Great performance from a big-screen powerhouse, yet Lenovo manages to keep it slim and relatively light
- Speedy four-core processor
- 128GB of eMMC storage
- Serious multitasking abilities
- Larger than its rivals
- Relatively short battery life
We used to see Chromebooks as lightweight, secondary computers or as cheap and cheerful classroom devices, but with web-based apps evolving, more companies adopting software-as-a-service and ubiquitous support for Android apps, a Chrome OS laptop can be a workhorse, too. The Yoga Chromebook C630 is every inch that workhorse, albeit a more flexible and versatile nag than we’re used to. It brings a 15.6in screen and a full-sized keyboard into a 2-in-1 form factor that’s surprisingly slim and light.
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 review: Design
Less than 18mm thick and 1.9kg in weight, the Chromebook C630 is a laptop you can happily lug around all day, and you can use it in the full range of clamshell, tent, tablet and stand modes. True, it’s too big and heavy to pass as a Surface Pro rival, but you will appreciate that extra screen space when you’re trying to get work done. What’s more, with a fantastic all-metal construction, smooth hinges and a lovely “midnight blue” finish, it’s the kind of Chromebook that turns heads.
Lenovo has also got the C630’s usability spot on. While it could have crammed a numeric keypad in there, as HP did with its Chromebook 15, we’ve instead got a spacious layout without one, leaving plenty of room for the standard keys and Chrome OS-specific function keys. It’s not quite up to ThinkPad levels of brilliance, but the keyboard is a match for what you would find on Lenovo’s high-end IdeaPad lines, with a light but firm action and good feedback. And the white backlighting is superb when you’re working at night in dim lighting.
Our only complaint is that, for some reason, the Search key attracts erring fingers more than it should, activating Search when we meant to press the left Shift key. However, Lenovo makes up for it with the Yoga’s touchpad, which is big and accurate enough to marry well to the humongous screen.
READ NEXT: Best lightweight laptops
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 review: Specifications and Performance
The 15.6in screen itself is quietly impressive. It covers 90% of the sRGB gamut, and while brightness isn’t outstanding at 278cd/m2, colour accuracy is pretty good. It’s great for working, editing photos and watching big, blockbuster movies, especially when used in tent mode. More surprisingly, the sound is a cut above most Chromebooks, with a wider soundstage, more clarity and a little low-end body. Listen to music and you will spot a boxy mid-range and a biscuit-tin clatter to the drums, but for streaming films and TV it’s the best here.
Given the size, you might expect more ports and sockets. We get two USB-C ports, one of which you’ll need for charging, along with a single USB-A port. Would a dedicated display output be too much to ask for? Still, with 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1, you’re more than covered for internet connectivity and there are a Bluetooth mouse and set of headphones, if you need them.
The strength of a 15.6in Chromebook is that you can have a range of browser windows open and start seriously multitasking with your apps, yet not many deliver the performance necessary to do so. The Yoga Chromebook C630 is an exception. With its four-core, eight-thread Core i5-8250U processor and 8GB of DDR4 RAM, it’s the fastest model on test, and it will cope effortlessly with anything web-based apps can throw at it – which isn’t often all that much, compared to Windows apps. With 128GB of eMMC storage, you also have plenty of space to download apps and content.
READ NEXT: Lenovo Yoga Book C930 review
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 review: Verdict
Admittedly, you won’t get the battery life of smaller models, but with 6hrs 45mins of video playback, you don’t need to keep the charger near you at all times. If mobility is your priority then there are better Chromebooks out there, but this is a seriously impressive Chromebook that comes ready to work hard.