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Hands on: Lenovo Yoga C940 review

Refining the flagship Yoga design

What is a hands on review?
Lenovo Yoga C940

Early Verdict

The Lenovo Yoga C940 could be the 2-in-1 laptop to beat for the foreseeable future, addressing the most glaring concerns with its previous model while making quality-of-life design improvements that no one even knew they wanted.

For

  • 10nm Intel processors
  • Brighter display
  • Refined design
  • New 15-inch model

Against

  • Fingerprint reader placement

Simply put, the Lenovo Yoga C940 appears to be better than last year’s Yoga flagship – the Yoga C930 – in almost every way. Lenovo has improved the laptop’s design in key areas while addressing complaints to craft a device that doesn’t have many flaws to speak of.

Plus, this year Lenovo is offering a new 15-inch model that should please the content creator crowd as well as gamers that want to avoid the usual PC gaming aesthetic in their laptops.

The Yoga C940 also marks Lenovo’s first laptop with Intel’s 10 nanometer (nm), 10th Generation Core processors (CPUs) inside. The result? Promises of insanely long battery life – even at Ultra HD resolutions. Altogether, the Lenovo Yoga C940 could be the 2-in-1 laptop to beat for the foreseeable future.

Price and availability

The Lenovo Yoga C940 will come in two variations when it launches this October: a 14-inch and 15-inch model. The 14-inch Yoga C940 will start the pricing at $1,249 (about £1,040, AU$1,850), which equips the 2-in1 laptop with a 10nm, 10th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU with Intel UHD 950 integrated graphics.

Rounding out the starting specification are 8GB of DDR4X memory (RAM) and a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD). All of that sits beneath a 14-inch, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS touchscreen with Dolby Vision, 400 nits of brightness and 100% coverage of the sRGB color space.

Every other configuration remains unpriced at the time of writing, but a maxed-out Yoga C940 would include a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU the 10nm process with Intel UHD 960 graphics, 16GB of RAM and either a 1TB SSD alone or paired with 32GB of Intel’s Teton Glacier flash memory. Oh, and it will also have a UHD (3,840 x 2,160) touchscreen at 500 nits.

Meanwhile the 15-inch version contains less cutting-edge hardware inside, but is arguably more powerful in other respects, particularly graphics. The 15-inch Yoga C940 starts at $1,709 (about £1,420, AU$2,530) for a 9th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU paired with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics.

Otherwise, this laptop starts with somewhat weaker DDR4 RAM, but with 12GB rather than just 8GB in the 14-incher, as well as the very same starting storage option of a 256GB SSD. The 15-inch model also starts with a Full HD touch display, but at 500 nits to begin with.

A fully-upgraded 15-inch Yoga C940 will provide a 9th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU with the same graphics option, 16GB of RAM, and either a 2TB SSD or a 1TB SSD paired with that 32GB Intel Teton Glacier flash memory module. Naturally, this model will also feature a UHD touchscreen.

With all this laid out, the Yoga C940 14-inch – the only one available for hands-on impressions at a recent press briefing – is priced quite competitively with the likes of the HP Spectre x360 and Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 when similarly specced out.

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Lenovo Yoga C940 keyboard and trackpad

Lenovo Yoga C940 keyboard and trackpad
(Image credit: Future)
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Lenovo Yoga C940 fingerprint sensor

Lenovo Yoga C940 fingerprint sensor
(Image credit: Future)
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Lenovo Yoga C940 display

Lenovo Yoga C940 display
(Image credit: Future)
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Lenovo Yoga C940 ports

Lenovo Yoga C940 ports
(Image credit: Future)
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(Image credit: Future)
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Lenovo Yoga C940 pen

Lenovo Yoga C940 pen
(Image credit: Future)

Design and display

Much of the Lenovo Yoga C940 story is one of refinement. Lenovo hasn’t reinvented the laptop’s design this year, but rather has doubled down on it in subtle ways that you wouldn’t notice unless you either already own the Yoga C930 or follow these sorts of things religiously.

The Yoga C940 comes in the same colors as before – “Iron Gray” and ‘Mica’ – but the lauded speaker hinge returns in a new form. Now, the speaker hinge is one contiguous piece of material, offering just that much more room for wider audio drivers inside.

Lenovo Yoga C940 camera and lip

(Image credit: Future)

Also, Lenovo has added a small lip above the webcam that makes the laptop much easier to open with one hand while it is resting on a table or your laptop. Finally, Lenovo has added two speakers to the bottom of the laptop’s base for added audio depth.

These are about the only major design changes to the laptop that we can see. This is no bad thing, as we already deeply appreciated the utility and appeal of the Yoga C930 design.

Lenovo Yoga C940

(Image credit: Future)

The Yoga C940 keyboard and trackpad remain as luxe and punchy as ever, which we wouldn’t expect any less from Lenovo. Don’t change a good thing for the sake of it, we say. The same goes for the ports, which remain at two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, one USB-C 3.1 port and an audio jack in the 14-incher, with the 15-inch model gaining DC power.

Luckily, the display too remains a sight to behold, with ace color reproduction and snappy touch response. Addressing complaints of low brightness, Lenovo has pumped up the display in any configuration to 400 nits, with an optional 500 nits available.

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Lenovo Yoga C940

Lenovo Yoga C940
(Image credit: Future)
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Lenovo Yoga C940

Lenovo Yoga C940
(Image credit: Future)

Performance and features

While we can’t speak too deeply – or with too much judgment – on the Yoga C940’s capabilities having spent so little time with it (much less considering both models), we can at least get an idea of what it can do based on what’s inside.

The 14-inch model is likely to be the most efficient of the two, with 10nm processing and DDR4X both delivering similar or better performance than their predecessors while consuming less power overall. Both parts could theoretically be used to push a system further than before, but Lenovo is focused on well-rounded performance and battery life from the 14-inch Yoga C940.

Meanwhile, the 15-inch model uses slightly older hardware in more powerful configurations, like Core i9 processing and Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics. Expect to get stronger high-resolution and 3D rendering out of this version, but shorter battery life.

Lenovo projects that the Full HD, 14-inch Yoga C940 will last for up to 17 hours and 30 minutes, while the UHD model will last up to 9 hours and 30 minutes. As for the 15-incher, that will last up to 12 hours with a Full HD display and 9 hours with the UHD screen. Both models can gather up to 2 hours of charge from 15 minutes connected to an outlet with rapid charging via USB-C.

To complement the hardware inside, all of the key features within the Yoga C930 are also available in the C940. That includes the digital stylus that both stores and charges inside the laptop, the fingerprint sensor on the palm rest – though, we’d love to see it in the power button – and the webcam privacy shutter.

Lenovo Yoga C940

(Image credit: Future)

Early verdict

The Lenovo Yoga C940 is the logical evolution of its predecessor and a fine herald for Intel’s 10nm processors. Lenovo has addressed the most glaring concerns with its previous model while making quality-of-life design improvements that no one even knew they wanted.

Plus, the added option of a 15-inch model for ‘prosumers’ or gamers that want a more mainstream device only adds to the appeal. The Yoga C940 appears to be better than last year’s Yoga flagship in almost every way, and we can’t wait to test it in a full review.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.