking of CPU load, the fan starts up more often with this device. But is not so loud that it would have bothered me excessively. The only annoying thing is that the fan starts for a few seconds, then goes out, then starts again. Always as needed, often for just a few seconds. That annoys me more than the noise of the fan itself.
Lenovo Chromebook C340-15: surprisingly good workmanship
I would not have expected high-quality workmanship, but Lenovo was able to surprise me. For the most part, metal dominates the case, which has a matt and slightly rough surface. I like the keyboard as well. A good pressure point of all keys, the area of the keyboard cannot be pressed. Finally, there is a generous touchpad, which is also very pleasant on the fingers and always responded to inputs as desired.
Overall, the Chromebook C340-15 is an extremely solid notebook that can be described as high quality for the estimated price. Even the screen lid hardly twists when you open the device with just one finger and therefore exert a lot of pressure on a small point. The hinges are quite firm and offer a lot of resistance, I have seen it differently.
Because it is a convertible, there are buttons for volume and power on the case frame, but they are all a bit small and difficult to press. But these are actually the only major points of criticism when it comes to the external design of the hardware. By the way, there is a small but fine detail in the area of the webcam, which can be covered with a slider.
Chrome OS: Well thought out, but not finished
Google’s operating system for notebooks has a number of weaknesses. This includes the still poor implementation when it comes to support for Android apps. Some apps don’t stay active when you click in another window. Again, some apps only work in full screen. And I can’t even install a number of Android apps because they are not available on Chromebooks in the Google Play Store. Not to forget the inevitably poor support for mouse control.
Every now and then it becomes noticeable how much Chrome OS is still in its infancy. Google has offered a browser with a tab function for many years, but the integrated file manager does not. You can’t even rename multiple files at once. Some corners are missing to really be an all-round operating system like Windows and macOS. If your focus is on the Internet or browser, then the simplicity of Chrome OS in everyday life is a dream.
Conclusion: Lots of Chromebooks, fair price
Lenovo offers us a really good working notebook, which unfortunately doesn’t solve the multimedia tasks as well as other tasks due to the weak webcam and the mediocre speakers. At a price of € 500, you can either either or, the Chinese just decided for a very good workmanship and great keyboard. The touchscreen is just as convincing, which I will now miss in everyday life.
The operating system is and remains the crux of the matter. Streaming, the Internet in general, documents (Google Drive / Docs) and similar areas of application have long ceased to be a challenge for Chromebooks of this type. With the Stadia streaming service, Chromebooks will soon be gaming PCs without any intention. Until then, you will be playing Android games, of which there are also good ones.
To conclude: Chromebooks are no longer just slow plastic notebooks for schoolchildren and students. The Lenovo Chromebook C340-15 proved that there is much more.