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Lenovo IdeaPad S540 Laptop Review: AMD or Intel? Lenovo gives consumers the choice and we compare both

Sebastian Bade, 👁 Andreas Osthoff, T. Hinum (translated by Alex Alderson), 07/10/2019

An understated multimedia laptop. The Lenovo IdeaPad S540 promises to be a compact 14-inch multimedia laptop. The device should have good battery life too, although there are some noticeable differences between the AMD and Intel models. We have both in for review to see which variant should be more worthy of your consideration. Read on to find out how the two models fare against each other and other comparable laptops in this detailed review.

Sub-€1,000 ($1,121) multimedia laptops have become ubiquitous by this point. Lenovo has attempted to distinguish the IdeaPad S540 from the chasing pack by offering the 14-inch laptop in two distinct variants. The IdeaPad S540-14IWL comes with an Intel CPU and NVIDIA GPU, while the IdeaPad S540-14API has an AMD APU and relies on integrated graphics instead of a dedicated solution. We have both in for testing to see whether these differences have any practical effect for the consumer.

Lenovo equips the IdeaPad S540-14IWL with a Core i5-8265U and GeForce MX250 GPU, which should combine to provide the 14-inch multimedia laptop with enough power even for some light video editing. By contrast, the IdeaPad S540-API comes with only a Ryzen 7 3700U APU, which integrates a Radeon RX Vega 10 GPU. The RX Vega 10 should offer more graphics performance than other integrated solutions such as Intel’s UHD Graphics 620 though. It is worth keeping in mind that the Ryzen 7 3700U and RX Vega 10 share their thermal design power (TDP) whereas the Core i5-8265U and GeForce MX250 do not. We will cover how this affects things in the Performance section of this review.

Both have 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, along with 512 GB of NVMe SSD. Likewise, they both come with a 14-inch IPS display that operates natively at 1080p with a matte finish.

Our review units are both student deals, making them cheaper than if you were to buy an equivalent configuration at MSRP. The S540-API, for instance, costs €749 (~US$840) through CampusPoint, but it retails for €799 (~$896). The S540-IWL is slightly cheaper at €699 (~$787), although this does not come with an OS pre-installed. Exact pricing for the S540-IWL is currently not available, although we suspect that it will cost about as much as its AMD powered sibling.

We shall be comparing the two S540 models against each other throughout this review. We will also pit our two review units against the ASUS VivoBook 14, HP Pavilion 14 and IdeaPad S340.

Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL (Ideapad S540 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce MX250 - 2048 MB, Core: 1519 MHz, Memory: 1752 MHz, GDDR5, Nvidia 217.88, Nvidia Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
, Dual-channel, 4 GB soldered & 4 GB SO-DIMM. Maximum of 20 GB
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, NV140FHM-N48, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Cannon Lake-U PCH-LP Premium
Storage
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, 512 GB 
, 512 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Cannon Lake-LP - cAVS
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm headphone jack, Card Reader: 4-in-1 card reader (MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC), 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 15.9 x 323 x 227 ( = 0.63 x 12.72 x 8.94 in)
Battery
48 Wh, 3145 mAh Lithium-Ion
Camera
Webcam: HD
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Dolby Audio Stereo, Keyboard: 6-row chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 65 W power supply, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.412 kg ( = 49.81 oz / 3.11 pounds), Power Supply: 358 g ( = 12.63 oz / 0.79 pounds)
Price
699 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

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Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API (Ideapad S540 Series)
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10 - 2048 MB, Core: 1401 MHz, Memory: 1200 MHz, DDR4 (shared Memory), Adrenalin 18.41.18
Memory
8192 MB 
, Dual-Channel, 4 GB fest verlötet + 4 GB Modul, max. 20 GB
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, LP140WFA-SPD1, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
AMD CZ FCH
Storage
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, 512 GB 
, 475 GB free
Soundcard
AMD Raven - Audio Processor - HD Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3,5mm Klinke, Card Reader: 4-in-1 media reader (MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC), 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Realtek 8821CE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 15.9 x 323 x 227 ( = 0.63 x 12.72 x 8.94 in)
Battery
48 Wh, 3145 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Dolby Audio Stereo, Keyboard: 6-Zeilen-Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 65-Watt-Netzteil, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.386 kg ( = 48.89 oz / 3.06 pounds), Power Supply: 350 g ( = 12.35 oz / 0.77 pounds)
Price
749 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo sells the IdeaPad S540 in three colours
Lenovo sells the IdeaPad S540 in three colours

The S540-14IWL and -14API are identically designed and come in a choice of three colours. Lenovo currently sells the S540 in dark blue, grey a sand-esque tone. Our review units are both dark blue, for reference.

Lenovo has decked the S540 in an aluminium case that looks elegant while also being sturdy. We can twist the chassis slightly if we apply a lot of pressure, but this should not be a problem in daily use. Likewise, we can cause the case to bow, but only if we press hard. The base plate and display lid are rigid too. We cannot get the display to deform either, which is good. Only the front of the display is not made of aluminium, with Lenovo opting for plastic instead.

Overall, our review units look premium, with their rounded corners adding to this aesthetic. The aluminium design reinforces this impression too, although the finish is prone to picking up fingerprints. We also like the narrow bezels, which give the S540 compact dimensions.

Our only gripe is with the hinges. On the one hand, they are tight enough to keep display teetering to a minimum, but they also prevent the device from being opened with one-hand. This is not a big issue in daily use, but it does reduce the premium feel of the device somewhat. The S540 does not have a maintenance flap either, but we shall cover this in greater detail in the Maintenance section of this review.

Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540
Lenovo IdeaPad S540 (Ryzen 7 3700U)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540 (GeFoce MX250)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540 (Core i5-8265U)

Size Comparison

The S540 weighs 1.4 kg (~3.1 lb), making it at least 100 g (~3.5 oz) lighter than all our comparison devices. The S540-14IWL is a few grams heavier than its AMD powered sibling, but this is only because of its dedicated GPU and additional cooling that it requires. The devices have identical dimensions though.

The VivoBook 14 is slightly more compact than the IdeaPad, but our review units are still pleasingly small at 32.3 x 22.7 cm (~12.7 x 8.9 in). Additionally, they are comparatively slim at just 15.9 mm (~0.63 in). By contrast, our comparison devices are between 2 mm and 3.1 mm (~0.08 - 0.12 in) thicker than our review units.

326.8 mm / 12.9 inch 225.5 mm / 8.88 inch 17.9 mm / 0.705 inch 1.7 kg3.73 lbs322 mm / 12.7 inch 212 mm / 8.35 inch 19 mm / 0.748 inch 1.5 kg3.22 lbs323 mm / 12.7 inch 231 mm / 9.09 inch 17.9 mm / 0.705 inch 1.6 kg3.53 lbs323 mm / 12.7 inch 227 mm / 8.94 inch 15.9 mm / 0.626 inch 1.4 kg3.11 lbs323 mm / 12.7 inch 227 mm / 8.94 inch 15.9 mm / 0.626 inch 1.4 kg3.06 lbs

Connectivity

The S540 has several ports, although there are omissions that prevent it from being futureproofed for the next few years. We like that Lenovo has included a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C port, but it is a shame that it does not support DisplayPort or Thunderbolt 3. Likewise, the device has only an HDMI 1.4b port, which limits to outputting in a maximum of 4K at 30 FPS. Moreover, having two USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports gives the device added flexibility, but we would have preferred a second Type-C port over the barrel-style power connector. Still, we will always welcome a full-sized SD card slot. The S540-14IWL and -14API have the same ports, for reference.

Left-hand side: Power connector, HDMI 1.4b, USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C, 3.5 mm headphone and microphone combined jack
Left-hand side: Power connector, HDMI 1.4b, USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C, 3.5 mm headphone and microphone combined jack
Right-hand side: SD card reader, 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports
Right-hand side: SD card reader, 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports
Rear: No connections
Rear: No connections
Front: No connections
Front: No connections

SD Card Reader

Our reference Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II SD card protrudes slightly from the side of our review units, but we were pleased to see it operating at USB-3 speeds. The two S540 variants are streaks ahead of the HP Pavilion 14 and VivoBook 14 here, whose card readers operate on the slower USB 2.0 standard.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL, Intel Core i5-8265U
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
82.9 MB/s ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
77.8 MB/s ∼94% -6%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE, Intel Core i7-8565U
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
71.6 MB/s ∼86% -14%
Average of class Multimedia
  (11.2 - 190, n=177)
57.9 MB/s ∼70% -30%
HP Pavilion 14-ce0002ng, Intel Core i7-8550U
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
39.6 MB/s ∼48% -52%
Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ-EB084T, Intel Core i5-8265U
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
17.3 MB/s ∼21% -79%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL, Intel Core i5-8265U
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
89.9 MB/s ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
88.2 MB/s ∼98% -2%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE, Intel Core i7-8565U
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
83.7 MB/s ∼93% -7%
Average of class Multimedia
  (10.2 - 253, n=174)
74 MB/s ∼82% -18%
HP Pavilion 14-ce0002ng, Intel Core i7-8550U
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
36.7 MB/s ∼41% -59%
Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ-EB084T, Intel Core i5-8265U
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
25.2 MB/s ∼28% -72%

Communication

A look at the Intel Wireless-AC 9560 module in the IdeaPad S540
A look at the Intel Wireless-AC 9560 module in the IdeaPad S540

Oddly, Lenovo has equipped our review units with different Wi-Fi modules. Both support Bluetooth 4.2, but the Intel Wireless AC 9560 in the S540-14IWL is between two and three times as fast as the Realtek 8821CE in the S540-14API depending on the test. Fortunately, you can switch the Realtek 8821CE for a better Wi-Fi card if you own the S540-14API. The S540 does not have an RJ45 Ethernet port, but you can connect one via a USB adapter should you need a wired connection.

We should also point out that Wi-Fi crashed on the S540-14API during our tests. This occurred while we tested its sibling too, which encountered no such problem. Hence, we can rule out a network issue. Wi-Fi worked against following a restart, so we suspect that this is a driver issue.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ-EB084T, Intel Core i5-8265U
Realtek 8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
616 (min: 569, max: 634) MBit/s ∼100% +5%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL, Intel Core i5-8265U
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
587 MBit/s ∼95%
Average of class Multimedia
  (44 - 949, n=140)
501 MBit/s ∼81% -15%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
Realtek 8821CE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
335 MBit/s ∼54% -43%
HP Pavilion 14-ce0002ng, Intel Core i7-8550U
RealTek Semiconductor, Device ID: C821
281 MBit/s ∼46% -52%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE, Intel Core i7-8565U
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S CNVi: WiFi
251 (min: 184, max: 354) MBit/s ∼41% -57%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ-EB084T, Intel Core i5-8265U
Realtek 8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
675 (min: 561, max: 737) MBit/s ∼100% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL, Intel Core i5-8265U
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
672 MBit/s ∼100%
Average of class Multimedia
  (46.1 - 949, n=139)
483 MBit/s ∼72% -28%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE, Intel Core i7-8565U
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S CNVi: WiFi
321 (min: 249, max: 389) MBit/s ∼48% -52%
HP Pavilion 14-ce0002ng, Intel Core i7-8550U
RealTek Semiconductor, Device ID: C821
287 MBit/s ∼43% -57%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
Realtek 8821CE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
276 MBit/s ∼41% -59%

Security

The S540 is not a business laptop, but security features such as fingerprint scanners and IR cameras have been increasingly making their way to consumer laptops. Lenovo has included a fingerprint scanner, which sits below the keyboard, and a webcam cover. The former is Windows Hello certified. Lenovo has also included a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0, but Microsoft requires all OEMs to do this if they plan to sell the device with Windows 10 pre-installed.

Accessories

The accessories included with the S540 are sparse at best. Our review units arrived with just a 65-W power supply and some set-up instructions along with the mandatory safety and warranty information.

Maintenance

The S540 does not have a maintenance cover, so you must remove the bottom plate to access any internal components. Lenovo secures the bottom plate to the frame with several screws and retaining clips, the latter of which we would recommend prying away with a flat plastic tool such as a spudger. The S540-14IWL and -14API have remarkably similar layouts considering that one has a dedicated GPU that should theoretically require additional cooling. Lenovo has equipped the devices with slightly different heatsinks, but they are broadly the same with dual heatpipes and fans. You can replace one 4 GB SO-DIMM module, with the other being soldered to the motherboard. Incidentally, you can add an M.2-2242 drive, remove the existing the M.2-2280 or change the Wi-Fi card should you wish to do so.

A look at the inside of the IdeaPad S540-13IWL
A look at the inside of the IdeaPad S540-13IWL
A look at the inside of the IdeaPad S540-14API
A look at the inside of the IdeaPad S540-14API

Warranty

The S540 comes with a limited 24-month manufacturer’s warranty. You may be able to purchase longer warranties from third-party retailers though. Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies & Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices

Keyboard

A look at the keyboard…
A look at the keyboard…
…and with the backlight enabled
…and with the backlight enabled

Lenovo equips the S540 with a 6-row chiclet keyboard regardless of which version you buy. The keys are grey, which cheapens the overall look of the device somewhat, in our opinion. Most keys measure 16 x 15 mm (~0.63 x ~0.6 in) with the exception of the function row, space bar and backspace, and have a concave shape, which is a common feature of Lenovo laptops.

The keyboard is pleasant to type on, with each key having a precise pressure point. The typing noise is muted too, although the key travel is too shallow for our liking. The spacebar is slightly louder than the rest of the keyboard, but not disturbingly so.

Overall, the IdeaPad S540 has an acceptable keyboard for a multimedia laptop. You may need some acclimatisation if you have not used half-sized vertical arrow keys before, but they should not affect most people as they have now become common among laptops. Lenovo includes two-stage keyboard backlighting too, for reference.

Trackpad

A look at the trackpad on the IdeaPad S540
A look at the trackpad on the IdeaPad S540

The S540 also has a sizeable trackpad, which we measure at 10.5 x 7.6 cm (~0.4 x 0.3 in). Lenovo has done a good job of maximising the space available between the keyboard and the edge of the chassis in our opinion. The trackpad surface is finished in a slightly lighter colour than the rest of the top case, with Lenovo adding a metallic edge to give it some added style. We encountered no issues either of the trackpads in review units during our tests. Both remained accurate into their corners and are large enough to perform multi-finger gestures with ease.

Lenovo integrates two mouse buttons with the trackpad too, which emit an audible clicking sound when pressed. The click is pleasantly quiet and should not disturb you or those around you while you are working.

Display

Sub-pixel array: S540-14IWL (NV140FHM-N480)
Sub-pixel array: S540-14IWL (NV140FHM-N480)
Sub-pixel array: S540-14API (LP140WFA-SPD1)
Sub-pixel array: S540-14API (LP140WFA-SPD1)
The S540-14WL suffers from noticeable backlight bleed
The S540-14WL suffers from noticeable backlight bleed
Whereas the S540-14API does not
Whereas the S540-14API does not

Lenovo equips the S540 with a 14-inch matte IPS display that operates natively at 1,920x1,080. The similarities end there with our review units though, as Lenovo has equipped them with different panels. The S540-14IWL, for instance, gets 15% brighter than the one in the S540-14API and gets noticeably dimmer too. The latter is still tied for second place with the VivoBook 14 with an average maximum luminosity of 257 cd/m², but we expect to see displays that can achieve at least 300 cd/m². Both displays have comparable black values and contrast ratios, although the one in the S540-14API has the edge here. Likewise, it is 3% more evenly lit than the one in the S540-14IWL.

Moreover, the display in the S540-14IWL suffers from backlight bleed, which looks like a grey haze as demonstrated in the photo to the right. Additionally, the device uses pulse-width modulation (PWM) to regulate display brightness. This can cause headaches and eye strain for some people, with the frequency at which the display flickers being low enough to cause issues for PWM sensitive people. Our AMD powered review unit had no issues with either, for reference.

317
cd/m²
305
cd/m²
308
cd/m²
304
cd/m²
316
cd/m²
297
cd/m²
281
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
280
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
NV140FHM-N48
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 317 cd/m² Average: 300.8 cd/m² Minimum: 5 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 318 cd/m²
Contrast: 1129:1 (Black: 0.28 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.3 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 4.8
ΔE Greyscale 2.4 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
58.3% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 37.6% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.05
251
cd/m²
248
cd/m²
247
cd/m²
266
cd/m²
271
cd/m²
254
cd/m²
257
cd/m²
265
cd/m²
255
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
LP140WFA-SPD1
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 271 cd/m² Average: 257.1 cd/m² Minimum: 24.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 273 cd/m²
Contrast: 1004:1 (Black: 0.27 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.8 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 4.2
ΔE Greyscale 6.3 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
58.3% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 36.9% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.49
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL, Intel Core i5-8265U
NV140FHM-N48, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
LP140WFA-SPD1, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE, Intel Core i7-8565U
LG Philips LP140WFA-SPD1, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
HP Pavilion 14-ce0002ng, Intel Core i7-8550U
BOE072C, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ-EB084T, Intel Core i5-8265U
AU Optronics AUO403D B140HAN04.0, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Response Times
12%
13%
-14%
4%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
39.6 (21.6, 18)
38.8 (21.2, 17.6)
2%
36 (20, 16)
9%
40 (21, 19)
-1%
40 (19, 21)
-1%
Response Time Black / White *
32 (18, 14)
24.8 (14.8, 10)
22%
27 (16, 11)
16%
31 (18, 13)
3%
29 (17, 12)
9%
PWM Frequency
352.1 (99)
200 (90)
-43%
Screen
-17%
-14%
-13%
13%
Brightness middle
316
271
-14%
260
-18%
239
-24%
267
-16%
Brightness
301
257
-15%
250
-17%
223
-26%
257
-15%
Brightness Distribution
88
91
3%
87
-1%
88
0%
91
3%
Black Level *
0.28
0.27
4%
0.29
-4%
0.27
4%
0.2
29%
Contrast
1129
1004
-11%
897
-21%
885
-22%
1335
18%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.3
6.8
-28%
6.29
-19%
5.3
-0%
3.79
28%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
18.5
14.2
23%
14.77
20%
10.03
46%
8.18
56%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.8
4.2
12%
4.51
6%
3.64
24%
4.71
2%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.4
6.3
-163%
4.65
-94%
5.85
-144%
1.49
38%
Gamma
2.05 107%
2.49 88%
2.73 81%
2.45 90%
2.48 89%
CCT
6644 98%
7845 83%
7331 89%
7169 91%
6659 98%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
37.6
36.9
-2%
37
-2%
38
1%
38
1%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
58.3
58.3
0%
58
-1%
59
1%
59
1%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-3% / -13%
-1% / -10%
-14% / -13%
9% / 12%

* ... smaller is better

IdeaPad S540-14IWL: 58.3% sRGB colour space coverage
IdeaPad S540-14IWL: 58.3% sRGB colour space coverage
IdeaPad S540-14IWL 37.6% AdobeRGB colour space coverage
IdeaPad S540-14IWL 37.6% AdobeRGB colour space coverage
IdeaPad S540-14API: 58.3% sRGB colour space coverage
IdeaPad S540-14API: 58.3% sRGB colour space coverage
IdeaPad S540-14API 36.9% AdobeRGB colour space coverage
IdeaPad S540-14API 36.9% AdobeRGB colour space coverage

The displays differ on DeltaE deviations too, although neither perform well, with only the greyscale deviation of the S540-14IWL being at ideal levels. However, we only achieved the latter by calibrating the display, as it seems that Lenovo does not factory calibrate panels for the S540. You can download our calibrated ICC profiles in the boxes above our comparison table. Both devices have equally unimpressive colour space coverages though, with the S540-14IWL only edging the S540-14API in AdobeRGB with a 0.7% larger coverage.

Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL

CalMAN: Grayscale - uncalibrated
CalMAN: Grayscale - uncalibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker - uncalibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker - uncalibrated
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - uncalibrated
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - uncalibrated
CalMAN: Grayscale - calibrated
CalMAN: Grayscale - calibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker - calibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker - calibrated
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - calibrated
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - calibrated

Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API

CalMAN: Grayscale - uncalibrated
CalMAN: Grayscale - uncalibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker - uncalibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker - uncalibrated
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - uncalibrated
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - uncalibrated
CalMAN: Grayscale - calibrated
CalMAN: Grayscale - calibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker - calibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker - calibrated
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - calibrated
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - calibrated

The S540-14IWL is slightly easier to use outdoors than its AMD sibling thanks to its brighter display, but it still looks washed out in bright sunlight. Both devices have matte panels though, which help diffuse reflections from bright sunlight and indoor lights.

Using the IdeaPad S540 outside in the sunshine
Using the IdeaPad S540 outside in the sunshine
Using our review units outside in overcast conditions
Using our review units outside in overcast conditions

Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
32 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 14 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 82 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
39.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21.6 ms rise
↘ 18 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 45 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (39.7 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 352.1 Hz ≤ 99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 352.1 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 99 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 352.1 Hz is relatively high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering. However, there are reports that some users are still sensitive to PWM at 500 Hz and above, so be aware.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9365 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
24.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14.8 ms rise
↘ 10 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 40 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
38.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21.2 ms rise
↘ 17.6 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 41 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (39.7 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9365 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Both laptops have stable viewing angles too, although the S540-14IWL looks less cloudy at obtuse angles than the S540-14API does. We experienced no brightness or colour distortions with either display though, so you should have no problems using either device in daily use.

Viewing Angles: IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Viewing Angles: IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Viewing Angles: IdeaPad S540-14API
Viewing Angles: IdeaPad S540-14API

Performance

Both the S540-14IWL and S540-API come with modern quad-core processors. As we mentioned earlier, the former has an Intel Core i5-8265U CPU, while Lenovo has opted for an AMD Ryzen 7 3700U for the latter. Both processors are powerful enough for most everyday tasks, although the inclusion of a GeForce MX250 in the S540-14IWL theoretically gives it an edge over its AMD powered sibling in GPU-heavy tasks such as video editing or gaming. The S540-14IWL also has an Intel UHD Graphics 620 integrated GPU at its disposal, although this falls far short of the Radeon RX Vega 10 that AMD incorporates within the Ryzen 7 3700U.

One downside to the AMD platform is its RAM management. While it has 8 GB of DDR4 RAM like the S540-14IWL, it assigns 2 GB of it to the RX Vega 10 GPU, limiting the system to just 6 GB of RAM. The UHD Graphics 620 Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU Review - Benchmarks and Specsdoes not present the same limitation, while the GeForce MX250 has 2 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM, so it does not compromise system performance like the RX Vega 10 does in the S540-14API.

Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWiNFO
DPC latencies
Task Manager

IdeaPad S540-14API

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWiNFO
DPC latencies
Task Manager
 
 
 

Processor

Intel Core i5-8265U

The Core i5-8265U is well-known around here, having featured in numerous devices since its release almost a year ago. The Whiskey Lake generation CPU has a 1.6 GHz base clock, but it can utilise Intel Turbo Boost to reach up to 3.9 GHz across all cores. OEMs set the maximum time that the CPU can boost for, with it being largely dependent on the effectiveness of the cooling system used.

Intel also sets a TDP of 15 W, but OEMs can configure this up or down should they wish to do so. The Core i5-8265U can peak at 40 W too, but it generally consumes around 22 W under load.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700U

By contrast, AMD only released the Ryzen 7 3700U in January. We have also only tested it in the HP Pavilion 14 and HP Envy x360 13. The Zen+ APU has a 2.3 GHz base clock that it can boost up to 4.0 GHz. Likewise, AMD refers to the APU as having a 15-W TDP, but OEMs set this. The Ryzen 7 3700U in our review unit peaks at 30 W, for instance. However, it can only temporarily maintain this before dropping back to 25 W. After around 6 minutes of sustained load, it throttles further to 22 W, having reached its STAMP power limit. The Core i5-8265U and Ryzen 7 3700U basically match each other, at least on paper.

However, the Ryzen 7 3700U can execute fewer instructions per cycle (IPC) on a single-core than the Core i5-8265U can, a problem that has plagued AMD processors for years. However, the former only trails the latter by around 4% in the Cinebench R15 Single 64Bit benchmark, which is an improvement on previous generations of AMD and Intel processors.

The Ryzen 7 3700U comes into its element in multi-threaded applications though, with it scoring 13% more in CB R15 Multi 64Bit than the Core i5-8265U in the S540-14IWL and 8% more than the same CPU in the VivoBook 14. The Ryzen 7 3700U is still way off the Core i7-8565U in the IdeaPad S340 though. Our two S540 review units are about 10% apart in CB R20 too, with the Core i5-8265U leading in the single-core benchmark and trailing to the Ryzen 7 3700U in the multi-core benchmark.

The S540-14API also performs more consistently than the S540-14IWL under sustained load, as we found out by leaving CB R15 Multi 64Bit running on a loop for about 30 minutes. The Core i5-8265U in the latter throttles heavily after one benchmark run-through, dropping from 613 points to 543 points by the third benchmark. By contrast, the Ryzen 7 3700U only starts throttling when it reaches its STAMP power limit, which happened after the fourth run-through with our review unit. Even then, CB R15 Multi 64Bit scores gradually reduce rather than plummet as they do with the S540-14IWL, before stabilising at between 634 and 640 points after the eighth benchmark.

Overall, the Ryzen 7 3700U offers better and more consistent multi-core performance than the Core i5-8265U does. However, Intel still has the edge in single-core tasks over AMD. Please see our CPU benchmarks page for more information on the Core i5-8265U and Ryzen 7 3700U. You can compare the performance of the two processors with numerous others too.

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Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel Core i5-8265U: Ø548 (543.22-613.69)
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel Core i7-8565U: Ø654 (578.9-760.2)
HP Pavilion 14-ce0002ng Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel Core i7-8550U: Ø512 (505.84-527.4)
Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ-EB084T Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel Core i5-8265U: Ø503 (492.9-621.35)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U: Ø640 (634.34-662.55)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
Intel Core i7-8565U
175 Points ∼100% +15%
HP Pavilion 14-ce0002ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
166 Points ∼95% +9%
Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ-EB084T
Intel Core i5-8265U
161 Points ∼92% +6%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (111 - 164, n=28)
155 Points ∼89% +2%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
152 Points ∼87%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
146 Points ∼83% -4%
Average of class Multimedia
  (36 - 201, n=366)
128 Points ∼73% -16%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
Intel Core i7-8565U
760 Points ∼100% +27%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
675 (min: 643.4, max: 674.64) Points ∼89% +13%
Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ-EB084T
Intel Core i5-8265U
623 Points ∼82% +4%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
600 (min: 548.41, max: 619.74) Points ∼79%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (457 - 750, n=30)
597 Points ∼79% 0%
HP Pavilion 14-ce0002ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
527.4 (min: 505.84, max: 527.4) Points ∼69% -12%
Average of class Multimedia
  (73 - 1550, n=382)
486 Points ∼64% -19%
Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
401 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (325 - 403, n=10)
391 Points ∼98% -2%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
366 Points ∼91% -9%
Average of class Multimedia
  (84 - 469, n=14)
346 Points ∼86% -14%
CPU (Multi Core)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
1506 Points ∼100% +10%
Average of class Multimedia
  (160 - 3293, n=15)
1405 Points ∼93% +3%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
1367 Points ∼91%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (1103 - 1564, n=10)
1348 Points ∼90% -1%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
7975 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (7705 - 7975, n=4)
7880 Points ∼99% -1%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
7769 Points ∼97% -3%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1011 - 9435, n=512)
4450 Points ∼56% -44%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
27244 Points ∼100% +7%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
25361 Points ∼93%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (18924 - 25361, n=4)
21959 Points ∼81% -13%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1968 - 45795, n=512)
11997 Points ∼44% -53%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
Intel Core i7-8565U
43069 Points ∼100% +29%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
33485 Points ∼78%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (12842 - 34055, n=19)
30877 Points ∼72% -8%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
27500 Points ∼64% -18%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1895 - 52403, n=175)
25860 Points ∼60% -23%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Multimedia
  (598 - 23050, n=179)
1887 ms * ∼100% -66%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
1285.1 ms * ∼68% -13%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (851 - 1245, n=19)
1173 ms * ∼62% -3%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
1139.5 ms * ∼60%
HP Pavilion 14-ce0002ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
1138.7 ms * ∼60% -0%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
Intel Core i7-8565U
730.3 ms * ∼39% +36%
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2 - 4k Preset
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
4.7 fps ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
4.69 fps ∼100% 0%
Average of class Multimedia
  (0.46 - 7.56, n=16)
4.59 fps ∼98% -2%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (3.9 - 4.8, n=10)
4.38 fps ∼93% -7%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
3.9 fps ∼83% -17%
Blender 2.79 - ---
Average of class Multimedia
  (466 - 8409, n=15)
1667 Seconds * ∼100% -110%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (769 - 959, n=10)
845 Seconds * ∼51% -7%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
793 Seconds * ∼48%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
792.9 Seconds * ∼48% -0%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
703 Seconds * ∼42% +11%
7-Zip 18.03
7z b 4
Average of class Multimedia
  (4569 - 30851, n=11)
18154 MIPS ∼100% +3%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
17606 MIPS ∼97%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
17606 MIPS ∼97% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
16931 MIPS ∼93% -4%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (9237 - 18802, n=11)
16155 MIPS ∼89% -8%
7z b 4 -mmt1
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
4193 MIPS ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
4193 MIPS ∼100% 0%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (3780 - 4195, n=10)
4073 MIPS ∼97% -3%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1454 - 4746, n=11)
4070 MIPS ∼97% -3%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
3638 MIPS ∼87% -13%

* ... smaller is better

IdeaPad S540-14IWL

Cinebench R10
Cinebench R10
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R20
Cinebench R20
Octane V2
Octane V2
Mozilla Kraken 1.1
Mozilla Kraken 1.1
 
 
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
25361 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6604 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6102
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
19418
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6527
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
7975 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.88 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 32Bit
66.94 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 32Bit
5.88 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
6.45 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
65.6 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 32Bit
1.66 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
152 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
91.15 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
600 Points
Help

IdeaPad S540-14API

Cinebench R10
Cinebench R10
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R20
Cinebench R20
Octane V2
Octane V2
Mozilla Kraken 1.1
Mozilla Kraken 1.1
 
 
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
27244 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
7998 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4776
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
18041
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
7856
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
7769 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.67 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 32Bit
45.91 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 32Bit
6.94 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.63 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
44.45 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 32Bit
1.53 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
146 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
49.97 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
675 Points
Help

System Performance

Both devices performed well in system performance benchmarks such as PCMark 10 too. The Samsung PM981 SSD with which Lenovo has equipped both review units ensures that they outscore most of our comparison devices, although the lack of dedicated GPU and slower Wi-Fi card in the S540-14API generally leaves it trailing the S540-14IWL by around 10% in PCMark 10.

Overall, both the S540-14IWL and -14API operated smoothly in daily use. We experienced no lags or stutters during our tests either.

PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Average of class Multimedia
  (1001 - 7161, n=97)
3727 Points ∼100% +2%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
GeForce MX250, 8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3637 Points ∼98%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
  (3604 - 3637, n=2)
3621 Points ∼97% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3501 Points ∼94% -4%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
GeForce MX230, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
3344 Points ∼90% -8%
Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ-EB084T
GeForce MX230, 8265U, Kingston RBU-SNS8180DS3512GJ
2685 Points ∼72% -26%
Productivity
Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ-EB084T
GeForce MX230, 8265U, Kingston RBU-SNS8180DS3512GJ
6755 Points ∼100% +2%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
GeForce MX250, 8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
6654 Points ∼99%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
  (6604 - 6654, n=2)
6629 Points ∼98% 0%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
GeForce MX230, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
6373 Points ∼94% -4%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1407 - 8020, n=98)
6167 Points ∼91% -7%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5952 Points ∼88% -11%
Essentials
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
  (8264 - 8394, n=2)
8329 Points ∼100% +1%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
GeForce MX250, 8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
8264 Points ∼99%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
GeForce MX230, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
8222 Points ∼99% -1%
Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ-EB084T
GeForce MX230, 8265U, Kingston RBU-SNS8180DS3512GJ
7981 Points ∼96% -3%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2891 - 9829, n=98)
7508 Points ∼90% -9%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
7312 Points ∼88% -12%
Score
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
GeForce MX250, 8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4192 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
  (4190 - 4192, n=2)
4191 Points ∼100% 0%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
GeForce MX230, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
4011 Points ∼96% -4%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1144 - 5469, n=98)
3953 Points ∼94% -6%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3829 Points ∼91% -9%
Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ-EB084T
GeForce MX230, 8265U, Kingston RBU-SNS8180DS3512GJ
3764 Points ∼90% -10%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
GeForce MX230, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
5133 Points ∼100% +3%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
  (4965 - 5223, n=2)
5094 Points ∼99% +3%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
GeForce MX250, 8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4965 Points ∼97%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4839 Points ∼94% -3%
HP Pavilion 14-ce0002ng
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SanDisk X600 SD9SN8W-128G
4456 Points ∼87% -10%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2213 - 5651, n=280)
4300 Points ∼84% -13%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
GeForce MX250, 8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4220 Points ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3993 Points ∼95% -5%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
  (3603 - 4220, n=2)
3912 Points ∼93% -7%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
GeForce MX230, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
3641 Points ∼86% -14%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1371 - 4693, n=301)
3383 Points ∼80% -20%
HP Pavilion 14-ce0002ng
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SanDisk X600 SD9SN8W-128G
3379 Points ∼80% -20%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4220 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5959 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4965 points
Help

Storage Devices

A look at the 512 GB Samsung PM981 in our review units
A look at the 512 GB Samsung PM981 in our review units

As mentioned in the preceding section, Lenovo has equipped our review units with 512 GB Samsung PM981 SSDs. The drive is one of the fastest that OEMs currently use in their devices, as demonstrated by the results in our comparison tables. The PM981 outshines all its competitors, averaging between 24% and 340% faster transfer speeds in AS SSD. The S540-API averaged 5% faster transfer speeds than the S540-14IWL, but this is within a margin of error and does not reflect an issue with the latter.

If 512 GB is not enough storage, then you swap it for a higher capacity M.2-2280 drive. Alternatively, you could use the empty M.2-2242 slot, although this only operates at PCIe 3.0 x2, which is half the speed that the M.2-2280 slot does.

Please see our HDD/SSD benchmarks page for more information about the PM981 and how it compares against other drives.

Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL, Intel Core i5-8265U
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE, Intel Core i7-8565U
WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
HP Pavilion 14-ce0002ng, Intel Core i7-8550U
SanDisk X600 SD9SN8W-128G
Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ-EB084T, Intel Core i5-8265U
Kingston RBU-SNS8180DS3512GJ
Average Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
 
AS SSD
5%
-24%
-340%
-272%
-13%
Copy Game MB/s
736.27
546.51
-26%
111.46
-85%
1003 (547 - 1584, n=37)
36%
Copy Program MB/s
350.42
206.06
-41%
80.65
-77%
436 (206 - 713, n=37)
24%
Copy ISO MB/s
1133.97
934.1
-18%
135.24
-88%
1699 (917 - 3259, n=37)
50%
Score Total
3955
5316
34%
3255
-18%
570
-86%
782
-80%
3950 (2348 - 5316, n=50)
0%
Score Write
1645
2992
82%
1383
-16%
120
-93%
153
-91%
1760 (147 - 2992, n=50)
7%
Score Read
1526
1564
2%
1241
-19%
301
-80%
411
-73%
1455 (820 - 2125, n=50)
-5%
Access Time Write *
0.028
0.04
-43%
0.027
4%
0.845
-2918%
0.4
-1329%
0.0903 (0.026 - 2.52, n=50)
-223%
Access Time Read *
0.04
0.047
-18%
0.086
-115%
0.394
-885%
0.432
-980%
0.0501 (0.029 - 0.082, n=50)
-25%
4K-64 Write
1330.25
2716.39
104%
1112.53
-16%
46.82
-96%
87.19
-93%
1490 (96.2 - 2716, n=50)
12%
4K-64 Read
1271.04
1241.75
-2%
1038.17
-18%
221.79
-83%
325.38
-74%
1210 (530 - 1823, n=50)
-5%
4K Write
138.94
94.26
-32%
136.15
-2%
62.61
-55%
26.46
-81%
109 (1.76 - 142, n=50)
-22%
4K Read
61
47.69
-22%
44.47
-27%
31.49
-48%
36.4
-40%
50 (31.7 - 61, n=50)
-18%
Seq Write
1755.35
1813.13
3%
1345.48
-23%
110.07
-94%
392.72
-78%
1602 (487 - 2330, n=50)
-9%
Seq Read
1938.67
2749.45
42%
1582.61
-18%
481.4
-75%
487.61
-75%
1946 (1030 - 2806, n=50)
0%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Sequential Read: 1273 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1244 MB/s
512K Read: 617.9 MB/s
512K Write: 1826 MB/s
4K Read: 66.37 MB/s
4K Write: 156.9 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 458.1 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 363.8 MB/s

Graphics Card

As we have mentioned earlier, the S540-14IWL features a dedicated GPU, whereas the S540-14API relies on an integrated GPU instead. The former can also switch between its UHD Graphics 620 and GeForce MX250 thanks to NVIDIA Optimus to minimise power consumption during general and undemanding tasks. The process happens in the background and should have no impact on the day-to-day use of the machine.

The UHD Graphics 620 is powerful enough for light tasks such as streaming videos and can also play some undemanding or older games. The S540-14IWL switches to its GeForce MX250 when a game is started though, so you should not experience the UHD Graphics 620 handling games unless you force it to do so. The combination of a Core i5-8265U and GeForce MX250 helps the S540-IWL sit atop of our 3DMark 11 comparison table, with a whopping 25% lead over the S540-14API in second place.

By contrast, the S540-14API always uses its Radeon RX Vega 10 as it has no dedicated option. The RX Vega 10 is noticeably more powerful than the UHD Graphics 620, but it cannot compete with dedicated GPUs such as the GeForce MX250 in synthetic GPU benchmarks.

Please see our GPU comparisons page for more information about the GPUs covered here and how they stack up against other cards.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
4942 Points ∼100%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
  (3593 - 4942, n=11)
4415 Points ∼89% -11%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
3968 Points ∼80% -20%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
NVIDIA GeForce MX230, Intel Core i7-8565U
3582 Points ∼72% -28%
Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ-EB084T
NVIDIA GeForce MX230, Intel Core i5-8265U
3318 Points ∼67% -33%
Average of class Multimedia
  (352 - 20837, n=634)
2963 Points ∼60% -40%
HP Pavilion 14-ce0002ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
2945 Points ∼60% -40%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
3720 Points ∼100%
HP Pavilion 14-ce0002ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
3561 Points ∼96% -4%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
  (2977 - 3863, n=11)
3536 Points ∼95% -5%
Average of class Multimedia
  (337 - 16100, n=408)
2855 Points ∼77% -23%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
NVIDIA GeForce MX230, Intel Core i7-8565U
2729 Points ∼73% -27%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
2568 Points ∼69% -31%
Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ-EB084T
NVIDIA GeForce MX230, Intel Core i5-8265U
2369 Points ∼64% -36%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
23643 Points ∼100%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
  (20283 - 23748, n=11)
21984 Points ∼93% -7%
HP Pavilion 14-ce0002ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
19698 Points ∼83% -17%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
18581 Points ∼79% -21%
Lenovo Ideapad S340-14IWL-81N70056GE
NVIDIA GeForce MX230, Intel Core i7-8565U
17999 Points ∼76% -24%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2468 - 77755, n=413)
16879 Points ∼71% -29%
Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ-EB084T
NVIDIA GeForce MX230, Intel Core i5-8265U
15299 Points ∼65% -35%
SPECviewperf 12
1900x1060 Solidworks (sw-03)
Average of class Multimedia
  (4.41 - 70.7, n=30)
25.6 fps ∼100% +54%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
23.86 fps ∼93% +43%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
16.7 fps ∼65% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
16.67 fps ∼65%
1900x1060 Siemens NX (snx-02)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
8.77 fps ∼100% +318%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1.26 - 85.3, n=30)
8.1 fps ∼92% +286%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
2.1 fps ∼24%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
2.1 fps ∼24% 0%
1900x1060 Showcase (showcase-01)
Average of class Multimedia
  (8.5 - 71.6, n=30)
20.9 fps ∼100% +25%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
16.7 fps ∼80% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
16.66 fps ∼80%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
11.34 fps ∼54% -32%
1900x1060 Medical (medical-01)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
18.12 fps ∼100%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
18.1 fps ∼100% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
12.09 fps ∼67% -33%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1.35 - 32.7, n=30)
10.5 fps ∼58% -42%
1900x1060 Maya (maya-04)
Average of class Multimedia
  (3.01 - 83.5, n=29)
28.3 fps ∼100% +840%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
5.99 fps ∼21% +99%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
3.01 fps ∼11%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
3.01 fps ∼11% 0%
1900x1060 Energy (energy-01)
Average of class Multimedia
  (0.11 - 19.5, n=30)
5.87 fps ∼100% +444%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
1.08 fps ∼18%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
1.08 fps ∼18% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
0.8 fps ∼14% -26%
1900x1060 Creo (creo-01)
Average of class Multimedia
  (6.78 - 51.4, n=30)
24.6 fps ∼100% +131%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
16.26 fps ∼66% +53%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
10.63 fps ∼43%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
10.6 fps ∼43% 0%
1900x1060 Catia (catia-04)
Average of class Multimedia
  (7.02 - 78.4, n=30)
24.2 fps ∼100% +164%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
11.1 fps ∼46% +21%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
9.15 fps ∼38%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
9.15 fps ∼38% 0%
1900x1060 3ds Max (3dsmax-05)
Average of class Multimedia
  (23.9 - 97.4, n=7)
36.2 fps ∼100% +30%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
27.9 fps ∼77%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
27.9 fps ∼77% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
24.67 fps ∼68% -12%
SPECviewperf 13
Solidworks (sw-04)
Average of class Multimedia
  (3.69 - 68.3, n=5)
39 fps ∼100% +12%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
34.8 fps ∼89% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
34.75 fps ∼89%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
3.69 fps ∼9% -89%
Siemens NX (snx-03)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
18.43 fps ∼100% +203%
Average of class Multimedia
  (5.87 - 36.3, n=5)
15.5 fps ∼84% +155%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
6.09 fps ∼33%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
6.09 fps ∼33% 0%
Showcase (showcase-02)
Average of class Multimedia
  (11.3 - 44.5, n=5)
24.4 fps ∼100% +46%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
16.72 fps ∼69%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
16.7 fps ∼68% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
11.34 fps ∼46% -32%
Medical (medical-02)
Average of class Multimedia
  (7.96 - 22.8, n=5)
13.2 fps ∼100% +21%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
10.9 fps ∼83%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
10.9 fps ∼83% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
7.96 fps ∼60% -27%
Maya (maya-05)
Average of class Multimedia
  (27 - 120, n=5)
67.8 fps ∼100% +37%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
49.53 fps ∼73%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
49.5 fps ∼73% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
27.03 fps ∼40% -45%
Energy (energy-02)
Average of class Multimedia
  (0.48 - 11.8, n=3)
4.31 fps ∼100% +798%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
0.63 fps ∼15% +31%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
0.48 fps ∼11%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
0.48 fps ∼11% 0%
Creo (creo-02)
Average of class Multimedia
  (25.2 - 74.1, n=5)
44.4 fps ∼100% +66%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
26.72 fps ∼60%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
26.7 fps ∼60% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
25.18 fps ∼57% -6%
Catia (catia-05)
Average of class Multimedia
  (25.8 - 111, n=5)
49.4 fps ∼100% +88%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
30.21 fps ∼61% +15%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
26.3 fps ∼53% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
26.27 fps ∼53%
3ds Max (3dsmax-06)
Average of class Multimedia
  (23.3 - 71.3, n=5)
43.2 fps ∼100% +56%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX250
 
27.7 fps ∼64% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-8265U
27.65 fps ∼64%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
24.81 fps ∼57% -10%
3DMark 11 Performance
4950 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
64303 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
10508 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
3254 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
1689 points
Help

Gaming Performance

You would be forgiven for thinking that the GeForce MX250 breezes past the RX Vega 10 in games considering the gap between the GPUs in synthetic benchmarks, but our gaming benchmarks do not reflect this. Both are entry-level chips, so do not expect miracles from either S540 here.

Oddly, the S540-14API will only play games in 1,366x768, but we suspect that this is a driver issue, having experienced the same problem with our HP Envy x360 13 review unit. We had no problems with playing games at 1080p with the S540-14IWL, although the GeForce MX250 is only powerful enough to do so in older or undemanding titles.

Interestingly, only 1 FPS separates the GeForce MX250 from the RX Vega 10 in "The Witcher 3" at 1080p when set to ultra-graphics and with postprocessing switched on. Moreover, the two GPUs averaged the same lowly 10.2 FPS during our hour-long play through, during which we do not move the playable character. The S540-14IWL initially achieves slightly higher framerates than the S540-14API, but it cannot maintain this for the full hour.

The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
12 fps ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
11 fps ∼92% -8%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
19.8 fps ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
15 fps ∼76% -24%
1024x768 Low Graphics & Postprocessing
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
47.4 fps ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
43 fps ∼91% -9%
F1 2019
1920x1080 High Preset AA:T AF:16x
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
25 fps ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
18 fps ∼72% -28%
1920x1080 Medium Preset AA:T AF:16x
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
30 fps ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
21 fps ∼70% -30%
1280x720 Ultra Low Preset
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
66 fps ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
51 fps ∼77% -23%
Rocket League
1920x1080 High Quality AA:High FX
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
80 (min: 35, max: 113) fps ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
35.3 fps ∼44% -56%
1920x1080 Quality AA:Medium FX
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
109 (min: 43, max: 154) fps ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
62.5 fps ∼57% -43%
1280x720 Performance
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
176 (min: 41, max: 235) fps ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
106.5 fps ∼61% -39%
FIFA 19
1920x1080 High Preset AA:2x MS
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
42.9 (min: 22, max: 44) fps ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
33 fps ∼77% -23%
1920x1080 Medium Preset
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
45.7 (min: 24, max: 52) fps ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
44.5 fps ∼97% -3%
1280x720 Low Preset
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
74.1 fps ∼100% +43%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
52 (min: 34, max: 76) fps ∼70%
05101520Tooltip
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL GeForce MX250, 8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ: Ø10.2 (1-12)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ: Ø10.2 (9-11)

IdeaPad S540-14IWL

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 197.7105.696.937.6fps
Battlefield 4 (2013) 88686329.9fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 47.434.519.812fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 1189967.360.3fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 53.139.92117.5fps
Rocket League (2017) 17610980fps
Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) (2017) 57.328.423.218.7fps
Fortnite (2018) 14055.425.222fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 59.542.940fps
F1 2018 (2018) 65372616fps
FIFA 19 (2018) 5245.742.940.1fps
Anno 1800 (2019) 43.318.212.97.2fps
Rage 2 (2019) 32.621.219.418.9fps
F1 2019 (2019) 66302514fps

IdeaPad S540-14API

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 11021.3fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 431511fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 656136.233.4fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 44.416.413fps
Rocket League (2017) 106.562.535.3fps
Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) (2017) 37.51512.3fps
Fortnite (2018) 56.23315.5fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 25.419.417.9fps
F1 2018 (2018) 462418fps
FIFA 19 (2018) 74.144.533fps
Anno 1800 (2019) 32.9137.6fps
Rage 2 (2019) 25.111.87.3fps
F1 2019 (2019) 512118fps

Emissions

Fan Noise

If you like a quiet laptop, then the IdeaPad S540 will suit you well. Both of our review units run silently when idling, although they occasionally peak at 29.3 dB(A) during short bursts of load. We measured the fans reaching peaking at just under 35 dB(A) under sustained load too, which is still comparatively quiet. The S540-14API has a more pleasant fan curve in our opinion, with it averaging 2.5 dB(A) less than the S540-14IWL does under sustained load. Neither should bother you in daily use though.

Noise Level

Idle
29.3 / 29.3 / 29.3 dB(A)
Load