Tech review: Lenovo Yoga C940 is a premium multimedia powerhouse

Lenovo’s Yoga C940 convertible laptop oozes quality from every pore.

It has a heft and a solidity that speak of premium materials and craftsmanship. Clad in handsome dark grey, it resists my best efforts at bending its metallic chassis. At 1.35kg, it is fairly lightweight for a 14-inch convertible that can switch between laptop and tablet forms.

Further cementing my positive impression is the ease of opening it.

A slight protrusion at the top of the screen houses the Web camera and is handy for opening the lid. This camera cannot be used to unlock the laptop via facial recognition – you use the fingerprint sensor for unlocking.

The hinge is tuned perfectly such that I could open the lid with one hand. This hinge also accommodates a Dolby Atmos-supporting soundbar which, when the Yoga is used as a clamshell notebook, is positioned such that the speakers are angled directly at the user.

The hinge rotates slightly when you fold the Yoga to one of its other usage modes. In tent mode (keyboard facing down), for instance, the soundbar fires downwards, bouncing the audio off the desk. The soundbar is supplemented by two other speakers at the front bottom lip of the laptop.

Unsurprisingly, the Yoga’s speakers sound much better than those on the average notebook. While they sound strained at maximum volume, they are fuller than the norm and complement the Yoga’s excellent 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) screen well.

The screen looks sharper than most displays and is relatively bright, with a maximum brightness of 500 nits. But its glossy finish leads to a fair amount of glare and reflection, especially in a well-lit environment.

The Vesa-certified DisplayHDR screen supports the proprietary Dolby Vision high-dynamic-range (HDR) format available from streaming service Netflix for selected content. While these videos look brighter on the Yoga than on other laptops, the screen cannot match the vibrant visuals from a good HDR TV set.

The keyboard surprises with its tactile feel, despite the Yoga’s slim profile. The touchpad is large enough for multi-touch gestures and feels very smooth.

In a nod to its convertible form, the Yoga comes with a bundled stylus that is very responsive with little lag. But it is too slim for comfort, though its petite size means it can be garaged within the Yoga’s chassis in a slot at the rear.

There are only three ports – two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a USB Type-A port. The former are used to charge the laptop and connect to external displays via a bundled dongle with HDMI and VGA connectors.

With its bright and high-resolution display, I am not surprised that the Yoga lasted only about five hours in the video-loop battery test, which sets the screen to maximum brightness. But most users should get more uptime since they are unlikely to watch videos at this brightness.

At $2,899, my review set is the more expensive of the two variants available here. It has a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 chip, 16GB of system memory and a 1TB solid-state drive (SSD). The Core i5 model ($2,189) has a 256GB SSD, 8GB of memory and a full-HD display. It lacks support for the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard, unlike the higher-end version.

FOR

– Premium build

– Great for multimedia entertainment with 4K screen and excellent speakers

– Tactile keyboard

AGAINST

– Pricey

– Screen too reflective

SPECS

Price: $2,899

Processor: Intel Core i7-1065G7 (1.3GHz)

Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics

RAM: 16GB DDR4

Screen size: 14 inches, 3,840 x 2,160 pixels

Connectivity: 2 x Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, audio jack

Battery: 60 watt-hour

RATING

Features: 4.5/5

Design: 5/5

Performance: 4.5/5

Value for money: 3.5/5

Battery life: 3.5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

ST Tech Editor’s Choice

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