Editors’ note, Dec. 12: The Lenovo Yoga C930 has received an Editors’ Choice Award. The original review, published on Dec. 11, follows.
Back in August, Lenovo announced it would use the Yoga name that’s become synonymous with convertible laptops for premium models of all kinds, including a Chromebook and a regular clamshell laptop. The Yoga C930 is in fact a two-in-one laptop however, and the follow-up to the generally awesome Yoga 920. It should not to be confused with the dual-screen Yoga Book C930 which is interesting, but considerably less awesome.
A signature design piece of past premium Yoga models since 2014 was the watchband-style 360-degree hinge that helped reduce the thickness of the convertible laptop. That hinge has been replaced with a 360-degree sound bar hinge that is eminently more useful than a slightly thinner body (and it still looks cool). There are a couple of other extras that improve usability and performance remains impressive for its size. It is, perhaps, the best ultraportable two-in-one at the moment. But it ain’t cheap.
The C930 currently starts at around $1,149, £1,199 in the UK and AU$2,399 in Australia direct from Lenovo. My $1,400 system is available at Best Buy, and while that’s not cheap, you’re paying extra for the slim, attractive design and premium features. If you care more about components than looks, there are less expensive options such as the Yoga 730 or, if you need more ports and storage, Dell’s Inspiron 14 5000 two-in-one. But if you’re cool with the price, the Yoga C930 is totally worth it.
Lenovo Yoga C930
|Price as reviewed||$1,400|
|Display size/resolution||13.9-inch 1,920×1,080 touch display|
|CPU||1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U|
|PC Memory||12GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz|
|Graphics||128MB Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Networking||802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless; Bluetooth 4.1|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home (64-bit)|
That hinge tho
It’s pretty rare to come across a laptop with speakers that are actually worth using, especially a laptop as thin as the Yoga C930. As a two-in-one, the C930 has a 360-degree hinge that makes it possible to turn it from a laptop into a tablet. Adding more function to the form, Lenovo worked with Dolby to turn that hinge into a rotating sound bar.
The hinge speakers are paired with another set of downward-firing speakers at the front edge of the keyboard to bolster the overall sound. This also means that regardless of the position you’re using the screen in, you get clear audio. However, they do sound a bit thin until you apply some Dolby Atmos magic to them.
A preinstalled Dolby Atmos app lets you quickly tune the audio for whatever you’re listening to — music, movie, game, voice — or you can set up three personal profiles or set it to Dynamic and let the software do the guesswork. Turning on Atmos adds the punch most laptops this size are missing. You’ll still want good headphones or external speakers for thumping bass, but for general listening to music or watching videos, this setup works really well.
A pen with parking
Lenovo added active pen support to the Yoga 920, but most configurations didn’t include a pen. If you did get a pen, Lenovo included a clunky, better-than-nothing holder that fit into the sole USB-A port on the laptop and, when stowed, the pen would block the power button.
The Yoga C930, like the company’s high-end ThinkPad X1 Yoga, not only comes with an active pen, but has a garage in the back right edge of the body. The pen has 4,096 points of pressure sensitivity with little to no discernible lag. It charges in its garage and it’s always paired and ready to be used.
The pen is comfortable for its size, but it is short and slender. Using it for extended periods might cause your hand to cramp (at least that’s what happened to me), but having a pen handy, charged and ready outweighs the small size. If you plan to use it for more than just quick sketches or jotting notes, you might want to invest in one of Lenovo’s full-size pens.
I use my laptop’s web cam once or twice a month. The rest of the time I keep a small sticker over it to block it. That’s not so much to protect me from hackers, but from accidentally seeing myself on my screen under bad florescent lighting. However, if privacy is a concern for you, Lenovo’s trickled down another key feature from its X1 Yoga: A privacy shutter.
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