Chromebooks aren't just for kids and companies anymore, and try as Chrome OS does to shake off that image and present itself as an operating system for all, it falls to Chromebooks themselves to follow through on this claim. Lenovo's been making some of the best Chromebooks for years, but with the Yoga Chromebook C630, it's shedding some of its usual toughness for a refined style and top-notch specs. The idea is to present the platform as much media-focused as it is for productivity... and it works.
This Chromebook follows through on all of this and more. I just wish it was light enough for me to want to take it out of the house more often.
- Gorgeous screen
- Full-size keyboard and trackpad
- Good port configurations
- Blazing performance
- Short battery for a Chromebook
- Heavy and bulky
- Speakers could be better positioned
About this review
I've used the 4K model of the Chromebook C630 for a month now alongside my daily driver Chromebook C330, its lighter, cuter little sister, using the C630 mostly in my apartment and the C330 while out and about. These two machines complement each other pretty well, but the difference between their keyboards was just enough to throw me for a loop if I switched between them quickly.
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 4K What I like
Wow, that screen is just lovely, isn't it? While there are 1080p models of the C630 — and they look perfectly fine — this is the 4K version, and my goodness, it is just so sharp. This screen is crisp, bright, and while it looks freaking gorgeous watching 4K videos on YouTube — 4K Netflix content is restricted to Microsoft Edge and thus isn't available on 4K Chromebooks yet — that screen looks even better when split-screening two or three Chrome windows and getting down to business.
I've loved researching and editing on the C630. The 16:9 aspect ratio is far better suited to multi-window than 3:2 screens like the Pixelbook, and with the 15.6-inch screen's higher resolution, I don't have to squint at small text or frantically scroll around a lot the way I have to on smaller machines. And tapping away at Microsoft Solitaire Collection on this immaculate touchscreen is sheer heaven.
That big screen is paired with a big keyboard and trackpad, and while adjusting between the C330 and C630 keyboards was just slightly different enough to play tricks on my fingers, both felt excellent and I found the trackpad quite responsive when I used it. The styling of the chassis that holds everything in place is solid, smoothed aluminum that has some interesting corners around the sides and bottom, and while I'd love to see more color options for Chromebooks like these, the Midnight Blue of the C630 was understated and beautiful.
Are you sure it's 4K? How does Chrome OS handle that?
Chrome OS handles 4K resolution monitors the same way that Chrome OS handles 720p monitors: with grace and a slider. Chrome OS has this fun little Internal Display slider, allowing you to make items on your high-res or low-res screen look bigger or smaller.
It's important to note that this does not change your actual screen resolution even though the slider does show different resolution numbers. It simply shifts the display zoom to make everything appear larger or smaller on your screen. Even if you're on "Huge", your screen is still 4K and your media is still 4K. While "native" resolution is kinda cool, it's also super hard on my eyes and I instead tend to use Internal Display's slider at 90%-110%.
|Spec||Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630|
|Processor||8th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-8250U Processor|
|Graphics||Integrated Intel® UHD 620 Graphics|
|Display||15.6" UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Anti-Glare Multi-touch|
|Storage||128 GB eMMC|
|Battery||56 Whr Li-Polymer|
|Size||14.2" x 9.8" x 0.7"|
Combo headphone jack
The ports that come on the C630 are great, but even more important is the configuration of those ports. There's a USB-C port on each side of the device, and then one side gets the USB-A and headphone jack while the other side gets the microSD slot, Kensington lock, and power/volume buttons. The ports are well-spaced and it's fairly easy to keep from bumping the ports even when charging in bed or checking a flash drive in the airport lounge.
The charger included with the C630 is a 45W USB-C Power Delivery charger, and I appreciated both the long cable length and the compact size of the charger, which makes it excellent for packing on trips, though I'll admit, I didn't take it with me for afternoons of research and rides at Walt Disney World, it was fantastic to bring this big boy into the bedroom for some research and relaxation when I was under the weather.
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 4K What could still improve
When I say the C630 is a big boy, it is absolutely not hyperbole. It's almost as large as this 3-pound Hershey's bar that I brought home from a work trip ... because my bosses are awesome. Unfortunately, it's far heavier than that oversized candy bar, coming in around four and a half pounds, which combined with that impressive footprint meant that the C630 was just ever so slightly too much dead weight to throw in my gear bag for a remote day of typing and tapping.
I expect longer battery life from my Chromebooks at this point.
This was especially true once you threw in the 45W USB-C charger, which you absolutely needed to get through the day or even just to get through a long afternoon in a sunny room. Battery life on the C630 usually averaged 4-6 hours on medium-low brightness levels, so while you could get through a cross country flight with this playing a move for you and the three rows behind you, you'd need to charge up the second you touched back down.
I expect longer battery life from my Chromebooks at this point, but between powering that Core i5 processor and crispy 4K screen, it's not an unexpected result. This Chromebook couldn't afford to be any heavier, and it's geared more towards the occasional traveler that mostly uses it at home more than constantly on-the-go users like myself. In fact, this would be the perfect Chromebook for my mother if we had to replace her 17-inch laptop.
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 4K
This is a big beast of a Chromebook that can handle just about any movie, productivity suite, or Linux app at it and it'll take it in stride. The Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 4K is also an $800 Chromebook that weighs over four pounds and sometimes only last four hours off the charger, which keep a good Chromebook from being truly great.
If you want a Chromebook with a big, beautiful screen that's great for split-screening Chrome tabs or watching movies while you kill downtime on your business trip or vacation, the C630's 4K model is made perfectly for you. It's not the most portable Chromebook around, but it's big, beefy, and good at what it does: viewing 4K video and multi-tasking.
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