Lenovo Yoga C630 First Impressions

Posted on December 5, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Windows 10 with 31 Comments

Armed with a Snapdragon 850 chipset, the Lenovo Yoga C630 hopes to overcome the performance problems of previous Windows 10 on ARM devices while offering a compellingly portable Always-Connected PC experience.

I can’t speak to the performance, per se, as I’ve just taken it out of the box and have only started configuring it. But from what I can tell so far, the Yoga C630 does at least deliver on portability, connectivity, and good looks.

Like other Yoga PCs, the C630 is a convertible laptop design that features 360-degree hinges, allowing it to be used in a variety of usage modes. So you get a thick-ish tablet experience, if you’re into that kind of thing, and it’s supposed to come with a Lenovo Pen, which I don’t believe I received.

You can also use it in tent mode, in presentation mode, or fully flat, which might help in a cramped airplane seat or in other non-traditional situations.

This PC is quite thin and light, despite its 13.3-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS multi-touch display. It weighs in at just 2.6 pounds and is only 12.5 mm thin. But the display lid is particularly thin, with very small bezels on the top and sides, giving the C630 a streamlined look. The rock-steady hinges help, too.

Internally, the Yoga C630 is powered by a 2.96 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor. This, you may recall, is Qualcomm’s second-generation Windows 10 on ARM chipset and the first to be specially tailored for the needs of a PC. It should offer roughly a 30 percent performance boost over its lackluster predecessor. That’s good, but it’s a far cry from the 2X performance boost I expect to see from the next Snapdragon for PCs, which will be announced later this week. I’ll see how this measures up in the real world, of course.

The C630 is also backed by 4 or 8 GB of LPDDR4X RAM and its speedy SSD, which can be had in 128 or 256 GB sizes; the review unit came with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage.

As an Always-Connected PC, the C630 ships with 4G/LTE-capable capabilities, and Lenovo was nice enough to load me a Verizon SIM card for the duration of the review so I can test that functionality. It was interesting seeing Windows 10 come up for the first time fully online without me needing to configure a wireless network first. The C630 also provides 2 x 2 802.11 AC, of course, and Bluetooth 4.2 capabilities.

Battery life should be stellar. Lenovo claims 22 hours, and given my real-world battery life experiences with previous-generation Snapdragon-based PCs, I expect this to be very accurate.

Expansion is as expected for this class of device. There are two USB-C ports, one on each side of the PC, which is good. That neither provides Thunderbolt 3 capabilities is not surprising: These PCs are not portable workstations.

Beyond that, you’ll find a power button, a headphone jack, and a SIM card slot. Power comes over USB-C, as it should.

The keyboard seemed surprisingly snappy in a quick typing test. And I love the small touchpad, something that many PC makers are eschewing for comically large versions instead.

There’s also a fingerprint reader, which I prefer to facial recognition. Good thing, as the C630 doesn’t support facial recognition.

As with other Snapdragon-based PCs, the Yoga C630 ships with Windows 10 Home in S mode, the successor to Windows 10 S. While I feel that this is an unusual choice—the Surface Go inexplicably ships this way, too—it perhaps makes a bit more sense given the processor architecture. I will try to test it in this default mode for as long as I can stand it. But here’s some good news: This limited OS means there won’t be much crapware.

Pricing is on par with previous generation Snapdragon-based Always-Connected PCs. The Yoga C630 starts at $860 for a model with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. But as always, I strongly recommend going with 8 GB of RAM, which brings the price to $940. A version with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage will set you back $1000.

There are obviously two areas of focus for the pending review: Performance, and how it compares to previous Snapdragon 835-based PCs and other low-end PCs. And compatibility, which remains the Achilles Heel of this platform. So I’ll get it up and running today and see how that all pans out.

More soon.


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Comments (33)

33 responses to “Lenovo Yoga C630 First Impressions”

  1. digiguy

    this is the future of mobile productivity devices. This and the ipad if Apple decides to make IOS really pro...

  2. skane2600

    Not much point in talking about looks without evaluating price/performance first.

  3. mattemt294

    I believe thunderbolt 3 is an Intel technology and that is why you will not find it on ARM

  4. Watney

    Paul please run an Octane 2 benchmark in your review using Google Chrome


    Thanks so much!!!!

  5. Daekar

    $1000 for a machine with 8GB of RAM? Seriously? They have GOT to lower their prices.

  6. locust infested orchard inc

    Quote in the third paragraph by Paul Thurrott, "So you get a thick-ish tablet experience, if you're into that kind of thing..."

    Quote in the fifth paragraph by Paul Thurrott, "This PC is quite thin and light, despite its 13.3-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS multi-touch display. It weighs in at just 2.6 pounds and is only 12.5 mm thin..."

    Paul, it would appear there are two contradictory statements regarding the thickness of this Lenovo Yoga C630 WOS (Windows on Snapdragon) laptop.

    With your stated thickness of 12.5mm, I personally would say it's certainly not thin, but then it's not a thick slab either.

  7. locust infested orchard inc

    Quote in article by Paul Thurrott, "These [Snapdragon-based] PCs are not portable workstations."

    We'll just have to eagarly await till Q4 2019 for the magnificent portable workstation in the form of the highly anticipated Surface Foldable™, AKA Andromeda.

  8. jaredthegeek

    The Pen is not included on this model, not sure why they would not have at least sent it. i believe it is just a Wacom unit. I would like to see some performance evaluations of this vs a Surface Go. It would most likely have to be subjective to really get through it.

  9. coeus89

    I really hope that MSFT and Qualcomm get this all worked out. It would be great for the majority of users to have the battery life and connectivity benifits of snapdragon. As long as it performs well.

  10. skborders

    I am going to see how this turns out. One of this type may be my next PC. Be interesting to see if the performance is tolerable.

  11. jimchamplin

    The price tag is totally wrong.

    These machines are too expensive for an untested new market. Why are they acting as if they’re going to sell on the stated benefits without understanding that the drawbacks are visible to and are understood by the public?

    These ARM machines need to be priced less than their Intel equivalents, perhaps by a notable percentage to encourage buyers to try. So far there’s no cost benefit. That’s wrongheaded and foolish. In a big way.

  12. jameskk

    I've been using this device for little over a month now. Best Buy has it with 8GB 128GB for $799. Very happy with the performance and battery life. In fact, it has replaced my Surface Pro and I am running my entire business on this machine. My only complaints are that it blue screens on me once or twice daily with 1809, and the cellular doesn't work 100% correctly with T-Mobile... I get LTE about 50% of the time and mostly it connects to the older 4G network which is a bit slower but still acceptable. I think this unit is optimized for Verizon. Overall very happy with this machine.

  13. alexoughton

    If this is anything like the Intel-based Yoga, the pen may be hiding on the right-hand side of the device, looking somewhat like a small button.

  14. knorris5000000

    I got the Lenovo C630 with 8GB and 128 SSD configuration during cyber week at Best Buy for $599 on Verizon.

    So far the only grip I have is the speakers could be louder and are a little thin on sound like no depth of sound to them, but I can use headphones or a Bluetooth speaker so its no big deal. The performance is snappy and on the first day of use I only used half of the battery watch videos and doing some web browsing while downloading all the updates foe windows cause there are alot of updates on initial set up. The 1080P screen is more than adequate and the USB-C doe support display out which is a plus. The only lag I've seen was while using Chrome 32-bit as it has to emulate for the x86 architecture, this should be mitigated soon as there is rumored to be a arm version of both Chrome and firefox coming to windows in 2019 not to mention Windows Edge browser replacement based on the Chrome architecture as of yet the code name hasn't been released that I am aware of. The point is for most users this is a great thin and light convertible laptop that should handle all your web browsing, Videos watching, emails, and Office tasks with ease and leave you ready to tackle tomorrow without even charging the battery.

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