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Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 review: it’s big but is it clever?

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 review

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Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630

Product Name: Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630

Product Description: A 15.6in convertible Chromebook with a stylish design, bags of power and a rotatable screen

Price: £650

Availability: OnlineOnly

  • Build quality & design
  • Speed & battery life
  • Value for money

Summary

Lenovo gets almost everything right with this powerful Chromebook, with our only question being whether you’ll get enough from the tablet format.

Overall
4.2

Pros

  • Premium design
  • Good keyboard and screen for the money
  • Supremely fast

Cons

  • Unwieldy as tablet
  • Expensive for a Chromebook

It’s a truth so universally acknowledged that it’s become a cliché: if you’re on a limited budget, or simply looking for a stress-free laptop, Chromebooks are a fantastic alternative to Windows machines. With the Yoga Chromebook C630, Lenovo is going big in every which way – and as you’ll see in this review.

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630: what makes it so great?

lenovo yoga chromebook c630 review

It seems odd to say this of a laptop costing around £600, but this is a premium machine. While the underside of the base is plastic, everything else is metal; every time you pick up this laptop, you’ll feel that you’re using something of top quality.

And, as the Yoga in its name gives away, this is a 2-in-1 convertible. So, if you want to use it as a gigantic tablet then you can. Even if you only use the touchscreen in laptop mode, it’s useful to drag pages when web browsing and if you want to install Android apps.

Then you have the sheer horsepower on show. A Core i5 and 8GB of RAM are a solid combination in Windows 10, but they make a Chromebook feel like it’s wolfed down a dozen espressos.

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630: dull stuff that’s still useful to know

The model I’m testing includes 128GB of storage, of which just under 100GB is available for local files. Obviously, Google’s aim is for you to store most files in Google Drive (and, for two years, you get 100GB of storage for free), and with a microSD slot on the right-hand side, storage shouldn’t be an issue.

Lenovo doesn’t exactly lavish you with other ports. There’s a single USB-A port, which sits on the left-hand side next to a USB-C charging port and 3.5mm audio jack.

Switch over to the right and you’ll find a “proper” USB-C port – one that can be used for charging, transferring data and connecting an external display – along with a Kensington lock slot, volume rocker and power button. (I did say this was dull stuff that’s still useful to know.)

Finally, for this section, let’s talk battery life. Lenovo promises around ten hours of life, but this is with the screen at a low setting: in my experience, with the screen set at medium, you can expect around eight hours.

How pleasant is the Yoga Chromebook to use?

Let’s start with the screen, which is a bright, 15.6in Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) panel. It isn’t top, top quality, with average colour coverage, but a glossy panel adds punch to colours. I was also surprised by its colour accuracy, with measurements that put more expensive laptops to shame.

For a laptop of this price, it’s about as good as you can expect. (Note I include detailed measurements at the foot of this review.)

It’s a similar story with the keyboard: an above-average effort, but not top drawer. For example, it’s reasonably quiet to type on (although there is some clatter) and there’s just enough feedback on the keys to make each press satisfying. A backlight means you can use it in dark conditions, and the layout is impeccable. Think big Enter, Shift and spacebar keys. Still, it falls short of the best Lenovo ThinkPads for overall quality.

The touchpad may not be as important but it’s excellent; generously sized, responsive and it reacts well to gestures.

So how pleasant is the Yoga Chromebook to use? In a word: very.

Can the Yoga Chromebook entertain?

lenovo yoga chromebook c630 review

There are two main things that count in the Yoga Chromebook’s favour when it comes to entertainment. The first is a half-decent set of speakers: vocals come through clearly, with its only big problem being a lack of bass. Hardly an unusual problem with laptops.

The second is that flexible screen. In cramped conditions such as a plane or train, it’s useful to move the screen closer by shifting the laptop into tent mode or flipping it so that the keyboard is face down.

The screen’s limitations means that you’ll struggle to see what’s happening in the darkest corners – I found myself pushing up the screen’s brightness to the maximum setting – but it’s good enough that you’ll enjoy whatever you’re watching.

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 review: verdict

This isn’t the perfect laptop, but you’re buying a lot of machine for the price. In its favour? The premium build and design, the large screen, the flexibility of the touchscreen display and its sheer speed.

Against it? There are better quality displays out there, and the fact it’s so large at 15.6in makes this a chunky machine. And finally, the price: you can buy perfectly good Chromebooks for £250. At £650 from John Lewis, this is an expensive machine.

Only you will know if the cons outweigh the many things in this laptop’s favour, but for me this ranks as one of the very best Chromebooks out there.

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5-8250U
Memory8GB
Storage128GB eMMC
Screen size and type15.6in touchscreen
Screen resolution1,920 x 1,080
Graphics chipIntel HD 620
USB ports USB-A, 2 x USB-C
Video outputs Via USB-C
Other ports/outputs 3.5mm audio jack, microSD
Wi-Fi2×2 802.11ac
Bluetooth4.1
Webcam 720p
Battery56Whr Li-polymer
Weight1.87kg
Dimensions 361 x 249 x 17.8mm (WDH)
Part code 81JX0003UK

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 test results

SPEED TESTS
Geekbench 4 single-core4,346
Geekbench 4 multicore7,563
MotionMark462
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 offscreen 1080p41fps
SCREEN TESTS
Max brightness254cd/m2
sRGB gamut coverage81.4%
Average Delta E1.55

READ THIS NEXT: Asus Chromebox 3 review – desktop replacement?

About the author

Tim Danton

Tim Danton is editor-in-chief of PC Pro magazine and has written about technology since 1999. He enjoys playing with gadgets, playing with words and playing tennis. Email tim@bigtechquestion.com

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  • I have one. I got it for $400 lightly used on eBay and I feel like I got away with theft. This thing FLIES. And therefore, I am happily using not only ChromeOS stufff, but Android and Linux stuff as well, and it is fantastic for software development. NO regrets here. It outruns a Pixelbook and Pixel Slate, two Chromebooks that Google itself does NOT certify for Linux development as the processors are fanless. I realize I’m not the ‘mainstream’ user, but I wanted desktop grade performance and I feel like I got it.

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