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Lenovo Chromebook C630 Review: When high-end specs aren’t enough

We finally have highend Specs on a Chromebook, but what happened to the performance?

by Nicole on February 18, 2019
Lenovo Chromebook C630
Positives
  • Beautiful 4k display with great viewing angles
  • Solid premium build quality
  • High-end specs on a Chromebook
Negatives
  • The Chromebook struggled to open docs on more than one occasion. The performance was disappointing considering the solid specifications.
  • Display was beautiful but it was a little dim, I tried to turn it past it’s maximum brightness several times over the week I used it.
  • Battery life was not great, the 4K display would be the culprit.

Chromebooks tend to be cheap budget devices that have very average build quality and specifications. Lenovo is looking to change that with the Yoga C630 Chromebook with a beautiful 15.6” 4K display.

Design

The Yoga Chromebook C630’s offers a 2 in 1 form factor meaning you can put it in tablet mode or simply hide away the keyboard. The aluminum chassis feels premium, especially compared to the chunky plastic Chromebooks we’re used to. The C630’s top and side display bezels are reasonably thin, but the thick bottom bezel looks out of place.

At 14.2 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches and 4.1 pounds, the Yoga Chromebook C630 is big and heavy for a Chromebook, but it’s fairly portable given the large 15-inch display.

Ports

I would have liked a wider selection of ports on the Yoga Chromebook C630, given its large chassis, but it still has an adequate variety of inputs.

You’ll find a microSD card slot, a USB Type-C port and a Kensington lock on the right side of the laptop, near a volume rocker and power button.

The left side houses a second USB Type-C port (sadly, no Thunderbolt 3) for power, along with a USB 3.0 port and a headphone/mic combo jack.

Display

At 15.6 inches this 4K display was a beauty. The display was perfect most of the time, but in a bright room I often tried to turn up the brightness. The brightness is only 260nits which isn’t great, so we see why we were trying to turn it up.

It took us a little getting used to the keyboard on this Chromebook, the travel on the key’s was lower then expected at 1.4mm and the key’s seemed a little stiff and loud. We eventually got used to it, but with the large size they had to work with we did expect a bit more. The backlighting on the keyboard is nice and the touchpad worked perfectly, it even supports Chrome OS gestures.

Sound

The quality of the two bottom firing speakers is good, too bad it’s just not loud enough. Playing Spotify and Netflix I found I had to connect a Bluetooth speaker to fill the room. On one occasion where I didn’t have the speaker with me and 3 of us wanted to watch a video, we weren’t able to even though the device was 4 feet from us, we could bearly hear what was being said.

Battery Life

Having a 4K display will eat up your battery life and that’s the case on the Chormebook C630, we found that we only got about 6.5 hours of battery life with the display brightness at 50%. You should be aware that1080p model of the Yoga Chromebook C630 should provide significantly better battery life. We also expect the performance to improve with a lower resolution display.

Performance

We expected good performance considering it benchmarked so well, but we found that we would often have to wait for apps to open. We also often wondered if we had asked it to do anything. We went back more than once to try to open Google Docs again because we weren’t sure it recognized our request it was taking so long.

The Yoga Chromebook C630 scored a 9,072 on the Geekbench 4.1 an overall performance benchmark, which is very high for a Chromebook. The Intel UHD Graphics 630 inside the Yoga Chromebook C630 provides mediocre graphics performance. The Chromebook C630 displayed 5,000 fish at a choppy 23 frames per second on the WebGL Aquarium benchmark test, falling short of the Pixel Slate (28 fps) and the Chromebook 13 (40 fps).

Webcam

In a dimly lit room the camera is barely useable with lots of artifacts on your face and very little detail. In good lighting, I work adequately.

Price

If you’re not sold on 4K, Lenovo sells a 1080p model of the Yoga Chromebook C630 for $599 with an Intel Core i3-8130U CPU, 8GB of RAM and 64GB of flash storage. Upgrading to a Core i5-8250U CPU and 128GB of eMMC storage raises the price to $719. The maxed-out 4K model we reviewed costs $899 and packs a Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC flash storage.

Rating
Design / 8
Camera / 7
Sound / 4
Performance / 6
Battery Life / 7
Software / 8
Price / 8
Editor's Choice / 7
Hardware / 8
Display / 7.5
Lenovo Chromebook C630

A Chromebook is ideal for someone who does a lot of web browsing and works on documents. The Chromebook C630 attempts to provide premium specifications to a segment that's most known to be cheap and cheerful.

We have a large 15.6inch 4K display which means that when you’re done for the day you can binge your favorite Netflix series. However, we found the performance opening apps to be slow and the speakers were not loud enough for us to watch anything without a Bluetooth speaker. So if you’re using headphones most of the time and when you’re at home you’re able to connect to a speaker then this device will work for you. As long as you’re ok with waiting for the occasional program to open.

7.1
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