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Lenovo Yoga C930 review (i7-8550U, 16 GB RAM, UHD screen)

Lenovo Yoga C930 review (i7-8550U, 16 GB RAM, UHD screen)

This text is concerning the Lenovo Yoga C930, Lenovo’s top-of-the-line shopper convertible laptop computer and a follow-up of the favored Yoga 920 and 910 from earlier years.

It’s been obtainable available on the market for a number of months now, so we have been capable of check if Lenovo smoothed out the preliminary bumps with software program updates.

In comparison with the Yoga 920, the C930 will get a couple of fascinating updates, like a a lot improved speaker system or a silo for the included stylus, however its battery has misplaced a few of its measurement, not being that decisive shopping for issue of the earlier fashions. The superb construct, the IO and the bigger 13.9″ touchscreen are nonetheless right here, having carried on over generations, but the competitors has intensified on the top-end now, and the C930 may not have what it takes to be the suitable selection for a few of you.

We’ve spent three weeks with a last retail model of the Yoga C930, and gathered our impressions within the article under, with the robust elements and the quirks that you need to be conscious of earlier than taking the plunge.

Specs as reviewed

Lenovo Yoga C930-13IKB
Display 13.9 inch, 3840 x 2160 px, IPS, contact, shiny
Processor Intel Kaby Lake-R Core i7-8550U CPU
Video Intel UHD 620
Reminiscence 16 GB DDR4 (soldered)
Storage 1 TB SSD M.2 NVMe – Samsung PM981
IO Wi-fi AC (Intel 9260), Bluetooth Four.2
Ports 1x USB-A Three.zero, 2x USB-C Three.1 with Thunderbolt Three, mic/earphone
Battery
60 Wh, 65 Wh charger
OS Home windows 10
Measurement 322 mm or 12.68” (w) x 227 mm or Eight.94” (d) x 14.9 mm or zero.59” (h)
Weight Three.1 lbs (1.Four kg) + .77 lbs (.35 kg) charger and cables, EU model
Extras white backlit keyboard, fingerprint sensor, HD webcam with bodily cowl, DolbyAtmos quad audio system

Design and first look

For the primary time in a few years the top-series Yoga not makes use of that watchband design, which in all honesty was a wonderful piece of package, however took a fair-bit of area with out offering a lot in return. This time round Lenovo opted for a cut up bar-hinge that integrates the branding and a set of front-firing stereo audio system, making it some kind of laptop computer soundbar, and the enhancements in audio-quality are vital.

Actually, the Yoga C930 now packs 4 totally different audio system, two within the hinge and two extra on the underside, the place audio system have been often positioned on the earlier iterations.

Not a lot else has modified with this newer mannequin when it comes to construct or aesthetics. Metallic continues to be used for all the case, and the general development is sturdy and premium. This laptop computer is nevertheless nonetheless bigger and heavier than the competitors, on one hand as a result of it packs a bigger 13.9-inch display, whereas units just like the HP Spectre x360 or Asus ZenBook Flip UX362 solely get 13.Three-inch shows, but in addition because of these bezels across the display, particularly that thick chin on the backside. I hoped for a smaller footprint now that the watchband hinge is gone, however that didn’t occur. It’s additionally value mentioning that previously Yogas used to have huge 70+ Wh batteries which justified the additional weight, however that sadly is not the case with this era, that solely will get a 60 Wh battery.

For me, the C930 makes extra sense as a laptop computer, although it’s a convertible with a 360-degrees display and can be switched right into a pill. As a pocket book you’re not going to note the load or proportions as a lot. The truth is, this gadget sits sturdily on a desk because of its up to date backside rubber ft, will get a spacious palm-rest and an honest display doubled by wonderful sound and a webcam on the prime, with a discrete bodily privateness cowl. Even that massive chin truly helps with the ergonomics on this case, to some extent, pushing the display greater in entrance of your eyes.

You’ll principally want each palms to regulate the show although, because the hinge will get a bit stiff previous 90-degrees, with a purpose to maintain it in place, which it does superb; there’s nonetheless noticeable wobble when pocking on the display in laptop computer mode. On prime of that, the sharp entrance lip and lack of any crease make the method of gripping and lifting the display a bit awkward.

The inside edges are additionally sharp and bity, identical to on the earlier generations, and your wrists will really feel them in sure circumstances, however the giant palm-rest truly helps right here. Both method, I’d want extra blunt edges at the least on the entrance inside lip, even when that might in all probability translate in barely sacrificing the pristine aesthetics.

And there’s little question in my thoughts this laptop computer is a looker, in its easy, subdued means, and with the silver aluminum ending it’s additionally going to look spotless more often than not, doing an awesome job at hiding finger-oil and smudges. A darker grey variant can also be obtainable although, which I anticipate to need to wipe clear extra typically.

The IO hasn’t modified. It’s nonetheless quite minimalist, with out HDMI or a card-reader, however features a full-size USB-A slot and two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt Three, which ought to cowl all wants, albeit you’d have to purchase some adapters on the aspect. As a novelty for this yr’s era, the included pen truly will get an inside silo this time, which those that truly plan to make use of it’s going to drastically respect. That nevertheless took valuable inside area, and is probably the primary purpose why the battery is smaller now.

There are additionally some plastic caps on the edges and within the backside panels that I initially discovered exhausting to elucidate, however opening the laptop computer exhibits that the wi-fi antennae are hidden behind these. Bit bizarre of a placement, however I assume they needed to go this route on this in any other case all-metal pc.

Keyboard and trackpad

The Yoga 930 inherits the keyboard from the Yoga 920, and it’s simply not certainly one of my favorites. Remember I do sort for a dwelling although, so my expectations are a lot larger than the common consumer’s, and I additionally check tends of laptops annually and know what else is on the market.

The format is ok, in case you can look previous the small up/down keys and lack of devoted secondary HOME/END and so on. The keys have a brief stroke they usually simply really feel shallow to me, with a tough actuation level, so typing quick results in a good bit of errors. The truth that they’re completely flat, not barely concave as on different Lenovo laptops, doesn’t assist their trigger both, however my nit is nonetheless with the suggestions, as I usually recognize flat short-stroke keyboards.

That is additionally a bit noisy and may appeal to undesirable consideration in very quiet locations, and whereas I’m nitpicking, I’ll additionally point out that I don’t like white-backlit silver keys like those right here, as a result of the writing is relatively illegible with the illumination switched on. That’s not a problem for superior typers, however might be for the typical consumer. That’s additionally of no concern when you’re going to go for the darker grey variant of this laptop computer.

A spacious clickpad is positioned beneath the keyboard, barely indented into the body. It’s made by Synpatics, will get Precision drivers and a glass-surface, so feels snug to the contact and performs nicely with on a regular basis use, faucets and gestures. The bodily clicks are a bit stiff and clunky, however not more than on the typical laptop computer.

There’s additionally a finger-sensor simply beneath the arrow-keys, and it’s sadly the one biometrical choice out there, as you possibly can’t get IR cameras with this pc. Nonetheless, it’s quick and labored just about flawlessly throughout my time with this laptop computer, with out requiring greater than a mild contact. I’ve seen some individuals complaining about its erratic conduct on the boards, so you must check it out when you get your unit, Lenovo have had points with finger-sensors up to now and also you by no means know whenever you’ll draw a brief straw with at present’s quality-control .

Display

Talking of high quality management, let’s get to the display choices. Lenovo presents two 13.9-inch IPS contact variants for the Yoga C930, with  a FHD panel on the lower-end fashions and an UHD panel on the prime, the one we’ve got on out review-unit right here.

It’s not a nasty display, nevertheless it’s not what I’d anticipate from a premium pc in late-2018 early-2019 both, as it’s relatively dim at solely about 300-nits max-brightness.

On prime of that, our specific occasion suffered from light-bleeding and poor uniformity, with the lower-half considerably dimmer than the highest. I can’t inform whether or not retail variations will endure from comparable points, I haven’t discovered different particulars evaluations of UHD configurations of this laptop computer, nor complains on the boards, so there’s an opportunity the difficulty is remoted with out unit. Nonetheless, maintain and eye on this matter.

Right here’s what else to anticipate:

  • Panel HardwareID: LG Philips LGD0587/ LEN8B90 (LP139UD1-SPC2);
  • Protection: 99% sRGB, 74% NTSC, 78% AdobeRGB;
  • Measured gamma: 2.Three;
  • Max brightness in the midst of the display: 299 cd/m2 on energy;
  • Distinction at max brightness: 820:1;
  • White level: 6500 Okay;
  • Black on max brightness: zero.37 cd/m2.

The panel is pretty nicely calibrated out of the field, however you possibly can use our tweaked shade profile to deal with a number of the imbalances.

This display helps contact, in fact, an the Yoga C930 comes with an included pen. It’s an lively pen that fees when holstered into its devoted silo and gives 4096-levels of strain sensitivity, with a easy design, normal form and plastic tip. I discover it a bit brief and slippery to carry, however it’s in any other case very similar to the opposite such pens available on the market and extra snug to grip that the thicker choices. It does a good job for inking and sketching, however isn’t best for taking notes, because of its slight lag, just like different implementations you’ll discover on Home windows laptops with out specialised digitizers. I’ve seen different individuals claiming that is low-latency, however writing on glass has by no means felt just like the real-thing to me because of the slight, however perceivable, delay; besides maybe on the iPad Professional, that’s totally different.

As already talked about, a FHD display selection can also be obtainable for this laptop computer, and as you’ll see from this review, it’s not a lot totally different when it comes to brightness, distinction, colours and even uniformity. It’s nonetheless a less expensive choice, and also will assist with battery life.

Hardware and efficiency

Our review unit is the top-end configuration of the Yoga C930, with the Intel Core i7-8550U processor, 16 GB of RAM and a really quick 1 TB Samsung PM981 NVMe SSD.

Lenovo doesn’t supply this pc with Whiskey Lake hardware, however as you’ll see down under, that wouldn’t have made any real-life distinction even when it did.

Take into account that the whole lot besides storage is soldered on the motherboard, so whereas accessing the inside is easy after eradicating the a number of Torx screws the maintain the underside panel hooked up, you won’t have to to try this. Inside you’ll discover the cooling system, the battery, audio system and the pen’s holder mechanism.

So far as efficiency goes, this laptop computer deal with on a regular basis use and multitasking easily. The followers inside are lively on a regular basis although, and it does run a tad hotter than different units, as you’ll see within the subsequent part, however the efficiency is flawless.

Issues change a bit on the subject of extra demanding masses.

To begin with, we check the CPU’s efficiency in taxing masses by operating Cinebench R15 for 10+ occasions in a loop, switching Clever Cooling off and choosing Efficiency mode within the Lenovo Vantage app. Out of the field, the i7-8550U implementation stabilizes at round 2.1-2.2 GHz after a number of runs, which equates to a 14W TDP, temperatures of round 71-73 levels Celsius and a Cinebench rating of round 480 factors.

Undervolting the CPU helps enhance the conduct. Our pattern was solely secure at -90 mV, and crashed at -100 mV.

We reran the identical Cinebench loop on the -90 mV undervolted profile, which on this case interprets in frequencies of two.Three to 2.Four GHz and scores of round 530 factors, with comparable 14 W TDP and 71-73 levels Celsius limitations.

However what do these numbers truly imply?

Nicely, Lenovo has chosen pretty low TDP and thermal thresholds for this laptop computer, with a view to hold temperatures/noise at bay, which results in poorer high-load efficiency than on different ultraportables with comparable specs. For comparability, the XPS 13 stabilizes at round 85 levels Celsius and 23 W TDP, which interprets in scores of round 580-600 factors out of the field, so roughly a 20% achieve over the C930, whereas others stabilize at 15W TDP, however larger temperatures, so nonetheless run 5-15% quicker.

Efficiency with CPU+ GPU masses can also be restricted. We’re testing this by operating an older, however pretty taxing recreation: NFS: Most Needed, and as you’ll be able to see under, the GPU works pretty nicely stabilizing at round 1 GHz (down from its theoretical 1.15 GHz max speeds), however the CPU throttles shortly to only 1.2 to 1.5 GHz, which takes a toll on the expertise. And that’s on the undervolted profile, out of the field it’s going to wrestle much more.

In fact, these will solely matter when you’re planning on placing this laptop computer to some critical work. This isn’t a work-horse, however you may need to run some taxing software program, maybe edit some photograph/video, run your programming apps or perhaps a lighter recreation now and again, and based mostly on this review unit, the Yoga C930 is simply not the perfect ultraportable for such duties, sitting at about 10-20% behind the primary rivals.

So far as critiques go, right here’s what we obtained on our pattern. These outcomes aren’t dangerous, however as proven within the logs above, it’s additionally essential to understand that the C930’s efficiency degrades over time as warmth builds up, so these numbers may be considerably deceptive.

  • 3DMark 11: P2026 (Graphics: 1832, Physics: 6533);
  • 3DMark 13 – Hearth Strike: 1013 (Graphics – 1126, Physics – 6502);
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 380 (Graphics – 847, CPU – 2277);
  • PCMark 08: House Typical – 3023;
  • PCMark 10: 3757;
  • PassMark: Score: 3217, CPU mark: 8346, 3D Graphics Mark: 1005;
  • GeekBench Three.Four.2 32-bit: Single-Core: 3942, Multi-core: 13438;
  • GeekBench Four.1.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 4863, Multi-core: 14823;
  • CineBench R15 (greatest run): OpenGL 50.5677 fps, CPU 545 cb, CPU Single Core 166 cb;
  • x264 HD Benchmark Four.zero 32-bit: Cross 1 – 142.81 fps, Move 2 – 39.58 fps.

We additionally ran a number of the exams on the -90 mV undervolted profile, and right here’s what that result in:

  • 3DMark 13 – Hearth Strike: 1110 (Graphics – 1224, Physics – 8082);
  • GeekBench Four.1.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 4804, Multi-core: 16065;
  • CineBench R15 (greatest run): OpenGL 55.14 fps, CPU 580 cb, CPU Single Core 170 cb;
  • x264 HD Benchmark Four.zero 32-bit: Cross 1 – 163.25 fps, Move 2 – 37.05 fps.

All in all, my expertise with the Yoga C930 is on par with the earlier Yoga 910/920s, which have been wonderful daily-use machines as nicely, however struggled with efficiency in steady demanding chores.

Emissions (noise, warmth), Connectivity and audio system

The whole cooling implementation is answerable for this conduct, each the hardware and software program points of it. There are two followers inside this laptop computer and a heatpipe hooked to each of them, a reasonably primary implementation, however just like what different thin-and-lights are utilizing, together with the Dell XPS 13.

Nevertheless, as talked about within the earlier part, Lenovo opted primarily for decrease/temperatures and quiet followers on this system. In consequence, the 2 followers don’t spin very quick with taxing chores, the CPU solely hits about mid 70 levels Celsius and the underside shell solely hits temperatures of round low 40s, whereas the competitors reaches excessive 40s and even 50s, with louder followers. I can see why some may favor this route, however I for one would at the very least need some type of choice within the settings that might permit for elevated efficiency when wanted, with the related elevated noise/temps, alongside the power to modify to this extra tamed down profile for normal use.

And the factor this cooling system doesn’t deal with every day use as I’d need both. The followers are literally lively and audible just about on a regular basis, and the outer-shell reaches temperatures within the excessive 30s, whereas different thin-and-lights attain comparable and even decrease temperatures with passive cooling. Particulars under.

*Day by day Use – Netflix in EDGE for 30 minutes
*Load – enjoying Want for Velocity: Most Needed for 30 minutes

In conclusion, this cooling system is simply not good-enough imo for a premium late-2018 ultraportable. Ideally, such a pc ought to have the ability to run utterly quiet with day by day use on one hand, in addition to present wonderful efficiency on the opposite, even when that might include considerably noisier followers and better case temperatures. Lenovo went with the Let’s make all the things Quiet strategy Apple additionally tackle their merchandise, which I’m not a fan of. You on the the opposite hand may need no drawback accepting a 10-20% efficiency drop for quieter followers, it’s as much as you.

The connectivity is fairly good. Lenovo went with an Intel 9260 wi-fi chip, which proved quick and dependable, each proper close to the router and at 30+ ft with obstacles in between. Different laptops do nevertheless get quicker wi-fi with my setup, and embrace Bluetooth 5.zero. There’s additionally no wired Web and LTE, however that’s normal for such a thin-and-light shopper product.

Lenovo really aced the audio on this factor although. These aren’t essentially the loudest laptop computer audio system on the market, however they’re loud sufficient (about 80 dB at head-level), in addition to clear and punchy in any respect ranges. Having audio system in that sound-hinge signifies that you’ll all the time have at the very least a few of the sound coming straight at you, with out bouncing of any surfaces and with out distortions, and that makes an enormous distinction for on a regular basis use, when watching films or listening to music.

The digital camera system then again continues to be mediocre. It will get a discrete bodily cowl, which is nice for privateness, however the picture high quality is pretty poor and there’s no set of IR cameras, even when there would have been loads of area for it on that prime bezel.

Battery life

There’s solely a 60 Wh battery on the Yoga C930, down from the 70 Wh battery of the 920 and the 78 Wh battery on the 910, so the battery is not one in every of this laptop computer’s essential promoting factors. That’s not a small battery by any means, however it’s now solely on par with the competing HP Spectre X360.

The hardware is effectively carried out although, and whereas the UHD display takes its toll, this nonetheless delivers some good runtimes. Right here’s what to anticipate when it comes to battery life (we set the display at 40% brightness, which is ~120 nits):

  • 9 W (~6 h 30 min of use) – textual content modifying in Google Drive, Higher Battery Mode, display at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 9.Three W (~6 h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Higher Battery Mode, display at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 7 W (~ Eight h 30 min of use) – 4K fullscreen .mkv video within the Film app, Higher Battery Mode, display at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 7.2 W (~Eight h of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Higher Battery Mode, display at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 12 W (~5 h of use) – shopping in Edge, Higher Efficiency Mode, display at 40%, Wi-Fi ON.

Multitasking and shopping typically eats quick by means of the battery, so it is best to anticipate round Four-6 hours of day by day use, and about 6-Eight of video. The FHD display variant will final for about 5-7 hours in day by day use and about 10 hours with video.

Lenovo pairs the Yoga 920 with a 65 Wh USB-C charger. A full-charge takes about 2 hours, however there’s fast charging and it’ll refill from 10 to 50% in about 30 minutes and from 10 to 70+% in about an hour.

Worth and availability

The Lenovo Yoga 920 begins at $1250 within the US on the time of this publish (January 2019) for a Core i7-8550U configuration with Eight GB of RAM, a 256 GB SSD and the FHD IPS display.

Upgrading to 16 GB of RAM prices about $100 additional, the 512 GB SSD about $200 additional and the UHD display is one other $200 improve. Costs and configurations differ in different areas although.

I’d go for 16 GB of RAM if potential, given how the RAM is non-upgradeable and eight GB of RAM may show inadequate down the street, however I’d in any other case persist with the bottom mannequin and even improve the SSD myself, as Lenovo’s improve choices are costly. You may nevertheless discover good worth in different preconfigured variants with 512 GB or 1 TB SSDs, simply take a look at what’s obtainable on the time you’re studying this publish.

Comply with this hyperlink for up to date costs and configurations.

Last ideas

The Yoga C930 continues to be one of many higher premium 2-in-1s on the market, even on the time of this text, in January 2019, a number of months after its launch.

It checks plenty of the proper bins, with wonderful craftsmanship, nice and discrete seems to be, a reasonably good IO, newest hardware specs and fairly good battery life. It additionally will get an enormous touchscreen with pen help and wonderful audio system this time round.

However then there’s additionally the nevertheless half. If you would like a laptop computer for day by day use, films, searching and multitasking, right here’s what it is best to take note: this can be a bit heavier and bigger than the competitors, so pill use won’t be that snug, the display is just not that shiny or uniform, you’ll want adapters to hook up a monitor and the followers are lively more often than not, so this by no means runs really quiet.

However, should you’re on the lookout for a compact productiveness laptop computer with a convertible display, you’ll even have to think about these different elements on prime of these talked about above: efficiency in demanding masses is sacrificed to maintain temperatures and noise ranges at bay, the keyboard is moderately shallow and won’t cater to skilled typers and also you do get two full-bandwidth ThunderBolt Three ports with this pc, extremely helpful for hooking up peripherals, however no HDMI or SD-card reader.

The pricing and competitors also needs to be thought-about. The Yoga C930 was costly at launch, and nonetheless is as we speak, even when the worth has come down and also you may discover good worth in sure configurations. As for the competitors, nicely, there are a handful of different top-tier 2-in-1s on the market, however just a few play in the identical league: the HP Spectre x360, the HP EliteBook x360 and the ThinkPad X1 Yoga are amongst them. The previous is one other shopper laptop computer with very comparable traits and flaws, together with dim display choices and poor load efficiency, however smaller, lighter and extra reasonably priced, whereas the latter are nicer productiveness laptops with higher screens, improved efficiency and typing expertise, however on the similar time costlier in most areas.

All in all, I really feel that the premium 2-in-1 phase is missing nowadays in comparison with the superb supply of premium clamshell ultrabooks, which incorporates units just like the Dell XPS 13, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Microsoft Floor Laptop computer, Asus Zenbook UX392 or the Razer Blade Stealth. Hopefully that’s going to vary later in 2019, with the up to date X1 Yoga and a future Yoga C940, maybe based mostly on that wonderful Yoga S940 introduced at CES. One can solely hope.

That’s about it for our review of the Lenovo Yoga C930. The feedback part under awaits your suggestions and questions, so don’t hesitate to get in contact.

Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief of Ultrabookreview.com. I have been overlaying cellular computer systems because the 2000s and you will principally discover evaluations and thorough guides written by me right here on the location.