Lenovo’s Yoga C740 is an affordable premium convertible PC that comes in both 14- and 15.6-inch form factors. I’ve been using the smaller version for the past few weeks during our stay-at-home order—thanks, Coronavirus!—and the 15-inch version arrived the other day. So here are some thoughts from my hands-on experience.
Design. The C740 provides a premium all-aluminum design that I find to be both modern and attractive. (Both versions are available in Iron Gray, but the 14-inch can be had in Mica as well.) Its curved rear pieces provide a unique look that is nicely offset by the device’s strong hinges, and they make it more comfortable to carry. As a convertible PC, the C740 supports multiple versatile usage modes—like tent mode, stand mode, and tablet mode—in addition to the standard laptop-style clamshell mode.
Display. The C740’s IPS displays are wrapped in small bezels and provide a Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution in a 16:9 panel with roughly 300 nits of brightness. The displays do support both multi-touch and active pen support, and they are exactly what one should expect at this price point. The 15-inch version can be had with an optional HDR 400 glossy display that is much brighter and offers wider viewing angles and Dolby Vision capabilities, albeit at the same Full HD resolution. But I find both versions to be bright, crisp, and colorful.
Components. The Yoga is powered by a 10th-generation Intel Core i5 -10210U or i7-10510U processor with Intel UHD Graphics, 8 or 16 GB of RAM, and 256 GB to 1 TB of PCIe-based SSD storage.
Noise and heat. Both versions of the C740 exhibit noticeable fan noise, but it is especially prevalent in the 15-inch version.
Connectivity. Connectivity is pretty standard for 2020, with Intel 9560 802.11AC (2 x 2) and Bluetooth 5.0. There is no cellular data option.
Ports. The 14-inch version of the C740 provides two USB-C 3.1 ports on the left and one full-sized USB 3.1 port on the right; the 15-inch version adds a second full-sized USB 3.1 port on the right. Both portables are powered by USB-C and ship with a 65-watt Lenovo power brick. There is a headphone jack on the left, and a large power button on the right. Lenovo places the power button there so you can access it no matter which usage mode you’ve configured.
Keyboard. Lenovo is usually near the top of the pack when it comes to keyboard quality and typing experience, and the C740 is no exception, with its backlit, scallop-shaped keys. However, the 15.6-inch version of the C740 provides a full numeric keyboard in addition to the standard keyboard; I’m not a big fan of this design because it offsets the most-often-used keys to the left, and many keys are actually smaller than on the 14-inch. The numeric keypad is small and easy to hit by mistake.
Touchpad. The Yoga provides a small, glass precision touchpad that is fast and accurate, and works well with multi-touch gestures.
Active pen. The C740 does not include an active pen, but it is compatible with the $70 Lenovo Active Pen 2, which provides 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and three buttons, but no tilt support.
Sound. Thanks to its dual Dolby Atmos speakers, the C740 provides a configurable spatial sound experience that works well across movies and music. (The 14-inch version has upward-facing speaker grills, but sound on the 15-inch version appears to come up through the keyboard.) Overall, the sound quality is decent.
Unique hardware features. Lenovo has outfitted the C740 with its secure Match-On-Chip fingerprint reader, which has been speedy and reliable in my tests. The webcam is lackluster, quality-wise, and it doesn’t provide Windows Hello facial recognition. But in the good news department, there is a small privacy shutter you can use to prevent unwanted access of the webcam. The C740 also provides dual far-field microphones so that you can interact with Amazon Alexa or Cortana from up to 12 feet away.
Portability. Lenovo claims that the 14-inch version provides about 13 hours of battery life while the 15.6-version is rated at up to 15 hours. I haven’t been able to test the battery life satisfactorily, sorry, but I expect the real-world figures to be about half that. In the good news department, its Rapid Charge capabilities allow the C740 to be charged to 80 percent in one hour. As for weight, the 14-inch version arrives at 3.09 pounds, which is at the upper-end of the weight range for this class, probably because of its sturdy all-aluminum design. The 15.6-inch version weighs 4.19 pounds and, yes, it feels as heavy as expected.
Software. The Yoga ships with Windows 10 Home version 1909 and I don’t believe that Pro is available, even as an option. Crapware volume is pretty low: Lenovo provides only a handful of its own utilities, but Lenovo Vantage, which provides software updates, has already spammed with upgrade offer notifications. And Lenovo still bundles McAfee on its PCs, software that I consider to be a crime against humanity.
Pricing and configurations. The 14-inch Yoga C740 starts at $900, while the 15.6-inch version starts at $860; both can quickly rise to about $1100 with processor, RAM, storage, and display upgrades. But both are likewise always on sale for less than those prices. Best Buy, for example, is selling the 14-inch review unit right now for $800. These are reasonable prices for the design, performance, and flexibility provided by the C740 in either configuration.
Recommendations and conclusions. With its modern, premium design and affordable pricing, the Lenovo Yoga C740 is a viable alternative to PCs costing hundreds more. I expected to love the 15.6-inch version, but the numeric keypad gets in the way of reliable typing, making the 14-inch version the more obvious choice in my opinion. Either way, the Yoga C740 is a solid choice and a great value.
- Modern, premium design
- 10th-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors
- Excellent fingerprint reader
- Privacy shutter for webcam
- The numeric keypad gets in the way on the 15.6-inch version
- Fan noise
- A bit of crapware