Hands On: Lenovo Yoga C940
Modern premium laptops are not about processors or storage or screen size.
These machines are masterclasses in packaging to suit the demands of a set of users. Whether it is a road warrior, mobile marketer or an image conscious executive, the manufacturers need to put all the bits together to ensure that battery life, performance, appearance, and of course, price, are all kept within certain parameters.
When Lenovo brought out the Yoga line some years ago, it was taking advantage of advances in processors, RAM and cooling technologies that allowed new formats and packaging well beyond the usual clamshell designs.
Quickly establishing a reputation for well designed, nice to use and robust devices, the key feature was their versatility.
The Yoga C490 is an update to the C930, but boasts a tenth generation Core i7 CPU, updated RAM and solid state drives to make it a very solid performer in its niche, that yet manages to have a party piece to differentiate it from its own line and competitors.
The review model was a well spec’ed device, with the Intel Core i7-1065G7 working with 8.0GB of RAM (LPDDR4X 3733 LPDDR4X Soldered 3733MHz), sitting atop 512GB SSD storage (M.2 PCIe NVMe). An Intel Iris Plus GPU drives a 356mm (14.0″) UHD IPS Glare LED Backlight Narrow Bezel screen at 3840 x 2160 resolution, going up to a 4K VESA-certified DisplayHDR 400 option.
That all of this is packed into a slim, light and beautifully finished device is impressive. Especially as the 60Wh, 4 Cell Li-Polymer battery manages to keep it powered for good endurance, despite those vibrant screen options.
There is the full range of wireless connectivity, with up to 2X2 AX, and Wi-Fi 6 optional.
Also worthy of note is the included active pen. While searching for the power on button, which is an almost flush pusher on the right side of base, also revealed was the pen incorporated into the chassis at the back. This extends the versatility of the device, taking full advantage of Windows 10’s highly sensitive touch capacity.
However, none of these is the C940’s party piece.
The Yoga C940 folds completely back on itself for a pure tablet mode, or the now familiar tent mode, to stand for easy media consumption, and with infinite posing in between. However, the centre element of the design remains outwardly aimed throughout this manipulation. This is a clever thing as it is also the sound bar. Housing stereo main speakers, as well as woofers and tweeters, it means that high quality sound is aimed at the user regardless of the position of the device itself. It is stunning in its simplicity and yet obvious in the way that many innovations are after the fact.
A trade-off for such tight packaging is often ports, and the C940 is no exception. The port complement is 2 x USB-C (Thunderbolt3, PD, DP, USB 3.1 Gen 2), one USB-A (Gen 2) and a headphone/mic combo. There is no HDMI, or miniDisplay port. While the USB Type C ports can provide for these functions, the fact that there are only two of them still narrows options a bit.
As this device is aimed more at the consumer, or pro-sumer market, instead of the pure corporate end of things, it does not have quite the range of security implementations that one might get from a corporate device. As standard it comes with Windows Home, but the review model had been moved to the Professional version. But it does have an inbuilt web camera cover for privacy. However, the camera itself is not fully equipped to be able to implement the Windows Hello biometric features.
The Lenovo Yoga C940 is a wonderful device with innovative design elements that are likely to feature on a multitude of devices in the future. However, it does tend more towards the personal or consumer end of the market. If that fits your requirements, it is hard to beat in the segment.
Prices start from €1375.99.