Lenovo Yoga C640 Review: The Ultimate Student Laptop?
"The Lenovo Yoga C640 is a killer value for students and budget laptop buyers."
Great battery life
Clean, portable design
Excellent ad for the price
Solid build quality
The keyboard is a bit flat
No Thunderbolt 3 port
You don't have to spend more than a thousand dollars on your next laptop. This is especially true if you are a student or a person who prefers office apps.
Lenovo apparently agrees, as its new Yoga C640 for $ 600 is specifically targeted at this target group. This is a very attractive price for a laptop that makes few compromises.
Unlike its adventurous predecessor, the Yoga C640 is a proven Intel laptop with a 10th generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8 GB RAM and a 128 GB SSD. Did Lenovo make the best laptop you can buy at this price?
The Yoga C640 has a fully aluminum construction that does not do justice to the low prices. There is a small piece of flex in the keyboard shelf and on the bottom of the case, and there is no flex on the lid. It doesn't quite match the build quality of some other Yoga models, like the much more expensive Yoga C930.
The lid can be opened almost with one hand, with only a little friction lifting the chassis floor off the surface of the desk. However, this is a 360-degree convertible 2-in-1, which means that the display changes from clamshell to tent, media and tablet modes. The tight hinge ensures that the display stays in place in all of these modes.
The Yoga C640 feels more elegant and modern than most $ 600 laptops.
Like many yogas today, the aesthetics are pretty conservative. It is a gray color in gunmetal without bling. There is no chrome stitch on the laptop, except for a small stain that surrounds the logo. It won't be noticed in a crowd, especially not compared to laptops like the Specter x360 13 from HP, the "Look at me!" Compared to the $ 650 Acer Swift 3 with its typical silver chassis, the Yoga C640 seems to me to have a more elegant and modern design. The same is true compared to the $ 560 HP Pavilion x360, which isn't as refined and slim as the Yoga C640.
The Yoga C640 is not the smallest 13-inch notebook. At first, the bezels are not huge, but not as small as the Specter x360 13 or the Dell XPS 13. This makes the case a bit larger than that of very small 13-inch laptops. However, the Yoga C640 is quite thin. It measures 0.67 inches thick, which is identical to the Specter x360 and only slightly thicker than the XPS 13. The Yoga C640 weighs 2.98 pounds compared to the HP at 2.88 pounds and the Dell at 2.8 pounds. Portability is comparable to these high-end laptops, although they are much cheaper.
The Yoga C640 receives the same type of privacy screen for the webcam that adorns the ThinkPad line. This is called TrueBlock Privacy Shutter and works similarly. Simply slide it over to physically block the webcam. I prefer the HP button on the Specter x360 13, which turns the webcam off electronically and hackers don't have anything in the system they can access if you want to turn off the 720p webcam.
Connectivity is mediocre even for a budget microlight. There are two USB-A 3.1 ports, a USB-C 3.1 port and a 3.5 mm audio jack. There's no Thunderbolt 3 port – not that we're expecting one for this price – and no microSD card reader, which is disappointing. Wireless connectivity is also a step back with Wi-Fi 5 (instead of the newer Wi-Fi 6 standard) and Bluetooth 5.0.
Keyboard and touchpad
If you like the typical Lenovo Yoga keyboard, you will love the Yoga C640. As always, it has a lot of space and a crisp mechanism. The trip is a little too flat for my taste, but I consistently hit about 90% of my usual 90 words per minute or so. I still prefer the keyboard of the HP Specter x360, and the new Magic keyboard of the latest Apple MacBooks is my absolute favorite.
Thanks to the Microsoft Precision touchpad drivers and a smooth and comfortable surface, the touchpad also works well. It's not a big touchpad, but it takes up most of the available space under the keyboard for a modern, efficient design.
As with all 2-in-1 devices, the display is touch sensitive and as precise as expected. Lenovo has added support for its active pen with 4,096 pressure sensitivity levels (the pen itself is an option for $ 69). This is acceptable at this price, and although I haven't had a chance to test the coloring on the Yoga C640, I suspect it will be as good as the rest of the Yoga line.
Windows 10 Hello login support without a password is provided by a fingerprint reader in the top right corner of the keyboard deck. It is very accurate and fairly quick – I never had to swipe again to log on to the Yoga C640. Once again, Lenovo has built a valuable feature into an affordable laptop.
One area where budget laptops are often neglected is the display quality. And that makes sense – manufacturers have to cut costs somewhere in order to fit in a cheap price range. After so much good news with the Yoga C640, I approached the display test with some concern.
As it turns out, I shouldn't have worried. According to my colorimeter, Lenovo chose an average display, that is, an average display for premium laptops. For a $ 600 laptop, it's excellent. The colors weren't particularly wide at 73% of AdobeRGB and 96% of sRGB, but they're suitable for everyone except the most demanding photo and video editors.
The contrast was very good at 1040: 1, which is above our preferred threshold of 1000: 1, and the color accuracy was excellent for an inexpensive laptop at 1.07 (anything below 1.0 is considered excellent). The ZenBook 13 UX333's display had slightly more colors and contrasts, but the Yoga's display was more accurate, even though creative people wouldn't like it. The brightness was her weak point at 242 nits. I like it when displays in brightly lit environments reach at least 300 nits for good graphics.
Still, the Yoga C640's display is comfortable for both productivity work and watching Netflix. The latter was made more pleasant by audio, which as usual had little bass, but was loud and clear and had clear mids and highs. You want to connect headphones to get the best music quality. However, you can flip the display and enjoy Netflix bingeing without having to worry about connecting an external sound.
If you switch from the Qualcomm 650 ARM CPU of the C730 to an Intel Core processor, you can expect a leap in performance. The dual-core core i3 is the entry-level model in the current core product line from Intel and does not quite correspond to the four standard cores that you see in premium laptops. However, Windows 10 runs faster than an ARM CPU and doesn't give up compatibility with older desktop applications and peripherals.
I couldn't make a direct objective comparison between the two processors because not all of our benchmarks are run on ARM. I ran Geekbench 4 on the Yoga C640 and it doubled the performance of the Yoga C630 in the single-core test and was more than 30% faster in the multi-core test. With 4,670 single-core and 8,750 multi-core values, the Core i3 is far behind the next level of the core CPU, the Core i5, which achieved over 15,000 points in the multi-core test. A laptop like the Lenovo Yoga C740 equipped with the Core i5 is significantly faster with more demanding workloads and multitasking.
The Yoga C640 will be fast enough for office workers and students.
The Yoga C640 took almost 6.5 minutes to complete our handbrake test, which converted 4K video at 420MB to H.265. The Yoga C740 ended 2 minutes faster. Our previous low-cost laptop, the Asus ZenBook UX333, was completed around the same time with its 8th generation Core i5. Suffice it to say that this entry-level Yoga C640 is not suitable for heavy-duty applications.
While it's far from the fastest laptop I've tested, I found it fast enough for my usual work. For ordinary office workers and students, the Yoga C640 is fast enough to keep up with their work. Note, however, that you can upgrade to a 10th generation quad-core Core i5 and 256GB SSD for just $ 170 more while keeping the laptop's budget and increasing performance and storage significantly. This is around $ 100 less than the comparable ZenBook UX333 (8th generation).
Note that if you are a player, this is not the right laptop for you. You're limited to Intel UHD graphics, which let you play older titles with lower resolutions and graphic details, but choke on modern things.
Next is the battery life, the main strength of the predecessor of the Yoga C640. This year's model still has the same battery life of 60 watt hours and has a CPU that may be less efficient on paper. So I was looking forward to seeing how it was compared in our standard battery tests.
The results were fascinating. First, the Yoga C640 took around 3.5 hours in our demanding Basemark web benchmark test, which loads the CPU, an average score for a Windows 10 laptop. The Yoga C630 lasted almost 9 hours, a spectacular score. The benchmark was slower, but it shows that ARM CPUs can consume power even under stress. The ZenBook 13 UX333 took almost 5 hours to complete this test, making it a longer-lasting option for demanding jobs.
With a single charge, you can watch amazing videos on the Yoga C640 for 24 hours.
In our web browsing test, which is a good indicator of overall productivity longevity, the Yoga C640 took about 10.5 hours, an hour behind the Yoga C630. Again, the Yoga C640 did a good job on a Windows 10 laptop – for example, it surpasses the 8 hours of the Acer Swift 3 – but it doesn't belong to a completely different class. When I ran our video test, where a 1080p Avengers trailer was looped until the battery showed that the Yoga C640 shocked me. It ran just over 23 hours, the best score we saw in this test. This even exceeded the very expensive Dell Latitude 7400, our previous leader, by a full 80 minutes.
The bottom line: if you want to watch videos on the Yoga C640, you can do that for almost 24 hours, which is remarkable. When you do standard productivity work, you get a whole day of work with the laptop.
The Lenogo Yoga C640 is an excellent laptop for $ 600 and a very good budget option for $ 770 if you upgrade to a Core i5 and 256 GB of storage. It's well built, has great input options, offers good productivity performance and superior battery life for the price, and looks good too.
In fact, it is so good that it replaces the Asus ZenBook UX333 as our favorite affordable laptop. The fact that you get the flexibility of a 2-in-1 for less money is just the icing on the cake.
Are there alternatives?
The ZenBook UX333 is a competitive option if you only need a Clamshell laptop. Hopefully Asus will update it to 10th generation CPUs as it is limited to 8th generation parts.
If you can spend more money, the HP Specter x360 13 is a great 2-in-1 alternative. It's faster, has a better display option with its OLED panel, and is one of the hottest laptops ever.
If you are looking for a laptop with a 360 degree hinge, I recommend the HP Specter x360. It's small and nifty like the Dell XPS 13 and a little cheaper.
If you're a MacOS fan, you can consider the new MacBook Air. It's faster, has the superb Magic keyboard, and comes as close to the budget as you'll find in the Apple range.
How long it will take?
Thanks to the latest components and a solid construction, the Yoga C640 lasts as long as you need it. The only real limitation is the lack of Thunderbolt 3 support, but you can't expect this high-speed sport for just $ 600. As usual, the 1-year warranty is standard and disappointing.
Should you buy it
Yes. The Yoga C640 is an uncomplicated laptop set at an attractive price.