Lenovo Yoga C630 WOS, where WOS stands for Windows On Snapdragon, belongs to a rather narrow circle of devices and, to be honest, not too lucky, at least so far. It will probably not be this specific model that radically changes the cards on the table, but it is the first that we have tried to make us really see the potential of the platform. Always on, always connected, great battery life. There are three promises that the Yoga C630 keeps at full, and it is not at all little. So let’s see the strengths and weaknesses of this original Lenovo convertible.
ZenBook S13it is a laptop that wants to amaze, and undoubtedly succeeds from the first impact. Elegant design, compact form-factor, and a screen that is “full screen”, thanks to 2.5mm edges and a record screen / body ratio of 97%. But it is not only with the appearance that this UX392F aims, since it is also “the lightest laptop in the world with a dedicated graphics card”. So starting with some good premises, let’s see if all that glitters is really gold.
The design of the Yoga C630 WOS has no particular surprises. This is the “usual” 360° rotating convertible from Lenovo, with two hinges close to the sides of the screen, as you’ve probably seen before.
On the sides, we find two USB-C ports, not thunderbolt, an audio jack, and a SIM slot. Connectivity that is always present is in fact one of its key points, and therefore the mobile network is essential. It’s a pity to have renounced even a slot (micro) SD and any other type of communication port.
The shell is also rather thin, to contain the weight in just 1.2 kg. The flip side, for example, is that the keyboard visibly flexes during writing, given that the structure that surrounds it is not rigid. Even the screen is not the most stable, and just a little vibration on the desk or a light tap to make it swing. And considering it’s a touch screen, it’s not a rare event. The frames around the display, especially in the lower part, are also quite pronounced.
Keyboard and touchpad
The feedback returned from the keyboard is rather bland, for the reasons described above. Too bad because the keyboard itself is not bad. The toggles are in the first instance, all ordered above the keys F, start / end and page up / down are arranged on the directional arrows, and in general, the keyboard is “ordered”.
The backlight is adjustable on two levels, and not very visible with daylight, since the center of the keys shows little. In the dark, he does his duty, although he is certainly not the most striking and there are areas better covered than others.
Good touchpad , which is smooth and precise. Considering the space available, it is also quite large. Just the sound of the click is not very gratifying, and in general if it had been a bit more rigid it would certainly not have been a sin.
Honorable mention for the fingerprint reader. Fast, precise and very effective in ensuring a safe and comfortable release. The isolated position does not make me go crazy, but being the power button on the side it would have been inconvenient to join it. It is better to have it outside the touchpad than inside it.
Hardware and benchmark
Difficult to judge the hardware of this system, so dissimilar in many ways from the laptops we are used to. It is more like an enlarged smartphone, in many respects. Lenovo offers various configurations, summarized on the official website, which differ in RAM and storage. Below is the one of the model under test.
- Main screen: 13.3″ FHD IPS touch
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 850
- GPU: Adreno 630
- RAM: 8 GB LPDDR4X
- Internal memory: 128 GB UFS 2.1
- Webcam: 720p
- Wireless connectivity: Dual band Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.2
- Ports: 2x Type-C 3.0, audio jack, nano SIM
- Battery: 60 Wh
- Weight: 1200 grams
- OS: Windows 10 S
Yoga C630 actually has everything you need for such a device. The practicality of a notebook with keyboard, and the flexibility of a tablet to draw and take notes, thanks to the Lenovo stylus (optional). There is also more RAM than we could have hoped for, just not to exhaust it with a few Chrome tabs.
And above all there is him, a Qualcomm ARM processor on a Windows system. To be precise, Windows 10 S, which you can turn into a Windows 10 Home with a simple click from the Microsoft Store. Should you do it? Yes certainly, immediately. Even just to install Chrome, for example. However, compatibility is not yet on par with the x86 platform, especially with third-party software. This didn’t allow us, for example, to run all the usual benchmarks, simply because most of them didn’t work.
As you can see we went to bother with the Surface Go to find something comparable. And the Surface Go features a Pentium 4415Y, a processor usually used in small tablets or unpretentious mini-PCs. Already the i5-7Y54 present on the Yoga Book is enough to distance the C630 considerably, and we are talking about the Intel core-m heir, that is the ultra-low end for notebooks.
Moreover, storage is not an SSD but it is the UFS memories that we find on many smartphones, here in their 2.1 version, with discrete speeds for the category, but easily overcome by the low-end NVMe SSDs.
In short, it is quite clear what kind of performance we expect from this Yoga C630 WOS. Yet, for the category of users it addresses, they could be exactly what it takes.
Experience of use
Lenovo Yoga C630 WOS is intended primarily to have strong mobility needs. Do you want a notebook that’s always connected, all day long, without worrying about having a power outlet nearby? If the answer is yes, in reality, there are not many options, and the one proposed by Lenovo and Qualcomm is certainly interesting.
The performances are low-end; it is useless to stress this thing again. This means that we advise you not to work in multitasking, but rather to run one program at a time, or at least not let them work in competition. On Chrome we were able to manage 10-15 open cards pretty well, thanks also to 8 GB of RAM. This can vary depending on the content of these cards, and do not expect to put a video on YouTube in full screen is an instant operation, or that there can be no shots.
All the main office programs run well in reading. That is, viewing PDF, Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents is not a problem. Creating them is another thing, and it really depends on how many functions you use. Simple spreadsheets and text documents do not give problems. If you start using formulas, animations and macros, expect … to have to wait.
And then there’s the stylus, which allows an extra level of use. Made of notes, notes, drawings, underlining and more. It does not matter to be a designer to appreciate it, also because it is not to them that such a machine is addressed. Students, representatives, freelancers and anyone else need to interact more deeply with their documents. The pen can be used for example during a presentation, to underline a textbook, to correct handouts, etc. etc. This is not the most sensitive and precise we have ever tried, but it is still on target, and if you were wrong in writing something, pressing one of the two buttons on the back will also make it easy to cancel any errors on the fly.
However, we cannot completely exclude the presence of software incompatibilities. The system is born not by chance with Windows 10 S, because the applications distributed on the Windows Store are those that surely work. By deciding to switch to Windows 10 Home, you will give free rein to the execution of any program you want, but this does not necessarily work well. A trivial example are benchmarks such as PCMark 10 and 3DMark, and if on one hand the most common browsers are compatible, on the other Premiere is not even installable (not that it was a machine even remotely designed for video editing), while it runs ( as some features are limited) Photoshop. However, it is impossible to ensure that any third-party software is working properly, especially the older ones.
We repeat that it should not be a problem in most cases, also thanks to the many alternatives present, but we have not yet reached the point where there is no longer any difference between ARM and x86.
In short, Yoga C630 is an everyday laptop that you can always keep on standby and ready to respond to your commands in an instant. The battery drain of the connected standby in its case is in fact practically negligible, but this will be discussed later.
It is true that autonomy, in this case, is a fundamental piece of the user experience. Yes, because being able to work for an hour while consuming 10% of battery is not for everyone, and allows you unparalleled freedom of use, which will make you love this C630. Provided, of course, that your mobility is in your vocal cords.
Yes, because then everything else, as you will have understood, does not give a particularly satisfying experience. A further example (trivial but significant) are the speakers. The two side grids, placed next to the keyboard, had made us hope for a sound of a certain quality. And instead we are faced with an audio that is among the most flat and without bass among the laptops of today. But it will not be what makes the difference, as you have already understood.
In reality, rather than audio, the real little disappointment was the screen. It is a full HD touch panel, glossy, with good viewing angles. Unfortunately, the compliments end here. Yes, because the maximum brightness stops at around 250 nits, which can still be enough for internal use, but they are still low. Seeing the reflections above, it is therefore quite easy, even indoors; and let’s not even talk about using it outdoors.
And things don’t improve by going into calibration. Delta E on the grays of 8.7 with the various shades of white ever more distant from the desired values. Delta E on the colors of 8.16, therefore just as high, with just the blue that “is saved”, as illustrated by the images obtained with CalMAN below. Finally, we point out that the sRGB coverage stops at 88.4%, a sign of a rather limited color spectrum.
In short, it is not a monitor suitable for precision work, and even in everyday use, you might easily notice a certain difference, especially putting it side by side with other models. Duller, less vivid colors and a little more bluish than necessary.
Working for an hour, with 50% brightness and perennial connection to the mobile network, consuming only 10% of battery, is the dream of anyone who travels often for work or still wants to do without having a charger always with him. Among other things, the 45W version of this Yoga C630 is particularly small and light, as you can see below, although we would have liked it to be more similar to those for smartphones to get rid of a few cables.
By “working” we mean Chrome always open with about 15 cards, Telegram / Skype, some occasional video / document to open. We repeated the experiment several times, with slightly different loads, but the result was always the same.
And if you therefore touch the 10 working hours with similar use, think that reducing the brightness and connecting you to a WiFi, where possible, the autonomy increases again. A true battery champion in short, which allows you to always be connected and operational, which is then the purpose of Windows on Snapdragon.
With this in mind, even the screen that is not too bright has certainly made its contribution, and it is a choice that we do not feel able to reject completely. Then give time to performance to improve a little, with the next generations, and this type of device will become even more attractive. And once the 5G is up and running, they will be even more versatile. But we will talk about this in due course.
The price in Italy of this device is not yet known. C630 is present in the local Lenovo site, and should arrive on our market, where we actually expect it for months, but a launch date and its price have not been communicated to us by Lenovo or Qualcomm. Unfortunately, prices abroad are not heartening. In the USA we start from just $ 675. In short, there is a big difference between the two extremes.
Lenovo Yoga C630 WOS
It is difficult to give a final judgment on this Lenovo Yoga C630 WOS, moreover without even knowing the price, which is why at the moment the review does not have a final vote. On the one hand, we have a convertible that stands neither for performance nor for overall quality. On the other hand, however, there is an autonomy out of the ordinary, which allows you to work all day away from the current, and always connected to the mobile network. For those who make mobility their daily bread, it is an almost unique device, so that it can easily pass over its other limits. For everyone else it is a low-end device, which could cost even dearly. Which group do you belong to?
- Amazing autonomy
- Versatile and convertible
- Stylus supported
- Mobile network support
- Low-end performance
- Still possible compatibility problems with some software
- Flexible shell (not a compliment)
- Display not very bright