The Yoga C940's Media Chops Can't Justify Its High Price

Evaluation:
4/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 – Lukewarm garbage from Sorta
  • 3 – Highly imperfect design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Great, but not the best in its class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with a few footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $ 1200-1785

Yoga C940
Michael Crider

the Yoga C940 is at the top of Lenovo’s consumer-focused 2-in-1 category. It certainly has the specs to prove it, with a 10th generation Intel processor, a 4K convertible touchscreen and a sleek all-aluminum body. But in actual use, the design is insufficient, the life and the value of the battery being too low to be recommended.

Here’s what we like

  • Excellent speakers
  • Aluminum body
  • Good keyboard layout

And what we don’t do

  • Far too expensive
  • Poor battery life
  • Powerful cooling fan
  • Boring software

There’s no good way to say it: the C940 just isn’t up to the competition. Aside from one exceptional feature – the best laptop speakers I have ever heard – there is not much for this model to justify its high price. Look elsewhere in the Lenovo range (or beyond) for a high-end laptop.

The design is good

The C940 is… very good. Its good. The body design does not stand out much, apart from its attractive all-aluminum hull. It is a Toyota Camry SE in the form of a laptop.

Yoga cover logo
Michael Crider

I watched this thing for weeks trying to form a stronger opinion than that. It’s thin and light, a hair less than half an inch and three pounds on my kitchen scale. But in an area that includes laptops like the Dell XPS 13 and Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1, it’s not particularly notable for its dimensions.

There are a few distinctive little design choices. The front edge advances like a tanto blade, the cover is suspended above the palm rest, with a small projection “YOGA SERIES” so that you can open the indulgent hinge with one finger. And the speaker grille is integrated into the visually distinctive one-piece hinge.

Yoga series cover logo.
Michael Crider

One thing I have seen Lenovo do for a few different models, and I don’t like, is to load all the ports on one side of the machine. For the C940, this means two USB-C ports (doubling as a power input), a USB-A and a headphone jack on the left of the keyboard, with nothing but the power button on the right.

Please, if you’re going to have more than one USB-C port (that’s a good thing!), Put one on each side. It’s so much better in terms of usability to be able to plug it in from both sides, especially for an ultraportable design. I would also have liked to have seen an HDMI port, since its absence means that you need an adapter for most TVs and monitors.

C940 side ports
All the ports of the C940 are on the left side. Michael Crider

The only other notable feature of the C940 is the included stylus, which stores in the body. There’s nothing exceptional about the stylus itself – it’s better than something for a phone, like the Galaxy Note, but not as fleshy or comfortable as the dedicated Surface or iPad Pro styli. But accessing it is painful: it is right next to the rear hinge. Just about every time you want the stylus, you have to turn the computer all the way, if only to buy enough with your finger to remove it.

C940 stylus and power button
The stylus is ejected from the back, next to the power button. It’s not great. Michael Crider

Balancing the wrong placement of the stylus is the keyboard. It is repairable, certainly better than the famous ultra-thin models of Apple, but not as comfortable as the scissor switches of the ThinkPad range. But I want to point out that, unlike ThinkPads, this one has the Left Control Key feature in the corner by default. That means you don’t have to dive into the BIOS settings to make it work as it should, which I have seen on every ThinkPad for years.

Lights and sounds

Holy CRAP this laptop sounds great. The Yoga C940 is the best sounding laptop I have ever tried, with a wide margin. The speakers built into the hinge are loud enough, clear and subtle to detect details of music and sound effects.

C940 speakers.
Here is a picture of a speaker that sounds good. Michael Crider

Don’t get me wrong, they won’t even beat a set of dedicated speakers or headphones. But if you often find yourself listening to music on your laptop and don’t need privacy or jerks, the C940 protects you.

C940 side
Michael Crider

I wish I could say the same for the screen. Although Lenovo is equipped with a 4K touch screen for our review unit (1080p as standard) and is very bright, the colors are dull and lifeless. It’s compared to other laptops and my own inexpensive VA and IPS monitors. The 1080p screen may be more vibrant – and at 14 inches, you don’t get a lot of productivity or performance improvement for the extra resolution, anyway. But I can only review what has been given to me, and what has been given to me is at best.

High specifications, high price

As you would expect from the high-end model, the C940 can be fitted with some of the best ultraportable hardware available, at least without jumping to something much bulkier. The (quad) Core i7-1065G7 in our review unit is an upgrade of $ 125 from the standard i5, with boosted speed up to 3.9 GHz.

8 GB of RAM is standard, with the 16 GB in our review unit a very reasonable upgrade of $ 70.

Storage starts at 256 GB, with an SSD upgrade up to 2 TB available for a less than generous price of $ 300. In comparison, upgrading the 4K screen is more reasonable at $ 200. Other features such as the touch screen, stylus, fingerprint reader and backlit keyboard are included.

The standard C940 costs $ 1,200 directly from Lenovo, while our enhanced test model costs $ 1,605. The maximum price with all available upgrades is just under $ 1,800. Sale price, and those available during Lenovo’s frequent sales, are expected to be slightly lower.

Who the hell puts Anti-Virus in the taskbar?

Transition from a review of the ThinkPad X1 Extreme at Yoga C940 was shocking, if only for the inclusion of many unnecessary software on it.

While the ThinkPad had only Microsoft software and a Lenovo driver manager, Yoga is covered with disgusting McAffee software that insists, almost demands, that you pay for it. It is even in the taskbar when you first start! Who keeps an antivirus program in the taskbar ?! Probably not even John McAffee, hidden in his fortress of solitude somewhere in the jungles of Belize.

Go far away, no one ever wants

It is doable. You can uninstall the annoying stuff. But you shouldn’t have to do it at this price.

High performance, low battery

The rest of the software is less offensive, and once you have removed unnecessary malware, you can continue to use Windows 10 as you are used to. I found that the laptop was more than capable of handling my usual workload, and even playing a few basic games with its built-in Iris Plus GPU. It’s big enough to handle 4K video easily, but you’ll need to lower the settings or lower the resolution of these games.

Oh, and bring a helmet. The speakers may sound great, but once the C940 gets up and starts, you won’t be able to hear them over the little circular saw that is its cooling fan. It doesn’t take much either to get this stuff to the max, a few Chrome tabs are enough. This is one of the biggest drawbacks of using the otherwise very efficient machine.

C940 keyboard
Michael Crider

The other big drawback in terms of utility is the battery life. I used an average of five to seven hours of portable use, depending on how hard I hit my Chrome and Photoshop. It’s not great for a laptop that claims to be an ultraportable. This will certainly help you fly with a full charge, but you can’t expect to spend a day working on the C940 without bringing the charger.

It doesn’t help that this charger, while being a decent 65-watt USB-C brick, is, well, a brick. Why do companies still include these gigantic old-style power adapters when Anker and other manufacturers do small stylish travel chargers who can pump so many watts?

C940 with power adapter
Why are USB-C power adapters always gigantic? Michael Crider

Lenovo says the battery lasts up to 15 hours, which seems extremely optimistic. I cannot count the battery as anything other than failure.

The value is not there

If this version of the C940 started at around $ 1,200, I would consider it a decent but defective laptop. But at over $ 1,600 for our review unit, it just doesn’t measure up in terms of value. There are much better choices, even if you need a convertible with a built-in stylus.

C940 from above
Michael Crider

I would say the C940 is worth considering if you absolutely must have a laptop with large speakers, but honestly, I can’t imagine how many users this covers. Certainly none that would be better served to get a cheaper and more complete laptop, plus a good pair of headphones. And those users will be discouraged by the noisy fan, anyway.

In short: too expensive, too forgettable. Go to another choice.

Evaluation: 4/10

Price: $ 1200-1785

Here’s what we like

  • Excellent speakers
  • Aluminum body
  • Good keyboard layout

And what we don’t do

  • Far too expensive
  • Poor battery life
  • Powerful cooling fan
  • Boring software

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.