Lenovo Yoga C940 (14-inch) review: A little extra screen and a lot to like

If you’ve ever reached for your phone instead of your laptop simply because it’s faster to wake up, unlock and start working, you’ll appreciate what Lenovo’s Yoga C940 can do. The company’s flagship 14-inch two-in-one is an Intel Project Athena device, a select group of laptops co-engineered with Intel to perform more like your phone. While I never felt like its predecessor, the C930, was slow, it’s surprising how responsive the C940 feels by comparison.

Like

  • Overall faster processor and graphics performance
  • Improved display quality
  • Excellent feature set for its price

Don’t Like

  • Included pen is a little small for extended use
  • All ports are on one side

Lift the lid and it instantly wakes from sleep. The fingerprint reader unlocks the C940 in a second and since the Wi-Fi connects just as fast, it’s essentially ready to work immediately. With the laptop asleep and lid open, you only have to put your fingertip down on the reader and it’s awake and unlocked as fast as your phone. 

Lenovo Yoga C940

Lenovo Yoga C940-14IIL (FHD display) Lenovo Yoga C940-14IIL (UHD display)
Price as reviewed $1,300 $1,600
Display size/resolution 14-inch 1,920×1,080 touch display 14-inch 3,840×2,160 touch display
CPU 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-1065G7 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-1065G7
Memory 12GB DD4 RAM 4.27GHz 16GB DD4 RAM 4.27GHz
Graphics 128MB Intel Iris Plus Graphics 128MB Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Storage 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 32GB Intel Optane memory
Networking 802.11AX (2 x 2) WiFi 6 & Bluetooth 5.0 802.11AX (2 x 2) WiFi 6 & Bluetooth 5.0
Operating system Windows 10 Home 64-bit version 1903 Windows 10 Home 64-bit version 1903
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The C940’s 1080p display is better for battery life and fine for productivity. 


Sarah Tew/CNET

 A new core at its core

The heart of the C940 is its 10th-gen Intel Core i7 processor with the chip maker’s Ice Lake architecture. We’ve been impressed with its performance in other two-in-ones including the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 and HP’s Spectre x360 13 (both of these are Project Athena certified, too). The Intel Iris Plus graphics that accompany the processor actually has more bite than you might expect as it’s able to chew through more demanding tasks and even do a little light gaming. It’s no replacement for discrete graphics (you can bump up to the 15.6-inch C940 if you want that), but it’s better than the integrated Intel UHD Graphics chip found in the C930. 

Long battery life and fast charging are also part of the package. I got to test both the full-HD (1,920×1,080 pixels) and ultra-HD (3,840×2,160 pixels) displays Lenovo offers for the C940. If you care about battery life most, get the FHD display, which lasted for 11 hours and 15 minutes on our streaming video test. 

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Maxed out brightness: the C940’s UHD display (left) vs. the C940’s FHD display. 


Sarah Tew/CNET

The UHD display model ran for 8 hours and 15 minutes, which is still good given the increased power demands. It is a nicer display, too, with better color and brightness that tops 400 nits and it’s VESA-certified DisplayHDR 400. That said, they can both stand to be calibrated out of the box and the glossy coating will have you fighting reflections outside. Regardless of which you go with, I have to say I like having the slightly larger 14-inch display size compared to the 13.3- and 13.4-inch screens of the HP and Dell. 

Refined design

The Yoga C940 sticks closely to the winning design of the C930, but Lenovo still found ways to improve it. For example, it has the same reverse-notch design at the top of the display as its clamshell counterpart, the S940. It makes it easier to lift the lid with one finger while also making room for the webcam and its sliding privacy shutter. 

Lenovo made its unique soundbar hinge a single piece that gives it a cleaner look and better audio than the competition. And it doesn’t matter what position you’re using the C940 in, either. One other small change: Lenovo made it easier to remove the included active pen from the garage on the back of the laptop by cutting a notch into the body. 

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All the C940’s ports are on the left side. 


Sarah Tew/CNET

One thing I wish Lenovo would change is the port placement. All of its ports — two USB-C Thunderbolt 3, one USB-A and a headphone jack — are on the left side. If Lenovo moved one of the Thunderbolt 3s to the other side, you could charge the laptop from the left or right and it could leave more room for connecting bulkier USB devices, such as a memory card reader or flash drive. 

Also worth mentioning is that the memory is soldered onto the mainboard. That’s pretty standard for ultraportables now, though. Basically just make sure you get all the memory you think you’ll need upfront. 

Simply better

The Lenovo Yoga C940 is an excellent premium two-in-one, especially if you’re looking for a bit more screen space than Dell’s XPS 13 or the HP Spectre x360. It’s all-around faster than the last model, too, in processing performance and overall usability. Add in long battery life and two solid display options and you have a laptop that easy to recommend.  

Geekbench 4 (multicore)

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (Intel)

Lenovo Yoga C940-14IIL (14-inch, 4K display)

HP Spectre x360 13 (2019)

Lenovo Yoga C940-14IIL (14-inch)

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Cinebench R15 CPU (multicore)

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (Intel)

Lenovo Yoga C940-14IIL (14-inch, 4K display)

Lenovo Yoga C940-14IIL (14-inch)

HP Spectre x360 13 (2019)

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

PCMark 10 Pro Edition

Lenovo Yoga C940-14IIL (14-inch)

Lenovo Yoga C940-14IIL (14-inch, 4K display)

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (Intel)

HP Spectre x360 13 (2019)

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Streaming video playback battery drain test

Lenovo Yoga C940-14IIL (14-inch)

HP Spectre x360 13 (2019)

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (Intel)

Lenovo Yoga C940-14IIL (14-inch, 4K display)

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance (in minutes)

System configurations

Lenovo Yoga C940-14IIL (14-inch) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-1065G7; 12GB DDR4 RAM 4.27GHz; 128MB Intel Iris Plus Graphics; 512GB SSD
Lenovo Yoga C940-14IIL (14-inch, 4K display) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-1065G7; 16GB DDR4 RAM 4.27GHz; 128MB Intel Iris Plus Graphics; 477GB SSD
Lenovo Yoga C930 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; 12GB DDR4 SDRAM 2.1GHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD
LG Gram 14 2-in-1 (2020) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-10510U; 16GB DDR4 RAM 2.67GHz; 128MB Intel UHD Graphics; 512GB SSD
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (Intel) Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-1065G7; 16GB DDR4 RAM 4.27GHz; 128MB Intel Iris Plus Graphics; 256GB SSD
HP Spectre x360 13 (2019) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-1065G7; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 3.2GHz; 128MB Intel Iris Plus Graphics; 512GB SSD