Lenovo Yoga C630: Experience, Design and Build Quality
We were pleasantly surprised at the Yoga C630's fit and finish and its overall feel. The laptop's aluminum chassis contributes to a durable build, much stiffer and more robust than one might expect to find at this price point. There was very little flex in our review unit, and the backlit keyboard felt firm and comfortable. Lenovo's new double hinge, which you'll also find in newer systems like the Lenovo Yoga C930 that we reviewed here, is quite sturdy. You can move the display to any position and it will stay firmly in place. All in all, the C630, in terms of build quality, is a laptop with which one could be comfortable working all day.
The Windows default power settings on the Yoga C630 ensure that the system simply sleeps, whether you close the lid or push the power button. In general, there's really no need to use the Windows Power/Shutdown software switch. Even if you do use that switch, the system boots up in about 22 seconds; though when it sleeps, it wakes up instantly. When left in Sleep mode (in which the system can be left indefinitely without harming the machine or the battery, according to Lenovo), the C630 truly does come to life instantly; there's no use trying to time it -- by the time you open the lid and click your stopwatch app, the system is already awake and ready for action. Shutting down again is as simple as closing the lid.
And you can work all day on this machine, thanks to the C630's excellent battery life. The manufacturer promises 22 hours of battery life, and that seems about right. On our battery torture test, the machine lasted a good 8 to 12 hours, and that's running almost constant videos with only occasional 1-minute breaks, and an always-on display. We were able to operate the system pretty much all day without charging, even when using it for fairly heavy work-related tasks. And by "work-related tasks," we mean binge-watching back-to-back episodes of House, M.D. and Stranger Things.
The Lenovo Yoga C630 comes with a minimum of bloatware. Lenovo Vantage directs you to your Users Guide in Windows Explorer, a McAfee LiveSafe™ 30-day free trial, and a 30-day trial of Microsoft Office 365 and that's about it. From there, the system requires very little setup. Once an appropriate SIM card is installed, a few mouse-clicks to configure Windows 10 S and you're done. Note that you can upgrade to Windows 10 Home at no cost, thus freeing yourself from the Microsoft Store's walled garden. This means that you can install applications from anywhere, but be sure to see our software-related caveats; not all 64-bit software will run on WOS machines. Regardless, in this case, there's a reason for walling off that garden.
The integrated fingerprint reader is a nice touch, as is the machine's welcome silence: no fans, after all.
The Yoga C630's glass touchpad is large and responsive, and accepts 3-finger Windows gestures and pinch-to-zoom. We're all big on instant gratification, and the fact that the C630 is instant on/instant off is a huge selling point for the machine. And given that it's always connected, assuming that you've paid your Sprint or Verizon bill or are connected via Wi-Fi, the system will receive messages and emails (and system updates) even as it sleeps.
We mentioned the upward-facing dual speakers. Nice touch. They project well and there's no problem hearing your favorite tunes or that YouTube commentary. It's just too bad that these well-placed speakers sound so thin. They're fine for dialog, but honestly, they sound pretty tinny. You're going to need some decent headphones or earbuds if you intend to listen to any music. Then again, that's the polite thing to do anyway. There's no reason to subject patrons of the local coffee shop to your complete Nickelback collection anyway, is there?
Yoga C930 with its Dolby Vision compatible HDR display, but again we're talking about different animals here. Still, the rendering is clear and relatively sharp on the Yoga C630. Its brightness is relatively good, and viewing angles are decent. You can work on the Yoga C630 all day long with no real eyestrain, though color fidelity for professional content creation workloads will be lacking here. Regardless, we have no serious complaints with the C630's display, just the realization that this is one reason the C630 comes in at a more affordable price. Regardless, you get a decent, serviceable display on board the C630, with reasonably thin bezels as well.
Next, let's take a look at the C630's benchmark performance -- at least, the benchmarks we could get to run reliably on the system.