In 2020, a good laptop should not be two things – Limited in form factor and Expensive. Lenovo Yoga C640, a new addition to the C-series aims to avoid just that. For starters, it doesn’t cost in six digits, comes with the latest processor and is Yoga, so it can flex it’s hinge. Our review unit, priced at Rs 76,990, definitely looks premium for its price. However, everyone who looked at this notebook ended up talking about that form factor. Also Read - Lenovo Xiaoxin Air 14 2020 launched with NVIDIA GeForce MX350 and 10th gen Intel processors: Price, Specifications
When Intel pushed the idea of ultrabooks, there were skeptics. When ultrabooks tried to become 2-in-1 convertibles, there were skeptics too. The reality is that naysayers have made way for optimists. The optimists believe these shape shifting computers are the way forward. I was a naysayer too but now, these convertibles seem to be making sense. The primary reason being the way Microsoft has approached Windows 10. The frequent updates and select apps make the form factor acceptable. Also Read - RedmiBook may launch in India soon after Manu Kumar Jain hosts Intel India MD Prakash Mallya
That brings us to the most important question – are convertibles and 2-in-1s the way forward? In a nutshell, the form factor is thriving. Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer and Asus are pushing these form factors. Microsoft, with its Surface lineup, too is pushing the innovation agenda in this segment. While cost has been a cause of concern, the form factor has become affordable. So, if you are in the market for a convertible that does not cost in six digits, the Lenovo Yoga C640 could be a good choice. Read our review to find out why. Also Read - Acer ConceptD series laptops, desktop and monitor with 9th gen Intel processors launched in India: Price, Specifications
Design and Display
One of the key factors to look at, when it comes to convertibles, is the design. The design does not necessarily mean the overall material or build. The design to be looked at, in particular, is the hinge. Lenovo has shown that it can innovate in this area. The company introduced watchband style hinge and then added a speaker to the hinge as well. None of those design ingenuity is being extended to the Yoga C640. This convertible device comes with a tried and tested hinge design.
There are two metal clasps on either end that allow rotation of the screen as well as the keyboard deck. These metal clasps also allow for the display to communicate with internals of the machine. Our review unit in Metal Grey color is a fingerprint magnet and the external lid is so prone to smudges that you need to carry around a microfiber cloth to wipe it. The best thing to do if you buy this laptop is to put on some skin. A small investment that will keep the laptop clean for a long time.
There are nice design elements that extend further including speaker grilles on either side of the keyboard. It is MacBook Pro-esque, but nice. Below the keyboard, there is a decent size trackpad and a fingerprint sensor on the side. On the right edge, you will find the power button, USB-A 3.1 (Gen 1) and USB Type-C port. On the left edge, you will find the power input, USB-A 3.1 (Gen 1) and headphone/mic combo. Lenovo is using barrel plug for power, which is a big letdown.
It features a 13.3-inch display with Full HD resolution and 300 nits of brightness. During my time with the laptop, I found this display to be plenty bright. It is definitely brighter than the display used on the ThinkBook 14. It is anti-glare, which makes it comfortable to use at any lighting condition. I am writing this at an airport and I am finding no issue, even with the brightness set at 60 percent. Lenovo has also trimmed the bezels surrounding the display to make a really good experience. At this point, Lenovo has mastered the art of designing laptops that are great across price points.
Lenovo Yoga C640 makes smart choices in terms of hardware as well. There are only two SKUs and they share a lot of common elements. By default, you get a 10th-gen Intel Core i5-10210U processor with 8GB RAM. You have the option to configure this laptop with either 256GB or 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD storage. Our review unit came with 512GB storage and during our testing, we found the read and write speeds to be plenty fast. These are not as fast as some other premium machines that we have tested. However, they offer respectable performance for the price.
I used this laptop primarily for work. This involves having at least two dozen tabs open on Chrome, Slack always running in the background and occasional use of Spotify or Pocket Casts for podcasts. I also used the machine for lightweight photo editing. During these tasks, the Yoga C640 did not show any signs of slowing down. It also did have any issues handling these applications. Sometimes, you would see a lack of optimizations from the vendor. However, Lenovo has done a really good job to optimize the machine for these tasks.
Since it comes only with integrated graphics, don’t expect this machine to be only good for gaming. You will be able to use it for casual gaming but performance may not be that great. At 17mm thick and weighing 1.25kg, the heat dissipation is not the best you would see in this segment. I heard the fan spinning even with a few tabs on Google Chrome. With more tabs, the fans started spinning even faster. The hissing noise never really bothered me but they can be uncomfortable for some users.
Lenovo claims the Yoga C640 can last for as long as 22 hours on a single charge. I averaged between six and twelve hours of use. With brightness set to 100 percent and battery set to better performance, the laptop reached 10 percent within six hours. However, with brightness set to 70 percent and battery setting toggled to better battery, I was easily able to get through the workday. In fact, the screen is readable even at 70 percent, which alone should be considered bragging rights by Lenovo.
There is a backlit iron grey chiclet style keyboard that left me with mixed feelings. For one, it has decent travel and I was able to get up to speed very easily. However, the spring action was understandable and you constantly feel like jumping out of these keys. It can also end up sounding loud for a laptop keyboard. By no means, Yoga C640 has a bad keyboard but it is not the best or most reassuring keyboard on a Lenovo laptop. The trackpad, on the other hand, works well with gestures but I didn’t quite get that feeling of precision trackpad.
I use an external mouse with most laptops anyway, so trackpad is not much of an issue for me. One area where Lenovo Yoga C640’s hardware really disappoints is with the port selection. So, you get two USB-A 3.1 (Gen 1), one USB Type-C, one power-in and a headphone jack. Lenovo should have replaced the barrel plug for power with a second USB Type-C port. Unlike other laptops, the USB ports do not support always-on power delivery. The lack of an SD card slot is a big bummer. These are small things that I found myself missing during the time with this laptop.
Software and Security
Our review unit of Lenovo Yoga C640 came with Windows 10 Home edition but I would recommend upgrading to Windows 10 Pro if possible. As soon as I started using the laptop, Microsoft pushed Windows 10 version 1909 update. With the new versions of Windows 10, Microsoft has been trying to bring stability and consistency to the platform. It brings a scoped set of features including quality enhancements and performance improvements. Like Apple, Microsoft is on a slippery slope with its cyclic updates for Windows 10.
While one update delivers new features, the next version brings fixes for stability and system-level issues. Microsoft should find a better way to deliver seamless and secure updates. On the software front, Lenovo has not added a lot of bloatware. There is Lenovo Vantage and McAfee security suite, which you can disable. The Vantage is a useful tool which details key parameters of the device and also helps you keep track of system updates. Lenovo also issues BIOS updates frequently to keep the system secure.
Since the Yoga C640 is a convertible, you will often be switching between the desktop and tablet mode. As soon as you flip the screen, the laptop switches to tablet mode. It is nearly instantaneous. While there are not a lot of apps tailored for the tablet experience, some like Netflix work really well. Also Microsoft Edge works well in this mode and you can use the device as a consumption device in this mode. There is also an active pen bundled with the laptop for use. It is decent for sketching and taking notes but the response is not in the same league as that of Surface Pen or stylus bundled with Lenovo’s ThinkPad models.
Verdict: Should you buy?
There is a lot that works in the favor of Yoga C640. The primary, of which, is the price. At Rs 76,990, it offers 8GB of RAM, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD storage and 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor. It also comes with an excellent 13.3-inch display and a battery that can get you through the day. The form factor also works really well and seems ideal for use in a college campus. The downsides are limited like poor choice of ports and lack of SD card slot. If you are a student, who needs a laptop for notes, drafting projects and consuming entertainment on the go, I recommend looking at Yoga C640 as an option. It does not get everything right but it does so many things well that there is not much to argue here.