Hybrid laptops that works as both tablet and laptop typically sacrifice performance, but the Lenovo C940 Yoga might just offer middle ground.
Encased in aluminium and looking a little more snazzy than the typical all-black Lenovo ThinkPad styling, the Yoga C940 is one interesting bit of kit. There’s a new Intel Core i7 10th-gen chip inside, a good 16GB RAM, and a rather friendly 512GB storage, making it certainly sizeable.
And it even comes with one of those snazzy hinges that makes it more than just a laptop. It’s also a tablet, giving you the option of both, or one or the other.
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What is it?
Built to be somewhat high-end yet also quite flexible, it’s the continuation of Lenovo’s “Yoga” range, though that might mean little to you if you’re not aware of the ranges the company has.
Lenovo makes a few grades of computers, from the consumer-focused IdeaPad to the more durable and exy ThinkPad, but in the middle of both of these is the Yoga, a machine focused on flexibility.
By “flexibility”, we mean that they’re often designed to be a little more experimental, and much like the 2-in-1 “360” style of devices, Lenovo’s Yoga machines are often built for portability in the traditional laptop sense and that of a tablet. You usually open them up like a proper notebook, or if it has a special 360 degree hinge, you can hold them back. Lenovo’s Yoga C940 sits in that category, and it’s one that comes with some relatively high-end specs.
The chip is an Intel Core i7 processor paired with a solid 16GB RAM, beyond the typical 8GB we’re used to seeing. Half a terabyte (512GB) of storage gives you plenty to work with, though Lenovo makes variants with less storage and memory for lower prices.
Our model had a 4K touch screen display, but you can find Full HD as an option for a lower cost, a fingerprint reader, backlit keys, and there’s your typical assortment wireless connectivity over Bluetooth 5.0 and WiFi 6 (WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax).
All up, it’s fairly friendly, plus Lenovo has thrown in a pen, too.
While some tablets may ask you to buy the stylus separately, the Lenovo Yoga C940 comes with the pen in the back of the machine, who is handy, for sure.
Granted, there’s no SD or microSD card slot, but there are two Type C Thunderbold 3 ports, plus a standard USB port and a 3.5mm headset jack, offering a little more than your typical slim and light machine might have.
What does it do?
Built to be both laptop and tablet, Lenovo’s Yoga C940 is a hybrid computer, the likes of which is a 2-in-1. Thanks to a 360 degree hinge with a neat little speaker inside, it’s both a laptop and a tablet, and it can even act as a multimedia system in a tent mode, too.
Computers like this aren’t unusual, and have been around for quite a few years. However they typically sacrifice performance by being made to work as a tablet. They invariably sit in the entry-level to mid-range, and are made to for productivity, but not a lot more.
Thanks to the Core i7 on-board, Lenovo’s feels pitched too the mid-range, though lacks high-end graphics to let it be a little more performance heavy for games or graphics.
Does it do the job?
Looking for a laptop that can handle the job of an oversized tablet, complete with a pen on the side? The 14 inch Lenovo Yoga C940 gets enough of the required features in the one product, complete with a design that easily appeals.
We’re big fans of the inclusion of a stylus, and one that has a place to throw it, something Microsoft could learn something about, because magnetic connections can be brushed off all too easily. Granted, the pen quality leaves something to be desired due to its size, but it’s super handy if you happen to be signing a document or jotting the occasional note down.
Performance can be a little hit and miss — more on that shortly — but there’s a lot going for what’s is a fantastic little package, at least in as much as the features have been thought of, though it could do with some things.
What does it need?
In fact, one of the very things we’d love to see is some improvement to the performance, which feels like it should be better.
The variant of the C940 we had to review was the more expensive variety, the option with 16GB RAM, but despite this, we still noticed some obvious lag, so much that it would invariably slow as we typed at points. Granted, this is going to be one of those things that becomes an issue dependent on the apps you run, but our lag wasn’t in the background, and was something we noticed as we worked.
Despite the productivity performance problems, we found creative apps handled the system perfectly well, telling us perhaps the optimisation needed some tweaking.
Also needing a bit more in the performance department is the battery life, which sees around six to seven hours of life in our tests, though should be higher. Again, like the performance, the more you get the laptop to do, the more you’re likely to see iffy results.
The specs are solid, that said, so if you’re reliant on grunt, you should be happy, just be aware that performance may have the odd struggle here and there.
But the cost is hard to get away from, and is one of the issues with the C940 we struggle with.
Is it worth your money?
The Lenovo C940 review model we spent time with sat in the upper end of the market at $3199, and appears to be the only stock model, with the remaining options a “Build Your Own” variant.
And that is not a cheap laptop, not by a long shot.
A buck under $3200 isn’t a terrible price for the feature set and design, but it also feels expensive in the grand scheme of things. You’re getting a decent amount of storage at 512GB and a decent amount of memory at 16GB, not to mention an Intel Core i7. But it’s also quite pricey that lacks the ports, outpacing the price of of even Apple’s MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
If this laptop sat at $2600, we could see the value, but around $3200, it’s a little more complicated, and borders on being too much overall. Not value driven, just pricey overall.
Yay or nay?
Design, however, is the key winner of this one, with a fantastically modern approach to the 360 degree hinge, incorporating a speaker in the hinge with a lovely large 14 inch display.
It’s not just the aesthetic approach that keeps our mind on the Lenovo C940, but some of the extra bits and pieces Lenovo has considered: a power button in an easy to find place on the side, the inclusion of a standard USB port alongside the two Type C options, and a rechargeable pen stored at the bottom and back of the machine. These little touches add to what is a thoughtful 2-in-1, giving it more than just “yet another 360 degree hinge”.
That design is what keeps us interested in this laptop, even if the price pushes our buttons a little more than the laptop and tablet otherwise should.
If you fancy a computer that pushes portability with a penchant for performance, the Lenovo C940 Yoga is one you should take a look at, just be aware that while the device is flexible, the price requires you to be that way inclined as well.