Do you remember a couple of years ago, when Apple released its MacBook Pro with only USB Type-C ports with the excuse that their device is too thin for a Type-A port? However, we all know what was the real case there. Today, you’re going to see how the that specific MacBook Pro should have looked like in order not to be able to house a USB Type-A.
Lenovo Ideapad S940 (or in some regions Yoga 940S) is an incredibly thin device – 12.2mm to be specific, and it weighs just 1.20 kg. Its screen size is a little unorthodox – 13.9″ and it has a 4K HDR display option that looks wicked. What impressed us more was actually, the fact that Lenovo has put a U-series processor, instead of a Y-series one. We can’t wait to dig inside this one. By the way, we’ve already reviewed a similar device, that we thought to be premium – the Ideapad S730. However, S940 certainly has more premiumness points.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-ideapad-s940-14/
Lenovo ideapad S940 14″ - Specs
All Lenovo ideapad S940 14″ configurationsSee all Lenovo Ideapad S940 review – one of the prettiest ultrabooks on the market configurations
What’s in the box?
Lenovo are offering this laptop in box-in-a-box type of packaging, where one of the boxes contains the charger, whereas the other is home to the laptop and the paper manuals.
Design and construction
Lenovo Ideapad S940’s body is entirely made out of aluminum. It feels extremely rigid, and despite the 1.20 kg weight and only 12.2 mm thickness, the laptop is not very bendy. Sadly, though, the thinness and low weigh have their toll on the usability of the device, but more on that later.
Surprisingly, the display can be opened with a single hand. Once again, the lid is not nearly as bendy as we expected (take the Acer Swift 5 (SF515-51T) for example). The display is astonishing to look at, since it has almost no bezels – all around it (not only on the sides as seen usually). Additionally, Lenovo has given room at the top in order to house the IR face recognition system. Frankly, it is not the fastest we’ve used and it needs some light in order to work properly.
Then, there is the keyboard of the device. Perhaps, the most exciting part of it is that the speakers are placed around it. Otherwise, the keyboard is probably one of the biggest setbacks of them all. Its key travel is crazy short (something like the butterfly keys of the MacBooks). At least it is somewhat clicky and has a backlight. Interestingly, the smaller – Ideapad 730S has a way better keyboard.
Beneath it, there is a very good quality touchpad that has great responsiveness and accuracy. Its clicks are strong and there is no unnecessary movement of the surface area.
As we mentioned, the speakers are placed on the base, so the bottom plate is only home to the ventilation grills, while the hot air escapes from the worst possible location – between the display and the laptop’s base.
This is probably the easiest section of the review to write, actually. All the I/O the Ideapad S940 offers is three USB Type-C ports and one headphone jack. Two of them (the two on the right) have Thunderbolt support and one 3.1 (Gen. 1), that also doubles as a charging port.
Disassembly and upgrade options
Lenovo Ideapad S940 is extremely easy to disassemble. It has only four Torx size T5 screws that hold it in place. After you remove them you just pull the rubber thingie above the vents and it pops off. What surprised us, however, is that the entire body is made out of aluminum.
The cooling solution comprises two extremely small fans, that look similar in size to the ones on the Dell XPS 13 9380. Additionally, there are two heat pipes, leading to two heatsinks on opposite sides of the laptop which should enhance the thermal efficiency. However, the job to cool down the CPU would be very hard.
Expectedly, the RAM is soldered, so no upgradability here, however, there is an M.2 slot of NVMe drives that you can switch.
Surrounding the M.2 slot is the 52Wh battery pack, that takes a substantial part of the inside area, leaving no free space – good job, Lenovo.
Lenovo Ideapad S940 has a 4K IPS panel, AUO B140ZAN01.3 (LEN8B91). Its diagonal is 14-inch (35.5 cm), and the resolution – 3840 х 2160p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 315 ppi, their pitch – 0.08 х 0.08 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 28 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).
Viewing angles are excellent. We offer images at different angles to evaluate the quality.
The maximum measured brightness is 445 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 430 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 11%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6700K – slightly colder than the 6500K temperature for sRGB. The average color temperature through the grey scale before profiling is 6850K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 31% Brightness (White level = 140 cd/m2, Black level = 0.11 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is excellent – 1270:1.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction of the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
The yellow dotted line shows Lenovo Ideapad S940′ color gamut coverage.
Its display not only covers 100% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard), but it is also reaching DCI-P3 territories, which makes it exceptionally vibrant.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
Below you can compare the scores of Lenovo Ideapad S940 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 28 ms.
Health impact – PWM / Blue Light
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
Lenovo Ideapad S940’s display is free of flickering across all brightness levels. This makes it comfortable for extended work periods, without harming your eyes in this aspect.
Blue light emissions
Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
This laptop’s display is exceptional. It has a 4K resolution IPS panel with very high maximum brightness, good contrast ratio, and non-flickering backlight. Additionally, it covers 100% of the colors in sRGB and spreads to the DCI-P3 color gamut. Moreover, with the help of our Gaming and Web design profile, the colors become accurate enough, for it to classify as Web design-compatible.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Lenovo Ideapad S940 configurations with 14″ AUO B140ZAN01.3 (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS panel.
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
THealth-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
Lenovo Ideapad S940’s speakers produce loud and good quality sound, thanks to its Dolby Atmos technology. Its low, mid and high frequencies are clear.
Drivers and utilities for the Ideapad S930 can be downloaded from here: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/ideapad-s-series-netbooks/s940-14iwl/downloads
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. The Ideapad S940 is equipped with a 52Wh battery pack.
During web browsing, we got 4 hours and 39 minutes, whereas in video playback the result was 10 minutes shorter.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
We use F1 2017’s built-in benchmark on loop in order to simulate real-life gaming.
Ideapad S940 is sold with the Core i5-8265U or the ore i7-8565U, both quad-core CPUs – the former works at 1.60-3.90 GHz, while the latter goes from 1.80-4.60 GHz.
Results are from the Cinebench 15 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
Expectedly, no discrete GPU here – it just wouldn’t fit inside the 12.2mm chassis. However, you get the good old UHD 620.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Temperatures and comfort
Max CPU load
In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.
Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Intel Core i7-8565U (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Lenovo Ideapad S940||3.01 GHz (B+67%)@ 90°C||2.40 GHz (B+33%)@ 92°C||1.81 GHz @ 79°C|
|Acer Swift 5 (SF515-51T)||1.98 GHz (B+10%)@ 61°C||1.98 GHz (B+10%)@ 71°C||1.68 GHz @ 77°C|
|Dell Inspiron 15 7580||2.23 GHz (B+23%)@ 72°C||2.22 GHz (B+22%)@ 73°C||2.24 GHz (B+24%)@ 73°C|
|Dell Inspiron 14 5482 2-in-1||3.12 GHz (B+73%)@ 96°C||2.56 GHz (B+42%)@ 94°C||2.01 GHz (B+12%)@ 76°C|
Ultimately, the biggest challenge of making a thin device is to cool it down. This is exactly what Lenovo had to battle in order to make decently performing laptop with this footprint. At the beginning of our stress test, we were able to get 3.00 GHz, which is great. However, the temperature was a little warmer than great – 90C. Then, at the second checkpoint, the frequencies dropped to 2.40 GHz, while the temps have risen to 92C. At this point, we should note that the fan was not very loud, but it was running from the beginning of the test. Despite, the stable results up to this point, the inevitable happened – the clock speeds went down to 1.81 GHz. At least this time, the temperature has gone down as well – 79C.
Comfort during full load
While 79C CPU Package temperature doesn’t seem as too much for a laptop at full load, keep in mind that we are talking about a super-thin all-aluminum device. This is the exact reason why the outer temps were off the charts! 55C around the “9” key makes the laptop hard to hold. We know it is inevitable when there is basically no free space inside the chassis, but for the purpose of the device – this is too much.
With the way it feels during handling and working with it, the Ideapad S940 is one of the best devices out there. Its sandblasted aluminum body and the astonishing screen to body ratio makes it stand out. Additionally, there is a small detail that makes the notebook look even more premium – the smartphone-like curved glass at the sides.
This glass holds an option of a 13.9-inch Full HD IPS panel or a 4K IPS display (AUO B140ZAN01.3). It has a maximum brightness of about 450 nits, has a great contrast ratio and it doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness levels. Color coverage is a strong point as well – not only it covers 100% of sRGB but it goes up to the DCI-P3 color gamut. Additionally, the colors are decently accurate, but when you apply our Gaming and Web design, it becomes accurate enough for Web design use. So, obviously, the 4K option looks great and the screen is bright and contrasty enough, however, it takes a huge toll on battery life. Keep in mind that the sub 14″ size of the panel is its great friend, however, the fact that the 4K one has 4 times the amount of pixels, doesn’t make the job easier for the battery.
Let’s talk numbers here – in browsing the web only, the 52Wh battery lasted four hours and a half, while video playback times were 10 minutes shorter.
One of the most important features of a laptop like this is actually its keyboard. Sadly, we would deem this one unacceptable. Its travel is very short and the feedback not very clicky. Its savior here is the backlight and by the way, don’t take this as a rant, of course, the travel is going to be clicky, after all the device is only 12.2mm thick… or at least this would be, if it wasn’t for the Ideapad 730S that has an incredible keyboard, despite the same size of the profile.
Last but not least, there is the heat management – as we mentioned a couple of times already, this form factor is not very thermally efficient. This results in high internal and external temperatures, although we are happy that Lenovo has at least tried and provides good short burst performance.
- Great bezel less design with curved edges
- All-aluminum body
- 4K IPS panel with great maximum brightness and 100% sRGB color coverage (AUO B140ZAN01.3)
- Doesn’t use PWM to adjust the brightness levels
- Goes below dE 2.0 when our Gaming and Web design profile is applied
- It has two Thunderbolt connectors
- One of the thinnest laptops yet (12.2mm)
- Questionable battery life (4K model)
- Its keyboard has shallow travel and mushy feedback
- Limited I/O
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-ideapad-s940-14/