Lenovo Yoga C940 Review | Ubergizmo


The Yoga C940 is Lenovo’s flagship consumer laptop in the thin & light category. Designed to handle any multimedia and even Creative workloads, it features the latest Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors and is configurable for battery longevity or top-notch display quality, depending on one’s needs.

We will go over the technical and practical aspects of this laptop, armed with performance, display quality, and battery life data.

Specs Highlights and configuration as tested.

Our test unit is equipped with the Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor and a 4K UHD display. Benchmark numbers will clearly show this information again is there’s another CPU option in the form of an Intel Core i5-1035G4.

The storage unit is a 477GB Intel Optane SSD, and there are non-Intel variants as well, so keep this in mind when we mention storage speed numbers.

Configuration as tested.

  • Lenovo Yoga C940, model 14IIL
  • Core i7-1065G7
  • 16GB RAM
  • Intel Optane 477GBSSD (475GB available)

The configuration options for this laptop are pretty straightforward, with the Core i5 offering slightly better performance for the price, and the Core i7 (+ $150) allowing for maximum performance. Both have 4 Cores and 8 Threads, but the maximum frequency and cache size will vary.

Lenovo Yoga C940 Specifications
Display 14″ (13.9″) IPS LCD, FHD/1080p or UHD/4K
Weight 1350g (47.6oz)
Battery 60 Wh, Fast-charge
Processor options Intel Core i5-1035G4
Intel Core i7-1065G7
RAM Options 8GB/12GB/16GB
Storage options 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
Starting price $1099.99 (i5)
$1199.99 (i7)

Even though we’ve seen technical papers showing a 12GB of RAM option, the Lenovo online configurator only has 8GB or 16GB (+$70) at the moment. The memory is soldered and cannot be removed/replaced by the user after purchase.

For most users, we would recommend opting for the 16GB RAM upgrade rather than the $150 upgrade. Of course, if you can afford both, go for it.

SSD storage options cover a wide range of use cases, with different capacities: 256GB / 512GB (+$25) / 1TB (+125) and 2TB (+$325). The 512GB seems particularly attractive for most people since you get an additional 256GB of SSD at almost the price of memory cards.

Industrial Design

The industrial design of the Lenovo Yoga C940 is an evolution of last year’s Yoga C930 new design and features an extremely rigid aluminum chassis, which gives it an incredibly sturdy + premium feel, which is a must-have in this category.

The Yoga C940 is a little smaller in width (320 vs. 322mm) and length (215.6 vs. 227mm) when compared to the Yoga C930, but is a tiny bit thicker (15.7 vs. 15.3mm). If you stack both computers, the difference is very noticeable.

“AN INCREDIBLY STURDY + PREMIUM FEEL”

Because of the size improvement, the Lenovo Yoga C940 gets more points in our internal design rating system, thanks to slightly higher numbers in Battery/Cubic-inches, for example. Even the weight got 10g lighter, but we doubt that you would be able to tell.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The Lenovo Yoga C940’s keyboard features large keys that have a bit of a “clicky” feel. It’s not like a mechanical keyboard, but the action is crisp and very agreeable. Also quite different from the smoother, quieter ThinkPad series.

The keys are not curved like on ThinkPad keyboards, but the surface also seems to have a coating that avoids the accumulation of grease, so it always feels dry and clean while typing.

This keyboard is backlit with a monochrome light, which is very handy in dim lighting conditions. If you are curious, the backlight has 2 levels of brightness.

The trackpad is pretty large (~11.3 sq-inch), but we’ve seen even larger trackpads on the market, including on the new Dell XPS 13 launched at CES 2020.

It’s really up to you to decide if a larger trackpad would be better. Like any other touch-interface, the size of the trackpad in relation to the gestures matters.

On laptops, most people use scroll and pinch & zoom motions, and they don’t require a large trackpad surface. More advanced usages require up to four fingers, and circular gestures tend to be more comfortable with a larger surface. Check the Windows 10 gestures.

We think that there’s a diminishing return in making the trackpad ever bigger, but on the other hand, there’s no downside of having a huge one, besides cost.

For extra security, there’s a fingerprint reader to the lower-right of the keyboard. New biometric features such as fingerprint readers or IR cameras let you use very long and secure passwords, without the hassle of typing them regularly. As a result, you can set your computer to lock more often, which increases security.

Active Pen

The Yoga C940 comes with a Lenovo Active Pen, which is neatly stored in the rear-back-right side of the laptop.

Being able to store it (and charge it!) inside the laptop means that you are less likely to lose it, and at the same time, you know it will always be charged.

The only downside of the internal pen storage is that the Pen is narrower and less comfortable than external e-Pens, but unless you use it a lot for sketching, the pen is comfortable enough for note-taking and other short-term activities.

Designers will probably want to buy a more comfortable Pen, and Lenovo has many of them. Check for compatibility.

Ports

All the ports are located to the left side of the laptop and feature a useful minimum set of people need:

  • 2x USB Type-C, Thunderbolt 3 (one has Power Delivery)
  • 1x USB Type-A, 3.1 Gen2
  • 1x 3.5mm audio

Some people may complain that this is “too little,” but in this thin & light category, it’s not uncommon to see laptops with only a couple of USB-C ports, which in our opinion is when things get really tight.

With one full-size USB-A port, it’s possible to use simple things like USB keys, legacy keyboard/mouse, and most cables around an office. If you need a USB-A to USB-C adapter, you *will* forget or lose it someday.

Thunderbolt 3 (TB3) enables a single-cable connection for Data and Power to 4K displays, ultra-fast external storage, multi-ports docking, external GPUs, and power. And since you have two TB3 ports, you’re well covered when it comes to USB-C performance and connectivity options.

Sound/audio

The sound system of the Lenovo Yoga C940 is exemplary. It is built around a powerful Dolby Atmos soundbar (240mm long) that is located just below the screen.

Inside, there are several speakers that cover different sound frequencies, and it is located and perfectly oriented to emit sound towards the user, with minimal loss of energy.

Other laptops may fire the sound down and rely on a table to reflect it and may have sound going off to the side or directly up. It is probably the most iconic laptop speaker design.

“EXEMPLARY SOUND SYSTEM, PROBABLY THE MOST ICONIC LAPTOP SPEAKER DESIGN”

When rotating the screen 360-degree around to various positions, the speaker output remains unimpeded and able to output powerful sound.

Yoga C940 Display: UHD 4K and 1080p options

The Yoga C940 bottom display bezel has been significantly reduced in height (34mm to 26mm), and that’s the fundamental reason why the C940 is core compact in WxH than last year’s C930. Visually, it makes a big difference, giving the screen a more modern look as we get ever closer to an “all-screen” design.

The top and side bezels are also a bit thinner, but by less than 1mm, so it’s not very noticeable visually. However, it is technically challenging to further reduce these without using technologies such as OLED, depending on where the backlight is coming from (probably form below).

“A RIGHT CANDIDATE FOR CREATIVE WORK”

Of course, the actual screen real-estate is the same with a 14” (13.9” actually) display size with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Our unit features the 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) display, which has higher brightness and overall image quality.

We measured the brightness at 550 NITs (center), 10% higher than the official specs, and the sRGB color gamut is 100%, which makes it a right candidate for Creative work. There are displays that cover an even larger color gamut, or if you want the best displays, check for OLED laptops (Lenovo has a couple): it won’t get better than that on a laptop.

If you use a video streaming service that supports Dolby Vision, you can get higher quality HDR content that makes images more life-like in extreme contrast situations.

Webcam

The 720p webcam is highlighted by the “reverse-notch” around it, which gives it a modern, edgy look. And although its performance is average and in-line with the competition at this price, it does have a physical shutter that will block the lens from recording images.

The shutter is very discrete and hard to see, but it’s right above the camera lens and very easy to switch on and off. When OFF, the camera lens is covered by a red dot, indicating that it is shut.

Yoga C940 Speed / System Performance

Since it is equipped with an Intel 10th generation Core processor, we already know of the improved CPU and graphics performance, but let’s look at how much better it is, and also at some subtle differences between several 10th generation Intel chips.

If you compare the performance to the Yoga C930, the difference for everyday tasks such as office work or multimedia usage is quite mild.

However, the graphics performance is incredibly higher than the Yoga C930, with a 6.25X higher score in the 3DMark FireStrike test. What a massive difference in one generation.

“6.25X HIGHER SCORE IN THE 3DMARK FIRESTRIKE TEST”

If you compare the Yoga C940’s Core i7-1065G7 performance with something like the Core i7-10710U found in some competitors, the 10710U does have slightly better CPU performance, while the 1065G7 (‘G’ as in Graphics) is more optimized for graphics.

In our tests, 10710U also got higher multi-thread scores, and that’s great if you’re doing heavy CPU computing such as CPU video encoding. 1065G7 has higher single-thread performance and that’s good because every single app can benefit from that.

Curiously, the Lenovo C940 got a lower score in the PCMark 8 Work test, mainly because the 512GB Intel Optane SSD writing speed was lower than the 256GB Samsung Samsung Mzvlv256hchp PCI-E NVMe for that particular benchmark.

Since Lenovo designed the Yoga C940 as a multimedia computer, it does make a lot of sense to put an emphasis on graphics, creative work, and entertainment.

Yoga C940 Battery Life

The Lenovo Yoga C940 has an outstanding battery capacity of 60Wh, which is more than many of the competitors it is often being compared to.

Be mindful that battery tests are never truly representative of real-world usage, because app settings, background tasks, brightness status, and network conditions are always different. The most important part of battery life is to look at the battery capacity (in Wh) and the overall system power baseline (CPU thermal design point, or TDP).

Your display choice will define your effective battery life. Handling 4X the amount of pixel with the UHD display does require more power. However, with a 1080p display option, you can expect this laptop to last much longer.

In our tests, the laptop sustained a pretty heavy, constant use of office applications and tasks for four hours, which is very good with a 4K display (at 110 NITs brightness).

This leads us to believe that a 1080p display option could yield as much as 5h30 hours of actual work, but we have not been able to test that scenario.

Battery charge speed

In our tests, the battery replenished at a fast rate of ~42Wh per 60 mn of charge, that’s a 70% charge in one hour. That’s not quite as fast as other Lenovo laptops we’ve tested as some can go to 48Wh per 60mn, but this also varies depending on temperature, so what’s important is the order of magnitude.

Charging can sometimes offset sheer capacity, and it is very crucial for anyone who cares about battery life. The Lenovo Yoga C940 happens to have both capacity and charge speed.

Conclusion

The Lenovo Yoga C940 is designed to be a multimedia beast for consumers who want a luxurious laptop that has a great balance between display size, weight, and power.

We like how Lenovo has reduced the chassis’ footprint, and we’re hopeful that even more can be done in the future (a bit greedy, yes).

If you’re looking for a multimedia powerhouse in the premium thin & light category, we highly recommend this computer.

For Creative users, it could be an exciting choice as well, given its graphics performance and up to 2TB of SSD storage options. However, if your apps heavily use a GPU, you may want to opt for a discrete GPU, which should bring a slightly higher speed.

The frequent comparisons we’re asked about

Lenovo Yoga C940 vs. XPS 13: with comparable price and performance, it mostly comes down to design. The C940 is slightly larger and can be more comfortable to work with, but the XPS 13 is considerably more compact (~30%) but not proportionally marginally lighter (~10%) and has less USB-C ports.

Lenovo Yoga C940 vs. Yoga C930: The Yoga C930 is still on the market, and you may get a deal on it. If your work is mostly about office productivity, the numbers show that there’s a case for buying a C930 if you get a reasonable price. However, if graphics performance is essential, the Yoga C940 has much better graphics for the price.

Lenovo Yoga C940 vs. Spectre x360:  the Spectre x360 can also be configured with an i7-1065G7 processor, so the system performance is comparable. Again, it will come down to design and personal preference, as both computers are very competitive. Do you want a 13.9” or 13.3” display? Do you need the laptop to be as compact as possible? In fact, the X360 and the XPS13 are probably more alike.

Lenovo Yoga C940 vs. MacBook Pro 13: if you’re willing to use Windows or Mac OS, a MacBook Pro 13 may be an alternative. At the moment, the MacBook Pro 13 uses an older processor design, so the C940 would have a clear advantage in computing and graphics and has a better computing value for the price as well. When it comes to PC/Mac, it’s either a matter of preferences or that you need to use Mac-software not available on PC.

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