With its lid closed, the $2,000 Lenovo IdeaPad S940 laptop doesn't look too different from other premium ultraportable laptops from Asus, Dell and Acer. It's thin at 12.2 mm (0.5 in), it weighs less than 3 pounds (1.2 kg) and its metal chassis is understated and elegant.
But thin, light and metal are prerequisites for ultraportables and even the S940's components are standard at the moment for the category: Intel Core i5-8265U or i7-8565U processor, 8GB or 16GB of onboard memory, up to 1TB PCIe SSD and integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics.
It's not until you lift the S940's lid that things get more interesting. PC makers have been whittling away the top and side bezels around displays to make a laptop's footprint ever smaller -- usually at the cost of an awkwardly placed webcam or a big chin below the display. Lenovo somehow managed to avoid both, eliminating the chin while keeping the webcam above the screen.
On top of that, the glass curves around those bezels and disappears into the lid -- the world's first laptop with this curved glass. Not only does it look nice, but it makes the overall footprint far smaller than past 14-inch laptops, though.
The curved edges look nice, but really that's all they're there for -- to look nice. Lenovo does give you a few other reasons to consider this over the smallerand the thinner, lighter Swift 7, however. Not one of those reasons is a low price, though: The IdeaPad S940 starts at , but depending on promotions . The , and sells for AU$3,500 in Australia where it's called . It's , but the US starting price converts to roughly £1,200.
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: A UHD (3,840x2,400-pixel) DisplayHDR 400 with 500-nit brightness or a 400-nit FHD (1,920x1,080-pixel) Dolby Vision panel. I tested the higher-end UHD screen and it's gorgeous with excellent color and contrast for this class of laptop.
The 500-nit brightness helps considerably with glare off the glossy screen, though it's still not enough outdoors in the sun. I used it in a brightly lit coffee shop with no issue, for example. Well, maybe one issue. The hinge design doesn't let the screen open much beyond 120 degrees, so adjusting for your viewing position and lighting can be tricky.
As I mentioned earlier, despite the thin top bezel Lenovo put an infrared (IR) webcam above the display by creating a notch that, unlike the ones used on phones, goes up and not down. It's a clever solution that not only allowed the camera to be up top, but also doubles as a lip to make the lid easier to open.
The IR camera works for facial recognition sign-ins with Windows Hello. It's also paired with other sensors and Glance by Mirametrix attention-sensing AI software. If you connect the S940 to an external display -- it has two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports -- Glance detects whether you're looking at the laptop's display or the attached one, and will move open windows accordingly or automatically shift the pointer back and forth between the built-in and attached displays.