- Integrated Active Pen is housed and charged inside the laptop
- Sound-bar hinge is truly innovative
- Optional 4K display
- Webcam privacy filter
- Excellent battery life
- The pen is a little small for extended use
- There’s no option for discrete graphics
- No SD-card reader
The Yoga C930 is Lenovo’s follow up to last year’s awesome Yoga 920. The internals have been upgraded and the watchband-style hinge has been replaced with a 360-degree soundbar hinge. While the C930 is slightly thicker than the 920, it now houses a pen inside the body along with a very impressive battery, making this laptop one of the best 2-in-1’s on the market.
Hardware and Design
Lenovo began using the “Yoga” moniker several years ago to distinguish it’s lineup of laptops with 360-degree hinges, which allows the laptop to be used as a tablet, tent, viewer and of course, a laptop. Today, Lenovo applies the Yoga label to all of its premium laptops. The Yoga C930 is definitely a premium laptop, and is the successor to the very well-received Yoga 920. This year’s model comes with a refreshing take on the 2-in-1 design.
The fit and finish of the C930 is outstanding and we really loved the feel of the machined and polished aluminum chassis. At 0.57 by 8.9 by 12.68 inches, the C930 is able to fit a 13.9 inch screen into the same foot print as a 13-inch laptop (the 13 inch MacBook Pro measures 0.59 by 11.97 by 9.36 inches). At just over 3 lbs, it is a little heavier than most laptops in this class, but the extra heft gives the C930 a robust feel in the hand. Last year’s 920 was maybe one of the showiest laptops you could buy, and this year’s C930 is more understated. It comes in “Iron Grey” and “Mica”, and the clean and extremely functional design does give this laptop some modern flare.
Gone is the blingy watch-band style hinge of the 920, which has been replaced with a much more functional sound-bar hinge that contains two tweeters. The hinge’s design makes it so the speakers are always facing you no matter what mode you’re using the 2-in-1 in. Combined with the two “base” speakers on the bottom, the C930 has some of the best audio that can be found in an ultrabook.
Levono offers a host of configurations, including the latest 8th generation Intel i7 processors, up to 16GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage. Unfortunately, there’s no option for discrete graphics, as it only ships with Intel’s integrated graphics (Intel’ UHD Graphics 620). No one should mistake this for a gaming laptop.
There’s a decent selection of ports on the C930, which includes two USB-C Thunderbolt 3s, one USB 3.1 and a headphone jack. The only major disappointing omission is the lack of a SD-card reader.
It also features near and far-field microphones, which allows you to use Cortona or Alexa (which comes pre-installed), just like you would with your smart home speaker. Windows Hello is also featured on the C930, which has an upgraded fingerprint reader on the right side of the laptop just below the keyboard.
Around the back of the laptop, you’ll find the spring-loaded stylus which is housed inside the base of the laptop. The stylus features Wacom technology and a rechargeable battery that recharges when docked inside the laptop. It offers over 4,000 levels of pressure sensitivity and the writing experience is on par, if not better than the N-Trig stylus that is used with the Microsoft Surface Pro. The one drawback is the C930’s stylus’s size, which is just a little bit wider than the golf-pencil sized stylus featured in Samsung’s Note lineup.
The keyboard features backlighting and Lenovo’s smile-keys. Key travel is a little shallow, but the overall typing experience is very good. The trackpad is glass and utilizes Precision Drivers. The resulting scrolling experience is very good, and on par with the HP Spectre x360 and Microsoft Laptop.
The Yoga C930 has two display options, a full HD version and a 4K version. The HD display was decent, with good color reproduction and contrast, but lacked a little on brightness. We measured only 300 nits on the HD model, which is fine for using indoors, but it’s not going to work very well outside in sunlight.
The 4K display is great, but honestly only marginally better than the HD display. You can’t really tell the difference from the HD until you’re watching videos or editing photos. Both displays support Dolby Vision and HDR. However, brightness levels are much better on the 4K, where we measured around 400 nits. Another thing to keep in mind is battery performance; the 4K display requires more power and will cause you to have less battery life when compared to the HD version.
The 8th generation Intel Core chips and additional RAM configurations give the Yoga C930 a modest boost in performance. It beat out it’s predecessor, the Yoga 920 in the PCMark Benchmark and we saw decent improvements in the Cinebench 3D video-rendering tests.
Overall, performance was on par with other premium ultrabooks, and the C930 would be no slouch being compared to Apple’s latest lineup of MacBook Pros. The laptop never felt sluggish, even with multiple tabs open and video streaming.
While the C930 is perfect for productivity, its much less suited for gaming. Unless you’re ready to dial down the game’s settings, or hook up an external GPU, you won’t be playing much more than Microsoft Store games.
The Lenovo Yoga C930 features some of the best battery performance in an ultrabook. Lenovo says you can get 10 to 11 hours of moderate use, and for once, we actually believe the manufacturer. In our battery rundown test, which involves playing a looped video, the C930 lasted over 19 hours. Feel free to leave the charging cable at home.
The Yoga C930 base model starts at $1,199.99. Fully spec’d out models, with the 4K display, Core i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM will run you over $1,700. However, Lenovo and retailers like BestBuy often run sales, and we’ve seen the Yoga C930 selling for around $1,000 from time to time.
Competition in the convertible ultrabook field is fierce. There are strong entrants from Microsoft, HP, Asus and even Lenovo’s previous year’s model. Moreover, if you want to add in normal clamshell laptops, Apple has updated the MacBook Pro line and Microsoft is now making Surface Laptops as well.
However, Lenovo is not scared to innovate. They were the first company to take the foldable 2-in-1 design seriously, and their years of experience shows in the C930. Like I’ve said so many times, finding the right laptop really depends on the individual person. But we’re confident that the C930 will be the perfect laptop for a lot of people.
With the revamped sound-bar hinge, integrated stylus and sleek design, the Lenovo Yoga C930 2-in-1 convertible laptop improves on an already winning design, and is the best 2-in-1 on the market.