Thinkpad C13 Yoga Chromebook

With the Duet and the Flex 5, Lenovo has set new standards in the entry-level and mid-range Chromebook market. Will this also succeed in the business class?

Lenovo sends its first Chromebook with the prestigious Thinkpad name into battle after years. That finally leaves the good feeling that another computer giant takes the market very seriously.

Goodbye, Intel?

AMD introduced new “Accelerated Processing Units”, i.e. main processors with integrated coprocessors, for specialized use in Chromebooks in spring 2020. HP, among others, uses them, and Lenovo’s Thinkpad C13 Yoga is the latest addition.

Yes, this is what a Thinkpad looks like: In the center of the excellent keyboard is the “Trackpoint” as a mouse replacement that takes some getting used to. Above the “Clickpad” are three buttons to replace the mouse buttons and for scrolling, and next to it is the fingerprint reader. Unusual, but high-quality is the additional 5K camera above the Chrome keys.

Identity-forming appearance

For a long time, Thinkpads had the visual preconception of a “brick”: solid, but also always quite angular, the devices appeared for years, whose brand has shaped the laptop market as iconically as Apple’s Macbooks.

For video conferencing and photos in tablet mode: Lenovo placed an additional 5K camera above the keyboard.

Double camera equipment

The lens and light sensors above the Chrome function keys might cause irritation at first. The solution to the riddle: Lenovo installs a 5-megapixel additional camera here, which shows its strengths in tablet mode or in tent setup.

Display: vivid, bright, but reflective

For rather high-priced Chromebooks, the quality of the display increasingly decides the selection. There are basically good things to report about the one that gives the Thinkpad C13 Yoga part of its name.

Pen garage

The Thinkpad C13 Yoga is not the first Chromebook with an included stylus, but it is the first to charge it when not in use.

Welcomed detail for connecting monitors and beamers: The ThinkPad includes an HDMI 2.0 port.

Ready to dock!

When it comes to the choice of interfaces, Lenovo goes discreetly beyond the standard. The now obligatory USB-C ports for charging and connecting peripherals are found on the left and right — even an external Displayport monitor can be connected this way.

The race is on: Lenovo virtually pulls even with Acer’s Spin 713 with the Thinkpad C13 Yoga. Keyboard and cameras make us rather bet on the Yoga, Acer is ahead with the display.

No sound artist

On the other hand, the sound of the Thinkpad Chromebook is all-around disappointing. It is annoying that manufacturers are still skimpy here. Meanwhile, even in the office at the wrong end, because in times of daily video conferencing, many appreciate good internal speakers.

HP’s Chromebook x360 14c proves that there is a way to provide good sound: The cooperation with Bang & Olufsen is now bearing fruit; the speakers also radiate upwards. Perhaps Lenovo should also knock on the audiophile Danes’ door.

No battery miracle either

The battery life is also somewhat disappointing. Depending on the screen brightness, it was always just under nine hours in my review, which is okay in my opinion.

Looking for more battery life? The Spin 513 will soon be released with the power-saving Snapdragon 7c architecture — a world premiere in the Chromebook market. Acer says the battery lasts up to 14 hours.

Thinkpad C13 Yoga Chromebook

Manufacturer: Lenovo
Price: starts at $584

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