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Lenovo Yoga C630 Review – Beautiful with a limited use case

Qualcomm is making moves to enter the notebook market, the Yoga C630 is a beautiful but we have questions about the performance. Find out how the Snapdragon 850 with 8GB RAM stands up to real world usage.

by Nicole on January 2, 2019
Lenovo Yoga C630
Positives
  • Great build quality with aluminum chassis
  • Flexible 2 in 1 design
  • very long battery life
  • LTE connectivity
Negatives
  • Average keyboard with shallow travel on the key’s
  • The Snapdragon 850 with 8GB of RAM has a specific user profile, and that’s not a power user
  • Speakers are distorted at full volume and barely fill a medium size room. I preferred using it with an external speaker.

The way that we use our device is changing their form factors. Snapdragon-powered notebooks focus on a range of use cases that Intel doesn’t address quite as well. Long battery life and LTE connectivity make this device tailored for someone who is on the road.

Lenovo Yoga C630 Design

The flexible hinges rotate 360-degrees, they’re the style of hinge found on the original Yoga. They turn in 2 stages making them very stable on the rotation. They don’t take much pressure to rotate but are very stable when I touch the screen in tablet mode. What I like most about this form factor is being able to watch Netflix without seeing my keyboard. Hiding the work aspect of this device is important to me.

Lenovo has done great job reducing the bezel size without compromising webcam placement.

Lenovo Yoga C630 display

The Yoga C630’s 13.3-inch display is crisp, vivid, but not very punchy and I wish it were brighter. The whites also seem to have a little bit of a yellow tint, but if you head into Windows 10 calibration software, this will improve the white balance considerably.

I had no problems using the Yoga’s touchscreen in tablet mode to surf the web and mess around in 3D Paint.

Keyboard

Lenovo has a legacy of making excellent keyboards and the C630 doesn’t quite live up to my expectations. The travel of the key’s shallow, we know the device is thin (12mm) but the keys only have 0.9mm of travel. A typical notebook has between 1.5-22mm of travel, the Macbook has 0.7mm so we’re looking at essentially the same feeling when you press on the keys.

Apart from the travel the spacing of the key’s and the lay of the keyboard is perfect, we had no problems at all touch typing. After a week of use, I did get used to the slightly still keyboard and the shallow key’s. However, if this was my only device and I needed to do serious writing I’d want a keyboard with larger travel on the keys.

I would say this is a good enough keyboard for the deskless worker looking for a laptop. Someone whose primary job function doesn’t have them in front of the computer all day, but who would sit down to write a report or do a few hours of emails.

When we worked with the Yoga in our lap we never noticed it get warm at all.

Lenovo Yoga C630 Specifications

Processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 850

RAM

4 or 8GB LPDDR4X

Storage

128GB or 256GB UFC 2.1

Modem

4G LTE Snapdragon X20
1.2Gbps

Display size

13.3-inch (1920 x 1080) IPS Touchscreen

Graphics

Qualcomm Adreno 630

Ports

2x Type-C
Left port supports: USB 3.0/PD
Right port supports: USB 3.0/PD/DisplayPort
Audio Jack
SIM card holder

Biometrics

Windows Hello
Fingerprint reader

Audio

Stereo speakers

Battery

Up to 25 hours
61WHr

Dimensions

12.08 in x 8.52 in x 0.49 in
306.8 mm x 216.9 mm x 12.5 mm

Weight

2.65 lbs (1.2 kg)

At 2.65 lbs (1.2 kg), the Yoga C630 is on the lighter side for a 13.3-inch laptop, and its 12.5mm thickness (when closed) makes it one of the thinnest laptops around.

For ports, there are not a lot of options. There are two USB Type-C 3.0 ports for power, display and data, a headphone jack, and a power button. The ports work well enough, especially for charging, but you will need a Type-A adapter (not included) to use any older peripherals.

Lenovo Yoga C630 Performance

The Snapdragon 850 CPU a made-for-PC chip and it bare to the multitasking of my normal workday. Typically I have 15 Google Chrome web pages open and it’s not unusual for me to be playing some Netflix at 1080p on the side. The websites took a while to load the more I had open and I did notice a lag when switching between tabs.

I haven’t been as into Benchmarks over the last few years but in this case I think it’s really worth noting to see how the SoC stands up.

Benchmarks

3DMark Fire Strike
Tests notebook graphics performance
754
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited
Tests graphics and gaming performance using the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark.
26592
vs Core i5: 6239
brightness 222nits
Geekbench 4
3368
Geekbench 4.1
3561

The benchmarks show a very large gap in performance between the latest Snapdragon chip and Intel’’s Core series. The Yoga C630 has 8GB of RAM and if we focus in on the Geekbench 4 score you’ll see just how massive the gap is.

Scored 3,561 if you take a look at the Intel Core i5 (2018) processor you’ll see a score of around 12,000.

My work day often involves Adobe Lightroom and Premiere for some video editing. That wouldn’t be a possibility on the C630. This is due to the power of the processor but also because Windows 10 S limits your program choices to the Windows Store *cough Windows RT anyone?

Software

Windows 10 S limits you to apps from the Windows Store, if you want to download third party apps you’ll need to upgrade to Windows 10 Home.

Other applications has installed Phototastic Collage, the Candy Crush Saga, LinkedIn and Fitbit Coach. There is also Vantage, which should provide system updates and custom settings. However, during the review it simply had a user guide.

We love it for business trips but we haven’t fully committed to Microsoft’s ecosystem, I lean heavily on Chrome for seamless transitions between devices. This made moving from my Surface Book more of a hassle then I would have like.

Camera

We found the camera to do well in good lighting conditions but as soon as things even threaten to be low light the image gets a bit grainy.

Battery Life

We had no problem using the C630 on a 19 hour flight from Istanbul to Toronto. We were able to get 13.17 hours of screen on time and the device was on stand by between charges for another 10 hours.

Obviously having the WiFi off on the plane helps to extend the battery life, I expect that with WiFi or LTE on we’d loose about an hour of battery life. I did however have a 9 hour layover in the lounge where I used it for 5.5 hours with the WiFi on.

It’s a battery life beast!

Price

Starting at $850 the build quality seems totally justifiable, I just wonder how it will feel in a year of use if after 3 weeks we’re noticing the limits of its performance already.

Rating
Design / 8
Camera / 7
Sound / 7
Performance / 7
Battery Life / 9
Software / 7
Price / 7
Editor's Choice / 8
Hardware / 8.5
Display / 8
Lenovo Yoga C630

The build quality and versatile 2 in 1 form factor of the Lenovo Yoga make it an attractive device for a road warrior who needs long battery life. The performance is the biggest downfall, you’ll need to be someone who uses web applications, word and email. It’s likely that for most business professionals you’ll need a primary device should you want to external monitors and an aggressive number of tabs open at all times. The Windows S operating system is limiting in terms of the apps you have access to, but sticking to Edge as your primary browser does ease of the load on the machine versus using Chrome.

7.7
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