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Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 review: The Chromebook with the killer 4K display

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The Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 further expands the boundaries of what you can expect from a Chromebook in 2019. The standout feature is a terrific convertible, 15.6-inch, 4K display -- but it also has a complement of solid components and a sturdy, tasteful aluminum chassis. And like most Chromebooks, it costs hundreds less than a similarly configured Windows counterpart.

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8.5

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630

The Good

Excellent 4K display that’s a joy to use in laptop and tablet mode. Durable all-aluminum chassis. Very solid performance and battery life.

The Bad

The keyboard is a bit mushy. Stylus not included. You can’t run those few Windows- and MacOS-only applications on the Chrome operating system.

The Bottom Line

For hundreds less than its Windows near-equivalent, the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 features a sweet, versatile 4K display on an all-around solid laptop.
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Sarah Tew/CNET

And, in fact, the C630 is the Chromebook version of Lenovo's excellent C930 -- an Editors' Choice and one of our all-time favorite two-in-one convertibles. The C930, which runs Windows, can be configured with some higher-end components and has a few noteworthy extras that the C630 Chromebook lacks (e.g. a fingerprint reader and digital stylus that can be housed in the display's hinge). But it also costs a lot more.

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Lenovo's Yoga C930, pictured here, is the Windows equivalent of the Yoga C630 Chromebook.

Sarah Tew/CNET

We tested the top-tier C630 Chromebook configuration (model 81JX0008UX) which retails for $900. That retail price converts roughly to £715 and AU$1,300. At the time this review was published it was selling for $730 -- but we've seen Lenovo discount it to closer to $600. In addition to the UHD 4K display, our test unit came with an eighth-generation Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 128GB of eMMC storage. That's less firepower than what you'll find on the average Windows machine, but more than potent enough to keep webpages loading fast and apps zipping along on this Chromebook, which is as fast as any we've tested.

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630

Price as reviewed $730
Display size/resolution 15.6-inch 3,840x2,160-pixel touchscreen
CPU 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U
Memory 8GB DDR4 RAM
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620
Storage 128GB eMMC
Webcam 720p HD 
Networking Dual band 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.1
Operating system Chrome OS

The C630 is the first Chromebook with a 4K display. The screen is big. It's responsive to touch. And it's bright enough to make reading and watching videos a pure joy. I loved reading the New York Times website on it in portrait mode, and poking my finger at the headlines I wanted to read; it felt a bit like the 2019 version of reading an old-school print newspaper. 

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The C630 is like a huge tablet when folded up.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Note that Lenovo also sells a version of the C630 with an FHD display, which has a lower resolution (1,920x1,080) and costs about $100 less. And there's an entry-level configuration, with the same FHD display, an Intel Core i3 and half as much hard drive capacity; it usually costs between $460 and $550. I'd recommend shelling out for the high-end model we tested, especially if you can find it for under $750; it's worth it.

With an understated matte-black aesthetic, the Yoga Chromebook C630 exudes low-key class. The sturdy all-aluminum chassis weighs just over 4 pounds -- a few ounces more than the elegant MacBook Pro -- which makes it rather lightweight for a laptop with a 15.6-inch display.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Like most Chromebooks, the C630's keyboard, though full-size, is on the mushy side. (Note that the non-4K versions of this laptop come without the backlit keyboard, for some reason.) And the trackpad is large and responsive. Both are just fine.

The audio and video features are also just adequate: you get two 2-watt speakers set on the underside of the laptop and a 720p webcam with a dual-mic array. And the connections are typical of a contemporary Chromebook: two fast USB-C ports, one slower USB 3.0 port and a microSD slot. There's also a power button and a volume rocker switch on the right edge.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The C630's battery life was surprisingly good, lasting for just about 10 hours in our video-playback test. That's not enough to lift it into the pantheon of the best battery life laptops, but it's laudable for a two-in-one convertible with a 15.6-inch 4K display -- and enough to get you through a day's work or long flight.

I'm increasingly convinced that, for most people, buying a Chromebook no longer means compromising. Sure, if you're beholden to one of the few remaining apps that runs exclusively on the Windows or MacOS operating system, this is not the laptop for you. Otherwise, the Yoga C630 Chromebook is a great, inexpensive laptop -- that doubles as an enormous tablet -- with a killer 4K display and blazing performance for everyday productivity and entertainment tasks.

JetStream

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 178Acer Chromebook Spin 13 174HP Chromebook x2 115Samsung Chromebook Plus 70
Notes: Longer bars indicate better performance

Video playback battery-drain test (streaming)

Acer Chromebook Spin 13 696HP Chromebook x2 640Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 593Samsung Chromebook Plus 573
Notes: Longer bars indicate better performance (in minutes)

System configurations

HP Chromebook x2 Chrome OS; 2.6GHz Intel Core m3-7Y30; 4GB LPDDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; Intel HD Graphics 615; 32GB eMMC
Acer Chromebook Spin 13 Chrome OS; 1.6GHz Intel Core m3-6Y30; 4GB Lenovo 500e Chromebook
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 Chrome OS; 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U; 8GB DDR4 RAM 2,400MHz; Intel UHD Graphics 620; 128GB eMMC
Samsung Chromebook Pro Chrome OS; 2.2GHz Intel Core m3-6Y30; 4GB LDDR3; Intel HD Graphics 515; 32GB eMMC
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8.5

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 9Performance 9Battery 8