Stylus lives in an always-accessible slot • Latest Intel processors • Sleek design • Robust sound
A little on the heavy side • Limited ports • No dedicated graphics card
The Lenovo Yoga C930 is a 2-in-1 laptop with better-than-expected sound and the power to perform basic tasks, streaming, and web browsing.
Back in 2012, Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga 13 turned laptops upside-down. It introduced what the company called a “multi-mode” design that used a 360-degree hinge to connect the two pieces of a clamshell design.
Flash-forward six years, and multi-mode designs are everywhere. As for Lenovo, the Yoga C930 builds on the its previous notebooks with some core improvements.
A new hinge aims to fix what was less-than-stellar sound. It also boasts multiple smart assistants, the latest Intel processors, and new privacy features.
With a market now crowded with multi-mode devices from big names including HP, Dell, and Microsoft, Lenovo is hoping the C930 will convince you to go with the company that started it all.
A sleek aluminum clamshell
It’s 2018, and most laptops now fit a similar design mold, with a few flourishes: HP is trying out leather and Microsoft makes a matte black Surface. Lenovo’s new device has a premium feel with a sleek aluminum build.
I’ve been testing the Iron Grey model, but it’s also available in Mica. It’s not as light as a MacBook or previous Yoga models at 3.04 pounds, but it’s still convertible.
For previous Yoga owners or those familiar with the brand, you’ll immediately notice that the hinge is different. In previous models, Lenovo adopted a very premium watchband hinge. It shimmered in the light and looked fantastic. However, it didn’t add anything to the laptop — if anything it took up more space than was needed.
Lenovo swaps this for an aluminum hinge that still lets you switch modes, but also houses a speaker and stylus, which pops out when you push down.
As for peripheral support, the USB-C ports can both handle charging. It also has a USB-A 3.0 port and headphone jack.
Robust sound for a laptop this size
Thin laptops have generally not prioritized sound, usually because there’s not enough space for good speakers. The C930, however, delivers robust audio.
Thanks to the Dolby Atmos partnership, you can set different profiles and customize the sound experience a bit. By default, the dynamic profile is turned on and uses software to tune the audio experience. It does a decent job of presenting a clean mix, but if you’re an audiophile, you’ll enjoy the ability to personalize it and play with the equalizer.
8th generation Intel inside
Powering Windows 10 on the C930 is an eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor — yes, the latest Kaby Lake model. My test unit had a Core i7 processor with 12GB of RAM (which can be increased to 16GB).
Since it uses integrated graphics from Intel, gaming can be somewhat hit or miss. Fortnite running on ultra graphics was dropping frames, but a smaller online game like Farm Together ran pretty well.
Sadly, a standalone graphics card is not an option. Those looking for a computer that can handle tasks like light photo editing should be satisfied, but hardcore creatives should look elsewhere.
Utility, productivity, and basic browsing tasks ran quite smoothly. With Microsoft Edge, I had around 20 tabs open with Slack and Spotify running and never ran into a hitch. On Geekbench, my review model scored 4,738 for single-core performance and 15,249 for multi-core.
A crisp display
Lenovo offers two options: a Full High Definition (FHD) display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, and an Ultra High Definition (UHD) display with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160. The core technology is IPS (AKA in-plane switching), which is essentially an LCD or liquid crystal display with a touchscreen layer and Dolby Vision.
I used the base FHD display and it looked quite sharp, but, as there’s no anti-glare coating, there was a high level of reflection that made viewing in direct sunlight a challenge.
Core changes deliver a better experience
Lenovo hasn’t reinvented the wheel with the C930. It’s an iterative update to its flagship consumer laptop. However, and does make some strides.
An omnidirectional speaker in the hinge is a really smart move. Almost all work and basic play tasks will get more than enough power from eighth-generation Intel chips. Plus, a starting price of $1,399 makes this a viable entry-level laptop.
Sure, it won’t be as much of a conversation starter as a gold MacBook Air or a bezel-less XPS 13, but it’ll stream and perform basic tasks well, with impressive sound to boot.