Chromebooks are often overlooked as being somewhat inferior to a Windows or Mac laptop. Because these Google-centric devices don’t (yet) have support for PC and MacOS apps, they aren’t feasible for some users. But these days, Chromebooks are a lot more powerful, thanks to Chrome OS’s ability to run Android apps from the Google Play Store and run Linux (if that’s something that interests you). Which leads us to the next device to land on the review desk – the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630.
Before we get started, it’s worth noting that this is only a review of the Yoga Chromebook C630 itself and not a review of the Chrome OS. There are plenty of resources already posted online about Google’s operating system, so I’m sticking to the hardware here for the most part.
Here’s what we’re looking at in the spec department:
The Yoga Chromebook C630 is a super clean-looking machine. So clean, in fact, some might say it’s boring. The device is fully cloaked in a smooth “Midnight Blue” finish and lacks any unique design elements, aside from an almost-unnoticeable Lenovo logo on the left hinge and a Yoga logo and Chrome branding on the lid.
Looks aside, the C630 still feels like a “premium” device, thanks to its flexible aluminum chassis, which allows you to use the device as a traditional laptop, folded back into a tablet-like state, or used in “tent” or “stand” mode for watching videos. It also boasts reasonably thin top and side bezels. Unfortunately, the bottom bezel isn’t as tiny, so the device’s 15.6-inch display doesn’t feel as big as it could, although it’s still plenty big enough for my own personal use.
With dimensions of 14.2″ x 9.8″ x 0.7″ / 361.5 x 248.5 x 17.8 (mm) and weighing in at just over 4 pounds, the Yoga Chromebook C630 is anything but small. This is a hefty machine – but it still fits perfectly in my Solo New York Boyd backpack and doesn’t weigh me down too much when I’m on the go, so I’m certainly not complaining. If you need something small and more lightweight, however, you may want to look elsewhere.
On the left side of the device, we’re looking at a USB-C charging port, a USB 3.0 port, and a headphone/microphone combo jack. On the right, we’ve got another USB-C port and a Micro SD card slot situated next to the power button, volume rocker, and Kensington Lock Slot.
There are adequate ports here, but I would rather have seen a standard SD card slot in addition to the smaller variation. This is a personal preference, as my Pixel 2 doesn’t have a micro SD card slot and my cameras all use standard SD cards. Just something to keep in mind when shopping – you want to make sure your new Chromebook is as compatible as possible with the rest of your gear.
While the higher-end Yoga C630 series models tout a 4k display, the model I tested was limited to 1080p. With that being said, the 15.6-inch FHD display is still super crisp and plenty bright enough for my viewing needs. It’s also a touchscreen display, which is pretty common in most laptops these days, but still a nice and welcomed feature.
Watching Netflix and YouTube on this device is a great experience, especially considering the laptop has Android app support. Android apps have been running on Chromebooks for a while now, but this is my first experience using them on one, and to say it’s anything less than impressive would be misleading.
Keyboard and trackpad
My experience with using the Yoga Chromebook C630 keyboard and trackpad has been mostly positive. The keys are extremely easy to press and emit very little noise while doing so. The trackpad feels smooth and is adequately responsive. Clicking the “left button” (the bottom left corner) on the trackpad is a bit noisier, but not what I’d consider loud. You can bypass pressing it all together with a simple tap on the trackpad with one finger; tap with two fingers to emulate a right click and bring up additional options for the item you’re clicking on.
The Fn key row is somewhat reduced on a Chromebook in comparison to a traditional laptop. In this instance, a row of 12 wider than standard, half-height keys provide volume control, app switching, forward and back functions (when web browsing, for instance), screen brightness, locking the laptop down until your password is entered and an ESC function.
The only bummer about the keyboard, if I have to find something to be picky about, is the lack of backlighting. I know some of the more expensive models offer a backlit keyboard, but I feel it should have been included in a device that costs more than $500, even if it’s the lower end model of the series.
Speakers and camera
Lenovo outfitted the Chromebook C630 with two downward-facing speakers covered by grills and located on the bottom of the laptop. The volume level is sufficient for watching videos on the device, as well as listening to music. However, you’re not going to want to use this as the only set of speakers powering your next dance party.
The webcam/video camera/whatever you want to call it sits at the top of the laptop screen, right in the middle. It’s a 720p camera – 1080p would have been nice, but this will do, I suppose. I don’t do much video chatting, anyway, but if I did, I’d probably just stick to doing it on my phone.
Performance and benchmarks
As far as the Chromebooks I’ve used (see: only a couple to date), this is the cream of the crop, in terms of performance. The Yoga Chromebook C630 can easily fly – even with multiple Chrome browser tabs and apps open. I’ve also used it quite extensively for Android gaming, and it’s safe to say this thing can handle pretty much anything you throw at it, in terms of moderate-to-heavy usage.
And for a little added bonus, why not run a benchmark on this bad boy, considering we have access to Android apps on the Google Play Store? I’m not usually one for benchmarks, as they don’t really relate to how a device performs under normal usage, but for those die-hards who want to know such information, here you go.
Geekbench 4 benchmark results:
Everything up to this point has been bells and whistles for the Yoga Chromebook C630. But, the one department where I feel this device lacks is storage. It comes with a mere 64 GB of eMMC (the pricier models come with 128 GB, but even that feels like it’s not all that much.
I suppose the saving grace here is the microSD slot, which allows you to expand storage as much as possible via a memory card, and you also get 100 GB of free Google Drive storage, but again, I feel like it’s hard to sell this as a premium device and throw in only 64 GB of storage.
THIS is where the device really shines, in my opinion: Battery life. I get a constant average of 8-10 hours of normal usage on each charge. And even better, recharging doesn’t take forever. From empty to full, it takes only about an hour and a half. And thanks to USB-C charging ports on either side of the laptop, it’s easy to continue working while topping off the battery.
Where to buy the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630
You can pick up this delightful 2-in-1 device directly from the Lenovo website, with models starting at $509.99 and topping out at $764.99.