Lenovo is reinventing what it means to be a Yoga by throwing out the concept of a traditional 2-in-1 laptop. The Yoga C930 very much sticks to tradition, but the Yoga Book C930 experiments with all new features that include replacing the keyboard with a touch-screen panel.
We've reviewed both the Yoga Book C930 and Yoga C930, and while one wins by a wide margin, they're both unique systems that can accommodate different audiences. But which one is for you? Let's stack them against each other to find out.
Specs and performance
Despite their annoyingly similar names, the Yoga C930 and Yoga Book C930 are radically different. They run at different speeds, come in widely different sizes and serve two separate purposes. Basically, one is a traditional 2-in-1 laptop, and the other is like if an e-reader had a baby with a 2-in-1.
|Row 0 - Cell 0
|Yoga Book C930
|Iron Gray, Mica
|13.9-inch, 1920 x 1080 or 4K
|10.8-inch, 2560 x 1600
|8th Gen Core i5, i7
|7th Gen Core i5 Y-Series
|8GB, 12GB, 16GB
|256GB, 512GB, 1TB
|One USB 3.1, two Thunderbolt 3, headphone jack
|Two USB Type-C ports, microSD/SIM card slot
|12.6 x 8.9 x 0.6 inches
|10.3 x 7.1 x 0.4 inches
The Yoga C930's 13.9-inch starting panel is 1920 x 1080 and can be configured up to 4K, while the Yoga Book C930 has a smaller,10.8-inch panel, but a higher 2560 x 1600 resolution. The Yoga C390 we tested had the 1080p panel, which covers 100 percent of the sRGB gamut and 273 nits of brightness. Despite the Yoga C390 having a larger screen, the Yoga Book C930 crushes those numbers with 144 percent and 342 nits.
When it comes to power, however, there's no comparison. Our Yoga C930 is outfitted with a Intel Core i7-8550U CPU with 12GB of RAM, and the Yoga Book C930 has a Core i5-7Y54 processor with 4GB of RAM.
On the Geekbench overall performance test, the Yoga C930 scored 13,952, putting it safely past the 12,468 premium laptop average, but the Yoga Book C930 averaged a measly 6,531. On our Dirt 3 graphics benchmark, the Yoga C390 (Intel UHD 620 GPU) hit 37 frames per second and the Yoga Book C930 (Intel HD 615 GPU) just barely managed 30 fps (our threshold for playability). This test was disappointing on both sides, though, as the category average is 76 fps.
Both systems are relatively barren regarding ports, but they still have their advantages. The Yoga C930 has one USB 3.1 port, two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack, while the Yoga Book C930 has two USB Type-C ports and a microSD/SIM card slot. Getting mobile broadband options with the Yoga Book C930 is neat, but losing Thunderbolt, USB 3.1 and a headphone jack is just not worth the trade-off.
For a laptop that consumes less power due to its Y-series processor, it's quite appalling that the Yoga Book C930 lasted only 6 hours and 30 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test (continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi with display brightness at 150 nits). The Yoga C930 actually pushed through 10 hours and 10 minutes, which is nearly 4 hours longer than the Yoga Book.
Aside from the Yoga Book C930's $949 base model (Core i5-7Y54 CPU, 4GB of RAM, 128GB SSD, Intel HD 615 GPU), you can upgrade to a 256GB version for $1,049.
Meanwhile, the Yoga C930 has multiple configurations. The one we tested costs $1,299 at Best Buy. It comes with a 1080p panel, a Core i7-8550U CPU, 12GBof RAM, a 256GB SSD and an Intel UHD 620 GPU. The starting model on Lenovo's site costs $1,399. and drops you to a Core i5-8250U CPU and 8GB of RAM (which is ridiculous for the price, considering you get more for less at Best Buy).
If you want the cheapest 4K model, it'll cost you $1,519. It comes with a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The most expensive model runs for $1,839 and ups you to 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.
Reasons to buy Yoga Book C930
The benefit of getting the Yoga Book C930 is its experimental productivity and entertainment features.
The Yoga Book C930 releases its physical shell of a keyboard and embraces the life of an E Ink keyboard, which is basically a 10.8-inch, 1920 x 1080 panel. Although it feels like you're typing on nothing, the keys will actually animate, provide haptic feedback and emit sound effects, making the experience more satisfying than hammering away on a standard touch screen.
When you activate the included Bluetooth stylus, the bottom panel starts Note Mode, which lets you either write on a notepad pad or draw on a canvas. The stylus is about the size of a No. 2 pencil and features three programmable buttons, which includes the “eraser.”
If you fold it into a tablet, it can go into Reader Mode, similar to a Kindle eReader. And even though you can only read PDFs right now, an upcoming January update will provide access to other content, such as eBooks.
The Yoga Book C930 may have a smaller display with bigger bezels than the Yoga C930, but its panel has a higher resolution with more vivid colors and brighter output. Combine that with mobile broadband capabilities, and this laptop is a more ideal option for commuting.
Reasons to buy Yoga C930
If you want to stick with what you know, then it's probably safe to go with the Yoga C930 for its traditional 2-in-1 features.
The biggest difference is that you'll get a keyboard 1.3 millimeters of travel, even though that doesn't meet our 1.5- to 2.0-mm comfort parameters, it's infinitely better than 0. Additionally, its included stylus is petite, has two programmable buttons and has its own slot in the laptop's chassis that clicks in and out.
You'll be doubling the processing power in raw performance, and will get increased RAM and storage options. The C930 is also a better alternative if you're constantly commuting or traveling out of the country, considering it can pull you through a full workday and then some with its long battery life.
The Yoga C390 provides a better multimedia experience, since its panel measures at 13.9 inches in contrast to the Yoga Book's 10.8 inches. Besides that, the bezels are practically over half the size.
While it's a small difference, you also get an extra color option — mica, which is just a lighter gray.
In the end, we gave the Yoga C930 a 4.5 with an Editors' Choice award, and the Yoga Book C930 an average 3. What really did in the Yoga Book C930 was its lack of battery life and power, but if you can get past that, then you get a wave of neat features. The Yoga C930 does provide powerful performance and a long battery life, but those experimental features get ripped away. It really depends on what's more important to you.
Credit: Laptop Mag
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Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.