Last year’s Lenovo Chromebook C330 was a breath of fresh air in the budget market, but its successor misses the beat just a bit. After spending some time with the Lenovo Chromebook C340, I think the last generation was better. Here’s why.
What’s good about the C340? Like last year, Lenovo is killing it in the hardware department. The C340 is mostly plastic on the bottom, but it has a metal lid this time around, which makes the machine feel just a bit more premium. It’s nice to have the colors of the two materials match perfectly, too.
The company has also opted to add some colors this time around. I’ve been using the Sand Pink model, which is nice, but I wish it was also offered in the gorgeous Dark Orchid color from the Lenovo S340. If pink isn’t your cup of tea, there’s a Platinum Grey variant also available, though it is a bit difficult to get your hands on.
On the interior, there’s an 11.6-inch display that is solid, but unchanged from the previous year. The bezels are still way too big if you ask me, but the panel itself is fairly bright and relatively sharp, considering its 1366 x 768 resolution. The touch responsiveness is great, too. I don’t really have any requests for the next generation, aside from thinning out the bezels and using up that extra space with a bit more screen.
As is usually the case with Chromebooks, battery life is also great on the Lenovo C340. I can easily squeeze 10 hours out of a charge on the C340 which, given its size, makes it a great multi-day laptop for me for quick sessions of use. Charging is quick and easy, too, with a USB-C port on each side.
Speaking of ports, there’s a fairly generous allotment. There’s two full-size USB-A ports, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot as well.
Unfortunately, though, that’s where the good starts to dwindle.
One of the biggest disappointments for me has been the keyboard. Lenovo traditionally makes good keyboards and the C330 was solid as well, but the C340 feels like a step down. The keys themselves feel very cheap, with mushy feedback, but they also have random clicks underneath that make me think crumbs somehow got inside. The keyboard also seems to miss inputs from time to time. If you’re a fast typist, you’ll likely find an occasional missing letter or space that the keyboard simply didn’t register. It’s extremely frustrating.
The speakers are another sore point on this machine. Put simply, they’re atrocious. You’ll want to limit the use of these speakers if you can, because they’re not loud, and at their peak volume, they sound rough.
The biggest problem with the Lenovo Chromebook C340, though, is definitely the performance. Lenovo switched from an ARM-based processor from Mediatek to an Intel Celeron processor in the C340.
Intel chips are usually the way to go, but the Celeron processor isn’t as quick as the ARM chip was. Even with just three or four tabs open, an ongoing Spotify stream will start skipping or even stop as tabs have to reload from time to time. For its cost, this isn’t completely awful, but it’s frustrating, given that last year’s C330 didn’t give me the same issues with an almost identical workload. Despite continued improvements, Android apps typically work better on ARM as well, which is another downside of this switch.
Overall, I think the Lenovo C340 is a decent machine, but I’m quicker to recommend the company’s C330 Chromebook from last year. Not only is it a bit more affordable, but the performance is a bit better as well. The only caveat is that the older model also won’t be updated as long. The Lenovo C340 Chromebook, on the other hand, will keep getting updates through 2026.
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