After years of touting its signature “watch band” hinge, Lenovo is taking a different tack this year with its flagship consumer laptop, the Yoga C930. Instead of a classy-looking watch band, there’s a Dolby Atmos speaker in the hinge, like a little soundbar for a laptop. There are still two more speakers on the bottom of the C930, but the purpose of the soundbar is to ensure that there’s a speaker pointing at you no matter what orientation you’re using. The Yoga C930 is a 2-in-1, of course, so the screen can rotate all the way around into tablet mode.
Tablet mode is where you’ll get the most benefit from the C930’s other big new feature: an included stylus that can be stored in a “garage” inside the laptop. It’s relatively thin and small, somewhere between a Samsung Note stylus and a more traditional laptop stylus like the Surface Pen. But despite its size, it’s an “active” stylus, with 4,096 levels of pressure detection. Like the note, Lenovo’s “Garaged Pen” is automatically charged when you put it back in its little silo.
The Yoga C930 will start at $1,399.99, which probably translates to the base spec of an 8th-Gen Intel Core i5, a 13.9-inch 1920 x 1080 touchscreen, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. It can be loaded up to an i7, 3840 x 2160 display, 16GB of RAM, and a 2TB SSD. Lenovo estimates 14.5 hours of battery on the FHD screen and nine hours on the UHD screen. For ports, you’ll get one classic USB-A port, a couple of USB-C, and a headphone jack (no SD card slot, though).
You’ll have a couple of options for logging in, starting with a fingerprint reader. The webcam also supports Windows Hello, and it’s blessedly placed where the webcam belongs: above the screen. You can also customize it with a glass back if that’s your speed, but it’ll add to the weight of the device.
We didn’t get a ton of time with the device, but on a high level, the fit and finish are really solid. Lenovo says that it was able to reduce the size of the bottom bezel slightly, thanks to the new hinge design, but it’s still a bit larger than you might like. We also listened to some demos on the soundbar — which essentially consists of a couple of small speakers — and it still sounds like a laptop speaker. Better than average, at least, but the main benefit is that it will always point sound directly at you, even if you’re using it in tablet or easel mode.
There are also “far range” microphones, and Lenovo has again partnered with Amazon to include Alexa support on the device. Lenovo will sell the device directly on its website, and it has made a deal with Best Buy to feature them in big-box stores.
Alongside the flagship, Lenovo is launching a huge slew of other devices. We have posts up about the ThinkPad X1 Extreme, Yoga Book C930, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon-enabled laptop. Beyond those, though, there’s also more stuff:
- The Yoga S730 is an updated version of the S720, and it looks very much like a MacBook Air running Windows 10 — right on down to the lack of a touchscreen and a hinge that doesn’t rotate 360 degrees. Beyond a processor bump, the S730 also has a new cooling system.
- There’s a new Yoga Chromebook that’s essentially trying to take on the Pixelbook with high-end specs at a lower price, starting at $599.99. It has a 360-hinge, aluminum build, and a huge 15-inch screen. Lenovo is probably angling to have this be the new default “big living room laptop” it sells. It’s still a surprisingly popular category.
- Lenovo is also releasing two lower-end Chromebooks. The C330 is a small 2-in-1 with an 11-inch touchscreen, while the S330 has a 14-inch screen.
- There are also a few new smart home devices, but they’re pretty generic. There’s a smart plug, a camera, and a smart bulb. All of them use Wi-Fi for communications, and I get the sense that they’re mostly getting made so they can be bundled with the Google Assistant-powered Smart Display. There’ll be a “Lenovo Link” app for controlling them, and you will be able to subscribe to cloud storage for the camera if you want.